Only nine days until the official start of fall – but it seems like it’s here in Charlotte already!  I can’t wait for this:


And this:

As well as:  turning off the air conditioner at night, Halloween festivities, sweaters, scarves, boots (yay, boots!), running outside and not getting sweaty, and – of course – lots and lots of walks.


In the last two days, Henry, James, and I have walked more than 7 miles.  It’s so nice out – why stay in the house?!  I think of all of these walks as sneaky bonus exercise. 

photo photo2

Help Me Help Henry


The quest for better sleep continues.  The feedback I got on this post on how to get Henry to sleep better (not through the night, that’s not my goal yet, but just better) was very helpful.  I bought Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child because so many people recommended it, but I’m having a problem understanding the ‘plan’ – if there is one.  The author seems to jump between topics a lot, and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be doing.  As I mentioned in the original sleep post, I really just want a plan to follow -  I know not all babies are the same but I’m really good at following directions and want to try a set plan instead of flying by the seat of my pants.


What I’ve gathered from HSHHC so far:


  • Henry needs to go to bed earlier.  Not 8 – 9 PM.  More like 7 PM.  Since Sunday, I’ve been trying to wind him down at 7 but he’s used to going to bed later… so that hasn’t been working. 
  • Henry should never be awake for more than two hours at a time.  This blew my mind.  Henry is up usually from 8 AM to 1 PM without a nap.  Maybe a cat nap but certainly not a real nap in his bed.
  • I was interpreting signs of drowsiness as signs of ‘I’m bored, please play with me.’  Whoops.
  • Henry should take a morning nap between 9 – 10 AM.  (I just put him down and after 15 minutes of fussing, he fell asleep!  I was amazed.)
  • Annnnnd that’s it.  No idea what to do at night with night wake-ups.


So, basically, if you have read HSHHC and can break down what I’m supposed to be doing for my 3 month old, I would very much appreciate it.  I’m surprised the book isn’t easier to follow, considering that sleep deprived parents are reading it! 


I feel the entire book should be pictures and bullet points, like so:





  • Sheri September 13, 2012, 10:21 am

    I don’t have a baby- but I do know a little bit about Dr. Weissbluth. He is a doctor here in Chicago and many of my friends see him and follow his plan. All I know is my friend’s baby naps from about 9-10 every morning, 1-2 every afternoon and she starts winding her down between 6-6:15. Gives her a bath every night during that time to signal that it’s time for bed and puts her down right after that. She’s typically sleeping by 7-7:15. I think she’s up around 7 the next morning. Works really well for her and she’s now just over a year. She’s been sleeping like this since probably around 2 or 3 months.
    Good luck!

    • Sheri September 13, 2012, 10:22 am

      Oh and I forgot to mention the most important part- when you put the baby down for the night- you have to let them cry it out until they fall asleep.

      • Marie September 13, 2012, 10:53 am

        Actually no. The emphasis is that for most babies, you don’t HAVE to make them cry to teach healthy sleep habits. You learn to spot the baby’s cues and create conditions ideal for sleeping. Some babies do have to cry/vent before they fall asleep but it’s not as simple as just”let them cry it out.”
        Also Caitlin if you’re looking for a book that’s a little more “plan” oriented you might try The Dream Sleeper. It is co-written by a sleep therapist, pediatrician and psychologist and has recommended schedules, routines and checklists for babies of all ages. But they don’t recommend sleep training until a baby is four months old. Before 4 months, babies aren’t neurologically and physically capable of self-soothing and their sleep rhythms aren’t fully developed.

        • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 11:22 am

          Awesome, thanks for this rec!

      • April September 13, 2012, 11:23 am

        This is exactly the ‘schedule’ i follow (after reading this book), and it SAVED.MY.SANITY! We started it around 3 monthes i think…

    • Karen B September 13, 2012, 12:28 pm

      Unfortunately, every child is different and they really need to learn to have good sleeping habits. I just went with my boys’ schedules until they didn’t need to eat at night to keep gaining weight. Then, it was about 7 or 8 months, I used the ferber method, which is painful for at least one night, maybe two, but it works. My kids were always great sleepers after that. None of the middle-of-the-night walking around, trips out of bed to get drinks of water, etc. that toddlers do. A little cuddle at night and they walked to their own rooms and put themselves to bed, every night.
      If your baby is day/night turned around then put them down to nap during the day in a bright room, by a window so the brain sees that it’s still daytime. It takes a few days to turn back around but this works too. I used a carriage-like stroller and wheeled it by a window to let baby nap in the light.
      I have friends who used a method, don’t know what it’s called, that is on a schedule that is sleep, eat, play instead of eat, sleep, play. I don’t know how they got their baby’s not to fall asleep during/after a feeding though.
      My baby boys are now teens and are still great sleepers. My 14yo will go to bed early if he’s tired and I really think it was because I made good sleep a priority for the entire family when they were babies and toddlers. Although it could just be genetics. who knows?

  • Whitney September 13, 2012, 10:24 am

    I don’t have any kids so I can’t help out, but I do know that my co worker has two children and I’ve heard him a few times say that having a scheduled sleeping routine for babies is key. So there must be something to having a plan! It will click… good luck!

  • Lissa September 13, 2012, 10:24 am

    Morning nap is a must! For you and baby 🙂 I love this book. The premise is organized daytime sleep = organized night-time sleep. So daytime sleep is crucial. He recommends 2 naps a day til about age 1 or so. Morning nap around 9:30, afternoon nap around 1. Once he drops down to 2 naps, he should get in a 2 hour or so nap (around 12-2 or 1-3). Daycare helped me enormously with this, as that’s when they nap. So … if he wakes regularly at, say, 6 or 7, begin to prep him for a nap 2-3 hours after that. And repeat. It takes time but eventually he’ll get there. I credit this book with how Maya began sleeping through the night at 11 weeks. It was really a question of 1) being ready to “sleep train” (i.e., not being a newborn anymore) and 2) getting her daytime naps organized. I was ALL over the place initially. But consistency is key for babies. Like clockwork now, she’s in bed at 8 and up at 7. Every. Darn. Day. (She’s 20 months old). But even at Henry’s age, she’d wake at 7. Eventually 7 was her bed-time. It killed me as a working-outside-the-home mom … but she needed it! Keep at it, mama, you’re doing a great job!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 10:25 am

      This is what I don’t understand about the book. He says two naps a day but says they shouldn’t be awake for more than two hours at a time? So what does that mean?


      • jen September 13, 2012, 10:37 am

        my kids have always taken 3 naps a day until about 6-7 months. the last nap is usually at 5 pm for just about 45 mins or so but they seem to need it. i know the not sleeping good is SO hard but he is still pretty young and i would guess that he will start sleeping for longer periods soon. for most babies i think 4 months is a big turning point. although, napping more throughout the day should help.

      • Jen September 13, 2012, 10:38 am

        This didn’t work for us either because W’s naps have always been so short. At 3 months, he was taking 4 naps a day since they were only 20-30min each. I found the “awake for no more than 2 hours” rule much more applicable than the “only 2 naps/ day” rule.

        • meagan September 13, 2012, 11:11 am

          I agree. C was taking 3-4 naps/day until 5 months, then 3 naps/day until 7 months, then 2 longer ones (am/pm) until a year. At a year she dropped to one very long afternoon nap.

          I think it’s more of “at least” two nap a day–if your kid takes really long naps.

          • April September 13, 2012, 11:29 am

            I agree with this – I think it’s more of “at least” two nap a day–if your kid takes really long naps.

            Caitlin, going with the ‘2 hour awake’ rule helped me make more sense of the day instead of ‘2 naps’ because like a PP said, only if the 2 naps are super long are you covered. My boy gets tired w/in 2 hours of being awake still (will stretch longer if we are out and about) and he is 10 months old. Also, he would take a little cat nap around 5pm which i loved because then he would be happy for his bedtime routine.
            I feel like it was yesterday that i was in your shoes – but keep reading HSHHC over and over and it will make sense – you will figure it out!

          • Laura September 13, 2012, 12:31 pm

            My kids followed a similar plan as Meagan’s. And I was a nap nazi. NOTHING came in the way of naptimes. It limits your activities a bit, but saved my sanity. I liked the suggested routine in Secrets of the Baby Whisperer book. The EASY routine. E = Eat (feed the baby) A = Activity (awake time) S = Sleep (may be short, may be long) Y = You (time for you to sleep, work, etc.) Repeat. I bet you’ll find Henry falls into a 2.5-3 hour rotation, but whatever it is, just start your day so that the rotation ends at the desired bedtime. During the night, skip the A part…and be really, really boring.

      • Lissa September 13, 2012, 1:24 pm

        The 2 hour window seems too stringent; we were a little loose. Figure he’s up at 7, so he’d nap 930-1030 (ex.). Then he would eat, play til 1 or 2. Nap 1-2 hours. Ready for bed at 630/7. It’s not exact–focus on his tired cues. Sometimes Maya would fall asleep on 5 min car-ride home from daycare at 5:30!!

      • aimee September 13, 2012, 9:39 pm

        I always followed morning nap – 9ish, afternoon nap 12:30ish, and at 3 months mine still did an evening nap, 5/5:30ish (this was always the shortest nap, 30 minutes usually in a sling). Then bed time was 7:30-8ish. At 3 months the 2 hour window lengthens and soon the evening nap will drop, but the two naps a day goes till at least a year, to 18 months.

      • AD September 14, 2012, 11:15 am

        My twins are just 4 weeks older than Henry, and I read healthy sleep
        Habits, happy twins- which I think is the same idea but built around 2 babies instead of one. I didn’t like it because I think it’s essentially a CIO method book disguised as a different method. What I do with my babies and have been doing for a while now is writing down what time they wake up in the morning, then at about 75 minutes after that I start to look for cues they’re getting sleepy- rubbing eyes, yawning, sometimes getting fussy. Then I swaddle them, go to the nursery, and rock them for a minute o two and put them down. then when they wake up, I do the same thing all over again all day long. They take one longer nap in the morning (~2hrs) and then hour-long or 45 min long naps for the rest of the day. It’s worked really well. We start bedtime rituals at 5:30 or so and have them down by 6:30-7 (takes longer with twins- 2 baths, etc).

    • Amy September 13, 2012, 12:46 pm

      Sorry I didn’t read this first, but this sounds JUST like my son (20 mos.). This is also the reason why I’ve kept my sanity (almost) ;).

  • Vikki September 13, 2012, 10:25 am

    My friend Nikki swears by this book. She has a two year old that is sleeping 13 hours a night because of the book. Granted, the 3 month old seems to be having trouble adjusting, but she thinks eventually it will work for the younger child too. I think it requires patience.

  • Holly P. @ A Year in Wichita September 13, 2012, 10:28 am

    I’m loving all the Autumn posts I’m seeing this week. Thank goodness for cooler weather! You (or anyone else who is interested) should write an Autumn Bucket List post at Reading them gets me in fall spirit! 🙂

    As for the Henry sleep sitch, I wish I had words of wisdom…but I don’t have kids. I hope for your family’s sake that he starts sleeping well soon!

