Sleep consultants are expensive and don’t work...
This is what I told myself after reading some comments online and looking at a sleep consultant page.
I mean surely sleep is like breathing, why would I need to consult someone to help me get my baby back to sleep?
Pffft….. I’ve got this.
I mean I had this for the last 9 months, I had struggled through the newborn months, I quit going to the mother and me class because I was too tired to drive by 6 months.
But I’ve got this.
I already had 4 different pacifiers, a special comforting doll, a white noise machine, 3 different sleeping bags, a night light, an lavender oil diffuser, a sleep tracking app, lactation cookies in case it was my supply and she was hungry, and I had recently bought 2 new sleeping bags for winter.
I basically needed a second mortgage for my sleep tools but yet I thought a sleep consultant was expensive and wouldn’t work.
These were literally my thoughts as I sat up feeding an rocking my 9 month old to sleep every 2 hours, night after night. Then subconsciously I asked myself one night,
“what would I give for a full nights sleep?”
I literally craved sleep like chocolate. Because I couldn’t have it….. the thought of it consumed me.
I watched my husband sleeping as I crept back into bed after getting up for the 6th time that night. The sun was only just starting to rise and light was creeping in the gaps in the curtains. Was it actually morning? It couldn’t be.
I looked at my watch, it was 6.01am…… I would just lie down for another hour and then I would have the energy to start my day. What would I give? Probably a million dollars, I was dead tired, and at that moment I would have traded my house for a full nights sleep. Later that day after I had spent another 30 minutes rocking and feeding my daughter to sleep, I thought again of the sleep consultants I deemed too expensive to help me.
She didn’t want the house, she didn’t want a million dollars. She didn’t even want a thousand dollars. Why was I devaluing myself so much that getting help with sleep was too expensive, yet I was happy to pay for so many other services. As you can tell I still had ‘chocolate’.......... I mean sleep on the mind!
Once I actually made the leap and booked my phone consult, I couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised. She was lovely and not at all like super nanny. She wasn’t bossy and she didn’t tell me it was all my fault. She didn’t make me feel like I had created a rod for my own back. The most important part for me…….I didn’t have to use CIO to fix the situation, and I didn’t even have to wean my daughter.
We spoke about dropping night feeds and heck yes I was ready for this!
We changed my daughters solids diet, this was hard. I had been too tired to cook and prepare baby food, so I had relied a lot on store bought pouches, but if I was to drop night feeds, I need to increase day time calories, so I had to get in the kitchen. Together we came up with a plan to teach Sadie to self settle and not rely on the breast and rocking to get to sleep. I could finally see that while actual sleep wasn’t something that could be taught, falling asleep without me as a sleep aid most certainly was.
We had a full on consult, then she emailed me my plan. To be honest this scared me, it was 3 pages, but boy was it detailed! I then realised I also had an extra 90 pages of follow up documents to refer to once we had finished working together if I needed more help. My consultant txt me the first morning after my first night of dropping 2 night feeds. She was so lovely, and helped me to feel confident and stay on track. That first night was rough, and finally later that afternoon when I caught up with my consultant, she reassured me it was a successful night, and tonight would get better.
We were dropping feeds gradually as I had been feeding so much, any sudden change would be a possible mastitis trigger. I had 7 more catch up calls with my consultant over 2 weeks, and each time it was like a wee confidence boost.
She told me over and over I was doing a good job, and that I needed to trust my intuition as I was right when I thought Sadie was ready for me to back off with all my touch and cuddles, she was.
She settled so much faster!
On our final call I actually felt quite teary.
This consultant felt like my friend, like she truly cared, and the fact that she was a other herself meant we shared some laughs on those calls, she really understood me.
I had re signed up to my mother and me class that week, I was excited to get back to society with my brain working and my words forming without the sleep deprivation haze.
In hindsight I was looking for a quick fix, and there wasn’t one.
What I needed was a plan, and support, what I gained was confidence, insight, sleep education, my ability to parent again while not consumed by thoughts of getting more sleep.
I gained a happier baby, the more sleep Sadie got the happier she was. I gained the ability to think critically about Sadie’s sleep and make adjustments when needed.
I gained a better understanding of her needs, and what her grizzlies, and cries meant, so I could respond better.
I gained so much more than I ever dreamed of, confidence, happiness and knowledge, can you put a price on that?