AKA “Is Batelle legit”?
Batelle works. We have over 3,000 super happy and well-rested families to attest to this. Is Batelle a magic formula? Not quite! But, it’s close if you put in the work. Does Batelle work for every single person? No – but not for the reasons you’d expect. Here is the low down on what to expect with Batelle, and some information on whether it’s for you.
Perhaps one of the reasons Batelle is so rewarding is that as a family you go on a journey together. It follows the arc of any good storyline. The main character (you) start off exhausted, burnt out, and overwhelmed. You then meet a guide (Batelle). With the help of your guide, you start implementing changes – more often than not, these first steps are the hardest and you and your child begin to adjust to a new way of interacting with each other around sleep. You then have a stage of maintenance, which requires grit and fortitude – like any worthwhile process, it’s not easy. Finally, you start to come out the other side. You start to see your hard work pay off. You begin to see how working on building up your child’s confidence around sleep is filtering into their daytime confidence. You notice they are able to be more independent, more trusting of you and that you are able to be more patient and understanding of their needs. In short, you get to your happy ending.
Just like a good story, there is a challenge that needs to be overcome. While it’s certainly true that some families see their sleep issues resolved in the first few days, you should not come in expecting this to be true for you. To give yourself the best chance of success, you need to be willing to put in the necessary work and effort over at least a two week timeframe. (Of course you can spread this out over as long as you need – you have us for 5 years…). This approach relies on you first understanding your child’s fundamental needs and communications. It requires you to attune to those needs, and respond appropriately. We have all the resources you need to be successful, but it requires you to commit.
If you are sleep deprived, this may sound like a big ask. But, we have helped countless families step up to this challenge and remain motivated throughout the journey, to reap the long-term rewards on the other side. Hard, yes. Doable, absolutely.
The first 6 years of life are by far and away the most formative; a child is incredibly malleable during this period of rapid development (1). These are the years when personalities start to form and character traits become apparent (2). When it comes to their fundamental needs at this age, there is not much diversity: all children need restorative sleep; all children also need protection from their caregivers and seek safety and reassurance from them (3). Although there are a lot of variations within these basic needs (how much sleep, when they sleep, their individual personalities and temperaments, their sleep histories, medical considerations etc.), these two truths remain true for all children (4).
What this means is that to appropriately meet the needs of a child, there is a certain degree of personalization that needs to take place, but once you get the correct sleep formula for their specific circumstances and needs, and provide enough reassurance and security – the process works.
Parents, on the other hand, are a different question entirely. As adults, we are far more complex than our children. We know more. We have our own childhood experiences to contend with. We tend to have much more entrenched beliefs and dogmas, all of which create greater variability between individuals. Not only this, but we are also far slower to learn and adapt than our children are (5). This means that there is more convincing needed to change the behaviors of a parent than a child, which is exactly what we are doing at Batelle. So if a parent is not bought-in, the process is sure to fail. Especially as a child picks up off their caregiver (called emotional transference), so creating a feeling of predictability and confidence for a child will be next to impossible (6). So while we wish we could say we are for every parent – we’re not. We are for parents who are willing to put in the work to change their behavior.
Parents naturally have very strong visceral responses to their child crying, and for very good reason: it’s the only way our children can communicate with us when they are young (7). It is what expresses hurt, danger, fear, hunger, and discomfort. Crying is an inevitable part of parenting (8). When it comes to the question of how much crying there is in sleep training, this is a question of trade-offs.
Ultimately, making any kind of changes to your child’s sleep will result in some form of crying. Anyone that tells you otherwise is probably not being truthful. In fact, any changes to your child’s anything often comes with tears. While we certainly don’t expect parents to enjoy the crying, we do need parents to be realistic to the fact that tears are a part of life. They are an expression of a need or want – that we will teach you to meet in many different ways. So while we can promise to help you foster confidence and independence, we cannot promise no tears.
If you are someone that would want to do Batelle’s program with as few tears as possible (to be clear there will still be tears), then the trade-off is the timeline. We try to support parents’ preferences, so if this is what you want, we will work with you as long as you need the additional support, of course at no extra cost. If you’d prefer to get to the results sooner, we give you all the resources and material you need to achieve this.
If you are really concerned about crying, we suggest you read our blog on “Is Batelle Sleep Training Gentle?”, as this digs further into the topic of crying.
If you have read this far down, and are still interested in Sleep School – you’re probably exactly the kind of person who will do super well in this program. And now that we have sufficiently given a reality check of some of the challenges, let’s turn to some of the other potentially unexpected positives.
The first very important thing to understand about this program is that you are really supported. I mean really supported. First of all, our goals align perfectly with yours. We want you to succeed as much as you do. And this means we invest a lot of time in making sure you get the perfect plan that meets your needs, that you get the right information at the right time, and that you have coaches available any time you need. Our team consists of 35+ full time sleep specialists, who are with you step-by-step. They not only can see your journey and your child’s progress, but they also can help benchmark how you are doing, pick up where you may be going off course, and ensure that you are fully confident in what you are implementing. You effectively have a coach, mentor, and cheerleader at your fingertips 24/7 until you reach your goals.
[As an aside – below is an example of our internal Slack chat – every time you win – we celebrate 👏]
Last, but certainly not least – this really is about more than solving a sleep challenge you are facing. You will come out with a deeper understanding of yourself as a parent as well as a deeper understanding of your child. We see many ripples after a family reaches their goals in Sleep School. We see health outcomes improve. We see fewer instances of anxiety. We see increased daytime confidence and independence. And we see parents better equipped to navigate other challenges in parenthood that come their way.
Ultimately, we are not for everyone. But for those who are willing to put in the effort, lean into the uncomfortable and embrace this learning opportunity – you’ll come out better for having done so.