Case Studies

Lucas - 6 months

The problem Lucas was a well grown baby who was enjoying solids and developing well. At bed time he was settled to sleep with a breastfeed and was then transferred to his cot. He would wake up anytime from half an hour to two hours later in a very upset state. The only way that he could be comforted was by being breastfed back to sleep. At each waking, he would become increasingly difficult to settle, until his parents moved him into their bed in the early hours of the morning. Here he would settle but continue to breast feed at each light period of his sleep cycle.

Harry - 3 1/2 years

The problem Harry was a delightful, funny and very bright boy with a passion for cars. He was the only son of professional [and exhausted] parents. Harry had been born after a long and difficult labour, and from day one had found it impossible to settle alone. His parents had made the decision when he was born to have him sleep with them, but since he was around two years old they felt that both Harry and themselves needed more space. Harry was a wriggly sleeper who would often wake up for a chat and a drink in the small hours of the morning. His parents had organized a bed and lovely bedroom for Harry and were desperately trying to help him to stay in it. Harry found it very difficult to go to sleep at the beginning of the night without a parent lying with him.

Although the family followed an excellent bedtime routine, the whole process from start to sleep took about 2 hours. [His parents had only been out for the evening together twice since Harry was born.] After his prolonged settling time, Harry would typically awake at around midnight, 2am and 4am. At the first two wakings, his parents could usually settle him in his own bed but by 4am a mixture of his own lighter sleep, his parents’ exhaustion and sheer habit meant that Harry joined his parents in their bed. To make matters worse, Harry had recently been having the occasional nightmare, and his parents were understandably reluctant to leave him in distress. He was also very tired at nursery school.

Poppy - 14 months

The problem Poppy was a lively toddler who was developing beautifully despite having been born two months prematurely. As all babies are, Poppy was very precious indeed to her parents, and they were afraid that any form of sleep training would be not only detrimental to her but also traumatic for them. Despite having a great bed time routine, Poppy was waking 45 minutes after being going to sleep in her cot. She had invariably lost her dummy, and needed one of her parents to find it for her and help her to re settle. She subsequently woke up and needed help with settling up to 4 times later during the night.