Elizabeth's sleep story...
When Elizabeth (6 months) 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... 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 also 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. They tried 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. She had no idea about sleep and it was certainly never mentioned at any of her antenatal classes.
So, when Elizabeth was around 5 weeks old, Stacey 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. It turned out the answer was so simple...
Elizabeth was sleeping all day, then when it got to 5pm, she wanted and needed some awake time but then Stacey was letting her stay up far too long, so she was ending up overtired! They were stuck in a vicious cycle of under and over tiredness.
Stacey started following our Newborn Program with Elizabeth the very next day. Day one went so well, Stacey couldn’t believe it! She would place Elizabeth in her cot 10 minutes before the maximum awake times in her sleep schedule, pat her to sleep and off she went, with no fighting.
By the time 5pm rolled around, Stacey's husband arrived home from work to find 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 also 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 she managed, sometimes she would need a little help, but as the days went on Elizabeth 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 already fully self-settling and she sailed through!
Of course, it’s not all been plain sailing - babies are only human after all! There have been times when Elizabeth would wake early and times when she couldn’t link sleep cycles during the lunch nap. But with help of our detailed troubleshooting notes and our expert sleep consultants in the Little Ones Village, Stacey has been able to fix and address each of these sleep challenges.
Elizabeth is now 6 months old and has slept through the night since she was 3.5 months old. Stacey says she and her husband are the envy of all of their friends with children! And 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."
If you are experiencing similar challenges with your baby’s settling or sleep, we would love to help. Subscribe to our Little Ones App to get instant access to our trusted sleep solutions, detailed troubleshooting notes for when things don’t go to plan, as well as day and night support from our certified sleep consultants in the Village.