Interviews with some of our recent graduates

Ash Larsen – NZ Sleep Consultant

ASHLEY LARSEN – NEW ZEALAND – CERTIFIED JAN 2019

https://www.facebook.com/tailoredsleepplans/

 

1) What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant?

I am a registered Early Childhood teacher & mum. Sleep is so critical for everyone to survive & I had so many questions. Emma’s knowledge & information seemed too valuable to pass up to not learn from her.

 

2) What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one.

There are so many that can’t afford a sleep consultant but often need a bit of advice on food, bottles or changing sleep cycles. These are the people I love helping & supporting in every way possible.

 

3) Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding?

So very rewarding! When a parent or mum says “omg they slept through!” Or Mum manages to make time for herself catching up on her own sleep.

 

4) What has been your biggest challenge to date, how are you dealing with this?

Working in a daycare, the signs they miss on children’s sleep or say oh they are hungry or they can stay up for a bit longer. It devastates me as they are clearly overtired!!!

 

5) Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?

If families are lacking in sleep, they are often tearful, overwhelmed & exhausted. Getting sleep helps to feel as though they are back on top of these things & life is suddenly achievable again.

 

6) Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?

Wow just 1?!! Stick to that early bed time…it’s so critical for babies & adults to get their own time back!

 

7) What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?

I am back working full time in a daycare but wanting to do this full time. I’m working with a friend to roll out Nanny2u in the Wairarapa – offering babysitting, nannies, sleep consultant, after school care & eventually a holiday program.

 

8) If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?

Ring me! Get some help, you don’t need to suffer.

 

ASHLEY LARSEN – April 2019

 

Cynthia Kiser – USA Sleep Consultant

CYNTHIA KISER – UNITED STATES – CERTIFIED FEB 2019

http://hush-little-baby.com/

 

https://www.facebook.com/Hush-Little-Baby-664736067217423/?modal=admin_todo_tour

 

  • What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant?

My sleep education journey began when my daughter, Olive, was about 3 months old. She was a reflux baby who had a lot of issues sleeping as well as other specific circumstances that were unique to her. She was difficult to settle and didn’t stay asleep long without crying out for her pacifier. Some nights I would wake up 15+ times just to go pop her paci back in her mouth for her. I was beyond exhausted. I tried reading all the info online and all the books that my friends and mommy-group acquaintances recommended. But it got to the point where I felt like I actually had too much information. Where was I to start? Which method would work best for myself and Olive?  I just wanted someone who knew my specific circumstances to tell me exactly what to do.  After deciding to hire a sleep consultant, my life changed. I was getting more sleep, as was my husband and most importantly, Olive. She became a new baby- so happy and engaged, instead of irritable and tired. It was then that I decided this gift of sleep is one that I needed to learn and be able to share with other families.

 

2) What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one.

The clients that motivate me the most are the ones that are literally in survival mode.  I worked with a mom who had a 3 year old as well as 5 month old premie twins.  Her life was was being uprooted by a cross-state move and she was currently living in her parents living room with all her children until her new house was done being renovated, and her husband was already at the location of the new hose to oversee those renovations.  The toddler was sleeping in bed with her and the twins were on complete opposite schedule from each other.  As soon as one twin stopped eating, the other started, the same thing with sleeping and crying.  This mom literally never got a single break in the entire 24 hours of a day.  She held on until the move was complete and then we immediately began working together.  She was nervous and anxious, but after a pep talk and a deep breath, she agreed to follow the plan and be consistent.  Within the first full week, we had one twin sleeping through the night!  The smaller twin still needed feeding in the night to help him gain weight, but the fact that mom could sleep in 3-4 hour stretches was life changing her her, she had literally never gotten to sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time since the twins were born.  By the end of our time working together, we had the twins taking larger feeds, sleeping in longer stretches, and their schedules were synced up.  Mom cried tears of joy and told me I changed her life.

 

3) Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding?

It’s the fact that I am improving the quality of peoples lives that is so rewarding.  I am helping entire families to sleep better, because when the baby sleeps, mom and dad get to sleep too.  I also find it rewarding to change peoples minds on what they falsely believe that sleep training is.  So many people assume the only option is cry it out, and I love being able to educate people and give them options to choose from and customize a plan to their exact needs and parenting styles.  Each new family is like its own puzzle, and I get to be the one to show them how to put all the pieces together.

