More Help With Sleeping Issues




These are more ideas on helping your baby sleep.  I truly believe you can not learn enough about this.  Every baby is different…every parent is different.  The situations you find yourselves in will vary from family to family, culture to culture, and on and on.  Read, ask questions, talk to you friends with babies, your grandma, your mother and sisters.  Learn all you can, then make the best choices you are able.  These will change with time as your baby matures.  Have fun, if at all possible!  This time of sleeping issues will pass.  I promise!!!!



As little as I knew about breastfeeding before having kids, I probably knew even less about infant sleep! Who knew it was so complicated and ever changing? Suffice it to say that sleep is the parenting topic with which I’ve been most obsessed. Even though Charlie is 2 years old now, I’m still obsessed!

– Newborns have a startle or “moro” reflex that causes their arms to twitch the first         couple of months. Because of this reflex, newborns sleep better when swaddled.
– Newborns’ circadian rhythms are not fully developed so they often have their days                     and nights mixed up.
– Expose your newborn to light, sound, and play during the day, and dark, quiet and as     little stimulation as possible at night to help set their circadian rhythm.
– It takes newborns at least 20 minutes to enter a deep sleep, which is why they’re             asleep in your arms but wake up as soon as you put them in their crib.
– Ways to get your newborn to sleep include: rocking, patting, wearing, strolling,              nursing/bottle feeding, pacifier, swing, bouncer, car ride, playing loud white                   noise (vacuum, hair dryer), bouncing on an exercise ball.
– Colic doesn’t exist in some cultures where moms wear babies and breastfeed them                    nonstop throughout the entire day.
– Putting your baby in the crib drowsy but awake gives them opportunities to learn                      how to self soothe, put themselves to sleep, and not rely on an external sleep               prop to fall asleep.

– Babies are most tired before their first nap of the day so this is their shortest awake period.
– Set consistent nap routines so your baby knows it’s nap time.
– The length and quality of daytime naps affects night time sleep.
– Some babies 6 months and older do well on a 2-3-4 hour schedule. (Charlie definitely couldn’t stay awake that long.)
– Most babies drop their fourth nap by 5 months. (Charlie dropped his at 5 months.)
– Most babies drop their third nap by 9 months. (Charlie dropped his at 9 months.)
– Most toddlers drop their second nap by 18 months. (Charlie dropped his at 15 months.)
– Napping in a stroller or car seat is not as restorative as napping in a crib.
– Sometimes reducing daytime naps can increase night time sleep (if your baby is still getting enough sleep in a 24 hour period).
– Don’t let your baby nap too late or it may interfere with night time sleep.
– Babies have a 45 minute sleep cycle, which is why many wake up after 30-45 minutes into a nap.
– The 90 Minute Baby Sleep Program works great for some babies – Eat, play, and put your baby to sleep by 90 minutes of awake time.
– Babies under 6 months of age have a maximum awake period of 2 hours; for many babies 4-6 months it’s much less than 2 hours, and for babies under 4 monththe awake periods are even less.
– Put babies down for naps at the first signs of tiredness, or within a designated time frame like the 90 minute sleep program to prevent overtiredness.

Night Time Sleep
– Babies sleep better and longer when they go to bed earlier (before 8pm… even as early as 5:30pm).
– Children should wake up around the same time everyday to set their internal clock.
– A consistent bedtime routine like a bath + lotion + pjs lets your baby know that it’ bedtime.
– Many moms wake their babies up for a “dream feed” around 10-11pm to encourage their babies to sleep longer at night.
– By 6 months, most babies are physically capable of sleeping 10-12 hours straight at night.
– Sometimes babies that wake up for middle of the night feedings are doing so out of habit — they get hungry at that time because they’re used to eating at that time.
– Children have a strong shift in their sleep cycle around 4:30am, which is why so many of them wake up at this time.
– Early morning wake-ups are one of the most difficult sleep problems to solve.
– Make sure your baby gets enough calories in the daytime so they’re less likely to wake up for night time feedings.
– If wet diapers don’t bother your baby, don’t change them in the middle of the night as it will stimulate them.
– Even making eye contact with your baby at night can stimulate them.

