Grace, 6 months: A simple change in routine made ALL the difference!
Grace's sleep story...
New mum Lauren had sought professional help for baby Grace's sleep when she was just 2 months old, due to her being quite an unsettled newborn. Lauren had been given a nap schedule that definitely helped her through the tricky newborn phase and coming from a background in teaching, Lauren really appreciated having some structure and predictability to their days.
At 6 months old, Grace was still following the same nap schedule, with 3 nice long naps a day of around 1-1.5 hours each. It seemed to be working for her because she had been sleeping well overnight too - waking just once or twice for a feed and settling easily back to sleep.
But then, all of a sudden, bedtime started to become a battle every night. As per the sleep plan, Lauren was trying to get Grace to bed for the night by 7pm, however Grace was now resisting settling, crying, fluffing around and not going to sleep until closer to 8pm.
Lauren found herself getting incredibly frustrated and stressed out because she didn't know what had changed for her great sleeping baby! She would try rocking or patting Grace to get her to sleep and even tried leaving her to cry, thinking she had no other choice. Nothing was working.
To exacerbate matters, once asleep, Grace was having a dream feed at 10pm but would then wake at 3am and be wide awake for up to 2 hours. Lauren could NOT get her back to sleep no matter what she did!
Frustrated and not wanting to pay hundreds of dollars for another private sleep consultation, Lauren contacted us. We could see exactly what was going on for little Grace. It was actually quite simple - Grace had grown out of the sleep plan she'd been given several months ago and now needed far less daytime sleep.
A baby's sleep needs are constantly changing. This means that their sleep patterns and schedules need to be constantly adapting and changing to keep up with their development. Baby Grace's naps were more suited to a 3 month old baby than a 6 month old, and cumulatively, she was having too much day sleep for her age. This resulted in her genuinely not being tired enough to settle to sleep at 7 PM.
At this age too, any large amount of sleep past 3pm can also result in very wakeful periods in the night, usually around 3am - this is exactly what was happening with Grace!
Lauren started following the nap timings in our Sleep Program, which meant capping Grace's morning sleep and saving the longer stretch of sleep for her lunch time nap. Since 6 months is also the time when a lot of babies drop down to just 2 naps a day, we suggested that that Lauren also try dropping the late afternoon nap altogether.
Lauren was apprehensive about these changes, seeing as Grace was used to a LOT more day sleep. She didn't think Grace would be able last from the end of her lunch sleep until bedtime, however, after some encouragement from our sleep consultants, she decided to give it a go.
On the very first day of implementing these changes, Grace was put to bed for the night at 6:30pm and was asleep within minutes. Lauren couldn't believe it! That night, Grace had her dream feed at 10pm as usual, then woke again at 3am. This time though it was different - instead of staying awake for hours, she had a quick feed and went straight back to sleep!
With the help of our Program, Lauren was able to easily navigate the nap transition at this age, so that Grace was having the perfect balance of awake time and sleep. This led to easy bedtime settling and a much better night time sleep, without the need for any kind of "sleep training". Lauren couldn't believe how easy it was:
I thought we were doing so well with Grace's sleep, and we were, but I just had no idea how much their sleep needs can change! I was getting so anxious about her sleep and dreaded the thought we might need to do some kind of sleep training, so I am so relieved we've found such an easy solution! Thank you Little Ones for giving us the tools to future-proof our baby's sleep!
Our Little Ones App has got you covered from birth to 3 years old - so there is no chance your baby will be stuck in a routine they've outgrown! Subscribe to our App to get instant access to all of our Sleep Programs, as well as personalised support from our team of friendly sleep consultants.