Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
177
No Sleep Starvation
February 19, 2024

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
Chapter 1 (only 16 pages!) outlines everything you need to know about your child's sleep.

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Introduction

A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain, A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep

Blog Posts 15, based on the United States of America Department of the Army Field Manual: Holistic Healing and Fitness, describe what really matters for your child’s sleep. If sleep is an important enough topic for national defense than surely sleep should be considered a serious topic for parenting!

Blog 177No Sleep Starvation

Don’t make your baby suffer from lack of food.
When you baby is hungry, you feed your baby, even when you might want to do something else. You don’t deliberately withhold food because it is inconvenient for you. If you did, your baby would become painfully hungry and fuss and cry. Also, with experience, you can learn to anticipate when your baby might become hungry and thus, you can plan ahead to find a comfortable spot to feed your baby. You try to avoid feeding on the run. With practice, feeding your baby becomes a relaxing event for both the mother and the baby. Your baby develops a healthy body.

Don’t make your baby suffer from lack of sleep.
When you baby is drowsy, you soothe your baby to sleep, even when you might want to do something else. You don’t deliberately withhold sleep because it is inconvenient for you. If you did, your baby would become painfully sleep-deprived and fuss and cry. Also, with experience, you can learn to anticipate when your baby might become drowsy and thus, plan ahead to find a comfortable spot to sleep your baby. You try to avoid napping on the run. With practice, soothing your baby to sleep becomes a relaxing event for both the mother and the baby. Your baby develops a healthy brain.

Comments

  1. Hi,
    I bought ur book and have some questions.

    My baby is 6 months 3 weeks old. She have been a colic baby until 3-4 months old, that almost never take naps. But sleep really well as night.

    My problem is baby har tired after being awake 1 hr 20 min, she used to be awake for 2 hrs before first nap. Baby is sleep trained, but started to cry every first nap and totally refuse third nap. She already awake for 5 hours until bedtime at 6 pm. She have been skipping third nap for over a week now. We have tried put her to sleep when she show tired sign, usually rubbing eyes. We are not sure how to help her.

    1. Please have your husband read the first few Chapters in my book with emphasis on the post-colic child and the ‘nap drill’. Choose a sleep solution that comports with your values and specific family circumstances and I will help you navigate towards sweet dreams.

  2. Thanks for replying.

    I just shared the book to my husband and told him what he need to read.

    We started with extinction with parental presence. Now we are doing extinction with a cap. Baby cry over a hour on third nap, and that’s why the third nap have been missing in the past week.

    She is crying around 20 min on first nap, but almost always go to bed quietly on second nap. She sleep 1 hr to 1 hr 30 min on each nap.

    I have been trying to read your book in the past week. But being sleep deprived and having English as third language make it hard to even remember everything I have been reading. But I got go back to read about nap drill and sleep solutions.

    From ur book:
    “Some babies take a third nap in the late afternoon, but this nap may be brief, and the time when it occurs is irregular. Other babies do not take this third nap. If you attempt a third nap and your baby cries, immediately pick him up. This is a no-cry nap, meaning that if he cries upon being put down or shortly thereafter, he is picked up immediately and you do not try to extend the nap by soothing or ignoring”

    Do that mean we should not try the third nap? But her second nap finish at 1-2 pm.

    Baby wake up 6 am
    First nap 8 am ( nap 1 hour)
    Rub eyes after 1 hr 30 min awake

    Second nap 11:30 (1 hr 30 min)
    Yesterday rub eyes after 1 hour awake

    Third nap 15:00 failed past week
    16-17:00 calm and expressionless.

    Bedtime 18:00

    ( I know you mentioned no nap after 15, but I don’t think baby should stay awake until bedtime from 13:00.)

  3. I know you mention a lot about drowsy sign. But we thought 1 hour 1 hour 30 min wake time is too short for baby that’s almost 7 months? Sorry, we are confused and hoping for some guidance.

    1. Ignore ‘wake times’ trust ‘drowsy signs’. Because of sleep deprivation, your baby cannot now tolerate much wakefulness during the day. Shorten the interval of wakefulness between naps and before bedtime.
      For 3-4 nights only: Focus on a 5:30pm lights out (you have bathed, fed, soothed your baby, put her down drowsy but awake) and you leave the room at 5:30pm. Do extinction without a cap. keep a record and report back.
      For 3-4 days only, forget the ‘nap drill’ forget nap schedules, do whatever works to maximize day sleep and minimize crying.
      Let me know how it goes. When night sleep improves after 3-4 nights, then we’ll tackle day sleep.
      Does this help?

