sleepless nights : isabella (1 year)

sleepless nights are one of those things that everybody hates!!  the only thing worse than being disturbed in the night is being disturbed night after night, after night!  the type of exhaustion that your body reaches is totally indescribable.  it is so hard to live day to day and function when you feel this way.  the feeling is easily described as a constant hangover! the unfortunate part is there is no alcohol involved! 

i often find clients of mine standing at the edge of the cliff once they’ve reached the 1 year mark and still aren’t getting proper sleep.  your body simply cannot handle this type sleep deprivation and over time you will find it is bad for your health and overall well-being.  i thrive on helping others feel better and fight that so called 24/7 hangover!

my next sleep client, erika, has a 1 year old daughter, isabella.  she contacted me in desperate need of needing to get isabella back on a proper sleep schedule.  you will see from her email below that she was sleep trained around 9 weeks, by a sleep doula they had contacted.  unfortunately, isabella’s sleep train had strayed from the track and needed to get back on. 

“Hi Tia,

 My daughter, Isabella, will be turning a year old tomorrow.  Isabella is currently struggling with staying asleep for her nap.  She dropped her morning nap recently (although sometimes she’ll catnap at around 9:00 am-ish for 20-30 mins if she’s in her stroller or we’re driving somewhere) and takes her afternoon nap at 12:15-ish.

 Here’s the problem with naps:  (1) she should be napping for 1.5-2 hrs (any less than that and she is really cranky and really tired for the rest of the day) and she generally wakes up after 45 mins or an hour and I have to rock her back to sleep (and sometimes if I put her back in her crib sleeping, she’ll wake up and cry and I have to start rocking her again).

(2)  she needs a bottle at nap time; she is used to this and I’d like to be able to put her in crib for her nap when she is tired without a bottle.

 Here’s the problem with overnight sleep:  (1) Isabella goes to bed at 8:00 pm (with a bottle) and generally sleeps through the night.  However, if she wakes up in the middle of the night, we pick her up and rock her to sleep.  Sometimes, she’ll fuss/cry a little and will drift off to sleep on her own in a minute to two; when she is full-out crying, that’s when we go in to soothe and rock her back to sleep.

(2) Isabella used to wake up at 7:00 am, which was fantastic!  However, in the last month or so, she’s been waking up at 5:40-ish am.  I think this is too early for her to waking up and just don’t know how to get her to sleep the 11 hrs at night she was sleeping before.

 A bit of background…when Isabella was 9 wks old, we consulted with a sleep doula, who helped us get her on a schedule and got her sleeping through the night solidly very quickly.  While I’m really grateful for her help, I feel I need a different approach with Isabella’s current nap/sleep patterns.  Another thing to note is that she started daycare part-time at the beginning of this month; she typically naps for 45 mins there (I think she slept 1.5 hrs there only twice) and I think that’s because she is still getting used to her surroundings there.

 So, here are my main concerns…getting Isabella to fall asleep without a bottle, teaching Isabella to learn to self-soothe, nap longer and getting Isabella to sleep until 7:00 am-ish.

 This mama needs help!”

i sent erika a detailed sleep plan that i put together for her situation.  in her plan i assured her that isabella could definitely go to sleep without a bottle, learn to self-soothe, nap longer, and sleep later!   i had total confidence that we would check off all of erika’s wish list for isabella in the near future!  the sleep plan i create and write is in a clear and easy to follow format to help relieve some of the stress that goes along with sleep training.  no matter, what the sleep situation is, it is never an easy thing to sleep train your little one.  therefore, all the support and comfort YOU can get along the way, will help YOU remain consistent and committed, which therefore will have YOU and your child sleeping sooner than later!  if you need that extra push, along with comfort and support, it is just a click “request a sleep consult” away!  don’t waste another day walking around with a sleep hangover! 


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  1. Hi, Tia! You're a busy lady helping everyone get their kids to sleep and that's a very worthwhile thing to be doing. just a little comment about this recent article: babies shouldn't be put to bed with a bottle for a number of reasons. it may surprise you, and it surprised me, to know that Sarah almost lost here little teeth surgically because of dental caries when she was small – she had a habit of walking around the house with her bottle and when i tried to wean her, she was drinking undiluted apple juice in it, and between the two things her teeth were damaged. She has beautiul teeth, as you may know, but it is not a nice problem to have and can be very traumatic and expensive. The teeth were saved with topical fluoride treatments, but I just felt sick about it – and still do today. If you google "risks of babies sleeping with bottles" you'll find out more. Just thought you might want to know this.

  2. hi donna,
    thank you for taking the time to read my blog and comment! everyone's thoughts and opinions are very important to me. that being said, i totally know about the negatives to bottles, which is why hudson never had a bottle past 1 year and why i advise my clients on strategies to get rid of the bottle by 1 year. the main reason i advise to stop a bedtime bottle, is in order to sleep train you need to disassociate sleep with feeding, in order to stop them from falling asleep during feeds and/or using feeding as a soothing mechanism. my client in this blog post meant that her daughter was having a bottle of formula before her sleeps. this was her baby's feed time and she was not taking the bottle into her crib to soothe. this client isn't doing anything wrong in regards to the bottle as she isn't giving juice in the bottle which will harm her baby's teeth and she isn't putting the bottle in the crib with her daughter. through her sleep training i have suggested to her that she needs to bottle feed before sleep time in order to properly sleep train. also since this post isabella is fully sleep trained and is already working towards getting rid of the bottle all together!!
    thanks again for commenting!

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