So its a Saturday night, I’ve just put my little one to bed and I’m sat here with a glass of wine writing this and glancing over to the baby phone one too many times... Does anyone else do this? Annoying isn’t it...
Anyway, Hi... I'm Phoebe, Mum to Amelie, Wife to Andreas and a baby sleep coach to those sleep deprived mums.
Let me tell you my story...
After a slightly traumatic pregnancy my little girl arrived nearly 6 weeks early. As you can imagine being first time parents and dealing with a premature baby we had absolutely no clue what we were doing. We were in survival mode like every new parent is. We coped.
Millie needed a lottttt of skin contact at the beginning due to being premature and once we got home from hospital we noticed we couldn’t actually put her down without screaming...so we didn't.
We spent every night doing 2 hourly shift changes. I would sleep sitting up with her on my chest while my hubby slept, then we switched... honestly this went on till she was about 2 months. We ended up arguing over minutes of sleep... who would nap with her at lunch time so the other could have a proper sleep in the bed.
At 2 months ish we managed to get her in a baby nest IN THE MIDDLE of us. So as you can imagine she had it good ... no wonder she didn’t like her cot... no wonder she would cry when we put her down to sleep.
As she got older we were able to transfer the baby nest into her cot but that’s not where the problems stopped.
Every parents hears about the 4 month sleep regression, some lucky ones never notice it but we did!! the 4 month sleep regression is basically where newborns turn into babies and are a lot more aware of their surroundings and what’s going on. Its actually a PROgression but unfortunately sleep is effected... and Millies was!
She would only fall asleep if we gave her milk or if we rocked her around for hours. She would wake up every 1.5 hours (if we were lucky) so we were pretty much pacing the apartments all night long. It was hard. I didn’t expect it to be this hard. Did we do something wrong? I started doubting everything I was doing. I would listen to friends and families stories and compare them to mine - Why was mine so much harder? (I’ve now come to the conclusion that everyone struggles, but they FORGET - like you forget all the bad bits in pregnancy/ birth)
I guess adrenaline and those new mum hormones were the only thing that kept me half sane in those months. I remember asking my mum to come over during the day so Millie could nap on her and I could get some sleep.
She got to 8 months i couldn’t take anymore. I was shattered, mentally and physically. We were all sleep deprived. She was a grouchy baby due to lack of sleep and my husband and I would just snap at each other all day.
I knew sleep training would help but Millie was the type of baby that if you let her cry a little she would projectile vomit all over everything. I kept finding excuses as to why I wouldn’t start sleep training her: ‘She didn’t sleep well’, ‘ I’m too tired’, ‘she’s ill’, ‘she’s just had her vaccines', ‘its full moon’ ( rolling eyes emoji) and many more but I had enough....So I needed to find a gentle approach that worked for me and my baby.
I found this company that did individual sleep training plans so I signed up straight away. After being in tears to my sleep consultant on the phone she reassured me we would take it day by day, baby steps. I think we started that night... I'm not going to lie... those first few days were hard. HARD... BUT it worked... after a couple of days she was stretching those 1.5hrs wake ups to 3... 4... 5 hours! Her napping had improved too! I was so happy with how things were going. Yes i was still waking up a few times a night BUT we were just at the beginning and I knew it would only get better.
I remember texting my sleep consultant saying how amazed I was that I’d just been able to watch a whole film without being interrupted. My husband and I had dinner together at night and we didn’t have to worry about who was going to rush in if she woke up.
Honestly LIFE CHANGING and I wish I did it sooner.
After seeing how it changed my life so much I decided to do the training myself and help other mums who are struggling.
BUT guess what... Just because I'm a sleep consultant doesn’t mean we don’t have problems with her sleeping anymore... ANYONE who sleep trains will guaranteed have some sort of issue again at some point. Its knowing how to get back on track that’s the key.
OH and those marital arguments about her sleep continue - Who can put her to bed the fastest? Why won’t she settle with you? Why do you get to lye in?...
Its normal... that’s why they say ‘Parenting is one of the hardest jobs you’ll ever do’