Baby and Child Sleep Questions: Your Questions, Answered

Are you trying to get your 8-month-old to  nap? Do you have a 4-year-old Houdini who needs to stay in his bed? We get so many baby and child sleep questions, and many of them are repeated often.

As a new parent, there is so much information out there that it can be really hard to sort it out. We’ve collected some of the most common baby and child sleep questions and connected you with articles that can help answer your questions. Read now and bookmark for later!

What is the Sleep Lady Shuffle and how does it work?

Gentle sleep training — I call it sleep coaching — is nothing more than helping your baby learn to put himself to sleep without leaving him alone to cry it out–so that he can successfully nap and eventually sleep through the night. Many parents don’t realize that babies do not inherently know how to fall asleep — sleep is a learned skill. When you bring home your infant, you lull them to sleep with just about every activity, since most newborns spend their time either eating, sleeping, or getting a diaper changed.

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How do I start getting my child to nap?

Getting your child to sleep at night is a major milestone and goal for parents everywhere. But did you know that daytime sleep plays a huge role in that quality nighttime slumber? Learn why they’re important and how to get solid naps for your child.

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My child is rising early — How can I get him to sleep later?

Having a baby is akin to having a human alarm clock. Both wake you up with sudden noise, but what happens when your baby suddenly begins to wake earlier and earlier? Sure, the average baby wakes ‘early’ by most adult standards. Believe it or not, sometime between 6:00 and 7:30 a.m. is a biologically appropriate time for your child to wake up. If your baby is waking at 5:00am, or worse, 3:00 a.m., tired but thinking it’s time to start the day, then read more about how to help you child sleep completely through the night and fix early rising!

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How do I get my toddler to sleep in her own bed?

At some point, every baby grows into a toddler, and eventually needs to make the transition from crib to bed. I generally recommend that parents wait until at least 3 years of age to transition their toddler from a crib into a ‘big kid’ bed, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that once the crib rail falls below a child’s chest (while standing in the crib), it’s time to transition.

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My baby was sleeping and now he isn’t. Is it a regression?

What happened?!? Your baby or toddler was sleeping well – napping during the day and going to bed smoothly at night – and NOW you can’t get her to sleep no matter what you try. If you and your baby are suddenly very short on sleep — and very cranky about it — you may be facing one of the sleep regressions.

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I have been co-sleeping and now I want to stop. How do I get him into his own crib or bed?

We’ve talked a lot about co-sleeping, and the many benefits to safely co-sleeping with your children. But what if you’re ready to make a change and end your co-sleeping relationship? Maybe no one is sleeping. Perhaps you’re an “accidental co-sleeper” — lying down to get your child to drift off and it turned into co-sleeping. Whatever your reason, you can use The Shuffle to transition your child into their own space.

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I think I need to get my child on a flexible schedule. What does that look like?

Sometimes it seems like babies and young children grow up in the blink of an eye. They leave behind one skill and gain another as fast as you can get out your camera. While they are growing, their sleep needs change too. Your three naps-per-day infant grows quickly into a one-nap toddler, and gradually shifts towards getting all of their sleep overnight. It can be hard to keep up with schedules when they are always changing, so we have put together a handy list of sample schedules for each age group.

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What are some secrets to success with the Sleep Lady Shuffle?

As a first-time parent there are many readily available philosophies on how to do everything with your child from feeding to diapering to sleeping. Many parents spend quite a few years sleep-deprived and trying everything Google has to offer, with little success. The Sleep Lady Shuffle is a balanced solution to get your child to sleep without crying it out alone. There will be a few tears along the way — from everyone. These hints will help smooth out the wrinkles.

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Kim West
Kim is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 24 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child.

She is the author of The Sleep Lady’s Good Night Sleep Tight, its companion Workbook and 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies.

Click here to read more about her.

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