- What causes a baby to not sleep through the night by 6 months?
- How to tell if it’s a sleep regression or teething or “something else”
- Why won’t baby settle to sleep without crying?
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Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the kids sleep show, where we help tired parents from around the world to get their children to fall asleep independently, sleep through the night and build healthy sleep habits for Life. I’m your host, Courtney Zentz. Now let’s sleep together. Hello, and welcome to this week’s episode. I am so excited to share with you today probably the number one question that every new parent Google’s When will my baby sleep through the night? Right? So it’s definitely a loaded question. And so there are five main things that I want you to consider when you’re trying to figure out hey, should my baby be sleeping longer? Why is it my toddler sleeping through the night? Why are these naps still a mess? Why is bedtime a dumpster fire all of the things that lead to a child settling independently at bedtime, sleeping through the night, and then waking at it what I consider an age appropriate time, which is really anytime after six o’clock in the morning. So we are going to go ahead and dive in. So first and foremost, the first thing you want to look at is from a question overall of like, when should my babies sleep through the night? It depends on really two key factors. One, obviously their weight, right? A newborn baby is not expected to sleep through the night. They need to eat more frequently because their bellies are tidier. So obviously, you know, you start looking at the weight of a child, and then also an age determination. So again, an obvious answer would be like, hey, babies over six months of age for sure. Barring something from like a non typical, baby, right? If there’s something else going on, right? Anyone over six months of age should be able to sleep through the night. So that’s like a clear answer of if my baby is older than six months, or I have a toddler who still doesn’t sleep through the night, there are some things that are happening that are likely something you are causing, and you may not even realize it. But barring that number of six months, right? What does it look like for when your baby should sleep? And then how long they sleep and then consistency to sleeping? Right? So the first thing when you look at the age and weight factor, okay is as a child grows through the first 12 weeks of life, their little bellies are growing, right, their intake is growing, and their weight is growing, their body size is growing, right. So that’s the first factor, again, three months of age that sleep through the night, I have clients at six months of age who we still do one nursing session overnight, because mom’s unsure of transfer, you know, there’s different variables that frankly, go into each unique situation. So in generality, every baby is a little bit different, right? Over six months, there’s something going on, right? under six months, you’ve kind of got this window between three and six months. And these are some of the factors that you have to think about when you are trying to determine if it’s something that you’re maybe doing or something that they’re not getting that they need. Right. So we’re going to talk through that. Okay, first and foremost, around three months of age, there’s a really major thing that happens developmentally right. Kids go from stage based sleep to cycle based sleep. So you may have a newborn that sleeping through the night, at eight weeks of age, and then at 12 weeks of age starts waking two or three times a night, right? Well, part of that stems from this developmental leap, right? Because if the first 12 weeks of life, they’re sleeping in this like stage based sleep, and then somewhere between kind of that eight to 12, give or take weeks, they shift, they get a body clock, they get hormones, they have a circadian rhythm now, which is a newborn they don’t, right. So you’ve got this happening of a transition around three months, and a lot of times it derails people, they immediately refer to it as the three monthly progression, or the four month sleep regression,
what typically is happening actually is there’s a habit somewhere in there, and you are likely doing something to sleep, right? Rocking, to sleep, nursing to sleep model to sleep, there is something in there with the word to sleep, and that is what you’re experiencing, right? So you want to make sure that you’re looking at the overall age of your child, okay? And then you’re understanding like their age, weight, and then their consumption, right? A baby’s going to sleep through the night when they’ve had enough food in the daytime. If you go to Vegas, and you eat a buffet at three in the morning, guess what you’re not eating as an adult when you wake up breakfast? Well, why? Because you’re not hungry, right? So you have to as a parent, slowly transition that milk off the middle of the night. But if a child has the independent ability to settle, they should be transitioning it automatically. So from birth, if you teach your child how to settle independently without the need to ever sleep train without the need to cry it out without the need to do all those things, right. As a newborn, they are going to build a skill set. Okay, so as the skill set strengthens, and then they’re eating strengthens because they’re belly grows, right, you end up never needing to sleep train, because your child naturally will start to sleep longer stretches. Usually it’s about an hour every night. Or every week, excuse me. So around eight weeks, kind of eight hours, nine weeks, nine hours, 10 weeks, 10 hours, right? And that feeding is gradually going to like push out because they are actually hungry. But how often they’re hungry is going to change because their bellies getting bigger as they grow. So hopefully that makes sense, right? Kids need 24 to 32 ounces of milk in a given 24 hour period. Okay, that’s your number, whether it’s breast milk, or formula 24 to 32 ounces. So if your child is getting that in the day, they don’t need it at night, if they’re drinking four times a night, they’re probably not eating well in the day. So now you have this flip flop, and you’ve got to slowly move like take an ounce from a bottle or breast here cut off the timing by a few minutes if they’re nursing, right. And then the next day that milk moves over here, right? So you have to make this kind of slow, steady state transition to get that milk off the middle of the night where they are hungry, but you’re never gonna get out of the vicious cycle if you don’t change it, right. And you need to get that milk into the daytime hours. Okay, so 24 to 32 ounces of milk is what a child needs their whole first year of life. Okay, I hear a lot of times parents will say, Oh, well, you know, I get rid of some of my breast milk because I want them to get the hind milk because it has more fat, it doesn’t matter, your fat is actually equally dispersed in your breast milk, your body is an amazing thing, let it do what it’s supposed to do. If you’re exclusively breastfeeding, and you’re never giving a bottle to your child, you may not exactly know how much they’re transferring, I would encourage you to call your