Lack of sleep, to me, is the hardest part of parenting.
I am not one of those people who functions well on just a few hours. My two-year-old son has always been a terrible sleeper and just when he started to sleep through the night at 18-months or so, I found out I was pregnant again…
At first, Little Lady was a great sleeper, but like everything both good and bad, it didn’t last. When she was 9-months-old, she was waking up on average 7 times a night. She would nurse and go back to sleep. I read no less than three sleep books, including The No Cry Sleep Solution and The Sleep Lady’s Book. I earnestly tried training her on my own, but it resulted in me being very frustrated and her being even more sleep deprived.
I had heard another mom mention a sleep coach in a mommy group so I tracked her down and asked about her experience.
She only had great things to say, but my husband and I are on a tight budget so the $425 that it was going to cost seemed like waaaaay too much. Until the very next morning when I was crying through my exhaustion. I shared my fantasy with my husband about going away by myself for a weekend to just sleep. He, ever so gently, said, “You can go away for the weekend or let’s spend the same amount of money and hire that sleep lady.”
The sleep coach’s name is Betsy and she came to me like an angel that I could access through text message.
We started by having a two-hour phone conversation about our family dynamic, Little Lady’s temperament, our goals, and what we have tried. During this phone conversation, she revealed that before she was a sleep coach and was sleep training her own baby, her husband was sleeping on the couch and when the baby would wake for a feeding, after baby was done, she would leave the room and fall asleep on the living room floor, leaving her baby in their crib enjoying their Master Suite alone. What this story told me is that SHE GETS IT. She had tried and failed and lost and eventually won the sleep battle. I put my trust in her and she came up with a plan.
The five things that made Betsy my new favorite human are:
She individualized the plan.
Betsy took into account what worked for our family, what we had tried, and, most importantly, the temperament of our Little Lady. With each family, she comes up with an individual plan based on a variety of factors. My family plan involved a lot of my husband comforting her, which worked out well for our family.
She was available for me to contact her via text message.
One night, as I laid Little Lady down for nap time, I swore I smelled that familiar scent. I text Betsy, ‘She pooped, now what?!’ She replied with a plan. There were many moments that I needed her to help me with a quick, knowledgeable response and that is the biggest reason a book didn’t work for us.
It was at the pace that we were comfortable with.
Betsy made sure we were ready before we started and, throughout the process, she would ask us if we were ready for the next step. Night weaning was a big decision and she weighed the pros and cons and helped us decide when the time was right.
We saw results within three days!
I’ll be honest, the first two nights were scary and I was unsure if I was making the right choice. Little Lady was so used to me comforting her that even the sight of her dad instead of me resulted in crying that resembled the sound of a cat in heat. After the first two nights though, I saw major improvement and I started to breathe easier.
Everyone in our family is sleeping better.
Even though my initial motivation in contacting Betsy was based on my quality of sleep, actually taking the leap in hiring her was done after realizing that it wasn’t fair to Little Lady that she couldn’t put herself to sleep. I am able to devote more time to my son now at bedtime, which seems to help him drift off more quickly, and my husband and I are now able to spend more time together in the evenings, which is an added bonus.