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Baby Sleep Specialist?


KBN

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Does anyone have any recommendations for a sleep consultant? Our six month old has never been a good sleeper (wakes on average 6 times a night and sometimes for long periods), and now after 6 months of never more than 3 consecutive hours sleep (and that on a good night), hubby and I are reaching breaking point.


We have tried so many different things, and are about to move cot into nursery and have just started weaning, but would like to get in touch with a consultant if things have not stabilised in a month or so's time.


Has anyone used one and could they recommend anyone in particular? Is it expensive?


Also, does it work?! Not necessarily after a miracle sleep through after 24 hours style help (Ie.g. I'm quite happy to feed in the night if it seems she needs it), just need to see some sort of real improvement.


Thanks,


K

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Oh please let me know if you have any success!! 6 times last night too - I am trying to blame it on cold/cough/ear infection but UGH. Am kind of in denial about it currently and am hoping it really will sort itself out and SOON.


I know a friend of a friend who had some sort of super nanny come and sort out their baby who was waking every 45 mins (!) - will try and find out details and forward - the only thing I do know is that it was not cheap...

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Hi There


Haven't used them myself but have heard/read good things about Night Nannies http://www.nightnannies.com/ Prices are on the website.


I don't think you can expect an overnight miracle but they will spend time with you and get the ball rolling - then it's down to you to follow their instructions!


I thought about calling them many times when my little boy stopped sleeping well at around 4 months of age. In the end I went down the Controlled Crying route at 8 months (after having discounted hunger etc as a cause of waking) by which time he was waking every 90 mins. We were lucky - it took one evening of 30 mins crying (with regular comforting from us) to turn his sleeping around and I can count on one hand the number of times he has woken in the 6 months since then. However, if your LO has never been a good sleeper, there is no guarantee that it would work so quickly and painlessly for the two of you so you may well benefit from some professional help.


Good luck with whatever you decide - having been there I know how tough it is to be constantly exhuasted.

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KBN, six months is not very old. I know it's hard - my son woke every half hour at five months old and weaning did help. He's a very good sleeper now (just 2) and has been for ages. I can't remember when he started sleeping through but it was a long long time ago. So I think it's a bit early to seek specialist help, when what you're experiencing is not that unusual. I've got the Millpond Sleep Clinic book, Teach your child to sleep, which is very good, though does involve controlled crying, which I know many parents struggle with. It helped me anyway. Good luck!
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Hi - I've got the Millpond book mentioned above and did find it useful. Plus they do act as sleep advisors if you decide to go that route. It costs between ?150-200 for a consultation and they then support you (mainly via phone consultations, I think) while you implement changes to your child's bedtime routine etc.


Lots of other useful advice on here, which I won't add to, but I've got friends who've used Millpond successfully when they became exhausted by a poorly sleeping child.

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I think edanna might be right and its not that unusual, my bubs is 10 months and I've never had more than 3 hrs sleep in one go, most of the time I literally don't know what day it is. I have slowly managed to improve situation by refusing to feed him when he wakes up in the earlier stages of the night and just holding him really tight while he cries it out. Most nights now he will sleep from 9pm until 2am, which isn't that helpful to my sleeping as evening is when I get to do the housework. When I get a bit more energy together I will stop giving him milk at the later wakenings and clamp him to my body while he has a cry. Its not a fast fix but there is no way I could just leave him hysterical to do the controlled crying. Anyway...you are NOT alone xxx
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I know someone who went with Millpond as advisers when their baby was about 10 months. From what I understand, Millpond helped them work out a plan over a number of weeks (i.e. first breaking the BFing to sleep association gradually, then reordering the bedtime routine, etc., etc.). Not sure of the exact details, but my friend was quite anti-crying and she seemed okay with the Millpond plan. Though I think there was some crying, I'm sure you could do the plan your own way...for e.g., like curlykaren says by cuddling through the crying instead of feeding.


You might find that moving the cot to the nursery helps in itself? I know that whenever we share a room with our 11 month old, we are all kept awake all night by each other! You could also start a gradual approach to helping her fall asleep without feeding (i.e. at bedtime, try to make sure she is a little bit awake when she goes down...same at naps).


Once I stopped feeding at night, my son started sleeping through maybe 70% of the time (less when he is teething or ill, more in a good week). It is up to you whether you want to continue to feed at night until baby stops waking for it or you could try some gentle prodding in that direction in a few months time (we did at 8 months, but my son was a very very good solids eater...might want to wait longer if solids take a while to get established). What we did around 8 months is basically instead of feeding when baby woke, my husband would go in and cuddle, rock, sing whatever to get him back to sleep. Then after a few days of that, my husband worked towards more shushing and patting in the cot, rather than rocking.


Now whenever he wakes at night we know that there is something bothering him and a usually quick cuddle (or Calpol in the case of teething!) sorts him out.


Another thought...could there be anything about her day routine (using the word loosely!) that is contributing to the night wakings? If my son is overtired and not napping well, we can almost guarantee night wakings. Or teeth? Or tummy trouble as she gets used to weaning?

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We used Night Nannies when my second one was 4 months old as she was waking every couple of hours and I was exhausted. (1st one hadn't slept through till at least 18 months and couldn't face that again!) Well worth the cost, I thought. They have a few nannies who specialise in this. She talked things through with us before committing to anything, to make sure we had an approach we both felt happy with. For us it did involve letting my LO cry a bit but she went from waking (at best!) every couple of hours to going through the night within 3 nights. As we half thought, the problem was us as much as her!


As much as sorting her sleep, it was worth it for helping us to have faith in our instincts. Which is really helpful since they go through so many different phases as they grow that, if you're not careful, you can easily re-create problems later by over-reacting.


Hope you find a solution that works for you.

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Thank you all - much appreciated. I know she is young still, but waking every 45 mins to every 2 hours without fail is real torture, and I don't think it can be great for her either. Not even looking for "sleeping through" - I don't mind night feeds, it is just that I think something needs to click and isn't. Her daytime naps are never more than 45 mins and often 25 - like she can't link sleep cycles well.


Will give some of the above some thought. I'm now sure as you say nunheadmum that half problem is us - just need someone to look with outside eyes really...

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Hi again


I agree that outside eyes can really help you to see what the problem really is (and yes it may well be you!!). After months of blaming teething, colds, hunger, developmental changes etc we had a baby who slept 12 hours a night so what we learned was that our LO was crying because he was tired and wanted to sleep, not because he wanted anything, including comfort from us (which made it worse). Sounds to me like your LO needs some gentle teaching on how to self settle, since you say she has never been a great sleeper.


In an ideal world we can all wait until our children naturally teach themselves to sleep unaided for 12 hours a night but in the real world many of us have to go back to work, look after other children etc etc. and broken sleep for a year or more is just not an option.


Good luck!

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I would do it! My son was a sleep nightmare for 10 months, and regardless of how normal it apparently was for him, it is NOT normal for an adult to live on three hours sleep a day....... that's 21 hours per week! I had to get serious and sleep train him, and that is when I became a real mother who was "there". One of my hugest regrets is losing all those early months to exhaustion, I really couldn't enjoy it as I would have liked to. It's not good for you, them, your marriage etc....


I wish I had hired someone to help me, and much earlier. I wouldn't think twice about getting that on track if I could do it over again.


Hope it works out!

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