💬 "Ask Me Anything" about Getting Your Baby to Sleep Through the Night with Dr. Natalie Barnett

NanitMelanie Nanit Team
edited August 25 in Sleep Training

The AMA will begin on August 9th at 9 am ET through August 13th at 11:59 PM ET. The thread will open when the AMA begins.

Ask Dr. Natalie Barnett Anything about getting your baby to sleep through the night.

Dr. Natalie Barnett serves as Director of Clinical Research at Nanit. In her role, Natalie oversees collaborations with researchers at hospitals and universities around the world which use the Nanit camera to better understand pediatric sleep. Prior to joining Nanit, Natalie was Assistant Professor in the Neurogenetics Unit at NYU and holds a Postgraduate Certificate in Pediatric Sleep Science from the University of Western Australia and a Ph.D. in Genetics from the University of New England in Australia. She is able to apply her scientific knowledge to everyday sleep problems and enjoys nothing more than giving families the gift of sleep.

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  • The AMA with @Natalie_Barnett_PhD is now live! Ask your questions about getting your baby to sleep through the night below now through Friday, August 13th.

  • Hi! My daughter is almost 12 months, she os already weaned off breastfeeding, sleeps in her crib although we still practice cosleeping as recommended. She has no issues falling asleep but still wakes up at least every 4 hours and drinks between 4-6 ozs of milk. She is already on solids and eats pretty well!

  • Hello,

    My 3 month old baby girl sleeps fairly well in the first part of the night (about 10pm-2.30am) but after I breastfeed her and put her back down, she kicks and groans every 15-60 minutes until she gets up at about 5.20, her eyes stay closed though. Do you know why this might be and if there’s anything we can do to help her have a more settled second sleep?

    Many thanks,


  • Our 14month old has always has finicky sleep patterns - he would randomly sleep through the night in two week stretches and then suddenly stop. But he hasn't slept through the night since turning one. We've recently been trying to wean him off the bottle and night feeds with no luck. His bedtime routine is bath, bottle, play, PJs, books & rock to sleep. He wakes every 2 - 6hours. The first waking he can usually be soothed back to sleep but by 3am he'll wake and scream until we give in with a large bottle (8oz or more). We've tried CIO (he'll scream for over an hour nonstop) and gentler methods but nothing seems to work except giving him a bottle. Aside from this obviously not helping him to actually sleep through the night his pediatrician seems to think some of his stomach issues (constant bouts of diarrhea) stem from the large amount of milk he's drinking overnight. We've also tried slowly watering down his milk but that hasn't worked either. He eats well during the day so he shouldn't be waking up so hungry that he acts likes he's starved. He's on soy milk due to milk sensitivity and he's pretty small (16th percentile). We're desperate to get some sleep and to have his stomach issues resolved. Any tips or ideas would be much appreciated!

  • Natalie_Barnett_PhD
    Natalie_Barnett_PhD Member, Nanit Team, Expert

    @Isalis Most babies are capable of going through the night without a feed at this age. If you are wanting to cut down the night feeds, you can try ramping up her feedings during the day as a first step. Take a look at our Sleep Schedule Generator and try to feed her around the times suggested there. The next step might be to gradually cut down on the amount you give her in each bottle when she wakes.

    An important thing to remember is that what she needs to fall asleep at the beginning of the night will be what she needs to get herself back to sleep when she wakes in the middle of the night. If she is falling asleep at the bottle, that might be the reason she's needing the bottle to get back to sleep.

    Id love you to try having her fall asleep by herself in the crib at the beginning of the night. Once she can do that, it should be much easier for her to get back to sleep when she wakes.

  • Natalie_Barnett_PhD
    Natalie_Barnett_PhD Member, Nanit Team, Expert

    @Bryony This is REALLY normal. Most babies are in a very deep sleep for the first few hours of the night and then after their first transition into REM sleep they can cycle in and out of light and deep sleep throughout the night, leading to more wake ups and a lot more movement (and grunting!) in many babies. There is nothing you need to do, she is doing exactly what I would expect her to do!

    That 5.20am wake up is likely still part of the night. I'd suggest a quick feed and then pop her back down to sleep for another hour or two!

  • KMGould_0302
    KMGould_0302 Member
    edited August 2021


    My five month old screams out multiple times through the night. Most nights she wants her soother and goes right back to sleep without any other interaction.

    Any ideas how to help her self sooth herself back to sleep ? She puts herself to sleep for naps and nighttime sleep (with the soother)

  • Mary_Jiang
    Mary_Jiang Member
    edited August 2021


    I have a 5 months old who is fabulous at falling asleep independently in his own crib (since about 4 months). His first stretch at night can be 6-8 hours long. I usually feed him at that time and put him back for a few more hours. However, for the last 1.5 weeks, after he feeds, he stays awake for 1.5hrs (sometimes up to 2hr!) He isn't in distress and mostly just coos or rolls around. After he does fall back asleep, he wakes up around 7-8am (infrequently 8:30). Because of this middle of the night waking, his totally night sleep is only 9-10 hours.

    He has 3 naps during the day, falls asleep independently - takes anytime from 10-20 min (sometimes longer, but I can't seem to find a pattern). Total naps time is usually 4-4.5 hours, and I often have to wake him up from his second (after 1.5hr) and third nap (after 45-60min) to make a reasonable bedtime.

    My questions are:

    • what would you recommend in terms of the middle of the night wakings?
    • I know he's only 5 months (6 month as of Sept 4), but could this be a sign of 3-2 nap transition?

    Thank you so much!


  • Hello

    my almost 11 m/o apparently had forgotten how to sleep through the night, and how to fall asleep on her own.

    there’s been developmental leaps and teething over the course of a few months, but we’ve totally derailed from what used to be a good sleeper.

    her most common problem is waking in the night after 5 or 6 hours. She’s not fully crying, but crying out and/or whining. If she’s not fully awake, she will be eventually with her own noise. I’ve unfortunately become her crutch, and most times I can get her back to sleep quickly. But even then she may wake up again in an hour or two, and then she wants to be awake for 2 hours just babbling and rolling around in my arms.

    everytime I put her down to try and sleep on her own she cries, even at nap time (she takes two, around 2.5-3hrs total a day pretty consistently)

    weve tried most methods of sleep training with no success.

    any input would be great!



  • Natalie_Barnett_PhD
    Natalie_Barnett_PhD Member, Nanit Team, Expert

    @KMGould_0302 The most important thing is for her to fall asleep at the beginning of the night without the soother. Once she can do that, it will be far easier for her to fall back to sleep in the middle of the night. What I want you to remember is that what she needs at the beginning of the night to fall asleep will be what she needs to get back to sleep the times she wakes during the night (all babies wake up during the night). Its frustrating for her to need something that she cant get, and you are hearing that frustration when she wakes. If she can learn to fall asleep by herself in the crib at the beginning of the night, you will eliminate those middle of the night call-outs really quickly!

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