 

4) What has been your biggest challenge to date, how are you dealing with this?

My biggest challenge so far is breaking the stigma that is attached to what people think “sleep training” is.  A lot of people think it’s cruel and have no idea that there is more than just the option of cry it out, and that so many other factors go into it like nutrition and proper sleep environments.

 

5) Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?

Sleep is directly linked to happiness.  People who are chronically tired are not the happiest and healthiest versions of themselves.  I want parents to enjoy being parents and not be all-consumed by exhaustion.

 

6) Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?

One thing I learned in my studies that will stick with me forever is the realization that I am really able to change peoples lives by helping them get more sleep.  I have personally helped couples who hadn’t slept in the same room together in months, get their bed and their rooms back to themselves.  I have helped moms with PPD have less stress, get more sleep, and feel better.  That is truly amazing to be that influential in someones life.

 

7) What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?

In the next 12 months I hope to grow my business and build my reputation in this industry.  The more people I can help, the better!

 

8) If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?

I would tell desperate and tired parents to ask for help!  From a sleep consultant, from your family, whatever it is, ask for it and get it!

 

CYNTHIA KISER – April 2019

 

Catalina Lau – Australian Sleep Consultant

CATALINA LAU – AUSTRALIA – CERTIFIED NOV 2017

 

https://www.facebook.com/moonlightbabysleep/

http://moonlightbabysleep.com.au/

 

  • What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant?

I no longer had a passion for my career in the corporate world and I felt I was different since becoming a mum to my two boys. After 5 years of full-time parenting, I wanted to return to the workforce to engage in something more meaningful and a career that allowed me the flexibility to work independently without having to leave my children. I was lucky enough to find my passion and receive the support of my family so I could study the baby sleep training course. Once I started, I was hooked and my life now has another sense of fulfillment.

 

2) What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one.

Newborn parents are my most motivating clients. The mother hen in me comes out and I feel the responsibility of taking parents under my wing to nurture them with support and empower them with knowledge. I wish every parent could receive the support of a sleep consultant to set them up correctly to avoid ever having to sleep train. We need training in just about everything we do, so it’s worthwhile training to better equip ourselves in our most important role in life; parenthood.

 

3) Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding?

Absolutely 100% YES! I love getting up in the mornings to see all the achievements my clients have had overnight. I am now really enjoying talking to mother’s groups, passing on guidance and helping families restore sleep in their homes. I love to empower parents with knowledge – I find this the most rewarding aspect of my work.

 

4) What has been your biggest challenge to date, how are you dealing with this?

My biggest challenge is to not become so emotionally invested in the families I work with and setting boundaries with clients. I am working on efficient sleep plans that will guide families when I am not available outside of my work hours.

 

5) Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?

We all know when we sleep well we are able to function, be better parents to our babies and tackle parenthood positively and rationally but without healthy sleep, we develop a sleep deficit pretty quickly affecting us emotionally, mentally and physically. Yes, we expect to have some sleep loss when we bring a young baby home but prolonged sleep deprivation can cause the whole family great disharmony. To restore healthy sleep is important for each member of the family.

 

6) Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?

I don’t think I could pick just one thing, but overall my outlook on sleep has changed.

I have found a deep respect and understanding of its necessity for a healthy and happy life.

My motto to any problem is SLEEP ON IT!! And cure for any illness is a DOUBLE DOZE OF SLEEP!

 

7) What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?

My mission is to educate as many parents as I can via various means to support them in the early months of parenthood.

 

8) If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?

It all passes in a blink of an eye, though it doesn’t feel like it at the time. Enjoy the hardship; it is a personal journey of discovery and finding inner strength.

