From tranquility to turmoil
For Amy’s first few months, sleeping had mostly been a breeze. An easy going and good sleeper, one feed would keep her asleep for up to 8 hours.
However, that all changed when Amy hit five and a half months old. All of a sudden, the great systems Amy’s Mum, Cara, had in place simply stopped working and Amy’s sleep deteriorated quickly. She began to take up to an hour to settle each evening and was waking up multiple times overnight for a feed. Night times rapidly became stressful and exhausting.
According to Cara, a month of these draining evening and overnight routines quickly started to take their toll and things felt like they were reaching a “breaking point”. Tired and unable to see an end in sight, Cara knew she was going to need some help to support Amy to improve her sleeping patterns.
Making a plan
Cara’s friend recommended she talk to baby sleep consultant, Daniela, who had helped her when she experienced something similar. Feeling at the end of her rope, Cara sent Daniela an email and with lots of information about Amy and the sleeping challenges they were having. Because Amy and her family didn’t live centrally, Cara and Daniela decided on a phone consultation and booked a first call a few days later.
“We were on that initial call for over an hour, working through where we were at and developing a new plan to move us forward,” Cara recalls. “I already had a sleep schedule that I had sort of been working to, so we talked through that together and Daniela suggested some adjustments to try based on where Amy was at and what she was doing at that point.”
Together, they decided that the ‘spaced soothing’ technique would be best for Amy’s temperament. Amy was quite an alert baby and would have found an ‘in room’ approach overstimulating, so they went with a method that gave her some space to learn to settle on her own without Mum and Dad’s help. The plan was for Cara to leave the room after putting Amy down, returning at set intervals if Amy was upset to give her a reassuring pat or stroke. To minimise disruptions, they also devised to keep the room completely dark and use white noise throughout the night.
Getting worse before it gets better
The first night of the new programme was a challenge; Amy was overtired from not getting her usual amount of sleep during the day so didn’t settle very easily. “She was really fighting it,” Cara recalls. “I was expecting the experience to be tough, but it was really emotionally tiring that first night. And it was looking like a tough road ahead. I’m thankful for Daniela’s support, as that really helped us to persevere.”
And with that persevering spirit and some reassurance and additional advice from Daniela, the next day went remarkably better; Amy was asleep within 20 minutes and, after a few more days, was falling asleep within just three minutes! Not only that, Amy was waking and needing a feed only twice overnight, which her family were happy with for her age. According to Cara, “it’s been smooth sailing ever since.”
Relaxed and confident
Now, the whole family is relaxed; night times in their household are more peaceful and everyone is getting a lot more sleep! Amy’s parents are also feeling a lot more confident and happy supporting Amy to get to sleep. “We even went away for the weekend recently, which would have been really difficult before we worked with Daniela,” Cara adds.
Cara appreciated Daniela’s understanding of her family’s situation, and willingness to provide personally tailored advice. “Nothing felt generic, and the sleep guides were easily adaptable to suit and work for Amy – and for us!” Cara explains. “Daniela understood that no one approach would work for every baby, and gave us some flexibility to find out what worked for us, as well as how to cope when things didn’t go to schedule every day.”
“The other thing that was hugely valuable throughout this process was Daniela’s direct and clear advice, which gave me confidence and reassurance.” Cara says. “In our follow up calls, we worked through suggestions and discussed any needed tweaks. Daniela’s constant support was really appreciated!”
Emma is the owner and founder of Baby Sleep Consultant, she is a certified infant and child sleep consultant, Happiest Baby on the block educator, has a Bachelor of Science, and Diploma in Education. Emma is a mother to 3 children, and loves writing when she isn't working with tired clients and cheering on her team helping thousands of mums just like you.
Our Baby Sleep Program helps tired parents TO DEVELOP HEALTHY SLEEP HABITS BY FOCUSING ON NAPS, SETTLING AND NIGHT SLEEP.
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- Simple effective settling: Gentle, proven self settling, evidence based techniques.
- Content happy baby and parents: Better sleep creates content babies & happy parents.
- Freedom: Predictable routines and longer nights creates freedom. Solve your sleep problems for more freedom.
- Work with your babies circadian rhythm: Work with your babies biological clock for faster easier results.
- Awesome naps & nights: You'll create consistent naps and nights with our support.
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My baby has reflux can you help?
