Support with sleep through the different stages helps to keep Charlie on track
Harriet, mum of 13 month old Charlie, attests that “we’ve had sleep problems basically from the beginning. Charlie is my first baby and I really had no idea what I was doing!”.
Charlie and Harriet’s journey with breast feeding had also been difficult and it took a while to work out what the challenges were or to get any improvements, which contributed to some of the issues they were having with Charlie’s sleep.
By the time Charlie was six months old, Harriet and her household were struggling!
“Charlie had got to the point where he was waking hourly and not drinking his day-time milk well at all,” Harriet recalls.
“He had basically flipped his days and nights around! We’d been away a bit and we were just doing what we could to cope, so that he wasn’t keeping everyone up. I would give him a bottle when he woke and knew that I had then created a ‘feed to sleep’ association, but I wasn’t sure how to break it.”
Harriet was ready for help and knew that a more personalised approach would be the best option for her.
“I’m not really a person who sits and reads for hours, so having a consultant was the best option for me. Even regardless of the thousands of books out there, I figured a sleep consultant would be able to help me with my specific child and what was happening for us.”
She wasn’t wrong!
Supporting Charlie to self-settle
Chelle took the time to understand more about both Charlie and his temperament, as well as Harriet’s parenting style, and was able to tailor a technique that would work for them and support Charlie to settle to sleep on his own.
“Charlie’s day sleeps were pretty good and we had some routines that worked well, but we needed to make some tweaks to these to improve his all-important night sleeping,” Harriet explains.
“Chelle helped us with these tweaks and was always really respectful of how I wanted to do things.
I suffer from chronic back pain, so leaning over the cot to settle Charlie was a challenge. Chelle took this into account in tailoring an approach I could do.”
The first few nights were challenging, but Harriet stuck it out with Chelle’s support. “I kept reading my notes and texts from Chelle and then would check in with her in the morning. I knew I was doing the right thing – sleep is so important for all of us. Charlie would get more upset when I was in there trying to settle him, so we knew he needed space and the opportunity to learn to self-settle. Chelle helped me to still support him in doing this, whereas I had previously been stopping him from developing this skill himself.”
On night four of sleep training Charlie slept through the night. “I couldn’t believe it!” Harriet exclaims. “We’d agreed to try ditching Charlie’s dummy at the same time, and I was sure that this would mean the process took longer, but it all clicked in with him so much more quickly than I thought.”
The second time just needed a short reset
After many great months of sleeping through, Harriet could tell things were starting to go slowly downhill.
“I wasn’t really sure how or why – and I held off for a while on reaching out to Chelle because we were moving house and Charlie was teething. I had it in my head that you shouldn’t sleep train while they’re teething, but we’ve definitely proven that theory wrong!”
When Harriet did reach out to Chelle, Chelle explained that it was natural and normal for babies to hit bumps along the way as they go through different developmental stages and different habits start creeping in.
The good news was that because Harriet and Charlie had all the tools already, all they needed was a little tune up to get back on track.
“Chelle has so much knowledge and talked me through Charlie’s days. She was able to pick up on little things again, and once we changed those, it all made sense and worked again!
She was like a miracle on the end of my phone and being able to flick her a text and reassure myself that I should or shouldn’t be doing something was invaluable.”
The real value in having support
Knowing what supports are helping or hindering your baby takes time, and all babies are different.
“Even the little bits of advice that Chelle gave us – whether they were directly to do with sleeping or not – all made such a huge difference. Consultants do this all day and really do have a great deal of knowledge – they see so many babies, so they have an answer for all the different quirks that come with different babies.”
“I think as mums we have great intuition – even if it takes a while for us to feel as though this kicks in, or until we’re able to trust it!” Harriet laughs.
“To some extent, I knew what I needed to do – but I also needed someone who was still capable of thinking straight to help me work through the options and then to hold me accountable. Chelle did that!”
And the proof is in the pudding.
“Charlie now eats a good breakfast, lunch and dinner, has one bottle at night and sleeps through virtually every night. He’s such a happy baby and life most definitely feels more manageable for all of us now. I couldn’t have done it without Chelle – thank you!”