Is Batelle Sleep School Worth the Money? (Honest Review)

I’ve seen a lot of questions online about Batelle Sleep School and parents wondering if it’s worth the money. Since we completed Sleep School 8 months ago, I decided to share our experience to let other parents know more about the program!

What is Batelle Sleep School?

Batelle Sleep School is a gentle sleep training method (read that as: Non-“Cry it Out” and no “Extinction”) that is run completely online.

It’s a two-week program with progressive steps, daily zoom meetings, and Batelle Sleep School Guides that are available just about 24/7 to help you and your child through the process.

When we started Sleep School, our daughter was 9 months old, exclusively breastfed, exclusively co-sleeping, and exclusively trying to eat all night long while simultaneously kicking dad in the head.

We needed sleep and we needed help!

We found Batelle Sleep School after searching for a gentle sleep training method online.

I didn’t want to let our daughter cry herself to sleep. I wanted her to know that she is always safe and can always count on us to be there for her.

Once we read through the Batelle website and learned that the school follows this same thought process, (and saw the Money Back Guarantee!) we decided to give it a try.

How does Batelle Sleep School work?

The Batelle Sleep School starts about every 2 weeks, so you may have to wait a few days to start school once you sign up. We had about a week gap between when we signed up and when our session started.

During that week, we filled out a survey so that the Batelle Sleep Guides could get to know us, our baby, and our goals.

We also received our welcome kit full of sleep aides:

  • A specialized sleep sack, called the Hug, that’s safe for kiddos even after they can roll over
  • A Hatch Light and instructions on how to set up the colors to align with the Batelle Sleep Program
  • A soft book with a teddy bear attached that has become one of our daughter’s favorites!
  • A Ring Camera for the baby’s room

I wasn’t thrilled about waiting a week to start sleep school, but I did like that we had ample time to set everything up in the baby’s room, wash the sleep sack, and mentally prepare for two weeks of rough nights.

Special offer – good through September 30, 2023!

Get $250 off Batelle Sleep School by using this referral link!

Just mention “Angie Mintzer” when they ask who referred you.

Preparation for Gentle Sleep Training

There is a lot of preparation before you start the sleep program with your child.

I really appreciated their knowledge of babies and kids (up to 5 years old!) and how they adjusted the prep work based on each child’s age and developmental state.

They teach you how to play games in the Hug so that your child gets used to being in it. It’s soft and stretchy but it doesn’t let them leave their bed, so it could take a while for them to adjust to being zipped into it.

They advise you to show your child the Hatch light and make a big deal about what the different colors mean.

Even at 9 months old, our girl was having a lot of fun and catching on quickly.

The first few days of sleep school are Zoom calls for the parents. Your child doesn’t get involved until a few days later.

For us, these calls were on a weekend which was really helpful because both my husband and I could attend. We felt mostly prepared on Monday night when it was time to involve our baby in the sleep program steps.

Daily Sleep School Check-Ins

The school is divided into 10 Steps.

Each morning you evaluate how well your child did on the previous step by filling out a survey.

The questions remain the same, so I made a list of the questions and kept the paper with me pretty much all day so that I could fill it out as things happened. This was a lot easier for me than trying to remember all the details the next day.

If your child did well on the step the night before, then you progress to the next step. There is no pressure to move forward though, so you can repeat steps if you feel like you need to.

There are multiple opportunities for Zoom calls during the day where the Sleep Guides go around and do check-ins with everyone to see how the night went.

Since there are multiple time slots per day, I found a time slot where only 1 or 2 people joined in and they were much quicker calls.

Then the Sleep Guides go through all of the instructions on how to proceed with the next step.

There are usually a few changes to how often you use the soothing strategies, where you set up your bed in your child’s room, and what to do to help the child choose sleep.

I was taking very detailed notes on these calls until I realized that all of the information they provide is also on the app! I didn’t utilize the app as much as I should have at first, but once I started checking it daily, things got a lot easier.

You can also chat with the Sleep Guides at any time using the chat feature on the app. We utilized this feature A LOT.

Starting Sleep School

What I loved most about the Batelle Sleep School program was that we were always right there with our daughter at night. She was never left alone to cry – although there was a lot of crying at first.

When you start anything new, you have to unlearn what you’ve been taught. Sleep school was the same for our baby.

  • We stopped nursing to sleep.
  • We stopped doing bath time right before bedtime.
  • We stopped picking her up every time she cried and instead used Miss Megan’s soothing methods.
  • We *attempted* to stop nursing in the middle of the night, but this habit took a little bit longer to break.

The Batelle Sleep Guides did introduce us to the concept of “dream feeds” – where you feed the baby without fully waking them up. This was a game-changer for us!

We still put the baby down at 7pm, then I could sneak in her room and feed her around 10pm while she was mostly still asleep, and then she started sleeping through the night!!!

But I’m getting ahead of myself now…

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The Batelle Sleep School Process

The first few nights we put our daughter’s mattress on the ground in her room, and made a little bed next to her so that we could soothe her back to sleep when she woke up.

There were a lot of wake ups at first, but we weren’t sleeping much anyway, so the only difference was soothing our baby back to sleep while she was still on her own mattress instead of picking her up.

The third night was the hardest for us. That’s when our daughter realized that a change was happening, and we weren’t giving in to our old ways.

Our daughter is very determined! I love that she knows what she wants and she goes for it… but boy, oh boy did she ever “go for it” when it came to rejecting sleeping in her own bed through the night.

