After I completed my sleep support plan with Emma and her twins Ellie and Dominic I was so delighted to see the difference my sleep training had made on the whole family!
Ellie was struggling with settling at bedtime and would wake frequently during the night; Dominic needed to be fed to get back to sleep and occasionally both toddlers would be taken out in the car by Dad to get them to sleep in the early hours! Their lack of sleep was having a massive impact on the parents and also having negative effects on all of their well-beings!
Emma and Paul were at breaking point when they contacted me about the twins sleep issues. They felt everything had gone wrong; they were desperate and had muddled their way through the last few months in a complete blur.
I instantly recognised that we needed to tweak their bedtime routine and the parent's actions at their wake up times during the night. We focused on one twin at a time and amazingly the parents saw the difference in their sleep habits almost immediately!
Read Emma's story:
How I sleep trained my 16 month twins without any distress - Emma’s story!
At the start of the year our boy/girl twins were coming up 16 months and sleep was an issue. Our boy has bronchiolitis and is regularly ill, so he struggles to sleep or settle himself. Our girl is usually a good sleeper, but had recently become very clingy and was refusing to go down in her cot. I therefore dreaded bedtime and worried about how we would get them back to sleep if they woke in the night. We could not remember what a full night's sleep felt like, but longed for it.
In the middle of a particularly bad bedtime, where we ended up putting both twins in the car to get them to sleep, I broke and texted Karen. I confessed that I was fed up; that I felt like a failure and we needed help.
Karen was brilliant, she immediately made me feel like there was light at the end of the tunnel and it wasn't a train we couldn't get off. She came to the house to speak to me and my husband. We confessed to everything, such as the trips out in the car, and the milk in the middle of the night and Karen never once judged us. Looking back this meeting was really important and felt like a release. We both got to speak about what it felt like and discussed potential solutions, including what we thought wouldn't work. It meant we were both bought into the process, rather than one sorting it out and the other having it happen to them.
Karen went away and really thought about the needs of each child and our particular circumstances. She felt it would be best to take our girl first, as she was likely to be the easiest and then the confidence from this would give us the strength to tackle our boy.
Karen sent us the first plan, talked us through it and with support at the end of the phone (including at night when it all felt hard) we gave it all we had. I am surprised to say our feisty little girl reacted really well and she really responded to the plan. We then took a couple of weeks to psych ourselves up to dealing with our little boy.
Karen sent us a new plan, which was a bit different, and talked us through it again. Realistically it was always going to be harder, so we waited until we could commit to being at home together for a number of nights, as we knew it would take a lot of energy from both of us. The first night was really hard, but it gradually got easier and I am really proud of how well he is doing. Things are not yet perfect, but I feel more confident in dealing with him and as I now get more sleep, I find it easier to cope with everything.
Two months ago I couldn't face booking a family holiday because the sleeping situation was too much to bear thinking about. However, now things feel better, we have booked a few days away as a trial for a proper family holiday in the summer.
I am really grateful to Karen for her guidance and support through this process. The interesting thing is the logical part of my brain knew some of the things we were doing were not helping our situation and I had a fair idea of what we should be doing, but I just couldn't translate it into action. It was only by working with Karen and her breaking it down into steps, then providing support to encourage us, that we managed to make it work.
I really would encourage anyone who wants to make a change and help their child sleep better to work with Karen as it really can transform your life.
You are my hero :)
Emma and twins Ellie and Dominic
Sleep training looks at the process of helping and supporting a baby or babies learn to get to sleep and stay asleep throughout the night unaided. I believe that helping a baby, or child, with their sleep is not just about using a sleep approach, but looking at the situation holistically. Individual sleep plans incorporate all elements that could be affecting a baby's or child's sleep together with an approach that suits the whole family.
Karen @parentsandco offers many different packages to reach the needs of all families. Parents can opt for the simple phone consultations, or the complete package which consists of a consultation, home visit, sleep plan and ongoing support using gentle sleeping techniques. If you would like further information on support options or testimonials on how we have helped please click on the links or visit: http://www.parentsandco.co.uk