    • Lena September 13, 2012, 12:21 pm

      I was taking a walk today and got so excited for fall. It’s like I wake up this time of year, I’m not much of a summer person and while others are incredibly active in summer, I get pretty tired and lethargic. In Fall however…I have the constant urge to put on warm clothes and go outside and do something! I just love the weather and how, when you go out for a walk or run or whatever, you come home so full of fresh air- I can’t really put it in words.

  • Tara September 13, 2012, 10:29 am

    I didn’t read that book, but I did read Babywise which does provide a bit of a schedule to follow. I did not even read it until our son was 7 weeks and I did not religously follow it like some parents recommend. However, I will say once I started our version of the schedule within two day we went from getting up 4 times a night to him sleeping through the night and taking regular naps during the day. The basic schedule in the book is: Baby eats, baby plays, baby goes down for a nap (while still awake). This usually falls into a 3-4 hours schedule that’s repeated throughout the day. I was so skeptical, because we’d totally just followed his cues. When he was up, he was up. When he was down, he was down. When he ate, he’d go down. Turns out he actually needed a little more structured schedule and it worked wonders! The nap thing was the hardest part for me. I felt weird putting him down for a nap while he was still awake and that he was going down for a nap every three hours, but it worked great.

    Sorry it’s not the same book, but the basic schedule could be helpful to try. Hope you find something that is a good fit!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 10:30 am

      It sounds similar. Lots of people have also recommended trying a loose version of babywise. Thanks!

      • Marie September 13, 2012, 11:55 am

        We are loosely following Babywise with our 4.5mo old daughter too. EASY (eat, activity, sleep, “your time”) seems to be working. My daughter can only stay up for about 1.5hours between naps (and this includes time for breastfeeding), which seems like so little to me! But, she settles into her nap within 5 minutes of putting her down (so obviously she’s tired), sleeps for about an hour, then we repeat. Bedtime is 6pm-ish and after a dreamfeed at 9:30pm-ish, she sleeps until about 630am.
        I agree with the other commentors that routine is very important for babies- it helps them know what’s coming and, I think, makes them happier babies. I wouldn’t worry so much about a “schedule”, just try sticking to a routine instead. (this makes sense to my mommy brain- hope it does for you too!)

    • Reghan September 13, 2012, 12:53 pm

      I agree with the Babywise schedule! It does seem weird that the baby is sleeping so much during the day but it works! At 4 weeks old I can already tell my son is getting into a better schedule with the eat/wake (which right now is just changing his diaper and that’s about it)/sleep. He goes down awake and puts himself to sleep with no crying! He still wakes every 3 hours for food at night but that is just his age I think. I’m patiently waiting for those longer stretches of sleep but I think this is laying the foundation for good sleep!! I highly recommend Babywise!

  • Michelle S September 13, 2012, 10:30 am

    We used to call my now 7 year-old son, Fight Club, because at about 2 months, he decided daytime naps were not for him. He would just play or “talk” in his crib during nap times. The only thing that would make him sleep during the day was to take a ride in the car, so I would map out a driving plan and run errands (all drive through options: post office, grocery store, cleaners, car wash) and end at a drive-up restaurant for a cold drink and a good book while he finished up his nap. It was crazy, but ya gotta do what ya gotta do to keep your sanity with an infant.

  • Courtney September 13, 2012, 10:31 am

    I don’t have a kid, but my BFF just had one a year ago and she said that at first they tried to be really flexible with her daughter’s schedule but in the end keeping her to a schedule was the best thing for her and them. They eventually wound up with a morning nap and an afternoon nap. I would imagine a 2-3 month old baby might need one more, but don’t have any experience with this. Also, she said that 3-4 months was when she saw a real improvement in her daughter’s ability to sleep, so don’t give up hope yet!

  • Shelly September 13, 2012, 10:31 am

    So what signs of drowsiness were you misinterpreting as signs of boredom? Just curious b/c I don’t have a baby and have no clue what the signs of drowsiness are! 🙂

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 10:33 am

      He starts getting whiny and arching his back and fussing if I’m holding him. I usually put him in his jumper when he does this and he jumps around a little bit and feels better, so I thought it was bored. But he did it this morning two hours after waking up, so I put him to bed and it was lights out. Who knew?

      • samantha September 13, 2012, 12:19 pm

        My 1 mo old does this – had o idea it was a sleep cue!

        • Whitney September 13, 2012, 7:10 pm

          It’s a sleep cue or a sign of overstimulation. Our daughter is 11 weeks and we do flexible Baby Wise. Basically every three hours eat, play, nap. But we don’t have a set wake or bed time yet. Just adjust the 3 hour schedule to her wake time. She gets up once in the night and sleeps really well during the day. I’d be insane without it.

          Baby wise FTW!

      • Jackie September 15, 2012, 2:02 pm

        Think of it as the baby trying to lay down!

  • Presley @ Run Pretty September 13, 2012, 10:33 am

    Nothing helpful to add. haha. We got 5 1/2 hours straight last night, though. MIRACULOUS. After a night of being up every two hours, it was definitely appreciated.

    It is eery how similar your sketches are to my nightly routine. 🙂

  • Mina September 13, 2012, 10:33 am

    That book saved my life. I only read the sections that corresponded to my daughters age, otherwise it was too overwhelming. She’s 9 now and such a great sleeper, and I really attribute that to that book. I don’t remember specifics but I remember a a morning nap btwn 9-10am and an afternoon nap around 1pm and then lights out a 7pm. My doughtier gave up her morning nap a little on the early side but kept the afternoon nap until she started kindergarten. Just keep at it, it won’t change overnight. And then once you get it down something will mess it up – teething, growth spurt, but as long as you have the routine down it’s easy to get back to it.


  • Jen September 13, 2012, 10:36 am

    It ends up being about 2 hours at a stretch. Since my godson was about 4 or 5 months old, he’s gone to bed around 7:30pm, wakes around 7am, takes his first nap from 9:30 -12ish, and his second nap from 3 – 4ish. So he’s awake closer to 3 hours at a time, but he’s 17 months… when they’re as young as yours, they might need 3 naps. One of the things I’ve noticed that’s a big deal is that my godson’s parents keep the exact.same.routine for every single nap and the same routine for every bedtime. They didn’t make a bath part of the routine because, frankly, babies don’t need baths every day, and it makes the process quite long. The nap routine is simple: tell him it’s time for a nap, walk into the nursery, close the curtains, turn off the light, and turn on the white noise app on the iPod. Bedtime is similar, except they add in changing him into PJs and reading a story.

    As soon as they started helping him to get more sleep, he became the most delightful kid I’ve ever met… although I may be biased. Good luck!

  • Reenie September 13, 2012, 10:39 am

    My niece still swaddles her baby. But the swaddle she uses is really tight. Baby will get fussy, she’ll put her in the swaddle, and immediately baby will calm down…. relax and go to sleep.

  • Abby September 13, 2012, 10:40 am

    I read that book too, when my baby was very very wee. I agree that it didn’t offer much by way of strategies (other than “cry it out” which we were not going to do) – but I loved the information on how babies sleep at different ages. Ditto with the morning nap and earlier bedtime. For a plan, I read a whole bunch of different books then created my own plan based on what I thought would work for us. Here it is, if you’re curious, but definitely find one that works for YOU, and your baby, and your family. But our baby was really easy, like Henry, so it may work for you just like this: We didn’t use a set time every night, but around the same time when baby seemed to be getting sleepy, we’d start the bedtime routine. And it was the exact same every night. Wash face/Bath, diaper/pjs/swaddle, nurse/bottle, read/tell story, then lay him down in the crib awake. Whenever he cried, I’d wait one minute, then go back in to calm him down – try to do this without picking him up, but in the beginning you might need to. Leave the room again, and when he cries, wait two minutes. The idea is that you continue extending your time out of the room, but I was never able to let him cry longer than 5 minutes. But that worked for us. It took about 45 minutes the first night to get him to sleep, but then less every night after that. Within a week, he was falling asleep on his own with no crying at all. If he wakes up in the middle of the night, repeat the same process (unless it’s time to eat – in which case, obviously feed him then lie him back down again). I also tried to do all naps at home, in his crib for a few days to make sure he really understood this new routine. I think it helped.

    • Abby September 13, 2012, 10:44 am

      Also! For whenever you’re ready to space out nighttime feedings… we would water down his bottle for feedings that he was ready to give up, with more water each night, and within a couple nights, he would abandon that feed and sleep longer. I never minded getting up at night, so we never pushed him too hard. If the water bottle wasn’t working, then I figured he really did need the milk (he wasn’t just waking out of habit), so I’d give him milk and try again in a few weeks…. It also helped when I didn’t automatically feed him every time he woke. Sometimes he just needed his pacifier or a little cuddle time…. Anyway, that’s what worked for us so I wanted to share. GOOD LUCK!!!! And I really looking forward to hearing more about what works for you 🙂

  • Robyn September 13, 2012, 10:50 am

    Hi Caitlin,
    I’m so totally in the same place as you with my 11-week-old. Our napping has been so all over the place…I just figured babies slept when they wanted to sleep! I looked into that book but I really didn’t like the idea of crying it out so I’m still just trying to interpret Holden’s cues and go by that, which does tend to create a fussy baby if I miss them. I also find that I’m out of the house so often that a proper nap schedule with him going down at a certain time would be unrealistic for us. That does tend to mean that he sleeps in the car or has little cat naps. I just try to make sure he has at least 5 hours of day time sleep and it’s starting to work out for us. I do wish that it wouldn’t take so long for him to fall asleep, but then again I’m just not willing to let him cry it out so I’d rather spend the time inducing his sleep then that! Hopefully it will pay off one day!!!

    • Megan September 13, 2012, 11:15 am

      I think we do something like this too since I don’t do the cry it out method with my daughter. I agree it’s more time consuming than letting the baby cry it out but it’s how I’d prefer to do it. I try to rock her to sleep when she’s tired, following a loose pattern of eat, play and sleep. I have been more rigid about bedtime routines and it hasn’t seen to have done much for us.

      Some days are bad, some days are good when it comes to sleep. I’m with you on the last picture of put baby down in crib, stand by and pray. She’s a tiny human who does what she wants.

