I recently attended a sleepover. There were no pillow fights, late night snacks or scary movies though. Instead, there were two crying children. Maybe this doesn’t sound like your ideal sleepover. However, if you are the sleep deprived parents of those said children then it is exactly the kind of sleepover that you want to have. Sleep training your own children can be quite hard. Even as a sleep consultant who knows the importance and benefits of adequate sleep, it was still hard to sleep train my own children. While there are many methods for sleep training and “cry it out” is not the only method, there will almost always be some tears as your child is learning this new skill. Sometimes when we are doing something difficult, even when we know it will help us reach our end goal, we need someone else there to remind us to stay strong. When it comes time to sleep train your child having an expert there to tell you when to intervene and how, and when to step back in order to give your child the time and space she may need, a sleepover might be just what you need to stay consistent and stick to the plan.
Here is what a mom of two had to say about the overnight support:
Our Well Rested Baby sleep consultant single handedly changed our lives! We reached out to Well Rested Baby a few weeks ago to help us with our almost 3-year-old and our 5-month-old. We scheduled an overnight stay, sleep plans and two weeks of support. (Our WRB Sleep Consultant) put together individual sleep plans for our kids and provided a vast amount of information about sleep and its effects on kids (and families), physically, mentally, and emotionally. Our sleep consultant was instrumental in guiding us through that first overnight stay – she told us to avoid emotional decisions and provided frequent updates. That first night (and the following half week or so) were rough because the kids were taking turns waking each other up and keeping each other awake. However, we immediately saw an improvement in the 5-month-old – she started taking naps consistently, at the right times and an appropriate length. Our toddler took longer (as our sleep consultant cautioned they do). Before working with Well Rested Baby, one of us had to lie down with him for him to fall asleep (sometimes taking up to 2 hours) and he would then wake up in the night and one of us would need to go lie in a bunk next to him. It took about 3 weeks, but now we leave him in the bed and he falls asleep on his own! We have a second life now, after the kids are in bed. This is a miracle for us but it is all due to implementing our sleep plan. Both kids are happier and we are incredibly happy with this progress. This really is an investment and well worth the time and sacrifice.
Another benefit of having a sleep consultant “on hand” the first night you implement the plan is that you are less likely to make mistakes. Sleep is complicated. Our plans are detailed and while these details are necessary to achieving success it can sometimes to be difficult to remember them all when you are anxious and learning how to get your child to sleep in a new way. Sometimes, even when you do remember all the details babies throw a wrench in the plan and do something unpredictable. For instance, maybe she rolls onto her belly for the first time in the midst of sleep training. This would surely present a lot of doubt for mom and dad. And toddlers are experts at mixing it up! We can create the perfect plan but, it will inevitably need to be tweaked as we go when your toddler puts his or her own spin on the plan. Typically, we get an e-mail the next day explaining what happened and looking for advice and support. While the ups and downs and trial and error are completely OK and to be expected, the benefit of having a consultant on hand is that we are there in real time to tweak the plan as needed. It means faster progress and a more calm and confident mom and dad.
Does this mean that everyone needs to have a sleep consultant in the home to be successful? Definitely not. But for the family who wants extra support when it comes time to implementing the plan or wants some hand holding through the first night of the process it can be very helpful. It can also be helpful for clients with baby blues, postpartum depression or who are chronically sleep deprived. If you are looking to get your child’s sleep on track but don’t feel confident doing so on your own then a Well Rested Baby sleepover might be right for you.
Lauren Stauffer is a Family Sleep Institute certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and owner of Well Rested Baby. She offers a host of services including in person, phone, email, and Skype/FaceTime consultations that can be tailored to meet any family’s needs and schedule. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation. Be sure to follow WRB on Facebook for more great sleep tips!
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