Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.
Exhausted and Confused?   Yes! I need help and more sleep.

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  1. Naomi says

    Our 12 month old had been doing pretty well with sleep following some sleep training. We put him down for naps and bedtime awake and he falls asleep on his own, and he had settled into a good (or at least better!) routine with waking only once during the nigh. However, a couple of months ago we moved house and he now shares a room with his 3 year old brother. He seemed to be fine with the transition, but in the last few weeks he has started waking multiple times during the night, seemingly very distressed, and because leaving him to cry for really anything longer than a few mins results in his older brother waking up, also very upset, I have fallen into the habit of soothing him by picking him up and often nursing him. In the last few nights he’s been awake 5/6 times per night and has struggled to settle even with nursing. I’m exhausted and don’t know what to do!

    • Janelle Reid says

      Hi @Naomi, thank you for writing to us. Moving house can be so difficult on babies, I just went through the same thing and it really rattled my little one for a while. It may require a bit of a “reset” for him and since you have the 3 year old sharing in the room you may need to take a more gentle approach. Here is a link to a free guide with tips to help your little one sleep through the night:
      And just an idea (don’t know if this is even a possibility without it causing more stress for you) I don’t know if you could potentially move your 3 year old out of the room for a week or so either to your room or another room while you work on your 12 month old’s sleep in their room, but maybe that would work for a reset.
      Let us know if you need anything else! We have a ton of other resources that I’m confident can help if you need more info. Hang in there!

  2. Johanna says

    Hi Emily-

    I have a question about putting baby in his crib completely awake. Why is it so bad to put baby in the crib when he’s drowsy? I personally cannot go to sleep when I’m completely awake, and feel like I can’t blame my 5-month-old for getting mad if I do this to him.
    Thank you! I

    • Emily DeJeu says

      @ Johanna – You can absolutely do drowsy! You just don’t want so “drowsy” that your baby is actually asleep 🙂 We often tell parents to start with quite drowsy, but slightly awake before putting baby in the crib; from there, you can work your way towards putting your child in the crib very awake. That’s a nice place to work towards as your baby gets older, as it means you can set a pretty definite time limit for your bedtime routine, and that you don’t have to keep “working” until you get to the perfect drowsy state. But given how young your baby is, putting him down very drowsy is fine 🙂

      Hope this helps! Thanks for commenting. 🙂

  3. Lindsey says

    We have problem #9! My son is almost 14 months old. He sleeps through he night, but is up almost every single morning between 4:30-4:45 and ready to go for the day. We have tried to leave him in his bed until after 6:00 in hopes that he will self soothe himself back to sleep but he thinks it’s play time. I watch him on the monitor and he is rolling, walking around, talking and laughing. His bedtime is 7:00 and he is usually asleep by 7:20-7:30. He takes 2 naps and each nap is at least 1.5-2 hours on average. I think he naps about 3.5-4 hours total during the day and I am guilty of letting him sleep more than a total of 3 hours, but I am just so exhausted. I usually end up napping during one of his naps as well! We are at a loss of what to do and I’m so worried he’s not getting enough sleep for his growth and development. Any ideas on how to help him sleep a little longer through the night?

    • Emily DeJeu says

      @ Lindsey – you might be looking at too much nap time plus a too-early bedtime. Based on what you describe, he’s getting about an hour more nap sleep than he probably needs, plus is going to bed on the early side based on how much nap sleep he’s getting. I’d try shortening the naps as a first step, and see what that does to wake-up time. Then, you could try bumping bedtime back gradually, and see what that does. While we like early bedtimes for babies, toddlers sometimes need later naptimes to optimize sleep.

      We have an e-book designed to help you shift your child’s schedule; it’s part of our member’s area. You can read more about it here:

      Hope this helps, Lindsey! Good luck to you 🙂

  4. Jessica says

    Also, would sleep training involve intentionally waking my baby to feed him at specific times so as not to “reward” crying?

    Thanks in advance!