General Sleep
– All babies are different. Different things work for different babies, and some are better sleepers than others.
– Consistency is key no matter what sleeping methods you use.
– Often fussiness, tantrums and sleep problems are related to being overtired and/or not getting enough sleep.

Once a baby is overtired, adrenaline kicks in and it’s much more difficult for them to                   fall asleep.
– Tired signs include yawning, getting quiet, staring off in space.
– Overtired signs include fussiness, eye rubbing, looking wired.
– Sleep props are when a baby relies on an external force – rocking, nursing, stroller –     to fall asleep.
– An eat, play, sleep schedule ensures that babies do not fall asleep nursing/taking a                      bottle.
– Developmental milestones such as rolling over, crawling, growth spurts etc. often affect sleep.
– Sleep begets sleep.
– White noise and black out shades often help lengthen naps and night time sleep.
– Give your baby a chance to fuss and settle down instead of picking them up as soon                   as they start making noise.
– Babies generally sleep better on their stomachs (but you shouldn’t put them to sleep                on their tummies… they will eventually roll over and do it on their own).
– Babies fall asleep better in a cooler room (less than 72 degrees).

Even having studied so much about baby sleep, it’s still a mystery to be solved for me. Olive has been sleeping better the past couple of nights, but when it comes to baby sleep, as soon as you think you have it figured out, it completely changes on you again.



The Happiest Baby on the Block

Check out this author…..  He is a board certified pediatrician who has developed many items to aid in sleep training your baby.    JUDY

The Happiest Baby on the Block

Harvey Karp MD, board certified pediatritian

(Helpful comments added by Judy Eastman)

The Five S’s of Newborn Care


The 1st S: Swaddle

Swaddling recreates the snug packaging inside the womb and is the cornerstone of calming. It decreases startling and increases sleep. And, wrapped babies respond faster to the other 4 S’s and stay soothed longer because their arms can’t wriggle around. To swaddle correctly,wrap arms snug—straight at the side—but let the hips be loose and flexed. Use a large square blanket, but don’t overheat, cover your baby’s head or allow unraveling. Note: Babies shouldn’t be swaddled all day, just during fussing and sleep.

I couldn’t agree more, babies feel secure and safe when swaddled.  The beautiful gauze and bamboo blankets available now are lovely, but useless when it comes to swaddling.  They do not provide enough friction to stay in place.  Use flannel receiving blankets for the best results.  There are also swaddles for purchase.  I prefer those with Velcro.  Baby will stay snuggled in until the next diaper change.

The 2nd S: Side or Stomach Position

The back is the only safe position for sleeping, but it’s the worst position for calming fussiness. This S can be activated by holding a baby on her side, on her stomach or over your shoulder. You’ll see your baby mellow in no time.

The 3rd S: Shush

Contrary to myth, babies don’t need total silence to sleep. In the womb, the sound of the blood flow is a shush louder than a vacuum cleaner! But, not all white noise is created equal. Hissy fans and ocean sounds often fail because they lack the womb’s rumbly quality. The best way to imitate these magic sounds is white noise. Happiest Baby’s CD / Mp3 has6 specially engineered sounds to calm crying and boost sleep.

I prefer soft classical music to the irritating white noise machines.  It is not only calming but educational.  Studies consistently show students studying or test taking with classical music in the background test higher.  Starting to educate baby now can only be a plus.

The 4th S: Swing

Life in the womb is very jiggly. (Imagine your baby bopping around inside your belly when you jaunt down the stairs!) While slow rocking is fine for keeping quiet babies calm, you need to use fast, tiny motions to soothe a crying infant mid-squawk. My patients call this movement the Jell-O head jiggle.” To do it, always support the head/neck, keep your motions small; and move no more than 1 inch back and forth. I really advise watching the DVD to make sure you get it right. (For the safety of your infant, never, ever shake your baby in anger or frustration.)

Motion is the time tested way to calm babies.  Swings, rides in the car, holding, rocking of the bassinet, a swinging cradle, walking with baby in a carrier all provide this care.  Be creative.  Also, this is a wonderful way for Daddy to participate in baby care.

The 5th S: Suck

Sucking is “the icing on the cake” of calming. Many fussy babies relax into a deep tranquility when they suck. Many babies calm easier with a pacifier.

