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“Every night was a hostage negotiation”

Bedtime was a struggle for both Erica and her husband, taking up to 2 hours per night to get her to sleep. She would never spend a full night in her own bed, and was co-sleeping in her parents’ bed for most nights. Averi was almost three years old when she joined Batelle. We interviewed Erica twice during her Batelle journey.

How was Averi’s sleep before Batelle?

Every night was, as I like to call it, a hostage negotiation. We would bring Averi to her bedroom and it would take between one and half to two hours to get her to sleep. Once in her bedroom she would ask for more stories, a sip of water, more food or to go potty. At some point we lost patience and it led to Averi crying and being upset, and bedtime being more difficult. It was like that every night.

How was the situation for you and your husband?

We both work full-time jobs and when we came home, we tried to get dinner and had to face this stressful bedtime every evening. We were both in a bad mood. We had no time to decompress, no time to talk together or even have dinner.

“We look forward to bedtime now! It is easier, predictable and stress-free. It really changed our life for the better”

We are now on Night 7 of the program, how has your journey been so far?

To be honest the first night was stressful. We were not prepared for Averi’s reaction especially in regards to the Hug. She used to be free in our bed, jumping around, and all of a sudden she had to stay in her bed in her Hug. We discussed with the team and figured out what we could do better. And then from night 2, we saw immense progress. Right now, halfway into the program, when it’s bedtime Averi gets in her bed, calm and ready. There is a bit of crying but much less than before, and everything is more structured. I even have to wake her up some mornings, it feels like she likes to sleep now!

Tonight is Night 11, could you tell us how it’s going?

It’s been wonderful. Bedtime now is 10 minutes and we chose it to be this long because we actually enjoy this time with her now. She is very calm, she knows it’s time to go to bed, she gets into her Hug and it takes her between 10 to 30 minutes to fall asleep on her own. She is by herself, stroking her hair or playing with her stuffed animals.

Any reflections on your journey?

We wish we found you sooner. I remember thinking to myself when I found you, “Oh my god, maybe this will work. This is our last resort. We just have to do it.” It has changed our life for the better. We now have a predictable, stress-free bedtime with a happy and calm toddler who likes to sleep.

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