Prior to the arrival of my son, Harry, I was a lawyer for almost 15 years. I approached my pregnancy and impending parenthood as I would a new case – I did a lot of research and ultimately felt pretty relaxed as to what lay ahead.
I knew sleep in the early months would be broken – everyone knows that, but as we approached Harry’s first birthday he was still waking twice-nightly and would often stay awake for an hour or even two. His naps were 40 minutes almost to the second and he would wake obviously still tired. I felt I was failing him – despite reading seemingly everything the internet has to offer on the subject, I couldn’t help my little boy to take the rest he so clearly needed.
I ultimately decided to delay my return to work. Having to think on my feet in the courtroom didn’t seem feasible when I was averaging 5 hours of broken sleep a night. With the benefit of hindsight there was actually something else at play – my losing battle with child sleep had fundamentally affected my confidence.
Even with the pressure of work relieved, I knew we needed help and so I tentatively contacted a sleep consultant. I had delayed doing so for many months – partly because I hoped things would improve but mostly because I thought any form of sleep-training would mean leaving Harry to cry and I just wasn’t prepared to do that.
I couldn’t believe it when two weeks later, Harry was waking refreshed from 11 hour overnight sleeps and glorious naps of 90 minutes each, without a single tear having been shed - by either of us! Having read so many contradictory articles about baby sleep yet never being sure that what I was doing was “right”, the effect of having someone else (who wasn’t sleep-deprived) steering the course, calm, steady, rational and supportive, was profound.
A passion for child sleep was ignited and so when the opportunity arose to train with one of the UK’s leading infant sleep experts, I knew a permanent career change was calling. After gaining certification, I initially sat within an established sleep consultancy, acquiring a wealth of expertise before launching Little Sleep Stars at the start of 2018. Committed to gentle methods which support a strong parent/child attachment, my approach is to equip children with the skills, confidence and security they need in order to sleep well. Whilst some children do naturally find sleep trickier than others, there really is no such thing as a “bad sleeper” – it’s just that some little ones need more help to unlock their inherent sleep potential.
With clients spread throughout the UK and overseas, I use video-conferencing to work with families whatever the geography. Not all families need one-to-one help – for some, the right information at the right time is enough to help them gently overcome their little one’s sleep challenges. The Little Sleep Stars’ blog (Little Sleep Star Stories) is full of helpful hints and tips, designed to help parents navigate common sleep issues and holds the coveted MyBump2Baby “Favourite Blogger” status.
I write ad hoc and column advice pieces for multiple publications (in both online and print media format) such as Modern Mumology and the working parents’ magazine, MMB, and regularly work with the well-known high street retailer Mama’s and Papa’s providing child sleep advice at in-store events. I also provide specialist support to a number of parenting programmes, hubs and conferences.
Within an expanding commercial portfolio, I am increasingly working with large corporates (including multinationals) committed to retaining, enabling and developing staff who are also parents and am involved with a number of returners’ programmes which support mums back into mid to senior level professional careers following maternity leave and/or career breaks.
To discuss how Little Sleep Stars can help you, get in touch today – I’d love to hear from you!
Member of the Association of Birth and Baby Professionals