Today, we delve into an insightful discussion on sleep training from a mother’s perspective. Our conversation is with Tamara, who candidly shares her experiences and challenges of sleep training her toddler, Quintin (nearly 3 years old), using the Batelle program.
Discussing Quintin’s sleep patterns before starting the Batelle program, Tamara paints a picture of protracted bedtime routines and disrupted nights. “Quintin was taking about an hour to get to bed at night. His strategies to stay up late were numerous – needing a drink, needing to go to the bathroom three or four times, one more book turning into four more books,” she recounts. Quintin’s restless nights didn’t end there, as he was prone to waking up multiple times and was up and active by 6:15 a.m.
Seeking a solution to her son’s troubled sleep, Tamara turned to the internet, where she discovered Batelle amidst various sleep training methods and sleep schools. “I started searching for toddler sleep improvement, sleep training, sleep schools, and I came across Batelle. It was a new name to me, even though I’d been looking into sleep training for a while,” she shares.
What attracted Tamara to Batelle, distinguishing it from other sleep training methods was the immediate, personalized feedback on Quintin’s sleep issues. “Batelle ran me through a series of questions about Quintin’s sleep and his struggles. After I submitted all my answers, it immediately gave me feedback. It felt more tailored to Quintin than other sleep training methods we had tried,” she explains. “With other methods, there were set procedures to follow, but they lacked a personalized touch”, she recalls. “They did not cater specifically to Quintin’s unique needs”.
After staring Batelle, Tamara soon began to see improvements in Quintin’s sleep patterns. “Quintin caught on quickly and started sleeping much later. We set a hatch timer to change colors around seven o’clock, and he understood it.” Quintin caught onto the new process quickly, “it was such a welcome relief” says Tamara, who at that point become hopeful that Batelle would truly solve her son’s sleep issues.
Tamara appreciated Batelle’s approach, which emphasizes gentle training and nurturing parent-child interactions. “I enjoyed the gentle training, the gentle parenting approach, playing games with him, and getting him introduced. It was such a positive change from the other sleep training methods we had tried,” she comments. She commented on Batelle being a gentle approach, which incorporated aspects of playful interaction and gradual introduction. “I really enjoyed the gentle training… the gentle parenting approach,” she recalls, “playing games with him, getting him introduced. We didn’t just start one new thing one night and let him cry it out. We didn’t have to do any of that.”
The process was not just beneficial, but also enjoyable for both Quintin and his parents. “It was fun for him. It was fun for us,” she said. There was a brief period of adjustment when Quintin was introduced to the monitor, and he was initially unsure. “He had a couple of nights at the beginning where he was kind of unsure about it when he was in the room by himself and he woke up.”
However, Quintin quickly became accustomed to the new setup. “Eventually, he got the hang of that. It does take a couple of days for them to realize, ‘Oh, this is something new, but it’s fun. And it connects me with my mom and dad even when they’re not in the room,'” Tamara added, reflecting on the process. The Batelle sleep training method offered a fun and gentle way to instill healthy sleep habits in Quintin, providing a connection even when they were not physically present in his room.
Her journey with Batelle led to a significant realization: sleep training need not be a battle; instead, it can be a nurturing process that respects the child’s emotions. “The biggest takeaway was that we didn’t have to approach sleep training with the ‘cry it out’ method. We could do it gently, without resorting to fear or aggression to get Quintin to sleep,” Tamara muses.
The ‘cry it out’ method, a traditional sleep training approach that Tamara had tried earlier, left her distressed and unconvinced. “We did try ‘cry it out’ a few times. When Quintin was crying, I could literally feel the stress coursing through my body. I would get sweaty; my heart rate would increase. I knew it wasn’t right, but I didn’t know any other way to do it because everyone told me he would eventually get it,” she confesses.
Tamara’s story underscores the importance of finding a sleep training method that aligns with your parenting philosophy and your child’s unique needs. It also highlights that the journey to successful sleep training can be an enriching process. Parents need not resort to the ‘cry it out’ method or other similar approaches; there are more play-based, effective alternatives to help their children establish healthy sleep patterns.