Reader Mailbag – Snooze Buttons, Sleep Training, and Crib Slats – EP 9

September 20, 2016 |  by  |  Podcast, Q&A

Got a question? Great – we have answers! We recently asked parents for questions and got ~70 but only had time tackle 12. Luckily, when you manage a Facebook group of 20,000 people you get a really good sense of the types of questions that are common to MANY PARENTS. So we guarantee that at least one of the questions addressed in today’s podcast is something you’ve wondered about too.

Reader Mailbag

Ashby and I tackle the following questions (they’re all great questions, but #7 is my favorite!). We also discuss sad mornings, nap yoga, and a number of other strategies that will help if you’re feeling panicky.

reader mailbag

1:02 What to do when arm/legs get stuck in crib slats?

4:01 How do I get rid of the dreaded snooze button feed?

7:20 How to handle a baby who exhibits concerning behavior (vomiting, banging head, falling asleep standing up) at bedtime?

12:07 How to you foster independent sleep AT bedtime while maintaining a few feeds during the night? How do you know when to feed?

16:10 Why is my independently sleeping child up and screaming in the middle of the night for 2-3 hours!?

18:40 How do you salvage days when sleep is off to get baby back on track?

21:21 Baby has 3 hour wake time before 7:30 PM bedtime. Baby wakes up from last nap between 3-3:30. Now what?

23:00 How do you approach sleep with a late pre-term baby?

24:50 When do kids’ sleeping issues really end?

29:05 Why do babies persist with sleep associations even when they’re no longer part of bedtime!?

31:12 My 11 month old goes to in the crib fully awake 40 minutes after nursing and a consistent bedtime routine of nurse, bath, book, song, bed. No crying. He is still waking up at least twice to nurse. What gives!?

34:01 What do you do when your baby hates sleep so much that she starts to hate her bedtime routine?

Additional Reading & Listening

Why Night Weaning Isn’t Working
Bedtime Associations and SleepWhy Your Child Isn’t Sleeping
Understanding Sleep Schedules and Wake Times
Wake Times – Targets by Age

Should we make answering reader mail a regular thing? Yes? No? Let us know in the comments! If you have a question you would like to see answered in a future podcast, share it with us at

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  1. great episode! you guys tackle so many compelling issues, in such a reassuring way.

  2. wow! I am so excited to listen to this podcast. you guys are awesome. thank you for all your hard work!

  3. Nothertheothergirl

    This was AWESOME! I love the mailbag format!

  4. Thank you! This list is amazing. I wonder so many of these all the time! Especially recently the night feeding (when they are they no longer really needing the feed) and the crib slats causing wakeup. I appreciate this community so much. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!!!!

  5. Love the mailbag format! Definitely worth keeping. I like the focused episodes too…variety is nice!

    • Cool! Yeah I think most will be specific topics (they’re a bit easier to put together and better from an SEO perspective) but this was fun (Ashby and I liked doing it) so we’ll definitely do this again!

  6. Hi!

    Guys, I LOVE this; it was great to have the specific topics with their time stamps listed out so I was able to tune in to the parts I was interested in (why yes, hello, wake times) and skip over the parts I wasn’t. I don’t usually have time to sit and listen to a podcast in its whole form, so this totally worked for me.

    Keep up the awesome work, mamas! You ladies are great!

  7. Great format. Really informative and helpful.

    Just one thing I didn’t understand: the sad mornings without snooze button feed.

    You didn’t mention something from an earlier podcast, which is the difficulty of keeping baby up until first nap at 9. With me that would be 4 hours. I’m not sure I get why the sad mornings would last only two weeks until baby sleeps longer. I can see this going on for months. I remember getting up at 4:30/5 for several months earlier on, before I did the snooze feed.

    Doing the snooze feed means one hour more sleep overall (which is huge for a baby that always sleeps too little and is always tired), and less crying and the hard work of entertaining until first nap at 9.

    Please explain the sad mornings a bit more. I’m afraid of trying it only to realiye after two months, that nothing changes, only that I have a very tired baby and a very hard day.

    • “Sad mornings” are usually only employed once a snooze button is no longer working, or when you decide you no longer want to do it. If it’s working for you, then great! Keep at it.

