13 months, co-sleeping

CASE STUDY: 13 months, co-sleeping, waking all night

Maddison's sleep story...

From birth, Maddison slept in her bassinet, however, she would wake constantly through the night, nursing back to sleep each time. Her mum Krystle really struggled to get any type of day sleep routine in place and all of Maddison's naps were either on her mum or in a carrier, usually after nursing. If Krystle tried to transfer Maddison to her bed, she would wake instantly and not go back to sleep!

Later, when Maddison started outgrowing her bassinet, Krystle tried to move her into the cot but she wasn't having a bar of it! It was at this point that Krystle resigned herself to co-sleeping, so that they could both get some sleep. Despite this, Maddison continued to wake frequently through the night and nurse back to sleep each time.

Krystle had hoped that things might improve when Maddison started on solids but even this proved to be a struggle! Because Maddison was filling up on breastmilk through the night, she wouldn't have much to eat during the day and then the cycle continued.

After 13 long months, Krystle had had enough. She got in touch with Little Ones because she was so exhausted from getting very little sleep herself over the past year. With two older children to look after as well, Krystle felt like she didn't have enough energy to be engaged with her kids in the way she wanted.

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Krystle desperately wanted to get a better night's sleep for herself and for Maddison so she bought our Toddler Sleep Program and reached out to our sleep consultants to find out where to begin!

We could see straight away that Maddison was in the habit of being fed to sleep all night long, as a result of co-sleeping, and this was the only way she knew how to go to sleep. Krystle was positive about making a change to help her daughter, but we needed to get a few other factors lined up first.

Krystle started by making some changes to Maddison's sleep environment, introducing a super dark room, Lulla Doll, baby sleeping bag and white noise. We then helped her to make sure Maddison's day nap was at the right time and for the right length for her age. This would ensure that she was good and ready for sleep, making it a lot easier for her to settle in her own bed.

Because co-sleeping and feeding to sleep are very strong sleep associations, we wanted to approach Maddison's sleep quite sensitively, so we suggested that Krystle work towards independent sleep in stages. The first stage was to transition Maddison to her own sleeping space. Krystle was able to comfort Maddison through the whole process and nurse her when she was upset. Once she was used to sleeping in her own cot, Krystle then used our gentle self-settling methods to teach Maddison how to fall asleep without nursing.

The change Krystle noticed following the Program was instant. Maddison went straight down for her day sleep following the schedule on the very first day! It took approximately 3 nights to break the co-sleeping and feed-to-sleep habit and Krystle was able to comfort her baby during the whole process - there was no "cry it out" element.

After 3 nights, Maddison was sleeping through the night, in her own bed, with no wake ups! She would wake happy and with a really good appetite in the morning. She is still breastfed on demand during the day and now Krystle enjoys being able to spend quality time with her older children, while Maddison has her daytime sleep in her cot. Krystle says:

I feel like a better mum as I have more energy to keep up with my three kids under 4 after a full night's sleep!

If you've been struggling with your toddler's sleep, it's never too late to get help. In our Sleep Programs you'll find instant solutions to your little one's sleep challenges, customisable schedules, gentle settling methods and more. We can help you to set up great sleep habits that will last your child for years to come!

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