 

CATALINA LAU – May 2018

 

Sarah Oliver – USA Sleep Consultant

SARAH OLIVER – USA – CERTIFIED 2016

 

www.saraholiverconsultancy.com

 

  1. What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant? 

 

My first two children were terrible sleepers, I was always trying to seek help and support from my GP and Plunket because we couldn’t afford to pay a sleep consultant. They gave me a book to read which basically told me to CIO and we did as instructed. Unbeknownst to us Connor had an iron deficiency and he couldn’t physically sleep through the night, it was impossible. So, he cried, and cried and cried. When he was 3, I demanded blood tests and it was then he was diagnosed and put on liquid iron which fixed his sleep issues straight away. At this time in my life I was unhappy with my current job and still recovering from years of sleep deprivation.  I was talking to a friend one day and she asked what I wanted to do with my life, I said I want to help support sleep deprived mums. It was like a lightbulb turned on. I went straight home and researched, I signed up to the Baby Sleep Consultant Training Program that very day! We couldn’t afford it, we were struggling but I knew this was my future career so we made it happen and I’m so glad I did!

 

  1. What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one.

 

All of them! I’m very sympathetic to their situations having been there myself. I recently had a client who was feeding to sleep every 2 hours overnight which is such a common problem. She was pregnant with her third baby and a gentle parent so we created a plan to suit her and slowly night weaned her 8-month-old. The results were a baby who now sleeps through the night with no wake ups or feeds!

 

  1. Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding? 

 

When I get that happy message from mum in the morning it makes my day! This job is so rewarding!

 

  1. What has been your biggest challenge to date, how are you dealing with this?

 

The biggest challenge is the financial side of setting up a business, so many things to consider and organise.  Client wise, I think my biggest challenge was a strong willed 2.5-year-old pushing her parents to their limit! We struggled with her but with consistency we got there within the time frame we set and she is now under control.

 

  1. Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?

 

Sleep deprived parents are stressed, they fight, they are tired and can become unhappy. Sleeplessness can cause PND, marital problems, child resentment and parents can become run down and sick. Fixing a child’s sleep problems is more than fixing just sleep, it has a flow on effect reducing all kinds of family stress, resulting in a happier healthier family.

 

  1. Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?

 

This is hard because I learnt so many useful things! Learning the science behind sleep, the how and why for all the variables is invaluable!

 

  1. What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?

 

I want to just cruise along and help as many families as I can. My baby is still young so I’m focusing a lot on him and using him as my little guinea pig and inspiration for my Facebook page tips and posts. I will be doing a small business course this year.

 

  1. If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?

 

Ask for help! Please don’t just live with it! You are not alone, your problem is not so unusual that it’s unfixable. We can tailor a plan to suit you, sleep training still has that huge misconception that we just tell everyone to cry it out and that is so far from the truth! CIO is usually the last resort when we have tried the other more gentle options first and we will always match parents to a technique best suited.

 

SHARI DE WET – April 2018

Shari De Wet Interview – NZ Sleep Consultant

SHARI DE WET – NEW ZEALAND – CERTIFIED NOVEMBER 2017

 

www.facebook.com/Sharibabysleepconsultant/

 

  1. What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant? 

 

My first two children were terrible sleepers, I was always trying to seek help and support from my GP and Plunket because we couldn’t afford to pay a sleep consultant. They gave me a book to read which basically told me to CIO and we did as instructed. Unbeknownst to us Connor had an iron deficiency and he couldn’t physically sleep through the night, it was impossible. So, he cried, and cried and cried. When he was 3, I demanded blood tests and it was then he was diagnosed and put on liquid iron which fixed his sleep issues straight away. At this time in my life I was unhappy with my current job and still recovering from years of sleep deprivation.  I was talking to a friend one day and she asked what I wanted to do with my life, I said I want to help support sleep deprived mums. It was like a lightbulb turned on. I went straight home and researched, I signed up to the Baby Sleep Consultant Training Program that very day! We couldn’t afford it, we were struggling but I knew this was my future career so we made it happen and I’m so glad I did!

 

  1. What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one.

 

All of them! I’m very sympathetic to their situations having been there myself. I recently had a client who was feeding to sleep every 2 hours overnight which is such a common problem. She was pregnant with her third baby and a gentle parent so we created a plan to suit her and slowly night weaned her 8-month-old. The results were a baby who now sleeps through the night with no wake ups or feeds!

 

  1. Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding? 

