Sleep Training Baby

6-month old baby is not sleeping bedtime routine how to sleep train naps sleep training May 12, 2024

For weary parents, the words "sleep training" can feel like a magic bullet. Visions of blissful nights filled with uninterrupted slumber dance in their heads. But what if I told you sleep training is about more than just getting your baby to fall asleep on their own?

Summer, a sleep consultant, knows this secret all too well. When she dives into a sleep case, she doesn't just look at bedtime routines. She examines the entire family dynamic. Here's why:

  • The Full Picture: Does your baby have a good wake window before naps? Are they exhausted, even if it hasn't been the magical 1.5 hours since their last nap? Parents can get fixated on the lack of sleep, missing out on precious moments of watching their little one grow.
  • Play is Key: Science tells us that playing before naps is crucial for development. A child who engages in active play before drifting off is more likely to remember the game after waking. Think of it as giving their brain a workout before sleep!
  • 24-Hour Approach: True sleep training isn't about a quick fix at bedtime. It's about optimizing your entire 24-hour routine. This means creating a predictable schedule that considers playtime, wake windows, and of course, sleep.

The Power of Play

We mentioned play before naps, but playtime is essential every day! It's how babies learn about the world around them, develop physically and mentally, and burn off energy before sleep. So ditch the screens and get down on the floor with your little one. Build blocks, sing songs, or chase each other around the house.

Food for Thought

Food is another factor that can impact sleep, but it's not about stuffing your baby. Contrary to popular belief, a full tummy doesn't always equal a sleepy baby. Follow your baby's cues and offer them what they want to eat.

Here's an example: Summer has a 6-month-old client who weighs 13 lbs and happily sleeps for 9 hours straight at night after consuming just 24oz a day. This means one feeding in the night, and the parents are thrilled!

On the flip side, Summer also works with a 7-month-old who guzzles 36oz a day and sleeps 10-12 hours a night but needs two naps during the day. Missing a nap for this little guy means a 1 am wake-up call.

The point is that every baby is different. Their appetites and sleep patterns will vary.

Wake-Up Calls: Normal and Navigable

Let's address those nighttime wake-ups. They are normal! This is where Summer's Stop and Pause approach comes in. The goal is to give your baby a chance to fall back asleep on their own before rushing in.

Success comes in small victories. If a parent can offer 3oz of milk and their baby drifts back to sleep, that's a win! We need to train parents to have realistic expectations for sleep, not just for their babies but also for themselves. Adults wake up at night to use the restroom and then fall back asleep, right? Our children are no different.

By taking a holistic approach to sleep training, you can create a routine that benefits your entire family. Remember, it's about teaching healthy sleep habits, not forced slumber. With a little play, some common-sense feeding practices, and a Stop and Pause approach to nighttime wake-ups, you can create a sleep plan that fosters well-rested babies and happy parents.

To learn more, you can book a call with Summer or her team at

Summer and Team