Our son, Leif, always struggled with falling to sleep. My husband, Max, and I used to spend hours (I repeat: HOURS) getting Leif to sleep every night. We would rock him to sleep in our arms, on a bouncy ball, in his bassinet. He craved movement and needed it to fall asleep. A few minutes in a stroller? Asleep! A car ride for a few blocks? Asleep! But getting him to sleep in his bed? Nope.
I never thought I would sleep train my baby. Max was excited to sleep train, but I always said, “We’ll see…” From the moment Leif was born, I struggled with hearing him cry and I did anything I could to soothe him so sleep training seemed out of the question to me. For a month or so, Leif started sleeping through the night and was even taking a nap or two in his crib, instead of needing to be held or in the stroller.
Then, his 4-month sleep regression hit us like a bus. There was nothing we could do to get him to sleep. It would take an average of 90 minutes to get him to sleep at night, then he woke up every hour and eventually every 20 minutes.
One morning, I sat in bed at 4am holding Leif because it was the only way for he and Max to get a few hours of sleep.
I was a complete mess. Physically and emotionally drained does not touch the surface of how I felt. I knew we had to sleep train Leif and I was dreading it.
A friend of mine referred me to Kristin as a sleep consultant. I did not think that a generic sleep training plan would work for usso I knew in my heart that a sleep consultant was the way to go. Kristin was fantastic. She devised a plan that catered to us and Leif after we filled out a detailed questionnaire. We were going to do controlled comforting which involved crying and check ins. The first night, I left to pick up takeout when it was Leif’s bedtime and Max did check-ins because I couldn’t trust myself to listen to his crying and not immediately pick him up. Kristin was available for all of our MANY questions leading up to bedtime and during the check in’s. She understood that more than anything I needed the reassurance that what Leif and I were experiencing were completely normal.
I learned that his cries were protests because he was mad, rather than being in pain, which is what I always interpreted his cries to mean. She taught me that I wasn’t a bad mom for not immediately rushing to his side.
While the controlled comforting seemed to be working for bedtimes, Leif’s naps were a whole different story. It became clear that he was not picking up the naps and Max and I were struggling with listening to him cry all day. Kristin was able to pivot and adapt, coming up with a new plan for Leif designed for him. Leif has always been an incredibly aware baby and she realized that when Max or I stayed in the room until he fell asleep made him feel comfortable in his space, which was the most important thing. Based on Kristin’s new plan, we were slowly able to move further and further from him and the crib while taking away interventions. She encouraged us to remain persistent with Leif’s sleep when I was ready to throw in the towel and give up. She continued to live coach all of Leif’s naps and bedtimes longer than expected because we had to change our sleep training method, which is more than we could have hoped for.
Kristin taught me to trust my instincts more than what the “rules” or the internet told me was right.
I had finally found the answers that I had been looking for since Leif was born. The relief I felt from having someone guide me through this process has been invaluable. She continues to check in on Leif and us long after our live coaching period has ended, even while she and her family were evacuated in a hurricane! I am so thankful that my friend referred me to Kristin because I believe I would still be lost trying to solve my son’s sleep puzzle. Leif now sleeps through the night for 12 hours! We have our lives back!
Christina, Manhattan Beach