(written by Jennifer Smith)
Oh, how I remember the day I signed up for the personalized sleep plan on The Baby Sleep Site. Tears rolled down my face as I hit the payment button. I had just read the testimonials of other parents and knew, without a doubt, that I would never, ever be in their company. After Maddy’s severe colic finally abated, we had a window of about three weeks where she slept just like all the books said she would.
And then, it stopped. She would only sleep if she was on me in the baby bjorn and I was moving, or in my arms and I was bouncing on the exercise ball. I remember bouncing as my husband left for work early in the morning; when he returned late in the evening, I was still there, still bouncing. Thank heavens for my iPad, my Netflix subscription, and “30 Rock.”
The worst, though, was when neither bouncing, nor the baby bjorn, nor vigorous gliding would work. Hour upon hour of screams and cries. We re-read every book and tried every method. When that didn’t work, we contacted sleep consultants. Two fired us because their methods should have worked but didn’t. The third just stopped responding. I spent long days checking and consoling Maddy through naps she never took. At night, it would take at least 90 minutes and sometimes more than three hours of absolute misery for her to find the sleep we so desperately wanted her to get. I tried to remember my mom’s advice: “if mom isn’t relaxed, baby cannot be relaxed.” But nothing seemed to work. Until we found co-sleeping. Relieved, we gave ourselves over to it. It wasn’t restful, it was completely disruptive to our household, but at least Maddy was sleeping and we were getting more sleep than we were used to.
And then that, too, stopped working, and we were back to square one.
When I confessed to my husband that I had engaged yet another sleep consultant, I sobbed. “It’s just more good money after bad, but I can’t live like this any longer. I have to have something, even if it’s just false hope.” If that sentence reads dramatic, you’re getting sleep. Sleep deprivation, as my friend told me, is the thief of perspective. It is also the thief of joy. We loved Maddy desperately, and we desperately needed her to sleep so we could get the rest we needed.
When the personalized sleep plan arrived, I devoured it and felt a huge rush of relief. I showed it to my husband, who also took heart. It was helpful, understanding, and clear. Context was provided for all the suggestions and there was enough wiggle room for us to tailor it to our specific parenting styles and abilities.
As we proceeded, guess what? It didn’t work. And so I dropped it. Having been dismissed before, I just didn’t have the heart to be turned away again. But I came back because I had to—I just had to try again. That’s when we found out that “generous” doesn’t begin to describe The Baby Sleep Site’s email support. I explained what happened to our consultant, Liz, and she picked it right up, asked questions, conferred with me, and together we tweaked the plan. In the ensuing weeks, I emailed over large issues and very small questions. I mean, I wanted ALL MY BASES COVERED so I asked every single question I could come up with—sometimes more than once. Liz responded in a timely way and always addressed both the questions asked and those that were implied—the questions I was too sleep-deprived to form. The kindness and care Liz showered on us surprised me. With other sleep consultants, they were certain and directive. “Do this, and Maddy will sleep.” But the suggestions didn’t always work. And sometimes, we proved fallible (as people—sleep-deprived or otherwise—are prone to be). Liz walked me through every little detail, cheered us on for every success, and reassured me with every misstep.
With the counsel of Liz and The Baby Sleep Site, Maddy went from co-sleeping to sleeping through the night in her own crib with the least amount of tears of any sleep training program. What seemed to me an insurmountable mountain was summited one step at a time. I really felt roped to Liz and knew that she had my back if I slipped or was unsure. The directions from her were so helpful and clear that every night, I knew going in exactly what to do. When Maddy had trouble clearing a new hurdle, and I started to feel helpless, I just reminded myself, “your only job right now is to do x.” Knowing that Liz was keeping an eye on the big picture allowed me to just do the next thing. I didn’t have to worry about how on earth Maddy was EVER going to sleep in her crib ALL NIGHT. I just had to do x. I just had to do y. And then, as the successes started piling up, I became more confident. And as I became more confident, so did Maddy.
It’s hard to put into words just how much our lives have changed. I become quite emotional when I think about it. My husband and I can now talk without Maddy present—a huge gift. He and I can sleep in the same bed all night long. By ourselves. Instead of trying to figure out how to make it through another day, I am rested and happy when I hear Maddy stirring in the morning. We can think about expanding our family. I can read a book, or a magazine, or watch a show.
A few weeks after successfully sleep training Maddy, she became ill with a bad cold. She was terribly congested and could only find rest if I held her upright in my arms. Once she was well again, who was happy to get back to their respective sleep spaces? EVERYONE.
I thought our case was hopeless, I really did. With the help of The Baby Sleep Site, I am another proud member of the satisfied client list. And I am as well-rested as any mother of a strong-willed and independent 18 month-old can be.
WOW – just wow. Jennifer’s story is proof that our sleep consultants really can help just about any baby sleep – even a baby who has baffled three other sleep consultants! And they will do it in a supportive, non-judgmental way that leaves you feel encouraged and empowered instead of defeated and abandoned. And as Jennifer’s story shows, it’s not an overstatement to call a consultation with The Baby Sleep Site® life-changing. In Jennifer’s case, it absolutely changed her life, and saved her from spiraling even further into exhaustion and despair. A consultation with a Baby Sleep Site consultant really is an investment – in your baby’s (and your) health, in your sanity, in your relationship with your partner, in your overall quality of life…this is more than just a purchase. It’s an investment in your family. And we hope it’s an investment you’ll consider making today!