Editor’s Note from Carrie:
Baby sleep training… I didn’t even know this was a thing until recently! Since my friend Laura introduced me to the concept, I’m hooked. I’ve attended Laura’s The Baby Sleep Academy, plus I’ve been reading books like Baby Wise and The Happiest Baby on the Block.
So, I’m especially excited to share with you today’s edition of Maternity Monday. Indeed, we are thrilled to feature someone who, not only has a baby of her own, but she, most recently, started a baby sleep training program. Laura Max Rose, mother of almost 7 month old Selma, is a writer and marketing consultant, and is the co-founder of The Baby Sleep Academy.
Maternity Monday : Baby Sleep Training
By Laura Max Rose
Growing up, I was always the first kid to fall asleep at the slumber party. I reveled in sleep, and I knew what happened to me if I missed out on it: I became a cranky, anxious mess the next day. I don’t know why it never dawned on me that I might struggle more than the average mama with sleepless nights at the beginning of my newborn baby’s life. But, as it would surprise no one, exhaustion slapped me in the face when my daughter was born. My despair sent me into a panic. Would I ever sleep again? Was there another option besides carrying on like a zombie for years like I was told might happen? I had to find another way.
I read a book in my 40th week of pregnancy that vaguely outlined infant sleep schedules and sleep training, but I never realized how important the concept would be to me until my baby was actually here and I was willing to sell my kidney for just one good night’s rest. In the first few weeks of Selma’s life, I poured over that book, doing everything it described so I could hopefully get at least a 5 or 6 hour stretch before I went completely insane. Then, a little miracle happened.
Connecting with a Sleep Consultant
Selma was about ten weeks old when I was very randomly connected to a pediatric sleep consultant named Nikou McCarra. Nikou was looking for a few “test subjects” before getting her official consulting certification. She came over to my house, chatted with me for about an hour and pointed out a couple of things I might want to do a little differently at bedtime to encourage our daughter to stay asleep. A few days after Nikou’s visit, Selma was sleeping through the night – for 12 hours. As each night of good sleep piled on top of the others, I began to feel human again. Well, mom human, so still slightly insane, but a bit less so.
Here’s the thing. We’re just like any other family that has to deal with wake-ups as a result of teething, sickness, and sleep regressions. However, because we enacted certain sleep habits early on, we generally get way more sleep than I ever imagined possible with such a young child. Rough nights still happen, but the norm and expectation is that on most nights, my husband and I have a good 12 hour window to ourselves.
What’s Best For Someone Else Might Not Be What’s Best For You
I know “my way” isn’t the way for everyone. It doesn’t take but five seconds to do a quick google search on baby sleep and uncover all of the different perspectives on it and the different ways parents choose to care for their newborn babies. Some breastfeed and feed on demand. Others co-sleep. Some choose to sleep train and put their baby in a separate nursery. I always tell parents (and myself) that whichever route you choose is perfectly fine, as long as it works for you, your family and your baby. As a result of my personal research, I now look at sleep as a gift I give both my child and myself, and most of the time, that makes me really proud.
Introducing The Baby Sleep Academy
After realizing we worked pretty well together, Nikou and I banded together and started The Baby Sleep Academy. We offer private consultations and a 1.5 hour Baby Sleep Class that has already helped many parents get their babies sleeping (check out our Facebook page and numerous great reviews here!) We know that private consultations are what most people think of when they think of a sleep coach, but we’re proud to offer a much more affordable group option that has tons of incredible information packed into it. You can check out our class offerings and sign up anytime at thebabysleepacademy.com/classes.
Sleep helped me feel like me again. And as a business owner, writer and mama, I need the energy it gives me to function and function well. If there are parents out there that we can give that gift to, that’s our goal with The Baby Sleep Academy. We’re all in this together, and being well-rested makes the ride a whole lot easier.