Jacob, 3 months: Sporadic napping and fighting bedtime
Jacob's sleep story...
Jacob had never been a very good sleeper but his mum Laura had been told since birth that this was very "normal" and there was nothing she could do about it. Still, Laura held out hope that things would improve. She made sure that Jacob was swaddled and sleeping in a dark room and even bought a musical mobile to try to lull him into sleep!
Laura was doing the best she could with the information she had, however, by 3 months old (when everyone said things would start to get better!) Jacob's sleep became even worse. Now, he was catnapping for 30-45 minute at a time, always at different times each day. This meant Laura never really knew what was coming next in her day and was reluctant to plan outings too, since Jacob was often unsettled and grumpy during his awake time..
By the late afternoon, Jacob was noticeably very tired and would end up having a longer nap at around 5PM for 45 minutes to an hour. But even then, he would still wake up cranky! Laura endeavoured to get him in bed by around 7PM, but every night he would "amp up" at this time and absolutely resist settling. As a result, it was taking Laura between 1-2 hours to get Jacob to sleep each night!
As if the days weren't tough enough, Jacob would also wake at random times overnight - sometimes 3 to 4 times a night. More often than not, Laura struggled to get him back to sleep and then he would be awake for the day at 6am.
Laura was exhausted but she refused to accept that there was nothing she could do to improve Jacob's sleep. She purchased our Baby Sleep Program and started Jacob on the sleep and feed schedule for his age. After reading through the information in the Program, she could see that there were a few factors contributing factors to Jacob's poor napping and unsettled behaviour, one of which was his nap timings and lengths.
Jacob needed some more structure to his napping, which would then lead to a more settled afternoon and a pleasant bedtime. Because of his catnapping tendency, Jacob had been getting very overtired during the day and this meant he definitely still needed that late afternoon sleep. The problem though, was that this sleep was too late in the day and for too long, so he wasn't tired enough to settle well at bedtime and sleep deeply overnight.
Following the schedule in our Program, Laura made some tweaks to Jacob's nap times and lengths, so that they were more appropriate for his age. Reducing his sleep in the late afternoon, and adding in a nice, relaxing bedtime routine, helped to get Jacob in the "zone" for sleep, which immediately improved his bedtime settling.
We suggested Laura make some changes to Jacob's room too - turning off the musical mobile that she'd been using at bedtime and introducing some calming white noise instead. Mobiles with music and lights are far too stimulating for young babies and can make it difficult for them to fall asleep and stay asleep. In contrast, playing continuous white noise all night long helps babies link their sleep cycles and sleep more soundly.
Within a few weeks of making these changes to Jacob's nap times and sleep environment, he was napping better during the day, more settled in his awake periods and settling quickly at bedtime. Laura also saw a huge improvement in his night sleep. Now, after giving Jacob a late dream feed, he was only waking once more for a quick feed, then going straight back to sleep until 7am.
Laura was told there was nothing she could do to improve Jacob's sleep but with the information and methods in our Sleep Program, she was able to completely turn his sleep around!
We can help make sleep a positive experience in your home too, with customisable schedules, gentle settling methods and more. We also have certified sleep consultants available day and night in our Little Ones Village to guide and support you on your journey to better sleep.