Baby will take a pacifier if trained to do so.  It is a learning process.  In the beginning pacifiers pop out, do not give up!  At 2:00 AM you will be very grateful.  Any pacifier will do.  I prefer the newborn pacifiers by MEM.  They are light weight and easy to hold on to.

The 5 S’s Take PRACTICE to Perfect

The 5 S’s technique only works when done exactly right. The calming reflex is just like the knee reflex: Hit one inch too high or low, and you’ll get no response, but hit the knee exactly right and, presto! If your little one doesn’t soothe with the S’s, watch the Happiest Baby DVD / Streaming Video again to get it down pat. Or, check with your doctor to make sure illness isn’t preventing calming.

You can do it.  Having a doula to support and help will make it so much easier.  DO NOT GIVE UP!!!

How Do the 5 S’s Relate to Another Favorite S – Sleep?

The keys to good sleep are swaddling and white noise. In another “Aha!” moment, I realized technology could assist parents with their 4th-trimester duties. So Happiest Baby invented SNOO, an innovative baby bed based on the 5 S’s that helps calm babies and ease them into sleep. Parents especially love when it quickly calms babies for those 2 a.m. wakings!




More Sleep Training Tools


(This is an ad for the SNOO Sleeper and other products offered through The Happiest Baby on the Block Company.  They believe their products are the only ones providing these services.  I believe their products are good and can offer help in sleep training.  I do not recommend their swaddles because they can not be wrapped closely enough to hold baby in place through out the night.)

More edited info:  The SNOO Sleeper retails at about $1,600.  Due to the short time it is needed in your baby’s life, the cost is extreme.  It is possible to rent it through local infant stores and agencies.  If you need help with this contact me.



Boosts your baby’s sleep

SNOO is the only bed that boosts sleep 1-2+ hours by soothing babies with the constant rumbly sound and gentle rocking they loved in the womb.

Calms your baby’s crying

SNOO “hears” your baby’s criesand automatically responds with 5 levels of gradually stronger white noise and motion to find the best level to soothe fussing.

Easy to Customize

Our app logs your baby’s sleep… automatically! And, it lets you adjust SNOO’s motion, sound and cry sensitivity to make it perfect for your baby. Includes a preemie/newborn mode and a weaning option to ease transition to the crib.

Keeps Your Baby Safer

Our 5-second swaddle prevents risky rolling…giving your baby all the benefits of swaddling, without any of the risks. And, it’s totally flat, which is important because doctors warn babies should never sleep seated in rockers or swings. SNOO is the only sleep solution that keeps your baby safely on the back—all naps/all night—as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Teaches Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night

SNOO’s rhythmic motion automatically reduces night waking and helps your baby learn to self-soothe and be a great sleeper. There’s no more need for babies to “cry it out.”

Created by Dr. Harvey Karp, author of  The Happiest Baby on the Block






The Wall Street Journal Ran an Article on Babies and Sleep Coaches!

JUDY                                                                                                                                                                    *                                                                                                                                                                 *

New parents will try just about anything to get a fussy baby to sleep, from rocking, nursing and singing, to popping them into an infant seat for a nighttime car ride.

Now, groggy moms and dads are trying a new tool: A sleep coach.

About one in five parents of 6-month-olds report problems getting their babies to sleep. Some are turning to a small but growing industry of sleep consultants for help. For fees ranging from about $300 for two weeks of consultations by phone and text to $7,500 for 72 hours of in-home coaching, these advisers help parents get babies to sleep on their own.

Parents say the coaches help cut through confusion about what sleep-training methods are best. After many sleep-deprived nights spent trying to soothe or sing her 5-month-old daughter Thira to sleep, Ashley Langer says, “I felt like a zombie.” She and her husband, Adam, had read several books on infant sleep, but “they all preached something different,” she says. Whatever soothing technique Ms. Langer tried, Thira kept waking up several times a night.

