Updated: Mar 31, 2021
Sarah’s mum was exhausted and mentally drained when she contacted me for help with her little one's sleep. Sarah was just 4 months old but her parents were at their limit. During our initial consultation Sarah's mum Linda told me that she would only sleep on her for naps and wake up every two hours at night. Linda was going back to work in a month's time and knew that they needed help.
"We just don't know how to settle her to sleep and get her to sleep in her cot, the minute we put her down she screams", Linda told me.
Sarah was going through the 4 months sleep regression, she would cat nap during the day and wake up frequently overnight even if being held to sleep. Her parents were at their wits end.
"Sarah is so cranky during the day and we know she is exhausted but we just don't know how to get her to sleep more", Patrick said.
I explained to Sarah's parents that we needed to make a few changes to her sleep environment and routine to start with. I put together a personalised sleep assessment, including a feeding and sleep schedule, awake windows, and a bedtime and overnight plan. The first goal was to transition Sarah to sleep in her cot during the day so Linda could get a break. Sarah's parents wanted to use a more gentle method as hearing her cry, was too stressful.
Once they started following my suggested routine, things started to fall into place. Sarah now knew when it was time for a nap and following the routine meant that her naps would fall into her biological sleep windows. This meant settling her to sleep became easier as she wasn't over or under-tired. Linda loved the new routine as her days became more predictable and she was able to leave the house without having to deal with an overtired cranky baby:
"I finally started to enjoy my baby, Linda told me during one of our follow up phone chat. I now know have time to myself when she naps in her cot, and I have so much more energy. I feel like a new person!"
Since they didn't want to use controlled crying we used a more gentle method to settle Sarah to sleep. This allowed Linda or Patrick to be in the room with Sarah but still taught her to fall asleep in her cot. This took a little bit longer but Sarah's parents were committed and consistent and starting seeing results within a few days. Within the first week Sarah started napping longer and sleeping longer stretches at night, in her cot!
Her parents were thrilled and noticed a change in her behaviour during the day, she was now a much happier and calmer baby and still closely attached to both her parents.
At the end of our 2 week support period, Sarah only woke once overnight for a feed, and she was taking a consolidated 2 hour lunch nap on most days.
Here is what Linda had to say about the whole process:
"I have had the most amazing, positive experience working with Sabrina.
I was initially a bit hesitant to sleep train my baby, but knew the time had come as I was returning to work soon, and I needed to know that she would be okay without me there.
Prior to working with Sabrina, my baby was only fed to sleep and a bad night would see her waking every 2 hours overnight.
Well, fast forward less than one week into sleep training and my girl has lost the feed to sleep association, my husband has been able to put her to sleep (first time ever!) and she is connecting sleep cycles during the day and at night!
Some people may think that sleep training requires a rigid schedule, but it is the exact opposite. Now, we can visit friends or stay over at my parent’s home knowing that my baby will sleep in a new environment, because she has learnt the skill to self settle!
Not only am I in awe of the fast results, but Sabrina was a dream to work with. She is extremely thorough, professional, personable and very supportive. I could not recommend Sabrina more highly - thank you Sabrina!!!"
For 1-on-1 support with your little one's sleep, get in touch for a free 15 min chat.