What You Need to Know About Sleeping Through the Night Part 2

teaching baby to fall asleep

There are many big challenges with a newborn baby: figuring out the soothing thing, unbreakable swaddling, learning how to feed a baby, wrestling them to sleep, etc. Usually by the 3 month mark, those hurdles have all been conquered. You are now a confident parent rocking the baby play groups, champion of navigating the grocery store with a baby, and chilling with other parents at Starbucks.

Champion parents will also have already read What You Need to Know About Sleeping Through the Night Part 1. It’s long and not particularly funny but it will explain the single most important thing you need to know to stay the course towards sleeping all night long. Go read it and then come back when you’re done (I’ll wait).

Now you know why it is so critical that you teach your baby to fall asleep without you (nursing, rocking, cuddling, etc.).

Note: A small percentage of babies will continue to sleep well even if they are being nursed, rocked, etc. until they are fully asleep. If you are the parent of an older baby who is sleeping like a champ (then you probably aren’t looking for answers for sleep problems on the internet but….) then you may have one of these rare babies who CAN be nursed, rocked, etc. until they are completely asleep without any problems. YAY!

For the other 98% of babies, failure to teach them to fall asleep on their own leads to many sleepless nights and days filled with short crappy naps.

Putting Your Baby Down Awake

By the time your baby is ~6 months old (give or take 2 months) you need to have figured out how to put your baby down awake and have them fall asleep without your assistance.

If you have already mastered the ability to put your baby down to sleep awake, good for you! Now stop gloating and please go away, the rest of us are still struggling with this.

Every parent has read that it is important to put your baby down to sleep awake. And every parent has tried this at various points in their newborn babyhood. Some babies are pretty cool about the whole thing and after a few minutes of futzing about, fall asleep. Most babies aren’t as keen on this plan and express their displeasure loudly and at length. So you fall back on whatever technique has been working successfully for you up to that point (rocking, nursing, etc.) and you continue about your business. Until this stops working. In a big way.

How to Put Baby Down Awake

There are three primary techniques to put your baby down awake and help them fall asleep on their own.

1. Use the Baby Swing

If your baby is under ~6 months of age the baby swing can be an excellent tool to help your baby fall asleep without your personal assistance. Further, if you are currently rocking, bouncing, or wearing your baby while walking around to help your baby fall asleep then your baby is telling you that they really need motion to fall asleep.

You can choose to ignore what they are telling you and try to force the crib. Or you can hear this message and embrace, temporarily, the baby swing.

Even if you are not rocking your baby to sleep, baby swings offer soothing motion that most babies respond to regardless of how you are currently helping your baby fall asleep. So this is also a great alternative if you are nursing your child to sleep or are currently co-sleeping and are ready to transition baby to their own bed.

If you’re going to try to use the swing to help your baby fall asleep on their own make a commitment to work with the swing for 4-7 days. Often parents will put baby in the swing for one nap, it won’t work well, and they’ll write the experiment off as a failure. You’ve spent months teaching your child to fall asleep in a specific way, and now you’re asking that child to adopt to a new method. It may take a little time for her to figure it out.

Once baby is happily sleeping in the swing, gradually decrease the speed of the swing (6-5-4….). If your baby continues to sleep peacefully great! If lowering the speed results in shorter naps or difficulty falling asleep, then your baby still needs the speed. No problem, you can try again in another week or so. At this age babies are developing so rapidly, what didn’t work this week can work like gangbusters next week.

Eventually you’ll find yourself with a baby who is sleeping in a non-moving swing. At this point the transition to the crib is relatively painless. Put the non-moving swing NEXT to their crib for at least a few days. Then, keeping everything else the same (sleep routine, white noise, etc.) just put them down to sleep in their crib. They may grumble for a few minutes but most babies accept this transition without much drama.

For younger babies, or babies who are motion junkies (love to be bounced, rocked, etc.) the swing is my favorite method for teaching them to fall asleep alone. Bar none.

2. Make it Gradual

This is one of the most challenging methods and the easiest to mess up so let me say this first: take a good look at you and your partner. How are you guys doing? If you are ground to a pulp (sleep deprived, just recovering from the flu, stressed out, have little/no support) then skip this method, it’s not for you. On the other hand if you’re feeling fairly chipper, read on.

Basically your job is to take whatever technique you are using to help your baby sleep and gradually make itty bitty modifications (typically over many weeks) to slowly wean baby off this technique. By the way, this is pretty much the entire message of The No-Cry Sleep Solution (minus the guilt-inducing part that makes you feel like a failure if you can’t pull it off). So there, I just saved you $10.

Take co-sleeping as an example. Your baby is now used to falling asleep in your bed, next to your body, and the routine probably involves nursing. To gradually wean off this you might put the crib in your room, put a futon mattress next to the crib, drop the side of the crib and replicate (making sure that the scenario is safe for baby) the co-sleeping environment only now the baby is sleeping in her bed instead of yours. Of course you are now sleeping on a futon next to the crib but hopefully this is temporary.

Over weeks you might work on nursing baby until she is drowsy but not asleep, gradually moving the futon away from the crib, putting the crib side back up, etc. Your goal is to do this so slowly that baby barely registers the change.

This can be difficult. Babies can be remarkably observant about your efforts to monkey with their system. Also illness, teething, etc. can all interfere with your progress. And if you are tired and frustrated it is FAR TOO easy to simply fall back to whatever works for you and let your baby nurse to sleep or pull her back into your bed, undoing all the progress you might have made.

Baby and Mommy Sleep in Chair While Nursing

For these reasons I suggest this method is really challenging. Thus my initial question – how beat up are you? If you and your partner are shuffling zombies your chance of success is low. You are welcome to try, and I encourage you to come up with a plan and give it a go. But don’t beat yourself up if, after a few weeks, you’re feeling frustrated by the lack of success.

Note: This method can be extraordinarily challenging if your baby uses a pacifier to fall asleep. Most pediatricians recommend loosing the pacifier by 6 months of age because this little tool which was so helpful for baby sleep when they’re little can become the bane of your existence when they’re older. I have never found a gradual way to remove the pacifier as they seem very binary – either you give them a paci or you don’t. If anybody has any “gradually loose the pacifier” methods, please share in the comment section!

3. Cry it Out

1. If your baby is older than 6-8 months old and…
2. she’s sleeping poorly (waking up frequently throughout the night, taking short naps, fighting naps, etc.) and…
3. you’ve tried the other two techniques, or for whatever reason, they didn’t suit, you’ve pretty much landed in cry it outsville.

Cry it Out is a big topic and you can lots of information about how, when, why, and why not in this sleep training resource page. But I want to briefly make a quick distinction here: cry it out is a technique that forces babies to learn to fall asleep on their own. And frankly, if done right, it’s a really effective technique. Cry it out is NOT the best way to get out of night feedings (another topic of an upcoming post). Parents often mistake these two issues.