  5. Jessica says

    Hi there – my 19 week old is primarily suffering with #7 (which is likely a combination of problems 1, 3, and 5) and with #6 to some extent as well. Mostly, we’ve just run into the 4 month sleep regression – his pre-existing troubles seem to have multiplied in intensity. We’ve started trying to coach on our own with the PUPD method, and when we do let him cry himself to sleep after we put him back down, he’ll cry for about 5-8 minutes, “fall asleep”, and then wake up again 3-5 minutes later to start the process over again. We eventually just stop putting him back down on his own to end the cycle. It’s as if he can’t get a good rest if he “fell asleep” while he was all worked up from crying. If we proceed with a sleep training plan that allows him to cry himself to sleep, won’t we be faced with the same cycle? Will sleep training not work for us because he can’t fall asleep properly after he’s been crying?

    • Emily DeJeu says

      @ Jessica – great questions! We have a few resources that can help you sort this out. For starters, it may help if you download our free e-book, 5 Ways To Help Your Child Sleep Thru The Night ( That has an overview of 5 sleep coaching methods and how they work with different ages and temperaments. You may also want to consider a membership to our Members Area. It sounds like yo are ready to do this yourself, which is awesome! But it’ll no doubt help to have a lot of resources at your disposal. Our Members Area is a virtual library full of sleep coaching resources that you can access 24/7 to help you with sleep coaching. You can read more here:

      Hope these resources help, Jessica! Best of luck to you 🙂

  6. Danielle says

    We definitely have problem number 1, but with the bottle. That aside, once he is asleep he is generally fine. My son just turned 12 months and has typically been a great sleeper (12 hrs at night and two 1.5 hr naps a day). The last few weeks have been a little rough though – fighting naps (especially the afternoon nap) and waking 1-3 times a night. Not sure if he is going through a regression, transition, growth spurt, having sleep association problems or what…

    The bottle to sleep problem has been a gradual thing over the last 6 months. My son has always been picky about where and when he will take his bottle. It started by rocking him in the chair, giving him a bottle, then putting him in his crib awake where he would settle and go to sleep (naps and nights). A few months ago he refused to take the bottle in the chair (or anywhere for that matter), and as a last result I laid him in the crib a gave him a bottle. That then became the new routine – he would drink his bottle (I have to hold it), then when it was empty he would roll over, settle and go to sleep. Now even that isn’t reliable. Sometimes we go through 2 bottles in the process and it can take a while to coax him to nap. Sometimes after 2hrs of fighting I give up and drive him in the car to get him to fall asleep. Both are bad habits, I know.

    How do I teach him to nap without doing either of these (bottle and/or car)? Getting him to bed at night was the same but has been better the last 4 nights (even though he has still been having occasional issues with night wakings – overtired?). I can deal with the nights, but we are about to start him in daycare so I need to teach him to fall asleep for naps better ASAP.

    His morning nap has been getting pushed back further (on his own) and he seems to be fine, but the afternoon nap has been near impossible. We usually have to drive him to get him to fall asleep for this one, then put him in his crib. Sometimes he flat out refuses but is exhausted.

    He is starting daycare for 2 days a week at the end of the month and I am terrified that he won’t nap there. To make matters worse, the daycare want to put him in the toddler room that only takes one nap (on a cot), and doesn’t allow bottles. 1) How do I fix the bottle association?, 2) Do you think he is ready to transition to one nap?

    Thanks for any advice!

    • Emily DeJeu says

      @ Danielle – wow, sounds like you are facing some tough problems! Sorry to hear that you’re struggling 🙁 Re: the bottle – sounds like this is a pretty major sleep association. The main thing will be to gradually wean your son away from needing this to fall asleep. You can do that in a few ways – you can go “cold turkey” and switch to a sippy cup overnight (which will probably work fast but will likely be a tear-filled process). You can also try to move any bottle feedings up earlier in the bedtime routine, which will help disassociate the bottle from sleep. Finally, you can offer the bottle before sleep but shorten the feeding, removing the bottle before your son is asleep.

      Re: the car and naps – sounds like you have a scheduling problem, if he’s pushing his morning nap back. While a little nap strike is normal at this age, you don’t want to go to one nap too soon; we usually recommend waiting until a child is 15 months old before making that transition. You can see our recommended 12 month schedule here – this may help you troubleshoot your son’s schedule: Now, that said, if you know that daycare is going to want him to take just one nap per day, then it may be advisable to go ahead and transition to one nap now, and save yourself the grief!

      Hope these tips help, Danielle. You may also want to download our free toddler e-book; that has lots more tips and tricks in it: