Karina's Story

I had no idea that Tresillian offered support beyond helping babies sleep

Karina – Tresillian Wollstonecraft

I went to Tresillian’s day stay centre in Wollstonecraft when my daughter Vivienne was 18 weeks old. Although she actually slept okay overnight, during the day it was a nightmare. She wouldn’t sleep longer than 15 minutes at a time and would scream all day long because she was so overtired.

The doctors were worried that it was starting to affect her development as she couldn’t do any of the things other babies were doing at her age like rolling and tummy time. When I put her on the floor she would just scream until she went purple.

My situation was pretty different to most. Vivienne was a great sleeper until she was 9 weeks old but around then we had a tragedy in the family - my brother passed away quite suddenly.  Within 24 hours, her day time sleeping had deteriorated and she just stopped being settled.

In that period, she had a lot of different carers and was being passed from person to person. I lost my breast milk and she wasn’t taking bottles so she was hungry all the time. It was such a downward spiral.

The Tresillian nurses were so thorough and took all that into account when we were admitted. They realised pretty early on that the problem was nothing to do with her, it was to do with the stress of her surroundings.

I was initially pretty reluctant to take her to Tresillian as I’d heard that they endorsed controlled crying methods but nothing could be further from the truth. As soon as I arrived, I realised I was actually leaving Vivienne to cry longer than they would.

They showed me some amazing settling techniques that were nothing like I thought they would be. They taught me a different way to rock her with her head next to my chest, rocking forward and back rather than side to side.

When she was calmer and lying down, they taught me to pat her with one hand on her chest and to be down on her level. I never did any of that, I’d just pick her up and try to rock her to sleep while holding her on her side.

Even the way I ‘shush’ needed to be slower and calmer. These little techniques didn’t help overnight but in time, they gradually improved. Initially, it would take an hour to settle her for a 20 minute nap, but over the next few months it got better and now she has two long naps a day.

What really helped though was the other support Tresillian gave me. I started seeing their psychologist once a month to talk through my family issues and the stress that went with not getting much sleep. She was absolutely amazing, I had no idea that Tresillian offered support beyond helping babies sleep.

Tresillian got us through the worst time possible for both our family and our little bub. We were so grateful for the help that when Vivienne turned one we suggested our party guests donate to Tresillian instead of bringing presents and we ended up raising $2200. Hopefully the money will help other families who are in desperate need like we were.