  • Jess September 13, 2012, 10:54 am

    I haven’t read that book but I may buy it today….you’ve got me interested to see if it can help my 3.5 month old. I’m brand new at this too but I’m pretty lucky my son has natural patterns. From my experience and things my friends do I can offer some tips…first I wouldn’t worry about the “2” naps a day….they are still too little for this. What’s more important is following the rule, up for two hours then sleep. Try and cue into his natural sleep times. For example, my son ALWAYS wakes to eat at 5ish…but then he will go back to sleep until 7-8. From then I start two hours up then nap. It doesn’t matter to me how many naps he has, what times they are or how long the naps are. He is a cat napper, averages about 30 minutes for a nap. Some babies do sleep for 2 hour naps. What’s Henry typically do? I do pay attention to make sure he doesn’t fall asleep for a nap past 6pm. He naturally started to fall asleep earlier….we started at 10, then 9, then 8:30, now he is around 7:45 going to sleep by himself. We are also just beginning bath in the evening to help tire him out. Good luck! You are doing a great job momma!! =)

  • elizabeth September 13, 2012, 10:56 am

    I have a 16 month old and was given that book to only give up reading after being so confused! What worked for is is this: be very consistent. Whether it be naptime or bedtime, ee have a specific routine that we follow each time she goes into her crib. For us, its quickmade up sleep song, binky in mouth, hug, in crib, lights out. We do it every single time and she knows its time to sleep and doesnt fight it. Also, I do think Henry is too young to be going that long without sleep. Remember, sleep begets sleep. My daughter still can only make it for about 3 hours of awake time before she wants to sleep. I have always put her down for the night between 8-9. She would wake a couple of times at night to eat, then wake for the day around 8. At that age she napped at 10, 1 and 5. The evening nap was the shortest and the first to go. I followed her cues as to when she naturally seemed sleepy and she was pretty consistent on times, so I set that schedule based on her. Now, she still wakes around 8 and maps at 11 and 4, and goes to bed between 8:30-9.

    Good luck! It’s hard work and so stressful being a mama! You just have to find what works for you and your family and stick with it!

  • Nicole September 13, 2012, 10:56 am

    I never understood all the “methods” for getting a baby to sleep. I’ve always believed my daughter’s body knew better than I did about when she needed to sleep. It hasn’t always been easy (especially the first year when she had colic the.entire.time) but it’s a lot less stressful for me compared to fighting it. Since you’re schedule is flexible, I suggest doing the same to save your sanity. “You can sleep when you’re dead!” is what I always tell myself. Good luck!

  • Heather September 13, 2012, 10:59 am

    I read hshhc too and didn’t really get it. I found the nap ideas really helpful, just as you have, and I really see the benefits of putting Zoey down for naps earlier (it takes less time), but it didn’t help me for nighttime. I then read “the no cry sleep solution” by Elizabeth Pantley and she gave me some tools to help Zoey fall asleep at night without needing to go the CIO route. That it definitely not for our family, so we needed to find other options. Honestly, at this point she is 11 month old, and we still rock her to sleep and then put her down to bed. She sometimes stirs after a couple of hours, then we go in and rub her back, put in a soother, sometimes have to pick her up and rock her again. During the night, we cosleep, so I just nurse her lying down and she falls asleep. She rarely wakes up During the night now, but up until about 9 month she woke up 1-2 times, 3 on a bad night.

    I definitely got discouraged during different periods of Zoey’s life, like 6 months, 8-9 months, because not only do you have teething to worry about, you have cognitive growth spurts and digestive issues due to starting solids, but I tried to keep my head cool and remember that when she is 5-6-7 years old, she will not want to cuddle with me, and I should cherish each cuddle and evening together. I love being close to people when I fall asleep, so I completely understand why my daughter also funds comfort in it.

    I hope you can find something that works, but I’ll tell you that once I took CIO off the table, we couldn’t find anyone who had kids who fell asleep on their own as babies. We just decided to embrace it and trust that one day she will.

    Good luck Caitlin!

  • Kortney September 13, 2012, 11:02 am

    I never read the book… But my baby was on a nap schedule similar to what you seem to be wanting. He would wake up at 7 be napping by9-9:30 and get up at about 11. Then would nap again at 2 to 3 then cat nap at 4:30 bed by 8. Then he dropped the cat nap and just automatically adjusted his other two to make up for it. He’s nine months now and just recently switched to one nap., he wakes up at 7:30 naps at 11:30-2 and we go on with the day. I was always so worried about his sleep and how it was supposed to work and then he just feel into a routine at about 4 months so I went with it. He just quit waking up in the middle if the night about two Weeks ago. Hope it all works out!I know it’s so tiring!

  • Lindsay J September 13, 2012, 11:02 am

    Sleep is a tough issue that so many have tips for. Our current 12-month old didn’t actually sleep through the night until 10 months. Sleep was not bad and we tried every recommendation people shared. But he started sleeping better on his own. We have no idea what happened. He now has an 8PM bedtime (originally 7PM) and he has two naps a day (2 hrs each). We laid him down at the same time each day and let the fussing happen. We would monitor the fuss to see how serious it was. He eventually got the day time sleeping down. Night-time was a struggle. Don’t know why he would get up after just two hours and not need to eat, but just want to be held.
    I don’t think there is an exact answer, b/c like you said, all babies are different. Trying things consistantly for a week at a time is the best advice I have. It never hurts to try.

  • Elizabeth September 13, 2012, 11:03 am

    We have a 7 month old, and she is a terrific sleeper and napper. But it wasn’t always that way…

    For her first 2 months, we had no schedule. But then I read an article on BabyCenter about the 3 common signs of sleep deprivation in babies:
    1) They fall asleep any time they’re in the car
    2) They are falling asleep before bed time at night
    3) You have to wake them up in the morning

    (BabyCenter also has a good chart of how many hours of sleep a baby should need based on age…at 3 months, it’s about 15 hours…10 at night and 3 x 1.5 hour naps during the day.)

    Riley had all 3 sleep-deprivation symptoms, and so at 2 months we got her on a schedule.
    Here is what worked for us:
    7AM up for the day
    9-11 nap
    1-3 nap
    5:30-6:15 nap
    8PM bed

    A couple other points that really helped us:
    * During the day, babies have a 45 minute sleep cycle. So, frequently they will stir about 45 minutes after they fall asleep. If you run in then, they don’t learn how to connect sleep cycles. Sometimes it will take Riley a good 10 minutes to get back to sleep. As long as she isn’t screaming, I let her cry.
    * At night, babies have a 2 hour sleep cycle. Again, unless they’re screaming, try to let them put themselves back to sleep.
    * After babies fall asleep, it takes about 10 minutes for them to get into a ‘deep’ sleep. If your baby falls asleep on you, or in the car seat, etc. wait for 10 minutes before you try to move them…otherwise there is a pretty good chance they’ll wake up and think it is time to get up.

    Finally, to get Riley to sleep through the night (which she did at 3.5 months) I think 2 things were key:
    1) Her weight – for some reason, once she hit 13 pounds, she just wasn’t that hungry at night anymore. How we noticed: She didn’t wake up crying/hungry in the AM, when we were still giving her a night feed. So:
    2) We slowly decreased the amount of food we offered during her night feed – every 3-4 days we decreased it by an ounce. When we eliminated the last ounce, we thought she might wake up just for the comfort/interaction, but she didn’t. (We also slowly increased the amount she was eating during the day, to offset what she wasn’t getting at night.)

    I know that is a lot, and I tried to summarize as concisely as possible. But hopefully you’ll find something in there that helps you!

    Also, I thought I was a TERRIBLE mother, once I realized I had a sleep-deprived baby. But, it only took us about 5 days to get her on a schedule, and I noticed a huge improvement in her mood. (It also made MY life so much easier to have her on a schedule!)

    Now, when she falls off schedule (vacation, teething, etc.) it only takes a day or so to get back on track. And if one nap runs short, I know we can make it up in the next one, or by going to bed a little earlier that night, etc. So I don’t panic too much if she doesn’t follow the schedule exactly.

    The most important thing, in my opinion, is to realize babies are malleable. They change so quickly, and adjust to change so well. For me, that takes a lot of the pressure I put on myself off…because I know I can’t screw her up too badly 😉 we can always get back on track tomorrow.

    Good luck – you are doing a great job with Henry!

    • Marie September 13, 2012, 11:59 am

      great post!! Concise and informative! 🙂
      Question for you – how long does your baby generally nap during the day? I’ve read about that 45min interrupter, but it still seems that my daughter’s daytime naps average 45-1hour … if we try to let her babble her way back to sleep after that 45min interrupter, I wonder if she’d sleep for longer??

      • Elizabeth September 13, 2012, 6:38 pm

        She usually naps 1.5 to 2 hours each nap.

        Now that she is older, we are down to either 2 2-hour naps, or, 1 2-hour nap + 2 45-minute naps. But, basically she naps between 3-4 daytime hours total.

        As long as she doesn’t cry, I will let her babble in her crib. Sometimes she falls back to sleep, and generally, if she isn’t going back to sleep, she’ll eventually get bored and start to cry. At which point, I’ll go in and get her up.

        Hope that helps!

    • Katheryn September 13, 2012, 12:06 pm

      I was going to write pretty much this same thing. This is what I have done with all three of my kiddies. The only difference is that our bedtime is 9, instead of 8, but the rest of the schedule is the same.

    • samantha September 13, 2012, 12:48 pm

      did you formula feed ? 4 hrs seems log to go from feedigs

      • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 12:58 pm

        Nope, breast, but at 3 months, 4 hours is normal.

        • Claire September 13, 2012, 1:44 pm

          I think at 3 months the average can still be 2-3 hours – per KellyMom, breastmilk takes less than 2 hours to digest. Obviously this varies baby by baby – my girl, at 9 months, still nurses every 3. 5 hours or more frequently.

      • Elizabeth September 13, 2012, 6:44 pm

        I did formula feed.

        Now, at 7 months, she can usually wait 4 hours between daytime feeds.

        But, at 3 months, she was eating every 3 to 3.5 hours during the day. Sometimes that meant eating as soon as she got up, if she acted hungry. She could go a little longer between feedings at night.

        Our sleep/eat schedule at 3 months was approximately:
        7AM – up
        8:30AM – feed
        9-11AM – nap
        12:00 – feed
        1-3PM – nap
        3:30PM – feed
        5:30-6:15 – nap
        7:00 – feed
        8:00 – bed
        11:30PM – dream feed
        4AM – dream feed

  • Amanda K. September 13, 2012, 11:05 am

    at three months it’s hard to get the baby on a schedule. they fall into a three-nap routine a little later.
    when he gets older you can apply more of the book’s ideas, but 3 months they mostly just do what they want (unless you want to push the schedule and crying it out — that wasn’t what i wanted to do…)
    at 3 months we put my son down around 9, by 4 months we were at 8 and now we’re at 7:30.
    i will say that the 2-hour thing did ring true for him. we didn’t follow the thing he said about sleep not counting if he’s moving (in the carseat, in the stroller) because often that was the only way we could get him to sleep.

    ferber’s book is also good, we used that book and HSHHC and liked how they worked, but truly, most of the advice is for older babies.

  • Katie @ Talk Less, Say More September 13, 2012, 11:05 am

    I love your photos at the bottom 😉

    And I’m sorry I can’t help with this issue, but I wish you all the best and hope you guys get more sleep asap!

  • Heather September 13, 2012, 11:06 am

    I also forgot to mention that three naps a day until 6 months is totally normal, and now we do the “2-3-4” rule. She wakes up and is awake for 2 hours, then nap, then awake for 3 hours, then nap, then 4 hours, then bed. she is a short napper though so it is not exact, but it’s a loose guide. We didn’t do that until 7 ish months maybe?

