The Progression of Sleep from Newborn to Independent Sleeper

I’ve gotten a few emails recently from people wondering if their child will ever figure out the sleep thing. Want some pictures of how sleep looks like at different points in time? Below are some posts from different points in time.

I’d try reading these:

http://nurshable.com/2013/09/07/when-can-a-baby-sleep-through-the-night/

http://nurshable.com/2012/05/04/i-am-not-a-human-pacifier/

http://nurshable.com/2012/05/27/six-week-growth-spurt/

http://nurshable.com/2012/07/19/the-wio-wait-it-out-method-of-sleep-training/

http://nurshable.com/2012/10/02/six-months-and-struggling/

http://nurshable.com/2013/03/10/tear-free-self-soothing-at-ten-and-a-half-months-wait-it-out-method/

http://nurshable.com/2013/03/08/why-so-needy-baby-yesterday-you-were-fine-sleeping-alone/

http://nurshable.com/2012/11/16/sleep-associations-sleep-regression/

http://nurshable.com/2013/09/25/seventeen-months-sucky-sleep-and-how-progress-looks-like-regression/

http://nurshable.com/2012/08/21/learning-to-self-soothe-wio/
(This post is from my middle child from just before he figured out the self soothing thing completely and started to put himself to sleep in his own bed in his own room without being rocked to sleep.)

http://nurshable.com/2013/12/05/twenty-months-canines-and-self-settling-sort-of/

http://nurshable.com/2014/03/05/sleeping-through-the-night-at-23-months/
My daughter started sleeping through the night at 23 months.

http://nurshable.com/2014/03/12/haha-just-kidding-on-the-sleep-thing/
Then the time change happened. And two year molars. And sleep broke for a little bit but then settled into my daughter sleeping through the night except for the random nightmare or needing a sip of water.

The links above give different pictures of sleep at different points in time on my journey with my different children.

Different kids are different. My oldest required being taught verbally how to relax the different parts of his body to fall asleep. He needed “stretching” exercises to help him learn to fall asleep without us in the room. My middle child figured it all out on his own. (He also potty trained himself at two and a half). My daughter figured sleep out, too.

She will be three in April 2015. She will tell us when she is sleepy and she will lay down with her head on the pillow, close her eyes and  snuggle down to sleep.

  4 comments for “The Progression of Sleep from Newborn to Independent Sleeper

  1. Katie
    May 26, 2013 at 7:04 am

    It’s also really helpful hearing about the different approaches you’ve used for helping your older kids to learn to sleep without you in the room. What age did you start that? We read and cuddle with my 2yr old til he falls asleep every night. We aren’t in a hurry to stop but also want to help him become less dependent on that when he is ready. His verbal skills are exploding right now, so after reading your post I wonder if we should start talking more explicitly about sleep and telling him how to relax. Any thoughts or suggestions as to how we will know when he is ready and what we can do now to help him in that direction?

    • sarah
      May 26, 2013 at 10:18 am

      I started around 2.5-3.5 with my oldest. Am doing it for naps with middle child when/if he needs a nap. He never needed it for nighttime sleep because he figured it out before we taught him anything. 9he also potty trained himself).

      never too soon to talk about self soothing. I talk about it to my 13mo dd. ‘and we’re in bed and it’s night time and we can melllt into the snuggly mattress and relax our bodies. relax our toes… our feet… our legs.. (all the way up to neck and head, ending with our sleepy eyes which close as we snuggle down into the safe warm snuggly dark of sleep safe in our bed in our house with mommy and daddy being wherever mommy and daddy are.’

      it’s like potty stuff. if you talk about it often enough and early enough as what everyone does eventually then you don’t have to do anything because the child will eventually decide they’re ready.

      ‘when you’re older you’ll say “get out of my bed mommy! I want to fall asleep myself!” and I’ll hug you and give you a kiss, a sip of water, and tuck you in then rock in the rocking chair for a little while until you’re fast asleep.

      ‘when you’re older I’ll tuck you in and you’ll say goodnight. I’ll go brush my teeth and come back in to check on you and give you a last bedtime kiss and you’ll fall asleep all on your own in the quiet safe darkness of your big bed.’

      • Katie
        May 26, 2013 at 2:59 pm

        So simple and logical :) I don’t talk about it now but will start! I already see signs of his independence – he doesn’t like the pillow I out my head in to touch his monkey pillow, and while he still likes to cuddle when we read, he gets annoyed if I’m invading his space once he tries to fall asleep – he either wants me to do something specific like scratch his head, or he doesn’t want me to touch him at all. He would get upset if I left the bed or room before he is asleep though.

        Thanks for the advice! Good to know this pace is normal among WIO-minded moms (I think lots of my other mom friends think its strange if kids don’t fall asleep by themselves by the time they are 6 months!)

  2. Katie
    May 26, 2013 at 7:11 am

    (He is in his own twin bed)

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