From 6 Night Wakings to 1: How One Couple Achieved Dream Baby Sleep
New parents Lisa and Dan S. had a 5 month old son, Gabe, who was quickly outgrowing his bassinet and needed to transition to a crib. On their first attempt at sleep training with the crib, they experienced what Lisa calls “probably the worst night of our lives.” The couple combed the Internet in desperate search for an answer, and tried a modified Ferber method, but without success.
“He was crying hysterically and was not taking any naps that weren’t in my arms or the nanny’s arms,” says Lisa. “He actually cried so hard he threw up.” Adds Dan, “The crib was a foot away from our bed, and we were trying to sleep while he was bawling his eyes out. I think they were the first real tears he shed.”
The Tipping Point
The first night was such a nightmare that Dan reassembled the bassinet and the couple ultimately reached out to Dream Baby Sleep, which a cousin had recommended when Gabe was first born. For Lisa, the desire to align with her husband at the end of that night was the tipping point to reaching out for help.
“We were not agreeing about how to handle the whole thing. My decision to come on board, even though I was against it at first, was really more because it was becoming stressful for us to agree and to prevent my husband and I from fighting.” – Lisa
Another factor was the importance of sleep for baby Gabe’s development.
“I think something that ultimately changed my mind was thinking about how important sleep is for him developmentally,” says Lisa. “Because he is going through all these changes, if he doesn’t have any time to rest – ultimately that’s a disservice to him.”
At the time, Gabe’s biggest sleep pain points included:
- Mom and Dad were not aligned on Cry Tolerance. Lisa, who was a teacher and studied child psychology, was concerned that “cry it out” would interfere with the first stage of her baby’s development. “My fear was he would feel abandoned and become a distrustful person,” she says.
- Getting baby to fall asleep unaided. Gabe was typically nursed to drowsiness and then rocked to sleep in his bassinet each night before he went down.
- Multiple night wakings. Once asleep, Gabe could get a single 3-4 hour stretch of sleep, followed by 4-6 wakes, nurses, and rocks where he managed to sleep for 1-2 hour stretches. Gabe was also typically unable to fall back asleep unaided.
- Nanny challenges. Lisa and Dan worried getting their nanny on board with sleep training in the crib could be a challenge because she might not be as inclined to take direction from them.
- Short naps that only happened in the stroller or bjorn. Lisa and Dan never knew when to have Gabe’s naps, and they frequently happened on the go in the stroller or bjorn. He also only had short naps that lasted an average of 20 minutes.
Baby hated his crib. Lisa and Dan were at a crossroads because Gabe needed to transition to his crib, but Gabe hated the crib instantaneously. To top it all off, Gabe’s crib did not fit in his parents’ bedroom, which made sleep training more difficult
How Gabe Found Dream Baby Sleep
Upon connecting with their Dream Baby Sleep consultant, Xan, Lisa and Dan were given a tailored program and were walked through the process, checking in with Xan every step of the way and receiving feedback for next steps over a two-week period.
By the end of the program, Gabe was only waking once a night for a feed, at most two, and had learned the tools he needed to put himself to sleep. Napping also dramatically improved, from short 20-minute, spontaneous naps to 3 regular naps per day. The first nap is now at least an hour long, and the first or second nap are over 2 hours, sometimes even 3.
- 4-6 wakes per night
- Inconsistent naps
- Nap length: 20 minutes
- Mom’s sleep per night: 4 hours
After Dream Baby Sleep
- 1 wake per night
- 3 consistent naps
- Nap length: 1-3 hours
Mom’s sleep per night: 8-9 hours
“I can’t really praise our Dream Baby Sleep consultant enough. We never had to wait more than 40 minutes for an email response, and that included Thanksgiving and the day after.” – Dan
Improved Couple Alignment
The results Dan and Lisa saw working with Dream Baby Sleep also eased the unwanted stress sleep training put on their relationship. “It helps the whole family dynamic so much,” says Lisa. “We’re setting a good example for Gabe to see us happy together.”
A Well Rested Family
Not only was Gabe finally getting consistent sleep – so were his parents.
“I was probably only sleeping 4 hours a night. Now I sleep 8 or 9 hours and sleep through the night. Ultimately a mother needs to be restored to be a good mom, Dream Baby Sleep allows that to happen.” – Lisa
His parents also feel that by learning to put himself to sleep, Gabe has also become a more independent person.
“It’s wild to see him put himself to bed now. He’ll look us in the eye and shove his thumb into his mouth and be ready, whereas before – it was fear,” says Lisa.
Sound familiar? Learn how Dream Baby Sleep can help – schedule a free 15-minute consultation at dreambabysleep.com/scheduler.