This week I received an email that made me cry. As you can probably imagine I receive a LOT of emails about child sleep issues and there are certainly a fair few who talk about previous experiences with other sleep consultants that hadn’t gone as they’d hoped. This was different though. This mama was broken.
We are on track now and she’s feeling much better: she feels empowered to help her little girl get the sleep she needs. With the mother’s permission, below is a word-for-word transcript of our first email exchange.
The tired mama wrote to The Baby Sleep Company:
I have a 2 year old who still hasn't slept through the night. I'm scared to ask for help as I used a sleep consultant from Perth and a Dr in Adelaide when she was under one and both experiences were really traumatic.
The Dr told me to start her on solids at 6 weeks! And to control cry her at same age, without checking if she was healthy. She wasn't. She had severe silent reflux and eczema that made her scratch til she bled in her sleep as well as another condition that meant she had no iron or zinc stores and various food allergies. So we ended up in children's hospital countless times in first 18 months.
The sleep consultant knew all that, and was horrible. She advertised no controlled crying then made me take the dummy away and sit outside and listen to her cry for it?!?! When I said I couldn't do it, too harsh she told me it was my own fault then and that I wasted my money.
After this, my husband is really reluctant to try anyone else and he thinks she will just grow out of it. But I don't know if I can last. She's pretty calm and healthy these days and I've managed to get her trained to go to sleep most nights in less than 30 mins (still working on it) but she wakes around midnight and 4 am every night and often wants a bottle. She also still has a dummy which she mostly can find herself but the biggest problem seems to be that she's scared and she just wants me to lie with her and give her a cuddle.
I guess after all that I want to know if you think you can help and if you are going to use controlled crying or force her to take away the dummy etc?
You seem very kind from your posts and positive. I just couldn't take another failure or anyone else telling me I'm a bad mum. 2 years in and out of ICU were enough to make me lose all faith in my parenting, I don't need anyone else to reinforce it!
Sorry if this isn't the protocol for engaging your services, but I want to be sure that you are the kind of person that could help
Katie’s reply was:
Gemma, your email brought tears to my eyes.
I'm so sorry that you had such terrible experiences with the previous people you trusted to help you with your baby. Starting solids at 6 weeks and instructing you to do controlled crying at the same age?! That's disgusting! I won't lie - I do use controlled crying BUT it's not the only thing I use. As you probably know, what I'm all about is finding a solution that fits each family, not trying to find families that fit my one solution.
Sadly it doesn't sound like your experience with the sleep consultant was any better. I have never in my whole time of operating used such judgemental and cruel words.
As you are probably aware, crying is something that is almost impossible to avoid if we're going to change her sleeping habits. Crying alone though can ABSOLUTELY be avoided and I'm confident that if you can stick to the technique I have in mind that you'll see results. I have had many clients with similar aged children get amazing results using this technique where your child is never left alone to cry and you stay in the room to reassure them. If you are still worried I would be more than happy to contact them to ask if it's okay for you to call them to talk about it.
As for the dummy...lol! Two of my children still use dummies to sleep. One is age 3 and one is age 4.5 so I hardly think I'm going to make you remove it! Haha! If it isn't a problem for you, it isn't a problem for me. :)
And I can 100% money back guarantee you that I will never in any instance suggest that you are a bad mum.
Certified Child Sleep Consultant
The Baby Sleep Company: Certified Child Sleep Consultants
(client’s name was changed to protect her privacy)
I understand where this fear comes from…it would seem from the many stories I hear that there are a lot of scary sleep consultants out there. You have my word though: no baby sleep consultant from The Baby Sleep Company will ever ‘make’ you do something that you aren’t comfortable with or try to bully you into changing your mind.
If you would like personalised help with any sleep issue for a child, newborn to 5 years, contact The Baby Sleep Co today on 0457 473 725 or click here to send us an email.