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A Mama's Tale of Sleep Training

(Insert Yawn Here) They tell you that the first year of motherhood is wonderous. But the only thing I'm wondering is when my baby will reach that glorious stage of sleeping through the night. I wonder what dressing in real clothing feels like, and I wonder when I can stop falling asleep standing up while rocking a baby to sleep in my arms. As a mom with a one year old baby boy, I would go to bed EXHAUSTED. I'd wake up, what seemed like minutes later. My screaming baby would have to be picked up, sung to, rocked and even fed back to sleep, only to wake up at an ungodly hour in the morning (5am😱). Rinse and repeat!

I would like to slap the person who coined the phrase "You sleep when baby sleeps". Like that's going to happen!! The moment you have time to yourself, your mind starts thinking about all the things you need to get done around the house. If by chance you happen to get those things done and still have a snoozing baby, GREAT! Time to put your head down for a little rest yourself. The second you do that, you hear the familiar sound of crying baby. A solid 40 minutes (eye roll). Time to put on another gigantic pot of coffee. This was my life!

Half of my daily coffee consumption

I would spend hours (the few that I actually had to myself) scrolling the internet on sleep training and age appropriate wake windows. I THOUGHT I was pretty educated, so time to put it to practice. Well it showed how educated I really was when every night and morning would look the exact same as the last - no results despite trying EVERYTHING I read about. That's when my friend suggested I hire an expert: get a sleep consultant. I hesitated because I felt like I knew my baby best, and I was convinced it was just a phase (albeit a very long phase) he was going through. I believed he would sleep soon. A couple more weeks of restless nights, leading to sore nipples and early mornings, I was ready to take the plunge. BEST IDEA I HAVE EVER MADE (my husband would say the same). I knew about Counting Sheep, and Sleep Coach Jane Anderson, through a friend. I looked through her website and thought she was "the one". So I reached out to her and we set up a 15 minute consultation. She got to know me, and the issues I was facing and what I was wanting to get out of the programs she was offering. She felt very confident that she would be able to teach me how to guide Mathew to sleep better, and help me get my life back!

Her confidence made me feel so good about reaching out. Finally, someone can help me! I was still skeptical at first, because I'm trusting a total stranger with my baby's sleep needs. Also being on Mat leave, there isn't too much wiggle room for spending. So after a few days of looking over the different programs Jane offered, I finally settled on the perfect sleep package for our family.

Probably exactly what Jane looked like when we talked on the phone

After a few extensive questions from Jane, I had my sleep plan in hand!! I was like a kid on Christmas day" What a great gift!! We went through the plan together that same day, and we started at bedtime that night. I still felt unsure, but I trusted the plan and we jumped in with both feet! The first couple of days and nights were not easy! But it only took us 5 or 6 days to get Mathew on a good track. Jane had us paying close attention to wake windows, proper day time sleep limits, plenty of daytime play, appropriate calming techniques for when Mathew cried and most importantly...Consistency!! In that short time, he was already sleeping through the night, taking one 2 hour nap, and one 1 hour nap!! (3 hours of absolute me time... Sign me up!!)

Mathew, 12 months old ♥️

Despite Mathews immunization, sickness (we had to pause for a few days) and teething, Jane encouraged me and guided me to give Mathew the extra love he needed, while being mindful of our plan and progress. Even after all of that, he managed to bounce right back to our normal schedule set out for him. It was an amazing three weeks. I learned so much about myself and Mathews sleep needs. I can proudly say that he has the best naps, sleeps through the night and if he wakes up, he can put himself back to sleep. He also let's us sleep in now (Yesss! No more 5am). I feel such a sense of accomplishment and confidence that no Google search or book could have ever given me.

Jane really knows her stuff. I had ALOT of questions, Jane answered them and she always took the time to make sure that I understood every step along the way. Mommas, what I'm trying to say is, it's okay not to know what to do and be at your wits end. We all need a little help now and then, and if you are going through gruelling sleep deprivation and the frustration of a sleepless baby like I was, trust in this magnificent lady and her process. It will be the best thing that has happened to you, your baby and your whole family. I can't wait to see even more results and keep learning about the sleep process. (Insert Happy Face Here)

-Amanda Wilkinson

P.S. If you're on the fence about sleep training, Jane will change your life! Don't walk, RUN!

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