How I Became a Sleep Consultant
Yep, that's me with my first little baby... only 8 weeks old. He hated napping unless it was on me, in a stroller, in the car, or in the Fischer Price Little Lamb swing. ... And nighttime sleep?? Forget that! This little 90% wt and ht guy wanted to eat every 3 hours ALL THE TIME. I felt stuck is an understatement!
I was getting advice from well-intentioned friends and relatives left and right, and yet no response seemed to be consistent... not even the books I was reading. So, I set out to do what I knew best (aside from my mommy instincts), and I started researching infant sleep. Not just reading all the books, but actual empirical articles published in well-known journals, such as Pediatrics, Sleep, Pediatric Review (among others). There was so much to sort through I felt overwhelmed once again. But, it was the best thing I did for myself, baby, and most importantly our family. I put together a system that worked tremendously for my little guy, and had him sleeping through the night at 4 months and going down to nap at 3 predictable times during the day. Now don't get me wrong, naps were still challenging, but as long as I was consistent, I knew he would learn to take great naps (and he did). And my daughter was another story. I knew so much more when I had her... she started sleeping through the night by 8 weeks! I kid you not. Now, I know not every baby is going to be this way. Some babies are more flexible sleepers than others, but all babies can learn to be Healthy Little Sleepers.
While I was confident in my approach to sleeping, I also knew there was a lot more information for me to learn. So, I set out to find continuing education courses on infant and toddler sleep. I came across an amazing certification program through the Family Sleep Institute. I called Deborah, the owner, and started asking questions. Not only did this course cover basic sleep needs and practices, but also the challenges that aren't the typical "my baby won't sleep through the night" issues. The program included: twins, co-sleeping, parasomnias (i.e., night terrors, sleep walking, etc.), reflux, colic, and more! What I loved most about this program is that it trained me in multiple methods from more gentle approaches to extinction; it was the full package! Sold - and back to school I went. And the rest is history... Healthy Little Sleepers was born.