If your baby has been consuming lots of milk/formula all night long and you decide to go cold-turkey and simply stop night feedings, both you and your baby are likely to have a pretty miserable time of it. Also there are more effective and gentler ways to night-wean. I would suggest you consider cry it out as a method to help your baby fall asleep solo at bedtime but that when they wake up at their regular night-feeding schedule, you go and feed them.

If you have stumbled upon some other way of helping babies learn to fall asleep on their own NOT covered here, please share in the comments! Otherwise it’s time for the final step on sleeping through the night, read up on how to gently finish night feeding your baby.

If you haven’t already done so you may also want to check out the other posts in this series:
What you need to know about sleeping through the night: Part 1 and Part 3.


  1. Hi Alexis,

    Not sure if you’re still checking comments on here, but I’ll try my luck. My baby is 9 months old and just recently (maybe a month-ish?) he stopped waking up every 3-4 hours at night and started a 1/1.5 hours routine. So far my husband and I have taken turns and patiently rocked him to sleep (once or twice a night I’m still nursing him to sleep, not because he needs it but because it’s faster!).

    Now, your article said all the right things and felt like you’d talked to me before writing it. Now the problem is, if I ever wanted to consider “cry it outsville” (so far I haven’t, but I might have to), how would I do it when my baby is raised Montessori and sleeps on a floor bed he can easily come out of? That’s all, yes, just one simple question 😉 Thanks

    • When you choose to do the floor bed routine you’re essentially making your bedroom into one giant crib – it’s got to be 100% safe in there (no exposed hazards, furniture bolted to walls, etc.). Because now or later, that child is going to be awake without you in there with him right? Once the room is uber-safe then you progress the same way you would if he were in a crib.

  2. Hi Alexis,

    Your info is super helpful!! We used the your night weaning method with our first baby 2 years ago & it worked perfectly. Couple of questions about the swing method for putting a baby down awake:
    1) Baby happily and easily falls asleep in swing at a level 3 speed. The swing times out after 4 hours so he wakes up later in the night, then he’s up frequently between 2:00-5:00am if swing is still. Are we having success if he easily falls asleep in swing on level 3 and thats our cue to move down to a lower speed (and we shouldn’t worry about the later night wakings?)?
    2) Should I keep the swing moving all night, or let it shut off after 4 hours (or shortly after he falls asleep)?

    Thanks in advance for the help!!

  3. I have a daugther that will bt 9 months in 2 weeks. She has been co-sleeping with us since she was born. At one point around 4 months she we could put her in her crib asleep and she should would sleep anywhere from 2-6 hours before waking. Now she is waking every 3 hours or so at night and having a very hard time going back to sleep. I want to transition her into her bed but she is not taking the change well. I have never let her CIO. She is a screamer and doesnt settle down she just gets more upset as time passes. I have tried this several times since she was around 4 months although not following through after she gets so worked up. Any advice is appreciated.

    Thank you.

  4. My 10m babe wakes every 45 min. He is EBF and nurses to sleep. I just recently started co sleeping because I could not longer function. Now that I’ve gotten some sleep I’m ready to tackle our issues. I understand letting him work it out to fall asleep, but do you recommend doing the same thing every time he wakes? I think he still needs to nurse 2-3 times a night and don’t know how to tell the difference between when to let him cry and when to go in and nurse.

    • I am experiencing the same thing right now. My daughter will be 11 months in a couple weeks and still wakes up at least 2 to 3 times a night and I nurse her back to sleep. She has only slept 8 hrs in a row once since birth! Im wondering if she is just nursing to help her fall back asleep or if she is actually hungry? I don’t want to starve her but I feel like she is not sleeping well and should not be waking up so much.

      • I’m right there with you ladies! My daughter is 9 months old and she wakes up 2-3 times a night to nurse. She’s never once slept through a whole night. I function on coffee as I’m sure we all do! My husband and I have always rocked her to sleep, she STILL needs to be swaddled to stay asleep on her own, and she sleeps in the co-sleeper next to our bed. I think we’ve created some bad habits and we’re ready to try to fix this, we just don’t know what’s the best option. I really didn’t want to do CIO but I’m afraid that might be our only choice.

        Has there been any improvement over the last month?

        • Update! Well my daughter will be 1 this Wednesday & slowly has been better with sleeping at night! She now will sleep from around 8pm to around 5:30 6:30 am and wakes to nurse and then falls back asleep for about an hour. There is the occasional night where she will wake up a couple times but I do not pick her up! I just lay her back down and pat her bottom til she falls back asleep. Seems to be working! I have found though that I have gotten up so much through the night this past year that now I have problems sleeping!! Funny how that works! Tired but can’t sleep cause your waiting for your baby to wake up! Haha

  5. First time mom here with maternity leave ending soon. My baby is 3 months. We cosleep. Night time is not bad, I quite enjoy it. But day time is a different story. Would it work to do swing naps during th day and still cosleep/nurse at night time?? How much do you charge for a consult? Tired mom and tired dad.

  6. My LO is 5 months old and waking up every 2 hours at night. Some naps are decent, 1.5-2 plus hours but many times he wakes up after 30 minutes or so. He is nursed or bottle fed to sleep, since that’s what works, but now it won’t end. He is very difficult to put down awake and will cry. I’ve chosen 5 minutes as a time to go in and intervene but he almost never goes to sleep on his own. He has a swing, but he likes to sleep on his tummy (he can roll over just fine) so that’s never really worked well for us. We are just tired! Also dad likes using the nursing or jumper when I work evenings and he’s wildly inconsistent at daycare. I’m trying to follow your advice but don’t even know where to begin.

    • So we have been trying to put him down awake for about a week now. It started out relatively well, but then he caught on after a few days and has been fighting it horribly. I was trying to be gradual about it, but I find that we either nurse him to sleep or we put him down fully awake. I can’t figure out gradual. Then he cries 🙁 I don’t know if we just aren’t ready…he has been sleeping longer stretches at night since we started, though (3-4 hours instead of 1-2). Is he too young to let cry? I didn’t really want to in the first place, but I feel like that is how this is progressing.

      • Hi, my situation is very similar to yours and I wanted to ask how things turned out now that it’s been a few months. What worked for you? PLEASE let me know!

