Quite often, when a family first gets in contact with me to find out what is involved in helping their little one achieve better sleep, there is a lot of underlying worry and anxiety. They are seeking assistance with their little one’s sleep, but this is not just any child, this is their child and the thought that in getting help and teaching their little one better sleep habits may mean endless crying, not being there for their little one and just a general element of concern for what they may have to put their little one through, can be a terrifying thought.
Being a mother myself, I know that our children are our hearts. In many ways the world starts and stops with them so any kind of discomfort for them is felt by us as parents ten-fold. For this very reason, I first of all, practice gentle methods ensuring the parent is always emotionally available and responsive to their little one. Second of all, I listen to the parents' and ensure we are putting a plan together that suits them. A plan they feel confident with that is not asking them to do anything that just does not feel right.
I recently had a home consultation with a mum and her 6 month old little girl. This little girl was catnapping during the day sometimes only achieving between 1-3 catnaps and was waking every 2 hours overnight. Mum was exhausted!
Mum was definitely eager to change this around however she was really nervous about what the process would be. My first focus was to ensure mum was ready and felt comfortable moving forward.
Mum had been looking on the internet at different things to try and what sleep consultants do to help teach a baby the independence of sleep. This is what caused mum to feel so anxious as to what would happen and rightly so. We talked about her concerns and I explained to her that in no way would I be asking her to do anything that she was not comfortable with. She was instantly relieved by this and told me she was worried that I would tell her we would be using the ‘Cry it Out’ method. After I reassured her that I don’t actually ever use that method, first of all, and secondly, that part of me putting a plan together is discussing every element with her to ensure she is on board, she was ready to proceed and was excited as to the results that we were going to achieve.
The first night of us putting the plan into place, after initially taking some time for her little girl to settle to sleep, she then slept in chunks of 3.5-4 hourly intervals instead of waking every 2 hours. Mum was already beyond happy! A week later, and all of the naps are being achieved without effort and the night waking has reduced to just twice, which is when she is offered a breastfeed. At this age, feeding twice a night is absolutely age appropriate and is something mum wants to continue doing so that was part of the plan from the outset.
Mum and her gorgeous little girl are in a much happier and rested state and mum is elated with the results that have been achieved and beyond relieved and happy with how she helped her little one begin to learn the skills of achieving independent sleep.
Sleep Training can be, at times, emotionally draining but it should never feel like you are doing something that does not align with your parenting style.
Silent Night Baby Sleep Consultant
Helping your family achieve sleep harmony