Sleep Coaching For Toddlers – It’s Never Too Late!

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Sleep Coaching For Toddlers – It’s Never Too Late!

April 29, 2020

When my daughter was born, of all the changes that hit me hardest, sleep was by far the most challenging to deal with. I know…shocking right? But to the new parent, you often feel like you are the only one ever to be faced with a sleepless child. I had that baby that was up every 45 minutes – 1 hour, all throughout the night. I’d feed her, change her, rock her back to sleep, and by the time I was finally ready to settle back into a half-slumber, over an hour had passed. I truly thought this was a sustainable way of life, until one night, I found myself having a full blown conversation with a vase of flowers on my dining room table; I truly thought the flowers were a person. What’s more, is that for some reason, a random “person” sitting at my table didn’t seem to bother me at all. I was slipping. Slipping into a state that was not conducive to a healthy body, mind or being the best mom I could be.

Something had to change. The first night I put baby Finley into bed with us, she slept for a solid 8 hours. My husband and I woke up in such a state of panic (mixed with joy); we simply could not believe it. At first we considered the fact that it could have been a coincidence, until night after night of bed-sharing led to night after night of peaceful sleeps. Against all of our prior wishes about “the types of parents we wanted to be”, we knew from that point moving forward, that this was going to be our new normal. We would co-sleep with her until we (I) felt she was ready to transition to a crib.

Flash forward almost 3 years and we were getting ready to welcome baby #2 into our lives. Throughout all the planning and preparation, the one aspect of welcoming our new baby that kept playing on my mind, was “where is this little guy going to sleep”? Finley was still in my bed and waking up several times a night to make sure that I was right there beside her. Surely, a new baby couldn’t sleep in bed with us anymore than he could sleep in a bassinet beside a very noisy toddler and a sleepless Mama. As our daughter’s third Birthday was approaching, we knew we needed to get her sleeping independently in her own bed. The question was, “how in the world do we teach her something that seems so impossible? And how do we do it in a gentle way?”

The reason I had never pursued sleep coaching in the past, was that the anxiety surrounding my baby’s crying was simply too much for me to handle (I now know that I had PPA, but that’s a whooooole separate topic). I figured it was just easier to give her exactly what she wanted (to sleep with me) and avoid having to teach her to do anything hard. But once that was no longer a sustainable way of life, I knew we had to change it in a way that worked FOR ALL OF US. I felt that reading sleep coaching books appealed to a massive group of people, though as we know, not all babies work the same, and we knew, our toddler was extremely unique and if sleep training was going to work, we would need a plan tailored to her individual needs.

Erin Junker; owner of The Happy Sleep Company

Erin Junker, owner of The Happy Sleep Company has been a special guest in our programs for almost 3 years and I have first-hand witnessed her change the lives of soooooo many sleep deprived parents. Though I had never before been sure if sleep coaching was the right path for us, I knew beyond a doubt that Erin was most certainly the right person to walk our family through the changes that were about to ensue. Together, we came up with a plan that my partner and I were comfortable with and that we knew would work for Finley.

The end result? I am now BEYOND thrilled to say that we have a toddler who falls asleep independently, sleeps in her own bed, 11 hours a night every night, with a two-hour independent nap in between. Best of all, the entire process was EXTREMELY gentle and did not alter our connection in the slightest.

Our new little guy has now arrived and though I swore to myself he would be sleeping in the bassinet, he inevitably ended up in my bed. I think that for me, it’s just comforting to have them close by when they’re small and I will never, for one minute, regret the cuddles we will share. This time, I know without a shadow of a doubt, that when I’m ready, I will put Erin’s plan into play and should it happen to come up that his coaching needs are different from Finley’s, we have someone we can call who will get him sleeping solo in no time!

 

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