When your baby has reflux, feeds can be difficult and your baby can be in a lot of pain both during and after feeds. This pain can cause feeding aversions and failure to thrive. This is why true GERD (Gastroesophageal reflux disease) needs to be treated by a doctor. Once your baby's doctor is satisfied your baby is feeding well, and you have the right medication or formula then we can start a sleep plan and you will be successful.
My baby has colic will this help?
Colic is defined as 3 or more hours of crying per day in infants. Crying subsides in the second second trimester. If you are still experiencing colic symptoms speak to your baby's doctor about whether this could be reflux, an allergy, or over tiredness. We can help you work on better sleep with this program at the same time as your doctor investigates the pain and crying.
What if the program isn't working?
We have a dedicated help line to ensure your success. Just email our team via the details in your program and a certified, experienced and friendly sleep consultant is ready to stare you in the right direction to ensure your success!
My baby was born early, can you help?
Sleep is neurological so we always work off your babies neurological age, that is their corrected age. When you look at our sleep programs purchase the program that your babies corrected age fits into.
What if I have questions or need more help?
Our sleep programs come with private email support. You don’t have to post in any public forums or groups, just email the exclusive helpline that our team of certified sleep consultants look after and we’ll answer all your questions and help you on your way.
Can this program help with my babies night sleep?
Yes, all our online sleep programs contain night sleep plans. We will teach you how to move from multiple night feeds to 2 or 1 or none (depending on what is age appropriate and appropriate for your baby.) Don’t worry we will show you to figure this out too. If your baby is unsettled at night but not feeding, our plans will help you with consolidate night sleep and self settling when age appropriate.
My baby is cat napping can you help?
Cat napping is a very normal physiological stage that your baby goes through. At this stage (3-8 months old), cat napping can start to be a long term issue and compound into over tiredness and affect night sleep and your babies happiness. Good news, this is a great age to work on re-settling, self settling and better longer naps!
I have 3 children, can this work with my family?
I totally understand how busy life is with 2, 3 or more children! Even if you need a flexible schedule we can still work on settling regular naps (some on the go!), and better evenings and night. Flick our consultants any specific questions about your family's schedule of activities and we can help you work out what is possible nap wise.
I don't want a fixed routine, can you still help?
Yes. A fixed routine is one option, regular naps and regular awake times is another. Both are valid and you are welcome to do what works for your family. We understand you are all different and what works best for one family won't be best for another.
I'm formula feeding, can you still help?
Yes we have specific advice for formula feeding parents, and we support your decision to feed any way you choose. We even have a special video series on formula feeding and everything you need to know. Just ask our consultants about this extra if you need it.
I'm exclusively breastfeeding, can I follow your plans?
Yes! While breastfeeding babies need to feed frequently they still need quality sleep day and night. We have specific advice for breastfeeding mums and an exclusive discount on Julia Daleys breastfeeding course if you need extra help.
I'm bed sharing, can your program help me stop?
Yes. We often fall into bed sharing, we call this reactive bed sharing. Or we have simply changed our mind, and moving on from bed sharing we need some support. Our programs and consults will guide you through gentle sleep methods, which are more appropriate for most bed sharing babies who are moving towards independent sleep in the cot.
I'm feeding to sleep, can you help me stop?
Yes. Feeding to sleep is a common sleep association and one that works well for lots of newborns. Often we need to move on from feeding to sleep when it starts to cause short naps, or prolonged settling or frequent night wake ups as baby looks for their association to go back to sleep over and over again at night. We can teach you how to teach your baby to self settle and move on from feeding to sleep when the time is right.
I'm rocking to sleep, is their a solution?
Yes. These are common sleep associations, we refer to this as assisting to sleep. Let us show you ways you can develop independent sleep and settling strategies with our online sleep program, or one on one consult.
Is this program based on Cry It Out?
No. Cry it out is the common name for a sleep training method where you put baby down and don’t respond or check until they are fast asleep. There is no CIO involved in this program as we feel this should be only done under proper supervision. Instead we have included all our very gentle approaches and more mainstream techniques for you to choose from.
Is this based on Science or Art?
Both! As a scientist I (Emma) have spent over 8 years researching the science of sleep. I have educated and certified over 500 consultants around the world as sleep consultants, and have worked with thousands of clients. I love the scientific explanations of why we see the sleep patterns we see, and this science helps us to shape plans and solutions that we know will work. But there's an element of art to getting a baby to sleep, understanding the right combination of things that will work best, and this is where your instinct comes in.
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