I had to share this incredibly inspiring success story about a family that had a premature baby and many sleep crutches. This is a wonderful example of all the benefits of Gentle Sleep Coaching with Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching.
Before Gentle Sleep Coaching, list 2-3 most difficult issues that resulted in your child not sleeping.
Our child was born three months prematurely and as a result his sleeping and eating cycle stayed on a three hour rotation for almost 6 months. Because he was born so early he was not able to breast feed, so I exclusively pumped for about nine months and my husband and I would be up all night long to either pump (me) or feed (him) our son. This routine created many unique sleep challenges and crutches for our family that took a severe toll on our sleep and overall wellness after all of those months. Our breaking point occurred when we found ourselves in a desperate 1 to 2 hour cycle at night of crying jags and arousals. We offered bottles, rocking, holding, midnight car rides, our bed...anything to get our baby to sleep. It seemed that a new tactic would work for a short period of time, but eventually would fail. Fletcher was obviously over tired, but lacked the ability to rest and we did not know how to soothe him beyond the crutches that we had already tried. We were insistent that we did not want him to 'cry it out' in any way and that we would 'love him to sleep', but after months of regression and worsening sleep issues it became apparent that our methods were not what our son needed. Day time sleep was also a problem. Our baby would only sleep if he was held, being driven around, or at times if I was running with him in a jog stroller (but I could not stop or he would wake up) and at best a nap would last about 30-45 minutes. The whole routine was exhausting!
• How were the above problems impacting your life…list as many as you can.
My husband and I were extremely sleep deprived as a result and lived in a constant fog. We were short with one another and found ourselves functioning in a day to day survival mode just to get through. I also developed an anxiety around sleep and I especially began to fear night time because I knew too well the desperate feeling of getting through another long night with such broken sleep. I felt helpless to soothe my baby and I just never knew what would work or for how long it would last. When we would start the day I felt defeated because I was just so tired already. We wouldn't leave him with a babysitter because we didn't want to put anyone through his crying jags and because he couldn't be put down --it would just be too difficult. We were isolated and it was very lonely.
• What finally had your say “enough is enough” that inspired you to reach out for help by working with a sleep coach.
We hit rock bottom - we needed to be able to sleep. Our son was doing well and growing and thriving, but we were still stuck in a terrible sleep cycle. We ran out of ideas and simply were exhausted. We had a rough month of colds and three to four total hours of sleep per night stretches and knew we couldn't hang on. We also had a cross country move quickly approaching and wanted to get through this issue before we had new changes and an extended time of transition.
• What was one your favorite aspects of Gentle Sleep Coaching and working with Blissful Baby Sleep Coaching.
Joanna is awesome! She is funny and bright and offers a sparkly light at the end of the tunnel (it was a long tunnel for us :). I immediately had hope after speaking with her for only 15 minutes. She is so knowledgeable and explained the science behind sleep cycles and gave us concrete information regarding how much sleep our baby needed, his sleep windows, and what to expect throughout the sleep training. She is empathetic and supportive and her confidence is contagious. We were so exhausted in the beginning that we needed someone to tell us exactly what to do, how to do it, when to do it and why and Joanna absolutely did all of these things.
• Now that your child is sleeping well, what are some of the tangible and specific results you have experienced in your life.
Our baby has been sleeping in his crib from 7 pm until 6 am! We decided to continue one feeding at night so he does wake for that around 1 AM, but it is quick and predictable and lasts about 10 minutes total. He has hit new milestones this week (standing and crawling) so he has had a few new arousals but we approach these with our tools from sleep training and have seen progress already. I no longer have anxiety about the night because I know what to do should this situation arise and for the most part our evenings are very predictable these days. We have time to ourselves once he goes to bed at night! I feel So relieved to watch him fall happily asleep in his crib by himself ... it is an amazing feeling.