Our experience using a sleep consultant - Fairy Sleep Mother
had a mum use Eileen, from the Fairy Sleep Mother, who is a sleep consultant, to see how she found the experience, and if her daughter slept more as a result. She went on to win Gold in the 2021 Bambini Baby Awards! Here is her experience of the certified sleep nanny:
Why we needed a sleep consultant
On the whole, my 2.5 year daughter old is as good as gold, she doesn't whine and moan, she wasn't a cry baby when she was little, and we're currently going through the terrible twos relatively unscathed with just a couple of tantrums at home and none in public. However, this golden girl behaviour only goes for the day-time. Night-time arrives and it becomes a whole different story. We reached 2.5 years and in all honesty, we only had had 6 nights where she slept through the entire night in that time. On top of that, co-sleeping with us, late late late bed-times and sometimes 4am wakeups demanding the television.
I would have resigned myself to this behaviour, but with a second baby arriving imminently - I really had no idea how to juggle two kids who wouldn't be sleeping.
Background to my daughter's bad sleeping habits -
With my first daughter, she was a terrible sleeper from day one. We tried cry-it out at 6 months in her cot completely unsuccessful. We endured up to 4 hours of screaming a night before she would pass out from exhaustion (after vomiting from anger and frustration). She would then continue to cry through the night in her sleep. After a week of this, my husband turned to me and said 'this is how kids become serial killers'. Perhaps not true, but I could see his point. This wasn't the loving way I wanted to put my child to bed. She was suffering, and at the end of the day, we had had no progress. We therefore introduced co-sleeping which got her to sleep without tears, but wasn't ideal for us as a family and also meant numerous wake-ups in the night. So fast-forward to 2.5 years old, and we were still in the same sleeping routine.
Using the Fairy Sleep Mother, Eileen
We then had the opportunity to use Eileen, from the Fairy Sleep Mother, with a one month intensive sleep training course. I was at first quite apprehensive, especially as now my daughter was an older age and more stubborn. Also able to verbally to tell me if she does or doesn't want to do something! Before an initial phone call, I was sent material and videos to look through, to gain an idea myself of what sort of approach I wanted to take to get my daughter to sleep. This meant we could talk in more detail on the initial phone-call in more detail about 'how' I would like to approach sleep training. Eileen also had sent over a questionnaire so she was completely aware of our situation before the initial call. Both things were vital for both of us for being on the same page. From the videos, I saw that I wanted to go for a softer approach with putting my daughter to sleep gently, and being present, rather than the cry it out method.
We decided on a soft plan, where the goal was my daughter going to sleep in her own cot (but in our room) and trying to get her to bed earlier than 9pm. (It may sound easy to those who have children who self-soothe and sleep easily, but anyone with a child with bad sleeping habits knows that it isn't always easy to change a routine with the part of the day they struggle the most with.)
We went through practical issues too - for example making the room completely dark as with the sun setting at 10pm makes bed-time hard as the sun can creep through even the darkest of blackout curtains through the gaps. She even had handy tips of tinfoil around the edges to cover the gaps where then sun blasted through at bed-time. The first few days we decided we would put my daughter to bed in her own cot, in our room, but with as much physical contact as she needed. I was happy with this approach as I knew my daughter would scream if I was just to put her in her cot and leave her. These first few days it took some time to get her to sleep, but, most surprisingly she accepted going to bed in her own cot. This was something I said in my initial phone call to Eileen that I doubted would be accepted, but to my suprise, was not even an issue. My daughter is very cuddly, and as long as she was getting cuddled and reassured, she didn't seem to mind at all not being in our bed but in her cot instead.
Then, throughout the month, we worked through the sleep training plan which Eileen had prepared for us with the idea of some small changes every 3 days or so. We didn't always jump to the next stage. Sometimes my daughter and we had a few steps back. However, on the whole, we were able to slowly slowly reduce the physical contact and how much communication we had once it was 'bedtime.' I will also point out, we still were encouraged to have our fun pre- bed time routine of cuddles and books, so it wasn't just a case of having a bath and dumping your child into the cot to put themselves to sleep. My daughter loves that pre-bed time routine and this continues, giving us a bonding time we both enjoy.
Interestingly, in the whole month, there were no tears or screams which I was surprised by. I expected much worse behaviour from my daughter, and realised at the end of the month, the bad sleeping habits my daughter had were actually a result of me rather than of her. We also managed to slowly get the bed time earlier and earlier to a reasonable hour. Eileen was there every step of the way, with unlimited opportunities for calls, texts or emails. I have to be honest, I could have contacted her much more - but being 9 months pregnant and with a work-load to do, this wasn't always possible on my end. But Eileen was always there offering her time and advice to me, and this chance for unlimited support really is one of a kind!
So all before the arrival of my second child, I was astonished in a month to have such a huge success with sleep training with Eileen from the fairy sleep mother. I could never have expected in just a month to see a change where my daughter slept in her own bed at a reasonable hour. We also managed to get her to sleep with our tears or screams and in not too long a period (half an hour or so?). Before the sleep training it was usually over an hour to get her to bed. We also have seen much better sleep from my daughter - probably because we aren't co-sleeping so she has more space and isn't getting woken by use through the night. So the quality of sleep over all for her is so much better.
Eileen has also continued to give me advice on sleep ready for the arrival of our second baby. She really is a fairy sleep mother who cares and gives you a tailored experience, specific to you and oyur child's needs. I couldn't recommend her enough. I encourage anyone who is despairing with their childn't sleeps to try her programs.
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