Every parent knows how important sleep is, and it’s a topic of concern for so many. Adequate sleep isn’t just important for your baby or child, it’s also important for the whole family. Teaching your baby or child to sleep well comes with a lot of challenges, and parents are quick to search Google or reach out to parenting groups for help. The good news is that rather than piecing information together on their own, there are sleep consultants who can help.
Keep reading for a Q&A with sleep consultant Caroline at Sleep4Littles to see how a sleep consultant might benefit your family.
HI, I’m Caroline, a single mommy to two perfect babies. My daughter is 2.5 and my son is almost 9 months. I’m currently going through a divorce and working on reinventing myself. Our family moved to the Bay Area in January of 2021 and I’ve really enjoyed getting to know the area and adventuring around.
We moved out here when I was 20 weeks pregnant with my daughter. I had stopped working do to the move and I had a lot of time on my hands to research and read all things baby. I spent most of my days reading or listening to podcasts trying to soak up as much information about sleeping, eating, and keeping a baby alive – HA!
When my daughter was born, I felt that I had to keep her on a very rigid and specific schedule for fear of no sleep. I didn’t participate in activities during nap times and would always leave events early to ensure my daughter was home for her specific bedtime. I felt stuck on how to navigate it all successfully.
My daughter was 2 when my son was born and had a lot of energy. It was very apparent to me that my son would have to have a very flexible schedule. When I realized you can be flexible and still be a good sleeper, my whole world opened up. We were all able to enjoy going to the park or the pool and my son just learned how to nap on the go. I was a whole different mom to my son than my daughter and I was really able to soak in an all the newborn snuggles while enjoying adventures and activities with my toddler.
Since my divorce, I knew I had to get a job to provide for my babies but also didn’t want to give up anymore time with my babies than I had to. Sleep consulting and night nannying quickly popped into mind and I never looked back.
I became certified through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management and hit the ground running. I love working with families either in their own homes or virtually to create a plan that works best for them and their babies. It’s so important to me to take into account their environment, situation, and feelings to create a plan that I am confident they can implement and see results. Sleep can be a tough subject and I am on a mission to take the rigidness out of schedules and share that you can sleep train in a gentle way and see results.
I try to give parents what they need and I never leave them feeling unsettled or unsuccessful. I offer a two week package where I create a custom sleep plan for families based on the needs of both parents and baby. I then work with them for those two weeks via text to implement the plan. We tweak the plan as we go to ensure success. All babies are different so I won’t leave families high and dry if at the end of the two weeks they aren’t in the place they wanted to be. I make sure each family feels comfortable with my services and I do try to tailor it to their needs.
My nannying service is a bit different than a night nurse in that I work with families for 1-3 nights to implement the sleep plan and then text with them for two weeks after to make sure baby is on schedule. This way parents can see me work through the described routine and feel confident in their own implementation. I also do smaller packages like custom sleep plans, 1:1 calls, and newborn and full year schedules. I never want a family to feel they are compromising or not getting something.
I work with babies ages 0-6 years old. I also offer a newborn guide for expecting parents so they can read through it before baby arrives and start “sleep shaping” (setting a positive sleep foundation before formally sleep training).
I travel all over the Bay Area depending on my schedule and what services the families need. I also work virtually over Zoom and texting to ensure that families can always get in touch with me if they choose to do a virtual plan instead.
We all need sleep and helping your baby learn the foundations of falling asleep independently is helping them get the sleep they need to grow, develop, and function. I don’t use Cry It Out, but there will be some crying as that is a babies natural response when they don’t like something. We work together to monitor babies cries and learn and grow with our babies.
I like to tell parents to slowly adjust 4-6 days in advance and wake your baby up 10-15 minutes earlier than normal. So if their typical wake time is 7am wake them up at 6:45 on Wednesday, 6:30 on Thursday, 6:15 on Friday, and 6:00 on Saturday. This will readjust to 7am on Sunday morning. It’s also ok to not stress about it in advance and just know that it will take a few days to adjust after.
Sleep training can be a positive experience for families and there is not a one size fits all solution. Caroline at Sleep4Littles helps you help your baby or child get the sleep they need so that they whole family can rest well. You can follow her on Instagram @sleep4littles or feel free to email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. She normally books 2-3 weeks in advance so be sure to reach out when you need her!
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