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 11:22 am

      Great rule, thanks!

  • Theresa September 13, 2012, 11:07 am

    I didn’t read any of the other comments and I’ve never actually commented on your blog before so here goes…

    I’m the mother of a (next week) one year old boy who is not a great sleeper. I bought every book on the market (including all the ones you’ve mentioned in your posts) and then some. I’ve googled my heart out, asked fellow parents and read many a forum. You’re not going to find YOUR and most importantly Henry’s answer in black and white.

    In time Henry will sleep in a way you’ll deem acceptable. Then just when you get used to it he’ll start cutting teeth, or get a cold and your sleep world will come crumbling down. For now (and I mean this in the nicest way possible) just TRY to suck it up. It’s not easy… my one year old is STILL waking up at 4:30am ready to party. From reading your blog you seem to be into letting things take their natural course but I think the type A in you is trying to push Henry into something he’s not ready for.

    Sure, get him in a routine. Try to move bedtime earlier and make sure he gets enough rest during the day but ultimately you can’t force your baby to sleep anymore than he’s going to. Try to just chill out and stop putting so much energy into figuring out how to make him sleep more. I guess I’m saying that because I feel like I wasted so much time and energy on it and wouldn’t recommend it to anyone… stranger or friend.

    Hope this didn’t come off as too harsh but basically unless you’re willing to let your kid cry it out (tried it 5 minutes and I didn’t have it in me) you’re just going to have to wait it out.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 11:21 am

      No I know what you mean, and I totally understand. I just *KNOW* that I could be doing things to make it easier… you know, a three month old baby doesn’t really know how to sleep – at least Henry doesn’t. He clearly fights it when he’s exhausted. So I really really really want to help him. It’s necessary to protect the sanity of the adults involved LOL

      • Claire September 13, 2012, 1:05 pm

        Theresa, I couldn’t agree with you more! I have a daughter about the same age who, like your son, just isn’t a “great” sleeper. I fall much more into the attachment parenting/ Pantley school of parenting, and frankly, I’m not sure how much I buy into the fact that babies need to be “taught” to sleep. Yes, you can start to learn to read their signals and help them out (and yes babies and toddlers are creatures of habit and you can work with that, for sure), but again, for millions of years babies became children then adults that somehow managed to learn to sleep with step-by-step instructions!
        If Henry ends up being a baby that’s not a great sleeper, (although based on the schedule you posted a few days ago, it sounds like he’s a good sleeper for 3 months old! at that age my girl had at least 5-6 wake ups a night), and if you don’t want to cry it out (which you can’t even start until 4-6 months per the experts) the best thing you can do is just adjust your attitude. Don’t look at him as a problem to fix, but as a gift to you, to help you learn to slow down, readjust your priorities, and find simple pleasures where you can (like a beloved afternoon nap for mama, ha!). Assume that you won’t get a good night’s sleep for a year (or two, like what I’m planning on!) and if you’re pleasantly surprised earlier than that, great. Otherwise adjust your life accordingly. Again, this is just what’s worked for me – I got into “survival” mode since I have to work 40+ hours out of the house with a poor sleeper, and it’s helped me not only get through it, but I really enjoy my life these days.
        Sleep will get easier, then harder, than easier, then harder, as will all aspects of parenting. It is tough it you’re more of a type-A person, and you try to shoehorn your new baby into your old life – instead, you can learn to adjust your life to fit to your baby. At least, that’s how it’s worked for us, and learning to just relax and go with the flow has been a wonderful gift from my daughter.

  • Paula September 13, 2012, 11:07 am

    My kids are older (5 and 8) but when they were young we did a very loose interpretation of Babywise. It is so important to get your baby on a regular nap/sleep schedule. You are teaching Henry how to sleep which is something that will benefit him his whole life! As a parent of (a little) older kids, I see their friends who still on “self-directed” sleeping and don’t go to sleep until much later at night or can’t sleep through the night even in grade school and then they are struggling during the school day. I recommend not worrying so much about following exact details of any books but instead follow a basic eat/play/sleep pattern that works in about 2 1/2-3 1/2 hour patterns depening on Henry’s cues. You have to do what’s right for him and not be married to the clock but at the same time, the clock is definitely your guide. The same goes for letting him “fuss” to fall asleep. I was never a big fan of crying it out but there does come a time when you realize that they are fussing out of habit and not need. For my daughter this was young (about 5 months) for my son, it was 9 months. it just depends on the baby!

  • meagan September 13, 2012, 11:08 am

    I found Richard Ferber’s Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems very helpful. He has more of a plan to it, as well as a lot of information behind his recommendations. Sometimes it takes a mix of information to get the right sleep program going for your child.

    I know it’s hard though! Really, I think most parents get through sleep issues a little at a time. Sounds like you’re having solid progress.

  • Katie @ Peace Love and Oats September 13, 2012, 11:08 am

    Haha there definitely should be a book that’s easier to read, I’m sure deciphering confusing writing is not high on your to do list as a new mom!

  • Mary September 13, 2012, 11:11 am

    I have that book, Babywise, Baby Whisperer, Dr. Sears…you name it. I agree it’s not clear! Our 3-mo-old guy does a loose eat/activity/nap schedule every 3-4 hrs and ideally gets 3 naps a day, preferably one that is at least 1.5 hrs (and that seems to require a swaddle to achieve). One of the books recommends that Mom decides when naps start and end, and that it’ll take about 3 days to get anything working. Hmm. He does seem to have less of an evening witching hour if he gets that long nap, and it’s easier to keep him awake until the last evening bottle. It doesn’t seem to matter if I put him down at 7 or 9 just yet (still wakes at the same time), or do any dream feeds (I’ve dropped those), but I’m piloting a ‘cry it out’ strategy this week and only giving 1 bottle around 4am…a pacifier all other times. I feel like it’s starting to go somewhere. I’d vouch for eating AND napping a lot more during the day.

  • Ashley September 13, 2012, 11:13 am

    I don’t know about that book, but I just put my babies (11 week old twins) in those velcro-swaddle things last night for the first time (I’ve swaddled before – but always with a “regular” swaddle-blanket). The velcro ones work SOOOOOO much better! I swaddled them up at 10pm after their evening feed and ended up having to wake THEM up at 3:30am because they usually eat every 3-4 hours and they’re still too young to be sleeping through the night! After they ate at 3:30 I re-swaddled and AGAIN had to wake THEM up for their morning feed! Not sure if you’ve tried them, but it may be worth a shot!

  • merry September 13, 2012, 11:14 am

    I had the same issue with that book! I totally thought I was missing the magic that everyone else could see. Good reference though I guess. Now looking into babywise…. 🙂

  • Katya September 13, 2012, 11:14 am

    check out the blog, ‘troublesome tots’ for some great sleep advice,, I have found it quite helpful. I also was amazed that babies shouldn’t be up for more than 2hrs or so (that times increases as they get older).
    I have a 12 week old, who sleeps reasonably although I think he is going through a growth spurt as he has been waking up more at night. But we follow the EASY routine (Eat, Awake, Sleep, You time). I also found the Healthy Sleep habits book extremely hard to read. I’m sure the advice is good but the layout is so terrible!!

  • Julie D. September 13, 2012, 11:21 am

    I think more than anything it just takes time and patience. The morning nap is great.. I used to put Eli down around 9 am or so and he’d sleep and then we’d wake up and play and eat and then do the same thing all over again. At first he might not sleep for very long, but just stick to the routine and over time he will sleep longer. Another thing we started when Eli was born was a bedtime routine, so we’d feed him, give him a bath, read books and then rock him or bounce him on the exercise ball to sleep. At 2 or 3 months he was still nursing a lot at night, but once he started sleeping through the night (around 10 months) this routine became invaluable and I’m glad we set it up early on his life. Long story short when Eli was little the routine (notice routine, not schedule) was eat, play, sleep and repeat.

  • yasmara September 13, 2012, 11:22 am

    Do you read Ask Moxie? She has *great* sleep advice & an entire (very large) category on her blog about sleep, naps, sleep regression, etc.

    (there’s a teeny tiny arrow at the bottom of the page to get to the next page in the category – I missed it the first time I looked for topics)

    Beware – 4 months is often a prime “sleep regression” age so you might be hitting that a bit early. You can get a lot of great info by searching for “4 month sleep regression” on her site.

    This post is a great intro into her sleep philosophy:

    I think item #2 on her list may be helpful for you regarding naps:

    “Once babies hit 6 months or so, many of them will settle into a 2-3-4 pattern. That means that they’ll take their first nap 2 hours after waking up in the morning. They’ll take their second nap 3 hours after waking up from the first nap. They’ll go down for the night 4 hours after waking from the second nap. Not all kids do this, but a surprising number of them seem to.”

    Good luck! We have 2 boys & each of them had very distinct, different sleep habits – I was surprised with a 2nd baby that I had to figure out all of the sleeping, eating/nursing things all over again – I thought it would be old hat, but it turned out to be completely different! I think the only difference as a 2nd time mama was that I had more confidence in 1) experimenting and 2) figuring out what was best for both this particular baby & our entire family.

  • Jessie @ Graze With Me September 13, 2012, 11:23 am

    At his age it’s hard to get into a strict routine just yet. But I’d start loosely experimenting and see what works. My daughter napped 4x a day at his age, her “happy awake time” was about 1.5-2 hours MAX. Then around 5 months we went down to 3 naps a day (2-3 hr awake time) and around 9 months she switched to 2 naps. She’s almost 1 and if she were awake from 8-1pm like you said Henry is, she would be a mess!! I definitely think you’re missing his sleep cues. Don’t feel bad though. You solved a piece of the baby puzzle! It’s a constant battle to learn their (constantly changing) cues.

    But my 1yr old has a 6:30-7 bedtime so you might want to try timing Henry’s bedtime to his evening feeding session. Say he needs his next bottle at 5:45 – try to do a 2-3 step routine ending with jammies and a bottle.

    Hang in there! It just takes practice. You’ll get it all figured out and then he’ll change it on you!

  • Morgan September 13, 2012, 11:23 am

    I’ve read every sleep book out there, and while Weissbluth’s book is informative, it doesn’t offer a “plan.” It was super frustrating for me and other moms I know.

    If you aren’t the cry it out type of mom, I wouldn’t go by his methods. I think the info is great, but his method to get babies to sleep at 6 months and older is called extinction. this means you don’t go to them AT ALL when they cry at night. Some think Ferber’s method is harsh, but I actually think it’s much better for moms who can’t handle cry it out. (Ferber says to check on baby in graduated increments. ie: after 3 min of crying go in the room and soothe, then wait 5 min, then 7 etc.)

    I’d recommend reading The Sleep Lady’s book called Good Night Sleep Tight. She gives actual plans of action for even young babies and doesn’t include too much crazy science talk which I appreciated. She’s not into cry it out either which is more your style from what I’ve read. think this one helped me the most, and I’ve read Weissbluth, Ferber and Sleep Lady.

