The first thing to determine before you plan your sleep strategy is: Does your baby really have a sleep problem?

If your baby sleeps eight hours a night (say, from 9pm to 5am) and naps three hours a day, that may be as good as it gets. Not every baby is going to sleep 10 hours straight, or fall asleep and awaken when you want.

If you think your little one has a sleep problem, your next step is to gather some clues.

In general, I am not a fan of using a baby log and sleep tracker. If a feeding happens an hour early or a nap an hour late that day, no big deal. But unless you keep a log of baby sleep, it is hard to remember how long your infant slept, how often he awakened, and what it took to help him back to sleep.

 

A daily baby sleep tracker also allows you to share your concerns with your healthcare provider and will help you keep track of your progress as you work to resolve the problem.

So before toying around with bedtime changes, take a few days to notice if your little one is overtired before you put him down (wired and irritable or yawning and bleary-eyed) or wide-awake (happy and playful).

How can I track my baby sleep?

Jot down the times you see early signs of fatigue. Also, take a week to carefully record your infant’s key sleep events:

  • Naps (time and duration)
  • Length of bedtime routine (including the details of the routine)
  • Time and duration of night awakenings (also list your response)
  • Time of morning awakening

And, while you are at it, mark down the other big events of the day, like meals, crying jags, and poos.

Your baby log should help you see why your baby is having trouble nodding off. The four top reasons to consider are over-excitement before bedtime, something is bugging her, you are using the wrong bedtime cues or you picked the wrong bedtime.

 

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider. Breastmilk is the best source of nutrition for babies. It is important that, in preparation for and during breastfeeding, mothers eat a healthy, balanced diet. Combined breast- and bottle-feeding in the first weeks of life may reduce the supply of a mother's breastmilk and reversing the decision not to breastfeed is difficult. If you do decide to use infant formula, you should follow instructions carefully.