Our daughter woke up around 2am. After trying – and epically failing – to get her back to sleep for about 20 minutes, we contacted the sleep guides using the chat feature.

They asked if they could access our Ring light camera to see what was going on, and then began sending my husband suggestions of what to do on the app through the chat.

When I needed a break, my husband would try the sleep strategies while I was chatting on the app. Nothing seemed to be working on our end, but the guides remained calm and optimistic.

Eventually, I did have to nurse her to sleep that night.

I felt like we had failed, but the sleep guides reassured us that she had taken some great strides in trying to calm herself back down before the crying ramped up again, and that it would get better from here.

I was really skeptical at this point.

I was so exhausted and worried that I cried on the group call the next day.

To my surprise, there were other parents who had also had rough nights and were able to empathize and reassure me that I wasn’t alone. I felt slightly better, but was dreading another night of crying and no sleep.

And then night 4 happened.

It was as if the sleep Gods had smiled down on us and sprinkled our daughter’s mattress with sleepy dust.

She still woke up a few times, but she was able to get back to sleep quickly when we used the soothing strategies.

There was no screaming or crying. We didn’t even have to message the Batelle Sleep Guides at all.

We slept for HOURS in a row.

HOURS!

It just kept getting better from there.

We became full believers in the program at this point, and kept following every step of the program exactly as instructed. It took our daughter 10 nights to start sleeping from 7pm to 7am.

Then it only took us a day or two after that to feel like fully awake humans and not sleep-deprived zombies!

Was Batelle Sleep School Worth It for Us?

Sleep school took a LOT of effort on our part. Parents have to stay consistent and put on a happy & confident attitude even when it’s 3am and you just want to grab the baby and go to sleep.

Those first few nights were hard. There’s no way around it.

I don’t like hearing our daughter cry, and there was quite a bit of crying at first.

The hardest part was knowing that nursing her to sleep would’ve worked immediately, but I also knew that I was ready to have my bed (and body) back.

Sleep is so important for everyone, and I truly felt like it was worth it to have a few rough nights in order to get months and months of great nights.

I did love that we were always right there with our daughter at first. Even better though is that if she wakes up now, I can stay in bed and just sing to her over the baby monitor, and (most of the time) she’ll go right back to sleep

It’s not a 100% full-time guarantee that your child will sleep through the night until the end of time.

When our daughter is teething, she still wakes up and wants me. When she’s not feeling well, she wakes up and wants me.

The beauty of the Batelle Sleep School program is that now we can easily tell the difference between when she’s just woken up at the end of a sleep cycle and when she actually needs us for something.

I just can’t get behind a cry-it-out method where you leave your child alone all night long no matter how much they protest.

If our daughter won’t settle back down to us singing over the monitor, then I know something else is happening.

A few times she’s had a full diaper and I’m really glad that she didn’t settle back down and sleep with poop on her.

Other times she’s getting new teeth and is in actual pain. A few minutes of nursing or giving her Hylands teething tabs is all she needs to go back to sleep for the rest of the night.

Even after our graduation, I have still reached out to the sleep guides for help if we’re having a difficult time.

They are always ready to chat with parents and share the resources on the app, which have all been so helpful.

They provide advice for when your child is teething, if you have another baby in the house, if your child moves bedrooms or if you move houses, and if they start daycare or school. You also have the option to “re-enroll”, at no cost, and join the zoom calls if you need more support until your child is 5 years old.

All things considered, we believe that it was 100% worth the time, effort, and cost.

I don’t think this sleep school is for children or parents who have occasional trouble with sleeping through the night.

Before we used the Batelle sleep school program, our daughter had never slept in her crib or all night long.

Now, using their techniques and sleep sack, our daughter is in her crib every single day for naps and nighttime. Naps last for 1.5-2 hours, and unless there’s something wrong, she will sleep from 7pm-6:30am in her crib.

I highly recommend Batelle Sleep School if you’ve tried everything else and you’re ready to be fully rested again!

UPDATE: 1 Year After Batelle Sleep School!

I can’t believe it’s been a year since we graduated sleep school!

I am happy to say that we are still using the Batelle techniques for every nap and bedtime, and they are still working!

During the hardest parts of teething, our daughter did regress a little bit and we would need to comfort her during the night, but judging by all of the comments in the mom groups I’m in – we had it SO much easier than most parents.

We have transitioned our daughter from her crib, and I think the best benefit of Batelle Sleep School that no one talks about is how incredibly easy it was to move from the crib to the toddler bed!

Once we knew what size toddler bed we were going to have, we simply sent Batelle an email and asked to purchase a Hug sleep sheet for a twin bed. It arrived less than a week later, and we were ready to go!

I can’t stress enough how simple it was to put our daughter in her new bed. Still being in the Hug made her feel so safe and secure, that she easily went to sleep that first night.

Bonus: We’ve never, ever had to deal with our toddler trying to get out of bed in the middle of the night! We know she is safe in her bed, and she really loves being in her hug. I feel so bad for parents that have to lock kids in their rooms at night, or wake up to find their child sleeping on the floor.

Now that she’s older and speaking, she will even tell us, “Red light means sleepy time!” and in the morning when the yellow light comes on, she sits straight up in bed and says, “Yellow light! Play time!”

I’m due with our next baby in a few weeks, and I know that this little guy will also go through Batelle Sleep School once he’s old enough.

If this sounds like something that could help your family, you can get $250 off Batelle Sleep School through September 2023 by using this referral link! Just mention “Angie Mintzer” when they ask who referred you.

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