  4. Hi,
    We can try your suggestion.
    But we have tried 2 naps before and it worked for a while. Then baby got sick for a week and that crashed, she seems still tired after waking up in the morning. Even though she sleep 11 hr 30 min at night. Baby wake up 3 times at night for breastfeeding for 15-20 mins and usually go back to sleep within minutes.

    We wonder what a good night sleep should be like for our baby?

    1. It is possible that during heer illness, she did not have an early enough bedtime, acquired a sleep debt, and never fully recovered (a reset was not done).
      Read the latest Blog Post regarding feeding a t night, please.
      If you have sufficient breast milk, feed her once around midnigt and again early in the morning, if needed,; but not more than twice.

      Again, for 3-4 days only, forget the ‘nap drill’ forget nap schedules, do whatever works to maximize day sleep and minimize crying.

  5. We put baby to sleep at 5:45pm last night because of swimming class.

    21 Feb
    Wake up 5 am
    tired after 1 hr ( actually look tired the sec she woke up)

    1st nap
    6:30 Start soothing and routine
    6:53 protest 3 sec before fall asleep
    8:00 wake up – look tired after waking up

    2nd nap
    9:30 start soothing
    9:54 to bed and cried
    10: 00 fall asleep
    Did not show any drowsy sign, wide awake when I sooth her and looking around. Baby was playful before soothing.
    11:05 wake up – eyes red, yawn rub eyes after 15 min

    1 hr 8 min after waking up – rub eyes and ears, clingy, protest on a lot m, grunting while eating food

    3th nap
    12:36 start soothing
    12:55 put to bed cry 1 min before falling asleep – 13:28 wake up, eyes still look red. Failed resettle

    It’s 16:18 now and baby are not showing any tired sign.

    Baby look the most tired in the morning. We are not sure how to read her drowsy sign. I don’t think we are putting her down on right timing. We are not sure how to do it correctly in next few days. Since baby already seems tired the second she wake up. But refused to sleep more.

    1. Start over, healthy sleep for brain development is more important that swim lessons or anything else. Commit to 3-4 nights if, and only if, you can be consistent. She now needs a super early fall asleep time to wake up better rested in the morning in order to take better naps during the day which will eventually allow the bedtime to become a little later,
      Start over: For 3-4 nights only: Focus on a 5:30pm lights out (you have bathed, fed, soothed your baby, put her down drowsy but awake) and you leave the room at 5:30pm. Do extinction without a cap. keep a record and report back.
      If she “awakens” at 5am and looks tired, quickly attend to her, and put her back to sleep for hopefully, a continuation of night sleep. This is not a nap.
      Previously, I suggested: For 3-4 days only, forget the ‘nap drill’ forget nap schedules, do whatever works to maximize day sleep and minimize crying. Now, you may do this or do the ‘nap drill’ for this early morning wake up or, if needed, her actual first nap only around 9am.
      The key is to be consistent for 3-4 days and then regroup.
      OK?

  6. We picked nap drill with a earlier bed time. Because I struggle to put her to sleep. I don’t really know when to put her to bed, when I can’t follow her sleepy cue. When she is like already tired when waking up.
    She is sleeping longer at night, but she wake up double as many times then usual. Her naps are getting shorter everyday. Do you think we are on the right track?

    My husband think she is better in the morning, some days earlier she would scream in the morning. Now she is more calm and easier to deal with. But I think she still always look tired. She don’t get so easily hyper active as before.

    We use white noise and dark room everytime baby sleep at home. We have started sleep training since baby was 4 months. I don’t know why she still cry when I put her to bed. Do you think she will ever stop crying before sleep? Once in a while she won’t cry, but that rarely happens.

    Routine:
    Change diaper, hold her and walk calmly, sleeping bag, read a book, white noise, feeding, sing a song, put down to bed and light out.
    If she fall asleep before I put her down, I will wake her little.