Ashley Langer of New Rochelle, N.Y., employed a sleep coach several months ago to help get her baby daughter Thira, shown in this recent photo at 9 months old, on a regular sleeping schedule.
Ashley Langer of New Rochelle, N.Y., employed a sleep coach several months ago to help get her baby daughter Thira, shown in this recent photo at 9 months old, on a regular sleeping schedule.PHOTO: BETTE LANGER

In desperation one night, Ms. Langer googled baby coaches, found a New York company called Mommywise and hired sleep coach Devon Clement to come to her New Rochelle, N.Y., home. After two days’ coaching, Ms. Clement helped Ms. Langer reschedule feedings and begin leaving Thira alone in her crib long enough to fall asleep on her own. Five months later, Thira is still sleeping through the night. Ms. Langer says some of her friends are jealous. “They think I’m lying,” she says.

New parents have slogged through sleepless nights for generations. But the landscape has gotten trickier.

Research on the benefits of breast-feeding has more mothers nursing their babies longer, on demand and through the night, to maintain their milk supply. The American Academy of Pediatrics’ 2016 advice that babies should sleep in the same room as their parents, in a separate bed, for 6 to 12 months, to guard against crib death, can make sleeping harder for all. Also, in an era when most parents need two incomes, the return to work often overlaps with babies’ sleep training.

All these factors combined to help make Danielle DiCerbo feel like a crazy person after 5½ months with her new baby, Luca. Since Luca’s birth, she and her husband, Mike Daddio, had rarely slept more than 2½ hours at a time in their two-bedroom Brooklyn, N.Y., apartment. But both had to return to work, Mr. Daddio as a builder and Ms. DiCerbo running her own consulting firm. “It was a complete nightmare,” Ms. DiCerbo says.

She acknowledges that sleep coaches can be expensive, and they aren’t for everyone. Even some family members were skeptical. “People were like, ‘That’s crazy, come on. Is there really a professional that can sleep-train a baby?’ ” But after she hired a coach who helped them get Luca sleeping through the night while continuing to breast-feed, she decided the outcome was worth the cost. “People pay for therapy,” she says. “What would you pay for your sanity?”

Katie and Brandon Hansen of Abilene, Texas, hired a sleep consultant several years ago when their twins Kenzie and Cash, center, shown at age 3 in this 2017 photo, were keeping them awake at night. Also shown are their siblings Maizie, left, and Henry, right.
Katie and Brandon Hansen of Abilene, Texas, hired a sleep consultant several years ago when their twins Kenzie and Cash, center, shown at age 3 in this 2017 photo, were keeping them awake at night. Also shown are their siblings Maizie, left, and Henry, right. PHOTO: COPPER AND PEARL

Elizabeth Murray, a spokeswoman for the American Academy of Pediatrics, says the sleep-coaching trend makes her a little sad. “It seems to me a sign of parents’ feeling that they can’t do this on their own, that somehow they’re failing and they need an expert for every little thing,” rather than working with their child’s doctor, says Dr. Murray, an assistant professor of clinical pediatrics at the University of Rochester in New York.

Some parents say crossfire on social media over the right way to do sleep training has undermined their confidence. Numerous books in recent years have promoted varied approaches, from cuddling the baby nonstop so he never cries, to putting him in his crib and ignoring his cries until morning.

Among the most popular is graduated extinction, or the check-and-console method. It involves putting the child to bed drowsy but awake and checking on him at progressively longer intervals until he falls asleep. Another method, bedtime fading, calls for temporarily delaying bedtime by about 15 minutes more each night, to help the baby fall asleep, then gradually moving it earlier.

A third method—dubbed the shuffle by author and sleep coach Kim West—is called camping out, or the shuffle. It entails sitting close to pat and comfort the baby until she falls asleep, then moving a little farther away every few days until she no longer needs your presence.


  • Start sleep-training when your baby is 4 to 6 months old.
  • Learn your child’s cues that she’s getting sleepy.
  • Try not to let your baby fall asleep in a stroller or car seat.
  • Set a soothing bedtime routine and stick to it.
  • Put your child in the crib awake but drowsy.
  • Be consistent in your behavior during bedtime and awakenings.
  • Keep the room dark and quiet (or provide white noise).
  • See your pediatrician to rule out medical causes of sleep problems.

New mother Katie Hansen turned to Facebookfor sleep-training advice. “I’d see people sharing articles about how you’re damaging your kids if you let them cry,” she says. After several months of rushing to comfort her baby twins every time one of them cried, she and her husband were desperate for sleep.

