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Millpond Sleep Clinic - worth it?

(43 Posts)
AlmondFrangipani Thu 30-Jan-14 07:01:58

We have a 6mo DS whose a terrible sleeper. He wakes up every 1.5/2 hours at night. We feel like we've tried everything and nothing helps. Has anyone tried Millpond? We're at the point where we would give all our money for a few hours sleep!!

RalphRecklessCardew Thu 30-Jan-14 09:01:26

Was in exactly your situation. Tried them. DS slept through (7-5) 2 weeks later and at nearly 10 months does 7:20-6:30. Best money we've ever spent.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Thu 30-Jan-14 09:02:33

Night nanny? Bet that would be cheaper and once you have some sleep under your belt you'll be able to take on any advice she has. Some babies are crap sleepers but it helps to have a fresh pair of eyes on the situation in case there's a really obvious solution.

Sleep deprivation is a killerthanks brew

Queenofknickers Thu 30-Jan-14 09:10:30

Best money we ever spent too. I had read every book etc and tried what I thought was everything. Millpond analysed his sleep logs and had him sleeping through in 2 days ....... After 18 months of hourly waking. It was 8 years ago but I could still kiss that woman....grin

ArtemisTheHunter Thu 30-Jan-14 19:14:33

Ralph and Queen, would you mind briefly saying what kind of techniques they use? I also have a 6mo whose poor sleeping is starting to affect my health and can't be doing her any good. I have failed with 'gentle' sleep solutions recommended in various books and am considering help of some kind but don't want to pay someone to tell me to leave her to cry.

tanimbar Thu 30-Jan-14 20:50:50

We used them, for an older child (2.5yrs). I don't regret it, but it was not a magic bullet. I think in DD's case her sleep issues are part childhood wrinkles, part simply who she is. They were sympathetic, approachable and practical - we were not pushed into anything hardcore. It was more about understanding the child, their patterns and reactions, and working to shift this slightly. Helped us feel we were not hopeless freaks, however, which was worth a fair amount!

RalphRecklessCardew Fri 31-Jan-14 06:55:21

We used gradual retreat, but as tanimbar said they'd ask you what you were comfortable with and not try to force you into controlled crying or whatever.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Fri 31-Jan-14 07:06:22

Excuse me asking the obvious but your are feeding through the night still, aren't you? I remember a poster on here recently wondering why her 4 month old wouldn't sleep through and it turned out because he'd slept through once he didn't need feeding and he'd been waking because he was hungry.

Theironfistofarkus Fri 31-Jan-14 07:11:26

I "used" them in the sense that I paid for their service but took none of their advice. They had no magic bullet and basically just suggested the gradual withdrawal method which would have involved lots of crying for my ultra- sensitive Dc. This method was something I obviously knew about but had already decided was not for me so was useless for me. They do offer to speak to you on the phone to support you so I would say possibly worth using if you are happy to use a pre-established method like that and want support. But they have no magic answers cos there are none.

bringonyourwreckingball Fri 31-Jan-14 07:18:58

We used their telephone consultation service when dd2 was about 11 months. It wasn't a magic bullet but it did help us try a new approach and crucially it got me and dh back on the same page as we were starting to disagree about what to do about her terrible sleeping. It definitely helped us when I was at the end of my tether.

ArtemisTheHunter Fri 31-Jan-14 16:51:53

Thanks for the responses. I had wondered what sleep consultants would have to offer that isn't already in the books. Probably not much. I would be interested from the point of view of structured planning and moral support as we have so many sleep issues I don't even know where to start, and like you wreckingball my DP and I disagree about what we should do. Any well intentioned plans tend to go out of the window at 4am anyway. I guess the risk is we either get told to do things we've already tried and failed with, or the more hardcore crying based techniques which I wouldn't be comfortable with.

OP what are you thinking? Are you likely to give them a go?

Theironfistofarkus Fri 31-Jan-14 18:57:24

I think sometimes the emotional and moral support of a service like this is very helpful if you are at the end of your tether and need support to follow a plan. For me though I was tired I did not want to do anything that involved crying so it did not help as there is no method i know of which works quick and doesn't involve at least a bit of crying.

Picklebean Fri 31-Jan-14 19:04:20

I contacted Andrea grace a few days ago and am now on day 2 of her plan with DS2 6 months. So far it's going well. I was very reluctant to spend money on something which I thought I could get from the books (have read them all and thought I had tried everything). What has been lovely is that it feels like someone else is taking the weight off your mind and making it their job to sort things out for you (even though you are doing the work). It is also reassuring to have someone listen extensively to what has been going on and tailor something to you, your child and your circumstances and give you the confidence that it will work and the support if and when you need it. I won't jinx things by saying how we're getting on but I think it will probably save my sanity, allow me to get some sleep before I go back to work next month and make me a less ratty wife and mother, so may well be the best money I've ever spent! Hope that helps.

ArtemisTheHunter Fri 31-Jan-14 19:51:24

Thanks Picklebean, it does. Are you doing anything different to the things you'd read about, and is it a 'gentle' approach? While I often feel I'm at the end of my rope, I know I couldn't stick with something that involved leaving dd upset or risked damaging her trust in us. Having said that, I'm anxious about returning to work an I know I'm not the kind of mum I want to be because I'm so damn exhausted. Equally DD isn't getting the rest she needs and is crankier than she would probably otherwise be.