        • Shortly after I posted this, within, a week he started going to sleep on his own most of the time. I let him “cry” for up to ten minutes. He was really just fussing. If he really started or starts to cry I go in and comfort him, but that doesn’t really help matters and usually just means he’s overtired or not ready. He’s 8 MO now and almost exclusively puts himself to sleep. About two weeks he learned to sit up, and now stand up, and started fighting it again but we stuck with it and he settled back into his routine. Just now I put him down after reading and singing and he sat up then stood up then sat down, repeat and repeat, for about 10 minutes then finally laid down on his tummy and went to sleep. Now he gets up about 3 times a night unfortunately so we are trying to night wean. This is a repeat so far with it being all or nothing with this kid, though. Stick with itit, it gets better. Good luck!

  7. My son just turned 5 months yesterday. For the first few months I was one of those lucky people w a baby who was sleeping 7-8 hour stretches at night going from 8-3-7 some nights. It was amazing. Of course it all started to fall apart right around 3.4-4 nights are horrible. I am able to put him down awake for naps, he does use a pacifier most times but I have watched on the monitor and he wakes after his sleep cycle and is fully capable of getting himself back to sleep. So daytime sleep really isn’t an issue. He went through the phase of 30 min naps for several weeks and it was painful but we seem to have gotten past that. Nighttime is a completely different beast. He has been in his crib using the Merlin sleep suit. I usually nurse him and he falls asleep but then when I put him in the crib he wakes up. I leave him and he usually drifts off to sleep on his own. Occasionally he needs the pacifier. However I have been getting 2 hour stretches lately. If I don’t nurse him it sometimes takes an hour to get him back to sleep. I try my best not to pick him up but give him the pacifier over and over. It’s hard to tell if he’s hungry or not but if it’s within 2 hours of a feeding I do my best not to feed him. Reading this site made me move the swing into his room last night and give it a whirl. I am able to put him down awake with no pacifier and he went right to sleep in the swing. However he was still up 4 times last night. A 4 hour stretch was the best we got. Should I be concerned that he will now get used to the motion of the swing when he hasn’t needed it in the past? I would just like to decrease the amount of night wake ups. Any advice is greatly appreciated!!

    • Hi Lauren,

      My son, now 4.5 years old, had the exact same problem at around 5 months. We had already worn out a nanny, a grandma and a mother, and I was next in line… We ended up following the “Sleep Lady Shuffle” with absolutely remarkable results. We went from, literally waking up every 50 mins during the night, to much better sleep the in a day, and regular sleep in a week. We stuck with all the rules suggested in the book, and my son has been a ridiculously good sleeper ever since. The best thing of all, everyone is in a great mood during the day.

      Sleep Lady Shuffle effectively a ‘gentler’ version of CIO, where you’re allowed to sit next to the crib where he can see you and you can comfort him with your voice. Every couple of days you have to move your chair further away from the bed. We also went for the hyper-scheduling approach where we’d follow a rigid schedule as suggested by the Sleep Lady Shuffle book. I believe that helped a lot for naps. It took around 2 weeks for my son to follow the rigid schedule and be a good day napper.

      Truth to be told, it wasn’t easy from a mental perspective. The most difficult bit was the first time where it took him over an hour to fall asleep. You really have to believe that he’ll fall asleep at some point, because you want to pick him up every single second during that hour. One of the things that helped us get through it was to think of: “He’s not hungry, he’s not too warm, he’s not too cold, and he’s not in danger. So there is nothing wrong, and you’ll really have to do this one yourself little guy”.
      When he woke up later that night, it took him under 20 minutes to fall back asleep using the same technique. The next evening it took him 10 minutes, and then it went down to no crying at all really quickly. We’ve never had sleep struggles ever since.

      I’m not one to recommend stuff on internet, but I consider this book a practical solution to a nasty situation and definitely worth considering. It’s a fairly easy read and my son is proof it *can* work.

      I hope this helps.


      • Am off to find this book. Am exactly at this same phase, struggling with my lo who is just turning 5 mths. Now it looks like I wake up every 45 mins to 1.5 hrs, whatever I do. She feeds and sleeps off..then wakes up again.

        • Hi there. Wondering how you made out with the book? We are in the same exact situation- we’re all short circuiting over here from lack of sleep. I think I get 3 hours at best broken up by wakings and feedings :/ We’ve been able to figure out that she’s really hungry every 3 hours, but just needs help back to sleep the inbetween times (she wakes around 6-7 times a night). Ugh!

          • We are at the same stage, 4.5 months. In bed at 7pm & up around 6am. But wakes every 30minutes-1.5 hours. Feeds about 5 times per night but at some feeds only has 20mls! We have tried not feeding her some times but she will scream until you give her a bottle.

            Don’t even get me started on trying to lay her down. As soon as you do, she wakes up & cries! Exhausted

  8. Alexis,
    What is exactly rocking/soothing to sleep? My 3 mo old starts to get fussy indicating he is sleepy and so I swaddle him and bounce for a few minutes until he is calm but still awake. I then put him in his pack and play where he usually makes pleasant squealing and normal awake noises until he falls asleep. Would you say we are on the right track for self soothing or should I be putting him down swaddled with no bouncing and still fussing? Of course when he’s really overtired I end up mostly soothing him to sleep because he only stops fussing when he has fallen asleep.

    Also in the middle of the night should I let him fuss/cry a few minutes (5-10 maybe) before picking him up to feed him in hopes that he’ll just fall back asleep instead?

    Thank you for this website. It really seems like you condense and then bring all the different good sleep ideas from the “experts” together.

  9. This article is great! I just am at a loss.. I have tried the swing, and that did not work from the very beginning. We tried it until my son was too heavy for it so I just gave up. Rocking worked for a long time, and now that he is almost 10 months I am having major issues. First of all, he ONLY wants me. And he always wants to be carried. I can’t do anything without holding him. If I put him down he instantly starts screaming so hard he turns blue! Its awful. For over a month now he has been waking up every hour screaming. Feeding him helps sometimes but 4 out of the 6-8 times he wakes up like this I have to get up and pace through the house holding him against my chest. He wont let me sit or stand in one spot and swing him. By the time he falls asleep and I finally fall back asleep, he is awake again the next hour. And only I can be the one to walk with him like this. I also have noticed that he has been itching at his ears a lot so I thought maybe it was an ear infection. The doctor said that his ears are perfect and also he isn’t teething anymore. I am starting to think maybe he is having nightmares or something.. And I also work full time so he goes to his grandmother’s house every day while I am gone, so I also think he possibly has separation anxiety. I have no idea what to do. This is my first baby so I feel helpless. I have gone days without more than four hours of total sleep per night. Any advise would be amazing!! Thank you.

    • Any improvements for you guys? We are currently in your life exact situation. And totally lost as what to do.

