Learnings for mum and baby – as Charlee-Rose adapts to sleeping in her bed
- First time mum
- Unstructured sleep
- 1-2 hourly night wakes
- Contact naps only
- Short naps
Check out Teegan's story and the amazing change to her daughters sleep.
First-time mum Teegan didn’t think she wanted to be a ‘routined mum’. “I always thought I was just going to wing it.” But then lock-down happened – and Teegan found herself and her 18 week old daughter Charlee-Rose with no-one else in their bubble.
“I’m a single mum and my parents were working as essential workers over this time, so it was literally just the two of us. My unstructured approach wasn’t working for us anymore. I was so tired and getting absolutely to my wit’s end,” Teegan explains.
4.5-month-old Charlee-Rose was sleeping for four hours at night, then waking every hour or two for the remainder needing to be fed back to sleep.
During the day, she would only sleep on her mum. This was a demanding set-up for Teegan, who was unable to get any downtime. Teegan reached out to Baby Sleep Consultant and was connected with Christchurch-based sleep consultant, Andrea.
Support was here
“Given everything else that was going on in the world, we couldn’t do a home visit but the phone consult was amazing and helped so much more than I thought it could,” Teegan shares. “I explained what was happening and Andrea knew exactly where I was coming from. She understood just what I was describing. It seemed Charlee-Rose was following quite normal patterns for a baby her age.”
Andrea could also tell, in learning about Charlee-Rose’s temperament, that she was an ideal age to start getting the foundation of a routine.
She could learn to settle and soothe herself as part of going off to sleep.
“Catnapping can end about 18 weeks, and a baby can start – at that age – to learn how to link sleep cycles. It’s the perfect age to start getting some consistency into the day and working with sleep windows,” Andrea explains.
For Teegan, it was the educational nature of the consult that she found empowering – as well as being able to sense-check her expectations.
“Andrea explained that some babies take longer to get into a routine than others, but it was reassuring to know that Charlee-Rose’s age was an OK time to start. My ultimate goal was – like all parents – to have her sleeping through the night eventually, but I just wanted help to get her to go to sleep in her bed to start with.”
So what else did Teegan learn?
“I thought that we were going through a sleep regression – and maybe that was part of it – but I also discovered that I wasn’t really giving Charlee-Rose a chance to settle herself back to sleep. I think I was sometimes getting sleep cues confused with hunger cues and I didn’t realise the process babies go through as they’re winding down and learning to fall asleep,” Teegan describes.
Andrea talked Teegan through a good day-time routine for a baby Charlee-Rose’s age – with how long she was likely to be able to stay awake – as well as how babies move between the stages of awake, drowsy, and asleep.
They also talked more about crying and how to avoid interfering with this process, while still providing the support they need.
“Babies don’t come with a manual, although it would probably be a bit easier if they did!” Teegan laughs.
“The timings that Andrea and I talked through helped me to recognise Charlee-Rose’s cues even better. We talked about feeding as well, and how that influences sleep. There’s so much conflicting information out there, but being able to talk with someone about specifically what would work for us made such a big difference. I couldn’t believe the results of a few tweaks.”
A routine sees them right
Andrea drew up a personalised plan for Charlee-Rose and talked this through with Teegan, who felt really confident in the plan.
It appears that little Charlee-Rose was ready for a routine too as in less than a week she was sleeping all three of her naps in her bed.
“I couldn’t believe that I could put her down awake and she was able to put herself to sleep, but we’ve been following the plan since we got it,” Teegan gushes.
“If Charlee-Rose does protest a bit, she fusses for no more than five minutes – it’s amazing. I just can’t believe it!”
Teegan loved the difference a bit of structure made too.
“Now we have a routine to our day and I can plan things around that, which is actually working much better than winging it. I’m much happier as a mum and Charlee-Rose is a much happier baby. I’m still following her lead largely – it’s not clock-watching. I take my cues from her and can sense-check against the clock, but knowing those awake times has made the whole thing go so much more easily.”
There were some other unexpected benefits to better sleeping too.
“Charlee-Rose is also feeding much better during the day. Her three hourly feeds are bigger and last her for longer,” Teegan adds.
Because Charlee-Rose adapted so quickly to her new routine, Teegan didn’t need all the follow-up support available with her phone consult. Andrea’s offered extended support if the pair face any other sleep setbacks.
“I feel like the foundation of this routine means I’m more ready for when the little developmental leaps cause road bumps too. Knowing I can call Andrea again is awesome!” Teegan shares.
“Now that we have a routine, and it’s pretty established, it’s made a total difference to our life. It’s what we both needed. It’s been great!”
Our Baby Sleep Program helps tired parents TO DEVELOP HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS BY FOCUSING ON NAPS, SETTLING AND NIGHT SLEEP.
- Empowered: Feel empowered as a Mum as you learn to understand your growing baby's needs and cues.
