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When asked to review an online sleep course, I jumped at the chance, Since my little one has moved from her cot into a bed her whole sleep routine has gone to pot. Now I totally understand we have changed a lot, her whole sleep environment has changed. Her bed as in going from a cot to a bed, she went from a sleeping bag to a duvet and from a small nursery to a bigger room.
Sleep Problems in Early Years
I have previously looked into online sleep courses but just never got round to it, always thinking that things would just get better, and she would sleep through the night, but it didn’t. Lottie has always been a great sleeper from being a baby and would easily do between 11 and 13 hours a night. We felt like the luckiest parents around, I was always the one that could say “Oh, my baby has slept through since being 8 weeks”. Who knew that would come back to haunt me now she is 3?
So time to take some action and get some real help in the form of a sleep consultant. So it’s a Monday, I always feel things are better to start on a Monday. So here we begin our sleep coaching journey. With the online sleep course there are a number of videos to go through. I love online courses because they can be done at your own pace.
Sleep Difficulties – The Welcome Section
We start with the welcome section, this just gives us a background on the sleep practitioner (course tutor) Jemma Munford, what we need to consider before starting and when is best to start. We were also given some quick tips. These made me feel better as we were already doing some of these, and gave me the confidence knowing I was doing the right thing and hopefully we would be able to get Lottie back into a healthy sleep pattern. Also us too, as both of us are having disturbed sleep, and trying to go to work on a night of interrupted sleep is no good for anyone. The tutor does make some very interesting points, that now I think back to my days with Lottie as a baby, realising I didn’t do half of the things she is suggesting e.g. to rest when your baby sleeps. I know as a parent we feel so much pressure to do things when the little one is asleep, like cleaning. When really we should be trying to get as much rest in as possible.
So here is our current problem, Our daughter has her milk on my knee in our room. She then falls asleep in our bed and my husband transfers her to her own bed about an hour later. All is fine sometime all night, but most night she gets up anytime between 1am and 5am and comes and climbs into bed with us. Luckily she does go back to sleep. The only problem them is she is such a wriggler that I get no sleep at all.
Ok, so in the first part of this we are asked to think of the ideal sleep situation. I would love for Lottie to go to sleep in her own room and stay there. I would like a healthy routine for her, which then benefits us all. (speaking as a tired parent). The online course does not boast about being a quick fix so I am fully prepared for things to be tough for a few nights as we start our sleep training.
Evidence shown from the picture below lets us know how much sleep our children do need. So with that as a starting point I feel confident my little one is getting enough sleep. I now just need it to be in the right environment.
Baby Sleep – Task 1
So here is the first practical task I was given and it really helped to know where I was starting at to be able to know where to go from there on. The sleep coach gives handy tips to help you know what to look out for.
The sleep consultant talk about how each child is different and knows not every child needs to nap. My little one knocked off her naps at around a year old, and if she did nap then it would take me until 10pm to get her to sleep.
But if your child is a napper, then she goes through lots of tips for any problems or worries you have about napping. The module on napping gives you in depth knowledge about napping and when to drop a nap/how to spot the signs of dropping naps. This online sleep course really does give you the confidence to tackle any nap situation.
The online course talks you through everything you need to set the right sleep environment for bed time for your children. The course also helps support parents by giving suggestions on things to avoid as well as try. I feel I have already learnt exactly what should be done before bedtime and I’m not even half way though the course. Hopefully I can start using the tools given already. As we all probably know the sleep consultant talks about a consistent routine, this is one thing my husband is very keen on, where am I quite adaptable and understand sometimes life gets in the way. I love how this course doesn’t just set you a strict schedule to follow but explains that you can tailor it to your individual needs and that of your child/toddler.
I feel we have a great bedtime routine, I just can’t get her to stay there.