      I weaned our snooze button because my daughter was organically pushing it later and later, and thus having a harder and harder time falling asleep. IE, she used to wake for the snooze around 5:30, then sleep til 7/7:30, but then started waking as late as 6. Still tired, but not tired ENOUGH to go back to sleep.

      What I did was set an alarm for 5:30, when I knew she’d be able to go back to sleep, and start feeding her then. I gradually weaned it down to about 3 minutes of nursing. After that, I fully committed to sad mornings. For about 2-3 mornings my daughter woke REALLY unhappy, and cried for a while, but usually she went back to sleep for at least a tiny bit before our designated “morning” time.

      Of course it isn’t guaranteed that that will happen. Baby may not fall back asleep. In which case, I would advise you keep baby up til nap, or, move the first nap up just a little bit – 15 minutes to half an hour or so.

      The reality is that once you’re ready to wean the snooze button, your baby is likely older and can handle stretched waketimes without it causing too much disruption.

  8. Love this format and LOVE the time stamps for each topic for easy browsing

    Quick question – will this ever be reiterated in writing on the blog? So often I’m searching your site late at night and trying to search for audio isn’t always the easiest way to find an answer. For me! Just a question / observation, maybe I’m the cheese standing alone or I’m missing something

    I love your blog and all the advice and support you offer. Thank you!

  9. Okay, in connection with question 3…what about the baby who rolls to his belly but can’t get back over, and NEVER figures it out?! My 7 month old still can’t get the hang of flipping himself back to his back, and this has been going on now for a good 2.5 months. I’m totally cool with him sleeping on his belly if that’s what he’s comfortable with, but the problem is he is frantic and just cries and cries. My oldest did this too, but it was only for a rough 2-3 weeks and then it clicked for him and everything was fine. But this time around this phase truly feels like it will never end. It obviously is very disruptive of his (and OUR) sleep. We do LOTS of tummy time, practice taking his body through the motions of rolling, etc. Nothing is working!! He’s hitting all other developmental milestones, so I am not overly concerned about him lagging behind developmentally overall, just at my wit’s end with how this is affecting sleep in our house. Anyone have any helpful thoughts?!

    • Hi! This sounds like my now 11 1/2 month old. He rolled over at 5 months and never learned how to roll back to his back! His night sleep suffered too because of the same problem as your baby- he would roll over onto his tummy in the crib and then flip out. What saved us was using the Magic Merlin suit at night- he’s a small baby so he wasn’t strong enough to roll onto his tummy while in the suit. So the suit kept him on his back to sleep at night. Eventually, around 7 months, during a nap, he flipped onto his tummy (not wearing the suit) and instead of freaking out he just fell asleep! So then we knew it was time and he could sleep without the suit at night, even tho technically he still didn’t know how to roll back over. He started belly crawling around 7 months and then he kinda learned how to just maneuver himself back but not really ROLL back. I don’t really have much advice bc we had to just wait it out a couple of months until he found a way to maneuver himself back. I know it sucks right now, but keep reminding yourself it’s a phase and this too shall pass!! Good luck!!

      • No, that is helpful! I had yet to find anyone who had experienced this, so even just some solidarity and a good reminder that it will end helps! I am kind of thinking he will probably just skip the rolling thing too. He seems much more interested in crawling at this point, so I should probably just let him do his thing. And I will try the Merlin suit! (Although he’s a 20 lb hulk baby, so I don’t know if it’d really keep him down.) Thanks for the reply!

        • 😉

          The Merlin won’t keep him down, but it’s helpful to reduce the amount of flapping that flappy arms do. If he’s on the move the Merlin won’t keep him from moving.

          Practice bi-directional flipping during the day! Lots and lots of practice!

  10. Kudos to Ashby for coming up with the PERFECT descriptor – sad mornings. It made me laugh out loud while nodding my head in (sad) recognition.
    Really enjoying the podcasts. Reader mailbag is a GREAT idea. Way to harness the hive mind of the Facebook group! Also enjoyed the myth busting podcast. I see some of these myths come up on the Facebook page and now can post a link to the podcast should anyone ask about lettuce baths, cereal before bed or amber necklaces.
    Thanks again. Your time and effort are greatly appreciated by so many!

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