Frequently asked questions

Sleep Needs

How much sleep does my child need?

  • Age 0-2 months
    • Sleep per 24 hours: 14-17 hours
    • Night sleep: varies
    • Total daytime sleep: varies
    • Number of daytime naps: varies
    • Wakefulness window: 1 to 2 hours (can be shorter)
  • Age 3 months
    • Sleep per 24 hours: 12-17 hours
    • Night sleep: 9-12 hours
    • Total daytime sleep: 3-5 hours
    • Number of daytime naps: 3 to 5 times
    • Wakefulness window: 1 to 2 hours (can be shorter)
  • Age 4 months
    • Sleep per 24 hours: 13-17 hours
    • Night sleep: 10-12 hours
    • Total daytime sleep: 3-5 hours
    • Number of daytime naps: 3 to 5 times
    • Wakefulness window: 1 to 2.5 hours
  • Age 5 months
    • Sleep per 24 hours: 12-15 hours
    • Night sleep: 11-12 hours
    • Total daytime sleep: 3-4 hours
    • Number of daytime naps: 3 to 5 times
    • Wakefulness window: 1.5 to 3 hours
  • Age 6-8 months
    • Sleep per 24 hours: 12-15 hours
    • Night sleep: 11 hours
    • Total daytime sleep: 3.5 hours
    • Number of daytime naps: 3 times
    • Wakefulness window: 2 to 3 hours
  • Age 9-12 months
    • Sleep per 24 hours: 12-15 hours
    • Night sleep: 11 hours
    • Total daytime sleep: 3 hours
    • Number of daytime naps: 2 times
    • Wakefulness window: 3 hours
  • Age 13-18 months
    • Sleep per 24 hours: 11-14 hours
    • Night sleep: 11 hours
    • Total daytime sleep: 2.5 hours
    • Number of daytime naps: 1 or 2 times
    • Wakefulness window: 3 to 5 hours
  • Age 18 months-2.5 years
    • Sleep per 24 hours: 11-14 hours
    • Night sleep: 11 hours
    • Total daytime sleep: 2 hours
    • Number of daytime naps: 1 or 2 times
    • Wakefulness window: 4 to 5 hours
  • Age 2.5 years and older
    • Sleep per 24 hours: 10-13 hours
    • Night sleep: 10-13 hours
    • Total daytime sleep: varies by child
    • Number of daytime naps: 0 or 1 time
    • Wakefulness window: 5-6 hours or 12 hours (depending on whether you nap during the day or not)

* Sources: National Sleep Foundation and The Sleep Lady®

Child Sleep Coaching

What is Child Sleep Coaching?

Child sleep coaching is a process in which you teach your child to fall asleep independently and to give your child the confidence that she can sleep herself, can sleep through the night herself and that sleeping is actually very nice. The method we use is based on a gentle, friendly approach and because all children and all families are different, a tailor-made sleep plan is the basis of the process. You coach your child yourself on the basis of the sleep plan. You don’t have to do that alone, because the By Sleep sleep coaches guide you in this process.

What does a coaching process look like?

We start with an introductory call per telephone where we briefly discuss whether child sleep coaching is right for you. Then, your child sleep coach will send you a questionnaire and a sleep log to get an idea of ​​your family. This is followed by a consultation in which the sleep plan is made in consultation with you. After the first night we have telephone contact and we discuss the sleep log you have completed. After that, we have regular or daily contact during the entire process of approximately 3 weeks.

When can I start with sleep coaching?

You can start with sleep coaching from 6 months. At that moment, your baby’s brain is fully developed and your child understands more things such as ‘mummy is there, even though I can’t see her now’. You can now teach her the skill of falling asleep independently, as she is now physically and mentally ready.

What is sleep shaping?

For babies younger than 6 months, we offer a sleep consultation in which we talk about sleep shaping. These young babies are not yet ready for sleep coaching, but sometimes as a parent you may need advice and guidance on how to best cope with this period.

We will then discuss strategies to carefully shape your baby’s sleeping habits and to make it as comfortable as possible for yourself as well.

According to which method does By Sleep work?

We work according to Kim West’s Gentle Sleep Coach® method. Kim is also know by, “The Sleep Lady®”. She developed this method because she noticed that many parents find it difficult to let their child cry and are afraid that crying will emotionally damage their child. Gentle Sleep Coaching® is a friendly step-by-step method with a 95% success rate if the child is healthy and the parents are consistent.

With this method we teach you to listen to your intuition, recognize important signals and behavior of your child and to make changes in a gentle, loving way whereby your child learns healthy sleeping habits. We encourage parents to support their child, but also to give her the space to master the skill of falling asleep independently.


When is the right time for my child to go to bed?

The internal clock tells the body when to be awake and when to sleep. Sleep is most restorative when it synchronizes with the internal clock and when your child wakes up after a completed sleep cycle. A young child’s sleep cycle is 45 minutes. The internal clock controls the sleep windows. The sleep window is the period when your baby becomes sleepy and when the body is getting ready to fall asleep. It is therefore easiest to fall asleep during this period. If you fall asleep easily, you often sleep better and if you have slept well, you are fitter when you get up. Read more about the sleep window here.

How do I recognize the best time to put my child to bed?

When your child’s body is preparing for sleep, you can recognize this by the following sleep signals:

  • rubbing eyes;
  • yawning;
  • staring;
  • no longer interested in the environment;
  • being slow;
  • being clumsy (falling/bumping);
  • whining.

Sometimes it is difficult to see the sleep signals, especially in alert/sensitive children.

Why is an evening ritual important?

An evening ritual or bedtime ritual is very important because it helps your child to prepare for bedtime. The predictability and recognition of a fixed bedtime ritual gives your child the feeling of safety and thus the peace of mind to go to sleep.

What is an example of an evening ritual?

  • Announce that it is almost time to go upstairs
  • Give your child a nice bath or wash their hands and face
  • Put on their pajamas and/or sleeping bag
  • Baby massage or children’s yoga has a calming effect and can strengthen your bond
  • Possibly a feeding or (porridge) bottle
  • Tooth brushing; it is better to brush teeth after drinking. Then your child will go to sleep with clean teeth, which prevents caries
  • Read a book and/or sing a song; choose a fixed number of books or songs, for example always 2. This is clear to your child and you avoid nagging and negotiating about more books or songs
  • Put them into bed awake and say good night; put your child into bed drowsy but awake so that she can put herself to sleep. If your child masters this skill at bedtime, she can do it too when she wakes up during the night

What is Melatonin?

Melatonin is the hormone produced to promote sleep. The body makes more melatonin when it gets dim/dark and the production coincides with the sleep window. We therefore recommend that you always pay close attention to the sleep signals and do the evening ritual with dimmed light. Night feedings are also best given in a dark room. This prevents the production of melatonin from being slowed down during the night.

Waking up at night

What are the main reasons my baby wakes up at night?

  • A late bedtime
  • Too few naps during the day
  • Too long time between the end of the (afternoon) nap and bedtime
  • Your child is asleep or put to bed too sleepy
  • Inconsistency in the response to your child during the night
  • Underlying medical conditions such as asthma, allergies, reflux or sleep apnea

I often have to give a pacifier at night, are there any tips to make that better?

If your child is old enough to put a pacifier in her mouth herself, you can put the pacifier in her hand at night and bring the hand to her mouth (instead of putting the pacifier directly in her mouth). You can also put a number of pacifiers in a corner of the bed and point out to your child that her pacifiers are there at night. With these tips, you can help your child fall (back) asleep independently, even with a pacifier.

Is your question not listed here?

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