 

When I get that happy message from mum in the morning it makes my day! This job is so rewarding!

 

  1. What has been your biggest challenge to date, how are you dealing with this?

 

The biggest challenge is the financial side of setting up a business, so many things to consider and organise.  Client wise, I think my biggest challenge was a strong willed 2.5-year-old pushing her parents to their limit! We struggled with her but with consistency we got there within the time frame we set and she is now under control.

 

  1. Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?

 

Sleep deprived parents are stressed, they fight, they are tired and can become unhappy. Sleeplessness can cause PND, marital problems, child resentment and parents can become run down and sick. Fixing a child’s sleep problems is more than fixing just sleep, it has a flow on effect reducing all kinds of family stress, resulting in a happier healthier family.

 

  1. Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?

 

This is hard because I learnt so many useful things! Learning the science behind sleep, the how and why for all the variables is invaluable!

 

  1. What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?

 

I want to just cruise along and help as many families as I can. My baby is still young so I’m focusing a lot on him and using him as my little guinea pig and inspiration for my Facebook page tips and posts. I will be doing a small business course this year.

 

  1. If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?

 

Ask for help! Please don’t just live with it! You are not alone, your problem is not so unusual that it’s unfixable. We can tailor a plan to suit you, sleep training still has that huge misconception that we just tell everyone to cry it out and that is so far from the truth! CIO is usually the last resort when we have tried the other more gentle options first and we will always match parents to a technique best suited.

 

SHARI DE WET – April 2018

Mandy Potter Interview – Australia Sleep Consultant

MANDY POTTER – AUSTRALIA – CERTIFIED MARCH 2017

 

www.facebook.com/snugasabugsleepconsultant/

  1. What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant? 

I am a qualified Early Childhood Educator and Infant Nanny, so I had been helping to sleep train babies and young children for over 10 years. When I had my own daughter 5 years ago, I used routines and taught her healthy sleep habits from an early age knowing that we all need sleep in order to continue running our childcare business efficiency! Now that I was a mum, I often met other new mums whose mental health was suffering due to lack of sleep and routine. Although I could give them tips, I’m not the type of person to give much advice unless I am qualified in that field. Which is why I decided to finally become qualified!

  1. What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one.

It’s so motivating when a client strives to find a way to fit sleep training and routine into their lives to better their lives and their families lives! I have a client who is a single mum, I have been working with her since baby was 6 weeks old. It has been a slow, gentle process with such a young bub and new mum but they are well rested, happy and healthy all due to mum’s commitment and forward thinking.

  1. Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding?

It’s so rewarding. To watch a new mum come out of that dark sleep deprived state, take control of her life and to actually enjoy her new baby and other children is so amazing.

  1. What has been your biggest challenge to date, how are you dealing with this?

There are, at times pitfalls. Especially with toddlers I find who are really coming into their own personalities! Seeing a mum disheartened or second guessing themselves is difficult. I often have to follow up often to help mum gain the confidence to try different techniques to achieve their outcome.

  1. Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?

Mental health and might I add ‘mum guilt’. I’ve met quite a few mums who feel they are failing their older children due to the fact that they are so sleep deprived and have no energy to continue being the mum they were a year ago.

  1. Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?

That there is not one way or one plan that will work for all families and babies. Learning to really think about the big picture and find a solution that fits was great for me to learn!

  1. What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?

I’m currently only taking 1 client a month, which works well. It means I can work with them properly while still having time to run my childcare and be a mum to my own 5-year-old and 9-month-old! I think for the next 12 months I will continue with that plan.

  1. If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?

Take each day at a time, ask for help from your village, your partner and from a professional.

MANDY POTTER – April 2018

 

Louise Morelli Interview – Monaco Sleep Consultant

LOUISE MORELLI – MONACO – CERTIFIED NOVEMBER 2017

www.gentlytosleep.com

  1. What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant?

My decision to become a consultant came from first-hand experience of the sleep deprivation a new baby brings.  After over a year of night wakings and early starts to the day, I was absolutely exhausted and desperate for sleep for me and our daughter.  I made the decision to sleep train her, and in researching theories and methods I developed a passion for baby sleep and for helping other tired mums.  After much research I found Emma Purdue and her company Baby Sleep Consultant and I immediately knew the comprehensive, evidence-based training she offered was the perfect fit for me.  I enjoyed every minute of the studying and working with volunteer clients, and especially benefited from being supported and guided by an experienced mentor.  I was really sad when the course finished but so happy to be certified and be able to apply my knowledge and do the work I love so much!

