“We could tell the program was so child-centered”

Brianna’s daughter, Naomi, had been a good sleeper for her first year or so but major sleep issues began developing – and nothing seemed to work. The family had had bad experiences with “Cry-It-Out”, and were looking for a gentler, more child-centered, and long-term solution to their problem when they found Batelle.

Could you tell us how sleep was for Naomi before Sleep School?

Early on Naomi was a good sleeper. Six months before we started Sleep School, Naomi started having some issues with getting to bed and falling asleep. It got to the point where it would take 2 to 2.5 hours to get her to sleep every night. It was not that she was fighting or didn’t want to go to sleep, you could tell that she was trying but was afraid to be in her room by herself. She wanted to be rocked in her chair; I was pregnant and I would end up sleeping on the floor. She would wake 2-5 times every night and I had to stay in her room – if she woke up and I wasn’t there she would freak out!

Every time we tried Cry-It-Out it backfired. It would appear to work for a week and then she would be right back to where she was. I started looking for sleep therapists and came across Batelle and it stood out to me because I could tell the program was so child-centered, and not so much like “we teach kids to deal with it” but reframe how they feel about sleep – I knew that’s exactly what she needed. We were desperate to start.

How was your Sleep School journey?

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“She was afraid to be in her room by herself”

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It was a lot easier than what I expected. I was really skeptical of how Naomi would do with the Hug because as a baby she hated to be swaddled. We went into it with a positive attitude and she actually loved it! I feel like all of the sleep guides who supported us were so helpful and gentle and it was really nice. There were a couple steps that took more than one night, but there was no pressure to move forward.

We only had two hard nights putting her to bed, where she cried maybe for 30 minutes but I loved that we never left her. It was teaching her: “You’re safe. You’re ok. We’re never abandoning you” – after that she was fine. I remember the next night I was ready for a repeat and sat by her room for 45 minutes waiting for her to start crying as I was convinced it would take longer – but no! After that night she was golden, and started to sleep through the night on her own. Occasionally now she wakes up but it’s really easy to help her get back to sleep and she’s comfortable with it: she goes to sleep happy, wakes up happy, and she doesn’t wake up crying anymore. It’s amazing.

“All of the Sleep Guides who supported us were so helpful and gentle”

What was your biggest takeaway from Sleep School?

The biggest thing we learnt that we will implement with our future kids is training them and helping them feel safe with sleep; feeling comfortable with it and not feeling abandoned. I remember one thing Miss Megan mentioned, that most of the kids who often come to Sleep School have had Cry-It-Out. She talked about learned helplessness, and how Batelle’s goal is to help them understand they’re not helpless and can cope with their feelings. We saw that shine through in other parts of the day with Naomi: more independent, confident and in control of her own emotions, as well as easier to reason and talk with.

Did you have any concerns before joining Batelle Sleep School?

Initially we thought maybe the cost would be a concern before we knew the price. We saw that Batelle had a money back guarantee and support up to age 5. We were thinking “Oh this is going to be like a car payment”, and were pleasantly surprised when we found out the price. It made sense compared to other sleep training options which were 1) not child centric and 2) not with the tools that Batelle includes.

The biggest thing that helped us overcome all that is how child-centered Batelle is versus the other options that seem more to save the parent – I wanted HER to get the help she needed. I remember the initial consultation call and getting off I felt like “There’s hope and this can actually help her. I know this is it and this is exactly what we need”.

“I wish that we had looked into it six months earlier”

Any piece of advice to parents reading this?

Batelle is a long-term solution to their child’s health and sleep – and the parents’ too. Before Batelle, I had zero time together with my husband – it was a tense situation every night. We can finally enjoy some time together now, and you will see the huge difference in your child in a couple of weeks.

I wished that we had looked into it 6 months earlier when it started to get bad and not wait until it started to escalate. Maybe we wouldn’t have been convinced we needed help – just because other parents say they have sleep issues doesn’t mean that it is not fixable. Just go for it – give it a shot! It’s worth it for your own and your child’s sanity!

“I was convinced my baby would be the one Batelle couldn’t help”

Tamera believed that her son’s sleep problems could not be solved by Batelle, and was initially skeptical about the service. With the entire family feeling sleep-deprived due to Ethan’s troublesome sleeping habits, including Ethan’s eight-year-old brother, Tamera committed to Sleep School – and bedtime still only lasts a few minutes.

“One of the kids in my cohort slept through the night on day 4”

What made you sign up for Batelle?

I found Batelle at about 2:30 in the morning. I was looking for anything – Google searching “2 year old won’t sleep”. It felt like I was searching for any way to help and Batelle popped up and I checked to see if it was an ad – I wanted to know if it was legit. I went through the questionnaires about Ethan and we thought “Okay, let’s give it a shot”. I set up the initial consultation for 5:30 AM before I start work – just a few hours after I came across the website. 5:30 came around and there was an actual person there waiting for me! Ultimately, what led me to Batelle was months of sleepless nights, sleepless mornings, and my husband and I having to co-sleep with Ethan… I wanted to sleep, so I signed up!

How were nap times before Batelle?

Nap times, if they happened at all, were a nightmare. I had to lie down in the bed with him and reassure him that we were still there. He would get up constantly, asking for whoever was with him and then would be screaming and crying because he didn’t want to go to sleep! In the end his nap would only last 40 minutes, if that. Now, we lay him down, or he chooses to go himself. It’s so great! He will be down for about two hours, sometimes two and a half.

I’m still not used to it – but it’s awesome!

“All of it was so worth it! I’m able to sleep and bedtime only takes a few minutes! I’m telling all my friend’s about it. Best investment I ever made. Ever. ”

How were your night-times before you joined?

Non-existent. He would be howling and crying. He began climbing out of his crib so we got a gate. He climbed over that. We got two gates. He climbed over them,  and then down the stairway in the dark to find us. We were at the point where we had three gates to stop him! I was just constantly going up and down stairs until eventually we would give up and bring his mattress down to my bedroom, put it on the floor, and would finally say goodnight. 

Doing that meant any kind of conversation or quality time with my husband would go out the window. We just had this two-year-old who we’d be tiptoeing around so as to not wake him. It was nuts. It was why I was willing to take a chance on this! I just knew I would do whatever it took – it then made it even more appealing when I realized if it didn’t work I would get my money back. I was convinced my baby would be the baby that Sleep School couldn’t help.

At what point were you convinced with Batelle?

I think it was the 4th night – that was the worst night. I signed on. I didn’t show my face and I said “I’m tired, this is hard” and they rallied around me – both Moms and Sleep Guides – It was then I realized that they certainly weren’t being paid enough if it was a scam because they were so supportive.

It was such an amazing moment and it meant when one of the other moms had her meltdown moment – I was able to step up and give her support the way I had been given. The team was just so great with everything, whether it be a vacation, whether it be a question, whether it be an extra week so I didn’t feel alone… When Ethan chose sleep too – when I realized I could actually sing the mantra and he would choose sleep! I was like “Okay! This is really something!”

All of it was so worth it! I’m able to sleep and bedtime only takes a few minutes! I’m telling all my friend’s about it. Best investment I ever made. Ever.