When my wife first brought up the idea of a sleep consultant, I was skeptical. Surely our 8-month old daughter wasn’t that bad of a sleeper. I assumed it was normal for her to wake 3-4 times a night to eat. We struggled to get her to bed some nights, but it wasn’t too bad – at least in my opinion. What finally changed my mind was my wife’s sheer exhaustion. She does NOT function well without a good night’s sleep and she was so moody, that I really thought she had postpartum depression. Nope, just sleep deprivation. She took out her frustration on me, cried a lot, and just wasn’t her normal self. So despite being skeptical of what a sleep consultant could do, I agreed to let her go through the process.
Imagine my surprise, when Annie’s plan stated that I should be in charge of bedtime for the first few nights. Was this some sort of revenge from my wife? Annie’s reasoning was sound, and I knew my wife really needed a break, so in I went – armed with noise canceling headphones and a movie on my iPad. The first few nights were rough, but my wife really trusted in the plan. By the second night, I noticed that the time it took Elizabeth to fall asleep was significantly less, and it continued to improve and her night wakings became less and less.
Within a week, Elizabeth was sleeping through the night and only waking once to feed. By the time she was 10 months, we dropped the night feeding without any problems (thanks to what we had learned from Annie).
It has been 7 months since we hired Annie, and we haven’t had any issues. I do the majority of bedtimes now when I am home. I feel comfortable with the bedtime routine, and I love that it gives my wife a little break after a day spent at home. Some nights, Elizabeth cries for a little bit or she may wake up, but those nights are so few and far between and we know how to fix the issues and get her sleeping again. Even when Elizabeth is teething, or sick, or going through a growth spurt or “sleep regression”, we have not noticed any significant issues with her sleep.
The best part is that my wife is so much happier. Getting a full night sleep has made her so much happier during the day (and at night). It’s so nice to know that when I am gone, she is still getting a full night sleep. We can also leave Elizabeth with babysitters or family who can put her to sleep without issues. We went on a 5 day vacation and left Elizabeth with her grandparents and didn’t even think twice about it. I love that bedtime is no longer a thing that causes us anxiety. Hiring a sleep consultant was 100% worth every penny for my wife’s sanity (and therefore mine too)
Don, dad to 8-month-old Elizabeth