I was a Sleep-Deprived Mom

sleeping Megan and Desmond

Yes, I have been a sleep-deprived mom. Not fun.  I know the feeling of trying to drag myself through the day doing the tasks required of me. I know the feeling of my muscles shaking or like they could not support me. I have struggled with trying to think because my thoughts seem to be working their way through mud; none of them made sense to anyone. I have felt irritable, grouchy and wanting to snap at everyone. It was hard to hold it together because I was so tired.
I would drop into bed exhausted and finally be able to fall asleep.   A few minutes later my baby would start crying. Again. My body craved sleep, but my baby was calling me. I would struggle to get out of bed to meet the needs of my child.

Being sleep deprived is miserable.

I have six children. They each gave me many nights with little sleep. I have also been the foster parent for over 35 babies. Most of the foster babies were very fussy babies and not interested in sleeping during the night. I became very familiar with the feelings of sleep deprivation. Sleep is not a luxury for parents or children. Sleep is a necessity. Our bodies let us know that we missed sleep.

With all those babies in my home to practice on I learned how to help babies sleep through a lot of trial and error. Probably most of it was  error.  I did have motivation to get those infants sleeping.  It was the only way I could sleep. I learned to observe each baby and work with that baby to promote sleeping skills as soon as the baby was developmentally capable. Every baby was unique and required a unique approach. I learned to teach that baby to become a successful sleeper.
I discovered that if I valued naps and promoted sleep in each baby it helped that child thrive. Adequate sleep made each day more enjoyable instead of feeling like I was struggling through a marathon or just surviving another day.

I am an RN and worked with many sick or premature babies in the hospital. As a nurse I also worked with many new parents who were struggling with a baby who would not sleep. That motivated me to look for a way to help those tired families. I began studying at the Family Sleep Institute . My studying taught me how and when sleep develops in babies. I learned how to work with the body to promote sleep. It was  fun to discover the reasons behind what I had observed and learned with all those babies in my life. Through the Family Sleep Institute I became a certified Sleep Consultant for children. Now I use all of my personal experience with the babies in my home and my training to help families teach their child healthy sleep habits. I love watching the change in families once their baby or toddler begins to sleep.

Testimony from Jessica: 

“We were in desperate need of help and Arlene rescued us! Without her I don’t think we would be where we are today. It was a processes but by the end of our 2 week session our 6 month old son went from waking up every hour at night, having 3-4 night feedings and 30 minute naps to sleeping for almost 12 hours with one feeding and having 1 hour naps. She is so understanding, knowledgable, and nurturing. Having to be accountable to her really helped me struggle through the tough times and stick with the suggestions and plan she gave. I think we had a unique situation in that my son was diagnosed at 6 months with acid reflux and was losing a lot of weight as a result. Arlene was patient with us as we worked to resolve this issue and helped incorporate our son’s doctors orders into our plan. Our son is currently 16 months old and is an amazing sleeper. For naps and night time we just lay him down in his crib and he sleeps through the night and for 2 hours at nap time. He has had set backs during teething and while traveling but Arlene gave us the skills and confidence to know how to manage those hurdles and get back on track. Arlene was invaluable to our family and I would highly recommend her!”  

It is not fun to be so tired that you can barely function. All the babies in my life forced me to learn how to teach babies to sleep. It was the only way I could get the sleep my body craved. I learned that babies feel just as miserable as adults do when they are sleep deprived.
I now have a passion for helping babies get the sleep they need. A baby that sleeps well leads to a happier baby and a happier momma. Don’t miss out on your baby’s first or more years because you are too tired to enjoy them.

Helping Babies Sleep

Arlene Fryling

Arlene is a registered nurse and certified sleep consultant for children 0-5 years. She has cared for premature, sick, and many healthy babies. For over 15 years she has taught expectant parents how to care for their newborns through classes teaching basic baby care, infant massage classes, and moderating support groups for new moms as they deal with parenting issues.

Infant Tummy Massage to Relieve Gas

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