    • Hey, how are things now? I have a 1r month old girl who is killing me! She also ONLY wants me, she has never slept thru since the day she was born. When she wakes she only wants me, if she sees my husband she freaks. I have had her cosleeping with us since she was almost 4 months but I think recently this is making sleeping harder for all of us. She is so unsettled at night she keeps us awake and her reliance on me being there every time she stirs is beyond exhausting. I give her bottles thru the night to help her get back to sleep quicker and it works.. but then an hour later she’s off again! I want to try to move her to her own room and hopefully cut out the bottles but I’ve no idea where to begin! I know I will have to use the CIO method but I dread it, she goes from zero to hysterical in less than a second and gets worse and worse, she doesn’t calm down as time goes on. My first baby was in her own room by 6 months, she had the odd regression or waking for a bottle etc but this is a whole different kettle of fish! ANY advice or help would be beyond appreciated. I’d sell my soul now for some sleep myself and for my baby to finally get the rest she needs in the night.

  10. I apologize if this has already been asked…. I just started the swing method this morning for my sons first nap of the day, and not only did my 5.5 mth old son fall asleep from awake, but he slept for two hours continuously!!!!! It’s a wondrous miracle!! Lol. My questions are:
    1) can I decrease the swing speed with each nap? And
    2) what do I do tonight at bedtime? Does he sleep in the swing all night or should I try the crib? He sleeps ok at night in the crib after rocking him to sleep. Naps are the biggest problem(very short and best when on top of me!)

    • I’m in a similar boat to Rhonda. My 5-month old required a lot of movement to fall asleep in the first months. Now, we’ve mostly phased that out, but he typically requires being held and fed to fall asleep. He’s been waking up 3-5 times per night (even though he’s slept up to 8.5 hours straight), and we are so very tired. He also takes very short naps in his bed (typically 20-45 minutes) and takes his best naps in our arms. My questions are:
      1) How often should I decrease the speed of the swing?
      2) How do you recommend handling crying if my baby resists the swing? He fights sleep tooth and nail, and I’m worried he’s going to be one mad baby.
      Thanks so much for your advice!

    • Same questions as you! My baby has to be rocked to sleep. We are about to start the swing for sleep training but do I let him sleep in the swing at night? Also I know he sleeps well in the swing, should I start it off in his room next to the crib? He has been taking naps in crib since he was born- some of them as long as 2 hours but most 45′ min.
      Thank you for any feed back!

  11. HI Alexis,

    What if my 6 month old already sleeps in her cot, she just wakes all the time for night feeding? You say before weaning off night feeding to ensure she can go to sleep on her own, but for her to go to sleep on her own you recommend swing or CIO. But I think I understood the swing only works for under 6 months, and CIO doesn’t work for babies who aren’t weaned off night feeds.

    So how do I get my 6 month old – who sleeps in a cot in her own room, but wakes every couple of hours and is breastfed to sleep – to sleep through the night? Should I use the technque of reducing the feed by a minute every couple of days? then how do I put her down to sleep awake if I can’t use CIo or a swing?

    thanks for clarifying. I know my question sounds garbled but I am an exhausted zombie who lost her eloquence long ago.


  12. Hello
    Great articles thank you.
    I have a question related to night feeding. When feeding at night my 6 month old falls asleep while feeding do I need to wake him up to then put him back to bed awake?

  13. Hi Alexis!

    I just stumbled upon your blog this morning while doing some reading on baby sleep habits. I have been having some issues with my previously wonderfully sleeping baby for about a month and a half. The two main issues I would like to ask you about are 1) her bedtime, and 2) the number of naps she has.

    At about 10 weeks, she was sleeping through the night between 8 and 10.5 hrs. Now she had started sleeping only 8 hour stretches at best with frequent wake-ups that require me to rock her (within about 2-5 minutes she is ready to be put down in her crib again) back to sleep. I think I am guilty of putting her to bed too late based on what you, and others, have suggested. Her put down time is usually around 9:30 right now. I start her bedtime routine between 7:30 and 8 with a feeding, bath, and books. Then I swaddle her and let her nurse herself to sleep and put her in her crib. She’s started waking every hour needing to be put back down. About a month ago she was crying out in her sleep, but would go back to sleep on her own. This doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Do you think she is just overtired? She’s been getting my up at 5:30 am after bedtime at 9:40 with several short wake ups.

    As for issue number 2, she naps really well during the day. She has typically still been doing four naps. Her first nap lasts anywhere between 1.5 and 2.5 hrs and her next three last for between 45 min and 1 hr. In the past few days she’s been really struggling going down for her last nap. It’s either made that last nap really short, or has pushed her bedtime. In the past it’s been a piece of cake putting her down for the last nap, but lately the only way she’ll go down I s if I nurse her to sleep. I’m guessing this is her telling me to drop that nap. Does that seem correct?

    Those are my two immediate issues but I’m anticipating that I may have some problems with the fact that She’s not falling asleep on her own and is still sleeping swaddled… She also sleeps on her belly so I’m not sure your suggestion of the swing will work for us 🙁

    Any advice would be appreciated!

  14. Hi Alexis,
    so glad to find your site, this is the ONLY helpful and thankfully rational site I’ve found in my desperate google searches for “help in baby sleep/naps”.
    I have what i think is a unique situation so i’m not sure where i should consider my baby in the sleep continuum. my son was born 2 months early (august 27, 2015). so he is TECHNICALLY a 6 month old…but developmentally he is more like an advanced 4 month old. He hasn’t had any developmental delays for his adjusted age and he’s doing great. So right around mid to late February, that 6 month/adjusted 4 month old age he went from taking longer, 1-2 hour naps to only sleeping for almost exactly 30 minutes at a time. He’s been sleeping through the night since mid January usually from 9 pm to 5am.
    my questions are:
    1. Do you think his sleep patterns are that of a 6 month old…or closer to that of a 4 month old?
    2. putting him down for the night is becoming more difficult….i am in that habit of holding him until he’s drowsy or sleeping….and then putting him down, but lately he often wakes up as soon as i lay him down and he is MAD. so then we do it again…and maybe one more time and he’s finally asleep. but once he’s out he’s out for the night. is this a warning sign that he’s starting to realize his environments changed…and should i start trying to get him to put himself to sleep? even if he’s still sleeping through the night?
    3. for naps he’s only taking those 30 minute cat naps…but like i said he’s sleeping through the night…should i be preemptive and get him going to sleep on his own? or just keep doing what i’m doing and praying to god he keeps sleeping through the night?
    4. i’d like to try the swing method you mention but he’s about the size of a 6 month old….so i don’t know that they make a swing he’ll fit in to comfortably, any recommendations?

    i think i’m most confused/concerned about whether he’s 4 months old in terms of sleep, or 6 months old. i don’t want to start having him sleep on his own before he’s ready…but i’m not sure how i’ll ever know he’s ready.


