I'm a WellVine baby sleep consultant - ask me anything!(287 Posts)
We thought we'd try something new this week, as part of our mission to make parents lives easier. With our remarkable powers of observation , we've noticed that lots of new parents struggle with getting their baby to sleep at one time or another. Even those who 'got away with' an easy-peasy newborn can find themselves staring, eyes drooping, at a sleepless little one, whether it's at four months, or six, or twelve; just when you think you've got this sleep thing nailed, something comes along which takes you right back to square one, and exhaustion.
So we've invited the folks at WellVine over for a baby sleep AMA. The WellVine app gets you personalised sleep advice from your own baby sleep consultant, who gets to know your baby's needs and helps you work through a personal sleep plan, all over video call. Genius, really - no ‘cry it out’, just gentle and supportive sleep advice from an expert, when and where you need it.
WellVine's sleep consultants will be hopping on and off the thread around their other duties over the next few days, so leave your questions about your baby's sleep needs here on the thread and they'll come back to you with their advice. Personal sleep plans are a bit beyond the scope of an AMA, but they'll do their best with all your other questions, so ask them anything (sleep-related)!
If you think you'd benefit from some one-to-one sessions or want to find out more, have a look at WellVine. We'll get a very small commission if you sign up, which will help to keep the lights on at MNHQ - but there's absolutely no pressure and the AMA is open to anyone who has a
desperate sleep question (usual webchat rules apply).
Hi everyone, it's great to be here and I'm looking forward to answering your baby sleep questions.
I'm Maryanne Taylor, one of Wellvine's experienced baby sleep consultants. I have been helping families improve their children's sleep for more than 10 years.
Please send through your questions and I'll try to answer as many as possible.
I hope this isn’t a silly question at the start of the thread... but is there any correlation between the mother’s sleeping habits while pregnant and the newborn’s patterns?
Whilst pregnant with DD1, I slept well and she was a brilliant sleeper. DD2 was a complete non-sleeper and I had terrible insomnia throughout the pregnancy. I’m pregnant with DC3, so it will be interesting to see if the pattern continues.
Hi Maryanne! My baby is 4.5 months and used to sleep really well in her own cot, waking once or twice a night for a feed.
Then the last two nights she has begun waking every 45mins to 1hr. She cries each time until picked up, then instantly stops when in our arms and falls back asleep. She fed once last night but the rest of the time just seems to want a cuddle. Patting her in her cot doesn't work, she wants to be on my chest.
Is there anything I can do? I didn't sleep last night until my husband took over at 5am.
Hi Maryann - I'm a new mum with a 3 week old daughter. She sleeps well during the day but not at night. I think she may have reflux as she hates lying flat. We have tilted the cot etc but she isn't happy and I'm not getting any sleep! Any tips?
Hi MaryAnne, my almost 5 yr old (T) bed shares with me still but very soon one of the older brothers who currently shares will get his own room and we’d like to move him in with the younger of the 2 brothers. T is VERY attached to me & rarely goes to sleep without me next to him (but does sleep through the night). He started school this year so I’m concours he’s already had quite a big change in his life. Any advice as to how to manage the change...new bed, new room, no mummy in bed....???
Hi Mary Ann. I also have a 3 week old who refuses to be put down- day or night. We are happy to cuddle him on the day but need some sleep at night. He also wants to chomp on my nipples all evening and whenever I try to put him down at night- I'm not able to sooth without the boob but they're in agony. Any tips? Thanks.
Hi Maryanne, what age do you think we should put our toddler in her own bed? She is 2y4m and sleeps well once asleep (doesn't like going to sleep though, she has a fear of missing out!) and I'm worried about rocking the boat. We have to do it at some point though don't we!
Do you think sleep is a learnt behaviour?
Hi Maryanne, I have a 5 week old who will only sleep on my chest, night and day. I’m exhausted! If I put him to sleep on his back he just cries and vomits or gets hiccups which disturb him. Have tried elevating the crib to no avail. What else can I do?!
I have a friend who's really struggling with transition to a 'big girl bed' , do you have any advice for her?
Great idea for an AMA, thanks MNHQ.
What advice do you have to improve sleep habits in older children? My 8 year old wakes every night and struggles to get back to sleep (even in our bed) - he had terribly disturbed sleep for his first 3 years due to health issues and feeding tubes and we can’t seem to break the habit of frequent waking!
My DS slept through from birth (9pm to 7.30am), and then from 6/8 weeks, slept 12/14 hour stretches. He is still like this as an almost toddler.