- Simple effective settling: Gentle, proven self settling, evidence based techniques.
- Content happy baby and parents: Better sleep creates content babies & happy parents.
- Freedom: Predictable routines and longer nights creates freedom. Solve your sleep problems for more freedom.
- Work with your babies circadian rhythm: Work with your babies biological clock for faster easier results.
- Awesome naps & nights: You'll create consistent naps and nights with our support.
Try our online sleep program, complete with FREE email support.
My baby has reflux can you help?
When your baby has reflux, feeds can be difficult and your baby can be in a lot of pain both during and after feeds. This pain can cause feeding aversions and failure to thrive. This is why true GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) needs to be treated by a doctor. Once your baby's doctor is satisfied your baby is feeding well, and you have the right medication or formula then we can start a sleep plan and you will be successful.
My baby has colic will this help?
Colic is defined as 3 or more hours of crying per day in infants. Crying subsides in the second second trimester. If you are still experiencing colic symptoms speak to your baby's doctor about whether this could be reflux, an allergy, or over tiredness. We can help you work on better sleep with this program at the same time as your doctor investigates the pain and crying.
What if the program isn't working?
We have a dedicated help line to ensure your success. Just email our team via the details in your program and a certified, experienced and friendly sleep consultant is ready to stare you in the right direction to ensure your success!
My baby was born early, can you help?
Sleep is neurological so we always work off your babies neurological age, that is their corrected age. When you look at our sleep programs purchase the program that your babies corrected age fits into.
What if I have questions or need more help?
Our sleep programs come with private email support. You don’t have to post in any public forums or groups, just email the exclusive helpline that our team of certified sleep consultants look after and we’ll answer all your questions and help you on your way.
Can this program help with my babies night sleep?
Yes, all our online sleep programs contain night sleep plans. We will teach you how to move from multiple night feeds to 2 or 1 or none (depending on what is age appropriate and appropriate for your baby.) Don’t worry we will show you to figure this out too. If your baby is unsettled at night but not feeding, our plans will help you with consolidate night sleep and self settling when age appropriate.
My baby is cat napping can you help?
Cat napping is a very normal physiological stage that your baby goes through. At this stage (3-8 months old), cat napping can start to be a long term issue and compound into over tiredness and affect night sleep and your babies happiness. Good news, this is a great age to work on re-settling, self settling and better longer naps!
I have 3 children, can this work with my family?
I totally understand how busy life is with 2, 3 or more children! Even if you need a flexible schedule we can still work on settling regular naps (some on the go!), and better evenings and night. Flick our consultants any specific questions about your family's schedule of activities and we can help you work out what is possible nap wise.
I don't want a fixed routine, can you still help?
Yes. A fixed routine is one option, regular naps and regular awake times is another. Both are valid and you are welcome to do what works for your family. We understand you are all different and what works best for one family won't be best for another.
I'm formula feeding, can you still help?
Yes we have specific advice for formula feeding parents, and we support your decision to feed any way you choose. We even have a special video series on formula feeding and everything you need to know. Just ask our consultants about this extra if you need it.
I'm exclusively breastfeeding, can I follow your plans?
Yes! While breastfeeding babies need to feed frequently they still need quality sleep day and night. We have specific advice for breastfeeding mums and an exclusive discount on Julia Daleys breastfeeding course if you need extra help.
I'm bed sharing, can your program help me stop?
Yes. We often fall into bed sharing, we call this reactive bed sharing. Or we have simply changed our mind, and moving on from bed sharing we need some support. Our programs and consults will guide you through gentle sleep methods, which are more appropriate for most bed sharing babies who are moving towards independent sleep in the cot.
I'm feeding to sleep, can you help me stop?
Yes. Feeding to sleep is a common sleep association and one that works well for lots of newborns. Often we need to move on from feeding to sleep when it starts to cause short naps, or prolonged settling or frequent night wake ups as baby looks for their association to go back to sleep over and over again at night. We can teach you how to teach your baby to self settle and move on from feeding to sleep when the time is right.
I'm rocking to sleep, is their a solution?
Yes. These are common sleep associations, we refer to this as assisting to sleep. Let us show you ways you can develop independent sleep and settling strategies with our online sleep program, or one on one consult.
Is this program based on Cry It Out?
No. Cry it out is the common name for a sleep training method where you put baby down and don’t respond or check until they are fast asleep. There is no CIO involved in this program as we feel this should be only done under proper supervision. Instead we have included all our very gentle approaches and more mainstream techniques for you to choose from.
Is this based on Science or Art?
Both! As a scientist I (Emma) have spent over 8 years researching the science of sleep. I have educated and certified over 500 consultants around the world as sleep consultants, and have worked with thousands of clients. I love the scientific explanations of why we see the sleep patterns we see, and this science helps us to shape plans and solutions that we know will work. But there's an element of art to getting a baby to sleep, understanding the right combination of things that will work best, and this is where your instinct comes in.
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