As a pediatric sleep consultant, there are a few questions I’ve grown accustomed to hearing. People are understandably curious about whether or not their child is going to cry, and if so, for how long. They want to know how long it’s going to take before baby starts sleeping through the night, and when they’ll be able to do the same.
And even though they never come right out and say it in so many words, they want to know if there’s some kind of magical solution that will solve the problem instantaneously without any effort, crying, or protest.
A whole year, really? How did your wee newborn, curled up on your chest, turn into a babbling, active toddler? Somehow, those long days became a short year. Happy birthday, baby! As you move into toddlerhood from 12 to 18 months, get ready for some roller coasters when it comes to food and sleep, including new schedules and routines. The non-stop eating tends to slow down, and toddlers typically only gain a few pounds between the ages of one and two. Continue to offer a variety of healthy foods for meals and snacks, but don’t get too concerned if they’re not that hungry.
our drooly, smiley baby is learning so many new things from nine to 12 months old, and they should be getting a lot of good sleep in their schedule to balance out those long wakeful stretches and process new skills. “Generally, babies at this age are having two naps, and hopefully those naps are at least an hour, if not two hours or more,” says Erin Neri, a certified paediatric sleep consultant in Sherwood Park, Alta. “They should be able to stay awake for three to four hours between naps.” She adds that there are a small percentage of kids who start to go down to one nap around 11 to 12 months, but dropping the morning nap typically happens around 15 months.
Your baby’s nighttime sleep often starts to lengthen a bit more, up to six hours at night. You may also start to see the beginnings of a schedule that works for both of you, whether it’s a baby that wants to eat as soon as they wake up or one that needs some snuggling and playtime first. “We know that there’s a fairly wide range of ‘normal’ for newborn sleep,” says Alexis Dubief, a child sleep consultant in Vermont and author of Precious Little Sleep. “It could be anywhere between 14 and 17 hours a day. The reality is that everything in that zone is normal for that individual child.”
When I was expecting my first baby, I followed along in the books about every single stage of my pregnancy, I read about what to expect when baby arrives.
I learned about anything that I thought I would need to know for that first little bit of baby’s life; I read a lot!
Of course, I didn't think much about baby sleep until I realized that my precious little bundle of joy DID NOT KNOW HOW TO SLEEP!!
So, I read more and more about nothing except baby SLEEP!
What I wasn't prepared for was the sheer amount of information out there, and how much the "experts" contradicted each other!
Even among medical professionals, the number of times I must have read one person say that one thing was an absolute must, then to have another "expert" say that the first was wrong or harmful, was mind-boggling and extremely stressful!
As most parents do though, I took that information, analyzed it, filtered everything through a combination of common sense and personal beliefs, and came up with a strategy I was comfortable with.
But one thing I was never sure about, mainly because nobody seemed to have a clear answer, was whether I could sleep train while I was breastfeeding or how to sleep train while I was breastfeeding.
The primary argument against the idea, so far as I understood it, was that breast milk gets digested faster than formula, and therefore babies who are breastfed need to wake up several times a night to feed.
Otherwise, they'll feel hungry throughout the night, be unable to sleep, and potentially suffer from malnutrition.
Now, I know that there are different views on this matter, and whichever one you subscribe to, you're probably convinced that you're right. And you might be, assuming of course that you agree with me.
I'm kidding, of course. Like most things in parenting, there's not so much of a "right and wrong," as opposed to "right for your child."
But there are a few facts that you should know if you're breastfeeding and trying to decide whether or not to sleep train your child.
After all, what's the point of sleep training if your baby's nutrition needs prevent them from sleeping through the night?
So, here's an interesting fact.
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