Sleep Baby Love: Q&A With A Sleep Consultant
If there’s something that every expectant parent knows, it’s that sleep is about to become a challenge. Between hearing “I’ve never felt so tired in my life” from new parents to “nap when the baby naps” from *ahem*, everyone else… The anxiety regarding your sleep and that of your baby is a feeling I’m only too familiar with. I connected with Certified Sleep Consultant Susie Parker from Sleep Baby Love, to ask a few questions about sleep, and how a sleep consultant can help.
What exactly is a sleep consultant?
A sleep consultant is someone who can help you navigate through your sleep challenges. I become whatever my clients want me to be! But typically I’m a hand-holder, cheerleader and trusted advisor. Parents hire me to come up with the plan to help their little ones learn to LOVE sleep and through my accountability parents are empowered to follow through with the plan!
How did you get into this field?
Lucky me had two not great sleeping girls! I did so many things wrong with my child daughter, but it wasn’t until my second daughter Mia was born that I realized what it was to have a horrible sleeping newborn. She had #FOMO [fear of missing out] at such an early age and was not at all that sleepy baby! We had to get her to fall asleep… and it was hard work! Thankfully through my research of figuring out how to get Mia sleeping, the sleep obsession was born, and I realized that through my experience I could help others going through the same challenges that I did!
Pregnant women are told to expect to be sleep deprived after having a baby. Is there anything we can do to prepare for this?
Ha! I wish!!! I think us moms are really resilient at surviving on fumes in those early months! Of course, you never know the temperament of your baby in advance, so it’s hard to prepare for anything. Just go into parenting ready to tackle anything that is thrown your way. Know that it’s not easy and that you may struggle. But, you have this amazing precious little baby to show for it! So the hard work is worth it! Maybe, just maybe, you can have one of those unicorn babies that sleeps through the night early!?
What are the most common ‘bad habits’ that you encounter with parents as a sleep consultant?
Most parents that come to me for help are putting their baby to sleep by either co-sleeping, feeding or rocking (or all of the above) for a long time! I think it’s natural for many parents to say “hey, my kid is going to grow out of poor sleep.” But then when the parents realize the bad habits are getting in the way, and they realize that they have to do something about it, that’s when they come to me for help! The great news is that everyone can be successful. Sleep habits can change, and babies and toddlers are amazingly resilient when they get clear messaging from their parents.
What are the best strategies for new parents to adopt with newborn babies to ensure they, and their babies, are well rested?
Try and get your baby sleeping – your one job is to keep your baby well rested! Don’t worry about the bad habits in those early weeks – I know you are just trying to survive! Keep swaddling your baby and try and get your baby down within 45 minutes of wakefulness.
Do you recommend any particular resources for new parents struggling with getting their babies to sleep well?
My blog has a ton of great articles to guide you! www.sleepbabylove.com. I also have lots of great freebies to help with the four-month sleep regression, short naps and sleep training. Knowledge is power!
I totally recommend checking out the information on Sleep Baby Love as you prepare for your newborn, and especially as you encounter sleep challenges. Below are links to some of my favorite posts!
Susie Parker is a Certified Sleep Consultant and founder of Sleep Baby Love, Child Sleep Consulting. She is a “been there done that” mom of two beautiful girls who have had her deal with many sleep challenges head on. Click here to download your Free Sleep Guide (0-5), which is the next best thing to an instruction manual.