Hey Monday! I see you! I’m thankful you, friend, are here. Today, I am sharing Amy’s story of sleeping success with her firstborn and her journey to become a sleep consultant! Follow her links listed at the bottom of this post to get more information too! As always, follow along with me on Instagram too! You can see a little glimpse of the Dyer Life. Enjoy today’s post and meet me right back here next Monday!
Why I’m Now a Sleep Consultant
I’m far from what you’d call a seasoned parent. My oldest is approaching 4 years. My youngest is the leader of the “terrible-two” crowd. Just when I think I have something mastered in their little world, along comes a pesky curveball at full force. That’s parenting right?
Oh, but there’s so much good. The way my big guy plays with my messy hair bun and sighs, “Wow, would you look at that?” or the way my little man randomly looks in my eyes to tell me he yuvs me. So many wonderful, heartfelt, crazy moments that I log feverishly in their baby books. No one has seen baby books quite like these – they have taken on too much. They are bursting at the seems with borderline journal entries (sorry, boys).
We certainly don’t have everything figured out in our household, with everyday a new learning experience, but one thing most parents are surprised and skeptical to hear, is that my children are take amazing naps and are happy to sleep through the night. Every night. Consistently, without fail. I spend as much time as I can with them during the day. At night, it’s about me. My connection to my husband, my family, my friends, my career, and various goals. I can do these things, you know, because they allow me this time as they sleep soundly.
It wasn’t always so simple. I promise you that. Thinking back 3.5 years ago, I thought I’d never sleep again. The perils of sleep deprivation are deep and wide and pushed me to the brink of depression. It’s safe to say I was a zombie, though I never quite got that diagnosis. My sweet angel didn’t just wake through the night: he barely slept at all. He could sleep about 20 – 30 minutes, then would be up about 3 hours. Then, the pattern would repeat. During that time, I was fighting with breastfeeding, my colicky baby, and suffering at my job. My weight was getting out of hand, and my health was failing. I could not see through the fog of sleep deprivation. I mean, I literally could not see. Try getting about 10 hours of sleep each week and your body actually starts to shut down. My husband supported me the best he could, as did my childless friends. We were all in there together and no one was going to let me fail. However, I kept thinking about my baby. I was only focused on one thing: not just getting one night of sleep, but getting a lifetime of sleep for my son and myself. I wasn’t the mom I thought I would be at my baby shower. I was suffering.
My son’s pediatrician wasn’t too concerned he didn’t sleep. That’s a pattern I see with most of the parents I meet today. It’s sometimes a shrug of the shoulders from your baby’s doctor if your tot is meeting milestones and at a healthy weight range. Oh, and the dreaded advice to “just have your baby cry it out” doesn’t often resonate with parents. It pains me this is the official go-to, when there could be so many other factors at play. If it works for you and your family it’s great, because there truly are babies that are over and done with the crying in 15 minutes. I would say that is a good fit for those babies. However, you might have the baby that cries 6 hours and vomits a few times. What then, doc? I knew there had to be a better way, and I was on a mission to find it.
Enter in a qualified sleep consultant. This sleep consultant was a former social worker who had a passion for sleep and the positive results it had on children. Well, I saw her prices, didn’t bat an eye and enlisted help. It was that or do what? Nothing? I’d read the books and taken a class and was simply all tried out. Well, fast forward 4 nights later and my baby boy went to sleep in his crib without crying. He woke 12 hours later with a smile. I was shocked, and I was rested. Was it a fluke? Nope. He’s 3.5 years strong, loves his bedroom (including his “mass-sausages” before bedtime), and the transition to a big boy bed 2 years later went as perfect as could be. Do you think it is a coincidence that about 6 weeks of him sleeping better, I found out I was expecting little brother?
This newfound rest was essential for my second pregnancy (ugh – my first was only 8 months), and now I was performing better at work. However, something much more magical happened that I didn’t even know was missing: I was connecting more with my baby. I could see him. He could see me, and neither of us were fussy! I felt that I was parenting more effectively and not just showing up. I was present, and I was loving every minute (well, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. He didn’t lose the ability to throw a tantrum).
Lack of sleep – it was a gift and a curse, and it led me to my dream job-becoming a sleep consultant. After getting our sleep consultant’s blessing and advisement, I threw myself into a year long course and started working with a mentor. I was previously a Newborn Care Specialist, so it wasn’t a wacky idea, but rather fitting! We moved back to our home state with the news of Baby #2, and have planted roots in Columbus, Ohio. The past few years has been a whirlwind. I am now happy to say that I have helped hundreds of families near and far take back their sleep. Lack of sleep has become the new normal, but it doesn’t have to be that way. As a sleep consultant, specializing in babies 4 months to 6 years, my philosophy remains the same: I’m a parent too, and sometimes we all need a little help figuring out this muck. To me, the launch of Baby Sleep Central is a reminder of where I’ve been, where I am now, and what I desperately want for each of my clients: more connection with their baby, stronger relationships with those that matter, and renewed direction towards parenting: and it all strengthens with sleep.
Amy Douglas is the founder of Baby Sleep Central. As a Certified Sleep Consultant, she’s been in your shoes. After the birth of her first anti-sleeper, she was inspired to find the answers. She helps other exhausted families from around the world to take back their sleep. Her philosophy ensures you feel completely supported during this collaborative process. Sleep is very complicated, but you don’t have to peel back all the layers on your own.
Amy’s educational background has always centered around maternal and child wellness; holding licensure and/or certifications as a Massage Therapist (Prenatal & Pediatric), Newborn Care Specialist, and most recently as a Maternal & Child Sleep Consultant (2014). She is also a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants. Douglas expanded her ongoing education to include Sensory Based Protocol and Early Behavioral Intervention to further understand the delicate and complex needs of those with ASD, SPD, and most currently, ADHD.
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