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Anyone used a sleep consultant - wondering whether to invest

(38 Posts)
catsarenice Fri 30-Dec-16 08:39:14

DS is 7 months and is terrible at night. Used to be able to bf him to sleep then put him in cot (I know, I know) but now he will not stay settled in cot or if he eventually does it will be for absolute maximum of 2 hours but usually a couple of minutes maybe 10. He must've had about 3 hours sleep max last night. He also won't nap in his cot - has to be in pram or car. He doesn't always need bf back to sleep just wants cuddles and he sometimes let DP do it. Really at my wit's end with sleep deprivation and need a solution. Is a sleep consultant worth it? Not willing to leave him to cry himself to sleep beyond leaving for a couple of mins to see if he settles.

catsarenice Fri 30-Dec-16 08:42:50

Forgot to say, he is in his own room. Went in there just after 5 months due to frequent night waking in his side sleeper and for 5 days he only woke once or twice so thought we'd solved it but nope sad

Bobbybobbins Fri 30-Dec-16 08:47:12

I'm my experience with both of ours, who I bfed to sleep for the first 6 months, they wouldn't stay asleep until they had learnt to fall asleep on their own, without the boob. Not easy.

catsarenice Fri 30-Dec-16 08:54:44

I've tried so many times to put him down awake - he's ok for a bit then cries. White noise works to calm but not to send to sleep.

ImprovingMyMH Fri 30-Dec-16 08:55:42

We used Andrea Grace - it was all by phone and email, and she developed a gentle plan for us to use with DS at a time when we were just too exhausted to think clearly. She then provided ongoing support, which we found invaluable.

Lots of luck, I know how awful it can be.

ImprovingMyMH Fri 30-Dec-16 08:56:58

Just to add that it was quite £, but we think it was completely worth it!

ImprovingMyMH Fri 30-Dec-16 08:57:15

Just to add that it was quite £, but we think it was completely worth it.

HeCantBeSerious Fri 30-Dec-16 09:13:56

Infant sleep changes regularly. Perhaps he now misses you being close. Have you tried bringing him back into your room?

GailTheFish Fri 30-Dec-16 09:27:17

We used Ann Caird at Nurturing Sleep when DS was around 8 months old, when he was sleeping in 45 minutes blocks before waking up and only being bounced to sleep. Was very gradual and done at a speed we were comfortable with (never left DS to cry) - but he went from that to waking up maybe once in the night. It was just nice to have a plan and have someone else tell me what to do as much as anything, but was definitely worth the money.

FATEdestiny Fri 30-Dec-16 10:53:15

A sleep trainer will tell you nothing new. All you are really paying for is someone you can dump the guilt and blame on: "baby is so upset having to go to sleep in his cot, but it's not my fault, we are just following what the Sleep consultant said"

If you want someone to tell you what to do and then blame them for the distress the instructions cause - I can do that for free grin

A dummy is a lot cheaper than a sleep consultant anyway.

I'd also bring the cot back into your room. Expecting no night wake-ups under 12 months old is unreasonable. So might aswel make the night wakes as easy for you to deal with as poss. Just leaning over the cot (to hold dummy in and shush) is a million times easier than getting up, going to another room and being out of bed for ages.

catsarenice Fri 30-Dec-16 11:11:13

He's not happy with us just being there - wants to be held. I've tried hanging over the cot cuddling him but he won't stop crying until he's picked up. I've tried taking him to bed with me too but he's not keen on that either. I've ordered a book - going to give that a try if I'm not too knackered to read it! Thank you for your suggestions. It's so frustrating - I don't mind if he wakes every 2 hours really it's just not being able to put him down. I'm so scared that if I sit rocking him I'll fall asleep and drop him!

FATEdestiny Fri 30-Dec-16 13:30:54

I've tried hanging over the cot cuddling him but he won't stop crying until he's picked up. I've tried taking him to bed with me too but he's not keen on that either.

A sleep trainer will have no magic wand though.

If you don't want to cuddle/rock/cosleep and are not prepared to give it 6m-1y to make slow, gradual changes then any option you choose will create lots of crying.

It will just be that the sleep consultant will talk you through why getting him to sleep in the cot is so important and support you to keep going, through all the tears and screaming.

They won't tell you anything different. Just convince you that what you already knew you needed to do is the thing you need to do for the best.