  15. Hello! I have a nearly 11 month old who I have had my bed side cared to her crib. I got her to sleep in her old swing after reading this. Is it safe to leave her in it overnight? I was thinking of putting in to what would be her own room. Solid plan? Or what do you suggest? She currently Wakes up every 45 minutes and comfort nurses to sleep. I’m perfectly fine feeding her a few times a night. But this is getting nuts. And has s been ever since her 6 month regression.

    • Any improvements Sadie? What did you end up trying? We are in the exact scenario as you were/are.

  16. Hello,

    Thank you for your site. I am not sure where my almost-6.5 month old son falls within your suggestions. We still swaddle and use the paci for sleep. Since about 4 weeks, we have been using the same bedtime routine (knowing that it was more practice for us at that point than him). He slept in the bassinet in our room from birth to six months, and was pretty much a champion sleeper. Started sleeping from 9-9 with one nighttime feeding pretty early, solid 2 to 2.5 hour naps (usually two) during the day, and almost never fussed when put to bed. While we do use a paci, we have never needed to rock, pat, etc. to help him sleep. We just went through our feeding, changing, storytime routine, then put him down and walked out and were the envy of all our friends as he fell right asleep. Occasionally he would wake up at night, but we’d put the paci back in before he really got going and he’d go right back to sleep. When he was almost four months, I returned to work and we transitioned to an earlier bedtime of 7pm so he’d get enough sleep, since I have to wake him to leave the house rather early. Around 4 months, he started needing 2-3 feedings at night again instead of just the one. He would also wake up fussy between feedings, and the pop-the-paci-back-in trick no longer worked. Bad sleep for everyone. Naps were still very solid at this point, however. Now at 6+ months, things are continuing to get worse. We moved him to his crib at 6 months. Around the same time we started trying to transition from the swaddle, but he was sleeping so poorly without it, we decided he just wasn’t ready yet and have resumed swaddling. While his daycare provider claims he’s still taking solid naps during the week, on the weekends lately he naps for only 1 to 1.5 hours now instead of his former 2-2.5. Lately, he needs a third nap in the late afternoon because he’s so tired from the shorter naps earlier in the day. We have always taken pains to keep his schedule consistent on weekend days. He’s fighting naps and bedtime. At night, he wakes 2-3 times to eat, but also thrashes and kicks and cries between feedings (usually still with the paci in his mouth) – sometimes wide awake, but often with his eyes still closed. He has also started just lying awake (not fussing) in the crib for long periods of time. We have tried giving him time to fall back asleep on his own, but he never does. So we are up every 45 minutes or so every night taking turns trying to calm him. I know this summary seems all over the place – I am struggling to find patterns in it myself. Any suggestions you can provide would be sincerely appreciated, as we are at our wits’ end. We both work, and this sleep deprivation is affecting every part of our lives and making it very difficult to function.

    • Maybe misery loves company but I found solace in reading your comment! Haha. Has your situation improved? What did you try?

  17. Sleepless in Illinois.l

    So I’ve managed to create a hyper vigilant baby. He is one week shy of 6 months and hates sleeping. He cries when the sleep routine starts. Cries through pajamas, cries when I try to console him, rock him, etc. and of course cries when I put him down in his crib. Where do I start with fixing this!

  18. Hi Alexis,

    I found this article (and the previous one) to be a tad assumptive. I have always put my son down to fall asleep alone, NEVER rocked -okay only a little to get him tired faster but then stopped instantly and haven’t rocked him for months now as he falls asleep fine. Long ago I learnt to stop using sounds and flashing lights (we have a projector bought as a gift) but I realised it actually kept him awake so stopped using it -I’ve learnt that he actually gets irritable when he’s tired and there’s music on/loud sounds. So I’ve done pretty much everything needed but he won’t STAY asleep. Trying hard to go cold turkey with night feeds and worry about leaving him to cry it out as we live in a block of flats and I wonder if the neighbours can hear -then again I put up with their thumping and parties! Anyway some advice for parents like myself who have pretty much nailed it but are still having problems would be great. Thanks.

    • I hear ya. You know what else is assumptive? Critiquing a blogger while also asking for free advice. I’ll tell you what though, am pretty sure that this series (part 3) does in fact address your issue.

      • I just wanted to drop a note saying that this is a great blog and keep up the good work- it’s nice to have positive reinforcement of good momming with these new little ones!

  19. Hi Alexis, just wanted to let you know that this is the first time after reading countless forums on the net. Re baby sleep – you actually make sense!! I have been so confused about sleep mumbo jumbo. I love how you have explained everything in a reader friendly way. A Huge THAnk You to you.

  20. Hi Alexis,

    We are about to sleep train our 8 month old, but I am nervous about the fact that his crib is in our bedroom! He co-sleeps about half the night (primarily because we both fall asleep during side-lying feeds, which happen every 2 hours). I have been putting off sleep training because I just can’t handle the crying (weak-hearted, yes!) and I was worried about disrupting attachment. But it has become very clear that rocking and nursing is just not working anymore. He cries going down no matter what. He is also very close to walking so I know that we need to do this NOW, like yesterday now. So… I think it’s time to put him in the crib and check on him for 10 minute intervals. Do you think it’s okay for us to be sleeping in the same room? Would love any guidance! Thank you in advance!

  21. As you obviously know, sleep is a timeless and constant issue so even though this post was written years ago it is still relevant and much appreciated! i even read most of the comments. I saw somebody with a similar concern in part one, however, I did not see a reply to that comment. I have an almost ten month old boy, pretty big and formula fed due to complications at delivery, my third and most humbling of the sleepers. I have 10 and 12 year old boys who nursed to sleep and slept with me and on me and next to me, but they slept compared to this baby. However,we are all having sleep issues and night waking issues after so many months awake and with a grumpy mama. Even early days, 3 months old, I found myself reading sleep books (which I swore I wouldn’t do this time) and doing a routine and also living with the expectation that I would set him in his crib and he would sleep, and he did, for one week. I don’t even care where he sleeps, I would co-sleep, if he didn’t wake every 30-45 minutes. AND, this is the most humbling, I had admitted I couldn’t do it and paid hard earned money meant for a house remodel, on a sleep trainer who guaranteed it will work in three days and she came and stayed with us for 72 hours,I asked all the questions before because I knew I was a bad sleeper, knew he would cry and then his skin chafes, and knew the sleep plans all books recommend and websites and had paid for one thinking ignorantly it would be different if I paid for it….anyway, what do you do for gradual weaning when you have done the sleep training techniques and they are leaving your baby with bruises from banging into the crib and standing? Also, everyday at least five people say, “that is the happiest baby I have ever seen”! Also, how do you give up two weeks sleep (even though I tried for three weeks two months ago) when you are already zombie tired?
    He weaned to a full bottle of water and no milk90% of the nights and sometimes wakes and falls asleep just being in arms…even sleeping on me he wakes up! He does eat and fall asleep eating and he has always disliked all swings (I bought six of them and returned them) and disliked all car seats! Thank you!

