Baby & toddler sleep webchat Mon 5 July

Prima Baby Magazine's hugely experienced Sleep Expert, Jo Tantum will be here to answer your questions for an hour from 12-1pm on Monday July 5th.

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

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



  • Hi Jo

    I have an almost 10month old who has slept through 3 times. She goes to her bed at 7pm then usually wakes between 12-2am for a feed. I have tried not giving her this feed but she starts screaming and will not go back to sleep. She is an early riser and are lucky if we get to 5.30am (this is usually the latest) I leave her till about 6am then we get up for the day. We are on 3 meals aday plus snacks. She has a bottle in the morning and a bottle before bed and when she wakes during the night. I went back to work 2 weeks ago and and now at my wits end as i am exhausted.

    I have tried gradually cutting down her night feed but she goes mental when she finishes it and wants more. I am thinking of substituting it for water and try that?

    She is also such a light sleeper which doesnt help. She is in her own room with blackout blinds.

    For her naps she has a sleep at about 9am between 45-60mins and 2pm 45-60mins.

    I just dont know what to do anymore and would really appreaciate your help.

    From a very tired mummy.

    Jen xx
  • Hi,
    I am in the same situation. My daughter is 9 months and has slept through twice and without fail wakes around 3 times a night. I have tried the whole controlled crying which was really hard. I am a bit of a softie which doesn't help. I am still breast feeding which makes it tricking as i sometimes have my daughter in the bed with me as i get too tired to operate in the early hours and go to work at eight.
    I think your body gets used to the routine but it does catch up with me and i feel very tired around mid afternoon and becuase i am back to work i can never nap.

    Please help
  • Hi
    My son is now 16 months and I can not get him to sleep through the night or even go to sleep by himself. I tried controlled crying but he got so distressed and I couldn't cope because it sounded like he would make himself sick. I think he has slept through 5 times ever. He no longer has milk at night just water when it's hot. Anything I've tried just doesn't seem to work. image help:\?
  • Hi Jo

    I have a 3 yr old & a 2 yr old that both end up in bed with me early hours of the morning. Also they both want me to sit/lay next to their bed until they fall asleep which is hard now I have a newborn too. I also have a 4yr old that has always been a fantastic sleeper but recently hes picking up on DS2 & 3s bad habits as he & my 3yr old now share a room. I am also not a fan of controlled crying but really need some help. I need sleep!! Any advice would be great.

  • Hi,

    My dd is now 20 weeks old and gets really distressed at bedtime, she can be laughing and smiling and as soon as she goes into bed she screams the place down! She then stops as soon as she is picked up, i have tried staying with her and trying to reassure her but she gets very upset. She ends up finally falling asleep with her dummy after we have tried for an hour to get her to sleep. Probably through exhaustion. She is fine in her cot during the day if i put her there to play while i do something else.

    She is also a nightmare at naptimes, she really fights sleep and takes ages to wind down to go to sleep. She has a dummy but is teething so keeps pulling it out and putting her fingers in her mouth. Which means she then gets upset.

    Do you have any advice on how i can get her to self-settle? I have attempted to let her cry but she just gets more and more distressed. Patting and shhing also doesn't work, she makes her body tense and twists so i cant pat her back.

  • Hi,

    My problem is quite similar to ladybird's with regard to the self-settling!

    Naptime, DD will fall asleep easily when I rock her or just hold her then i have to move her gently to the cot or swing while shes still sleeping - if she wakes, she will cry and need to be held again. She then wakes about half an hour later and cries, most likely cos shes not on my shoulder anymore! The only way I can get her to nap for longer than half an hour is to sleep on me or hubby...

    At bedtime, I breastfeed her and she falls asleep on the boob (i can be in there from anytime between 15 mins to an hour). I put her in the cot asleep and although most nights she'll go right through til the morning, sometimes she wakes at some point between an hour to three hours after bedtime and will not go back in her cot awake, she will cry and cry until she is either rocked to sleep or fed to sleep (usually fed to sleep as this is how she falls asleep initially). On the very few occasions she wakes in the night I have always fed her (she does seem to need it as she feeds properly) and I'm able to have her back in the cot within 15 mins. if she wakes too early in the morning for a feed, I am always able to feed her and put her in the cot awake and she always self-settles.

