... helping babies to sleep
and families to flourish


Click on the question to view the answer.


Q: How long should my child sleep for during the night?
A: Overnight sleep varies with age. In the first 12 weeks, The Babysleep Doctor strategy aims to achieve a block of sleep overnight which is comparable to the baby’s age in weeks. For example four hours by four weeks, six hours by six weeks, eight hours by eight weeks and 12 hours by 12 weeks. In this 12-hour sleep there may be a feed. After three months of age and certainly after four months of age, The Babysleep Doctor strategy aims to stabilise the baby on a 12-hour overnight sleep and to maintain this until about five years of age. The overnight feed will disappear between three and four months of age.
A: The length of the waking period varies with age and the time of day. Overnight while feeding, the feed should be completed within between 15 to 30 minutes. In the daylight, waking periods are longer. In the first month, waking periods would be approximately 30 to 40 minutes long. This will vary with the baby’s weight. A smaller, lighter baby is less able to tolerate being awake for very long and will need a shorter waking period. Conversely bigger children are able to cope with slightly longer waking periods. As the baby becomes older, the daytime waking periods will expand. As a general guide, daytime waking periods expand at a rate of 5 to 10 minutes per month. One of The Babysleep Doctor’s most important teachings about daytime sleeps is the concept of the “Happy Wake Time”. Once understood this will give you control of your baby’s daytime sleeps forever.


[su_spoiler title=”Q: How long should I let my baby cry?”]A: Crying times will vary dramatically with the child’s age and weight. It will also be quite dependent upon the baby’s nutrition. In the first three months of life the baby is unable to sleep well unless feeding well. Therefore in the initial weeks, The Babysleep Doctor strategy aims to avoid crying by making sure that the child is well fed at every single feed. Monitoring weight gain per day as well as the baby’s weight is very important to this strategy. If you are concerned that you are not able to produce enough breast milk it may be worth experimenting with some top-up bottles of either expressed breast milk or formula. Once you are satisfied that the baby is well fed, clean, warmly dressed for sleep, has experienced your affection and is ready for sleep, put the baby down and give minor reassurance as they drift off to sleep. The overtired baby may cry a little longer. During the first month, a healthy baby may have a protest cry on the way to sleep which lasts 10 to 20 or even 30 minutes. More detail about crying is provided in several instructional pamphlets available on this website.[/su_spoiler][su_spoiler title=”Q: Will my baby lose trust in my affection if I teach him/her to settle independently?”]A: This is an area of great concern for most mothers. Our overwhelming experience is that if a child sleeps successfully, eats well and is in the care of a well-rested mother, the child’s emotional wellbeing is improved. These children have greater confidence with which to manage affection and achieve better quality interaction with their family and extended family (even often with strangers!). Research has demonstrated that there are no negative outcomes from teaching children to settle independently.[/su_spoiler]


[su_spoiler title=”Q: My child has a terrible appetite. What can I do to get him/her to eat more?”]A:  There is a clear link between appetite and sleep. Children who achieve high quality sleep generally have the best appetites. Children who are able to increase their levels of sleep tend to increase their food intake, in some cases by 50% or more. Eating problems are common in babies and toddlers. In babies, problems generally relate to fatigue and milk supply. In toddlers, issues relate to power rather than food. The recommended response to both problems is described in detail in the instructional Feeding Package available here on our website.[/su_spoiler]


[su_spoiler title=”Q: My child’s behaviour can be unacceptable at times. What can I do achieve better behaviour?”]A:  There is a clear link between sleep and behaviour during the day. It is our experience that once high quality sleep is achieved, behaviour improves significantly. Children are happier, learn better, interact more positively and have higher confidence and self esteem when they achieve high quality sleep. As children become older, as they turn into toddlers, they begin to experiment with power and strategies of managing their parents. This is normal but can on occasion become quite challenging and difficult. Only once both sleeping and feeding are working well, can we tackle issues of unacceptable behaviour. Read more about resolving behaviour problems in the instructional pamphlet, Behavioural Problems in Toddlers, available here on our website.[/su_spoiler]

Emotional wellbeing

[su_spoiler title=”Q: I do not feel the sense of happiness I thought I would with my new baby. I feel overwhelmed and exhausted all the time. Is there something wrong with me?”]A: As a mother you would do anything rational and reasonable to see your baby well, happy and safe. Unfortunately having a newborn baby is a often a time of tiredness. This fatigue is compounded by a vast array of advice which is inconsistent. The combination of these elements can make life quite difficult. One of the principal aims of The Babysleep Doctor strategy is to return your joy in parenting by giving you back a life balance. If you have appropriate time for your baby, other family members and yourself and of course a full nights sleep your ability to cope with parenting will be vastly enhanced. Using validated scores for depression, anxiety and stress, we have found that up to 32% of women at their first visit have scores showing some degree of depression. By the second visit there is an 85% reduction in scores for depression. We would be pleased to help you too. [/su_spoiler][su_spoiler title=”Q: I feel guilty about my feeding choices. Am I doing the wrong thing by my child?”]A: We disapprove of creating guilt in mothers who are trying unsuccessfully to exclusively breastfeed. We believe in many appropriate feeding choices being available to mothers and we support mothers in whatever appropriate feeding choices they make. Our interest is in the optimal growth of babies and children and in supporting mothers – without guilt – to achieve such. The simple reality is in terms of helping to raise a child who is happy, healthy and socially competent and confident there are much bigger issues than the feeding choices in the early weeks and months of life.[/su_spoiler]

Other parents’ experience

Q: I'd like to know what other parents' experiences of The Babysleep Doctor were?
A: Watch this video to find out more about how The Babysleep Doctor can assist families to flourish. Hear from The Babysleep Doctor himself and several of this patients. Watch the full version (5.57 min), or watch the abbreviated version (2.38 min). Video production by Matt Arnold: www.mattarnold.net.au