  1. What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one.

I admire clients that are willing to do whatever it takes to get their little one sleeping well.  Some of my clients have taken time off work to fully dedicate themselves to getting their child to sleep and others have even delayed holidays.  I’ve had parents camping out on their sofa to give their room-sharing child the best opportunity to learn how to self-settle to sleep.  I’ve had other parents who started with super-gentle sleep training for their toddler yet moved, by their own decision, to a full cry-based method once they realised that this was a better fit for their child.  Every client motivates me as each one works so hard to achieve the best result.

  1. Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding?

I absolutely love my job!  It is such a privilege to be chosen by parents to work with their precious child and there’s no greater reward for me than to see the joy of parents when great sleep returns to their lives and to hear their little one is rested and happy.  The best start to the day is to receive a message to say, “he slept through the night for the first timeThank you so much!”  This always makes me smile and reaffirms why I’ve chosen to do this.

  1. What has been your biggest challenge to date, how are you dealing with this?

The biggest challenge for me has been finding the work/leisure balance.  Running and building a business, being a mum, wife and running the family home is a juggle and it’s easy to become overstretched.  As I love my work so much and want to give the best support, it’s often difficult to say “work stops now” and switch off to relax.  I’m sure this is the same for all people running their own business…but I’m getting there!

 

  1. Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?

Sleep, or lack of it, affects the whole family.  A parent cannot give their best if they are exhausted, a baby cannot be at its happiest when tired and the relationship between siblings and between parents can be put under immense strain if sleep is lacking.  For good mental and physical health, we all need to have great sleep and it’s a biological necessity we cannot ignore.  This is my passion and why I work so hard to get families sleeping again.

  1. Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?

That there’s no ‘one size fits all’ approach and often the smallest change can make the biggest difference.  This is why each family, each child and each issue should be fully assessed before a sleep plan is created.

  1. What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?

I’d love to continue to increase the number of clients I work with each week.  I’m currently restricted by the number of hours I can work as our little one is only at school in the mornings, however once full-time school starts later this year then I’ll then be in a position to do more work during the day and reclaim some nights during the week for relaxing!  I also intend to do more sleep talks and would love to set up regular talks for expectant mums on about what to expect sleep-wise during the first few months of their baby’s life and how to build the foundation for great sleep.

  1. If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?

That they shouldn’t beat themselves up about what they did and didn’t do to contribute to their child’s sleeping issue.  I hear so often “oh I wish I’d done X or not done Y…it’ all my fault”.  All parents do the best they can and it’s ok to seek help.  Yesterday has gone and tomorrow will be better than today and if parents remain consistent and take each day at a time they will have sleep success.

LOUISE MORELLI – May 2018

Lindsey McGonegal Interview – US Sleep Consultant

LINDSEY MCGONEGAL – UNITED STATES – CERTIFIED MARCH 2018

 

www.sleeplittlelamb.com

 

  1. What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant?

 

I experienced the pain of chronic sleep deprivation up close and personal with my second child. My first hadn’t been a great sleeper either, but I managed to figure it out enough to get her sleeping, so I thought I was ready for #2. But my second daughter was even more difficult than my first, which led to 10 months of not one night of consolidated sleep. I was at my wits end and finally decided to hire a sleep consultant. It was life-changing and absolutely the best money I’ve ever spent. I realized that she had given me such a priceless gift – enjoying being a mom again, and it grew in me a deep desire to help other moms in similar situations, while still allowing me to keep raising my girls as my first priority.

