The Secret to Sleep Training – Hannah at Yummy Baby Group

Oh how the tables have turned.     

I am (me!) giving advice on how to help your baby sleep better! WHAT. Who would’ve thought this day would ever come? 

photo of morgan freeman saying well Ill be damned from the movie Shawshank Redemption

So let me first say (oh it sounds like I’m about to make a toast) that my baby sleep skills are because of the wonderful Hannah who started her own sleep training business, Yummy Baby Groupwhich has taken the sleep training scene by storm. My life has started again. I am officially alive as I said in my previous post on Sleeping Like a Baby I am SO SO SO SO much happier!!!

Raising my metaphorical glass to this amazing woman!

bridget jones raising a glass of wine

Okay SO, here is the secret sleep sauce shortened down to six simple steps (you’re welcome).

You can use this as a Christmas present to your mum friends….maybe make a cool Infographic and laminate it with a card attached that read, “I know your family always comes first, but this Christmas YOU come first.” Now THAT would draw a small Christmas tear to the eye.

Anyway, here are the steps….

Be Consistent

The key point that Hannah spoke about was BEING CONSISTENT. I was trying to do multiple different sleep training techniques when I tried settling my son to sleep e.g. pick up, put down, shush pat, rock, bounce, walk around, sit down, stand up, cry it out for a bit! Reverting to the try everything “method.” This does not work, I’ve tried it numerous times.

Just imagine….you are trying to sleep somewhere and someone is fussing around you, moving things around the room, picking you up and jiggling you, turning music on, feeding you water….this would annoy me and I would definitely NOT be able to sleep. I tend to forget that my child is an actual human being and that the same things that would annoy me, annoy him too. Throughout the process Hannah reminded me to be consistent with my nap time/bed time sleep routine, I chose to sing a song, turn the lights off, turn white noise on, lay him on his belly while rubbing his back and give him the dummy.

Be Relaxed

Hannah stressed how important it is to stay calm and be relaxed throughout the whole sleep training process, even when my son was having a bad day (or night). When I was stressed I could feel my son pick up on it, so I learned very quickly that being calm was key to getting a good night’s sleep! In general babies are very good at picking up on body language. 

To be honest, I felt calm knowing that Hannah was there supporting me throughout the process. She was always on the other end of the phone and even stressed how important it was to contact her whenever I needed her (and I literally mean whenever, 3am SURE!). I slowly buy surely was able to do this on my own and now feel very confident putting my son to sleep!

Reducing milk in a controlled way

Hannah gave LOADS of nutrition advice, honestly this is stuff I had no idea was beneficial or, more importantly, would help my son sleep! CRAZY I know. Food and sleep don’t sound like two things that go together, OH BUT THEY DO.

She gave weaning advice, tips on how to get Bear to eat well, how to encourage eating…..a perfect example is The Spoon Aeroplane….. if you give babies attention (aeroplanes, trains) etc when they are not eating that will encourage the baby not to eat (babies love attention).. if however you give lots of attention when they ARE eating and ignore them when they aren’t this will help (alongside them being hungry from reducing the milk feeds of course).

Now, on the milk point, we were feeding Bear WAAAAY too much milk, literally every three hours (he’s almost 11 months), and maybe even when we just thought, “hmmm this will calm him down.” So this was an obvious one, but we really needed to cut this down because he was waking up in the middle of the night expecting to be fed milk (even thought he really didn’t need it). 

This part was fairly easy because Hannah helped us reduce the milk in a controlled way (so Bear didn’t even notice and wasn’t hungry throughout the process)…..at first we started feeding him more food (high calories) and less milk during the day, then after a few days (when Bear was ready) we moved onto reducing the milk feeds. We kept a track of his diet and Hannah gave us tips on different kinds of food to ensure that he compensated for the reduction in night feeds, Bear took to this so well! I WAS SHOCKED. I had been feeding him milk this way for almost 10 months and just like that he didn’t need it anymore. Plus Hannah gave us millions of ideas for easy made recipes that are high in calories and healthy.

Encourage baby to self settle

The part I love most about Hannah’s sleep training is that there is NO CONTROLLED CRYING (i.e. no leaving him to cry). I have a consistent way I settle him, usually the bed time song or rubbing his back. But making sure to always encourage his ability to self settle in a kind and gentle way. When things get really bad I pick him up and sing him the song, put him back to be (AWAKE! – this is key). 

I will mention that Hudson was really ill and I tried not to revert back to my old ways of “trying everything.” We kept to the settling techniques above and picked him up when needed, gave him cuddles. We had to stop the sleep training process for a week while he got better as this was during the time we were reducing milk feeds and wanted to make sure he was hydrated, but we picked right back up where we started and Bear was amazing!

