Rose's sleep story...
First time mum Sascha had read a lot of books to prepare for the birth of her baby, Rose. Some of those books said not to let your baby stay up for longer than one hour during the day, otherwise they could get overtired. NO ONE wants to deal with an overtired, cranky baby, so from the moment she brought Rose home from the hospital, Sasha stuck to that advice like glue!
Right on the one hour mark, she would take Rose into her room and start settling her for sleep. Sasha has also read that it was important to establish some positive sleep associations, so Rose was swaddled and sleeping in a dark room, with white noise playing.
Up until around 6 weeks of age, Rose was feeding and sleeping really well. She was doing three long naps during the day and waking naturally from each nap. From 6 weeks on though, Sasha started to notice some changes. Here's how things unfolded...
7 weeks: Rose was still doing three long naps, but now she was crying and fussing before going to sleep. Sasha assumed she was overtired, so she started putting Rose down for her naps a little earlier.
8 weeks: Rose was becoming really unsettled in the afternoons and was also resisting bedtime at 7pm. Some nights Sasha couldn't get her to sleep until 9pm, after lots and lots of crying. Frustrated and confused, Sasha turned to her mother's group and midwife for help.
Her mother's group told her it was probably just the "witching hour" and not to worry, because "it's normal" and babies grow out of it. Her midwife told her that Rose could possibly have colic, since around this age is usually when colic is at its worst.
9 weeks: Rose's unsettled behaviour continued to get worse before naps and especially in the afternoon and early evening. Rose was crying a lot during the day and had now started waking multiple times overnight too. Her sleep was very restless and when she woke at 3 AM, she sometimes wouldn't settle back to sleep until 5 AM!
10 weeks: By now, Sasha was at her wits end so took baby Rose to her GP, who thought that the multiple wakes overnight and Rose's unsettled crying during the day were definitely colic.
But Sasha wasn't convinced.
She purchased our Newborn Sleep Program and started following the schedule for Rose's age. The first day was an eye opener! For the first time in what seemed like forever, Rose went down for naps and bedtime without a fuss. She wasn't crying anymore and actually seemed happy to go to sleep!
Overnight, she woke for one feed but afterwards, settled back to sleep straight away and slept right through until 7 AM. No other wakes and no early morning party from 3-5 AM! She also seemed to be sleeping a lot more soundly now.
After reading through our Newborn Program, Sasha understood that she needed to keep Rose awake for longer between naps and that she also needed to have a bit more control over the amount of time Rose napped for during the day. She has been so worried about Rose getting overtired that she had actually been letting her sleep too much during the day.
When your baby is brand new, they may only be able to stay awake for one hour at a time before they need to be settled back to sleep. By the time your baby reaches 12 weeks old though, their awake times will have gradually stretched out to closer to 2 hours.
If your baby's awake times and nap lengths are not adjusted to suit their changing sleep needs as they grow, you will likely find that your baby begins to resist settling, starts napping for short periods, wakes more frequently in the night or stays awake for long periods in the night.
As soon as Sasha started following the sleep schedule for Rose's age, she was easier to settle for naps, and the "witching hour" and prolonged wake overnight were both gone. It also became clear that Rose definitely did NOT have colic!
Sasha realised that Rose was protesting and crying at her naps and bedtime, not because she was overtired, but because she was actually UNDER tired. With a bit more awake time, Rose became easier to settle because now she was perfectly ready for sleep.
Too much day sleep was also the cause of Rose's restless sleep overnight and prolonged wake at 3 AM. Babies need a certain amount of sleep hours over a 24 hour period and because Rose was having a lot of those sleep hours during the day, she simply wasn't tired enough to sleep well during the night. By taking more control over Rose's naps, Sasha was able to set her up for a much better overnight sleep.
After just one week of following our Newborn Program, Sasha had a much happier baby who was settling and sleeping well during the day AND night. And you can have that too.
Our Sleep Programs help you to keep on top of your baby's changing sleep needs, with evolving, age-appropriate, daily sleep schedules, troubleshooting notes for when things don't go to plan, gentle settling methods and much more.
*This sleep story should not be used in place of advice by a medical professional.