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  • Writer's pictureSamantha

Our Sleep Journey

Updated: Jan 1, 2023


The journey to sleep success can be a long, overwhelming, daunting, lonely journey.


For me, our sleep journey began to derail when Fynn was 6 weeks old and started showing signs of Colic and continued to spiral for months.


This was also the beginning of my postnatal depression and anxiety. Due to the amounting sleep deprivation, and solo parenting (due to my partner working away and nights) my mental health began to deteriorate, which in turn began to mirror in Fynn.


It would take hours of rocking, patting, pacing, humming, swinging, shhhing to get Fynn to sleep each night. This battle every night led to me getting De Quervain's Tenosynovitis in my wrist, (severe tendon swelling and pain), from holding and patting my 4 month old, 8kg,


baby.


At 4.5 months, we finally sought help from a sleep consultant to tackle the 4 hour battle we were experiencing every night. Due to my postnatal depression and anxiety, listening to Fynn cry was very distressing for me. As a result of this, I barely left the house with him if we needed to go in the car, unless I had someone else with me.


The sleep consultant provided us with 2 strategies to begin to help Fynn settle at bedtime, Pick Up Put Down and a version of Incremental Settling/Controlled Crying. We opted for the Pick Up Put Down strategy. Within a week, we got bedtime down to 30-45 minutes, which for us was a massive win!


However, with growing tiny humans, there are always new developments and new challenges. Despite bedtime becoming easier, Fynn would False Start at bedtime for the first 3-4 hours, waking every 30-40 minutes and requiring hands-on resettling. He would also need hands-on resettling to consolidate day naps. Fynn also continued to wake every 3-4 hours overnight. I was lucky to be getting 5 broken hours of sleep a night.


Fynn's sleep was impacting my every being. I was constantly anxious and on-edge all day, constantly checking the clock, thinking about the next nap; how long he'd been awake for; how much sleep he'd need for the day; when bedtime would be etc. I was completely consumed with worry about Fynn's sleep.


Therefore, in order to feel empowered and help ease my anxiety, I decided to become educated and embarked on my Sleep Consultancy Journey. I took my time researching the different course available to find one that I aligned with best, that suited my parenting style and my current feelings towards childhood development.


I decided on the Institute of Sensitive Sleep Consultancy. I spent 3 months, learning the science behind sleep, parenting styles, sleep hygiene, nutrition, development and approaches to sleep. I went on to buy many of the books referenced throughout my course and read them cover to cover and conducting my own further research. I was now motivated to know as much as I could about infant and childhood sleep, to not only help my son have successful sleep, but to help other parents in my position.


Fast forward to today, Fynn is 9.5 months old. He now self-settles for both naps, and resettles to have consolidated sleep, sleeping between 2.5-3 hours a day. We have been working consistently to wean him from needing hands-on, patting, settling at bedtime. He is beginning to self-settle at bedtime, even without our presence in his room, and resettling through sleep cycles.


Is he a perfect sleeper?

No.


Is he better than he was?

Absolutely!


We have done what has worked best for us, as a family, at our pace.


We could have opted to follow Extinction Methods a long time ago, and Fynn may have been self-settling and sleeping through the night by now. However, that is not what would have worked best for us.


Every child is different. Every family is different. When you need help and support for your family's sleep, it is important to do what works best for you, your child and your family, what you feel confident and comfortable doing.

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