  • Jenny September 13, 2012, 11:25 am

    Follow the no-more-than-2-hours-awake rule. Best advice in the book. And I agree, the book is choppy and a little hard to follow but what he says is spot on. Plus, I loved the affirmation that what your baby is doing is “normal”!

  • Lisa @ The Splattered Apron September 13, 2012, 11:27 am

    I read that book, though not completely, and On Becoming Baby Wise. At Henry’s age, I found Baby Wise to be much more useful. I think HSHHC is supposed to apply later on, but I have not picked it up again. Baby Wise follows a 3 hour cycle throughout the day of eat, play, sleep which we loosely followed (i.e. if she was hungry at 2 or 2.5 hours instead of 3, I fed her) and worked really well for us and she would go down for the night between 7 and 8, dream feed at 11 and then she would normally sleep through until 6 or 6:30 (with occasional nights of waking up). The best piece of advice I read was that sleep begets sleep so the more naps the baby takes during the day, the better they’ll sleep at night. Good luck!!

  • yasmara September 13, 2012, 11:28 am

    Oh one more thing – we are big fans of the early bedtime in our house. With our oldest son, he would go to bed at 6:30 pm some nights as an infant! Usually it was between 7-7:30 though. It does make it really hard to attend any events out of the house as a family, but it was a lifesaver for us – he started sleeping better after less than a week of early bedtimes. Some babies get wired as an over-tired response and have a harder time sleeping.

    Of course, other babies are entirely different. My best friend’s kids are mostly night owls & have always had later bedtimes. Our 2nd baby actually had a later bedtime than our toddler, although it eventually evened out.

    Even today as elementary school kids, 99% of the time our boys are in bed by 8pm at the latest, and usually by 7:30 on a school night. For them, early bedtime = happy and late bedtime = CRABBY. Once they master the art of sleeping in, this might change, but for now, they get up at almost exactly the same time every morning without fail, regardless of the time they go to bed, so the only way to add more sleep is to go to bed earlier.

  • VKS September 13, 2012, 11:30 am

    I’ve read about a company called “Moms on Call” on some other bloggers’ websites, namely Blue-Eyed Bride. It sounds like they might have some more of the specific guidance you are are looking for.

  • Kate September 13, 2012, 11:35 am

    I totally agree! I’m not far into HSBHC but I was so looking forward to a how-to section. Good to know it’s not there. Parker (2.5 mo.) falls asleep on me only, which is exhausting. And then I try a very sneaky put-down, which sometimes works and sometimes doesn’t. From the other commenters, it seems that 2.5 mo. might be too early to worry about it too much, or maybe I’m just a weanie to not want to put her in her crib and let her cry? It’s funny that they don’t know how to sleep, isn’t it? It’s like I have to convince her that this is what he wants and needs and loves to do!

  • Alison September 13, 2012, 11:39 am

    My babe is 11 weeks old, he’s on his second nap of the day… and there is no way I can put him down awake, he has to be rocked to sleep and then naps in his swing. (My husband says this is because I never sat down when I pregnant!) He takes his bests/longest naps in the morning, then usually cat naps the rest of the day. Some naps are 40 minutes, some are 3 hours. I pray for the 3 hour naps! I’ve been aiming for earlier bedtime now too since your first sleep post, it’s slow going here too.

    I agree with everyone who is not a fan of letting them cry it out. I once heard that Ferber’s grown children don’t even talk to him (I have no idea if it’s true, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it’s true!) Read about the physiology of what happens to your baby when his cries are ignored.

    This is how ALL things go with parenting! Trying things, adjusting course, sticking with what works, ditching what doesn’t, lots of praying that you don’t screw them up too much!

  • Holly September 13, 2012, 11:41 am

    Our now one year old has always had a bedtime of 9ish pm. Every baby is different and our dr said we were maybe putting him to bed too early. Go figure! Quality sleep during the day =quality sleep at night. My son has always taken 2-4 naps per day varying in length. They key is to figure out their signs of tiredness. Baby wise has helped friends of mine. Do you have a good bedtime routine? This was the most helpful for him to distinguish when it was bedtime as opposed to naptime. Good luck!!

  • Allison September 13, 2012, 11:45 am

    I read HSHHC and Baby Wise and kind of combined the two… So, basic principles from Baby Wise are that babies thrive on schedule, so observe what kind of basic schedule your baby sets and then think about what schedule needs you have and make one and stick to it. They say after the first few weeks, babies should eat every 2.5 to 3.5 hours during the day.

    For example, my baby wakes up at 7 pretty consistently, so I feed him at 7, 10, 1, 4 and 7…. then wake him up for a ‘dream feed’ at 10 (and he wakes up between 3 and 4 am to eat). For naps I go with what HSHHC says about no more than 1 or 2 hours of wakefulness, so he takes 3 naps that are anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours between feedings, then usually stays awake from the 4 o’clock feeding until bath time. It’s the basic Eat, Play, Sleep idea. So far it’s working pretty well and he seems to be happy 🙂

    One thing Baby Wise says about naps is that letting a baby cry it out isn’t a bad thing. You’re not neglecting them or teaching them that they’re unloved, you’re teaching them how to self-soothe and sleep well. If baby boy doesn’t go down easy, we set a timer for 5 minutes, then check on him and if he’s still fussy, we’ll extend it to 10, etc. Usually he’s asleep before the 10 minute timer is over.

    Babies are smart 🙂 They know what they need… so I think Henry will be rocking the all night sleeping soon!

  • Priyanka September 13, 2012, 11:52 am

    I have been having the same problems and this is what has been working for us for the last couple of days,

    -He has to complete most of his daily milk requirement before bedtime. That way he wont wake up frequently at night.

    -He should get one morning nap between 9-10am ,another one at noon/1pm and then one last one at about 5:30 pm which is close to his bedtime but it is needed or else we’ll have a crying fest. It may seem counterintuitive, but more they nap, the better rested they are and sleep better at night. Oh and I have read almost everywhere that catnaps do count, they may not give us any breathing time but the baby does feel rested.

    -A long feed/bottle before bedtime followed by a dream feed at about midnight. He has been naturally waking up at about 4am for another bottle and then he wakes up for the day at about 6:30am. So his nightime sleeping goes from 7:30pm to 6:30am.

    For the last two days I’ve been getting four hours of uninterrupted sleep, I cannot tell you how energized I feel 🙂

    If Henry does not go to bed at 7, there is no point in forcing him to do so, I have read so many experiences on babycenter where babies go to bed at 9pm and sleep through the night comfortably.So it all differs.

  • Lori September 13, 2012, 11:54 am

    Another Babywise Mom here. At night, don’t get up unless he starts really crying. For awhile he will wake up out of habit — he could possibly just fall back to sleep. But if he really cries, get up and make a bottle, but make it very low key – keep the lighting dim, don’t talk much and when you do, talk quietly – and put him back in the crib straight away. He needs to understand nighttime is for sleeping. He’ll get the idea…and soon you’ll get many, many hours of sleep — YAY!

  • ASHLEY September 13, 2012, 12:01 pm

    the most helpful thing i ever read, in my ENTIRE LIFE! was the 2-3-4 rule.

    No more than “2” hours after he wakes he should have his first nap.

    No more than “3” hours after he wakes from his first name, he should go down for this 2nd.

    and no more than “4” hours after he wakes, he should be down for the night.

    for example:
    so. up at 7am, 9 am is first nap. say sleeps until 11.
    2pm would be his second nap. say sleeps until 3:30.
    7:30 should be his bed time. and..repeat the next day.

    this general guideline helped me A TON!

    • Ashley September 13, 2012, 4:46 pm

      This is pretty much our schedule exactly. It works really well.

  • Jade September 13, 2012, 12:07 pm

    I am not also blessed with a day time sleeper or even falling asleep for the evening sleeper. His max naps are probably 45 minutes during the day. We’ve tried almost everything but he will be up for about 1 to 1 1/2 hrs then sleeps for a bit. I want to schedulize him but it’s not working for us just yet (mine was born the same day as yours). Sometimes he will just cat nap and like you initially we were missing the sleep cues, but now we never get the over tired baby but he will still fight sleep so very hard. I try so hard to put him to bed or start the night routine early but he just lays there, gets upset that he is confined, and sometimes three hours into the bedtime routine he is still awake, and like you I just don’t get it. I want some me time!

  • m September 13, 2012, 12:11 pm

    Hi – I didn’t scan through all the comments but we used HSHHC as a reference for our twin boys who are 10 months old. My major takeaways for babies Henry’s age:

    – Babies that are Henry’s age should not be up longer than 90 – 120 minutes at a stretch. Once it has been around 90 minutes, start winding baby down – swaddle, soothe, rock, play song or sing song, read – whatever your routine is (or whatever you decide it should be) so that they don’t get overtired.

    – Sleep still has not consolidated, so daytime naps longer than 45 minutes are not likely at this stage. Sleep cycles are 45 minutes, and sometimes you can soothe then into another sleep cycle, but I found that they would wake up after 45 minutes on the dot. At around 5 months, my babies started sleeping 2 cycles in the morning but it is different for every baby.

    – Rubbing eyes, pulling at ears, glossy eyes, or disengaging from play are signs of becoming tired. Start soothing at the first signs – even if its been less than 90 minutes. Baby is tied, and babies grow, brains develop, etc during sleep.

    – Bedtime is still pretty late at 3 months – ours wouldn’t settle until 11pm at this age and would fuss from 7 – 10:30 (they would maybe fall asleep for 20 minutes during this time and then wake back up to fuss). Eventually, bedtime will move earlier (this happened at 5 months for our babies) –

    Eventually, you’ll see naps naturally form around 9 am, 12/12:30 and 3:30 but it takes time. The 9am nap will develop first. Just watch his cues and you’ll be fine. As he gets older you can move to the 2/3/4 hour rule (which is not a Weissbluth thing, but I found online): 1st nap – 2 hours after baby wakes for the morning. 2nd nap: 3 hours after baby wakes from 1st nap. Bedtime: 4 hours after baby wakes from 2nd nap (but this is only after the baby drops his 3rd nap)

    Sleep is crazy and unpredictable for all babies. We worked like madmen to get our twins onto a schedule and because we were dealing with 2, we were CRAZY REGIMENTED or else it was total chaos. Our friends with one could be more flexible. We have found that our babies responded well to schedule and routine, but still have days where they won’t nap for one of their naps or will only nap for 1/2 hour. Also – most babies younger than 4 months aren’t capable of self soothing – so they need your help when they cry.

    Finally, I’m sure you’ve read this, but sleeping through the night is technically defined as 5 hours. We found that dreamfeeding our babies at 10:30pm really helped them get further into the wee hours of morning. Some people love it, some people don’t — we relied on it until 9 months.

    I know you are getting lots of unsolicited advice, but I also very vividly remember reading everything I could about babies sleep patterns and hoping that I could find something that could help me get the babies to sleep more. Hopefully what I’ve written is helpful context, even if its not perfectly suited to your baby’s sleep needs.

    Good luck!

