When sleep is elusive: Through the Night

The last week has been tough. Super tough. Our little Starfish, who had been sleeping quite well for the last month or two, has reverted back to short day time naps and increasingly shorter sleeps at night (including early wake ups!). His sleeping patterns are never consistent, so you can’t predict when he’ll wake up or how long he’ll sleep for – this makes planning outings tricky, and looking forward to my own sleep trickier!
Luckily, there is help out there! I know that if (or when) it gets too much, I can contact an amazing sleep consultant such as Linda. I’ve known Linda through friends for a number of years, but we haven’t really connected until I had my little man (seems like the story of my life!). After having her own twins and going through sleep issues of her own, Linda became a certified Sleep SenseTM Consultant. Now she has helped countless bubs and their families get the much-needed (and well-deserved!) rest that they need! Her business, Through the Night, offer a FREE 15 minute consultation to find out your baby’s sleep needs and start you off on the right foot. We’ve already got Linda penciled into our diaries at the 6 month mark if Little Starfish isn’t sleeping through by then (since we thought we should give him until then to see if he can do it himself!). I had the pleasure of chatting with Linda about her family, her work (and the assistance she can provide you), as well as a few tips to help you get started on your sleep journey!

Hi Linda! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your family?

Hi there! I am wife to my wonderful loving husband Tim and together we created our beautiful Identical twin boys Jarvis and Hugh. These two miracles (literally little miracles, this is a story for another time) are now 3 years old and have become the most stunning little souls, we couldn’t be prouder of them. We live in the Sutherland Shire and because of many sleepless nights I am director of Through the Night Sleep Consulting helping babies and toddlers get the sleep they need. Oh, and we also have a puppy chocolate Labrador named Peaches who is 9 weeks old and VERY cute!

What is it like being a mum of twins?

Tim and I only ever wanted two children so having twins couldn’t have been more perfect. We really got it out of the way and I only had to go through pregnancy once!! In the beginning it was hard, but having one newborn is hard enough so what’s two at once right?! Honestly, once we got sleep sorted everything was easy. The best thing about having twins is they do everything at the same time, they wake at the same time, eat at the same time, bath at the same time, nap at the same time, go to bed at the same time and even poop at the same time (always during dinner)! The twin journey can be difficult but I look at it as an easy way out, having two kids of different ages to me seems a whole lot more of a juggle!!
Linda, Tim and their twin boys Jarvis and Hugh

What made you want to get into the sleep consultancy business?

Jarvis and Hugh were born at 31 weeks gestation so being in the special care nursery meant they were in this perfect little routine, so we thought. We thought when we got home from the hospital that if we just followed what the nurses did we would be sweet. Well let me tell you that very first night having them home was the most exhausting night I had in my entire life!
I am a fix it kind of person so I read a book and from 9 weeks old we had them sorted out and sleeping through the night…what a breeze!!! All of our friends thought we were insane staying home for naps and for bedtime as they got older, but now they have had kids what are they doing? Staying home for naps and bedtime!! I didn’t want an unsettled, unhappy overtired children while I was out and having twins I needed my rest too! So when they wanted their babes to sleep well they came to me, I gave advice but I was no expert that was for sure. But it seemed to work.
When our boys turned 9 months old Jarvis started taking 2 hours to fall asleep at bedtime, wake for 3 hours in the middle of the night and wake at 5am (waking his brother of course, *sigh) so it was only a week of this and them being grumpy ALL DAY that Tim and I said we need to get this sorted. So we hired a sleep consultant that literally changed our boys lives. I never knew it was a thing to teach babes to sleep but with the passion I already had for it I knew that was my next step.

So I did it, I was trained by one of the leading sleep experts in the world, she taught me all things business as well and off I went. I now have a profitable, lifestyle business that helps 10 families weekly. How blessed!!

What does Through the Night have to offer families?

