To prepare expecting parents and parents with newborns for the newborn phase and to educate about sleep development.
To empower sleep deprived parents to coach their little ones into a healthy routine of safe sleep and every day life with patience and consistency, using a sleep plan tailored to the age of the child and preference of the family.
To normalize safe and healthy sleep in our society.
I graduated from Missouri State University in 2011 with a B.S. in Biology and a Math Minor. My original plan was to be a zoologist or perhaps some sort of teacher. However, once I got out into the real world, I felt like something was missing.
Little did I know that the several paths I have taken and people that I have met would lead me to where I am today.
I started babysitting for a neighbor during the summer of 2001...when I was TWELVE years old. I don’t mean just a date night here or there. No. I was watching a newborn child from 6am to 6pm, Monday through Friday.
Overtime, babysitting for several families led to long-term nannying for a few. I began to believe in the importance of raising well-rounded children. However, with more families, I began to recognize how important the support and education for the parents of those children were just as important.
After years of experience as a nanny for newborn children up through preschool, I stumbled upon the term postpartum doula. I did some research and boom. Back in 2014, I began studying with ProDoula, a professional doula certification agency and began work as an independent contractor for a local doula agency.
As I started my postpartum doula work, the most popular service parents wanted was overnight shifts to give moms and dads the opportunity to sleep instead of waking in the middle of the night to tend to their newborn or infant child. As my understanding and awareness of what it means to be exhausted or sleep deprived were exacerbated, I decided this was not a long term career plan for me...I also need sleep!
Because I wanted to help parents get their rest while I did the same, I began to research on the sleep development of infants and toddlers and the solutions to help a child and family learn healthy sleep habits. I discovered that Child Sleep Coaching was another career path under the umbrella of supporting families.
I bought the books required for a certification program with the intention of learning about sleep for my job as a postpartum doula. As I began to help my sleep deprived friends back in my home state, Missouri, by just providing education and support via email and phone, the light bulb came on. I decided to start practicing as a Child Sleep Coach in addition to work as a Postpartum Doula.
Fast forward to June 2018 when I became a certified Child Sleep Coach through the Family Sleep Institute. Not only did this program reassure me that I knew what I was talking about, but it has also given me a community of mentors and peers, updated and evidence-based material at my fingertips, and education/advice on how to help families to the best of my potential.
Being a Child Sleep Coach is such an honor for me. I get to hear some of the most authentic, raw emotions and thoughts from parents. We connect on a level that goes deeper than the surface from the very first conversation we have. My passion is to empower you as a parent and individual during your first few steps through parenthood with compassionate support and evidence-based information.
Everyone deserves a good night's rest and no parent should be shamed for striving to have that for his/her family. Sleep is like food. We rely on it for a healthy and happy life. It is nutrition to our brains and bodies with both quantity and quality playing important roles. The type of sleep that a newborn requires is different from that of an infant which is different from that of a toddler which is different from that of a preschooler.
Each child is different. