Indie, 10 weeks: Unsettled, crying... and colic?
Indie's sleep story...
Indie was a pretty chilled baby... until it came to the afternoons and evenings! She napped well in the morning from 8-10am, then had a nice long lunch nap from 12-3pm, but then in the afternoon she refused to sleep and became more and more unsettled.
Maria tried rocking and feeding her, and going for walks, but Indie just continued to cry. From 5pm until 8pm everyday, she wouldn't sleep, she wouldn't feed... she would just scream the whole time! Come 8pm everyone was exhausted and Indie would finally fall asleep. The relief was short-lived though as she would then wake hourly from 1am until 7am.
Indie was also quite a windy baby and didn't burp overly well - sometimes it could take Maria up to 30 minutes to get a good burp out of her. During the afternoons she would 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 because she felt like there was nothing she could do. Every afternoon Indie would strain, kick, grunt and flail her arms, seemingly in pain, and Maria felt helpless. Her GP said the colic would get better at 12 weeks but things only seemed to be getting worse. So Maria decided to see if we could help.
We quickly ascertained that little Indie was a great napper - in fact, she was napping a little too well! She was having a massive 5 hours of sleep between 7am and 3pm, meaning she didn't actually need any more sleep during the day - she needed more awake time.
BUT because Indie was having all of that sleep earlier in the day, this lead to Indie becoming very overtired and hard to settle later in the day. So we advised Maria to start adjusting the lengths and times of Indie's naps to match the schedule in our Sleep Program. This would ensure Indie's sleep was more evenly distributed across the day.
It only took a few days for Maria to notice massive improvements. Soon, Indie was happily having an afternoon nap each day, meaning she was no longer getting overtired by the end of the day. She was not nearly as unsettled as she had been and to Maria's amazement, her colic symptoms completely disappeared!
Further consultation with her GP confirmed that Indie's "colic" had in fact been severe over tiredness. Over tiredness can mimic the symptoms of colic, causing babies to become extremely unsettled in the afternoon and evening - a time commonly referred to as "the witching hour".
Following the sleep schedules in our Program helped Maria to redistribute Indie's sleep more evenly between 7am and 7pm so there was no time that she could become overtired. Not only did this completely resolve Indie's "colic" symptoms, it improved her night sleep too:
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
If you suspect your baby might have colic, or if you're struggling with "the witching hour", our Sleep Programs can help you rule out over tiredness as the cause. You'll get instant access to customisable sleep schedules, comprehensive troubleshooting notes, gentle settling methods and more. Our team of expert sleep consultants are also available, day and night, to provide you with more personalised guidance and support.