When we first became parents, the absolute hardest thing about those initial few days was the lack of sleep. Of course this was only to be expected. We knew that our baby would have a teeny tiny tummy that need filling often. We knew that after 9 months ‘inside’ it was going to be hard for our brand new bubba to get used to the big, wide world. We knew that in the womb our little man slept all day and woke at night, a pattern that would continue for a while after birth. In theory we knew all of these things. But theory and reality can be VERY different. And if you’re used to a solid 8 hours sleep a night (minimum!) running on a couple of hours snatched here are will end in tears. Big, fat, rolling down the cheeks tears.
After a couple of weeks things got just a wee bit easier. Baby Mac started to sleep for up to 5 hours at a time. That sounds manageable, right? Well 5 hours is still a long way from 8 so there was still exhaustion and tears but the tears were smaller and less frequent. Then something magical happened: on the night of the 8th of November 2014, almost 3 months after his arrival, baby Mac slept through the night! It was amazing. I did get quite a shock when I woke and rushed to check on our sleeping cherub but yes, he was still breathing and sleeping soundly. And so began the blissful days of a reasonably well rested family of 3. We thought we had been blessed with a ‘good sleeper.’ I didn’t mind when people asked the ridiculous ‘is he a good baby?’ because he was, as if a ‘good baby’ was one who slept at night. His napping was another story (read more about our napping troubles here) but the night time wasn’t so bad. For a while.
Around 10 months our awesome sleeper turned in to a night time terror. From waking multiple times a night, to starting our day at 3am or even having no interest in going to bed until 10pm – the list of sleep issues grew and grew. ‘Must be teething’, we’d say. ‘He does have a bit of a sniffle’, we’d reason. But weeks of broken sleep turned in to months and everything seemed to suffer. Soon we were both making silly mistakes at work, we were always grumpy at each other, my efforts to lose the baby bulge became non-existant. I can totally understand why the CIA used sleep deprivation in their detention and interrogation program following the 9/11 terrorist attacks! (source)
There are so many resources out there designed to help with baby sleep issues: ebooks, apps, websites, Facebook pages and even real books (the kind with pages.) Now if I was well rested with some spare time on my hands I would do my own research, figure out a plan that suits our family and implement it, tracking the implementation and reacting and changing the plan as necessary. But I am not well-rested and I don’t have any spare time these days. So we have made the decision to bring in a professional: a baby sleep consultant. I know plenty of Mums who have had great success with help from a baby sleep consultant. We have chosen to go through Baby Sleep Consultant New Zealand. We’ve chosen the Phone Consultation and Assessment – one week of support with an initial 40-60 minute phone call, an email assessment, review of activity logs and another three 15 minute follow up phone calls over the week. I am hoping to get started sooner rather than later! If you’re keen to keep up to date with our baby sleep consultant journey make sure to subscribe to the blog.
Have you used a baby sleep consultant?