Baby Levi – 9 Months
Baby Levi was 9 months old and had been feed to sleep or rocked to sleep for all of his life, he shared a studio apartment with his parents in the city, so there was little space and few doors – this resulted in Levi being assisted to sleep for every nap and several (every 2 hours) wake ups over night.
Due to frequent feeding over night Levi was not eating as much solid food as I would have expected for his age, we discussed what Levi should be eating, and increased his protein and complex carbohydrates, encouraging Levi to start to experiment with finger food too.
Mum was happy to move to food first 3 times a day since Levi was older than 8 months and NZ well-child provider’s encourage food first from this age onwards. This had a huge impact on how much Levi was eating and mum felt more confident that we would be able to eliminate night time feeding.
Levi was taking a long morning nap and an almost as long afternoon nap, the good news was that he obviously new how to re-settle between sleep cycles, as he napped some days for more than 45 minutes easily.
This was encouraging to mum that we could expect Levi to transfer these obvious re-settling skills to night and stop waking every 2 hours to be rocked or fed back to sleep.
We tweaked Levi’s day time routine and mum continued to feed or rock to sleep for a week as we changed his day time nap structure and feeding structure.
The family was moving to a new 3 bedroom house, we gave them a week to settle in and then mum was ready to sleep train Levi to teach him to self settle. Due to the fact that she had previously been bed sharing while feeding to sleep some nights, mum was keen to try a sleep training method which allowed her to stay in the room with Levi rather than leaving the room and shutting the door.
We discussed this at length and mum waited to start the sleep training on a weekend as she new she might need the support during the day so she could take a nap and catch up on some sleep.
The first night was relatively easy and I had to giggle reading her sleep logs questioning why Levi was not crying much and what she should do as he was not crying enough for mum to intervene, really just having a grizzle and then talking to himself.
Mum was actually over the moon that Levi was so content to be in his cot awake and not being fed or rocked to sleep that she didn’t mind that it look Levi 49 minutes to go to sleep that first night! But you know what? He didn’t wake again until 1am! No 2 hourly wake ups tonight!
Because Levi had self settled for the first time, there was no confusion when he woke at the end of a sleep cycle, or partial sleep cycle wondering where that boob had gone, or that rocking feeling. He was calm and confident and secure in his bed where he had previously gone to sleep, so he simply rolled over and went back to sleep until he was hungry enough to call out for a feed to mum.
Over the next 2 weeks we worked on self settling for naps and dropping Levi’s night feeds. He carried on increasing what he was eating, and even started crawling properly during his process.
I believe Levi and mum were so successful because they were both ready for this process and we took Levi’s temperament into account as well as mum’s patience level.
Not everyone has the patience for in the room sleep training, exhaustion and frustration can quickly set in and this is so normal, and nothing to panic about. We offer many different solutions based on your own circumstances.
Well done Levi and mum!