In the marital bed

When Travis contacted me he was desperate to get his little girl, Olivia 16 months out of co-sleeping with the parents in the marital bed. Olivia had migrated there at 6 months old when she had a bout of illness and teething. This is a really common situation. However, once she was well again she didn’t want to leave and move back to her cot. And you can understand, as a toddler why would you?

early morning waking

 

Dad (Travis) was working long hours, he’d come home, eat his dinnner and get into bed with Olivia. As a result he was spending zero alone time with his wife Olga. They’d built a lovely house out West and it has a lot of bedrooms and Travis and Olga want to fill all these bedrooms with children. Family, to them, are everything. With Olivia firmly esconced and not wanting to leave and becoming more determined by the day he had no idea how exactly they were going to do this. They had tried and tried again and got nowhere.

I was the last chance saloon, as is often the case. He really couldn’t see it happening but he had to try. It’s not always the mums who call or email for help, sometimes it’s a desperate dad or even a brother-in-law. More on that story another time.

toddler

Dad’s story

Hi Karen,
Happy New Year!
I have been recommended to you by a friend of ours who you have previously helped (She has twins).
My wife (Olga) and I (Travis) have a 16 month old daughter Olivia, and we are currently co-sleeping with her, this has been happening since she was 6 months old. There are a few reasons for this, we had just finished building our house and Olivia was sleeping in our room where we were staying during construction also, she got sick and the only way she fell asleep was in my arms, since then she has been co-sleeping.

Once Olivia is asleep we try to transfer her to her own cot but she wakes and cries and does not settle so I end up just putting her back in bed so we can get some sleep as well, only now she kicks us both in the face during the night and pulls Olga’s hair! We are not really getting a good nights rest. She has also rolled off the bed twice so we have a moat of pillows around us also.

We would like to get Olivia in her own room and her own cot. I was really hoping to get some help. I have looked at your services online and feel that both Olga and I would feel the most comfortable with a home visit/Overnight stay. We are not sure how many nights it will take.

nursery

On the night

I drove over to help them and arrived at 5 pm and followed them through their bedtime routine. We talked about how we were going to implement the sleep training and dad decided he was going to be the one doing it with me. This is a great idea as he’d been the one doing the majority of putting Olivia to bed and co-sleeping. Having that parent say no to their child has more meaning.

Dad kept saying, ‘I still don’t believe it can be done!’ 

We used my go-to method, Magic Presence which involves staying in the room and helping her naviagte her emotions, giving support but wilth no positive reinforcements. Olivia was cross, as most babies and toddlers are when you say no to them. She cried for about an hour at bedtime and then lay down and was fast asleep, only waking at 12:30 am and again we re-settled her for another hour. Next thing we knew it was morning and we went to get her up at 7 am.

toddler sleep

Olga’s update on day one and night two

Hi Karen, thank you so much for all of your help last night. To recap today Olivia didn’t eat very well as expected and has also lost her voice, again as expected. She went down for her afternoon nap within 15 mins and woke up at after 45mins then resettled herself a few times which was fantastic. Now at night, it took 20 mins and she’s been sound asleep since 7:15-7:30. The only problem is that Travis had to lay on the floor otherwise she would not lie down herself. Is this ok? I recall you saying that we wouldn’t have to lie down. The chair doesn’t seem to be working. Are we not allowing her to cry for long enough before we lie on the floor? Hope you have a good trip to NYC! Olga

This carried on and dad got back on the chair by the end of week one. Then I received an update one month down the line.

Hi Karen,

Sorry it’s taken me so long to contact you, I know our 4 weeks are
almost up.

Firstly I just want to start off by saying that contacting you has
been the best thing we have ever done. We wish we had done it sooner.
Olivia is sleeping through the night in her own cot!! Now there’s
something I never thought I’d say!

Sleeping toddler = Happy Mum = Happy Dad and Happy Home <3 <3 <3