We have two children – a 7 yr. old & an 8 month old. Life was the normal sleep deprived blur that you expect with a baby. At 2 months age, he started showing signs of pain associated with reflux. The short version of his reflux was because of its severity, it affected all parts our lives. We went through the spectrum of help which included various positional work (keeping upright after nursing, pillow under head of mattress, baby Bjorn) medications, dose changes, new medications, referral to GI, hospital stay for a pH study. At the worst of it, he was sleeping between 15-30 minutes at a time. At the “best”, ONE time he slept 5 hours. The norm became 1 1/2 – 3 hour chunks of sleep at night. Awful. There was communication with his pediatrician’s office. A recommendation was to try the Cry It Out method…. disaster. While most babies get used to it within a few days and some may take longer, at 2 weeks of INCREASED time periods of crying and screaming, we stopped. It was not working and we couldn’t subject our son that anymore. He would cry just looking at the crib…. We spent about a week getting him to like his crib again. My husband and I were struggling with our lack of sleep. We worked out a shift schedule where we each ended up getting about 4 hours of sleep in another room, while the other was covering all of Sawyers wakings and crying. We tried everything to soothe him: rocking, bouncing on a therapy ball, swing, singing, shushing, music, walks, massage, lavender lotions, a vibrating pad under the mattress, car rides. Sometimes we had success but let’s be honest, are middle of the car rides something you want to part of your daily routine? I was in tears at a dr visit on the brink of exhaustion and asking for help. Along with a GI consult, the dr’s office gave us Ronee’s name.
When I got home, I sent her an email sharing our situation. We waited to move forward with the program until we were given the clear from the GI dr and our pediatrician that things were stable regarding the reflux situation. The gist of the pH study showed it wasn’t reflux waking him up at night – it was horrible sleep habits from all the pain he felt before the pain from the reflux was controlled. In our initial conversation with Ronee, we felt a sense of relief. We were talking with someone who understood what we were going through, understood how this was disrupting our lives, didn’t make annoying but well-intended comments like “oh, ever baby has hard times sleeping” or “he’ll grow out of it”, and that she would help us the whole way. She gave us hope because not only would she develop an individual plan for us BUT JUST AS IMPORTANT, she was there for us EVERY STEP OF THE WAY. Knowing that we had a constant support source, a resource for any of our questions, a sounding board, and just BEING THERE. Having that human connection was key for us. We had to gear ourselves up for a 10 program – it sounded like boot camp! But honestly, how could ten days of, hopefully, steadily improving sleep be worse than 6 months of no quality sleep for anyone. One or two days were harder than others, but those slipped away as each day showed a new improvement. On the 4th night he slept almost 6 hrs. – I cried happy tears. It was the most he had ever slept at one time in his entire life! He is now sleeping 10 1/2 – 11 hrs. each night, and has about 2 hr. naps in the am & pm. We had a 4-5 day backslide soon after we finished the 10 days – most likely do to teething – Ronee was right there for us. It wasn’t “well your 10 day program is over”. It was “you aren’t at our goal yet and I’m going to help you get there.” And she did. We got there – he got there. Yesterday he smiled at me as I shut the door at nap time wishing him sweet dreams. He played in his crib a few minutes and babbled – then he went to sleep. There aren’t enough thanks in the world that we can say to Ronee!