Written by: Nicky Barker, Founder of Little Ones & Paediatric Sleep Specialist
*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.
Baby: Phoebe 10 months ( now 16 months )
Room/naps: only swaddled until 3 months. Light room. No routine and fed to sleep.
When Phoebe was 10 months, Rachel started getting a little routine into their lives and Phoebe would sleep for 1.5 hours in the morning, 2 hours after she woke up, and sometimes the same in the afternoon, which Rachel thought was great seeing as it was a battle if Phoebe didn't sleep in the afternoon. Bedtime was around 7pm but Phoebe would scream the house down before going to sleep, every. Single. Time!
Rachel would eventually go to bed feeling the dreaded unknown around when Phoebe would wake overnight. Often she would wake at 11 (just after Rachel had fallen into a deep sleep) and then around 1 or 2am. Each time Rachel would try to feed or bring into bed with her but Phoebe just wanted to stay awake. Being older, she would pinch and kick and want to play sometimes for a couple of hours!
Rachel was at her wit's end with being back at work and constantly feeling guilty and tired and she just could not see the light at the end of the tunnel.
She's since told us that Little Ones came up on her Facebook page as an ad and for a few weeks she thought about it before checking it out. Eventually she emailed us as she was not really sure where to start. Amanda suggested Rachel downloaded our Older Baby Sleep Program as the best place to start and it worked the first day! Phoebe slept for 12 hours that night! Rachel was stoked. However after that it took a few weeks for her to get into the swing of things. Rachel also added in a few things like a Sleepytot for Phoebe's pacifier, having protein at lunchtime, super dark room for every nap and a milk top up before bed. Rachel stopped feeding to sleep and started working on our gentle self-settling method.
At 10 months, Phoebe was having far too much day sleep and it was not spaced at the optimum times in the day to allow her to settle well at bedtime and sleep well through the night. Her wakeful periods in the night were due to having had too much daytime sleep and simply needing some awake time. By following our Program, Phoebe was napping at the right times, which straight away helped her consolidate her night sleep. She was also settling much better at bedtime because she was ready for sleep and not under-tired as she had been previously.
After 3 weeks Rachel's life was changed. Her baby slept for 12 hours every night, she napped well during the day when she was meant to and it actually made Rachel's life far more flexible because she would work around Phoebe's sleeps.
"After being super skeptical about routines I have had to eat my words. Not every day is perfect and she still has wakes up with development periods but she is so much more settled, she does not cry every single time we put her down and I no longer feel guilty or stressed about my daughter's sleep. I cannot thank the team at Little Ones enough! Who knows where I would be if that Facebook ad didn't pop up!"
To get YOUR baby sleeping better, our Sleep Programs are the best place to start.
Make sure you read Sleep Associations: what's all the fuss about and Routines: mythbusting fact from fallacy for more baby sleep advice.