Our baby, Kieran, was an incredibly content newborn and slept quite well until he was about 3 months old. Once he started teething, he was much harder to put to sleep and he no longer slept as soundly. He started to reject sleeping in his bassinet, and we ended up reactionary co-sleeping for several months, which neither I nor my husband was comfortable with. By time Kieran was 6 months old, we were putting him to sleep in his carseat for most naps and bedtimes, and if that didn’t work, we had to endure hours of crying before he would give in and fall asleep. Once he did fall asleep, he was still waking approximately every 3-4 hours to nurse at night.
I was initially hesitant to try sleep training because I wasn’t comfortable with the thought of leaving Kieran to cry if he was experiencing teething pain. (He had 6 teeth by the time he was 7 month old, so we had endured some pretty tough weeks of teething!) At Kieran’s 6 month check-up, I mentioned to his doctor that he was quite irritable and fussy during the day. I wasn’t sure whether his fussiness was related to teething or being overtired, or maybe a combination of both, but he was definitely not the happy and content baby that we enjoyed for the first few months. Kieran’s doctor suggested that sleeping training might be a good idea, and reassured me that he was of an appropriate age and size to be sleeping through the night.
Although I hadn’t done much research about sleep training, I had heard enough online and from other moms to know that it can be somewhat of a controversial topic. After getting the go-ahead from our doctor, I started with a little bit of online reading and became quickly overwhelmed and confused. There were so many different theories and methods of sleep training, as well as numerous articles warning of the “dangers” of sleep training. Once I checked out SleepWell Baby’s website and spoke to Tracy on the phone, I knew that it was the perfect fit for us. As an occasionally under-confident new mom, I knew that I wanted to stay far away from the Internet research and would immensely appreciate the personalized support.
Our first consultation with Kristal was extremely informative, and she was very confident that the SleepWell program would work for Kieran. I was hopeful, but I have to admit that a part of me wondered whether Kieran could actually sleep soundly despite his teething discomfort or whether he could go from nursing every 3 hours to 12 hours between feeds. I thought to myself, “I’m sure Kristal’s never worked with a baby that has struggled with teething as much as my baby has”, but we knew that consistency was going to be the key to our success, so we committed to SleepWell Babys program.
We were amazed at how quickly Kieran’s sleep patterns adapted to SleepWell Babys program. We had prepared ourselves for several nights of crying, but the first night went much better than expected, and he was sleeping through the night by the third night. His daytime naps came around really quickly, as well. We found SleepWells plan to be very easy to follow, and we really appreciated having a detailed plan to follow in any situation that arose.
After the second or third night of training, my husband asked me, “This seems pretty easy…don’t you think we could have just found this information on the Internet?” I agreed that we probably could have found pieces of SleepWells’s plan online or in books (buried amongst a plethora of other, sometimes contradictory, sleep training information), but what “Dr. Google” can’t provide is all of the encouragement, reassurance, and tips that we received in our phone calls and emails from Kristal. After we suffered through a major “4th night regression”, I sent Kristal a very guilty email about feeling bad for letting Kieran cry for so long and also feeling bad about eventually breaking “the rules” and taking him out of his crib to comfort him. Kristal replied with the most comforting and supportive email and even offered to call to discuss (even though it wasn’t one of our scheduled phone call days). That is why SleepWell Baby is worth every penny! You can’t find that type of personalized support online.
Today, Kieran is sleeping soundly through the night and enjoying 2 restful naps each day. It is amazing how much happier he is during the day. And I have to admit that Kristal was right…a well-rested baby can sleep through any amount of teething pain. Our days of having naps in grocery store parking lots and the hours of crying at bedtime are a very distant memory, and we are so thankful that we have a happy and healthy baby that knows how to put himself to sleep. We have much less anxiety about leaving Kieran with a babysitter, and we love having our evenings to ourselves again. I think all moms like to think that their baby is special and unique, but when it comes to sleep, I think much is universal. SleepWell Baby worked amazingly well for us, and we are so grateful!