    22 feb
    Wake up 4:30 – failed to sooth back to sleep
    Clingy, stayed in bed until 6:00

    1 st nap
    7:45 start soothing and routine
    8:12 put to bed (9:10 cry ignored for 6 min fall asleep) tired, eyes red, smiled in the beginning then not much expression clingy.
    9:58 wake up

    2nd nap
    12:30 soothing and routing
    13:00 Put to bed, fall asleep within few second woke after 34 and cried for 5 min
    14:48 wake up happy, talkative, eyes still red
    15:35 yawn, expressionless, calm

    Bedtime
    17:00 soothing og routine
    17:28 put to bed – baby cried 14 min then fell asleep
    17:42 asleep – small cries several times through the night.
    5:20 stirred and making small cries for few minutes, but try to sleep.

    23 feb
    5:40 wake up
    1st nap
    8:10 put to bed – cry 1 min before falling asleep
    Looked tired 30 min before bed, clingy.
    8:59-9:01 stirred and small cry
    9:45 wake up happy, smiley, eye red, clingy

    2nd nap
    12:30 soothing and routine
    12:51 Put to bed, baby cry 3 min before sleep Tired and clingy after being 1 hour awake
    13:59 stirred, small cry, try to sleep, took 8 min 14:45 wake up happy, talkative, eyes still bit red

    Bedtime
    16-17 calm, clingy, eyes red
    17:00 soothing and routine
    17:29 put down on bed – calm looking at me.
    Fall asleep after few minutes
    Did not rub eyes today beside while sleeping
    Woke twice

    24 feb
    05:24 wake up smiles and happy
    Tired sign 30 min before bed, easier to deal with then other days.

    1st nap
    7:30 soothing and routing
    8:08 put to bed – cried 30 sec before fall asleep
    Cry twice for several minutes while sleeping
    9:25 wake up – eyes less red then other days
    Calm, talkative, less clingy. (Rub eyes after 48 minutes awake, eyes get more red)

    2nd nap
    11:30 soothing and routine
    12:07 put to bed – protest few second before falling asleep
    12:59 stirred, small cry then sleep a bit more
    13:18 Wake up

    Third nap
    14:45 3rd nap in car
    15:05 wake up

    Bedtime
    16-17:00 clingy and eyes red
    17:00 soothing and routine
    17:30 put to bed – cry 9 min before falling asleep
    Woke up 6 times at night, usually 3 times

    Feb 25
    5:58 wake up – look more tired then yesterday morning.

    1st nap
    8:00 soothing and routine
    8:20 put to bed – cried
    8:40 fall asleep
    9:23 wake up – cried and failed to fall back asleep.
    9:45 picked her off bed

    2nd nap
    12:00 soothing and routine
    12:22 put down to bed and sleep quickly
    12:55-57 cry
    13:23-12:24 cry

    15-15:30 focus on playing alone, calm
    16:40 rub eyes, more red around eyes

    Bedtime
    17:00 soothing and routine
    17:25 put down to bed, fall asleep in 2 min and did not cry.

  7. Hi, we hope to hear from you soon. So we know if we continue what we have done or changes before baby is awake in 3-4 hours.

    1. “My husband think she is better in the morning, some days earlier she would scream in the morning. Now she is more calm and easier to deal with…She don’t get so easily hyper active as before.”

      There are more positive descriptive statements as each day has gone by. Please stay the course for just a few more days. Try to put her down for a nap with an earlier interval of preceding wakefulness. Day by day details are important clues, but the big picture suggests to me that you are on the right track. Think of early morning wake-ups and a fairly quick return to sleep as a continuation of night sleep. Think of calling her first nap the sleep that starts around 9am. Try hard to not allow a 3rd nap in the car.

  8. Thanks for replying.

    She woke many times last night as well, but got up after 12 hr 40 min sleep.

    Her first nap was only 47 min long and her second nap was 27 min.

    It’s really short to be compared to before nap drill. That used to be around 1 hr – 1 hr 30 min each nap

    I don’t think I should make her stay awake until 17:30? Which is 4 hr 30 min left.

    We wonder if it’s going to get better or its because she sleep longer at night that make naps shorter?

    1. The hazard of a too early bedtime is described in my book as the ‘5:30 rut’. Please provide extra soothing and stick with the 5:30 bedtime for now.
      Now that night sleep is long, do you want to return to the nap drill?

  9. We are already doing nap drill though. We have been reading these pages while doing her naps.

    Her night are longer, but wake up double as many times then before.

    It seems like she is keeping her total sleep around 14 hours. When she sleep longer at night, then it becomes less at naps.

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