My first born was a very high maintenance baby. He had acid reflux, torticollis, and wore cranial helmet for six months. He cried a lot. I cried a lot. It was a hard time in BOTH of our lives. I was unbelievably confused, exhausted, overwhelmed and felt unqualified to be a mother. In an attempt to sooth my uncomfortable baby I bounced him on a yoga ball for hours a day to keep him from screaming. By the time night came, I was so physically, mentally and emotionally drained I could hardly get out of bed to comfort or feed him. Many of my friends and family members expressed that after MONTHS of this exhausting routine it was time for me to let the baby ‘cry it out’ to sleep. In my ‘deer in head lights’ state, it didn’t occur to me to look into other options for my family. So I let him cry one night. I just layed in bed and let him cry for hours. It was pretty awful. My motherly instincts told me to go to him. But I didn’t. Everyone told me this was the only way to teach him to sleep. And I believed them. After a few nights of ignoring screaming and crying from the nursery, my oldest started sleeping at night, which was a relief, but I hated the process I used to get him there.
By the time my second child entered our family, I fortunately had found my footing as a mother. I was happy, confident and secure. I knew my instincts as a mother were invaluable and not to second guess them. I understood how to accept advice with a grain of salt, no matter how well meaning the advisor was. When I was developing a plan for how I wanted to deal with my new baby’s sleep patterns, I concluded I wanted NO PLAN. I couldn’t shake off the sick feeling of allowing my first born to cry alone in his nursery for several nights to get him to sleep through the night. Baby number two got to do whatever he wanted to at night. Sleep, not sleep, sleep only on my chest, eat at all hours of the night. It was chaos. Totally madness. I was on this wild roller coaster night time schedule for an entire year before he learned to sleep on his own. I survived only by the grace of God and caffeine.
Fast forward three years and I’m on the eve of giving birth to my third child. I wasn’t sure how I was going to survive the sleep deprivation I was about to suffer with two active boys and an infant. I concluded the ‘cry it out’ method was not for me but I also didn’t want to resort to the free for all frenzie I practiced with my second born either. Wasn’t there a happy medium? I was searching for gentle parenting with reasonable structure, but I wasn’t finding resources that resonated with me. I decided to surrender to the fact that on my third child, I was still a complete amature in the ‘how to get my baby to sleep well department.
During a 2am pumping session I received a notification in my instagram messages. An educator at Baby-Led Sleep reached out to me to participate in an online workshop. My gut told me this could be the happy medium I was dreaming of. I gladly accepted the invitation and came into the course with high expectations and a whole lot of hope.
This online course is absolutely life changing, not only as a mother to a young baby, but as a mother and wife in general. I recommend it to both my new mama friends and seasoned mama friends who might have a baby or toddler struggling in the sleep department. It was indeed the happy medium I was searching for. Through this course I was provided with research that supported my motherly instincts to love and emotionally support my baby, while providing me with resources and methods to help guide my baby to feel secure and safe enough to surrender to healthy, consistent sleep.
This is not a one size fits all program, which I LOVE because no two babies are exactly alike. The program is tailored to the unique needs of you and your baby. The sleep coaches are so helpful, knowledgeable, passionate and are available to answer any questions participants have along the way. Some topics covered in this workshop include: realistic sleep expectations for babies at specific ages (no it is not realistic to expect a two month old to sleep twelve hours a night), how a baby’s natural temperament can effect their sleep patterns, the science behind sleep, common sleep interruptions ( growth spurts, teething, change of environment ) and how to be your child’s emotional anchor during these transitions.
I want to touch on my favorite part of the course as I round up this post: The importance of SELF CARE. As a mother, are you taking adequate care of YOURSELF? The program WILL NOT work for you if you cannot commit to this vital part of the Baby-Led Sleep puzzle. I cannot stress the importance of this portion of the workshop. I feel like it’s common place for mothers to want to be the sacrificing hero. This mentality is not only unhealthy but it’s unsustainable. In order to be the best versions of ourselves, we must love and take care of ourselves. Self care is a vital part of the Baby-Led Sleep program, in fact, it is the whole foundation for this method. This was something I was HORRIFIC at with my first baby. I stopped taking care of my self thinking that was the point of motherhood. I was WRONG. So much of parenting is the self improvement we do internally. We need to practice self care daily and allow our children to see this as essential and healthy. Moms: TAKE CARE OF YOURSELVES. No excuses. Do it for yourself, for your children, for your spouse or significant other.
If you are a mom struggling with a baby or toddler not sleeping well, or a soon to be first time mama, educators at Baby-Led Sleep are the most incredible and knowledgeable ladies on the block. I highly recommend joining one of their informative courses! You can follow their social accounts @babyledsleep and visit their website HERE to learn more about this game changing method and see if it is a good fit for you!