Baby Edward, 11 months
It was from sheer desperation that Edward’s mum Lisa (pseudonym) contacted All About Sleep for help with her baby’s sleep. Eleven month old Edward had been sleeping in Lisa’s bed because he refused to settle in his cot. Lisa just found it easier and a lot less stressful to feed him in her bed until he went to sleep. It got tricky though, because unless Lisa was lying next to Edward, he refused to settle in her bed. That meant that Lisa felt she had to be ‘tied to the bed’ for naps during the day and she was resigned to an early bedtime each night. On the odd occasion when she did manage to sneak out of the room, Edward would wake screaming after only thirty or forty minutes of sleep. He even fell off the bed onto the floor once or twice.
At night, Lisa would feed him to sleep at bedtime and not be able to get up and enjoy time with her husband for fear of him waking if she moved. Overnight was very hard because Edward was waking two hourly looking to feed back to sleep and this had ben going on for at least six months. Lisa said he would wake crying even though she was right beside him, but once fed, he’d slip straight back off to sleep easily. Edward’s dad had moved out to sleep in the spare room and their relationship was suffering because of this. Lisa was at her wits end and understandably exhausted. She was ready to make a change!
I developed a plan for Lisa and her family which respected her parenting style and Edward’s needs. The first step was that Edward needed to learn how to sleep in his cot in his own room. Lisa began teaching Edward to sleep in his cot with some gentle sleep training. She ‘camped out’ on a mattress beside the cot in Edward’s room for the first three nights. She was in the room close by as his loving support whilst he learned to self-settle. Once he could settle himself without feeding at bedtime and for his naps, Edward very quickly learned how to resettle himself overnight and sleep through the night. Lisa followed her plan of gradually withdrawing from Edward’s room.
Lisa couldn’t believe how much better she started to feel with more sleep and her relationship with her husband improved 110%. It was a positive change for Edward too, as he started eating more during the day and more sleep meant he was a lot less grumpy and irritable and so much happier overall.