Just before Christmas, I met an amazing mum, Francesca, who, although totally exhausted by lack of sleep, showed immeasurable determination and strength. She wanted to get her baby girl into a routine and help her to learn to sleep independently before she became too set in the bad habits that she was developing. I wanted to write about this particular family because Francesca showed that with such a strong attitude, she was able to put her emotions aside and take on a rati
onal view of her daughter’s needs. By doing this, she was able to have her baby sleeping independently within a couple of days. She didn’t leave her crying for hours, she didn’t use controlled crying and at no time was her baby really distressed. And now, a few weeks on, both mum and baby are much happier and more relaxed.
When I met them, baby Mila was waking several times every night, feeding sporadically and depending on a dummy or latching on to the breast (especially throughout the night) to keep her content. Francesca was at her wits end and struggling to read her baby’s cues. When we first spoke on the phone, she was adamant that she wanted me to stay overnight to give her support through all Mila’s night wakings. I suggested a 3 hour daytime consultation beforehand so that we could look at Mila’s routine and how she settled to sleep, after which I would return in time for bed, and stay all night if needed.
During the session, we put together a routine that would suit Mila’s needs, and fit in with Francesca’s commitments. We discussed why Mila cries at certain times, and how to respond to her different cries and interestingly, Francesca pointed out that “most of the time there’s nothing wrong, she’s just crying!” To notice this so quickly really helped both mother and daughter, because it has meant that she was able to start reading her baby’s signs and respond to her when she needs to.
In Francesca’s words:
The Sleep Fairy – WOW!!
I have a little baby girl who’s sleeping was extremely erratic, waking during the night at all hours. The times she was waki ng were never consistent, it was always whenever she pleased! She fed every three hours during the day, then cluster fed at night. Her naps during the day were all over the place. I put it down to the fact she was quite small when she was born, but it got to the point when she was 4.5 months that I was so over-exhausted I couldn’t even sleep when I had the chance to. I felt I wanted structure and a routine for my baby girl as I never knew what she wanted and felt very sad I couldn’t pacify her.
I was passed the Sleep Fairy’s number by a friend (who was a nanny), who emphasised that she knew that the Sleep Fairy had worked with lots of families she knew and had been very successful. I contacted her hoping she could help me and she was amazing with her prompt reply. She came over to my house straight away (thankfully I caught her on a Saturday when she was free) and the first thing she did was assure me there was nothing wrong with my baby, she just needed to learn a few things; mainly how to calm herself down and put herself to sleep.
I honestly could not see past my baby crying so much at certain points in the day and night that she would be able to sleep without the use of a dummy or me just latching her on to the breast to keep her quiet. Until I met Dee, I honestly thought that was how it was going to be forever. But within three hours the she had my baby learning new things and I could see it was already successfully working. I knew my baby was okay and therefore I was not worried or emotional during the process.
Dee and I worked together as a team. I made sure my emotions did not hinder the process of my baby getting to grips with her new routine, which was really hard but I know that she needs to sleep as much as I do.
The sleep fairy now has my baby feeding every four hours and taking more milk at her feed times. My baby cried for a while when we first put her down in her cot but she cried less and less each time, as she now knows that when I put her down in her cot it’s sleepy time and she talks herself to sleep!
My baby now sleeps throughout the night with only one dream feed at 11pm and one at 3am (which she is in the process of dropping). She is generally so much happier in the day time and I’m so happy that when she does get grizzly I know what she needs. Also having a routine has enabled me to plan my day around my baby and I feel so much happier in myself.
I highly recommend the sleep fairy she was so amazing and professional with myself and my baby. I had every faith in her as I got such a warm and positive feeling when I first met her. Thanks sleep fairy – you are wonderful!!