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Baby and toddler sleep webchat with Jo Tantum, Wednesday 22nd February, 12-1pm

Prima Baby Magazine's hugely experienced sleep expert, Jo Tantum will be here to answer your questions for an hour from 12-1pm on Wednesday 22nd February.

If you are having problems getting your child to sleep through the night leave your query below, and Jo will endeavour to answer as many questions as possible.

Don't worry if you can't make that time or date - you can start leaving your posts now.

And don't forget, Jo will be talking about baby and toddler sleep at The London ExCeL Baby Show, 24-26 February. For more information and to get your ticket, visit


  • Hi Jo. My son is 5 months old. He is exclusively breastfed. He has a good bedtime routine and is happy to go to bed between 6 and 7pm. Sometimes we can get perhaps 7 hours out of him but more often he wakes between 10 and 11, 2ish then 5.30ish. I normally wait a while to see if he' ll go back to sleep, but more often than not have to get up and feed him, then he falls straight back to sleep, so i'm not usually up for longer than 15 minutes. He normally wakes in the morning between 6 and 6.30 but is happy just chatting away in his cot until I get him up between 7 and 7.30. During the day he can still only manage about an hour and a half awake time before he needs a nap, and he's normally good at going down for a nap but he will only sleep for half an hour in his cot. If he has a snuggly sleep with me he will sleep for a couple of hours, but we don't make a habit of this! Sometimes after his half hour sleep he wakes crying which makes me think he's still tired but he won't go back to sleep. I don't actually mind too much getting up with him, but I do worry that he's not getting enough good quality sleep, he definately doesn't get the 15-16 hours i've read he should be having.
  • hi jo,

    my little boy is 10 weeks old so i know he is still very young. he has started to sleep for much longer at night around 8hrs however this is from 7.30pm to 3.30am. we have a good routine in that he has a bath with his sister at around 7pm then into his sleeping bag and a bottle upstairs. he will go straight off to sleep and will not stir until around 3am. wondering how to get him to sleep his 8 hrs at a more sociable time and therefore not waking in the night.

    also when he goes to bed at night he is fantastic and goes into his basket awake but sleepy and will settle himself straight away and through the night when he wakes for a feed. however, during the day he cannot settle himself to sleep in his basket or cot. he will drop off to sleep in his swing, bouncy chair or in the car. he is amazing at night but finds it impossible in the day. i use the same blankets etc but nothing seems to work. on the positive side he rarely if ever needs to be cuddled to sleep. any ideas please.

    thank you in advance

  • Hello Jo

    My son is 26 weeks and has always slept in one good stretch from 7pm to around 2am then down again until around 6am. The introduction of food and bottles in recent weeks has not made the slightest difference to his sleep, in fact I think in the last few days it have made things worse with him waking up at 11 pm for a full feed and then again at 2am and 6ish. Clearly a dream feed wouldn't make a difference here!

    When he wakes that is it. Feed me or I will yell at you until dawn.

    I have an older child who never slept and still doesn't so I would like some tips and some hope that this one will be different! When do they drop the middle of the night feed?

    Thanks in advance, Claire
  • Hi

    My son is 5 months old and breast fed. He has 10-20 minute naps through the day every couple of hours.

    He wakes through the night every couple of hours. He wont sleep in his cot, he only sleeps in bed with me. Im exhausted not getting any decent sleep.

    I tried giving him porridge to fill him incase my milk isnt but it hasnt made a difference. I need to sleep, why doesnt he sleep more than two hours? I have two other children that were bottlefed and I never had this problem.

    Also I have tried to give him a bottle and cup but he refuses to use them. He also refuses a dummy.

    He cant settle himself to sleep, I have to push him in the buggy round my kitchen or feed him to sleep but as soon as I lay him down he wakes up.

    Im not enjoying him at all, its constant stress.

  • Hi Everyone,

    I am here to answer all the questions you may have a bout your baby especially sleep! So post your questions and I will endevour to answer them all!

    Love Jo x image
  • Hi Jo, I have been following the routines in your book (3 & now 4) for 4 weeks now and have nearly cracked the night time feeds etc. My issue is that my baby doesn't nap for anywhere near the stated times in jthe routine & I get myself in a bit of a flap whenever we don't hit them on time (or within 15 minutes).

    He really resists naps but when he does have them, it's always in his cot. If I held him, he would sleep for hours but only manges a short time, max 40 minutes in his cot.

