My second baby was great for the first three months, we had her in the same routine we used for our first baby and she was sleeping well. Unfortunately she got sick with back to back illnesses for around three months and progressively “forgot” how to sleep. By the age of nearly 6 months, she was only having one nap a day and was taking 40 minutes of patting to get only 40 minutes of sleep. Overnight, the pattern was horrifyingly the same, waking up every 40 minutes and taking around 40 minutes of settling to go back to sleep.
We were going crazy, this was our second child, we were supposed to know what we were doing but nothing was working. We looked into sleep schools but apart from the 3 month waiting list, it was all too hard with a 2 year old at home. So, exhausted and desperate, I rang a few “mobile” sleep schools including Carmel from Calm Babies. I found Carmel by far the friendliest and the most helpful. She was incredibly understanding and spent quite a bit of time discussing my problem over the phone before arranging a time to come and help us in just a few days time.
Carmel and I arranged for a day visit, with Carmel being incredibly confident that one 4-5 hour visit would be enough to put Charlotte’s daytime sleeps on track which would fix her night time sleep. I was a bit sceptical at first and wanted to book Carmel in for a couple of sessions up front including an overnight session but Carmel was so confident that I agreed to see how we went after one session.
Carmel was great, she arrived on time and from the beginning was so kind and supportive about what we had been through over the last 3 months and what we wanted to achieve going forward. She spent some time with Charlotte and then it was time for Charlotte’s morning nap. We put Charlotte in the cot, said goodnight and walked away. Then of course the crying started. Carmel sat with me and talked me through the different cries reassuring me the whole time and letting me know that I could go in at anytime. After 5 minutes we went in and Carmel showed me a special settling technique which Charlotte instantly responded to. It took a few goes to settle her but after 30 minutes, Charlotte slept for 90 minutes. That was less settling time and twice the sleep we had been getting out of her.
The next nap’s settling effort was shorter and Charlotte slept for two hours. While Charlotte slept, Carmel answered all my questions and we reworked the routine I planned to use for Charlotte moving forward. Carmel left with a reminder that I could call her at anytime about anything. She also reminded me that the visit had been incredibly successful but that it wasn’t an instant fix, that while we would see some quick improvements, it would probably take three weeks for the change to be embedded.
The next nap of the day, Carmel had left and I was on my own but I managed to settle Charlotte using Carmel’s technique and get her to sleep for an hour and a half. That night there were only a few wake ups, a huge improvement from the 8 or so we were previously having. And from then on, while it wasn’t all easy and Charlotte was by no means the perfect baby, there was such a dramatic change that I couldn’t believe it and it just kept improving. I certainly called Carmel a few times when things didn’t go to plan and each time she was very helpful and supportive. By the three week point, there were no more calls to Carmel and was pretty much all blissful days and perfect nights. Charlotte self settles for each nap with no crying and sleeps 13 hours undisturbed at night. I couldn’t have asked for a better result and to be honest, didn’t expect it to be so good.
Carmel is the best help I could offer anyone having sleep issues with their baby.