A parent can only take sleep depravation for so long. After Ferberizing our daughter at around 10 months, we thought we were done with sleep problems. Ha! A few months later, our toddler started waking up multiple times during the night, demanding to be brought to our bed. We obliged…every time. It was time to call an expert.
Jennifer Waldburger from Sleepy Planet came to the rescue. Along with her partner, Jill Spivak, the pair created Sleepy Planet to help exhausted parents who are confused with all the books they’ve read along with the solicited (and unsolicited) advice about kids and sleep. They have also penned “The Sleepeasy Solution – The Complete Guide to Getting Your Child to Sleep”– which has no doubt saved many parents their sanity.
Though Jennifer and Jill tailor each program to the child in question and personalize their service according to that family’s particular needs, their methodology is consistent, and relies on each woman’s years of experience and specialization in child development, as well as the most up-to-date research. They don’t subscribe to the “cry it out” method, and instead try to help parents find a middle ground that minimizes both the crying and the guilt. And they guarantee that all it takes is commitment and consistency (and, in my experience, a bit of a stiff upper lip doesn’t hurt).
If you are lucky enough to live in the Los Angeles area (as do the many celebrities on their website who have maintained their beauty sleep with the pair’s help), you can consult with them in person. But they have just as many clients that call in to receive their expert advice remotely.
Jennifer’s first order of business when she came over to our house was to find out more about our daughter and what kind of a child she was, in addition to what the exact sleep issues were. “Kids want to be sleeping as much as we want them to,” she assured us. Her plan for us was simple: there would be a wind-down routine, followed by putting her in her crib (which would definitely lead to protesting, initially), followed by checking in at increasing time intervals. We would be firm but calm, structured yet flexible. In addition, she gave us many pointers and tips to troubleshoot. And she assured us that we could do it, quickly and fairly painlessly.
Here’s how it all went down in practice:
The wind-down routine was not a big hit with our daughter. Crying and screaming goes on for about 15 minutes, and we decide to skip the second check. 20 minutes after the crying stops, we decide to check on her and discover vomit all over her stuffed animal, the sheets and the rug. We get her up to change her and as she won’t go back down, we end up rocking her to sleep. Failure.
Bedtime goes well this time. Saying goodnight is followed by screaming, clinging, protesting, and hysterical crying….for three minutes. She wakes up and protests two more times until midnight and we follow Jennifer’s advice each time. Eventually, she sleeps from 12:30am to 8:30am. Small victory.
Wind down and lights out followed by crying…only for one minute. She wakes up and cries out for us two more times in the middle of the night, but only for a minute. She sleeps until 7:50am. We can taste a good night’s sleep coming soon!
After the usual routine, she said good night to daddy, and clung to me, crying, for a minute. Then she went down, resigned. Cried out only once during the night, very briefly. We’re almost there!!
Minimal protesting after bedtime routine was done, but we assured her mommy and daddy were close and loved her very much. She got right into child’s pose and that was that!
The nights to follow were characterized by a happy toddler who was ready for her bedtime, which she expected after her anticipated bed-time routine with her favorite books and cuddles. Though there have been a few setbacks, our daughter is sleeping very well for the most part, and we know how to handle major upsets, assured that we are not harming her in any way by helping her get the sleep she wants and needs–as do we!
If you would like Sleepy Planet to come to your rescue, you can reach out to them through their website. It will be one of the best calls you will make in your parenting life!
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