Ann and Alexander (16 weeks Old)
Ann and her son Alexander live in Oslo, Norway. Ann heard about Baby Sleep Answers through an article featuring the site in Practical Parenting Magazine. Ann was breastfeeding Alexander every 3 hours during the day and on demand at night and had just introduced him to solids for one meal a day.
Alexander slept erratically during the day and as a result his daytime routine was unpredictable. His bedtime routine was excellent and he fell asleep at night with no problems. However, he woke anytime between 11 and 2 for a feed and then every 2-3 hrs after that.
By the time Ann made her first post on the Baby Sleep Answers forum she was totally exhausted and had developed Post Natal Depression. She had tried other books claiming to help baby's sleep better, but they had not worked for Alexander.
The first few posts on the Baby Sleep Answers forum are intended to build a rapport with parents and establish the root of the sleep problem before going on to make recommendations. I explained to Ann that a 4 month old baby can do a longer stretch of sleep through the night than her little man was currently doing.
The first course of action that Ann and I decided to embark on was to get Alexander into a solid daytime routine. Feeds and naps would be taken at the right time and be for an appropriate length. I explained that as Alexander was now 4 months old he needed to be on a four rather than a three hour feeding routine. A four month old baby who is on a 3 hourly routine often has irregular naps and wakes in the night. At this point the routine needed to incorporate 2 good naps (2 hours each) and a cat nap.
Once we had designed a suitable programme, Ann elected to use controlled crying and pick up/put down to settle Alexander into it. I also recommended getting rid of Alexander's dummy right at the start of the process.
Implementing The Strategy
At first getting Alexander into the new routine was very difficult. He was waking too early from his naps and because he was still tired and none to happy about his new routine, he cried a lot.
Ann used the forum to get additional advice and extra support on a daily basis. Other users of the System offered her encouragement as well as me. Gradually over a couple of weeks Alexander's day time sleep patterns began to improve.
The next stage was to address the night time waking. We had another look at his routine during the night and took action including increasing his calories during the day to extend his sleep window.
A few weeks later Ann reported the following:
"Alexander turned 20 weeks old on Tuesday and I can honestly say, hand on heart, that this week has been a joy and for the first time I've really enjoyed being his mum.
He naps like a dream during the day, either in his cot or in his pram (I make sure that one of the naps is at home), he is a much more contented baby and I'm a much more contented mum. I don't feel so overwhelmed by the PND anymore and now have the energy to deal with it.
My husband and I are also rediscovering one another again and spending quality time together. I'm under no illusions that there won't be blips along the way and that I'll come back for more advice but in the meantime.
Thank you from the bottom of heart. You have no idea what your advice and support has meant to our family. You are one of a kind, Wendy Dean...a big hug from me."