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 12:59 pm


      • Jennifer September 13, 2012, 3:00 pm

        This comment pretty much summarizes the entire book! Those were my exact take-aways from the book.

        I would say at 6 months mine just started to make it the full 2 hours between naps. He was usually crashing somewhere around 90 minutes before 6 months.

        Our pedi said we could start to sleep train at 4 months. We did a gradual approach: I went from rocking him completely to sleep, to rocking him until he was drowsy, to rocking him only for some cuddle time and to wind him down while putting him down awake. During his night time feedings (starting at birth) we would not turn on any lights and not talk to him. I would literally give him 1/2 the bottle (or one breast), change his diaper, give him the last half(or the other breast), rock him like a minute, and put him in his bed.

        Both of my kids didn’t consolidate their naps past one sleep cycle until closer to 6 months. I would always try to coax them into another sleep cycle; sometimes it worked and sometimes it didn’t.

        I can’t remember when the book says they go from 3 naps a day to 2. Mine really started fighting that third nap at about 6 months but couldn’t make it to bedtime without it until about 8-9 months.

        My second baby slept thru the night later than my first did. At 6 months he was still waking up between 4-5 every morning to eat and go back to sleep. I did notice that as his naps consolidated during the day, his night time sleep got better and you could literally see him pushing wake up time back by 30 minutes every day until he finally made it all night.

        I’m not sure there is any true step by step schedule. Even at 10 months old now, I wouldn’t say I know exactly what our day is going to look like. Based on what time he gets up for the day I can tell you when he’ll be taking his first nap and then based on how long that nap is I can tell you when he’ll go down for his second nap. Some days his morning nap is close to 9 but some days it’s between 10-10:30. Once they get to that one nap a day stage, like becomes much more predictable…at least that’s how it works for us.

        • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 3:03 pm

          Thank you so much for this comment!

  • lfwfv September 13, 2012, 12:18 pm

    Highly recommend babywise. It really is about setting a flexible schedule. They don’t recommend rigid eating times, but setting a general 2.5-3.5 hour schedule in the first few months (that lengthens as baby eats more as he grows), and feeding him earlier if he wakes hungry or is going through a growth spurt. The baby-whisperer is very similar and she has another book answering more detailed questions that arise when people implement her routine, or start later than birth. All available on Amazon.

  • Annette@FitnessPerks September 13, 2012, 12:19 pm

    Oh wow! That is a lot to take in–I don’t have kiddos, so no advice here, but I do know from my mom & sisters that you want the baby to take at least 2 naps during the a.m.afternoon.

  • Stellina @ My Yogurt September 13, 2012, 12:37 pm

    I love that last image!!! I hate to say this, but I think you are just going to have to wait untill he turns a year old. By then he will have developed his own sleeping pattern that you will be able to follow better!

  • Amy September 13, 2012, 12:42 pm

    Hi Caitlin! I haven’t read through all the comments and this might not be a popular comment, but you asked for help, so here’s mine: your notes from HSHHC are great and the idea is, if you follow this plan during the day, Henry will “learn” to sleep better at night. I mean no insult to anyone, but I really believe that if a baby is all over the place with sleep, they haven’t been properly trained. By that I mean: they’ve been helped to get the best possible sleep. Henry should not be awake for more than 2 hours at this age, but if that’s hard to figure out with his short naps, try teaching him to nap longer. It’s easier said than done, but trust me when I say it’s worth it. You will be amazed at how (eventually) this pattern develops. At Henry’s age, my son napped 8:45-10ish, 12ish-2ish, 4-5 and asleep by 7:30 (through the night at 11 weeks)-7am. This was after weeks of him not napping during the day and screaming (overtired) throughout the day and from 6-7 every night. I did my research and this book was my bible and I still have a great sleeper. Hope this helps!

  • Elizabeth September 13, 2012, 12:50 pm

    After 10 months of terrible, inconsistent sleep, we paid for a consult at Having a detailed step-by-step plan based on our parenting style was worth shelling out the money for. I can’t say all of our problems are solved, but I learned a lot from our plan and we’ve made significant progress. I’m sure we’d be even further along if we hadn’t recently moved and had a continuous stream of visiting family members sleeping in the guest room/nursery. My son is 18 months old now and we still cosleep and nurse at night, despite my lofty goal of getting him to sleep through the night in his crib, but we’re all sleeping better than we had been. And I feel like I know what I need to do to reach that goal when we’re ready.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 12:58 pm

      Awesome link!

      • Elizabeth September 13, 2012, 1:07 pm

        I was afraid it was a total scam at first, but I learned about it from someone in my local parenting group. I spent about a month going back and forth about it, reading the free content and getting the newsletters. I was truly impressed by what we got. I think it was a 25 page document and it did have a day by day plan. After all the books I read, this was the only plan I was truly comfortable with.

  • Amber September 13, 2012, 12:51 pm

    So far you have lots of good advice! We had an excellent sleeper (that I was able to put on a routine similar to what you have mentioned) in our oldest daughter. Then my youngest daughter was born and she threw us a major curveball! So sometimes things work easier for some kids. I have read every book and online forum and I do believe they all need structure/some sort of schedule starting around 3-4 months. Unfortunately, 4 months is a common sleep regression time so it is tricky figuring out when to put into place certain sleep techniques.

    I wanted to add – try to first work on the daytime sleep. Focus on the 2 hour wakeful time – he may not even be able to really handle 2 hours. I don’t know what his naps are like but if you have issues with a 40-45 minute nap, this is very common and could be from being overtired. Google it and you will find lots of reasons why they get stuck in that short sleep cycle. Nighttime sleep should slowly improve as daytime sleep gets more organized. If you try to focus on naps AND night wakings/feedings, you will get overwhelmed and obsessed (at least I did!)

    We didn’t worry about night wakings until my girls were about 6 months old. At that point I tried to cut them out, and we still haven’t gotten rid of all of them. Despite what we try, my daughter loves her nighttime bottle and cuddle in the middle of the night. I have finally learned to accept it and we are all much happier since I don’t have the expectation of her “sleeping through the night” like her older sister did.

    Anyway, good luck!

  • Meredith September 13, 2012, 12:59 pm

    HI! I am on baby #3, but I remember with my first, being shocked with the responsibility that I had to teach my child how to sleep! SCARY! I bought and read every single sleep book on the market and the one you’re reading was most helpful. My (personal) plan (after teaching a few babies how to sleep and READING like crazy) (ALL MY OPINION AND PERSONAL EXPERIENCE):
    1. At 3 months, baby sleeps in her own crib in her own room at night. Day naps can be in pack and play or bouncy seat or car seat, but crib is best for most of the sleeping (try to do only one nap a day in a different place. This also helps when you have to travel – baby will not freak out being somewhere “different” if he has been taught how to nap somewhere else.).
    2. The first night is the hardest. You have to forget everything you have heard about crying it out and just suck it up and tell yourself that teaching your son how to sleep on his own is something you have a responsibility to teach him…After your bedtime routine of bath, massage, lullabies, and a big feeding, swaddle him up, put him in his crib, and walk away. Shut the door. Go have a sip of wine, and 2 minutes later, come back in his room (assuming he is crying), and say, “I love you, I am here, but you have to go to bed now.” Go drink some more wine, try not to cry, and go back and repeat after 5 minutes. Add 3 minutes to each time until he is asleep. With all of my babies, the first night ended up taking 27 -30 minutes before they fell asleep. Within 3 nights, they weren’t crying at all when we put them to bed.
    ***This is VERY HARD, letting your baby cry. It will wreck you and make you cry, but he will not be in pain. He is just learning how to fall asleep. If he isn’t taught how to fall asleep on his own, you will have an even more difficult time when he is a toddler and beyond. Not everyone agrees with this practice, and only you know what is best for your family, but don’t beat yourself up if you think it may work for your family.
    3. When he wakes up to eat at night, silently pick him up, feed him, give him a hug and kiss and repeat step 2. Just a warning: This can be very hard and very sad in the middle of the night. If you and your husband are not on the same page with the crying, it can cause major conflict, especially at 2 am.
    4. Day naps: one in the morning about 2 hours after waking, one 2 hours after waking from that one, and a catnap in the late afternoon. Bedtime at 7. You may have to repeat step 2 for some naps.

    When we used this method, our babies were sleeping in their own beds, through the night (except for feedings during growth spurts) within 5 days. Just my approach, and one that works for us. Good luck and know that every mom has had a hard time figuring out what works best for her and her baby!

    • Marissa C September 13, 2012, 1:49 pm

      All right, here is where I become the “mommy war” person everyone hates, but I also hate to see potentially harmful advice given out under “do what works for you.” I really believe there are many many ways to approach child sleep, feeding, etc., but I truly believe some are harmful.

      I have no problem with “Cry it out” in general. Kids do eventually need to learn that it’s time to sleep and crying isn’t going to get them what they want.

      I DO have a problem with “Cry It Out” under the age of 1 year (others say under 6 months), because at that age a baby ISN’T learning that “it’s bedtime and I should stop crying because nothing is wrong and go to sleep and stop manipulating mommy” Babies don’t have the cognitive ability to manipulate like that at such a young age…they cry because they have a real need, whether it is hunger, a dirty diaper, or just comfort. So when they eventually stop crying, it is because they have simply learned that crying isn’t going to get them what they need…which isn’t a good lesson to teach someone who has no other way of communicating. They’re sleeping, but there are needs that are not being met. If this sounds crazy, look up the psychological theory of operant conditioning. That’s all cry it out really is.

      Is it going to scar your child for life and make them a completely unstable child and adult? Probably not. But it could potentially have psychological and behavioral consequences later on that may be hard to see in a young child.

      I get that most people are going to take this with a grain of salt or accuse me of starting up the mommy wars again, but there has been research neurological research in this area that is really interesting–particularly about cortisol levels in the brains of crying children. Color me surprised when my med student husband came home and told me about what they learned in child development class one day a few years ago–he’s completely oblivious to the “mommy wars” and had no personal stake in it as we had no children at that point. I’ll have to go dig up the studies they talked about, though I know there are others online.

      And I don’t blame the parents who use it…they read it in a book and that should be trustworthy? Right? Unfortunately some authors (I’m looking at you Gary Ezzo), based their theories off their own beliefs and results without looking into what is really going on on a psychological and psychological level, and that bothers me. A lot. And the biggest problem is it works, but are the potential effects and consequences worth it? I’d prefer parents make that decision on their own with all the facts available. If they want to employ Cry It Out methods because they are losing it and they are willing to take the risk, that is fine. But all the information should be part of any decision surrounding something as precious as your child.

      Again, when they are older, they have the cognitive ability to use crying, tantrums, etc. to get what they want…but a 3-9 month old…they don’t have wants, just needs.