pediatrician and schedule a weighted transfer at their office, which they will do. It’s basically where you weigh the baby. And then you feed them on the boob. And then you weigh them again, and you see how much milk they transferred in that eating right? Whether it’s one breast or two, and it gives you a gauge to know okay, like based on that, here’s the number I believe they’re at in the daytime, right? If you’re going to bed at 16 ounces all day, they’re going to wake at night. But if you’re going to bed somewhere between about 24 and 30, I have a lot of kids that sleep through the night just fine. You know, maybe with one feeding, okay, so there’s a balance because some of it is numbers. Some of it is habit, right. So you want to look at the age of a child. And then ultimately what their intake is. So if you have a baby who’s three months old, taken 32 ounces a day, they can absolutely sleep through the night, if you have a six month old, who’s only taking 32 ounces in the day, they then can absolutely sleep through the night. But if it took them a little bit to get there and to balance things out, every baby is going to be a little different. If you’re nursing, it’s a little bit different because you don’t exactly know what they’re transferring, you know, whereas if you’re feeding with a bottle, and I know that going to bed, they’ve had X amount of milk, 32 ounces, right? I can pretty safely say hey, if they’re waking in the middle of the night, it is likely because I was doing something right, I’m rocking them back to sleep, I’m giving them a pacifier 47 times, right? Something like that. You want to make sure you also look at the environment, right? If your baby is sleeping in your room, in a crib, next to your bed and your significant other sleeps with the TV on all night. Guess what that is blue light exposure, right? That is the devil for sleep. Okay, so you’ve got to make sure your child is in a cool, calm, dark space. Okay, I know the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends for six months that you room share safely, meaning a separate co sleeper, a pack and play a crib. All of the above. And that really was about not co sleeping with a child in your bed because it’s dangerous. So that was really the root of that campaign. us personally,
our kids were in their own nursery, the day we got home from the hospital, they were in a safe crib, it was flat, I had all the monitors and everything I needed to make sure I felt safe, they were cool, calm, dark, quiet, right. And my kids just always slept in the crib in that space and they got very familiar with it, everybody’s going to have a little bit different of a situation per your family, you just have to do what works for you that worked for us. And our environment was conducive with a noise machine and blackout blinds and a safe flat crib. For where our baby could learn to sleep. They’re not scared of a crib, it’s not too big, believe me, they don’t know. They want to be in a safe place that’s protected. And you know, the environment is cool, the environments dark, and they have that space to you know, get comfortable. A lot of times kids will wiggle to the side of a crib or pack and play. They like sensory input. So when they’re doing that they’re actually looking for something to input. So oftentimes they’ll push their head or their hands against the crib or pack and play. That’s why it’s not uncommon as parents I think we put kids down right in the middle of the crib, when in actuality we they kind of will spend 20 minutes wiggling over, you know to the space, right? And that goes to the next point from a wiggling standpoint, right like swaddles. If your baby spent nine months like this in the womb, they don’t want their arms swaddled down, so they’re gonna fight it forever and be pissed off because they really just want their arms up. So that would be a situation where I’d say hey, try the love to dream that That’s a great swaddle for babies who want their arms up, but it still protects against that startle reflex. Right? If your baby was nine months with their arms down, you can probably safely use a zip up swaddle. I love the SWAT aloo it’s a double swaddle, so they can’t wiggle out of it, you can use it right from birth. And then as they start to grow out of that, I love the magic marulan Baby sleepsuit. Right. So that’s a great transition product where they still have the startle, but they also might want access to their fingers, they can, you know, safely be on their back and sort of shimmy around. And so those are products like from a sleep environment, sleep space, sleep prop standpoint that I would recommend, right? If your baby is using a pacifier, and every time it falls out, they’re looking to get it from you. Not helpful, right? So you have to either decide they’re gonna learn to put that pacifier in, or I’m taking it. And believe me, babies get over pacifiers pretty quickly. And I’ve got lots of blogs and videos on pacifiers, and how to manage those. If you need some additional support there, you can just hit us up and let me know. And you know, the ability to settle, right, so a baby’s gonna sleep through the night when they have the skill and they have the intake, right? The skill comes from us not being the mechanism to fall asleep. The earlier we teach the skill, sleep skill, the easier it is, right. I have newborn babies that beautifully learn the skill and have never been sleep trained. Right? And I have toddlers that I have to go back now and change behavior, not sleep training, change the behavior because they’ve never slept through the night. Why? Because well, if they wake up, mom and dad know that they’re coming in, they know they’re gonna let them into the bed. So why would they sleep through the night, right? So you’ve got to set a set of kind of boundaries around what you want to work for your family. I work with plenty of clients in my sleep coaching business in New York, who have one bedroom apartments and like three kids, right, so we manage the environment. I’ll have them from tech sheets up to create dividers or buy those wood dividers on Wayfair for 60 bucks, things like that to set an environment on based on what your situation is, can be super helpful. And encouraging your child to settle independently sleep through the night and sleep in until an appropriate time to wake in the day. So as always, we are here to help you I have myself and an amazing team of sleep consultants who are ready to support you if you ever thought about sleep coaching, jump on in grab a free discovery call with us. We’ll do a sleep evaluation with you we’ll figure out if we’re the right fit for you what your struggles are, give you some guidance and let you know how we could potentially work together. So jump over to tiny transitions.com We have the most amazing library of free resources more than you could ever imagine out there. So right on the homepage, you can book a free evaluation, you can grab one of our resources we’ve got newborn infant and toddler resources that are unlike any in the market. I love giving stuff away for free because I want to set you up for sleep success. I know how important it is. I hope you have a beautiful rest of the day. Until next time, bye for now and be sure to hit subscribe.
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