The sleep consultation spoken about in this review was gifted but all opinions are my own. This is an honest review of our experience.
I get no sleep
If you know me, you’ll know we’ve had our fair few sleepless nights over the past 6 months. Actually, I don’t think there has ever been a night when our baby hasn’t woken up. The wake-ups at the beginning were for feeds, and this is totally normal for a newborn.
The midwives encourage you to wake your baby at the beginning as they’ll still need all the nutrients and plenty of feeds! I also did the thing that a lot of people say to avoid: I fed my baby to sleep. It’s what felt right at the time, and as Fern said, it served us well up until now. Fern reassured us that feeding to sleep isn’t ‘bad’ and that night wakings are completely normal. They are statistically shown to happen right up until 18 months.
6 months on though and I’d love to not be the only one who can get him to sleep (apart from my husband rocking him). I want him to be able to settle himself but I’m not an advocate for the cry-it-out method. I wanted some gentler, which is where Fern came in.
Fern and I were chatting one day on Instagram r.e. sleep (what else haha) and she suggested coming to ours for a 2 hour sleep consultation in exchange for an honest review. Of course, I accepted.
Fern already gave me the impression of being a lovely person, so I was happy to welcome her into our home one Saturday morning, eager to hear her tips and tricks to get us out of this no-sleep cycle!
One week prior to the visit
Setting up the visit was super easy. We were asked to keep a diary of wake-ups and various other things for at least 48 hours before the visit. I decided to record a week, just to be sure there would be enough info as the more you provide, the more Fern has to look back on for reference. When Fern arrived, I handed over my tome of notes and she looked delighted! Bonus points for me!
My first impressions of meeting Fern was that she has a sense of humour! We were already joking with one another as she walked through the door, which put me at ease. You could feel the warmth and love for her job radiating through her – she truly does want to help. Also the wealth of knowledge she keeps inside her head is astounding. I don’t know how she remembers it all!
The consultation lasted for two hours, and in those two hours we covered a lot of ground. With the option to talk (or not at all if too sensitive) about each topic as we felt necessary, Fern asked about my pregnancy and how I felt it had gone, as well as the labour. We touched on how breastfeeding had been for me and what sleep arrangements we had for Joseph once we brought him home. All of these things could contribute to why he wakes a lot, so it was important for me to give as much info as possible. I was really amazed as to all the factors that can affect sleep. From potential allergies to digestive issues, they all are impactful. A typical daily/night routine was also discussed, as well as many other topics.
When Fern first arrived, she asked me what my goal was for the consultation, and I said to disassociate feeding with sleeping, so anyone could put him down. Now that Fern had all the info, she was able to access the situation and suggest a technique to help us. I won’t give away her magic (plus there will be a diary post of my experience coming up in the next month) but it’s a very, very gentle way of doing it. It took a day to get my head around all the new things we’d have to do at bedtime, but oh my gosh, it is working already!
That evening, after she left, we received an email from Fern with all that we’d been through that day, as well as our new sleep schedule for the day and night, and a run-down of our new routine. There was also lots of other really useful info attached, such as how to detect an overtired baby by using a scale; signs as to when a baby is ready to drop a nap; loads of sensory and physical activity ideas to do with Joseph to meet his needs and development, plus so much more. I quite often go back to that email for reference! There was no way I was going to remember it all!
Seven days following the consultation, I’m also allowed a phone call with Fern to discuss any queries, which I can imagine is mega useful if you need to tweak something or you have more questions to ask!
So far though, we’re making good progress. I’m still currently feeding him to sleep until I feel we’re both ready to transition. He is, however, napping so much better in the day now that he has a routine, and last night we only had two wake-ups! This is SO much progress for a baby who used to wake 3-4 times.
Look out for my diary post in a few weeks time where I’ll be sharing snippets of how the process has been for us over the next few weeks.
I would highly recommend Fern to anyone who is having issues with sleep (or lack of). She really is good at what she does. You can check out her website to learn more about who Fern is and the other services she offers. I’d also recommend giving her a follow on instagram as her stories are always interesting to watch, especially when she’s talking about sleep (a new parents fave topic!)