    What can I do? Also, will the lack of these naps impact on us being able to get him sleeping through the night?

    He has a white noise (heartbeat) sound machine in his room & a blackout blind.

    Current bedtime routine is feed at 7, 11 dream feed, around 3am feed and mostly ( soothed) until 7am.

    Thanks so much
  • Hi Tigerlily13uk,

    You sound as though you need some sleep! Your right he should be tired after about 1 1/2 - 3/4 hours at 5 months old. Teaching him how to sleep without a feed should start in the daytime. When he wakes from his nap early leave him for 5 minutesand see if he settles himself listen for quiet gaps and sleep noises then go in place your hand on his chest and say ssshh for 2-3 minutes then leave. Wait 5 mins and if he doesnt settle then go in and tell him how good he is, lots of tickles and smiles before rescuing him from the cot. Do this at night as well, stretching him by 15 minutes every few nights.

    Thanks Jo x
  • Hi Kar1234uk,

    It is great that your baby is sleeping so well! But your right it needs to be when you are having your long sleep.

    This is where the dream feed comes in , and the reason for it. All babies only can do one long stretch of sleep per 24 hours so waking them at 11pm ,feeding them will mean the long sleep will be between 11pm and 7am. Be consistent with this as it may take upto 5 days for your baby to stop waking at 3am as he has set his internal alarm clock.

    As for the days, he needs blackout and naps to be in his room so that he is de stimulated.Swaddle him in a ligh breathable material and let him have a nap every 1 hour 15 minutes. Dont worry after 7 dyas of teaching him how to sleep in the day you can have naps out but still wrap and use a snoozeshade blackout for his pram.

    Good luck!

    Jo x
  • Hi Clairebarrs,

    Actually a dream feed would help here, he has set his internal alarm for 2am and 6am if he has a dream feed this will stop you feeding him as you know he has only been fed at 11pm. At 6 months he can sleep all night from 7-7 ,making sure he can put himself to sleep during the day is the first key. In his cot with blackout and something that plays waves or white noise.Ewan dream sheep , Lullaby nature player or a homedics system will also help as a trigger for sleep, day and night.

    When he wakes in the night after the dream feed set a basetime that you will feed him and not before. Then push that time by 15 minutes every few days. He will soon stop waking and reset his internal alarm. This will take 7-10 days , you have to be consistent. You can use a dummy to stretch the feed, using as a tool at this time so he isnt distressed and also not having a feed is okay.But only use it at this time.

    Good Luck ,it really does work!

    Jo x
  • Hello Jo

    Thank you for your advice. It wil take courage to wake him as I'd hate it to become an additional wake time! His day naps are super short too, sometimes only 20 mins and up to an hour usually in the pram on the school run which is sadly unavoidable. Any tips for a long nap in the pram or cot? How many naps should he be having at his age?

    Thanks, Claire
  • Hi Tammybee,

    Dont worry you can fix this, twinkletog does an all in one suit that is quilted with legs , so she can feel free but wont get cold. Cot bumpers tucked doen the side about 3 inches will also make it cosy.

    Start at the daytime naps , give her something to hold in her cot, take her shopping so she can feel the teddies etc. I can suggest Ewan dream sheep as she can hold him but also he plays waves that she can switch on herself.

    Settling her in her cot, and say you will be back to check on her in 5 minutes. Do this if she is still upset lie her down and stroke her and pat her, but only for 2-3 minutes ,then leave the room for 5 minutes. If there are quiet gaps or sleep noises, mmm , arrr arrrr. Then leave her longer.

    Keep a log of this , and how many times you go in, so that you can see progress. Using a sticker each time she does well can also help, lots of praise before she gets out of her cot too.

    Be consistent and follow this for 7-10 days .

    Best of luck !

    Jo x
  • Hi tracymarie79,

    I bet your both exhausted! It really does sound like he is overtired which means that he will be waking constantly a he never goes into a deep sleep. At 5 months he is going to be tired every 1 1/2 - 3/4 not 2 hours, so he is already overtired when he is put down for a nap. Take him up to his room when there are tired signs yawning, rubbing his eyes ears, grizzling. Then put him in his sleeping bag, make sure you have blackout, get something that plays waves or white noise so he will be relaxed. Cuddle him in the dark room for a few minutes then put him in his cot.Also giving a muslin square knotted in half as a comforter will also help. Leave the room for 5 minutes , listening for quiet gaps or sleep noises.mmm /aaarr arrr. Then if he is upset go in ,pat his shoulder firmly , sayong shh shhh in time with the patting, cloes your eyse too. Fast patting then slow down as he starts to calm.

