The following is a screening tool only.  This means it’s purpose is to look at common behaviours and see if they fit with certain outcomes that can explain sleep troubles in young children.  It does not diagnose any specific problem.  It also is more likely to find problems when there are none (false positives) than miss problems because the goal of screening tools is to catch as many problems as possible.  It is to be used as a tool to help you know what – if anything – to do next with respect to your child’s sleep.

Welcome to Evolutionary Parenting’s Brief Infant and Toddler Sleep Screening, otherwise known as BITSS.  This screening was developed as a response to what I saw as a growing need for families to access some quick information about their young child’s sleep.  Sleep is one of the most common worries for families and results in a lot of stress for everyone involved and my hope here is to start a family’s path towards happiness with sleep.  Many families worry something is wrong when really their child is quite normal.  Others think sleep is the problem when in reality it may be a health or feeding issue.  And sometimes we just do things as parents that can have a negative impact on our child’s ability to reach their sleep potential (which is highly variable and dependent on development).

This screening is short and should take less than 5 minutes to complete.  As it is a brief screening, it is not conclusive and to be used only as a guiding force for what you may want to look into next, if anything.  In some cases, you may be told there is the potential for a problem and really there isn’t (which is lovely!), and this happens because you have endorsed items that are frequently associated with a certain area.  Currently it is set for children up to 3 years of age, but may be relevant for some slightly older – you can try it out if you like!  It is definitely not relevant for children ages 6 and above.

When you receive your results, you will also be guided towards some general recommendations about who you can follow up with or any recommended readings.  I hope you find this helpful and I welcome any feedback on the test itself which you can send via email to: and please put “BITSS” in the subject line.


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For the following questions, please think about the last 3 months only:

1.How old is your child?
2.How frequently does your child wake during the night on average?
3.How long does it typically take for your child to fall asleep at bedtime (not overnight)?
4.How long does your child nap for during the day (total across all naps)?
5.Does your child do or have any of the following *when not teething or sick with a known cause*: Snoring; Mucus or blood in the stools; Regularly breathing through the mouth; Fevers without other symptoms; Mouth open most of the day; Passing gas regularly at night, sometimes painfully so; Rash on the body, eczema, ongoing diaper rash?
6.Does your child wake crying like in pain or screaming at any point during the night?
7.If you are breastfeeding, does any of the following occurred: Been told your child is not gaining enough weight or losing weight; Nursing non-stop during the day and/or night; Extended feeding sessions for your child’s age; Needing to burp regularly after nursing; Fussy behaviour at the breast and/or after a feed; Falling asleep early on in every feeding; You experience pain while nursing; Your child suffers from colic; Damage to your nipple since nursing; Your child swallows air while nursing; Your child has reflux or spits up or vomits regularly after feeds?
8.Does your child take a multi-vitamin and mineral?
9.If your child is over 1 year, would you consider your child a picky eater?
10.When does your child do his/her longest stretch of sleep?
11.Do you bedshare?
12.Do you struggle to identify your child’s sleepy cues?
13.Do you feel your child often gets overtired?
14.Does your child wake for long stretches in the middle of the night?
15.Does you child have any combination of the following: Colicky behaviour; ongoing rashes or ezcema; mucus in the stools; reflux or spitting up?
16.Does your child seem to get overwhelmed easily and struggle with things like: loud noises, crowded places, people talking over one another, certain types of clothing (like jeans or tags on clothing), finding lights too bright?
17.How long does it take for your child to fall back asleep overnight?