Choose Sleep

Each day comes with a list of requirements and opportunities. Our school age children have homework, music lessons, or sports demanding their time. To fit everything in our day, bedtime gets pushed back. These activities are good for our children, but not when they are robbing our child of the sleep they need.

Sleep is not just a luxury when you do not have something else to do. Our bodies crave sleep because it is needed for their healthy function. We are learning more and more about the health consequences caused by lack of sleep.
Some of the physical or emotional problems connected with poor sleep are:

Inability to focus or stay on task

Vulnerability to injuries or accidents

Depressed immune system leading to many illnesses



High blood pressure

Poor school performance


Night mares


Behavioral problems

As parents we must choose to make sleep a priority. We would not make our child go without food because we are too busy and it is not convenient to give it to them. It is just as important to make sure your child gets enough restful sleep each night.

An early bedtime is mandatory to get the correct amount of sleep each night. There is a non-negotiable start to the morning if your child is in daycare or school. We can make the mistake of thinking the bedtime is flexible according to what our schedule is that day, but the body requires the same number of hours of sleep regardless what is going on in your life.

After the age of four months our bodies operate on a 24-hour circadian rhythm; they are programmed for sleep at certain times. When children sleep according to their body clock the sleep is restorative and they will be able to go to sleep without a bedtime battle. Their body clock is pre-programmed by the sun toward an early bedtime.

When is that ideal bedtime?
Newborns like the night hours and usually their bedtime is between 10 and 12 midnight.
The natural bedtime gradually moves up to between 5 PM and 7 PM by 4 months.
The bedtime will stay between 7 PM and 7:30 PM into school age.

The recommended amount of sleep needed by age is:
Infants (4-12 months): 12-16 hours of sleep, including naps

Toddlers (1-2 years): 11-14 hours of sleep, including naps

Preschoolers (3-5 years): 10-13 hours, including naps

School-age (6-12 years): 9-12 hours

Teens (13-18 years): 8-12 hours

Yes, it is easy to find reasons and excuses to avoid that early bedtime. For the emotional and physical health of our children it is important for us to choose to make sleep a priority. The reward is a happier and healthier child,

Benjamin Franklin once said:

“Early to bed, early to rise,
makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.”

I agree that early bedtimes lead our children to become healthier and smarter. I don’t know about the wealthy part, but it is worth a try.

Helping Babies Sleep

Arlene Fryling

Arlene is a registered nurse and certified sleep consultant for children 0-5 years. She has cared for premature, sick, and many healthy babies. For over 15 years she has taught expectant parents how to care for their newborns through classes teaching basic baby care, infant massage classes, and moderating support groups for new moms as they deal with parenting issues.

Infant Tummy Massage to Relieve Gas

To see the complete massage instructional video:


Alix Kron
Alix Kron
4 months ago
We cannot say enough positive things about our experience working with Arlene!! We were desperate for sleep, going almost 5.5 months with frequent wake ups, nursing back to sleep, nonstop crying during the day, screaming in the car and becoming more and more hopeless as time went on without having success … Arlene changed all of that within no time. She listened to exactly what was going on for us, developed a sleep plan specific to our daughter’s needs/our goals and was so supportive and answered all of our questions along the way. It was very easy to follow the plan that she developed and it included naps and weaning off of night feedings. We saw a difference in our daughter almost immediately! Arlene has absolutely transformed our lives and given us the ability to enjoy each other and feel so much better getting the sleep we all want and NEED! Our daughter is now sleeping 11-12 hours per night, eating only once overnight as opposed to every 1-2 hours, is on a great nap schedule and is so much happier!!! It’s the best money we’ve spent.
Adrienne G.
Adrienne G.
2 years ago
We worked with Arlene to sleep train our 22 month old son who had been bed sharing and nursing to sleep. She helped us develop a sleep plan that was specific to our son's needs. It addressed both his nighttime sleep and his naps. It really took the guess work out of the endeavor, because as a parent, even if you read all the sleep books, there are many different opinions and it is hard to know what is right. Arlene was attentive, flexible and available to answer all of our questions and concerns. I would highly recommend working with her! Our son now sleeps 11-12 hours a night and put himself to sleep on his own. Sleep training him has been a game changer for me (I sleep now too!) and for him. He seems well rested and his development seems to be progressing faster now too. His language skills are flourishing since he is getting better rest.
Amanda C
Amanda C
4 years ago
We just wrapped up our second time working with Arlene, and had another great experience! Arlene helped us sleep train our first baby a few years ago when she was 4 months old at the time. She was a terrible sleeper, waking up once every hour and needing to be rocked to sleep for what felt like hours and hours each day. I was a stressed, exhausted, and worried first time mom, and I was drawn to Arlene’s calm and experienced approach. She gave us an option for a gentler strategy that worked for us at the time, and was detailed and responsive in her sleep plan and attentiveness. Our daughter just turned 2.5 years old and is still a great sleeper. So once our second baby turned 4 months recently, we did not hesitate to work with Arlene again. We now have two rockstar sleepers in our household, thanks to Arlene! It means the world to us that she was there to help guide us, instill confidence, and most importantly, help teach our children such a valuable skill they will undoubtedly benefit from for the rest of their lives.
Begoña Cirera
Begoña Cirera
2 years ago
Arlene helped me first with my first son who was 2.5 year old when I hired her. He slept with me during breastfeeding. He never wanted to sleep in his crib. I was due with my second, and I needed better rest, and had no clue how to get him to sleep away from my bed. I even had to sleep w him during naps, or he wouldn’t sleep. I had to walk him for hours to fall asleep every night. It was awful. Two weeks after Arlene helped us create a program for him, he was done!!! He was sleeping in his own room, all night (12+ hours) and he was SO HAPPY during the day. We learned so much, and all made so much sense. After trying methods and books, nothing worked. My son is almost 6, and he falls asleep at 7:30pm every evening, until 7:00am. As a parent, you know how precious those hours are. With my second one, I didn’t make the mistake of waiting until he was two to train him to sleep. By 3 months, we slowly started, with Arlene’s help. I never had to walk him or be there for him to fall asleep. He’s now 3, and he is a great sleeper, much better than his big brother ever was, still takes 90-min naps, and sleeps 11 hours a night. Every penny I spent to hire Arlene’s expertise is worth it. My only regret was not to look for her sooner. Lifesaver, 100%.
Abbey Stidam
Abbey Stidam
6 years ago
Arlene Fryling at Gentle Touch Sleep Time helped our son sleep, which helped us sleep! We were having trouble transitioning our son (4 months at the time) from his rock-n-play to the crib and our amazing sleeper since birth was all of a sudden not sleeping very much. Arlene talked with us about what was going on with his sleep and why the change in his sleep pattern. She answered all our questions and calmed our worries and frustrations. She came up with a sleep plan that worked for our family. She guided us every step of the way. He is now an amazing sleeper again! He is 18 months old and sleeps 12 hours at night and takes a 1 1/2 - 2 hour nap. He loves to sleep and never fights sleeping. I am so thankful we had Arlene Fryling help us and we were able to teach our son to sleep.