CASE STUDY: From a shaky start to easy settling and good sleep!
*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.
STACEY & ELIZABETH'S STORY
When Elizabeth was born she spent a week in the hospital due to some complications after birth. Her mother Stacey remembers commenting on how much Elizabeth slept, so much so that she was actually worried it was too much!
They arrived home from hospital when Elizabeth was 7 days old. Elizabeth was still sleeping most of the day and night. When she turned 3 weeks old she began to show symptoms of silent reflux. She was in horrendous pain when feeding and Stacey struggled to get even 1oz of milk into her per feed. Elizabeth struggled to sleep as she was either hungry or in pain. She spent her evenings from 5pm-midnight screaming the house down whilst Stacey tried rocking, patting and feeding her to sleep.
Eventually Elizabeth was diagnosed with silent reflux and CMPI (cows milk protein intolerance). She was put on Neocate formula and given medication to help. Stacey also discovered Elizabeth had an undiagnosed posterior tongue tie that was contributing to her issues. Once the tongue tie, reflux and intolerance were sorted, Elizabeth's symptoms when feeding improved dramatically and this meant she was back to sleeping all day again. Stacey thought this was great, however when 5pm arrived, Elizabeth was still screaming the house down for hours on end. Stacey was at her wits end. She spent hours trying to get her baby to sleep, only for her to wake up as soon as she was put down or at best, 45 minutes later. Elizabeth would wake to feed in the night and it would take over an hour to get her back to sleep.
Stacey returned back to the doctors to ask about Elizabeth's hours of crying every night. She was told her baby was suffering from colic. Stacey tried giving Elizabeth remedies to help, yet nothing improved. Stacey began to think it was something else causing the unsettled behaviour and she wondered about the one thing she hadn’t really put much thought into…sleep. Stacey had no idea about sleep and it was certainly never mentioned at any of her antenatal classes.
So, she began researching online. This is how she came across Little Ones; it popped up on her Facebook page one night just as she had finished the battle of getting Elizabeth to sleep. The answer was so simple; Elizabeth was sleeping all day, then it got to 5pm and she wanted and needed some awake time but then Stacey was letting her stay up far too long and she was ending up overtired! They were stuck in a vicious cycle of under and overtiredness.
Elizabeth was around 5 weeks old when Stacey purchased the Newborn Program and she began the very next day. Day one on the Program went very well, Stacey couldn’t believe it! She would place Elizabeth in her cot 10 minutes before the maximum awake times in the Program, pat her to sleep as described and off she went to sleep, with no fighting. By the time 5pm rolled around, Stacey's husband arrived home from work to her bathing a happy baby! That night, Stacey didn’t hear from Elizabeth until 2am for a feed.
"I couldn't believe it! We got to eat dinner and spend some time together and even watch TV!"
After her feeds in the night Elizabeth went straight back to sleep quickly.
At around 3 months old Elizabeth began showing signs that she was ready to self-settle. Each time Stacey placed her down for a nap or bedtime she gave her the chance to settle herself to sleep. Sometimes Elizabeth managed, sometimes she would need a little help. As the days went on she became more and more consistent until she was fully self-settling for every nap and bedtime.
"If it wasn’t for the Program and the maximum awake times I don’t think this would have been anywhere near as easy. Knowing exactly when Elizabeth was tired enough to sleep was giving her the best chance to self-settle."
By the time the dreaded four-month sleep regression hit Elizabeth was fully self-settling and she sailed through! But it’s not all been plain sailing - babies are only human afterall. Stacey has had times when Elizabeth would wake early, times when she couldn’t link sleep cycles during the lunch nap, but with the help of the Program and troubleshooting in the support group she's been able to fix and address what had been contributing to these issues.
Stacey says she and her husband are the envy of all of their friends with children! Elizabeth is now 6 months old and has slept through the night since she was 3.5 months old. Everybody comments on what a happy, content baby Elizabeth is, even strangers when out and about. Stacey knows this is because her baby is so well rested and getting all of her sleep needs met.
"Do I think we would be in this position without the Program? No way! Elizabeth would have been so used to being rocked, patted and fed to sleep that I would be constantly up overnight resettling her. Don’t get me wrong, I know we will have more hurdles in the future, further regressions and leaps, but I know I can always open my Program or ask in the support group and I’ll find some answers and guidance."
For more baby sleep advice see:
About the Author
Nicky Barker is a founder of Little Ones and mother to three children. Nicky holds a Bachelors degree, post-graduate qualification in Education and post-graduate certification in Paediatric Sleep.
Nicky is passionate about helping families make positive changes to their little ones’ sleep, enabling more confident parenting and healthier sleep patterns for everyone.