Freya finally learn to self settle with a gentle no cry approach
Freya is a 6-month-old girl who was waking 2-3 times a night for a quick feed before going back to sleep, she was having short cat naps over the day and appeared to have a dummy sleep association and possibly a slight feed before sleep association due to the recent timing of her bottles and naps.
Freya had difficulties with weight gain over her life but this was resolved when mum's milk supply increased, and more recently when mum had made the move to formula full time. Freya is not drinking a lot of formula which could be due to her adjusting to taking bigger amounts in one go, or being a bit too lazy for her variable flow teat. Mum kept an eye on the goal which was for her to drink at least 600ml in 24 hours, but ideally, she would have this between 7am and 7pm so we could drop her night bottle.
Freya had been a cat napper for some time now, Mum learnt the importance of blacking out her room to help with this and also possibly trying some white noise for naps only.
These two things helped a little with the short naps.
A routine for Freya was implemented, this was quite fluid as she was learning to self-settle and also to consolidate her sleeps. Some days she needed an extra 10-20 minutes on the walk to school at 2.30pm, if her lunch nap was only 45 minutes, then she needed more than 20-30 minute at 4.30pm to catch up.
Mum aimed to have her awake by 10/10.15am so she would then take her lunch nap between 12-1pm and not delay the school pick up. Mum stuck to the feed times, but allowed a 45-60-minute window to offer the bottle, this way Freya was able to finish it, but also have enough time to develop true hunger before her next bottle.
We also moved those bottles away from her naps.
Freya was only awake for a short amount of time first thing in the morning, so we used gentle distraction such as a walk outside to keep her awake at least 2 hours, which then kept us on track for the day.
We spoke about helping her practice rolling to create some muscle memory and once she was rolling more frequently it was time to ditch her blankets so her cot was nice and safe.
Because Freya was 6 months, I suggested mum give her two attempts at solids each day, after lunch and at dinner time. If she showed no interest in lunch solids after a couple of weeks, then I suggested Mum only give her half a bottle, then her solids, then finish her bottle.
This way the bottle isn’t putting her off eating any solids.
This worked well and mum gradually increased her solids, and ensured she quickly made her way through the first foods, so she tried a range of fruits and vegetables and quickly moved onto meats.
We dropped Freya down to one bottle a night, using the self-settling approach outlined in our guides.
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