The most important thing I learned from this whole process was that it’s about a ‘whole baby’ approach. It’s not just about the sleep. Sleep programs often fail as parents/ professionals only look at sleep, it’s like trying to loose weight and only looking at how much someone runs – but there are so many factors involved (calories, diet, activity, hormones, sugar, fats etc)! Hannah’s program looks at ALL areas- diet, weaning, routine, medical issues, comfort, sleep, .. even down to room temperature, bedding, recipes for meals, snack ideas, behaviour tips and supernanny type star charts and ideas in older toddlers! 

I cannot recommend her enough, I feel like a completely different person I literally cried in happiness after the first night of full sleep (and it has continued for two weeks now with very little hiccups).

If you are struggling with sleep I would seriously give her a call 07872 030 206 or check out her website at Yummy Baby Group.

 

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50 thoughts on “The Secret to Sleep Training – Hannah at Yummy Baby Group

  1. I love that she doesn’t use controlled crying. I don’t like that approach, but it sounds like there are some good tips here. Our girl is pretty good at settling to sleep with me, but not with my hubby, so we might give some of these a go. thanks! #StayClassyMama

  2. This will quite literally change people’s lives! I am now in bed before my kids and those sleep deprived times are a distant memory. Not, however so distant that I can’t sympathise and feel your joy at cracking it – go Hannah! Alison x #StayClassyMama

  3. I think the hardest part for me is what worked with sleep training with my first didnt work with the second…and the twins… NOTHING seems to be working. I swear I have not slept well in ten years.

    That is sad.

    #stayclassymama

  4. Consistency really is the key to pretty much everything! I love all of this advice. It all sounds so simply when you write it down but when you are in the fog of no sleep and crying babies nothing makes sense. I’m so pleased for you, sleep is so vital!
    #StayClassyMama

  5. getting them to sleep through and self settle is such hard work! It took a long time for me to sort Piglet out but he is now a dream at bed time and I don’t dread it at all like I was starting to before 🙂 Its sounds like you’ve really got things sorted now #stayclassymama

  6. Consistency for sure! Although sleep training twins is a little different because they disturb each other if they’re whinging before sleep. I have to wait for one to go to sleep before putting the other down and often is just goes all wrong… gah! #StayClassyMama

  7. So good to hear there is a way to sleep train without controlled crying. I wish I had known that before I went through that torturous process. This is great advice. Thank you for sharing. #stayclassymama

  8. I’m glad you found a routine that works for you and that you are finally getting some sleep . My son didn’t sleep for four years and I was shattered. I couldn’t believe it when he finally started seeping through. I felt like a new woman. There is nothing worse than sleep deprivation. He is 5 now and still wakes sometimes but not nearly as much as he used to.

    (Unhinged mummy stopping get by from #stayclassymama). Thanks for hosting.

  9. We have entered some sort of sleep anger phase! He’s always s been relatively good at going to sleep until this last week. I’m surprised my neighbour hasn’t moved out, the crying has been so bad at nap times! I’m trying to reduce milk feeds too and it’s been really hit and miss, some days two bottles, some days 5. It’ll work out in the end I’m sure. #stayclassymama

  10. So encouraging! Love that controlled crying isn’t a thing;makes me shudder.
    Congratulations on your new found sleep and as a result your bounciness through the day!! Yaaaay (quietly!!) to a sleeping baby!! #stayclassymama

  11. Oh, If only I could use a time machine and read this about 9 years agao. I may not be in the poverty of the sleep bankI know exist in. My two kinder are not easy in this sleep department. I will pass this along to save others from the pain and suffering of sleep deprivation! #stayclassymama xoxo

  12. If you want someone else to be able to put your little one to bed then it is practice, consistency and them being relaxed. Just as Meagan describes in this article. I’m always happy to talk things through if you have any issues. Hannah ( Yummy Baby Group )

  13. Unfortunately that’s why books/ ad hoc advice from others often doesn’t work. When I work with families every baby and every family is different. I adapt the program as we go through, adapting it at every bump in the road. This ensures that every baby I works with sleeps well at the end of the program. Let me know if you would like to talk through anything. Hannah x

  14. I’m helping two sets of twins sleep well at the moment, and many more in the past. I agree twins throw into the equation other considerations but it is still completely possible- please do get in touch if you would like me to help! Hannah x

  15. Ah I hope this is a short lived phase and it passes quickly for you. If not I’m happy to talk through some tips- if your LO was sleeping well until very recently it should be easily resolved.