  22. Hi,
    My lo is 5.5 months and falls asleep while I rock him in my arms. I want to start using the swing method to train him and I have a few questions-
    a. Is this a good age to start using this method
    b. I’ve never put him down to sleep in the swing before, so does it make sense to start now?
    c. Do I let him CIO?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Shaina, any update? My baby is almost 4 months, otherwise similar situation – bounce/hold to sleep and unsure whether to introduce swing at night and whether to transfer her to crib once asleep.

  23. we have a 5.5 mo old who falls asleep great with very little crying at night but wakes up a lot during the night and does 45min naps only during the day. he does use the sucker to fall asleep but doesn’t necessarily wake up when he loses it… so on one hand he does know how to fall asleep but then does not do it…any recommendations from you all?

  24. Hi Alexis,

    My daughter just turn 4mo old and we finally got her on a good nap schedulw. She has been on this schedule for about 2 weeks now. Last night she slept from 8pm until 530am, we fed her and ahe went back to sleep until 830. She is now napping again and it is 1015am. I am very happy with her progress, but I have a couple of questions:

    1. She is formula fed and gets drowsy on the bottle. At night we have a routine of bath, feeding, placing her in crib, reading to her and then letting her fuss a little and she falls asleep. I think this system works for self soothing purposes, right?

    2. Nap times are a bit different, it is harder to get her down and I usually end up feeding her while she lays on her back to fall asleep. How do I remedy this? Do I treat it like bed time and feed her, put her down, read to her then let her fuss? Do I try the swing method? Or do I try diluting her bottle?

    Thanks for any advice you have!

  25. Hello,

    My 5.5 [ Almost 6 ] month old is stuck in 4 month regression forever. At least I think it is that. He was a terrible sleeper as a newborn and will only sleep when held. But then he got better around 3 months and started waking up only once a night for a feed and go right back to sleep. Some nights he will wake up twice. But that was it. This lasted for about 1 month and like clock work, he started waking up more [every 1-2 hours] when 4 months hit. Some awful nights he wakes up every 30 minutes. I read up about 4 month regression and decided to wait it out. Now 7 weeks later, nothing has improved. We got I think 2 nights where he slept more than 3 hour stretch once in the night. Rest nights have been multiple wakings. Naps have always been inconsistent and crappy.
    Only good thing is that he falls asleep relatively easy, 5 minutes of rocking at bed time. But then wakes up every 1-2 hours.
    Nap time is another battle. Takes forever to sleep. Fights naps. Sometimes wakes up in 20 minutes from naps. Good naps are 45-60 minutes. Nothing longer.
    He is still swaddled, we have white noise in his room, humidifier, black out curtains, we control temperature.
    I have tried magic Merlin suit and that DID NOT work.
    I want to so some type of sleep training but just too freaking exhausted to stick to any method. We try something and give up at 3:00 am our of sheer exhaustion.
    Part of me just want to wing it and keep doing whatever it takes and hope that it will get better at some point. But at the same time, I am terrified of losing my mind and health if this continues for a long time. I am afraid I will be rocking my 2 year old son every 2 hours and will go crazy.

    • Hello,
      I am going through the exact same thing with my 5 mth old. Except that whenever she wakes up, I feed her and she just goes back to sleep. Given that a few months have passed, could you please let me know if something worked for you. Here am facing this on my own as my husband is currently in another city and can only visit from time to time.
      Please do tell me any tip and am ready to try it. I have already lost a lot of weight and if this goes on I am sure I will not have enough health to take care of my little one.

      • Hi,

        I am interested in how you got things to work for your baby. My daughter is 3 months old and will only sleep in the day in a sling with white noise and bouncing almost continually on a birthing ball. It’s killing my back and sending me insane. I feel like I can’t leave the house either as she won’t nap in any other way. Overnight she co-sleeps and wakes every 2 hours. I have tried putting her down awake and this is met with increasing crying, the swing used to work but now doesn’t do anything for her and when I try to move her away from me overnight she wakes more frequently or sometimes instantly. I don’t know what to do. Please help!! X

  26. Thank you so much for your time and information, I will be referring your blog to my friends!
    I am going to begin your methods with my 9 month old to end a bad habit of Co-sleeping and feeding all night. Just wanted to ask, do I get rid of mobile or leave it in crib without it being on? And do I start weaning her night feeds as I’m sleep training or one at a time? I fear I will be awake all night during the transition if I allow her to feed as she normally would but I did create this problem so if I have to suffer then so be it!

  27. From the start my little man loved his space, so was never one to sleep in arms. Now, at 10 months he is quite the damr , the only difference is that he is standing his ground that he simply doesn’t need a good sleep! He can take 2 45-minute naps a day max and then can wake up 5 times a night! I have always put him down awake and in. Sense we have a little routine in that I keep a night light on on a far wall. He also has a soother which I now he is the root of all evil. He also has a hankering for a bottle when he sales up but won’t for the life of him child it himself. So after venting nicely about my situation here, I think the only thing I want to know is : how DO you ween a 10 month old off his so other that he lives but won’t but back into his mouth himself because why would he when his mammy can!!

  28. The Sleep Lady Shuffle from Good Night Sleep Tight, and the Pick Up Put Down method from The Baby Whisperer are both in – between methods of sleep training. Pantley’s method was quite ineffectual for us, and I wasnt willing to do CIO, so I checked out every sleep book from the library. The Sleep Lady Shuffle worked wonderfully. It takes “baby steps”, far more aggressively than Pantley but without simply leaving the room like CIO.

  29. Hi I love the article and makes a lot of sense. It helps to know I’m not the only one.
    My daughter is almost 9 months and being a bad sleeper for the past 2. She is waking up almost every 3 hrs at nigh to eat for at least 10 minutes every time. She falls asleep while nursing to wake up crying anot 1 hr later (know I get why)
    So my question is how do we get her to fall asleep on her own? Because it is part of her routine for bedtime, first a bath and then nurse to sleep, and that work like a charm until 6 months. I have tried giving her formula instead of nursing in the hope that helps but is the same.
    And if I do succeed at get her to sleep on her own, then I start on wean the night feeds?

    Thanks in advance for any advice or comment

  30. HELP!!

    My daughter hasn’t slept more than 5 hours straight.. EVER. She’s 8.5 months. I feel like I’m doing all of the things everyone recommends, but clearly something isn’t right. This was my night…

    6:30 bath, lotion, jammies
    7:00 nurse, books
    7:30 bed… sang 1 song, laid down awake, rolled over, fussed 1 min, asleep.