She turned to sleep consultant Lori Strong of Austin, Texas, who helped her set a bedtime routine and teach the twins to fall asleep on their own. “It’s really helpful to have somebody who’s an expert, but who also isn’t going to make you feel silly” for doubting yourself, says Ms. Hansen, of Abilene, Texas.

The most common mistake parents make is failing to pick one approach and stick to it. “The best method for any family is the one they can follow consistently,” says Becky Roosevelt, a Pleasanton, Calif., sleep consultant.

Sleep consultant Becky Roosevelt of Pleasanton, Calif., says the most common mistake parents make when sleep-training their babies is failing to pick a single approach and stick to it.
Sleep consultant Becky Roosevelt of Pleasanton, Calif., says the most common mistake parents make when sleep-training their babies is failing to pick a single approach and stick to it. PHOTO: LAURA PEDRICK

Long nights spent doing the pacifier dance—jumping up repeatedly to give their baby daughter Lily her pacifier—had Stephanie Diamond and her husband exhausted. “We were running ragged,” says Dr. Diamond, of Miami Shores, Fla. With help from sleep consultant Sasha Carr, a Norwalk, Conn., psychologist, they learned to use the check-and-console method, to help Lily fall asleep without rocking or using a pacifier.

Most parents rely on referrals to find a sleep coach. It’s important to weigh a consultant’s training. Mommywise coaches have experience as postpartum doulas and training in newborn care, says founder Natalie Nevares. Two organizations, the Family Sleep Institute and Ms. West’s Gentle Sleep Coach program, certify students who complete several months’ training plus supervised practice.


Q: Regarding your Aug. 22 story on more employers’ handing out promotions without a pay raise, what impact does that have on the likelihood that employees will quit to take another job?—S.W.

A: It depends on whether the employee interprets the offer as an appreciative gesture by a respectful boss whose hands are tied on compensation, or as a disrespectful ploy by a manipulative boss trying to get more work done for nothing.

A boss whose motives are suspect is likely to hit two hot buttons that drive employees to quit—dissatisfaction with one’s boss, and a lack of pay raises, according to a 2012 study of 560 employees by Deloitte. This is especially true of employees who have only been with the company for one to three years, a stage when workers are most liable to jump ship. In general, employees are far more likely to bail if they see their employer’s pay practices as political or arbitrary, according to another Deloitte survey from 2018.

If the employee sees the offer as recognition of her hard work and an opportunity to grow, it’s likely to have the opposite effect. Promotions are among the top five reasons employees stay with their current employers, the 2012 Deloitte study says. And employers that deliberately create growth opportunities and stretch assignments for employees have far better retention rates than those who don’t.

Q: Regarding your Aug. 14 column on long-distance marriages, most of the couples you mentioned have grown-up children, or no children at home. What happens when little children are involved?—N.K.

A: There’s little research on the impact of commuter marriages on children, but the challenges can be complicated. The spouse living full-time with the children often feels like a single parent, and may have to cut back his or her own time at work to meet increased family-care demands. Children may feel shortchanged, too. Such risks make corporate human-resource managers reluctant to pressure employees into transfers that split their families.

However, commuter setups can be better for children than relocating the whole family, which forces children to change schools and make new friends. Teens who have had to move often with their families tend to have more behavioral and emotional problems.

Commuter parents with children often adapt their routines to support them, traveling home more often than others. Many FaceTime with toddlers and use cellphones and texting to stay in touch with teenagers. Also, digital tools enable parents to monitor their children’s grades, coordinate schedules and pay for extracurricular activities from afar. Some commuter wives say delegating responsibility to teenage children helps them learn new skills, according to a 2007 study led by Karla Mason Bergen, an associate professor of communication at the College of Saint Mary in Omaha, Neb.

Parents’ attitudes can shape children’s response. Children whose parents communicate well with them and embrace commuter setups as a route to a better, more prosperous life for the family tend to get better grades and have fewer behavior problems in school, according to a 2015 study of 217 commuter families with teenagers.

Write to Sue Shellenbarger at

Appeared in the August 29, 2018, print edition as ‘A Coach for Sleepless Babies.’