      All right, crucify me now

      • Meredith September 13, 2012, 4:18 pm

        No crucifixion! I am interested, though, in the studies about harming a baby’s brain from crying. Mine all cried (as I held them and rocked them and wore them) for HOURS as colicky breastfed newborns – for hours at a time, every single day for weeks from about 4 weeks old to 9 weeks. If crying harms their brains, mine have more damage from those days than the 30 minutes a night (for a few nights) that they cried during sleep training. I have never used Babywise precisely because I don’t trust Ezzo, but I do have some trust in Ferber and Weissbluth who are doctors and highly respected in their fields. That’s why I was saying that it is up to each family. My personal opinion, as a mom who has been through it and come out on the other side with healthy well-adjusted kids through age 5 (my oldest), is that crying won’t hurt the kids, but I understand that it’s a sensitive subject, and I am definitely not a scientist or expert. 🙂 If I were to read something that showed that crying it out has measurable and definitive negative effect on babies (not just “it stresses them out”), then I would probably re-think it.

        • Marissa C September 13, 2012, 5:24 pm

          Here are some links here–there was one done relatively recently, but I cannot find the full article. I hate to link to Dr. Sears because I know he is a divisive figure, but for now that’s all I can do (I’m ignoring work!)

          You bring up an interesting point, though. I wonder if there is a neurological difference between a child crying alone and a crying child actively being comforted?

          One other thing I didn’t mention earlier is CIO doesn’t jive well with Attachment theory, if that is something you think has any worth. (I do) Think about the classic (overused) example of detached children in Russian orphanages–independent, don’t cry, on a schedule. It’s way way beyond Babywise, with a very extreme outcome, but you have a similar process at work.

  • Kristin @ Wounded Fawn September 13, 2012, 1:00 pm

    I think there is definitely a connection between good naps and good night time sleep. So once you get Henry’s morning naps in order hopefully he will be able to sleep better at night. He is probably over tired. I would say in the morning after he has milk and some playtime, as soon as you see his first yawn, get him down for a nap!

    I know I spend a lot of time thinking about how much exercise, stimulation and other things my dog needs so I know it must be tiring trying to figure out what is just the right fit for Henry! You’ll work it all out!

  • Marissa C September 13, 2012, 1:03 pm

    I’ve had a lot of people tell me (usually without me asking) that my baby should be going to sleep at 7, instead of the 9:30-10:30 bedtime she’s pretty much had since Day 1. But it works for us. I often don’t get home from work until 6:30 or 7…if we tried to enforce a 7 pm bedtime I’d never see my child! That, and she will consistently sleep until ~7 am when she goes down at 10. If she has a really bad night (teething, etc.) and stays up later, she will sleep correspondingly later. Obviously there is some sort of cause/effect going on here. This works great for me in the morning…I get to sleep until at least 6 am and she is usually asleep while I get ready. Honestly, when she was younger, I freaked out thinking she “should” be going to be earlier because “that is what people said” and tried it. It failed miserably and made us both unhappy.

    Funnily, these same people complain that their kids are up at the freakin’ crack of down (5-6 am or earlier on a daily basis)

    I do have a friend who has become somewhat of a “sleep expert” and really likes this site–I like this comparison of different methods: She wasn’t comfortable going full-on “Cry it out” and had them put together a sleep plan for her son (he was older than 1 year) that helped her a lot.

    As for Babywise, I’d research the author and his actual qualifications for writing the book before going down that path (Spoiler! He has none and the book is surrounded by controversy!)

    At any rate, as she got older, her sleep habits became more obvious. By 4 months, it was pretty obvious she was ready for a nap ~1.5 hours after waking up, which seems crazy, but has made a big difference. I’m not saying there aren’t things you can do, but I don’t think one method is going to work for every baby.

  • Christine September 13, 2012, 1:04 pm

    Caitlin, As much as I felt this book really was the key in helping our daughter sleep, I agree with you that it is very hard to read and follow. The main things I got out of it was the importance of regular naps and sleeping routines, putting her to bed early ~6p, and permission to let her cry. This is basically what we ended up doing (for quite a while):

    Between 6a and 7a: Get up (her wakeup time was probably earlier)
    9a: Nap
    1p: Nap
    6a: Bedtime

    At about 3 months old, my daughter had been very upset, routinely crying unconsolably every night. I didn’t know what was going on and nothing seemed to help. With the help of our doctor, I realized that she was way over tired and should have been going to bed much earlier – and she recommended the HSHHC book. I was very upset and frustrated at dealing with this every night so I was relieved to read that it was okay to let her cry. I did establish bedtime routines, but these didn’t seem to be as critical as just getting her to sleep earlier. I was never really able to read her signs and find that perfect window when she was drowsy – okay, bedtime now! – and relied more on the time of evening, but it seemed to work. Many of the other strategies seemed very involved and I did not have the patience or state of mind to carry them through. The crying lasted a while (45-75 minutes) for the first few days, but after that it started to work – she would fall asleep on her own after not too long and without crying and sleep until 6a or so in the morning. And in the morning, she was always happy to see me! Now, about 3 years later, she is still a great sleeper!

  • Jessica September 13, 2012, 1:13 pm

    All the books that were most helpful to me were ones I read, got a general understanding of the concepts and then put away and adapted the concepts to fit my needs and my babies’. I had twins first and the book was tremendously helpful to me in looking for cues that told me my kids were sleepy. I became the nap enforcer. They woke up I fed them and changed them, then they played for a while (I had different stations in my house of a bouncy seat, a gym with dangly toys they could bat around with their hands, tummy time, and a swing.) I would just rotate them around the stations and by the time they started slowing down with their kicking/arm batting and staring off into space(usually within an hour and a half of wake up), I would scoop them up, swaddle them tight and put them in a dark room with white noise. I always put them down awake so they could fall asleep on their own. Then they would usually sleep for 45 minutes and wake up. If I could tiptoe in their room on time I would put my hand on their bellies and apply a little pressure and they would almost instantly fall back to sleep for 45 more minutes. If they fussed too much, they would be awake after one 45 minute cycle. So we would feed, change, play. If I needed to go out, I did so quickly then and tried to have them back in their bed within 2 hours of wake up. At first they were taking 3-4 naps a day, but soon their first nap was 1.5 hours so I got all my stuff done at home and was ready to leave the house as soon as they fed after their first nap. Then their second nap was 2-3 hours. I tried to make this second nap be in their bed as much as possible because napping out and about is not as restful for them as in their bed. I felt trapped at home a lot, but after about 3 weeks of a solid routine, they slept through the night from 7pm-7am, sometimes to 8am! then they were up for an hour to an hour and a half and slept again for 45mins to an hour and a half! I credit Weissbluth’s book with teaching me sleepy cues, and how much babies need to sleep and how to protect their sleep environment. It also made me feel better about letting them learn to put themselves to sleep. We never did cry it out fully, but because there were two of them, there were times when I was attending to one that the other would have to cry longer than a singleton baby would, and sometimes in that 5 minutes of fussing, the crier would fall asleep! Once I read Weissbluth I felt less guilty about that, that it was helping her learn to calm herself and put herself to sleep. Another good tip I read was to respond to your child as if you have 10 children. You will get to them, let them know you are there, but give them time to try to work it out on their own as they would have to if they had 9 siblings.

    Note: I then had a singleton boy who was a terrible terrible sleeper. Part of it was his older sisters who could not be quiet while he was trying to go down to sleep and put himself back to sleep between sleep cycles. Anyway, I realized then that I had gotten lucky with good sleepers the first time around. I say understand the concepts and make it work for you, but a routine and consistency are always helpful!

  • Melissa September 13, 2012, 1:20 pm

    When my son was about 4 or 5 months old, I read all the baby sleep books with the same hope as you- just tell me what to do! I was desperate for some better sleep at that point in time and unfortunately for us we didn’t really get it until our son was 9 months old. Here is what I did learn from books, our doctor, and my own experience.
    -Having a bedtime routine is critical, even if it doesn’t seem to do much good at first. Ours is about 30 mins of quiet playtime in H’s room or playroom, books, bottle, pajamas, and a few minutes of rocking. We kept doing it, even though for a long time it didn’t seem to make a difference, but now H totally knows when it’s bedtime and actually reaches out for his crib when he’s tired!
    -Consistency is key. Travel and disrupted schedules can really have an undesirable impact (read: nights of no sleep!)
    -You need to focus on putting your sleep first. For us, that meant saying no to events, nights out, pretty much anything that wouldn’t allow us to maximize the hours that we could sleep. Some things were hard to say no to, but I found that when I went out I wouldn’t even have fun because I was so anxious about getting enough sleep.
    -It will get better! I was totally convinced H would never sleep through the night when he was 9 months old, he was getting up 2 or 3 times, and his doctor told me “some babies just aren’t great sleepers.” But he finally slept through the night the following night!
    -At some point intervening is more disruptive than not intervening. I feel awful when I wake up in the middle of the night and hear H crying, but I know that most likely he is not fully awake and if I go in, I will wake him up and then we’ll both have a harder time going back to sleep. If he cries during a partial wakening, he stops and goes back to sleep within 5 mins. If it goes on longer or if the cry sounds “different” I’ll go in, but this is almost never the case.
    Sorry- that’s a lot of info! Good luck!

  • Wendy September 13, 2012, 1:38 pm

    I have a 9 week old daughter who was sleeping 5-7 hours at a time at night but would have a 1-2 hour party when she woke up. I find that feeding her every two hours during the day put an end to the night party. She takes frequent short naps during the day with one long nap at any point. I am selfishly waitinv for daycare to put her on ber nap schedule when she starts in two weeks. We plan on an 8 pm bedtime so we can hang out with her when we are both working.

  • Lara September 13, 2012, 1:42 pm

    you are doing really great (especially knowing that babies cannot stay awake more than 2 hours – took me a long time to realize why my baby was so fussy…duh he was tired!).

    i liked the anacronym EASY (i am sure someone else mentioned it, i think from baby whisperer although sometimes it was HARD). Eat, Activity, Sleep, You and repeat over and over again til bedtime. hang in there, naps get nice and tidy around 6 months (2,3,4 pattern).

  • Ellen @ Wannabe Health Nut September 13, 2012, 1:45 pm

    Not awake for more than 2 hours at a time?! Whoa, being a newborn sounds awesome!! lol 😉

  • Amanda K. September 13, 2012, 1:51 pm

    i wanted to add: you’re brave to ask for baby advice 🙂
    hope you all get some sleep soon.

    • Caitlin September 13, 2012, 2:26 pm

      haha i know, but i like to hear other’s thoughts!

