Parent feedback

Rosie & Jack

I contacted Mel when Jack was just over a year old. He experienced health issues from a newborn – reflux and Cow’s Milk Protein Intolerance – which badly affected his sleep. This was diagnosed by another sleep expert when he was 5 months old.  However, as Jack got older the sleep issues remained (and the sleep advice stopped being productive). We saw another sleep expert just before his 1st Birthday who said that his sleep problems were medical, but the paediatrician started telling me that it was now behavioural.

But none of the sleep advice we had been given by either sleep expert was working (along with any standard technique we read in any book). We had further diagnostic tests done to eliminate any medical problems and contacted 3 more sleep experts when he was 1 year old – 2 told me that they didn’t think they were able to give any more advice than we’d already been given. His sleep patterns didn’t seem to fit any ‘normal’ sleep problems, likely due to his previous medical history.

A previous “sleep expert” from another organisation had spoken to me so nastily that she made me cry (not difficult when I was as sleep deprived and desperate for help as I was!) and had told us to punish him for crying by taking away his comfort blanket – we tried it purely out of desperation, despite knowing it was wrong, and unsurprisingly it didn’t work – he ended up hysterical for hours and hours, several nights in a row.

I was in a very bad place when I spoke to Mel. A year of getting 2-3 hours sleep a night was starting to take its toll on all my close relationships (ironically I had developed insomnia myself so was getting even less sleep than Jack!). I wasn’t able to go back to work and could barely function to keep a household functioning.

However, Mel said that she would try to help – she was very honest and said she couldn’t make any promises due to the complexity of his issues but she wanted to give it a go! Her methods were kind and did not involve him crying or screaming. It was tailored specifically for Jack and the issues he was presenting, rather than a standard sleep programme that I had been given before and that you can read about in books. Mel said that normally problems can be resolved in 2-3 weeks but that we should expect to notice a difference in 5-6 weeks (if at all) because of Jack’s problems.

We started the sleep training that Mel suggested that night, and saw an INSTANT result. Previously, it was taking us 1-2 hours to get him back to sleep even when we held him. Mel’s technique took 1 hour on the first night and thereafter 15-20 minutes.

I cannot thank Mel enough. She was extremely kind and friendly and just talking to her gave me instant relief.

I think I join my husband in saying that if we experience any future blips we will be contacting Mel straight away! Even when he’s 18 and we are experiencing quite different sleep problems!!” Mel says “Most sleep trainers just address the actual sleep pattern. While this can be effective for many babies, I try to take a more holistic approach where possible.

Mel says “It is important to look at the whole child and all the aspects of his day and night, then link these together to help achieve a good nights sleep for both parents and child. If a baby has had health issues from a very young age it’s not surprising his Mum and Dad would want to help him settle to sleep by holding him and rocking. This can become a habit for baby, who then finds it very hard to self settle after the health issue has passed.”

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