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FAQ: Children and Sleeping

The overwhelming majority of questions I get from my Ask Dr. Pip page relate to sleep. Parents of newborns, older infants, and toddlers constantly struggle with a number of different issues. Their 10-month old may start waking up again in the middle of the night after seven months. Or, their toddler keeps climbing out of their crib and refuses to go to sleep.

Most of these questions don’t require an entire article to answer. In fact, I can usually answer them in one or two sentences. So, this is a list of all the questions I receive on a frequent basis. Short answers are included on this page, just under the question. For questions with a longer response, I link to the relevant blog post.

I’ll keep this FAQ page updated as new questions come in. If you don’t find the answer to your question here, feel free to submit it through the form at the bottom of the page.

Click on the questions below to read my answers!

If she’s sleeping that long already, you’re in great shape. I would just give a small snack at 3:30 so the 6:30 feeding will be a good one!

I strongly advise keeping her in a crib until she is 3 years old. Kids under 3 don’t tend to stay in bed – they come in your room all night long!
For now, I suggest buying an inexpensive crib for your older child. You could try Craig’s List, Facebook marketplace, etc.
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Unfortunately, you may be being a little too nice! Try doing more than tickling her. Try changing her diaper, swaddling her, and burping her. She should really be aroused. It is okay if she is not completely awake, you just don’t want her in a deep sleep. Sometimes, if the lights are on too bright, they won’t open their eyes. I you turn the lights down, she might open them then.

Colic is more like crying all the time – daytime and nighttime – and not just the stretch at night that you are describing.
I recommend looking at her daytime activity to see if that’s impacting her nighttime sleep. Specifically: Are you keeping her awake for 2 hours prior to bedtime? Limiting the daytime naps? And most importantly, are you able to put her to bed with her eyes open?
After addressing all that, hopefully she will start sleeping at 7:00 pm. Once that starts, I am okay with offering her a feeding prior to 1:00 am if she is awake. However, once she is 10 pounds, I don’t wake the children anymore. I let them sleep as long as they want to sleep.

That’s wonderful news! I’m so happy for you.

My recommendation is to give him a small snack at 5a when he wakes up. That would be 1 oz or so–the minimum amount to get him to go back to sleep.

This 5a wake up will go away soon, once he is closer to 12 pounds or so.

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