I know I'm extremely lucky but is there a reason he skipped any waking or sleep regression, do you think? I have been occasionally worried in the early days. But health professionals have always shooed me away and told me to count my lucky stars ￼
It was incredibly difficult in the first few weeks because it was always drummed in to me to expect sleepless nights etc. You can imagine how scary it is for a new mum who's baby doesn't wake up when you thought they were suppose to!
Why did he never wake? Was his tummy just not very good at telling him he needs food? I'd try dream feeding but he's just get cross and go back to sleep straight away.
Hello I have an almost 3 year old and every night at roughly the same time she will wake up yelling something strange like "that's not the green one" or things like "where is mummy", sometimes we can easily resettle her other times it takes an hour. Are these just her brain processing? Is there anything we can do to help her?
Not sure if relevant but I have always had vivid dreams, some I remember some not.
How do you get a baby to stop fighting sleep?
He’s almost a year old.
Is zombiefied and so am I. He was awake from 3pm until 11pm yesterday then from 1 am until 3 then awake since 6. It took until noon to get him down today.
This is regardless of where he sleeps
What a great AMA.
I have a 6month Old who goes to bed (a crib in our room) quickly at about 8pm and then wakes at 11pm, 2am, 4am and 5am. At 5 am I usually give in and let her sleep in our bed and she wakes about 7.30am.
Is there anything I can do to help her sleep through better? Do you think controlled crying, the pat method etc. might work?
I forgot to mention that at each waking she isn't hungry and goes back to sleep really quickly either after a dummy or a quick cuddle.
Hi Maryanne. I have a six month old and a three year old, in the last few months my three year old has been waking in the night and staying awake for hours, she says she can’t sleep.
She goes to sleep alone at bedtime, sometimes will sleep through til morning and other nights wakes around midnight until around 2/3am. We don’t know how to help her get back to sleep, lying with her doesn’t work nor does just leaving her. She’ll also cry on and off out of frustration as she wants to sleep.
Any advice? Thanks!
One thing that I always wonder about sleep consultants: do you actually consider a range of methods when you encounter a family, or do you feel that there's one approach that basically works (it might just need to be "packaged" differently)?
Secondly, is there actually any good, evidence-based, statistically robust research about infant sleep -- and if so please can you point me at it? There are so few academic references in any sleep advice (online or in books).
And, cheekily, just in case you have time for specifics.... my 21-month-old wakes an average of 3 times a night (2-4). To maximise sleep for the family, I give him a small amount of watered milk and hold his back for 15-25 mins on every wake. He has rarely slept well. We got a consultant in at 6 months, who recommended Rapid Return, which just about worked until 8 months. Attempts to retrain after that didn't work (e.g. 1hr+ crying session several times a night for 3 weeks). We have since been crap and allowed all kinds of comforting, cosleeping etc to get some kind of rest (before I started the milk-and-hand routine he could easily scream for 3 hours).
Is it time to try training again? And if so, how?
Is it a case of power through and it'll always get better eventually?
I'm on my knees with 9mo ds2. Work evenings but he's bf and won't go down for the night without me
Any tips on getting a sleep fighting nearly 3 year old to go to sleep on her own again at a decent time after a new sibling arrives? Since having a new baby 6 weeks ago DD insists on being cuddled to sleep or my partner has to sit in her room but it takes HOURS! She was previously ok at self settling (although was terrible as a baby!). Once asleep she either stays through or if she wakes she comes in with us and goes straight back to sleep. Thanks!
My daughter is nearly 11 months old, wakes at least 5 times from about 7pm until 6am when she wakes up for the day. The only thing that will get her to go back to sleep is breastfeeding, even if she was only fed less than an hour a go. She eats 3 meals and enough food during the day and only feeds two or three times during the day but during the night it feels like she is awake all the time. Have tried cuddling her, singing, stroking etc but she will just cry in her cot if she hasn’t just been fed and won’t give up and stop crying no matter how many times I go in and settle her. Hope you can help a sleep deprived mum! Thank you
I have a 16 week old baby. What steps can I take to build a good sleep routine at thus age? Xx
Posting on behalf of my sister who is at her wits end...
2.5 year old, goes to sleep like a dream, then every night between 11-3am he wakes and is inconsolable. No amount of settling, controlled crying works. The only thing that does is taking him into their bed. They haven’t had an uninterrupted nights sleep since he was born! Any advice ? They are literally desperate!
Why has my 2.5yo never slept through the night?
Is it my poor parenting?
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