By Sharon Vandermerwe
Sharon Vandermerwe

Q: When is a baby ready to be sleep trained?
A: Of course like everything in this life, it varies. My experience has led me to believe that babies are ready to be sleep trained when they are ten to twelve lbs (4.5 to 5.5 kg).

Q: Is the baby’s length of sleep dependent upon whether the baby drinks breast milk or formula before bedtime?
A: There doesn’t seem to be too much of a correlation between the two when it comes to sleep length.

Q: Should a baby be woken up, if they nap for more than a two hour stretch during the daytime?
A: If a baby sleeps for more than a two hour stretch, the baby should be woken up. When babies sleep for longer durations during the day, they have a much harder time differentiating between day and night.

Q: How long should the duration of an infant’s nap be, to ensure a good night’s sleep?
A: They can take little “catnaps” during the day, but make sure that your baby takes at least one, long duration nap, somewhere in the neighborhood of two hours, to ensure a proper night’s rest.

Q: What is your favorite method of sleep training?
A: I love using a method called “dream feeding”. This is simply the act of picking the baby up, making sure the baby is still sleeping, and progressively feeding it. The reason this is done is to cause little disturbance to the baby’s sleeping pattern, so it can provide the pattern time to grow stronger. It works almost every time! However, if your baby isn’t compliant with this method , let the baby fuss for five to ten minutes, in an effort to teach it self-soothing.

Q: Can I still go to my baby to give them a pacifier at night?
A: Yes, just make it a one-time trip.

Q: Are there any other tricks I can use to help the baby get their own pacifiers at night?
A: Yes, certainly. One neat trick is to place a few pacifiers with the baby, inside the baby’s reach.

Sharon Van Der Merwe is a certified baby nurse with over twenty years of experience, working with single and multiple births. She travels the world taking care of newborns. Sharon can be reached at