I am excited to introduce the first guest on the @dippyeggplease blog, Aimi, a certified child sleep consultant and owner of My Little Sleeper. My eldest two boys were stubborn sleepers and still are early risers. I was determined for the youngest small that this was not going to be the case and have followed Aimi’s sleep tips since he was born. Whilst he got off to a better start than the others, we still needed to do some sleep training at 11 months old to eliminate his constant need to feed during the night. Continuing our breastfeeding relationship is very important to me, and I worked with Aimi as she respected this and ensured we could have both this time together, and get some sleep!
As a mum of two young daughters (and baby number 3 on the way), Aimi knows all too well the difficulty of parenthood especially when sleep deprived. Her journey began when her first born didn’t sleep, day or night. After months of battling through the endless nights of feeding and questioning what they were doing wrong, Aimi and her husband decided to hire a sleep consultant. Following the sleep plan to a T, they were rewarded with everyone getting plenty of rest and a full night’s sleep. Aimi’s interest and passion for sleep started here and she decided she wanted to help other families benefit from the gift of sleep and so My Little Sleeper was born. Aimi lives in Chicago although is from the UK and is successfully working with families in both the UK and America, to achieve a better night’s sleep. Before I learnt about My Little Sleeper, I had no idea what a sleep consultant did or claimed to achieve. Aimi will be sharing with us today the benefits of hiring a sleep consultant.
Now, over to Aimi from @mylittlesleeper…
Becoming a parent is one of the most exciting yet overwhelming experiences we go through. The 40-week roller coaster of preparation, the emotional and physical tiredness waiting and wanting to know when will this little one arrive and change our lives forever. Then there’s the anxiety of – will you ever sleep again!
Everyone’s experience in the first few weeks is different. Some have great sleepers; some have great feeders whilst others are dealing with reflux or colic. No one really knows if they are doing the right thing, even if it’s their second or fourth child. Each child has their own needs and often communicates these through crying!
Sleep may have never been great for your little one or you may have gotten off to a great start and they have regressed. However, you came to the breaking point of “our child wont sleep, we need help”, doesn’t matter, the focus should be on how you solve their sleep trouble.
When you have questions about your baby, the people we often go to are doctors, family, the internet and books. Having a network of people and resources around you to seek advice is important, as long as they are giving you the right advice. So why would you hire a sleep consultant to help with your child’s sleep? If you go to see an ENT specialist for ear problems, a physical therapist for motor skill development then why not go to a sleep consultant for sleep troubles?
The advice you receive from other resources may be useful and informative and even work to some extent but when your child regresses do you have the knowledge to get them back on track? The internet and books are a one size fits all approach and may not work with your family. There are many benefits to hiring a sleep consultant, especially one that is certified and you trust will use techniques and methods that are in line with your parenting style. Most experienced sleep consultants will know when there is something more than just a habit that needs breaking, a medical issue for example, and will refer you to the relevant specialist if this is the case.
Why else would you hire a sleep consultant?
There are many excellent sleep books available and all written by reputable authors with unquestionable experience. The problem with these books is they all make a good argument that their method is the best and only method you should use. As a sleep deprived parent you probably only have the time to read one, maybe two books. So which book will solve your baby’s sleep troubles? Sometimes parents follow all the advice and still have an early riser or a short napper. Parents of multiple children will agree that no child is the same and they come with different sleep personalities. So how can one book be tailored to all children? Books can’t give you feedback on your progress and advise small tweaks to your child’s routine like a sleep consultant can. What they can do is educate you about sleep and help you encourage healthy sleep habits. But there comes a point when a sleep consultant will be able to tailor a sleep plan specifically to your child and their sleep troubles. Yes, you will pay more money hiring a sleep consultant than buying a book, but you’ll likely solve your child sleep issues more quickly with a consultant than the time it takes you to read a book.
Friends and family
My children were born and are being brought up on a different continent from our family and close friends. This makes it difficult when you have questions that are best asked in person rather than over Facetime and Skype. My youngest was so petite as a newborn (born 5lb13oz) and none of our family realized this until they saw her in person even though we kept explaining she was a peanut. Many of our parents will offer advice based on their experience from when we were babies. Have you ever heard “when you were a baby we just let you sleep …..”?
In the past 10 years alone there has been a lot of research on how we can make a safe sleep environment to reduce the risk of SIDS. As well as this there has been a lot of development in products available to parents. Family won’t always know what products are now available that will help encourage safe and healthy sleep. You must also consider that what works on your friend’s child may not work on your own baby. As mentioned earlier, all babies have different sleep personalities, different sleep needs and awake time limits.
It’s so difficult not to consult Dr Google, especially at 3am when you are awake for the 10th time since 11pm. “Why won’t my baby sleep” has been typed in by many parents to seek answers to this repeated question. The internet is quick and easy to bring up information to many questions, but are they from reputable sources? Will they just scare you into a self-diagnosis of an extremely rare illness that’s causing your newborn to be consistently waking? The internet should be used to find a highly recommend sleep consultant whose philosophy and methods match your parenting style.
Every mom, or parent for that matter, will benefit from having a group of moms to meet with regularly. Whether it’s through NCT, local businesses or just friends from your neighborhood, they are a great way to support each other and talk through what your baby is doing that week. There are a few things that moms will never be truthful with each other about in fear of being judged. One of these is how much sleep they are getting. Everyone has a different definition about sleeping through the night. One mom may say their child sleeps through which is 10pm-5am, whereas another mom believes 7pm-7am is sleeping through. You may not know each other that well and not feel comfortable enough to quiz each other about the exact details and take the information at face value. When you have little time to talk, you may get advice on how to achieve better sleep that is a condensed version and the key information is lost. A sleep consultant will write a full plan for you to read, go over it as many times as you need and give you lots of opportunity to ask questions. Key information won’t be lost.
If you are looking for help with your child’s sleep and overwhelmed with all the advice from multiple resources, then let My Little Sleeper help you. We are certified child sleep consultants and most importantly, moms. We won’t recommend any methods or techniques that we haven’t used ourselves or are prepared to implement with our own children. We offer a FREE 20-minute phone consultation to talk through what’s going on and how we can help. Call now to make the first step to restful sleep.
If you’d like to learn more about Aimi or My Little Sleeper, please visit their website:https://www.mylittlesleeper.com/ or follow My Little Sleeper on social media for sleep tips that will encourage healthy sleep habits for your children (and yourself!)