After having 2 kids who were great sleepers from the time we brought them home from the hospital I thought I had this whole sleep training thing down. That was until we brought home baby number 3, Declan.
I think that that is how the universe works – as soon as you think you’ve got this whole thing figured out you get a curve ball thrown at you. For the first 6 months of Declan’s life, he only slept while being held or by co-sleeping and basically using me as a pacifier ALL NIGHT LONG.
At first, I told myself “it’s the 4th trimester” and we’d get him sleeping on his own in no time. Before I knew it 6 months had passed and I couldn’t even tell you the last night I slept longer than 2 consecutive hours.
Not only was I tired, but I was struggling because that also meant he wasn’t napping unless I was holding him… and did I mention I had 2 other kids to care for? Something needed to change.
When Declan turned 6 months we tried letting him cry it out (CIO). I am a serious sucker for tears and CIO did not work because I just couldn’t do it.
One day I was scrolling through Instagram when the stars aligned and I came across a sleep consultant, Brittney Stefanic. I followed along for a week reading posts and success stories and decided to I reach out to her.
I Hired A Sleep Consultant
Brittney was great to work with from the start. She learned about our family dynamic, took into account our schedule and the fact that I couldn’t just lay baby down, shut the door and let him cry it out. She worked with me to create a customized sleep plan. The plan included a suggested routine and an outline of what to expect. Then we set a date to start the sleep training process.
I wanted to do it over a long weekend where my husband could help. The day of, Brittney and I talked on the phone, went over the plan and any questions I had and we said our goodbyes.
Bedtime came and I’m not going to lie you guys, the first night was hard. So many times I wanted to just pick him up and get some sleep, but we pushed through it and survived! Her method is not CIO but of course, there were some tears involved.
One feature Brittney offers as an add-on service is unlimited texting the first night, and I wish I would have added that. Sometimes you just need a little extra hand-holding. After the first night, we realized some things that worked great and some things didn’t, so Brittney worked with us, we made small changes to the plan and then kept going!
Does sleep training really work?
Each night got easier and looking back a rough 3-5 nights was so worth it. The whole process including bedtime and nap training took about 2 weeks total. Brittney checked in daily throughout the process and I kept a sleep/nap log online so she could review it and pass along notes and tips.
It’s been 2 months now since we worked with Brittney and I just can’t believe I didn’t find her sooner. I can’t even begin to tell you how thankful I am for sleep consultants and I am a huge believer in what they do.
Declan is sleeping through the night (with just 1 nursing session) and he is napping 2x a day in his crib. Plus, he is doing this with little to no protest. Not only that, but he is a happier baby because he is getting better sleep! And a happy baby means mama is happier.
I truly didn’t realize how tired I was until I actually got a goods night rest!
Sleep Training Tips
Brittney’s sleep plans are customized to each family so my plan may look different for what she would recommend for you but here are some things that I think are important for sleep training.
Start at bedtime
Bedtime is the easiest time to begin sleep training! This was huge for me because I always thought to start with naps. Brittney helped explain why bedtime was better and honestly after we got bedtime down naps just fell into place!
Create a routine
For us, being this is baby number 3, our routine may look different then someone with one child. When it was just Connor, our oldest, we did nightly baths, now with 3 kids, we do a bath every other night. Creating and sticking to a bedtime routine was key for us.
Ask for help
Get your husband involved to help with the sleep training. If your spouse isn’t available, try asking someone close to you if they can help for the first 3 nights.
Having my husband help and take the first shift each night was huge in our success! He helped from bedtime to midnight and I took from midnight on.
Grab a glass of wine
Just do it. Don’t ask questions. It will help calm those mama nerves.
Brittney is offering an EXCLUSIVE discount, just for Nevada Moms readers! When booking with her, mention the code “Northern Nevada Moms” and you will receive her unlimited texting add-on for the first night for free ($99 value)!
Kacey received her bachelor's in Psychology while cheering for the University of Oregon. They moved to Reno in 2014 and have loved it ever since. She is a dedicated homeschooling mother to her three children.
She serves on the hospital board for Northern Nevada Health Systems and is passionate about her community.
Kacey loves exploring with her family and finding family-friendly events and activities! A few of her favorite things include family adventures, traveling, working out, coffee, and dessert!