Queenofknickers Fri 31-Jan-14 20:38:11

It seems to be about working out what their "sleep cue" is. The millpond lady analysed our sleep diary and said that DS had developed a sleep association between the feeling of having a full tummy and going to sleep - therefore when he woke in the night he wanted that feeling of fullness. We changed his routine so he had his last feed downstairs on the sofa in full light out of a sippy cup (he was 18mos!) and then we did the bath time and story routine. It just meant he wasn't entirely "dozy and full of milk" feeling. The first night he did cry but not for v long at all and the second night chuntered for 5 mins and after that slept through!!!! 'Twas like a blinking miracle. I really had tried everything but I had not figured out that a feeling of fullness was his sleep cue, not just not being fed to sleep, sucking etc all of which we had tried to break or substitute with dummies etc. We did all of this over the phone by the way. Because he had had severe reflux as a baby we had been told to bf him on demand for 6 months and I think I needed the reassurance/support from a professional that he was bigger, older and would be OK.

AlmondFrangipani Fri 31-Jan-14 20:54:12

Thanks so much for all the feedback and posts! Artemis we are seriously thinking about it. We definitely feel like we've lost our rational thought process to find a solution.

Queen our DS sounds very similar. He has suffered with silent reflux and is fed on demand. As a result he takes small, frequent feeds and subsequently (I feel) wakes regularly in the night for milk. This then has turned into a dependency. It feels like each time he wakes he expects (demands) milk in order to go back to sleep and nothing we've tried consoles him! He escalates to full on hysteria and thrashing until we feed him. He then has a couple of ozs then goes back down awake but with no fuss and goes off to sleep himself. All the books I've read don't seem to offer a solution to this except tanking them up in the day which just doesn't work for him (he flatly refuses) or diluting feeds (he wakes hourly). So Millpond sound attractive!!

AlmondFrangipani Fri 31-Jan-14 20:55:59

Pickle did you pick Andrea Grace over Millpond for a reason?

Theironfistofarkus Fri 31-Jan-14 22:33:11

My paedeatrician who is a lovely gentle older man recommends Andrea Grace.

Queenofknickers Sat 01-Feb-14 18:05:17

Almond whoever you use - do it! You don't realise at the time what an impact no sleep is having on you and on your little one. I really wouldn't hesitate x

Picklebean Sat 01-Feb-14 19:13:54

Hi Almond sorry for the delay. Just chose Andrea as I had seen lots of recommendations and somehow it seemed more personal as I heard millpond basically offer gradual retreat or CC (may not be the case). I am pleased to report that DS slept from 7-6 last night, woke up once for a couple of minutes at 10 (when he would previously have been fed) and went off without much fuss. I woke up at 5 panicking that I hadn't heard him so am still sleep deprived! DS has pretty bad reflux and is EBF with control of symptoms since weaning and on omeprazole so I had developed all kinds of bad sleep habits because I was never sure if he was in pain/hungry. I knew all the theory on sleep but couldn't find a way to consistently put it into practice. Getting someone to make me a plan and assure me that it would work and would help me stick to it has been invaluable. I had also anticipated it taking a week or so but if things continue like this I doubt it! The only thing I would say is that with Andrea you have to be prepared to drop all night feeds (I was a big dream feeder) to break the feed/sleep association but I knew this before I called her. Good luck!!

AlmondFrangipani Sat 01-Feb-14 20:39:32

Pickle thanks so much for the reply. That's such good news! You must feel like a new person!! My DS was on Omeprozole too and like you I have always worried about whether he wanted feeding to soothe or hunger because of his small feeds in the day etc. I'm happy to drop night feeds if it helps his sleeping!! It may then help me get larger bottles in him in the day!

Decision made...going to try Andrea!!

Thanks for all your advice!

Picklebean Sat 01-Feb-14 21:06:06

You're welcome*Almond*, let us know how it goes!

ArtemisTheHunter Sun 02-Feb-14 06:39:34

almond I would love to hear how it goes too!

Pickle that sounds like amazing progress in a short time. how did your ds react to dropping night feeds? My dd is also 6 months and wakes to feed at least 2 x per night. I never know until I feed her whether she actually is hungry or just feeding for comfort, suspect it varies. I tried settling her without a feed at the first wake up last night and she cried as though the world was about to end. Gave in and fed her as nothing else would calm her down!

pinksummer Sun 02-Feb-14 07:04:35

I am another Andrea Grace fan! I saw her 12 days ago and my 6 mth old has gone from every 2hr wakings on a good night to last night 7:30-6 aside from a little wake for 10mins at 3am.
She is the best money I've ever spent (and I have real fancy shoes and handbags!)
I love love love her. She does insist on no feeding at night but by 6mths they definitely don't need it. Be prepared for the first 2/3 nights to be sleepless but it's nothing worse than what you already have!
I like her because I don't think she's too harsh. You never have to leave them if you don't want to and if you want to pick them up then go for it.
Best of luck!

Picklebean Sun 02-Feb-14 08:40:27

Artemis it hasn't really bothered him dropping the feeds but largely because I think he wasn't really hungry in the night and lately I had just been feeding him to try and get him back to sleep which wasn't having the desired effect, hence I needed help! He's a very early waker, habitually at 5.30-45 and that hasn't changed yet so will speak again to Andrea to see if she has any bright ideas!

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