From sleeping on mom or dad, to all night in her own crib!
*this is a case study from a real-life mother 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.
Age: 5 Months
Naps: Whenever she fell asleep!
Nights: 2 hour stints on either mom or dad
Katie felt like she was failing. She knew her daughter Ellie wasn't getting the sleep she needed, but she didn't know how to improve their situation. Baby Ellie was a poor napper, only sleeping whenever she happened to fall asleep on mom or dad, or in the buggy. The same held true for their nights - Ellie was managing 2-hour stints, on one of her parents, who were both beyond exhaustion.
Mom Katie had previously tried a cry-based sleep training method with Ellie, but it hadn't worked.
They couldn't keep going as they were.
On a friend's recommendation, Katie found Little Ones and purchased our Baby Sleep Program. She quickly realised her daughter was overtired, due to her poor, unpredictable naps and fractured night sleep. She also had a strong sleep association with mom and dad. So Katie started with some changes:
- She started using white noise for Ellie's naps and overnight
- She introduced a nap time and bedtime routine, which included playing the same song as a sleep cue
- She worked with the nap schedules in our Sleep Program to ensure her baby was being put to bed after the correct amount of awake time for her age
- She gently moved away from Ellie sleeping on a parent, and helped Ellie learn to sleep in her own crib
- She cut down on interaction when attending to Ellie in the night - this meant not going downstairs and turning on the TV (something that is VERY stimulating to young babies in the night!)
Within 2 weeks Katie and her husband saw some big changes:
"It's incredible how much of a difference us all getting a good night's sleep makes. We are all less grouchy and don't dread night time anymore. I have my evenings back now so can actually sit down and eat a meal with my husband. It has made me feel more human again!"
And a month after starting the Sleep Program, Ellie began sleeping through the night!
"Ellie is an amazing sleeper now. Around a month after starting the programme she started sleeping through the night, something I had started to think would never happen."
Baby Ellie had no predictability to her day, was being kept awake for far too long between naps and was napping poorly as a result. She was ending the day very overtired, which in itself was severely impacting her night settling and sleep. Ellie was also in the habit of only sleeping on mom or dad, something that the family had resorted to in a desperate attempt to get a very unsettled, overtired baby to sleep. Because of the overtiredness, she was needing very active settling in order to stay asleep overnight. This situation just wasn't sustainable for anyone anymore.
[Watch this video for more information about overtiredness]
By following our Sleep Program, Katie could see how the overtiredness was impacting little Ellie all round. Shortening her awake windows to be in line with our recommendations for Ellie's age made a BIG difference:
"When I started putting Ellie down for the naps as scheduled I didn't think she would sleep as she didn't seem tired, but she did and she definitely needed them."
As did introducing some white noise and a bedtime wind-down routine. From there, allowing baby Ellie to fall asleep in her crib, or "self-settle" was not a cry-based affair. Because she was so perfectly ready for sleep and not loaded full of the overtired hormone cortisol, independent sleep was a lot easier to achieve with no tears and while still maintaining that very hands-on parenting Ellie was used to.
"Thank you so much for this programme, it sounds drastic but it really change our lives and I've recommended it to so many people already!"
If you're struggling with your little one's sleep, let us help you in a gentle, responsive way like we did for Katie and Ellie. Our Sleep Programs only use the most up to date research and methods and can be tailored to suit each individual family's situation. Just click here to get started on the road to better sleep.