Tuesday, October 16

why we hired a sleep consultant


We hired a sleep consultant in August.  It was the best decision we've made in a long time.  When I first admitted that my energy was running out and that we were all beginning to drag because of our lack of sleep, a couple of you emailed me and told me that you hired sleep trainers.  The words sleep training quite honestly sent chills down my spine.  We were not those parents, you know the ones, they never leave the house, their children only ever nap in the crib and they must surely be heartless since they leave their children alone in their rooms and let them cry.  We were not those parents and the idea that we might have to become even part of that made me so emotional.  We were the kind of parents that had a routine and we generally stuck with it but, that being said, I would find myself thinking how lucky we were that our girls would sleep anywhere and everywhere... like the car, the stroller, the carriers.  For months we followed a 9am and 1pm nap schedule and I would put them down, have my hands on their back and shush them until they were asleep, then I would slowly back out of the room and pray to God that the door didn't make that clicky sound when I closed it, then I would wait with the baby monitor for one of them to start crying and I would rush up and remove the crying one and hope that they other would keep sleeping for a while.  This was so unpredictable, they were overtired... we just didn't know it.

We'd read sleep books, several of them and they all had different techniques.  I think Andrew and I both had an idea of what we needed to do to get them to sleep better, only we were too paranoid/scared/unsure to actually try anything.  So I researched some Canadian sleep consultants and found one who is herself a mother of twins and didn't actually charge double for twins (which everyone else I found did... and hello twins are expensive people... expensive).  Alanna's company is called the Goodnight Sleepsite and she was amazing.  We had a long phone conversation with her initially and she laid out the plan we were to follow.  I am not going to go into a lot of detail but a few things I will share are:

  1. i cried like a baby that night after talking with Alanna... knowing what this sleep training plan would entail.
  2. we got rid of Alice's soother (I mean we should have done this long ago... it kind of looks ridiculous in an almost one year old's mouth)
  3. the first night I was up while Alice was up for an hour and fifteen minutes
  4. alice has never woken us up in the night since
  5. their naps are blissfully long and predictable
  6. they are so happy... all of the time.
  7. they don't fall asleep everywhere now.
  8. bedtime is 6pm, up time is 6:15am
  9. when they wake up they don't cry
  10. i am back to my endless energy ways

This all happened in August, and the change was so sudden, part of me wonders why we didn't do this sooner, but the other part knows that we weren't ready for sleep training until that point.

If you and your family lack sleep and are interested in talking to Alanna her site is here.

oh and why did we sleep train...  I would love to say that it was all for the girls... but that would be a lie... we did it to save our sanity... and in the process we learned that we were giving them a lifelong skill, the ability to sleep well and to fall asleep on their own.

source
(love this)


happy Tuesday!

4 comments:

  1. So glad to hear you had amazing results after hiring the sleep consultant!! I really want to work on getting Chloe off the pacifier too, she only takes it at nap time/bed time (it stays in the crib) but I want to lose it before she can ask for it. Sounds like you had a smooth transition with that as well? Any tips?

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  2. I love Alanna, I follow her on facebook and always ready her Sunday Night Sleep Session. I haven't paid for her service but I do follow what her advice says. I guess we are cold hearted because our boys have slept in their crib from the beginning (3 weeks in) and only ever nap in their cribs. My entire family thinks I am insane but I tell them when they have twins they get to have an opinion. I would love to have the boys fall asleep in the car and on the go but that just isn't reality for us. Yes the day is scheduled around them but the joy is that by 6pm they are down for the night and I get a ton of time to regroup and spend quality time with hubby. My personality isn't really geared towards being so routine oriented but I love that the boys are well rested and for the most part always happy. Although lately I have been a bit relaxed and I have to do a refresher because we have been getting into some sloppy habits.
    Glad to hear you are doing well and the girls are thriving!

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  3. Its a beautiful thing to get a full night sleep! I can't imagine how tough it was getting. I didn't know there were such things as sleep consultants but it sounds awesome to me!
    So happy you found something that works for your family:)

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  4. I did not know such people exist... I'm not ready yet but I think we may need to go this route soon too.
    Thanks for the link I think I'll go take a peek right now :)

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