<considers becoming a sleep consultant. This strikes me as easy money>

catsarenice Fri 30-Dec-16 14:41:29

Just thought someone might have a good tip for self settling that doesn't involve crying. I've no problem with getting up to comfort him if that's what he needs it's just that I know he's really tired as will sleep on me or DP but immediately wakes up when put down

thekingfisher Fri 30-Dec-16 14:45:58

I though #gailthefish comments somewhat harsh. I used millpond and they were invaluable. I didn't want to let my daddy cry it out - but he did need to learn how to self settle. They have me some very good guidance prep and support and guided me through it. I would have paid 10x the amount. Ds was sleeping through within 10 days after never sleeping through and waking at least 5+ times per night. Do it

thekingfisher Fri 30-Dec-16 14:46:49

Btw I was only happy to let him cry for 30 secs initially and that's all we did.....

FATEdestiny Fri 30-Dec-16 14:59:14

I know he's really tired as will sleep on me or DP but immediately wakes up when put down

Transferring a sleeping baby is your problem. Helping baby to learn to go to sleep in the cot is the answer.

good tip for self settling

Provide as many forms of independant comfort that you can. Babies who "self settle" don't go to sleep with no comfort, they go to sleep using comfort mechanisms they can access themselves. So offer lots:

- dummy to suck
- comforter snuggle toy/blankie to cuddle
- repetitive movements they can copy, like patting their chest (they can learn to do this themselves in time)
- tickling face (many children learn to tickle their own cheek/ear for comfort)
- playing with hair (my son did this for self-comfort)
- something that smells of you, like an unwashed pillow case
- white noise drowns out background noise and is useful for a light sleeper.

He will probably still need the comfort and reassurance even with lots of independant comforters.

I also think you need to adjust your expectations. Night wakes until 12 months are well within normal expectations. Having the cot next to your bed makes life easier for everyone.

Can you catch up on sleep during the day?

Redkite10a Fri 30-Dec-16 14:59:33

We had enough success with the slow and gradual thing we didn't need help in the end, but I've had two friends use sleep consultants and both saw a big improvement and thought it was worth it.

What I think helped is they had someone spend several hours going through what they did and then make suggestions for routine tweaks. Although with hind sight they were common sense, it wasn't changes we'd thought of when discussing previously. Both ended up doing a little bit of crying in the end after making quite a few changes, but it was only a little bit and both had tried crying previously without success, so the routine tweaks helped a lot.

If you have the money to spare, I think they can help.

catsarenice Fri 30-Dec-16 15:47:37

As I've said before I'm not expecting him to sleep through - he probably feeds twice in the night and the rest of the time he just needs settling. Once every couple of weeks he will only wake once or twice so I know he can do it. I can't catch up on sleep during day as he won't sleep in cot during day either - have to go out for a walk although it usually coincides with the school walks. I can survive on very little sleep but it's taking its toll now - couldn't get him down until 2.30am last night

catsarenice Fri 30-Dec-16 15:48:53

DD slept through from 6 weeks although she was formula fed

FATEdestiny Fri 30-Dec-16 16:34:40

One of my four children wouldn't breastfeed and was FF from 3 weeks old. He was sleeping 12h solidly from 7 weeks old. It's a thing that happens. I had very different expectations with my 3 breastfed children. Although I started mix feeding DC4 at 4 months because I was much less precious about breastfeeding by then.

ImprovingMyMH Fri 30-Dec-16 21:05:41

FATE, we didn't pay a sleep consultant so that we could 'dump the guilt and blame on them' confused. We paid them to help us to work out a gradual withdrawal strategy, and to support us when we implemented it. We were practically on our knees with exhaustion at the time, and we'd do it again in a heartbeat.

Itscurtainsforyou Fri 30-Dec-16 21:12:25

I'd love to know how you get on OP. My 1 year old used to sleep through, now refuses to sleep in his bed and wakes 2+ times per night.

FATEdestiny Fri 30-Dec-16 21:13:09

Have you not learnt lessons so that you might better know some things to do with your next child ImprovingMyMH?

I know I made mistakes and learnt lessons with each on my children in regards to sleep as babies. There really is tons of advise out there to help. The problem is that in the moment, when you have a network and all these expectations, logical and rational thinking can go out the window.

All a sleep consultant does is talk you through the logical and rational options, their time frames, likely outcomes and so set your expectations with an organised plan of action.

They save no magic wand. They have no different techniques that are not already widely avaliable and discussed.

FATEdestiny Fri 30-Dec-16 21:14:20

network = newborn

ImprovingMyMH Fri 30-Dec-16 21:34:45

FATE, I completely agree that sleep consultants don't have a magic wand - they just use evidence based strategies to improve children's sleep. But the point is that they usually do this when the child's parents are at the absolute ends of their tether (and, funnily enough, when they're not in the best mindset for researching evidence based strategies etc.).

It's fine for some people to not want to use a sleep consultant. Just like it's fine for other people to want to use one.

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