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