Ella, 3 months: Catnapping all day and unsettled at bedtime
Ella's sleep story...
Baby Ella had been a pretty good newborn for the first couple of months. Once she hit the 8 week sleep regression though, her newborn "sleepiness" wore off and she started catnapping during the day. Her mum Louise tried swaddling her, feeding her more, tried resettling her to sleep, playing white noise, tried putting her in the baby swing, in the stroller.... NOTHING seemed to work!
So Louise assumed that Ella must be overtired. She started settling Ella to sleep just one hour after she last woke. It took a LOT of settling to get her to sleep and then, much to Louise's dismay, Ella would STILL only sleep for 30-45 minutes at a time.
After catnapping all day, Ella would finally crash out around 4pm and sleep for up to 2 hours. This was a welcome break for Louise but she paid for it dearly come bedtime at 7-7:30pm, with Ella becoming extremely unsettled. Once Louise finally managed to get her to sleep, she would often wake 45 minutes later, ready to party.
After weeks of catnapping and bedtime battles, Louise was at her wits end and unsure what to try next. She got in touch with us when Ella was 3 months old to see if we could help to get her sleep back on track.
Reading through our Baby Sleep Program, Louise realised that Ella's nap structure needed some tweaking. It turned out that Ella wasn't overtired at all! Her catnapping was actually caused by her having too LITTLE awake time between naps in the day; meaning she wasn't tired enough to sleep for longer than one sleep cycle.
Since catnapping isn't a very restorative form of sleep, she was shattered by the late afternoon and having a very long nap there to catch up. This then had the knock-on effect of making her UNDER tired at bedtime, leading to her unsettled behaviour and waking after one sleep cycle.
Louise started following the nap timings in our Program and after chatting with our sleep consultants, she was also advised to use blackout blinds in Ella's room. This would make it easier for Ella to sleep for longer stretches in the day and it would also help her to settle quicker at bedtime.
All humans need the dark, in order to release melatonin, the hormone that helps us to fall asleep and stay asleep. Since Ella's room was quite light, her body wasn't releasing enough melatonin to help her to stay asleep at bedtime, which was contributing to her waking 45 minutes later.
A week into the Program and Ella was a different baby! Now that she was being put to bed at the right times, she was able to fall asleep easily and stay asleep for longer. Keeping the afternoon nap short also meant she was good and ready for sleep come bedtime at 7pm and was able to sleep for a longer stretch overnight as a result.
I wish I had found you guys sooner! Your Program has made all the difference to my little girl's sleep and it was a lot easier than I thought it would be. The support in this group has also been amazing and I will be recommending you to everyone I know!
Improving your baby's sleep doesn't have to be difficult or complicated! Our Little Ones App has everything you need to achieve quick results, including age-appropriate sleep schedules, gentle settling methods and support from our expert sleep consultants.