Is there any hope of getting Olive to sleep?
Olive was a good little napper during the day – but what a night owl! Olive regularly woke up 3-5 times a night, and would stay awake for up to 2 hours each time. After 8 months of this, Olive’s parents decided that it couldn’t continue; they all needed a better night’s rest.
False start with sleep training
Olive’s Mum did an internet search and found someone who she thought might be able to help. Although she followed their advice for 4 or 5 weeks, Olive’s nightly sleeps actually deteriorated into more waking and screams. It was so incredibly frustrating and disheartening.
Luckily, Olive’s Aunt had gone through similar with her own child, so she suggested trying Baby Sleep Consultant. Michelle from Baby Sleep Consultant had really helped her, so she knew that it could work with Olive too.
When Olive’s Mum called, Michelle said that “my heart immediately went out to her. She’d been through so much already and had a bad experience with the person that she’d found on the internet. The first words out of her mouth were ‘I don’t know if you’ll be able to help me…’ and I reassured her that of course we could, there was definitely hope to get Olive sleeping well.”
Quick coffee and then a phone consult
When Olive’s Mum called, Michelle happened to be in the area. Although not normally the way things are done, Michelle offered to pop in with a coffee and meet in person first, so that they could have a quick chat and build up a rapport. Later, Michelle and Olive’s Mum had their official phone consultation, where they were able to discuss in greater depth the sort of issues that Olive was having and what methods might work best to help change that.
A technique that does the trick
Olive’s parents had tried an in-the-room approach “for ages,” but that had gotten them nowhere. A few other techniques had been tried as well, although they weren’t any more effective, and Olive’s parents had found it difficult to implement them consistently.
Michelle worked with Olive’s parents to weigh up the pros and cons of different sleeping techniques, and they made a joint decision to use a cry-based technique. “It was important to introduce new methods slowly – since the parents weren’t in a rush to fix things overnight – and let the parents lead just as much as I was. It was really helpful to walk Olive’s Mum through what we do, and most importantly why we do that. Then things started to click in place and she started to understand Olive’s behaviour better.”
Success at last
Olive’s parents weren’t expecting instant success and a good night’s sleep anytime soon, and rushing the process wasn’t their goal either. But even so, Olive’s nighttime sleeps were more or less sorted out within the space of a week. One week after the initial phone consultation, Olive was down to waking up only once during the night. Her parents couldn’t believe it!
Michelle reckons that they most likely could have reduced it further – down to no wakes ups at all – but Olive’s parents were perfectly happy with just the one wake up at that stage. When Olive was older (around 13 or 14 months old), they called Michelle again in order to put an end to that last nightly feed, which was then removed really quickly.
For her part, Michelle was so thrilled to be able to help Olive’s Mum, who had “been through so much” in trying to get her daughter sleeping well.
Just wanted to let you know how blown away I am with the exceptional care my family received from Michelle. She is a star.
When I reached out to her I was feeling jaded by the whole sleep training process after struggling along with another consultant for over a month and experiencing precious few results for our efforts. My eight month old was waking 3 to 5 times overnight, often staying awake for over 2 hours at a stretch. Michelle had been recommended by a couple of friends I trusted though, so before completely throwing in the towel and investing in a new coffee machine to get through each day I thought, “well, the initial free chat can’t hurt.” I’m so glad I did. From our first conversation, Michelle’s warm and reassuring manner put me at ease. Michelle was able to back up her recommendations with research and both personal and professional experience so we felt reassured throughout the process. It made all the difference; we took the leap and are now reaping the rewards of a more well-rested baby, more-well rested mumma and an all-round happier home.
Among the long list of positive things I could say about Michelle, something that really struck me is what a great listener she is. Not only did I feel heard, but because nothing gets past her she was quick to pick up on small things that might have been hindering us and also ‘got’ our family so had good instincts on what sort of approach might be the best fit for us.
After our initial chat I saved her number as "Michelle SleepLady” in my phone, but I’ve now changed it to “Michelle SleepAngel” - a much better fit!
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