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  • Michelle Goudy

The Wake To Sleep Approach

Are you tired of your child's short naps or early wake ups? You're not alone. This is very common complaint with my clients. First ask yourself:

-- Is my child overtired?

-- Are they going through a regression?

-- Is their schedule appropriate?

-- Is it time to drop a nap?


If you feel like you're doing everything right, but are still struggling with short naps or early wake ups, it's time to try The Wake to Sleep Approach. This method was introduced by Tracy Hoegg and it can be a miracle when it works. The Wake to Sleep Approach is used to help babies and toddlers transition to another cycle of sleep, thereby increasing their sleep time. Here's how to do it:


For Short Naps: Frequently children wake 30-40 minutes after they fall asleep for nap. This nap is not long enough for your child (unless they are a newborn) or you! To lengthen the nap, you need to help them transition to a new sleep cycle. Go into your child's room 10 minutes before they usually wake up. You want to gently stir them in their sleep. Sometimes opening the door is enough to stir them. Sometimes you have to gently rub their cheek or back. You don't want to wake your child, just cause them to sigh or shift positions a bit. Hopefully, this will allow your child to extend their nap time.


For Early Wake Ups: If your child is waking early in the morning, you can also utilize The Wake to Sleep Approach to get them to sleep later. For early wake ups, you will go into their room 1 hour before they usually wake up. Gently stir them in their sleep by opening the door or rubbing their back. Again, you don't want to wake them, just lightly stir them. And then run back to your room so you can go back to bed!


Things to Remember:

-- This is a trial and error process. You may accidentally wake your child or you may not stir them enough. Keep trying!

-- This method usually takes 5-6 days to get to the point where you no longer have to intervene. Your child will eventually learn to transition into a new sleep cycle on their own.

-- The hardest part of this method is setting your alarm to wake up an hour before your child does in the morning. You may be setting your alarm for 4:00am. That sounds terrible. But if you can do it for a few days and it ultimately leads to a later wake up time, it's worth it.


And if you're still struggling with your child's sleep, let me help you! Contact me to schedule your free consultation.

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