    Do this for 2-3 mins , but the firts time you can do this for 5 mins until he has closed his eyes.

    When he wakes- dont wake him , he needs to catch up and have a sleepfest. Then make a fuss, and mak ehim smile , laugh whilst he is still in his cot. Continue this for all naps and in the night where you will wait for upto 10 mins .

    Keep at it for 7-10 days and he will be sleeping better.

    Jo x
  • Hi Anniecramp1,

    You dont state how old your baby is.The guidleines in Bbay Secrets are guidleines as no baby is the same, although naturally they still follow patterns at certain ages. If you are struggling with the sleep times. Use the times as a guidleine and watch for your baby's tired signs as well, staring into space, short sharp cry, rubbing eyes and ears then write that time down, and soon you will see when he is tired, and you have created a personal routine for him , which is what Bbay secrets is all about.

    For a guideline- 0-8 weeks - naps every 1 hour. 8wks- 3 months- 1 hour 15 mins , 3months - 1 1/2 hours , 6 months - 2 hours.

    Hope this helps

    Best Wishes

    Jo x
  • Hi, thank you. what about the feeding? do i need to be waking him and feeding him at 11pm?

    he feeds very quickly, about 5 minutes every 2-3 hours. doesnt feel enough, thought he might be waking because hes hungry too.

    i will try your advice image
  • apologies for typos but currently trying to space sooth my 7 week old without waking my toddler! Bought your book last week and really like it, very similar to baby whisperer but makes more sense! I am doing the 3 hour routine and it is sort of working well - bed at 7, dreamfeed at 11 and he is currently waking at 4-4.30 then i wake him at 7. Just struggling a little to do this with toddler as well as i am - so any tips on extending naps without making too much noise! or how to deal with the toddler as well. Also it mentioned in your book about a chart for how much milk they should have but i can find the chart or have i misread?? this is possible as the fact i have read anything is pretty impressive at the moment with a lively toddler and a reflux baby (routine really helped reflux btw. I have a million more thngs i could ask but Sammy (7 weeks) is getting pretty loud now! Love your book though , thery say there isnt a manuel for babies but this comes close!
  • Hi Natalie_hardie,

    Have you tried increasing his daytime bottles to 8 oz , then offering 6 oz at the dream feed?

    This can then move to 10.30pm for a week, and 5oz when he is sleeping 5 nights out of 7 from 11-7.Then 4oz , at 10pm for a week.

    Can he self settle in the daytime?

    Hope that helps!

    Best Wishes

    Jo x
  • Hi clairebarrs,

    I know it is scarey , but it does work! Encourage the daytime nap[s to be longer by leaving him for 5 minutes , then soothing then leaving for 5 minutes then going in and making a fuss. This way he will soon realise nothing happens when he has a short nap.

    He should be having an hour in the morning , 2 hours at lunch and a short 3o mins if needed around 4.30/5 pm.

    Hope this helps .

    Jo x
  • Hi tracymarie79,

    Offer a bottle at 11pm, so he can get a good feed, as he will be very sleepy and not take a breatsfeed well. Making sure he can take a bottle at this age is really important otherwise he will refuse in the future.

    He really doesnt need a feed every few hours in the night at his age.

    At 5 months he will be an efficient feeder and 5-10 can be enough.

    Best Wishes

    Jo x
  • Hi Summer_76,

    Thankyou for the praise on my book! There will be another soon, so watch this space!

    Teching him to sleep well in the day is easier. He will be tired after an hour . So take him upstairs, blackout, swaddled in a light breathable material. Get a slumber bear or something similiar with waves or white noise will help. And 4-4.30am is brilliant remember to start stretching the base time soon towards 7am .

    You can get in touch on my website you need any help .

    Best Wishes

    Jo x
  • Thankyou to all the lasdies taht posted questions, I hope I managed to help you.

    If you do need any more help my website is always there with my email/phone/home support packages.

    My natural Sleepytime products for baby bedtime are availible in all Waitrose stores, my Go Anywhere blackout in cream and white is on my best buys page.

    And come and see me at the Bbay Show Excel from Friday - Sunday where I will be on stage twice a day. So come and say hi!

    You can alwyas follow me on twitter and facebook and sign up to my free monthly newsletter .Lots of competitions !

    Love to you all, Sweet Dreams !

    Jo xx
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