Has anyone hired a sleep trainer?

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lizzib45's picture
Joined: 12/06/08
Posts: 957
Has anyone hired a sleep trainer?

Those from mu July 2010 board know my never ending issues with sleep and Tommy. But now that he is officially 2, I figured its time to kick the soothing habits and get him to sleep on his own. I am considering hiring a sleep trainer to help us as we clearly havent been able to do it one our own. Just curious if anyone has used a sleep trainer and their thoughts about it?

jaimelr's picture
Joined: 01/09/10
Posts: 217

I am totally unhelpful since we have not hired one (nor do I know anyone who has) but I have seen them on tv and it seems like and amazing idea. I started looking into hiring one with DS when he was about 10 months old but DH was not on side - wanted to do more CIO approach etc. (The sleep problems were a huge strain on our marriage since we had quite different opinions on what to do!).
I also had a dreadful sleeper until 21 months of age - and then he literally just started sleeping on his own!
We had been fairly consistent since birth trying to use Baby Whisperer strategy and minimal co-sleeping (during illness only) but we obviously we doing something wrong or our kid is an oddball because he didn't sleep more than 4-5 hours in a row until he was 21 months old and he could sometimes take 1-3 hours to settle around 2am!

The sleep "successes" we had were:
- having him in his own bassinet from birth to approx 4 months (waking every 3 hours)
- moving him into his crib at 4 months (frequent wake ups though - every 3 hours until approx 10 months and then every 4-5 hours until 21 months)
- relative ease most of the time getting him to go to sleep without a fuss / putting him to bed while he is awake (not rocking him to sleep) (but even here we went through bumpy periods - especially around age 1).

DS was always an incredibly light sleeper but that seems to have gotten better over time.
We also are pretty big on bed time routine - every night DS has a bath, we brush his teeth, then kisses from dog and dad, and then to bed. He knows what is coming is goes along with it and expects everything in that order.
A lot of our problems definitely arose out of "milestones" - I think DS is a bit OCD. When he learned to stand in his crib that was the beginning of a big downward spiral for us as he then would stand everytime he woke up - but then his soother was on the mattress and he couldn't reach it. Then with language development he would wake up and want to talk to you "mommy - play" and get very focused on what he wanted to do.

Oh it is exhausting. I was soooooo glad when things improved for us. But I definitely get anxious and in a funk any time we regress - even for a night because I am so traumatized by the memory of the lack of sleep!

Good luck.
Keep us posted. I want to hear all about it if you go down this path!!!

ange84's picture
Joined: 12/28/09
Posts: 6564

:lurk: I haven't but i have a feeling if ds doesn't get better with his sleeping by his 2.5 year appointment i may be offerred a referral to the sleep school they have at a hospital three hours away.

lizzib45's picture
Joined: 12/06/08
Posts: 957

Thanks ladies.
Yeah Jaimelr sounds like my DS as well. As soon as he could stand thats what he does right away MOTN. And now its talking as well.Daddy Mama. its just alot. its taking us an hour to get him to sleep and thats not including his bedtime routine which is: bath, jammies, then a book and milk. of course some other smaller details in there. But literally I got away from rocking him to sleep, now I lay with him in the recliner and he will settle himself to sleep on me. But if I try to put him down before he is sound asleep he immediately wakes and wants me back. He is a ton better for DH. but for me -especially lately- its become such a struggle. We cant CIO as he throws up fairly easily if he gets too upset. I found a sleep therapist online and will do an hour phone session for $80. She also has other packages that can include up to 3 nights of her staying here and walking us through whatever agreed upon way to handle it. I think I will email her to see how much $$ that entails. I am so acustom to the lack of sleep it really isnt a big deal to me. Although last night I was up with him for 4 hours and by 630 he was up again and I only had 2 hours of sleep. You'd think he was a newborn with his crappy sleep this week. we also have been home with him all week, with house guests so thinking the change in his schedule also is playing a key role.

jaimelr's picture
Joined: 01/09/10
Posts: 217

Isn't it infuriating when they are better with DH!? It is great in many ways but sucks at the same time!!
Good luck. We were there (as far as getting now sleep and losing precious hours at a time through the night) only a few short months ago. I remember it well.
I recently had dh do about 6 days in a row of putting ds to bed and he got in such a good routine / habit that my subsequent nightshade gone much better.

lizzib45's picture
Joined: 12/06/08
Posts: 957

I wish I could rely on DH putting tommy down but he is actiive duty military and is gone from time to time so I would lose whatever success we have .... i think I will email the lady I found and see what she charges. I think doing the 1 hour for $80 cant hurt. Its not a ton of money and maybe I can get good info just from that.

nurseamanda's picture
Joined: 10/11/09
Posts: 353

Is he in a crib still or big boy bed? We were having sooo many issues with DD sleeping at night. She would wake every hour for a few months around 18-20 months. It was exhasting and DH and I were arguing all the time about methods to use. My DD is the same as your Tommy with the throw up thing, so CIO was not an option. Since she always wanted to fall asleep with us, or on us, I made the decision to buy a "big girl bed" which was just a mattress on the floor. Me or DH will lay down with her at bedtime, read a story, have some milk, and stay until she falls asleep, then we leave. (usually only takes abut 15 mintures total) This has worked wonders for us! The first night she slept the entire night without wakeups. She has been a good sleeper since! When she does have wakeups, we just go lay down with her until she falls back to sleep, then leave. (unless we fall asleep ourselves!)
I have no advice on a sleep trainer, but if you do decide to go that route, let us know how it goes!