SARAH OLIVER – USA – CERTIFIED 2018
- What drew you to making the life changing decision to study and become a sleep consultant?
I made the decision to study and become a sleep consultant after we had our Son in 2014, Like many new parents, I quickly realized how different my perception of a sleeping baby would be to reality. Suddenly, I was completely overwhelmed trying to establish a consistent schedule of regular feeding, naps and positive sleep associations with little knowledge in how to do so. I contacted a sleep consultant through Baby Sleep Consultant NZ and in doing so we were able to get our son’s sleeping back on track, it absolutely changed our lives! This inspired me to become a Certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant and provide the help and support to other families just like ours.
- What sort of clients motivate you the most? Tell us a story if you have one.
I have had some extremely challenging clients, some that are very skeptical of the process, others with medical challenges early in life and families that have tried numerous times to sleep train with no success. A family that I had the pleasure of supporting through the sleep training process had two children, their daughter was born with a medical condition that caused her to be paralyzed from the waist down, Mom was dealing with anxiety and PPD so I knew I had to be very gentle regarding how to approach sleep training with this family. This Mom was an absolutely rock star through this process and after just one week, her daughter was sleeping through the night! This was extremely rewarding as I know how much of a difference sleep made for this family.
- Is the role rewarding, what do you find rewarding?
Absolutely, changing families entire lives by allowing them to get the much needed sleep they deserve, it’s very satisfying. I have been in the shoes of a sleep deprived Mum and suffered the difficulties that sleep deprivation brings therefore, helping these families not only with sleep but having a predictable schedule they never thought they would reach is amazing.
- What has been your biggest challenge to date, how are you dealing with this?
Setting boundaries in regard to working hours and the business. It is so easy to get carried away with this role and helping families, I have had to learn to tell myself when to stop and ensure that I have a good work/life balance.
- Why do you believe sleep is important for all families?
Sleep deprivation changes your whole outlook on life, sleep is so important as it is a foundation on the way you live, work, deal with challenges and the relationships in your daily life. Sleep is incredibly important from birth and creating healthy sleep habits from a young age is setting your child up with a positive and healthy relationship with understanding how important that is to fuel our body with this for mental and physical growth
- Tell me one thing you learnt in your studies that will stick with you forever?
There is no “one size fits all solution”. Every family and baby is different therefore, it keeps you motivated to ensure you find the best approach to helping the family succeed their goals.
- What are your plans moving forward for the next 12 months?
Creating bigger sleep talks in the community
- If you could tell tired desperate parents one thing, what would that be?
Do what works for your family until it doesn’t work any longer and then make a change. Don’t feel guilty for asking for some help, you can’t know everything and that certainly does not make you weak.
SARAH OLIVER – June 2018