From unofficial helper to officially trained: How Carly arrived at what she was meant to be doing
Some people are natural nurturers and helpers. Carly is one of those people. Having had two babies within a year (her children are just 11 months apart), Carly was a stickler for routine and did a lot of research to make sure that she was giving her family the best chance for restorative sleep.
Before long she found herself helping family and friends with soothing and settling their little loves too. It was a particular visit of this nature to a family friend one day in early 2021 that kicked off Carly’s journey to become a certified sleep consultant.
“I’d had no official training at this point, but my friend’s new baby was waking every hour overnight and she was at her wit’s end, so of course I wanted to help,” Carly explains. “I came up with a plan that I thought could work for them, and then spent the evening helping this mum to put it into practice. When Henley fell asleep, I headed home and was surprised to discover that I was crying in the car! They were happy tears – I was so grateful that I was able to help, and I thought, ‘This must be something I can do more of’.”
The next morning, Carly drove to her day job as a teacher’s aide at a school for children with autism. While she loved and was engaged with the work she did, the previous night’s experience stayed with her. “I couldn’t wait ‘til lunchtime, and as soon as that rolled around, I started researching.” It was then that Carly came across Baby Sleep Consultant training.
For Carly, the feeling of fit was instant – however, the leap towards training wasn’t without its challenges. “Looking at the training guide and the number of books and reading assignments was daunting and I definitely had some self-doubt. I hadn’t studied since high school and had never been much of a reader!”
With some encouragement from her husband, Carly took the plunge – and it was meant to be. “As soon as I picked up the first book, it all happened really naturally. Because I was so interested and loving it, I wanted to learn, and it came much more easily than I’d feared. Then I got great feedback from my mentor Sacha, and I realised, ‘I can actually do this’.”
Carly says that the support she got from Sacha throughout her training was invaluable. “I talked to her every Monday and would go through all of my clients; she was an incredible resource. As well as giving me lots of guidance on the business side, she also got to know me really well and was supportive of the kind of consultant I wanted to be.”
Transferring skills and finding the perfect blend
Just as we hope trainees will do, Carly took onboard all she learnt through her baby sleep consultant training and followed her intuition to individualise her approach. She soon found that her skills were naturally transferring.
“I’d been working with children with autism for ten years when I started training – and lots of those children are non-verbal, much like babies are. I think my understanding of different cognitive stages of development, emotional skills, and experience with how they communicate, as well as my love for routines, really helped me.”
“You can have the book smarts – and certainly that theoretical basis is important – but for consulting, you also need softness and compassion,” Carly adds.
The future looks bright for Carly and Tiny Sleep Co.
Carly brings this empathy and kindness with her to every consult. “I’m there for the parents as well,” Carly explains. “I always take time to check in with each mum and help her build herself back up in a gentle and appropriate way. And I love seeing the confidence that comes with that. When they have sleep sorted, they know they can start getting out and about more.”
Carly’s dream is to be able to do Tiny Sleep Co. full-time, but for now she’s happy with how things are tracking. “The success I’ve had with this already has been amazing, especially as I’ve only been certified for four months! It’s already growing much more quickly than I thought.”
Indeed, the word-of-mouth machine is already alive and cranking in Geelong and Carly gets contacted frequently by people who have talked to parents she’s worked with. Carly’s recently joined forces with a local not-for-profit and is looking for opportunities to further help families in the community. “There’s a huge gap after women have babies,” Carly explains. “They get their maternal health check and might have a few midwife visits, but there’s not much to follow. And while there’s lots of advice out there, it’s very general and not tailored to individual babies.”
With Carly’s special care – and her commitment to going above and beyond – we have no doubt that Carly will go far. And there’ll be a lot better quality sleep taking place in her part of Australia!
What some of Carly’s clients have said about their experience with Tiny Sleep Co.
“Carly’s confidence and passion for helping babies and parents is evident in everything she does, from start to finish with Tiny Sleep Co.”
“Our experience was nothing short of amazing! Carly’s techniques and advice worked wonders for our family… Not only are Carly’s skills in sleep training but she was also able to assist our family with her extensive experience working with children with autism.”
“ Carly’s calm & nurturing demeanour instantly put me at ease. She made me feel heard and seen and that we could tackle my daughter’s sleep issues together. Thank you again Carly for all your love and support. Our family is now thriving and living our best life because of you.”