Reply To: What made your child sleep through the night???

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Hi there! And hi everyone! It’s been ages since I’ve posted – so busy – now 36 weeks along and trying to finish a bunch of transcription before baby arrives.

You don’t say how old your little one is. Would you share a bit more info with us? That may help a bit in strategies.

I will say that my eldest son, who is now nearly six, has just never needed a lot of sleep. He is the energizer bunny. He dropped naps by 2 1/2, goes for broke all day, loves to be up by 6 or 6:30 at the latest no matter how busy the previous day was or if bedtime was later, and only sleeps about 10 hours (most of his little pals are more still around 12 hrs). So sometimes it may just be natural body rhythm. I’m going to gleefully wake him when he’s a teenager!!!!!! 😆

Note: Some people get fixated on babies sleeping through the night very young. Not reasonable. A newborn’s tummy is the size of one cooked chickpea. Can you believe that? At 3-6 days the size of a cherry and from 7 days to 6 weeks to up to 6 months depending on baby, averages about the size of a walnut (or tablespoon). That info is from a resource sheet for nurses and lactation consultants prepared by Best Start at and incorporates data from the World Health Organization, Breastfeeding Committee of Canada, Ontario Breastfeeding Committee, Registered Nurses Association of Ontario and the American Academy of Paediatrics. So they *need* frequent feeds.

Josie, I would never chastise you, you’re being truthful and sharing from your heart what works for your family. But I will say that I do not advocate any hitting or spanking of children ever. I know Texas has a very different approach even in the schools (my Dad’s late first wife was from Texas – have family near Ft. Worth) than we do up here in Canada, so culturally, that’s a **huge** difference. My son’s Catholic school is so loving and promotes gentleness among students I can’t imagine a school that would have paddling as a punishment. Corporal punishment is outlawed in Canadian schools completely.

This item addresses another mother’s sleepless little one and was in a really cool newsletter I got from today; it has sleep strategies from a wonderful proponent of mothering, Ann Douglas. I’ll paste it (hope it helps!!):

What’s the vibe today . . .
Sleeptime solution – Q & A

Today’s answer provided by Ann Douglas, best-selling Canadian pregnancy and parenting author.

Q. My daughter is now coming up on six months old and she is still waking up regularly during the night, more so in the last month. She was at the point of sleeping almost seven hours (from 8 p.m. to about 3 a.m.), but in the last month has started waking up around midnight. She used to nap in her swing and would do so for two hours in the morning and one to two hours in the later afternoon. In the last month, I have started putting her down for her naps in her crib and she has only been sleeping 45 minutes to one hour. Could this be why her nighttime sleep has changed? We have started her on rice cereal and vegetables, and she has been eating them very happily. She also has been very drool-y and we think she is probably teething although we have not seen any teeth yet . . . .

A. When I read about your daughter’s sleep situation, a couple of things jumped out at me. (As always, playing “Sleep Detective” for someone else’s child involves a bit of guesswork and a bit of reading between the lines, particularly since I haven’t actually had the pleasure of meeting your baby. So I’m going to take my usual approach and run through a laundry list of possibilities. Hopefully, some of what I’m going to suggest will make sense, given what you know about your baby).

You mention that your daughter used to nap for about two hours in the morning and for an hour or two in the afternoon when she used to take her naps in her swing. The swing may have helped to lull your baby back to sleep when she was moving in and out of periods of lighter sleep – something her crib isn’t able to do for her. This may explain why your baby’s naps aren’t as long right now as they were previously: less than an hour each, as you noted.

Your baby may not have figured out how to get herself back to sleep when she stirs during naptime. When she wakes up, naptime is over, period. You can encourage her to nap longer by using a room-darkening shade; making sure her room is a comfortable temperature; and providing a “sound blanket” of white noise or soft music so that she won’t be jarred into wakefulness by the doorbell or some other intrusive sound.

You might also want to either give her an opportunity to settle herself back to sleep if she wakes after a very short period of time or try to settle her back down to sleep by patting her on the back or providing some other type of reassurance. (The approach you take will vary according to her temperament. What works with some babies is a disaster with others.) Of course, with some babies, there’s no room for negotiation on this whole going back to sleep issue. Once they’re awake, they’re awake!

The real bottom-line issue is whether your baby is getting enough sleep. If she’s tired and cranky by the time dinner hour rolls around, you know you’re dealing with an overtired baby. Likewise, if she’s so overtired that she’s not sleeping properly at night (overtired babies are prone to more night-waking because they’re too “wired” too sleep properly), that can be another sign that your baby would benefit from more daytime sleep.

As for the teething issue, pediatric health authorities are no longer telling parents that there’s a proven link between night-waking and teething. So if your child starts waking in the night at some point and seems to be miserable or in pain, don’t just chalk it up to teething: find out if there’s something else bothering your child.

I hope this answer is helpful and that this provides you with at least a few clues in figuring out what’s going on with your daughter’s sleep patterns.


Symptoms Associated With Infant Teething: A Prospective Study

Ann Douglas is the author of Sleep Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler, Mealtime Solutions for Your Baby, Toddler, and Preschooler, and the bestselling titles in The Mother of All Books series: The Mother of All Pregnancy Books, The Mother of All Baby Books, The Mother of All Toddler Books, The Mother of All Parenting Books, and The Mother of All Pregnancy Organizers. She is also a proud mom of four. You can read Ann’s pregnancy and parenting articles at and check out her blog at