Success Story: From rocking and feeding to sleep to restful nights and regular naps

At 11 months old, Annabelle’s parents were struggling with breastfeeding and rocking her to sleep for every nap, bedtime and multiple wake-ups in the night. With the help of our 10-18 month Sleep Success course, Annabelle now sleeps all night and the whole family is so much happier.

“I read some conflicting advice about ‘sleep training’ before we looked into this course. But we didn’t ‘sleep train’ Annabelle. We allowed her the chance to realise that she can fall asleep all by herself. We are incredibly proud of her and so grateful we took the plunge and gave it a go. Our life as a family is so much happier and healthier. Thank you so much”

Suzy, Annabelle's Mum

Annabelle had always struggled with her sleep, even when she was a newborn. When she was just 2 weeks old parents, Suzy and Christian, found out Annabelle was suffering from acid reflux which really affected her ability to sleep. 

A diagnosis of a cow’s milk protein and egg allergy were diagnosed soon after.

“I made changes to my diet (Annabelle was exclusively breastfed) and she became more settled during the day but her sleep didn’t improve, which we really hoped would have happened”

Fast forward a few months and, with a return to work looming, Annabelle’s parents felt it was time to make a change:

"When Annabelle was 10 months old we decided it was time to get some help, so we bought the 10-18 month course. We just couldn’t carry on the way we were.

Annabelle was breastfed or rocked to sleep for all naps and night time sleep. She had never slept for more than a few hours without waking and needing help getting back to sleep. It was becoming increasingly difficult to manage as the months went on and my health was becoming affected. I was also panicking about returning to work after maternity leave and being so sleep deprived."

Every baby is different, and some will feed at night much longer than others, but Suzy felt the time was right for Annabelle to drop her night feeds.

“She was eating three good meals a day so I knew the night feeds could be reduced so we tied this in with starting the course”

Making changes to how your little one sleeps can feel like a daunting task – getting started can sometimes be the hardest part. Nerves about crying and making the right decisions for your baby can make it feel overwhelming – our Sleep Success courses are designed to empower you to make informed choices for your baby. 

Our methods aren’t a one size fits all approach, families can take what they learn from the courses and put changes in place at their own pace and adapt the approach to suit them. This is what Suzy and Christian did…

“We were initially very reluctant to start the course because we just couldn’t bear the thought of leaving her alone so we decided to start with the method where you stay in the room. Annabelle was 11 months now. We thought Christian was best doing this to break the association she had with me and feeding to sleep. We had also decided that Christian would go in to settle her when she woke in the night.

We did our usual bedtime routine of calm music, bath and massage but I fed her before story time, with the light still on, to make sure she didn’t fall asleep”

Some families have immediate success on night one of their new plan, for others there are a few tweaks to be made along the way – Suzy was able to confidently make changes to her approach to suit Annabelle based on what she learned:

“The first night took a while for her to settle. Having Christian next to the cot was overstimulating her and making her confused, this resulted in Christian taking her out and rocking her to sleep. When she woke in the night, a few hours later, Christian went in and tried the ‘in-room’ settling again which took a long time to work and was making her frustrated.”

You are the expert on your baby, your gut instinct can guide you on what your baby needs.

“We could have persevered a little longer with this method but we started to realise that it would not suit Annabelle.

A few nights later we decided we were going to give the ‘quick checks’ method a go. We’d had a discussion about how long we were comfortable with before going in to settle her and decided on 3-5 minutes, depending on how she reacted. We sat on the landing, nervously watching the monitor. After just a few quick checks with Christian going in, she was asleep! We couldn’t believe just how quickly it had happened. What was even harder to believe was that she didn’t wake once in the night!

We thought it was going to be a one off, but it wasn’t. Annabelle has slept through the night pretty much ever since! (There have been just two occasions in 4 months where she has woken briefly!).

She doesn’t have a dummy or a comforter but we do use white noise. She goes into her cot just before 7.30pm and, after a bit of moving around and talking to herself, she is asleep between 7.30 and 8pm. She wakes in the morning between 6.30 and 7am and happily chats to herself before we go in.”

Using the course information as a guide over the coming few weeks and months, Suzy and Christian were able to adapt their approach and routine to keep up with Annabelle’s developing sleep needs. They achieved settled nights, solid predictable naps and also confidently navigated the transition from two naps to one when Annabelle showed signs she was ready.

“While night times were a dream, it took a little longer to crack the day naps. After a while of battling both a short morning and longer lunch nap we decided to try dropping down to just one. It instantly worked! She was 12 and a half months at the time. Annabelle goes down in her cot after lunch, she falls asleep within minutes and she sleeps for 1.5 to 2 hours after her lunch”

“Annabelle is now almost 15 months old. We are so grateful every morning when we wake up after a full night of undisturbed sleep. It has been 4 months now! We have more energy to really enjoy Annabelle and make the most of every day.

Also knowing that her nap is going to be at the same time every day really helps to plan our day. Going back to work after maternity leave has been a lot less stressful as a result too.”

What did the course help Suzy and Christian learn? Suzy told us:

  • Having a consistent routine really does help
  • Finding the correct ‘awake windows’ makes all the difference as to how ready she is to fall asleep
  • Breaking sleep associations doesn’t have to involve a lot of crying
  • Giving your baby the chance to learn how to fall asleep on their own doesn’t have to involve a lot of crying

    “Other than the first night, Annabelle never cries when going in her cot or when waking. Before the course she would cry every time she woke and during the day because she was exhausted. We have a much happier little girl now.”

  • Suzy had tracked Annabelle’s sleep patterns for weeks before starting the course, and continued to do so long afterwards. She shared her sleep logs with us to show just how much Annabelle’s sleep patterns had changed for the better.

    Before starting the course plan

    Broken night sleep and unpredictable, erratic naps

    After implementing the course plan

    Regular starts to the day, a predictable bedtime routine and long restorative day time naps

    Do you want to help your child sleep better?

    We have courses for babies and children, from newborn to 4 years of age, ready for you to start today!

    Sign up for FREE sleep advice – our Top 5 Tips

    • Hidden