    Tried to do the pick up, put down method, but she got herself in such a state her whole body was still racking with breathless sobs for ages afterwards. I was in tears, cos i felt so bad and ending up feeding her to sleep (knew i shouldn't...). Its a struggle cos i know she can self-settle, but she just refuses to for naps and bedtime!

    D is almost 5 months old - should I be trying a self-settling method now or not worry til shes 6 months old? And like ladybird, do you have any self-settling tips?!

    Thanks for your help
  • Hi i have a 2 and half year old daughter and a 1 year old daughter my 1 year old sleeps really well maybe even too much sleep! but my 2 and half year old does not.She didnt sleep through until she was 6 months and i did controlled crying and it worked really well and had no problems until about 5 months ago the girls share a room so she is disturbing her little sister too, she gets up several times a night sometimes for a wee but mostly just to wander about to wait for me to put her back to bed my husband now works away but when he was here he was giving in to her demands for drinks,sweets,fruit etc which im sure made things worse.I never give in to her i just put her back to bed some nights she can get up 6 or 7 times she has a night light but has started asking for the door to be kept open my husband does leave the door open i dont now im back at work this is really getting to me i need help also now she plays up at bed time too she has the same thing each night milk story song then kiss hug and i leave but she keeps getting up and messing around she goes to bed between 8:30 and 9pm so i do not want her to go any later any advice would be great thanks
  • hi there.

    i have a 2 1/2 year old daughter and im currently 39 weeks pregnant. Over the last 3 weeks, my DDs sleeping pattern has changed from being brilliant to awful. Previously, we used to say to her when it was bedtime, and shed say ok, give daddy a kiss and id take her up, pop her in bed, and shed sit with a book until she fell asleep. no fuss, no tantrums, she was perfect. But literally overnight, she changed. She now fusses about not wanting to go to bed, and i follow our routine normally, but as soon as i leave her in her room, shes consatntly shouting mummy or daddy, and making up excuses like shes pooed or she wants a drink, i take her a drink in, and then as soon as i leave, she cries hysterically and ends up vomiting. ive gone in and she does this thing with her tongue that makes her retch, like shes trying to be sick on purpose so we have to get her up. We then have to bath her, clean up and then she wont go back to bed unless i sit on the floor next to her, sometimes even having to hold her hand for up to an hour at a time. Sometimes, by the time shes asleep it can be as late as 11pm.
    Do u think the impending arrival of a new baby could have anything to do with this? she does know that a baby is coming but she doesnt know when or really what a baby is. thanks
  • Hi everyone, this is Jo. Im here to take your questions!
  • Hi Jen24 ,Firtsly I think your little girl needs a longer nap in the day .At 10 months she needs 1 hour in the morning and 2 in the afternoon .She is probably overtired .When she wakes , Leave her as long as possible .When you go in give her a comforter ,and say shhhh ,whilst patting her .Do this for 2-3 mins .Then leave the room .Wait 5-10 mins then go in again .If she is upset before then go in before .The idea is that you do the same thing each time keep a log of each night and how long it takes her to settle .She should soon settle down .You have to be consistent .
  • Hi Carly and Amelia ,
    How does your daughter sleep in the day .Starting a good daytime routine is the key .Making sure she can go to sleep in her cot is important .So when she wakes in the night leave her as long as possible .When you go in ,do exactly the same thing .Give her a comforter ,shhhhh and gently pat her .Do this for 2-3 mins then leave the room .Continue this .She will calm down ,as she will realise that you will come to her when she is upset but it's time to sleep .
  • Hi Nursekfc ,
    Always start a new sleep routine in the daytime .When he gets tired,take him to his room .Close the curtians and put him in his sleeping bag ,give him his comforter/teddy .Then say have a nice nap and leave the room .Listen for 5 mins for quiet gaps or sleep noises mmm and aarrrr .Leave him longer if you hear those .Then when you go in lie him down .Say shhhh and pat his shouder .Do this for 2-03 mins until he is calm ,then leave the room .Continue this until he is calm.If he gets really upset and doesn't settle after 30 mins then go in all happy.Make a fuss and get him up then try later .So that he doesn't get too upset .Try the same in the night .
  • Hello and welcome to today's sleep webchat with Jo Tantum.

    As you can see Jo logged on little early due to the volume of posts already.

    Jo will do her best to answer as many questions as possible within the hour until 1pm.

