CASE STUDY: 10 week old, unsettled, crying, colic
*this is a case study from a real-life mum who reached out for help. We share our case studies in the hope it may help other mums who are in the same, or similar, situations. Not everyone parents in the same way, so please do not judge, criticize or demean these mothers and the parenting choices they have made in the best interests of their babies and their families.
Age: 10 weeks
Room: Dark room, white noise, swaddle
Naps: 8am-10am, 12.00pm-3pm
Nights: Slept well from 8pm until 1am, then woke hourly until 7am
Indie was a pretty settled baby... until it came to the afternoons and evenings. She would scream and cry from 5pm until 8pm. She wouldn't nap but she wouldn't feed either. She napped well in the morning, then she wouldn't nap in the afternoon due to being so unsettled. Maria would rock and feed, go for walks and try to get Indie to sleep for an afternoon nap, but Indie just continued to cry. Come 8pm everyone was exhausted and Indie would finally sleep but she would then wake hourly from 1am until 7am.
Indie was a windy baby and didn't burp overly well; sometimes it could take up to 30 minutes to get a good burp out. During the afternoons she could take even longer to burp and became very distressed at the same time. This meant she also swallowed more air while crying. After 3 weeks of her baby crying every afternoon and evening Maria took Indie to the doctor for some help.
Maria's GP diagnosed Indie with colic, which Maria found very hard to deal with each day because she knew that come afternoon, she would have to look after a very unsettled baby who was in pain and there was nothing she could do. Indie would strain, kick, grunt and flail her arms and Maria felt helpless. Her GP said it would get better at 12 weeks but it only seemed to be getting worse.
Maria got in touch with Little Ones and we quickly ascertained that little Indie was a great napper in the morning and was sleeping for a total of 5 hours during the day. Come evening she wouldn't nap again until she exhausted herself at 8pm. Indie's distribution of sleep was far too much in the morning which meant that she didn't need any further sleep in the afternoon, but this then lead to Indie becoming very overtired and hard to settle. We advised Maria to follow our Sleep Program closely and start adjusting the lengths and times of Indie's naps as per the Program. It only took a few days for Maria to notice massive improvements in Indie's ability to have a third nap, which meant Indie wasn't getting overtired by the end of the day. She was not nearly as unsettled as she had been and her colic symptoms had completely disappeared - further consultation with her GP confirmed that Indie's "colic" had in fact been severe overtiredness.
Indie napped well in the morning; too well! She had a massive 5 hours of sleep between 7am and 3pm which meant that she simply didn't need any more nap time; she just needed some awake time. But this meant she also became overtired and extremely unsettled, crying and appearing to be in pain at the end of the day as she was awake for too long between her last nap and bed time. This in turn lead to the diagnosis of colic, which has very similar symptoms.
After following our Sleep Program for a week, Maria was able to move and adjust Indie's naps to allow for more awake time in the morning. This also allowed Indie's napping time to be redistributed more evenly between 7am and 7pm so there was no time Indie could become overtired.
"I actually can't believe it - Indie doesn't have colic at all! She just needed to nap at slightly different times and not as much in the mornings. As an added bonus Indie now only wakes once or twice in the night rather than hourly as well!! Thank you Little Ones xox "
To get your baby sleeping better, our Baby Sleep Programs have everything you need.