For those of you who don’t know, I’ve been working with Kelley from Serenity Sleepers for the last month to get Logan better rest. She previously was micro-napping (20-30min naps) and wasn’t sleeping through the night. Desperate for sleep myself, we contacted Kelley and got started right away.
I love how her plans are truly individualized based on the baby’s needs and parent comfort level. We successfully “sleep trained” her with VERY minimal tears. She’s now on a much more predictable nap schedule where she’s taking 3 glorious naps a day. She’s also sleeping through the night for the most part with only one feeding a night. This is right on par for Logan since she is still only 14.5lbs at 6 months. She needs that extra boost in calories. Thankfully, we’ve pushed this feeding to 5am so we can now get in a good long stretch of sleep, feed her and then sleep some more until 7:30am wake up.
If you’re curious about WHY we hired her. You can read more about that here. We had previously done all the “Taking Cara Babies” courses and while those were great sleep foundations for Logan we needed more 1:1 support to really boost her sleep habits.
10 Questions I asked a professional sleep coach
1. Do you have kids of your own? Which baby challenged you the most in the sleep arena
Yes, I have three children of my own, ages 8, 4 and 2. My middle child always gave me the most challenges in her sleep and still has her moments at age 4. She has several health issues that contribute to her sleep challenges and struggles. I truly feel God blessed me with her, as over the years I have helped some of the toughest sleep cases, and I feel having my own child that has a unique sleep case has helped me reach and help so many more families. It also has helped me remind families, I have 3 children of my own and every single one of them had their own sleep needs and all differed when it came to the right sleep plan and approach for them. Our bodies are uniquely made and each and every child is completely different in setting and meeting the sleep goals that work best for them.
2. What was the most puzzling thing about baby sleep for you as a parent before becoming a pro?
Wake windows! I always felt it was a moving target and trying to figure out the precise wake window for each age and stage for my babies. I call it finding the nap “sweet spot”. It can take a lot of trial and error. This has been one of my favorite aspects to study and research on a deeper level and understand how the science of sleep works to find the right wake windows.
3. When did you first become interested in becoming a certified pediatric sleep consultant? How did you go about your training?
It all began years ago when I was a classroom teacher. I was amazed at the sleep struggles and problems I saw in the classroom and how children were negatively affected from lack of sleep or sleep issues. I wanted to educate myself, study and research how I could get sleep going in the right direction from the very beginning with my first child. Being a teacher (helping and teaching), has always been my passion. I wanted to turn that love of teaching into educating families on healthy and proper sleep foundations. When I became certified, I specifically chose a program that was geared towards infant/toddler and preschool sleep. It took me months of studying, testing, researching, and completing course work to officially become certified. I take continuing education courses each year, to stay on top of the latest in sleep education, sleep science and research. I am also a part of a very elite sleep association. I feel that staying up to date and continuing to learn and research the latest in sleep education and sleep science is always important and sharing that with families I work with is one of the most important aspects of what I do on a daily basis.
4. After doing this for more than five years, what is your favorite part about the job?
Seeing the transformation during our time together. I tell families I am one piece of the puzzle, and they are the other piece if they go all in, we will meet our sleep goals and see a huge transformation during our time together. Also, giving families the confidence to understand their child’s sleep and feel equipped to handle any challenges that come their way. I enjoy being a family’s biggest cheerleader and support them to sleep success.
5. What is the #1 piece of advice you offer your clients?
This is team-work and I am always going to be by your side during this journey. I want you to succeed and have a baby/child that has healthy age-appropriate sleep. I want you to have the tools and resources to move forward feeling confident and prepared with your little one’s sleep.
6. What is your favorite way to soothe a crying baby without picking them up out of the crib?
This can vary greatly depending on the baby’s age, the demeanor of the baby, and the family dynamics. One of my favorite techniques for a younger baby is the shush/pat. You make the shhh sound, while patting your baby in the center of their back with a steady rhythm. The idea is that younger babies cannot hold 3 thoughts in their mind. They can’t continue to concentrate on the crying while being patted and shushed, they are unable to focus on all three at once, so they will start to focus on the shush and the pat, and will eventually stop crying.
7. Is there anything on the market these days that parents can buy that you think helps babies sleep better? Maybe a favorite product?
My number one favorite product is the Marpac Dohm sound machine. Constant white noise is very important and making sure the noise is the right decibels is important. You want to make sure it is not too soft or too loud. I like the constant sound that the Dohm gives off and this has been my go-to product over the years. Click HEREto read how you can choose the right white noise for your child.
8. What are your thoughts on the Snoo? I know a lot of people are making the investment including myself. Logan slept in a Snoo until 3m.
In the last year, I have had more people coming to me looking to get their baby out of the Snoo. It has some good aspects for the newborn stage, and for some, they can transition out of it with minimal issues. The majority of families coming to me are struggling around 3-4 months of age wanting to remove the Snoo and finding it is much harder to get their little one out of it and causing more problems the older a baby becomes. I actually have enjoyed working with families to remove the Snoo and implement healthy sleep foundations, so a baby is able to fall asleep independently and not be reliant on a device to help put them to sleep. One of the biggest things with the Snoo is removing it while the baby is still younger and not becoming dependent on it and the constant motion.
9. Aside from being an expert on baby sleep, what other hobbies do you have?
I enjoying running, being outdoors and working out. This has always been my favorite way to step away and have a little time to clear my mind. I love getting time with my family to get outdoors especially in the summer to go swimming, go to the park or just take time to enjoy this season of life.
10. What can parents expect when they sleep train?
First, it is most important to have a game plan, so you feel prepared with the plan. Staying consistent is another important factor when sleep training. You can expect there will be ups and downs, but in the end, you are helping + guiding your child to better sleep. Children need parents to help give them the sleep foundations as sleep is one of the most important things, we can give our child and ourselves. If you go all in, you will come out victorious and be a sleep success story! Investing in a sleep coach can be the absolute game-changer, I hear it time after time, the only regret we had was not investing in you and sleep much sooner.
For more information on Kelley or to schedule a free 15-minute consultation, click here.