When I sat down to talk to the parents, my heart went out to them. The mom had tears welling up in her eyes, and her story came spilling out. No one in the family was happy because of sleep deprivation. The husband couldn't concentrate at work, she felt like a zombie, and her baby was always cranky.
She felt like the joy was sucked out of her day before it even began. She wondered... “How did it ever get this bad? My son was sleeping well at one point. Then it just got worse and worse, and here we are.”
Their little one was eight months old and waking every two to three hours through the night. She knew she needed help when she looked down her own street for a full ninety seconds before it registered in her brain that, yes, she did live there.
I listened to this sensitive mom. She talked about her situation, her life, and her hurdles.
She was literally wringing her hands with justifiable concern. Certainly she didn't want him to go hungry. Certainly, she didn't want him to cry. They were doing all the right things. They were worrying about and protecting their baby. This is the parents’ most important role. It's their job to question, question, and question. Use your brains, your heart, and follow your gut to make the best decisions for the welfare of your baby.
We talked about her expectations. We talked about how a baby's "day life" affects its "night life" and how important it is to address both days and nights when focusing on sleep.
Because every baby is an individual and because every family is different, we came up with a plan together, that both parents were comfortable with to help their son sleep longer and wake up less frequently.
When I left her four days later, she couldn't believe much more they were sleeping. They were so happy and grateful. The baby’s nights were more restful and his days more joyful.
When your little one is content, the whole family is content.
Authored by: Elaine Osterhout, The Goddess Of Sleep