Cat napping and 6-12 wakes a night.
5-month-old Albie was still only cat napping during the day, relying on his “big sleep” at night, although “big sleep” is a rather charitable description.
Night times weren’t actually all that different: Albie might wake up anywhere between 6 to 12 times during the night. Each time, he’d expect to be fed, and his Mum couldn’t find any other way to put him back to sleep.
After his feed, Albie would fall asleep contently on his Mum’s chest. Which, while very cute, was nevertheless exhausting for his Mum. Of course she would try to put him down in his cot, but he’d immediately wake up again.
And since she wasn’t getting much sleep as it was, it didn’t seem worth the battle to keep Albie in his cot.
Having a sleepless infant left Albie’s Mum feeling like a prisoner. Doing even seemingly simple tasks became as daunting as climbing Mt Kilimanjaro.
Going to the doctor, for example?
Well that required taking a grumpy, sleep-deprived baby on a trip in the car, waiting around in a reception area behind a queue of people, having to distract Albie through the appointment, and then get in the car to drive back home again.
Everything revolved around Albie’s short naps and he was just draining. It was enough to make Mt Kilimanjaro look like an inconvenient hill.
Consultation teaches confidence
Even though Albie was still relatively young, his Mum knew she needed help now. She called Abby, a Baby Sleep Consultant, to come in for a home consultation.
Abby listened as Mum explained about her son’s naps, routines, and eating habits, and then together they worked on a plan to get Albie sleeping better.
“The first thing we did when looking at Albie’s room was to make it a bit darker,” explains Abby. Despite the curtains, a lot of nurseries still get a lot of light filtering in. Having a light sleep room for your baby is often one of the main factors contributing to your baby cat napping. “So we hung sheets up to block out as much light as we could, and then we swaddled Albie.”
The plan then was to use the “pick up, put down” method, which is gentle but effective.
Although Albie’s Mum had heard of this technique before, what made it really click this time around was having Abby there to help guide her through it.
In the past, Albie’s Mum had felt like she couldn’t put him down because when he’d cry, she wouldn’t know what to do.
Was that normal crying?
Or was she being a bad Mum? Did Albie need picking up and comforting? These were all (very normal!) questions and worries.
With Abby there, they were able to read the cries together and decipher them. “Having someone there to do that with you is a real comfort,” says Abby. “It’s better than reading a book because every baby is different and a book can’t tell you how you should respond in every given situation.”
There were times during the consultation when Albie would cry really hard, and Abby encouraged Mum to pick him up and comfort him.
His Mum quickly picked up on the different types of cries and became more confident to leave him when he wasn’t crying a lot. During the consultation, Albie became settled enough to have a really good snooze too! Good bye cat napping Albie…
Sleeping soundly now
With her new-found confidence, Albie’s Mum – and little Albie himself – took really quickly to the “pick up, put down” method. Albie started sleeping better, and less frequently, during the day so that he would then sleep more solidly come nighttime.
Within 10 days, Albie was accustomed to a set routine of “perfect daytime naps” and would only wake up once during the night, “which at 5 months is great!” says Abby.
While it’s fantastic that Mum is now getting more sleep too, the benefits of Albie’s new sleep routine have had a far wider-reaching impact. Mum is thrilled to bits that she can now take Albie out more successfully, by working around his nap times. Abby is happy that she could help another mother develop “those tools to look at the day holistically, and decide how to go about her day.”
Meet Baby Sleep Consultant Abby HERE
Contact Abby for an obligation free chat on 0416 803 477
Clients rave about Abby
“Absolutely amazing! The support has been incredible and being a first-time mum it’s so wonderful to have someone there to listen and give advice in probably the most important area of a babies life – sleep! I can not tell you what a difference it has made both for me, to have a structured routine, and for CJ who I feel is a much happier baby because he’s starting to see some really patterns forming in his life, no more cat napping. Again I can not thank you enough. You’ve been my lifesaver!”
“It’s been amazing. To be honest when Abby suggested she was getting too much day sleep I didn’t believe her as I had read 4 sleep books and was doing what all 4 said. 2 1.5 hour sleeps for her age and the books had always worked, well until 7-8 months,
Desperate I thought I need to try Abbys method It can’t make it worse, can it. Turns out she was right. She is back sleeping 12-13 hours at night with no wake ups, she is back to her happy self. I am not as stressed out and anxious mum all the time worrying when will she wake up. I was worried she would start cat napping, but she loves the new routine. Ricky and I have time again for each other to talk and catch up as we are not trying to fight her to settle and resettle. For an hour each night. I am able to catch up and be on top of things because I am getting sleep and can have me time again when she naps. I am refreshed and a new women. For only being one week in and having 6 of the 7 nights lydia back sleeping between 11.5 -13 hours all of those night with out us needing her to resettle or give a bottle ect is amazing. The experiment as been well worth the time, effort, hard work, crying and money. I don’t think we can put a price on good sleep for everyone. THANK YOU ABBY!!!”
Abby’s Cat Napping Check list
If you’re wanting to nip your babies cat napping in the butt, check out Abby’s quick check list
- Sleep environment nice and dark
- White noise turned up
- Appropriate positive sleep associations
- Enough awake time that baby is tired enough to not cat nap
- Baby not over tired
- Aim for naps to fall inside biological sleep windows
- Baby isn’t hungry or in pain
- Baby isn’t feeding to sleep or reliant on a dummy under 6 months old
- Baby can easily self settle independently
- I’m ready to commit to working on re-settling consistently
Download our FREE cat napping NO more work book and nap routines HERE
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