Giveaway: Two $150 Sleep Consultations with Pickles & Ice Cream
It's been three weeks since my Adventures in Sleep Training. If you'd like to follow my sleep training experience from the beginning, click here.
I am now out the other side and couldn't be happier. Truthfully, we were out the other side after only four days but then we went away on vacation for a week and I wanted to make sure it all stuck before I posted the results.
So now it's official. Harlow is sleep trained. Mazzy's sleep has improved drastically. The girls are sleeping in the same room. Mike and I have our evenings back. Believe it or not, I'm walking on air. I never thought I could feel so freeeeeeee! Flying away on a wing and a prayer, who could it beeeee??? Believe it or not it's just meeeeee…..
Sorry. I got a little carried away. This is what happens when you are able to go to bed at night and then SLEEP STRAIGHT THROUGH UNTIL MORNING.
You know who else is happy about sleep training?
Yep, the baby we tortured for almost a week now also realizes the benefits of NOT FREAKING THE F' OUT when her head rests on a mattress.
FYI- I think sleep training Harlow would have been over even sooner if it wasn't for Mazzy (aka The Three-year-old Who Couldn't Whisper If Her Life Depended On It).
Last weekend, a friend of mine came over who hasn't seen Harlow in over a month. She commented that Harlow was being super smiley. "She never used to smile!" Harlow also let my friend hold her. "Harlow never used to let me hold her!" And she didn't cry whenever she was on the ground. "Harlow is a changed baby!"
It's hard to look back and realize how exhausted Harlow must have been. I thought she was a happy baby who was just a little needy sometimes. But now I realize her constant need to be held and her resistance around bedtime (what we thought was her bedtime) were both byproducts of sleep deprivation.
I think I secretly liked that she would only go to me. I also kind of liked dragging Harlow into my bed at 3am because it was the only way to get her to go back to sleep. I loved snuggling with her in the wee hours of the morning. I loved her head conking down on my chest so hard it was almost audible. Those were hard things to give up.
But the great thing is— now that Harlow understands "lying down" is an enjoyable experience, she does it voluntarily. She might take a second to rest her head on a soft pillow. Or cuddle with me at a random moment of the day. In fact, I owe the magnificent picture at the top of this post to my new best friend, Sleep Training. That never would have happened a month ago.
So here's the rundown.
Harlow goes to sleep between 6-6:30pm. I know that sounds early to some people but she is clearly tired at this point and wants to go to bed. She rubs her eyes to let me know. One night, she even rested her head on the side of her high chair during dinner to let me know she was ready.
Bedtime routine is two seconds.
I carry Harlow into the nursery, put a pacifier in her mouth and put her in the crib. There's a song I like to sing but usually Harlow hurls herself towards the crib before I've even finished the first line. Once down, she curls herself around one of her many blankies and closes her eyes. There is no crying whatsoever. I exit the room. We don't hear a peep from her until twelve hours later.
I was scared when we went on vacation the week after sleep training, but Harlow adjusted just fine to being in a Pack and Play away from home. It was a one night set back but we kept to the routine and she was over it the very next night. When we came back home, we had no problem transitioning back into her crib.
I've put her down for a nap at a friend's house. I put her to sleep at a relative's house during Rosh Hashanah dinner. Mike has put her to bed. Our nanny has put her to bed. My mother has put her to bed. She'll go to sleep for anyone anywhere as long as you put her down at the right time.
Mazzy has been a little trickier. But after working with Erin (our sleep training consultant), we adjusted the plan so it works for everybody.
Originally, Erin had me put Mazzy and Harlow to bed at the same time, which she maintains was the best way to get through the first week. But when we went away on vacation the next week, it felt too early to put Mazzy to bed at 6:30pm. Plus, Mazzy had a harder time sleeping in a strange environment.
We ended up putting Harlow down at 6:30pm and then starting Mazzy's bedtime routine as soon as Harlow was in her crib. I thought we would go back to putting them to bed at the same time once we got back home, but after talking it through with Erin, I realized this plan actually works better for us.
When Harlow is tired, she wants to be put in her crib immediately. Whereas, with Mazzy, the last thing she wants is for us to rush through her bedtime routine.
So, after Harlow is in bed, we change Mazzy into her pajamas and read her a bedtime book out in the living room. This gives her some much needed alone time with mom and dad, without her sister sucking up the attention.
It is my favorite part of the night too.
Mazzy is in bed before 7pm every night and usually falls asleep pretty quickly. She's been sleeping later too. Lately, she gets up around 6:45pm (about fifteen minutes after her sister) which is a big win around here.
I should note, that since we started putting the girls to bed earlier at night, they are both waking up later in the morning. Erin says "sleep begets sleep". It's a magical thing.
As for naptime, we stopped Mazzy's naps since her new preschool is in the afternoon.
Harlow's naps are going much better than before but have been harder to establish. She takes a nap at 8:30am, a nap at noon and a stroller nap at 3pm. The times don't change but the length of her nap is inconsistent. They are anywhere from a half hour to an hour and a half. Erin says that's ok since she is sleeping so solidly at night.
For those people who think sleep training is just for the parents, that couldn't be farther from the truth. Don't get me wrong, sleeping through the night is lifechanging for Mike and me.
But a super happy baby is even better.
Today, as promised, I am giving away two sleep consultations with Erin from Pickles and Ice Cream Sleep Consulting.
A sleep consultation includes a written sleep plan for your child, a 45 minute consult over FaceTime/Skype and two weeks of email support. It costs $150, which is less than most sleep consultants and well worth it. I consulted with Erin daily and having her support was invaluable to me.
I also want to stress that Erin designs a different plan for each family. She considers the needs of the kids and the lifestyles of the parents. The plan she designed for me took into account the age and personality of both girls, Mazzy's schedule, two working parents, siblings in the same room and several other components unique to us.
Erin is also offering $10 off a consultation to anybody that likes her facebook page before September 25th (the duration of this giveaway). If you sign up for a consultation and happen to win the giveaway, she will gladly refund your money.
As you can tell, I cannot recommend Erin highly enough!
Here are the rules.
That's it. I'm keeping it simple.
Winner will be announced Wednesday, September 25th.
Note: If you have any questions about the sleep training, please ask them on my facebook page. It's hard to reply to comments on a giveaway because it messes up picking a winner based on the number of entries. Thanks!
UPDATE: The winners are Loran (who has a 1yo that needs to be 'mom bounced' several times to go to sleep) and Kate (who has a 1yo that messed her 3yo's sleep). Congratulations! Look for an email from me!