I believe every child is unique with unique situations. So when you meet a little girl like Serena, you realize just how special and different each child really is. Serena is a beautiful little 10 month old girl who lights up a room with her presence. Not only is she extremely smart, but she is one social little butterfly. However, these adjectives don’t always make for a great sleeper. Since Serena was 4 months old, she decided she didn’t want to sleep at night. Her parents tried their best to get past it but the time came when it was only getting worse. Their hesitation on asking for help was that Serena was in daycare full time. She wasn’t taking good naps during the day and wasn’t on any sort of routine. They thought in order to give any type of sleep training, Serena couldn’t be in daycare. They called me to ask for if there was anything that could be done…
A child that is in daycare can be sleep trained! They may not have a strict day/nap schedule but once they are home, you can teach your child what you are communicating to them based on your consistent actions. This is exactly how we trained Serena. I did a full overnight with the family, training and logging all that Serena was doing. We started out by created a nice bedtime routine that consisted of a warm bath, bottle, stories, and bed. I darkened her room a bit and made sure her mattress was firm. Once Serena was placed in her crib awake, she moved around a bit, cried and went to sleep. Her parents knew there wasn’t going to be any trouble getting her down to sleep, it was more about what to do when she woke up. When the time came, around 9pm, Serena was standing in crib crying. Moments later she laid down on her pillow and went back to sleep. Her parents were excited and nervous all at the same time. The rest of that first night, Serena woke up two more times. She would cry for a little while and fall back asleep.
The next morning, Serena was awaken by her parents at 7:30am! This had never happened before. Since she usually was sleeping in their bed, she would wake up once her parents had to get ready for work. Amazing! The day was left for Serena’s daycare to handle. If she took good naps, great. If she didn’t, then so be it. We made a consistent routine for Serena once she was picked up from school. Her father would pick her up and make sure she was awake for the quick car ride home. We dropped her evening nap because it was affecting her nighttime sleep and pushed her old 9pm bedtime up to 7:30pm. Her bedtime routine was consistent each night.
Night two, Serena moved around in her crib, but never stood up and cried. Night three, Serena’s parents were concerned with how often she was moving around in her sleep and whining. They took video of her doing it in the middle of the night and kept a close eye on her consistency with this. To me, it looked as if she was a restless sleeper. But I needed to be sure it was consistent. Nights four and five had been the exact same thing. Serena’s parents were concerned she was awake and hungry, so they had fed her. Teething and night terrors were also a thought but watching the video, I noticed Serena’s eyes were never opened. Typically with teething, a child will be fully awake. Serena just tossed and turned without waking. I had Serena’s parents show her doctor the video’s to be sure there wasn’t anything more. After the pediatrician took a look at them, the doctor agreed on what I thought and told her parents to leave the monitor on low so it wouldn’t affect their sleep. Since then, they took the advice from the doctor and have been getting the sleep they all so desperately needed.
I LOVE this family. Serena’s parents adore her and know their child in every single way possible. Serena is a naturally restless sleeper. She tosses and turns throughout the night but is sleeping. There are some children who can sleep in unusual ways, and Serena may be that child. But with the hard work of this family, we were able to get Serena to sleep throughout the night after only one night of sleep training. Unreal! It was an absolute pleasure to work with this family and I am so happy to hear Serena is sleeping all by herself in her own bed. Sweet Dreams Sweet Serena!