Happy Sleeper Tools
These tools are in the Appendix of The Happy Sleeper. You can download and print them here.
The Happy Sleeper Approach
You've probably heard the term "sleep training" before—the idea that you'll need to teach your baby to sleep properly through the night. But we think about this a different way:
Your baby already knows how to sleep.
It may not seem so simple in your house, but sleep is a basic ability that all babies are naturally born to develop. As they grow, their bodies crave healthy sleep, and their brains are wired for it. Of course, newborns need our help to soothe, calm, and organize their tiny developing nervous systems, but by five or six months of age, almost all babies are capable of sleeping well (even if they are still feeding at night) without much assistance from mom and dad. After this age, you just need the right patterns, associations, and environment in place so that healthy, natural sleep can unfold.
If you've reached out for sleep help before, you've noticed the polarized sleep camps of the "cry-it-out sleep training" vs. the "attachment style parenting" methods. These approaches seem to contradict each other: one valuing sleeping through the night, and the other, support and emotional responsiveness.
But this is a false, unhelpful divide. It makes parents unduly upset and confused, because a loving, secure attachment and good, long, independent sleep are pitted against each other—as if they are at odds.
Thankfully, they are not. Our approach is designed so that you do not have to sacrifice your family's happiness or sleep. A happy, well-loved child and 11-12 hours of nightly slumber are not only possible, using our techniques, they actually work together beautifully.
*We often get asked if there is crying involved when using our techniques. It depends on the baby and the situation, but very often babies do protest (cry) at first, when you're changing a well-entrenched sleep pattern. Babies are smart little scientists and they don't like it when you change things up! Our methods allow for babies to protest, while not ever feeling worried or fearful.
If you'd like help with your baby or child's sleep, you can read our practical, step-by-step guidebook, THE HAPPY SLEEPER, or please read more about our services.
Here's what parents have to say about The Happy Sleeper approach:
"Just wanted to say, THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!!
I feel such an overwhelming sense of freedom and competence...freedom in that I'm not spending 60 min bouncing and rocking, and competence that the plan is working."
"Amazing! WOW!!! Starting to feel human again....Devin is continuing to amaze us with his sleep improvements. He slept 7 1/2 hours last night without a single waking. I'm so proud of him. Your guidance through this sleep plan was priceless so thank you!"
"Last night Jack only woke up once for a quick feed and then right back to bed without a peep!"
"We put your advice straight to work on the nap and it worked really well. It's been great! She's sleeping through the night…thank you again! Both Chris and I are enjoying our evenings together again!"
"Last night she slept from 7:30 to 6:15!!!! It's amazing!!! This morning and now, I just took her to take her to nap and again! she didn't complain! and fell asleep! This is AMAZING Julie!"
This has been a MAJOR improvement…and a huge relief for our family! I can't believe my husband and I just had 2 full nights of sleep! After almost a year, it is a miracle!
"Last night was an incredible success! I am truly amazed at how graceful this process was. Your clear plan felt so supportive, not in the least traumatic, and was easy to follow. Thank you!! Feeling so much gratitude for finally experiencing Esme sleeping through the night, and in her own crib."
"I am so proud of him, it brought tears to my eyes. I feel empowered."
The most common sleep issues for babies 5-24 months are:
- Being unable to self soothe and fall asleep independently
- Waking up in the night out of habit, rather than hunger
- Needing a parent's presence or a stroller, car, or another device to nap
- Going to bed too late, and therefore not sleeping 11-12 hours
- Waking up too early, and therefore not sleeping 11-12 hours
The most common sleep issues for preschoolers and school age children are:
- Bedtime resistance
- Requiring a parent's presence to fall asleep at night or fall back asleep in the middle of the night
- Requiring a special setting such as a stroller ride for naps
- Getting out of bed after bedtime
- Waking up too early
- Giving up naps too early
- Nightmares and night terrors
How much sleep
does your family need?
|Age||Naps||Total nap hours
hours of sleep
in 24 hours
|0-4 weeks||Varied, many||7 – 9||7 – 9||16 – 18|
|1 - 2 months||3 - 5||5 – 7||8 – 10||15 – 16|
|3 - 5 months||3 – 4||3 – 5||9.5 – 12||14 – 15|
|6 – 8 months||3||3 – 4||10 – 12||14 – 15|
|9 – 11 months||2||2.5 – 4||11 – 12||14 – 15|
|12–15 months||2||2 – 3.5||11 – 12||13 – 15|
|16-23 months||1||1 – 2||11 – 12||12 – 14|
|2 – 3 years||1||1 – 2||11||12 – 13|
|3 – 4 years||0 – 1||0 – 1.5||11–11.5||11 – 13|
|4 – 6 years||0||0||10.5 -11||10.5 -12|
BEDTIME ROUTINE CHART