    (8:00 put my other daughter (2.5 years) down in the same room, sang to her and she was asleep by 8:30)

    10:30 awake- nursed (purposely shortened time than usual) put back to bed semi awake
    12:30 awake- let cry 5-10, nursed (purposely shortened time than usual) put back to bed semi awake
    2:30 awake- let cry 10, went in picked up to calm for 2 min, put down awake, left room fussed 2 min, asleep
    3:00 awake- nursed (purposely shortened time than usual) put back to bed semi awake
    4:00 awake- let cry 10-15, tried calming, put down awake, left room fussed 5 min, asleep (oldest came in to sleep in our bed— NEVER happens)
    5:00 awake- nursed, but she wasn’t interested, put back to bed semi awake
    6:00 awake- awake for the day.. (( LORD HELP ME))

    So I had gotten it down to 2 night feedings (12/3). I don’t know where we went wrong… she’s been on this schedule or one similar to that now for 3 weeks?? Since my daughters room share, I have found it hard to let her CIO. Even when my oldest sleeps elsewhere, it doesn’t help as our house is super tiny. What to do?!?

    • We are having the same problem! Mine is 6 mo & I am anxiously waiting for an email back!

      • I’ve found the fb group helpful. Also, per suggestions, leave 30 minutes between nursing and sleeping. Put baby to bed awake and CIO from bedtime to midnight. It’s really helped this last week. Back to our normal 12/3 feedings at night and she’s now napping an hour for her first nap AND going to bed earlier at 7pm.

  31. Hi there, my baby is 3.5 months and I want to teach him how to fall asleep on his own while it is still relatively easy. Is the swing sleep training just for daytime naps until they learn how to fall asleep unaided or is it ok to leave your baby in the swing all night?? I don’t actually have a swing yet but I’m considering buying one after reading your advice. However, every one I look at specifically states that it is not intended for long periods of sleep – is this just the manufacturer covering themselves or is it a bad idea to use it overnight? Will the principle still work if you only do it during the day and stick to your normal night time routine? Thanks in advance for any advice you have!

  32. I love the swing approach; however, my 5mo is already over 20 lbs and very close to the weight limit on his swing. We do currently use the swing for naps, after I’ve already rocked him to sleep, but even at the highest motion setting, it barely moves, because of his weight. Do I have to move straight to CIO or is there something else I can try? Thanks!

  33. Hi! Thanks so much for this post, just had a question to clarify. My 3- month old daughter is rocked to sleep and is very picky about the motion that puts her to sleep. She’s fallen asleep in her swing only once and other than that she has to be rocked in my arms to fall asleep. Aside from having to be rocked to sleep, nightime is great usually sleeps for 8-11 hours after night routine of bath, feed, songs etc, however daytime naps are another story. Even if I rock her to sleep, she’ll only sleep up to 40 min max. Today, I tried the “pick up/put down” method where I’d rock her to near sleep and put her down drowsy and this turned into a three hour fiasco until she finally passed out (with rocking of course.) How can I help her nap for longer periods? Do I wean off the rocking to help her learn to self soothe? Or do I just continue since somehow she’s able to sleep at night? I assume since she doesnt wake up at night she must somehow self soothe since I thought babies do go through several sleep cycles. OR are several 40 min daytimenaps enough? Total sleep for 24 hour period is usually around 13-14 hours. Thanks in advance!!

  34. So I may have bought a baby swing while the baby was crying and refusing to go to bed (the dangers of Amazon prime) to try out the swing method. But – I put him in when he’s looking sleepy and it’s time for a nap (so normally when I would tart bouncing / feeding him to sleep) and then he just sits there. He likes it, he finds it fun but he definitely doesn’t view it as somewhere to sleep in. Am I doing it wrong? What I have bébé managing to do is get him to sleep via the usual methods (including walking around with him in a sling) and then putting him in his bed asleep. This is progress! He used to wake up every time i tried it. He’s just coming up to five months

  35. Hi Alexis,

    HELP ME!!! My daughter is 5 months old from 8 weeks to 18 weeks she consistently slept from about 7:30-5:30. Occasionally she would wake up earlier or in the middle of the night to feed and go back to sleep without issue. The moment she hit 4 months old all hell broke lose. She had to stop being swaddled because she started rolling over, she fought going to sleep, she wakes up at least 2 times each night to feed. We got a dock a tot because she would roll onto her stomach and get angry and would not roll back to her back, this seemed to help some but has quickly worn off. She has slept in her crib almost every night since she was 3-4 weeks old. We do however have to break her if nursing to sleep… She also is a crap nap taker but I am unsure how to address this since she is in daycare 5 days a week…

    My plan is to slowly work towards not nursing to sleep. Our current bedtime routine is a bath and then my fiancé reads to her as she nurses and then I lay her down. My plan is so nurse her, bath and then read and rock, slowly removing the rocking. My fear is that because she doesn’t nap well we are basically just doomed. I also am a low supplier so I fear she is not going to get full enough to stay asleep? Basically I’m just screaming for help and suggestions about how on earth to help break her of needing me to help her fall asleep before moving to full on CIO since I believe she is too young for that measure. I’ve also considered taking several days off work so that I can fully commit to weaning her of nursing to sleep without the fear of being so sleep deprived that I can’t function at work.

    It also has been a suggestion to me that this is just the dreaded 4 month sleep regression so not to start any type of training or changes until it’s “over” but we are going on 1 month and I just don’t know when or how to know when it’s “over”.

    So basically HELP… PLEASE.

  36. Hi Alexis and friends,

    I love your podcasts and have spent considerable time reading your blog posts. I’m awaiting approval into the Facebook group so for now I’ll try my luck here.

    I have a 7.5 month old son who is waking every hour because he can’t fall asleep on his own. He has a 7:30 fixed bedtime, he nurses to sleep initially and at each awakening. For a number of reasons I think we are ready for CIO. But I have a few questions:

    1) Is CIO working if he is crying so hard that he is gagging and coughing? Does this seem extreme? How many minutes of this is a sign that we should try a different technique or reapproach later?

    2) if we do CIO for bedtime, but then try to systematically reduce nursing times at night awakenings, isn’t that confusing for baby?

    3) So then which comes first, night weaning or learning to fall asleep at bedtime on his own?

    Thank you!

