I'm a Certified Sleep Consultant and mum of two energetic little boys!
Having been through the dark journey of severe sleep deprivation, and come out the other side, I feel compelled to use my experience to help other families so they do not have to endure the foggy days, and the long desperate nights, that I did.
My first son slept like a dream, from just 9 weeks old. Yes – I thought I had it nailed! However, when it came to my second child, it couldn’t have been further from the truth. I read every book going and googled constantly (generally between 2-5am whilst trying to get him to sleep). I just couldn’t understand what I had done ‘wrong’. It turns out that although there were a lot of things I could have done differently, I hadn’t done anything wrong. He was a different child to my first, in character and in temperament, and this made a big difference to how he learnt to sleep!
A fog of sleep depravity...
He was crashing out at bedtime because he was so shattered from his lack of quality sleep, then waking up anytime between 12-5am for hours at a time, and no amount of rocking or feeding would get him back to sleep. I later learnt the reason for this behavior; he was gradually waking as he entered his lighter sleep cycle and hadn’t learnt how to self-settle himself back to sleep.
Self-settling is a learnt skill – who knew? I certainly didn’t, and because it had seemed to come naturally to my first child, I had no idea that my second needed more support. By the time I found the confidence to ask for help he was nearly a year old, and I had inadvertently taught him lots of ways how not to self-settle and totally confused the poor little guy.
When you are in a fog of sleep depravity, to say everything is emotionally overwhelming is an understatement. I had a toddler who I couldn’t enjoy any time with because I was constantly tired and stressing about my youngest not getting enough sleep. Had I realised that I could have got help sooner, I would have saved a lot of tears – both mine and my sons – which is why I began my journey to train as a Sleep Consultant and help other desperate parents.