Help my baby just won't sleep!
Getting your baby to sleep can feel like a fine art or rocket science. Some days it's impossible to have your baby nap for more than 20 minutes, and then suddenly they'll take a 2 hour nap.
Why these inconsistency's and why is your baby so hard to get to sleep in the first place?
When you have been trying to get your baby to sleep all day and nothing seems to be working, it is frustrating and exhausting, I get it. So lets look at the 4 most common reasons why your baby is not sleeping.
If your baby has been awake too long then they are heading into over tired territory, they start to produce stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline, these hormones not only make it hard for your baby to fall asleep, they prevent your baby once they are asleep from linking their sleep cycles and and falling into a nice deep sleep, especially over night. Review our online sleep program to better understand baby sleep routines and how to prevent over tiredness.
Just when you have a handle on your baby being over tired, we have to also consider if your baby is under tired. Every body needs just enough sleep pressure in order to feel tired enough to sleep. This sleep pressure builds up both over the day and in between naps. Nice long naps reduce this sleep pressure, while short naps keep this sleep pressure fairly neutral.
If your baby is under tired they will be frustrated at your settling attempts, or lie in their bed and simply babel, play and refuse to sleep.
Under 3 months old, your baby should be awake between 1-1.5 hours between naps to avoid being both under tired and over tired. 3-4 naps in this age group is pretty normal, especially while working on consolidating that lunch time nap.
Between 3-6 months babies can stay awake around 2-2.5 hours between naps, they still need 3 naps, but slightly less sleep.
6-12 months we drop to two naps, and your baby will start to stay awake between 2.5-4 hours.
If your baby is hungry they simply wont sleep. If your baby is exclusively milk fed, ie. breast or formula, they need to feed every 3-4 hours throughout the day to ensure they are not hungry at nap time, or excessively throughout the night. Once your baby is well established on solids and eating plenty of protein and carbohydrates you will find that your baby can easily drop from 0-1 night feeds at this stage and not be hungry.
If your baby has issues with milk transfer, latching issues or you don't increase their bottles gradually, they might be hungry throughout the day and unsettled when it is time for naps.
The environment that your baby sleeps in has a huge impact on whether or not your baby will sleep. Having a bright room blocks the production of sleep hormones needed to fall asleep, whereas block out curtains and a nice dark sleep environment help your baby create melatonin which is the key sleep hormone we need for falling asleep.
Temperature also plays a role in whether or not your baby will settle to sleep, too hot, or too cold, try to keep your babies room between 16 and 20 degrees.
White noise is the final piece of the white noise puzzle. Try some good quality white noise when you are struggling with settling for naps. The baby shusher, the hush white noise machine, or an app on your phone.
If you feel like you have ticked off all of these and you're still struggling with settling your baby to sleep, try our online sleep program and get started with better sleep today.
"I was lucky enough to win some sleep training � I was hesitant at first but desperate at the same time. Working with Sophie was great and on the first night we went from a baby that woke every 45 min-1.5 hrs for a feed to one that slept through the night.
The next few days weren't quite as straight forward but we now pretty consistently get a full night's sleep from our 8 month son. The two weeks of follow up support with Sophie were great to help consolidate things including sorting out his eating as well! Yay for sleeps" ~ Kimberly
"I am amazed at the incredible response our 2 year old had to the plan Sophie gave to us. We had ourselves in a complete state before using baby sleep consultants, singing, rocking......and repeating for up to 2 hours to get him to sleep every night.
As an added bonus our wee man often vomited with distress if he heard us leave the ŕoom, needless to say everyone was pretty stressed out at bedtimes.... I was cringing at the idea of spending a few hundred dollars on help but looking back, I would have payed double to be where we are now.
We spoke to Sophie who kindly listened to both of us and she created a 'gentle exit from the room plan'. On the second night he fell asleep within 2 minutes of being put in his bed and on the 6th night we could put him in bed and leave the room straight away.
One month on and there's no tears or vomiting and we all enjoy putting him to sleep, completely amazing! Thanks Sophie for your fabulous skills and incredible support." ~ Carmel
"My (then) 12 month old son was sleeping in our bed, only being fed back to sleep and I just could not get him to sleep in his cot no matter what I did. With the help of Cherene within just a couple of days he was going down and sleeping in the cot for both day and night sleeps, going down easily and happily and also slept through the night.
He now very, very rarely wakes in the night! I couldn’t have asked for a more lovely person to speak with, Cherene was SO knowledgeable, helpful and so understanding. I honestly cannot recommend her highly enough, she was a life saver!" ~ Gem
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