 

  1. What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one.

 

My favorite case so far has been a 2.5-year-old who had never slept through the night and had literally never fallen asleep independently. By the time his mom contacted me, she was defeated, her marriage was suffering, and she felt resentful towards her toddler. But, she had enough of a glimmer of hope (through another parent’s testimonial) that maybe things could get better. She reached out, and I wrote a comprehensive plan using the 4 Rs plus gradual withdrawal. Even though he was young, he was quite verbal and bright. He took to the sticker chart immediately and was excited about earning his stickers. The first bedtime took a long time for him to fall asleep, but he did it! And then, to all of our surprise, he slept straight through the night! His parents were shocked and cautiously optimistic. Although it took about a week for him to stop fighting bedtime and for him to start falling asleep happily and with his parents outside of his room, he literally slept through the night every night since then. His mom’s testimonial literally made me cry. The quality of their marriage and parent-child relationship had drastically improved, just by empowering them to implement an awesome plan with good backbone structured into it.

 

  1. Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding?

 

This job is incredibly rewarding. Not only am I helping moms who I relate to on such a personal level, but I get to help their kids begin to thrive in a way that the parents didn’t even realize was possible. It’s also amazing to be able to sometimes help moms with just a few adjustments, like moving around their nap schedule or bedtime to see drastic improvements. That’s when they feel like you’re a “miracle worker”, which of course, you know is just because you understand the science behind it all, but it’s still great to be able to serve them in that way.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. What has been your biggest challenge to date, how are you dealing with this?

 

Biggest challenge so far has been getting organized with all the moving parts – the marketing, the emails, keeping track of different clients…organization is not my strong suit, but it’s really important for running your own business!

 

  1. Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?

 

Sleep is as essential as food and water!! You can’t function well without adequate amounts for long. Not having it brings out the absolute worst in most people, but being well-rested is foundational for happy, healthy families.

 

  1. Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?

 

That the best method is what works best for each individual family. You can’t impose your own method or personal beliefs on a family, you need to create a personalized plan that each particular family can confidently commit to, because commitment is key to success, and if they’re not comfortable with the plan, they won’t commit.

 

  1. What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?

 

My plans are to grow my business enough to bring on other moms as consultants for my business! I’m also planning on growing my Instagram following and creating video sleep courses, but that’s probably further down the road.

 

  1. If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?

 

There is HOPE!! You don’t have to continue living this way. Just because it didn’t work in the past doesn’t mean that we can’t figure it out together in the present. You can enjoy being a parent again!

 

LINDSEY MCGONEGAL – April 2018

 

 

Kelly Shields Interview – Australia Sleep Consultant

KELLY SHIELDS – AUSTRALIA – CERTIFIED MAY 2018

 

www.facebook.com/cqsweetdreams

 

  1. What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant?

 

I had trouble with my own daughter when she was small and actually used Baby Sleep Consultant. From then on, I just thought what an awesome and rewarding job that would be. Eventually, I looked into how to become a sleep consultant and start the Baby Sleep Consultant Training Program and never looked back!

 

  1. What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one. 

 

The clients that motivate me the most are the ones who just really need help. They’re sleep deprived and they are desperate for some sleep and that really motivates me to help them. I’ve been there and I know how it feels and I want to help other mums. I did have one client and their child hadn’t slept through the night yet and the child was 14 months old and I was able to help that child sleep through the night.

 

  1. Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding?

 

It’s extremely rewarding.

 

  1. What has been your biggest struggle to date, how are you dealing with this?

 

My biggest struggle has been getting my name out there. I’ve just been focusing on advertising, the way I use marketing and working with other local businesses to spread the word.

 

  1. Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?

 

When you’re sleep deprived, you obviously don’t function as well and things can seem worse. I believe sleep is so important for our physical and mental health. There’s nothing quite like a good nights’ sleep.

 

  1. Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?

 

Snoring in toddlers is not normal and can really impact their sleep.

 

  1. What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?

 

To build my business and make my name more well known in the community as well as educating families on the importance of sleep.

 

  1. If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?

 

Ask for the help when you need it. There’s nothing wrong with speaking out and there’s nothing wrong with asking for help.

 

KELLY SHIELDS – May 2018

 

Karen Sherlock Interview – Australia Sleep Consultant

KAREN SHERLOCK – AUSTRALIA – CERTIFIED MARCH 2018

 

www.sleepanddreambabies.com

https://www.facebook.com/sleepanddreambabies

 

Karen Sherlock loves her dream job!

