Last updated on April 3rd, 2024

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Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

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When Do I Start Baby Sleep Training if My Child is Chronically Sleep Deprived??

Would you like to have me answer your baby sleep problem question in my next video? If so, scroll down and submit your question in the comment section below. I will pick several questions a month to answer and post them here on the blog!

If you would rather read than watch my above video then here is the transcript of this week’s baby sleep problem video:
Hi! Kim West, The Sleep Lady. And today, I’m going to answer Brandy’s question.
Brandy wrote in the following, “We’re stuck in a terrible cycle of overtiredness. My eight and a half month old used to be able to put himself to sleep but now, he fights with a vengeance. I’ve even tried driving all around starting two hours after he wakes from his second nap but that doesn’t work either. He takes two 45- to 70-minute naps a day and refuses to take a third. We put him to bed at 6:30 but he’s usually been up for five hours at that point. He wakes regularly through the night and he is up between 6:00 and 6:30 for the day. We are ready to sleep train but everything says not to start when the baby is overtired. I don’t know how to break this cycle. Please solve our baby sleep problem! Brandy”
It is true that the ideal time and place to start sleep training is when you have three weeks at home that you can dedicate to sleep coaching. You are right that I also recommend that we start sleep coaching at night sleep first and that you start on the first night at bedtime after a great day of naps any way you can get them.

Baby Sleep Problem: Baby is Overtired

Sometimes, that doesn’t work because our child has outgrown their sleep crutch for their naps and we have no choice but to start sleep coaching with an overtired child and parent! If possible, pick a day where he’s had two 70-minute naps that you talked about. Make sure the first one is not before 8:00 a.m. and ideally that the second one is not before 12:00 noon.
If your baby will no longer sleep when you take him for a car ride, then you will have to put him to bed at 6:30 or 7:00 p.m. awake and start the Shuffle. And then, of course, the next day, you’re going to have to start nap coaching.
It won’t be ideal but I want you know Brandy, you’re not alone. I have plenty of parents where we have to do everything together. We have no backup desperation nap plans like cars, swings, stroller and we just have to do all of the naps in the crib. It’s not easy but I want you to know that eight and a half months is a great age to sleep coach. Children this age learn very quickly and it should take approximately seven to ten nights for him to start largely sleeping through the night. In two to three weeks, naps are greatly improved.
I hope that helps. Keep up the good work!
Sweet dreams,
Kim, The Sleep Lady
Video filmed by In Focus Studios

If you have successfully sleep coached your baby for night and day sleep at the same time, please encourage Brandy to get started! Please feel free to click the “reply” link under this article and leave them a comment. Supporting each other makes parenting so much easier!

Author: Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

My name is Kim West, and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. My sleep journey began when I started experimenting with gently shaping my daughter’s sleep by not following the conventional wisdom at the time. After having success (and then more success with my second daughter!), I began helping family and friends and my step-by-step method spread like wildfire, exactly like an excellent night of sleep for a tired parent should!