Twenty years ago I had the wildest, most wakeful baby, nothing helped to calm him and help him sleep. He thrashed, he fought he screamed day and night. My husband and I were a mess and I was overwhelmed, exhausted and not the mother I had wanted to be. I engaged services to assist me, but the harshness of controlled crying just made my son worse. He regressed further each time this was attempted, and I was left with a traumatised baby, that slept less than ever before. While I was told, and saw other babies in a residential parent facility that in three nights my baby would improve, It didn't. He was worse than ever before. I saw everyone else going home with rested babies, but not mine. After several residential visits, I asked if we could approach my son's sleeping (or severe lack there of) from a different angle. Were there other methods, models, strategies we could implement? I was repeatedly told no, this was it. To come back in three months when he is a little older and try again.
I was frustrated and exhausted. I could barely think of the next three hours let alone the next three months. Defeated and deflated, I limped home with my fractious boy and tried to carry on as best as I could.
I knew there must be an alternative for babies like I had and for parents that didn't find the abrupt extinction model an acceptable one to implement, but I couldn't find anything.
I then went on to have my second son a few years later. While he didn't have the severity of wakefulness as his brother, he was still a very wakeful baby. Again I sought help as much of what I had learned that assisted my first baby, did not help my second. I remember clearly ringing a parent help centre and being told that with all the help they gave me with my first son, surely I could figure out what to do with my second son. I put down the phone and never called them again. I was clearly a failure of a mother to them.
What I now know is that I had a child before, but this particular baby was new to me and had his own set of preferences. I had to understand my new baby and what he responded to. It had not occurred to me that I would be challenged so much with my second son.
To address a child and it's unique strengths and weaknesses are important.
With Dynamic Sleep Connection, it allows us to look at each baby in this unique limelight. Even twins, will differ in their preferences and should be viewed individually. That by having a principle to aim toward to improve sleep is important but tailoring it specifically to the child is a must.
From adversity comes strength.
Many years later after repeatedly seeing other families struggle with sleep as mine had done, I fell into moving from a clinical career in Midwifery to branching out independently to assisting families. I joined forces with Midwife/Maternal Child Health Nurse, Caroline Radford to successfully create ‘Caroline’s Angels Baby Sleep Specialists’ It was within our journey as sleep specialists that we found that babies needed a basic set of 5 Principles to be present for healthy sleep. It was HOW we applied those principles to each unique child that was the key to our success. To support and create confidence for a baby and parents become a paramount feature in improving sleep with the families that we worked with. Dynamic Sleep Connection Infant Sleep Model was born out of a need to restructure our beliefs around how we managed wakeful babies and our expectations of what is reasonable and kind in doing so. The DSC model is the cornerstone for our practice as Baby Sleep Specialists.
Caroline Radford and I have put all of our knowledge into an online course so that as a health professional you can learn from our vast experience and develop your own style to support the families you work with. Our model is evidence based practice that is current and most of all is successful. We understand so much more about Infant Mental health than fifty years ago and we need to factor this into moving forward with models dealing with baby sleep. By addressing the underpinning and foundations of healthy sleep, we find that improvement is a natural consequence to these changes. That by supporting and teaching a baby how to sleep is more gentle, effective and has longer term benefits.
We are delighted to launch our online Dynamic Sleep Connection™ course for you to participate in wherever you are in the world. We have launched different packages to offer you the level of learning and support that you feel you need.
To see more or purchase your package, please visit
You may also wish to contact Caroline McMahon on 0400209195 or firstname.lastname@example.org
The conversation about revolutionising the way infant sleep is being addressed has started. Please join in and make this a better way for families to address this difficult subject.