  • Elizabeth September 13, 2012, 2:08 pm

    Oh man, this was exactly my comment on your earlier post about HSHHC ( Basically, it has some interesting points (2-hours window, sleep begets sleep, early bedtime, etc) but I found it very confusing and not very helpful in a practical manner. My suggestion is The Baby Whisperer (which I’ve heard is very similar to Babywise, although I haven’t read it.) Seriously. HSHHC just made me want to throw it against the wall, and the fact that everyone else thought it was sooooo helpful didn’t help me at all! 🙂

  • Sarah S. September 13, 2012, 2:53 pm

    I apologize because I didn’t read the previous comments so I hope nothing I say is repetetive! I have “trained” two of my kids using HSHHC and plan on using it for my 3rd coming in November. Really at Henry’s age he more recommends 3 naps a day. So my little guys would nap around 9, 1 (or 2) and then another nap around 4 or so. They weren’t necessarily long, especially at first when you’re just trying to get them to sleep. Definitely follow the less than 2 hours awake rule. Sometimes for my 2nd little guy it was even less than 2 hours, I would just notice when he would get fussy, start soothing him for a little bit and then lay him down. Early bedtimes are a must! My guys are 2 and 4 and still go to bed at the latest by 7:30. But when they were baby babies it was usually around 6:30. As far as nighttime goes, I didn’t ever try to get them to sleep through the night until about 6 months. I just tried to keep it as quiet as possible (and dark) during the middle of the night feedings. I know how tough that is, especially with the second one. Really, it sounds like what you’re doing is just fine. Just put his sleep first, make it a priority and you will never regret it. I feel so lucky that I have two good sleepers but I also know that I made it a priority that they got naps, and for the most part (meaning 5-6 days a week) are on a consistent bedtime routine.

    • Sarah S. September 13, 2012, 6:45 pm

      I also wanted to add that while I love the early bed time because I know it’s great for my kids, I also love it for my husband and me too. Those couple hours at the end of the day alone together are priceless! Especially when you have little ones and your alone time is so precious.

  • Mary Helen September 13, 2012, 3:49 pm

    one thing that I realized as a SAHM: my babies and I always woke up at different times-which led to unpredictable days…think about it, when you are working, going to school, etc-you get up at about the same time, which becomes your schedule…so when starting to work on Henry’s schedule, be sure to also consider your/his wake up time too…I know at the beginning, it was hard, if my baby slept late b/c of a bad night, I wanted him to also…I mean how do you begin this? Just try your best to get close to a schedule, but don’t freak about it…The older he gets, he’ll eat more, move more and probably sleep better. I realized when I planned my mornings (gym, etc.) and got us both active early, it helped w/our schedule….I did use Babywise, loved it, didn’t scar my children (straight A, happy, well-adjusted kids). As long as you’re okay with whatever you use, don’t worry about other opinions. If a schedule will make you happy b/c of your personality, then your baby will be happy b/c mama is!! I know many who co-sleep, feed on demand and are happy. I personally think that sounds like a recipe for a nightmare, but luckily I don’t have to tell them how to raise their kids…

  • Katie September 13, 2012, 3:51 pm

    Love how you’re all about walking! It’s the best exercise – and one that truly makes you appreciate the world. 🙂

  • Mayct September 13, 2012, 4:33 pm

    I found the book “Sleep Easy Solution” to have great information about sleep. I’m really surprised no one mentioned it.

    At 6.5 months we used the sleep training and night-weaning methods in the book and they worked really well. I went from having a baby who was up for 1.5-3 hours in the middle of the night, multiple times a night, to a now 18m.o. who sleeps fantastically. They have a plan to follow (and you can print out charts from their website) that was super helpful for me and my husband.

    But even if you don’t want to use the “cry it out” method in the book (which most pediatricians don’t recommend doing until at least 6 months), I found it to have really clear and concise info about sleep and babies in general, by age.

    I also liked Baby Whisperer for the first couple of months.

  • Ashley September 13, 2012, 4:44 pm

    Wow, 5 hours of being awake at 3 months old is a long time! My 9 month old can’t stay awake that long!

    We follow the “not staying awake for more than 2 hours” rule and didn’t even know it, lol. Being fussy, rubbing eyes….all signs of tiredness. The trick is to not let him get TOO tired, otherwise, he will probably be way to fussy to settle down for a nap. try to get him to sleep before he’s too tired and I bet you see a vast improvement.

  • Sarah September 13, 2012, 5:35 pm

    Sleep breeds sleep.
    My boys always had three day naps (the earlier the better for the first one) till they were 6-7 months. The short wake-up time is REALLY important.
    Early to bed too.
    I always found if I focussed on sorting out the days then the nights would follow.

    Good luck

  • Katie September 13, 2012, 6:10 pm

    Maybe its time to make one of your fridge calendars/goal sheets for Henry and his sleeping. It always seems to motivate you!

  • Kristin September 13, 2012, 6:33 pm

    I love the stick figurines. I don’t have any kids yet, so no advice to give on the sleeping front. Best of luck.

  • Adrienne September 13, 2012, 6:37 pm

    Wow, so much advice and so many different routines and thoughts about sleep! I think this is what can be so confusing for new parents – every book/expert has a different ‘fail-safe’ way to make your baby sleep!! Too bad baby’s haven’t read these books… 😉

    I didn’t follow any routines with my 5 month old, but did read up on tired signs. It took me awhile to get to know my baby but now that I do, he’s a fantastic sleeper because I can help him get to sleep by recognizing when he’s tired, stop playing with him and taking away stimulus, putting him in his sleep suit and into his cot. Previous commenters have outlined tired signs (I too used to mistake them for him being bored!!). Now, after he’s been awake for an hour, I watch him like a hawk – first sign of tiredness – BED!

    Re: night time sleeping. We currently do a bath and bedtime routine at 6pm, and then in bed at 6:30. He naturally started showing tired signs earlier and earlier in the evening, so we went with that and he picked his own bedtime (at first I was so scared to put him down early, but trusted him, and it worked!).

    I think setting aside a few days to focus on sleep and routines is a great idea. Though rather than trying to inplement struct routines, I’d suggest that time would be best spent just watching Henry – looking for those signs and responding to these to help to identify his natural rhythm. All the while knowing that this is likely to change again just as you think you’ve got him figured out 😉

    (a little heads up, it’s quite common for babies to go through a sleep regression at four months. Mine went from waking once a night, to 3-4 times per night. Just ride it out!)

    • Adrienne September 13, 2012, 6:39 pm

      Sorry for my typos – typing this from my phone!

  • Ashley September 13, 2012, 6:52 pm

    I forgot to add, if you don’t have a white noise machine or a fan running in Henry’s room near his crib/RNP/swing (whatever he sleeps in), GET ONE. Neither of my kids can sleep well without their fans. The noise is soothing and can drown at a lot of background noise that could be keeping him awake.

  • Kay September 13, 2012, 7:50 pm

    Ah! Burn this book immediately. Go out and buy The sleepeasy solution it actually TELLS you step by step what do to instead of you having to interpret an academic journal! I blogged about our sleep training problems here:

    Good luck, even a sleep training failure like me got our girl sleeping 12 solid glorious hours at night!

  • Jill September 13, 2012, 10:13 pm

    What has worked best for us in following the plan in the book is 4 hours of total nap time per day and 12 hours of overnight sleep time for a total sleep period of 16 hours. Bedtime routine starts at 6:3o, (bath, book, eat) in bed by 7:30 with only one wakeup at 3. Up for the day at 7. So sometimes it works out to 3 naps, sometimes 4 naps. I will wake him up from a nap if it is going too long with the first being an hour, the second being either one hour or two hours and the third being the same. The book totally works! Also, as an exclusive pumper I have the luxury of knowing how much my baby is eating before bed. He will eat 5 ounces at least. Sometimes a bit more. I try to get the majority of his calories consumed during the day.

  • Amber K September 14, 2012, 8:56 am

    I really have no advice or help, but I just had to say that that graphic is awesome.

  • Bethany September 14, 2012, 11:04 am

    I have never commented and this is a little late but I have to share. The ONLY thing that helped my son become a good sleeper was when he was finally allowed or able to sleep on his stomache. When he was little he would startle and wake himself up but once on his tummy he was a sound sleeper. I went against the normal (and my doctors recommendations) and for naps at about 3 months before he could roll over and I started putting him on his stomach for naps. He slept like a champ. He was so rested that when we put him to bed on his back at night he would sleep because he wasn’t over tired. Once he was able to roll over on his own – we would lay him down is his crib awake and he would automatically roll over to his tummy. It is just what he liked.

    I am not recommending this for you – I am simply saying that that it might just be out of a books hand.

    I kept him on a schedule and it worked for us. But started once he was older than Henry is now and I was pretty fanatical about making sure we were home for nap. I was pretty strict about a bedtime and a bedtime routine. I think Henry still a little young for a schedule but not for a starting to provide him with sleep cues.

    Good luck. He is awful cute!

    • Caitlin September 14, 2012, 11:15 am

      Thank you!

  • Jen September 14, 2012, 9:08 pm

    I agree, with you about that darn book! That is why I was soooooo happy when I discovered “The Sleepeasy Solution.”. Doesn’t have the same cult following for some reason, but it has exactly what my type-A personality needed! Step-by-step guide to better sleep for different phases in baby’s life. While they don’t recommend starting sleep training until 4-5 months, there are good tips you can start now, such as eliminating the possible reasons why baby isn’t sleeping well. Download it on your kindle today!

  • Ruby @ Focus, Woman! September 15, 2012, 1:30 pm

    Tips galore! The most comprehensive guides I found online (including all the suggestions from all the classic sleep books):
    1. For babies (like Henry) up to 4 months:

    2. For much more information about sleep training after 4 months (for any age really, although sleep training is much tougher after 18 months):

    The second guide mentions you need to deduct 11,5 hours from Henry’s usual morning wake time (you mentioned 8 am?), so early bedtime for Henry would be more around 7:30 pm, maybe bringing it in earlier as he ages.

    I think I have read everything there is to know about sleep stuff, honestly! If you need a plan, I highly suggest getting a sleep counselor. We employed Jen from and she was AWESOME and so supportive and just what we needed. This was when Amber was 11 months, still not NEAR STTN, still co-sleeping & all of us wrecked from overtiredness, including A. I had always been an avid anti-CIO’er so had never tried anything remotely related to fussing/crying.

  • Shelly September 16, 2012, 10:06 pm

    My advice in addition to reading the book by Susan Giordano is to use a sleep sack or sleep swaddle. I think you already use them for Henry though. Daycare told me a few weeks ago that my daughter knows that when they get out that sleep sack it means sleep time! So it’s like this little que to get her in the mood. I would use them at night and for naps. She also takes a binkie which soothes her to sleep. I am so thankful for that. The book you were trying to make it thru does not sound good. I made it thru the one I suggested just a few weeks after giving birth and suffering from post partum depression. So the book I am suggesting is really an easy read! My neighbors who suggested the book to me found it very useful too. My daughter goes to bed at 5:30 at night and gets up around 6 or 6:30am. I tell everyone about this book. Also important… We do the same bedtime routine each night. Eat dinner…. Bath… Nightclothes… Sleep sack… Etc.. So she knows what to expect.

  • Suzanne September 20, 2012, 10:52 am

    Hi Caitlin!

    I’m a little late here but I jsut saw this post. I used to work as a baby nurse, and one of my responsibilities (depending on the family) was to get the newborn into a good sleep and feeding schedule. I’ve had some babies start sleeping through the night as early as 7-8 weeks. It depends on the baby, but it’s totally possible! My go to resource when I was having trouble with a schedule is called The Contented Little Baby Book. The book gives you exact schedules you can try to follow based on the age of the infant, and has lots of great tips. Good luck!

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