  37. Hi Alexis,
    thanks for all the information. I have a 4 month old, he can fall asleep in the crib on his own but almost always has to cry for 1-2minutes/whimper and needs the pacifier. while he dropped all his night time feedings, I had to get up to reinsert his pacifier multiple times in the night as he would wake up crying. Any more advice on weaning from the pacifier (I did read your article), I let him cry and fall asleep without out a few times and I was happy and assuming we are done with the pacififer, until last night he woke up screaming again for it and wouldn’t sleep no matter bhow much I rocked him, put him in a swing, gave him his lovey etc. and slept 2 hours later when I gave up and reinserted the pacifier. any advice would be appreciated, thanks

    • For the few nights that your son cried but eventually fell asleep without the pacifier, for how long did he cry before falling asleep? And was it full on screaming/crying with tears? I’ve been wanting to get rid of the pacifier for my 8 month old but the few times I’ve let him really cry he got more and more worked up so I gave in and gave him the pacifier.

      Did your son end up going back to needing the pacifier after the two hour scream fest?

  38. Hi Alexis

    Thank you for your 3 part article, it has been very helpful on setting us on the right path. I have an 8 month old baby girl who has been a great night sleeper for the most part since birth. She wakes for 1-2 feeds and usually gets herself off to sleep in her cot provided she is drowsy. Our problem is through the day though! She refuses to take a bottle and we have never used a dummy so unfortunately she seems to be using me as a human pacifier. She will not sleep for me during the day unless she is fed til she is almost asleep or asleep and then is happily transferred into her cot. However somedays she just wants to feed all day … Like I am talking 3+ hours over a 24 hour period. Is this normal? How can I stop it? Any advice you can offer is appreciated

  39. Hi there. I have a son that is turning 7 months tomorrow. I have always tried to keep him on a strict schedule. After I went back to work it was a little less in my control but the sitter was/is doing pretty good. Here lately his naps seems to be getting a bit shorter and he is waking every night like clock work. Generally around 3-4. We usually feed him cereal and veggies around 7 followed by bath then bedroom to get bottle. My biggest mistake is I rock him to sleep. I have tried putting him down awake which went ok. Here lately he pretty much fell asleep while eating. So I know I need to work on that. He isn’t eating when he wakes. Sometimes I can soothe him without picking him up and other times I need to rock him. The doctor said to let him cio. Can you please help. Any suggestions are welcomed!

  40. Hello. My son is 8 months old and is puzzling me. From months 1-4 we would put him down at night alone in his crib and he would talk himself to sleep without any assistance. Naps required rocking/bouncing, but he always fell asleep on his own in his crib without me in the room. At 4 months it got harder and he started wanting the pacifier. I wish we never started giving it to him, because over time he’s gotten to the point where it’s rare for him to fall asleep in his crib without it. He’s with a nanny share during the week and he doesn’t use the pacifier at all there, but with me, I can only get him to fall asleep without it for the first nap of the day.
    For night time, if it falls out in the first few hours of sleep sometimes he needs me to put it back, other times he doesn’t. If he cries before my bed time I’ll go in and nurse him and he goes back down without the pacifier. He gets me up 1-2 times a night still, sleeping anywhere from 3-6 hours in between. In the middle of the night I’ll nurse him, change his diaper, then put him back in the crib so he’s not completely asleep when put down and it takes him a few minutes to fall back asleep and I am out of the room by then.
    I really want to get rid of the pacifier since I know he doesn’t actually need it for sleeping, but the last time I tried to let him cry I broke down because he got himself so worked up. He was also in the middle of a nasty teething episode so it seemed a really bad time to let him cry. You say gradual doesn’t work with pacifier weaning, does that mean I’m stuck with letting him cry it out until he’s kicked it? Any advice on how to do it with the least amount of stress to either of us?

  41. For the swing method, I understand using it for naps. I’m confused about bed time and night wakings. Would I swing baby in his room and leave him in his swing all night or transfer him to his crib? What about when he wakes up after that (for one of his many, many, nursing demands), would I nurse still until the putting to bed part breaks him of the habit?

  42. My baby slept through the night from months 1-3 and then was up 4+times a night- not necessarily to eat (breast fed). Around that time he got a cold and an ear infection and for the last 5 weeks has had a cold on and off. He can fall asleep on his own and is a thumb sucker but still needs us all night long to fall back asleep. He’s in his own room, white noise, unswaddled (rolls now). Any suggestions. I’ve started reverting back to feeding him because it’s faster. Both me and my husband work full time with 60 min commutes and a 2 year old. We are exhausted and don’t see an end in sight. First baby slept so well and we did cio during regressions but this baby is still too young I think???? Thank you!

  43. Hi! We have an 11 month old baby who has slept through the night (11 hours no wakings/feedings) once since he was born. He naps great (1.5-2 hours twice a day in his crib, falls asleep on his own). We have a bedtime routine and he falls asleep on his own in his own crib in his own room after we leave the room. He is no longer fed during the night. He sleeps with a paci and lovey. He wakes up 2-3 times a night, and usually the last waking around 3 or 4am includes 1-2 hours of him just being awake. He will lie in his crib quietly with eyes open while we are there, but screams the second we walk away from the crib, which is unlike what he does at naptime or bedtime. Is there anything left for us to do besides cry it out?

  44. So what do you do when laying baby down awake simply isn’t happening. Despite swing, swaddle, dark room, white noise, varsity swing technique, and baby still isn’t having it. I feel as if there is only two ends of the spectrum here: put baby down asleep or put down awake (even if very drowsy) and get immediate crying. My boy is 12 weeks, so no object permanence yet. Am I missing something?

    • Nope that’s pretty typical. Baby is either 100% asleep or PISSED AT YOU! Achieving “drowsy but awake” is HARD.

      If you’re using ALL the great soothing (and it sounds like you are) I might allow the immediate crying to happen. Walk out the door, wait 20 minutes, see what happens. He’s 12 weeks which is a great time to push a little on this.

      If that gets you nowhere another option to try is to put him 100% asleep, strap him into the swing, THEN wake him up slightly, THEN turn swing on and walk out.

      There may be no option that is zero tears but if you can nudge a little you might find that you’re only a few weeks away from “put awake in swing, walk out” and from THERE it’s just a hop skip and a jump to the crib.

  45. Hello :o)
    I’m new to this website and so far have found all articles excellent, thank you!!!
    I have a question about the swing method….my little boy is 4 1/2 months. He is bottle fed and our routine is 5:30pm bath, then feed and bed by 7pm. We then wake him at 10pm for a feed and he is back in his cot by 11pm. About 7 or so weeks ago he gradually dropped the 3am feed and was sleeping well from 11pm to 6 or 7am, but in the last few weeks he has gone back to waking at least 4 times from 3am onwards, often not going back to sleep after 5am. We rock him to sleep and use a dummy. You advise to leave the swing next to the cot for a few days, does this mean leaving him in the swing to sleep all night? And if after a week or so if the swing method is working, what should we do instead of using the swing or rocking him to sleep? I can’t imagine him being ok with just putting him in the cot fully awake….sorry for the long post. Advice would be much appreciated!!!!


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