 

Being a middle age mother of two, I have had many years of experience in industries that involve working with children and helping families. My degree in Early Childhood teaching, working as a Childcare Director, nanny, family support co-ordinator for a children’s charity and as an Infant Massage Instructor have all been things I have loved doing, and have naturally been drawn to.  So, when I saw the opportunity to complete the Baby Sleep Consultant Training Program I knew it would be something that would complement my skills and experience and also be something that I would love doing.

 

Well, I wasn’t wrong! The course was fantastic and I learnt so much about the science behind sleep. Every aspect of the course was amazing from the well-researched required readings and informative lectures, to the hands-on volunteer clients and incredible mentor support. It really was a comprehensive course that has given me some amazing skills and knowledge. I am so pleased I made the decision to become an Infant and Child Sleep Consultant working with families, helping them get some much-needed sleep and essentially get their lives back.

 

I like that every family is unique and presents a new challenge.  I have met some amazing parents who are so dedicated and motivating. Of course, there can be difficult moments but I absolutely love it when working as a team with the parents we are able to find solutions to those challenges and come out with some amazing and life-changing results.

 

I also love that I have worked with families from all over the world. I am based in Sydney and have worked with families both locally and from other states in Australia as well as from overseas including, New Zealand, Canada and the USA. Distance is certainly no object!

 

I find this role so rewarding when I get feedback from families with statements like “she’s never slept like that before in her life, she actually woke up singing”, “working with you has been life changing!” “Thanks to you, I now have the confidence to carry on and do this on my own”.

“We now have a baby who is happy and smiling, not grumpy and irritable all the time” and many more amazing statements that are just so rewarding to hear.

 

One great story was of a couple who although they loved their four-month-old daughter very much, they just weren’t able to enjoy her. She was constantly overtired and grumpy and rarely seemed happy. She was having a couple of 30-minute catnaps during the day and was waking every two hours overnight. Mum and dad were exhausted and neither was enjoying their experience of being a parent for the first time. However, both these parents were very committed to change and were amazing to work with. Now it wasn’t all easy, we certainly had our challenges. We started with a Facetime call, which is always nice as you get to see each other and “meet” even on the other side of the world.  After our initial chat and filling out an intake form I wrote up the plan and guidelines on our chosen settling technique. With daily emails the communication was great. I would wake up to an email from Mum on how their day and previous night had gone and would then help them adjust and give advice on what to do next. Together we worked through each step of getting their daughter into a new routine and introducing a new settling technique. We adjusted her feeds, tweaking things each day till we got it right. The result was a baby who was now happy and smiling and a joy to be around, she was no longer overtired and cranky. Mum and dad were amazed that it all happened within a week and have been eternally grateful that I was able to help them.  The happy smiling, family was a great result.

 

I just love getting updates and hearing how my client’s children are all going, getting sent pictures of the children either sleeping or smiling in the following months and seeing them develop and grow.

 

Being passionate is easy, as I truly believe in what I do; I know that sleep is vital to healthy growth and development for all children and also essential for exhausted parents. I don’t believe anyone should have to just put up with sleep deprivation, day after day, or night after night. Everyone needs support and there are things that can be done to help every family, whether it’s just a small change in their routine or some big changes, which may take time, effort and consistency. Yes, being a parent is hard, but that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for help or that you are just expected to know how to deal with every challenge that may arise.

I love that I can offer that help and support and work together with families to achieve their goals.

 

I’m super excited to continue growing my business and look forward to helping lots of families get some much-needed sleep. My next goal is mastering live videos and helping parents with live Q & A’s, as well as trying to fit in some time to write some articles and blogs.  It is great networking with other professionals and always learning and developing and of course, meeting new people is always fun. Talk about a dream job, this is certainly mine.

 

With so much information out there today, it can be very overwhelming so one piece of advice I would give to all the exhausted parents is to find someone you have a connection with and feel comfortable with. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and know that you deserve to be happy, healthy and as well rested as possible.

 

Wishing you lots of lovely sleep and pleasant dreams.

 

KAREN SHERLOCK – May 2018