    Thank you
  • Hi junie mummy ,
    Start a reward chart with both of them .They need to be rewarded for staying in their own room .Go with them to get some stickers ,expalin that evryday they will get a sticker on their chart if they stay in their own bed .Wrap a few small pressise up for a lucky dip and when they have been good a few days give them a prseeie .You need to say a sentence that you repeat so you doen't start a conversation .So - its night time love you .If they get out of bed take them straight back .If you sit on a chair by the door with your back to them for a few nights then outside the door .
  • Hi Ladybird ,
    Make sure your baby isn't too tired .At 20 weeks she will be tired after 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours of waking .Take her to her room when you see tired signs .Close the curtains .put her in her sleeping bag .Gove her a muslin square knotted in the middle to chew on .Say have a nice nap then leave the room .use my spaced soothing technique .Listen fopr 5 mins if in that time she is making sleep noises mmm arrrr or there are quiet gaps then leave her longer .She is trying to settle herself .If she gets upset then go in and say sshhh ,pat her shoulder for 1-2 mins ,then leave the room .Wait again for 5 mins and continue .
    Do this at bedtime too .Eachtime you wake her up .make a big fuss ,well done!! etc .make her laugh in the cot .then take her out .She will soo start to know her cot is a nice place to be .
  • Hi hopefulmummy
    Start a sleep routine straightaway.At the moment she thinks the only way she can go to sleep is on you .So you need to teach her that it's ok to go to sleep by herself .Start in the day with her naps .She will be tired 1 1/2 - 1 3/4 hours after waking so when you see tired signs then take her upto her cot .Close the curtains .Give her a knotted muslin to hold .put her in her sleeping bag and say have a nice nap .
    Wait for 5 mins -if there are quiet gaps or slep noises then leave her longer when you do go in do exactly the same thing each time .Some babies like being tapped on the shoulder ,some like a hand on their chest and genlty rocked .Picking up and putting down makes them worse as you ahve seen .Choose a settling technique that she likes then use it everytime .Do it for 2-3 mins then leave the room and listen for 5 mins again .Keep a log so you can see her progress .
  • Hi 2girlywhirlys ,
    At the moment she isn't getting any reward for satying in bed .When toddlers get into a routine they think that is what happens eachtime ,so we just need to let her know that this is what happens now and when she does it a few times she will soon learn and do it eachtime .Go and get some stickers with her .Get some card and put the days of the week on the top .Explain that when she stays in her bed and goes to bed nicely she gets a sticker ,also wrap a few small pressies up in a luck dip and when she is doing well let her have one .Tell Aunts and Grannys that she is going to do it so she is proud to be going to bed .Explain when you are in the bath too .If she gets up or messes about just take her back to her bed and say one sentence - its nightime love you .maybe remind her aout the stickers .
    Also explain to your husband that you need to be on the same page otherwise she will get confused .
    Good luck!!!
  • Hi gracie19andpink bump ,
    I think you need to expalin more about the new baby .sHE IS OBVIOUSLY WORRYING ABOUT THIS AND THIS IS WHY SHE HAS BECOME CLINGY .Do any of your friends have babies?so you can visit .Read books about being a big sister ,expalin that she will be able to help .some children actually think that when a new baby comes that it is to replace them ,just like old shoes ,when you get a new pair you throw the old pair away! So nlots of reassurance ,Get her involved in the nursery ,choosing things etc .When you take her to bed follow the same routine but sit ion a chair by the door ,with your back to her ,if she talks to you or gets out of bed just gently take her back to bed and say one sentence -it could be it's night time love you .Make sure she has an early night as most toddlers find it very difficult to switch off if they are overtired .After a few nights ,move the chair otside the room ,but so she can see you .If she does make herself sick ,don't make a fuss change her pjs - don't say anything .and put her back to bed .Some children do this for attention so if you deal with it quickly and calmly she will have no need to do it .Don't bath her as this is a reward for her .
    She will soon settle down .Take care x
  • Hi ,Just to let you know I offer email advice and Rescue packages where I come into your house and help your baby to sleep .I also have aphone advice line and home consulations .Go to my website for more information .
    You can also follow me on twitter!
    Love and hugs
    Jo xxx
  • Hi Jo

    What is your take on these co-sleeper cots, that I am hearing more and more about. Do you think they are good or bad for baby sleeping?
    Here is a link to what I mean:
    Thanks in advance

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