I just had to share this amazing case study of a family with a 14 month old toddler, Christian who was waking many times at night. Mum was so exhausted she’d lost her confidence and was co-sleeping and breastfeeding to sleep. Mum kept telling herself that his sleep would improve. Unfortunately it rarely if ever does unless you do something about it. Here is their story.
Kirste, Alan & Christian
When we first welcomed our beautiful boy Christian into the world, we naively thought that when you put a baby down to sleep, they simply just slept. We also thought that as he got older, his sleeps would become longer. Although I had read a little bit about babies’ sleep cycles, as first-time parents, we were definitely in the dark in relation to sleep.
In the first 6 months of Christian’s life, I probably took the term “demand feeding” literally and this was impacted further as we were living in an apartment at the time, so whenever he woke at night, I would feed him back to sleep.
Short day naps
As the months rolled on, I kept telling myself that his sleep would improve when we moved him to solids or when we moved him into a cot or into his own room or out of the apartment and into our house. However, with these transitions, the frequent night wakings and short naps throughout the day continued.
By the time Christian was 12 months old, we had been to a residential sleep program, had a sleep nurse visit our home, conducted an overnight sleep study in hospital and purchased countless toys, CD’s and booklets from the internet.
Waking 6-8 times at night
At 14 months of age, the night wakings had escalated and were as many as 6-8 times each night and I was so exhausted that I had started to bring him into our bed to co-sleep and breastfeed.
I had lost a lot of confidence in this aspect of my parenting and I really didn’t know how I was going to turn this around, but a chance catch-up with friends, resulted in a referral to Karen. They had brought Karen into their home some years before when their son was 2 years old as they were experiencing similar problems. Upon contacting Karen, the decision to bring her into our home was further reinforced by a recommendation from Lisa, Nurture Parenting’s Client Relationship Manager who had also utilised Karen’s expertise. I was convinced even further when I sent through a list of questions and Karen took the time to phone me personally and to answer every question in detail.
Learning skills and self-soothing
Karen is an angel and we will be forever grateful to her for teaching all of us the skills to ensure Christian sleeps through the night and has longer day naps. This is a key point – you will learn skills and your child will learn how to settle. This is especially important because when your child is sick and you divert from the sleep training methods, then you need to be able to get things back on track when your child is well again.
Karen’s philosophy blended perfectly with ours in that we did not want any form of controlled crying and we wanted to maintain the bond and trust we had built with our Son and to improve his sleep in the kindest and most respectful way. Karen did just that – she is firm but very kind.
Karen stayed for one night at our house and our world changed on the second night when Christian slept for 10.5 hours straight, without waking. Christian continued to sleep through every night. Even when we came across fevers and ear infections, and I diverted slightly from the sleep training methods, I was able to get him back on track within a week of him being well again.
Karen has also provided advice to us on weaning from the breast and toddler behaviour when she didn’t have to, but she kindly took the time to do so. She has an abundance of knowledge, insight and expertise in sleep but also in all areas that relate to babies and toddlers. She is highly qualified and experienced and she is honestly the only person I would recommend. If you are hesitating or thinking about using Karen, stop thinking and call her as it will be the best investment you will ever make and she will change your lives for the better.
We can’t thank you enough Karen!
Kirste, Alan and Christian xxx