A few years ago, the idea of sleeping for eight hours – hell, sleeping for two hours – uninterrupted was like a fantasy in the realm of winning Lotto or marrying Ryan Gosling. That’s because my then five-month old daughter Coco was waking up to eight times every night to have her dummy re-plugged.
Even now, those days, months, are a grey blur. I remember stumbling up and down the hallway in the dark every night and barely being able to answer my sympathetic girlfriends who asked me “how was last night?”. Simply because I couldn’t remember. It was all a blur of crying and waking and soothing and stumbling back to bed and more crying and getting up and being out of my mind with exhaustion so that I often felt hollow.
You see, that’s the thing with sleep deprivation. It goes way beyond just being tired. It starts to pull at the threads of your family. Your ability to think clearly. To stay rational. It affects your relationships. Your work. Your partner’s work. And worst of all your ability to enjoy your baby and any other children you may have.
Five years ago I felt like I was losing my mind.
[NOTE: You can download singer, song-writer, performer and mother, Amity Dry’s beautiful song that accompanies this video here on iTunes. Run don’t walk.]
And that’s when I met Elizabeth Sloane.
And so I called her – in tears – as hundreds of other exhausted mothers do every year.
When Coco turned 6 months old (OK, she may have been 5 and a half months and I may have fudged her age JUST A WEEE BIT) Elizabeth came to my home and gave Coco what she called ‘the gift of sleep’ teaching her in 3-nights how to give up the dummy and instead self-settle. (I should point out that according to Elizabeth, Coco had the worst dummy addiction she’d ever seen. Fabulous. That’s my girl. )
Two years later Elizabeth came back to teach my son the same thing. They’ve both been sleeping through the night ever since.
What I loved the most about Elizabeth from the first time we met in person – other than her completely calming presence and beautifully warm personality – is that she loves babies. Adores them. Best of all, she’s passionate about what she does. Elizabeth truly believes that every child deserves to be getting a good night’s sleep for the sake of their growth, development and their general well-being. She also feels that making a child dependent on their mum or dad to get to sleep isn’t fair on the child.