Dad Week: “My biggest advice is to swallow your pride”

 

Hi everyone! My name is Daniel Place, and I am the father of Parker Place. Parker was a true blessing to my family, and Brooke and I were truly excited to be parents. Parker was always a happy baby, which was very surprising since he was the worst sleeper. I would tell my co-workers about how little he slept, and how often he woke up at night. It would amaze them at how bad he was. Parker would sleep for about an hour (maybe 2) - at a time if we were lucky...then wake up screaming. He would not let me pick him up, or he would just scream even louder. He only wanted his mom so he could comfort nurse. He would only go to sleep breastfeeding, and my wife would breastfeed him 'til he was asleep and then move him over to the Rock n' Play he would sleep in.

Parker refused to sleep in his crib and would just scream the entire time. So, we decided to buy him the Rock n' Play because he would sleep in the vehicle fine, and his swing, making us believe he wanted to be moving while he slept. The Rock n' Play worked better than the crib, but, like I said, he would still wake every hour or 2, and sometimes stay up for close to an hour. This put a real strain on Mom and Dad. We were exhausted, fighting more often, and just not as happy as we wanted to be with our amazing son. It also made it impossible for Parker to stay the night at our parents' house so we could have a date night. 

We were lucky Parker was not a fussy baby and was always happy during the day, which is why I think it was bearable that he did not sleep. I could only imagine how hard it would have been if he did not sleep and was fussy all day. My wife and I would basically take turns on who was up with him during the day, and the other one would nap. We did not really have Parker on a schedule other than eating times, but they were not concrete, and his nap times were whenever he seemed tired. 

It came to a point where we had talked about hiring a sleep consultant but thought it was a lot of money and our thought process was...one day, Parker would figure it out, but he did not. After about 3 months of first talking about the sleep consulting and having absolutely no progress (and probably getting worse), we decided something needed to change for not only us, but we knew something had to be done for Parker. He needed to enter REM sleep and get a good night’s rest. My wife did some research, and she contacted The Cradle Coach.

Our consultant Maeghan was a life-changer, and reaching out to her was probably the best thing to happen to my family since Parker was born. We talked with Maeghan and told her about our family and what we were doing on a day-to-day basis, and the environment Parker was sleeping in. After a lengthy conversation, she went to work getting our personalized plan for Parker together. Once it was done, she emailed us a copy and had us look it over, and then we spoke on the phone with her. The plan was, I think, 18 pages? Give or take a few since I do not have it in front of me, but I honestly was expecting maybe a 2-3 page document on how to get him to sleep better. Needless to say, I was impressed with the amount of work and effort she put into helping my family. The conversation with Maeghan was awesome. She was friendly and upbeat and answered any and all questions we had about the plan. Brooke and I did not really want to do the whole "cry it out" method, but we were okay with some crying, and Maeghan made us a plan that fit perfectly for us.

The first night, if I recall correctly, it took Parker 15 minutes to go down, but he slept for 7 straight hours and only woke up one time for a nighttime feeding. I was blown away...truly blown away and had no idea how it worked! It felt like magic or something, but I was perfectly okay with it! That was the first time my wife and I had slept more than 3 hours at a time in probably 5 months. His naps were hard, but Maeghan told us that was to be expected, and I truly did not care because he slept for 11.5 hours for the first time in his life, and I actually felt rested. The next night was even better. Parker went to sleep hardly fussing and stayed asleep through the WHOLE NIGHT. It was unreal.

To anyone who is skeptical of hiring a sleep consultant or anyone who is too “proud” (like I was), my biggest advice to you is to swallow your pride (which I had to do), or put aside whatever is stopping you, and just do it. It was the best $300 I have ever spent and honestly, I would pay a lot more for how much of a difference it has made for my family. We are happy, rested, and finally get date nights! Parker was truly a blessing, but a hard blessing at first. I knew babies did not sleep, and I was full-on ready for that, but I did not expect it to be as bad as Parker was. 

To end this letter, I would just like to thank Maeghan for everything she did for us. She always answered our texts or phone calls, and if she did not, she was very punctual on calling us back. She is truly a magician, and like I said before...I would pay the money over and over again because it is nice to have a normal life again!

Thank you all for taking the time to read this,

Daniel Place, the lucky father of Parker Place

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