Feeding support for sleep
I really do love how the online sleep consultant really does cover every single option. Now this is something we luckily are past with our toddler, but it was still an interesting read looking at this module. My little one was 8 weeks old when she first started sleeping through the night and not waking up for a feed. She would easily do 8 to 9 hours. With the course, the module on feeding gives you options but also has a step by step process to help you do exactly what you need to do to wean your baby off the night time feeds when the time is right.
The Training then moves on to Task 2
So now we have hopefully created the right sleep environment and bedtime routine for our baby or toddler.
The sleep coach talks about the goals we set as parents and what we would all like our children to do. Self soothing is a big one. Even now, I sometimes think my little one has a problem with self soothing and as soon as she wakes, she just picks up her pillow and comes and joins us. She talks about giving children the confidence to be able to do these things during the night.
The sleep coach offers different suggestions on things you can do to help soothe your child without leaving them to cry. Jemma explains the reasons behind her preference for being responsive and it’s reassuring to read that we are not going to make a rod for our own backs by helping our babies this way.
I love this module as there are four different strategies provided for you to try, so you can choose which works best for you. Each one has evidence-based knowledge from leading experts included as well as the pros or cons of the techniques. I also like how most of the modules end on a positive.
The Course Content works around you and your family
Another reason I love this online course is because Jemma is not just pretending that it will be quick and easy, but helping you to be realistic in your expectations. The advice is there to support you and help improve your knowledge with evidence-based training. It helps you understand that changes to their sleep routine/environment can be very unsettling for a baby or toddler which explains why it can sometimes feel hard.
Completion of tasks helps improve your understanding
Throughout this course, there are practical tasks for you to complete. The tasks help us to find out where we initially started. These tasks can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks. I feel this is very important, as trying to train your child for sleep is something we need to work for the long term, and giving children the skills they need for this can take time.
Family Support with Sleep Problems
I feel I now have been given lots of skills to try to get my little one to finally sleep in her own bed. I like how there are options to look at certain lessons if something isn’t working. I’m fully prepared for some long nights ahead (I’ve planned it well for whilst I’m off work) But I feel totally confident in getting my toddler to sleep in her own bed and stay there all night. I was very impressed and am fully ready to try the next steps.
Every child is different and this online course caters for that….
I love how the sleep consultant has added in some back ups in case of any problems. The tasks often come with some material you can download to help you, which is extremely helpful.
Ideas and suggestions throughout the course material
Throughout the course the sleep consultant offers different ideas and suggestions. Jemma offers different explanations as to why a certain problem may be happening, and ways of solving those problems. She is there to tell you how to support your child and deal with issues arising such as separation anxiety and sleep regressions. The course just isn’t about training your child but also preparing us as parents, as often we don’t really understand how sleep works to know how to make things better.
Co-sleeping with your baby and toddler
I’m sure everyone has co slept at some point during their lives. Co – sleeping is something that seems to be happening very frequently in our house at the minute. With my toddler falling asleep in my bed, then being transferred to her room. Often then she marches in at 2am, pillow in her hand ready to get in bed with us. I’m so looking forward to starting the steps the online sleep coach has in place to get her sleeping in her own bed for the whole night without having to come in and co sleep with me.
Families begin with parents
Towards the end of the course the sleep coach starts talking more about what we as parents need, and how we need to take care of ourselves to help our children. As the saying goes “you can’t pour from an empty cup” .
The course has experts leaving audio clips for us to listen to. But goes on to talk about our needs and how we can cope as parents with different things that we do come across. It also stresses how one parenting method is not always correct. It provides links to websites to help with sleep and meditation and she provides a number of short videos to help with certain self-care issues parents may have.
To finish the course, we are left with different ways of contacting the sleep consultant if we need any extra support. Jemma has a Facebook group which I have joined. But also the possibility of booking a call with her or upgrading the package if I feel I need to.
Overall I thoroughly enjoyed going through this online course. I now feel I have the skills and confidence to move on with our sleep training instead of trying everything else I have found on the internet. I would fully recommend Blissed Out Babies DNA Sleep Program to any one.
Blissed Out Babies
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