    As for the milk as with everything it’s just consistency. I could also give some tips on food and nutrition. I’m happy to e mail my recipe ideas if you think that might help. Focus on high calorie, high nutrient foods such as avocado, eggs, salmon, nut butter, cheese, coconut milk and coconut cream and vowels bread. This will make it easy for your LO to compensate in the reduction in milk feeds

    Hope that helps

  16. It sounds like you’ve been given some really good tips there! I’m super lucky that Ben is a good sleeper but I do know that routine was a massive part to play and on nights where it’s disrupted (late nights out etc) it does affect him! #stayclassymama

  17. I can barely bring myself to comment on this due to outright jealousy ..I haven’t had more than a handful of good nights sleep in 6 years. I swear I have tried all these things ..but I suppose ultimately I know I haven’t really tried , properly. I’m too tired to try. Really pleased it worked for you tho #stayclassymama

  18. All of this is really good info. I am in the process of weaning my little one too, with mixed results but hope to do better as time goes by. #stayclassymama

  19. Consistency is so the key. We paid for sleep training. We weren’t consistent when a hiccup in the routine sent things a little off track. Like a yo yo dieter, we went back to our old ways and it went horribly wrong. Great advice there. You go, mama!! xx #stayclassymama

  20. Glad you have found something that works for you! I never had a single problem with sleeping babies as all of my children slept in my bed with me until they were toddlers and all slept through the night within a couple of months, they obviously have my lazy gene! #globalblogging

  21. we’ve been testing some of these this week, especially consistent bedtime routine and looking at his naptimes…think it might be time to drop one! Or at least make sure he never naps too late in the afternoon. And you know what?! I think I see an effect 😀 I’m cautiously optimistic, he is no way near sleeping through, but a 4 hour stretch is gold in this household! Thank you for sharing xx #globalblogging

  22. so good to hear it’s all good now! You also have great tips in here. You know what I reckon I was a bit like you at first trying too many things. And I used to comfort Baba with milk all the time because I was so scared of him asking me for food at night… Oh well, we are learning! Our first ones! #GlobalBlogging

  23. Great post. I thought I was at pro because my first was such a brilliant sleeper. But my second is a nightmare despite trying different techniques. I definitely need to relax and be consistent with him but I’m always worrying about him waking his sister up! #globalblogging

  24. Thank you for sharing I will be trying these out on my baby as i am really struggling with getting him to sleep I still either rock him to sleep or let him breastfeed until he sleeps and I cant keep doing this. #GlobalBlogging

  25. It’s great to give tips and advice although I also believe that every baby is different – sometimes you have to try everything before you finally find the answer! #GlobalBlogging

  26. Congratulations! You must be so relieved! I’m sure that is a huge weight lifted from your shoulders, and if only my sister knew of this technique about 7 years ago with her two non-sleepers!
    I hope you enjoy feeling like a new woman!
    #globalblogging

  27. I believe that being consistant and relax are the two most important keys to a successful bedtime routine. Babies can really pick on your nervousness and no matter what you do, they won’t fall asleep..Keep in mind that by the time they are 4, they will be sleeping like little angels;))
    #globalblogging

  28. Well this is certainly music to my ears! Piglet has never been a great eater or sleeper, and although I am sceptical of any supposedly failsafe methods to get babies to do the above, a lot of this does sound like good advice. Consistency has never been one of my strong points, so I am probably ruining Piglet’s life right about now with my haphazard approach to bedtimes. Maybe I need this lady. #GlobalBlogging

  29. We decided to wean our 2 year old off her bottle .. She was waking every night at 12pm for milk. We had just immigrated so I didn’t want to put more stress on her. It then became a 3 times a night wake up call! Exhausting! Thankfully now that she is not having as much milk, she is eating more and finally sleeping better. I’m hoping it continues! This is great advice! I never realized how much was involved in the process! I also never thought one could start so early as 11 months!! I am definitely going to bookmark this for baby #5… Meagan, hope you are enjoying all that sleep !!!! #globalblogging #stayclassymama

  30. Visiting again for #globalblogging. We are doing progress on the sleep “training” too. All the best with yours. Looks like things are going well.

  31. So pleased that you have managed to tackle it yourself! Well done ..

    I actually work with babies from 4 weeks old to encourage good habits and teach to settle themselves. Because I use gentle techniques there is no reason that any Mummy should wait. All of my 3 bubbas could self settle from day 1 🙂 I think its so sad when parents go through months (or years!) of sleepless nights because they believe/ have been told that is not possible xx

    let me know if you have any questions.. hannah (Yummy Baby Group) xx

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