The difference between us and other sleep services is that we offer a customised service. I mean, you speak to other mums and compare your baby to theirs but really, are any two babies ever the same? My answer is a big fat NO!
We have parents fill out a questionnaire so we can pick the best method that suits that child/family. This way we can see the desired outcome. Some people want our packages without the support and this is fine to say but in the practical we tweak so many things along the way that the support is the most valued part of our service.
We offer in home services as well as services over skype/telephone which can cater to families all around the world. I love my job and love hearing the successes that families have within a matter of days. Above all of this we offer families the gift of sleep and a well slept baby/toddler!

Can you share one of your success stories with us?

Meet Harley! Harley was a good little sleeper until he hit 4 months, started teething, relied on a bottle, a dummy and rocking to sleep. He would wake every hour and the dummy started losing it’s touch. Mum and Dad were not getting ANY sleep at all and couldn’t get anything done during the day either with Harley’s naps only lasting a max of 30-45 mins. 

Here is what his well rested mumma had to say…

“A friend recommended Linda to us, and since contacting her we haven’t looked back. We hummed and hared about getting help with Harley’s sleep for a good 2-3 months as we were not for controlled crying but Linda worked with us and what we were comfortable with. At first it was a little hard to believe how this could all actually work, but it did. All we can say is you won’t be disappointed!

From the moment we started our 2 week plan with Linda, Harley started to sleep though the night again! To our absolute surprise this only took him a couple of nights in!! Harley is now going to sleep at 7pm and waking at 6:30-7am and having 2x one and a half hour naps during the day.

Linda has been our absolute saviour and her consistent support through the 2 weeks has been amazing. We can’t speak more highly of her, and I am constantly recommending her! Thank you so much Linda!”

Finally, what are your top tips for improving babies’ sleep habits?

Every parent loves a good sleep tip and I can give lots. Here are my favourite ones:
Tired Signs – Everyone always asks how long their babe needs to be awake before putting them down but the best advise I can give is ‘Watch your baby’. They will tell you when they are ready. Tired signs include – yawning, rubbing eyes, looking away, staring into space, fist clenching, jerky movements, irritable, red around the eyes…the list goes on!!
A recent client of time (13 weeks old) took her baby to a café one day and watched her for 1.5hrs. She said her daughter went from 0-100 screaming in about 30 seconds meaning that she went from tired to overtired in such a short amount of time. The only thing she noticed was that her eyes got watery! So sometimes it is hard to know what your babes tired signs are. If you don’t know I would recommend watching them like a hawk until you figure it out! This is what I call the ‘Sweet Spot’ in putting your babe down for a sleep.
Bedtime Routine – Everyone has a bedtime routine, even if it is just turning the TV off, going to the toilet, brushing our teeth then hopping into bed…it is still a bedtime routine and it is a cue to our bodies that we are winding down for bed!
If I had another baby this is the number 1 thing I would do as soon as I got home from the very first night. It is the way that our babes begin to make the transition from day to night. Who wants to be awake all night and asleep all day?! I know I don’t! So implementing something solid as soon as you can is really important. Below is an example of what I would do:
Step 1 – Bath
Step 2 – Get Dressed
Step 3 – Feeding
Step 4 – Books/Songs
Step 5 – Into bed
Put your baby to bed awake – You’re sitting they saying. ’Awake?! Gah how do I do that and why?!’
On every consultation I do I get asked “why doesn’t my baby sleep through the night?” and my first question is “how does your baby fall to sleep?”. To me it is the most important question and one of the biggest steps to having a well rested baby.
If you’ve been rocking, nursing, or otherwise soothing your baby to sleep, this is going to seem like a tough one… but it’s actually the most important step! It’s only by letting your baby fall asleep WITHOUT your help at bedtime that he or she can learn the skills necessary to stay asleep through the night.
Some people try it on their own and most people get professional help, this is where we come into play in finding the right method that will work for each baby.
If you would like to find out more about Through the Night, you can visit Linda’s website HERE, and to book your COMPLIMENTARY consultation, click HERE.


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