baby

"The best thing I bought in 2016 was... sleep."

This year I spent more money than any other year of my life and I’m glad I made an investment in sleep.

Although I poured my life savings into a Sydney-priced home, my best spend was hiring someone to fix my two-year-long sleep deprivation.

For around $1000 – which my father paid – I finally got some regular sleep and it was bliss.

Even before I had my baby I was trying to work out how to store sleep.

“Sleep now, when the baby comes you won’t be getting any,” well-meaning friends would say.

When my baby Charlie arrived, with a gruelling two-hourly feeding schedule, I remember fantasising about purchasing sleep.

Almost two years later, I found someone selling it online.

Charlie and I co-sleeping. Image supplied.

Sleep consultant, Lauren Diaz, advertised "gentle" and "effective" techniques that did not involve controlled crying.

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She was willing to live with me through my overnight hell-hours and make them better. She had a plan.

"It takes 21 days to create change so if you’re doing the same thing for 21 days then you’ve pretty much locked in that change.

"Some families have created that change a lot earlier than that, and others have taken 28 days.  But it’s all very well for me to give them the tools, but it’s up to you guys to follow through," she said.

Diaz's Sleep and Nurture visit gave my partner and a road-map to get our son sleeping through the night.

Her three-night stay on my couch changed my life.

Admittedly, it took us longer than 21 days and we went off-piste a few times but we kept coming back to the tools that she taught us and the plan she laminated for our fridge.

If only I could bottle a little sleep help to give to every new mum.

My son, Charlie, now sleeps through the night. In his own bed.

When I went back to work I had longed for a full night's sleep. Uninterrupted. It felt as if it was so unattainable.

Looking back now, I wish I had gotten help sooner. I was lost in the dark hours filled with baby tears, thinking there were no solutions.

Parenting isn't something that can be done later and nor is sleep.

My world is different with sleep. I now wake to a new dawn that's clear and bright and full of hope.

It's my best buy of 2016 - my best "investment" purchase. Sleep should be a cult buy.

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