CASE STUDY: 6-10 weeks, not settling at naps and wanting to PARTY at night.
*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.
Room: Swaddled, white noise, dark room
History: Rose was born at full term, she was a good size at 3.72kgs. Her mother was breastfeeding and had an oversupply of milk.
From birth Rose was a good sleeper. Her mother Sasha had heard about not letting a baby get overtired and some of the books she had read said not to let the baby stay up for longer than an hour during the day. Rose was sleeping in her own room, swaddled and had white noise playing.
6 weeks: Rose was doing three long naps during the day and she was waking naturally from each nap.
7 weeks: Rose was still doing three long naps during the day, however she started crying before going to sleep; her mother thought she was overtired.
8 weeks: Rose became unsettled in the afternoon and also started resisting going to bed at 7 PM; sometimes she wouldn't actually sleep until 9 PM after a long period of crying. Her mother's friends and midwife told her she possibly had colic as this age is when colic is at its worst. Sasha was also told this is often called the "witching hour" and not to worry, that it was normal and that babies will grow out of it.
9 weeks: The unsettled behavior became worse before naps and in the afternoon and nighttime. Rose was crying a lot of the day and had now started waking multiple times overnight and having a very restless sleep. She started waking at 3 AM where she sometimes wouldn't settle back to sleep until 5 AM.
10 weeks: Sasha took her baby to her GP who thought that the multiple wakes overnight and her unsettled crying during the day were definitely colic.
Sasha purchased Little Ones Sleep Program and started following the 9-12 week old one. The first day was an eye opener. Sasha realised she needed to have bit more control over the nap lengths Rose was having and suddenly, for the first time in what seemed like forever, Rose went down for naps and bedtime without a fuss. She was not crying before naps anymore and was happy to go to sleep! She still woke overnight for one feed but settled straight away after the feed until 7 AM. No long awake periods for 2 hours overnight and no other wakes from restless sleep.
Because Rose's mum was worried about making Rose overtired during the day she was letting her nap for extended periods of time. Rose was, essentially, sleeping for far too long in the day. Rose was protesting at the beginning of naps, not because she was overtired, but because she was undertired at each nap. Her total amount of day sleep was too much leading to "the witching hour" where she actually just needed to have some awake time. This eventually also caused her 3 AM wake for 2 hours because Rose had already slept too much in her 24 hour period and wasn't tired enough to sleep well during the night. Rose needed to be guided to the fact that the daytime, not the night, was awake time!
As soon as Sasha started following the Sleep Program, she knew to keep Rose awake for longer during the day between naps and have some control over the amount of time Rose napped for, which meant she settled well for each nap because she was perfectly ready for sleep. The witching hour was immediately gone as was the long wake overnight. She definitely didn't have colic.
After a week of following the Program Sasha had a much happier baby who was awake for the perfect amount of time and slept well at night.
*This case is not to be used in place of advice by a medical professional
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Make sure you check out WAKEY WAKEY! Why waking your baby can lead to MORE sleep... or NAPS: the art (and importance) of good day sleeps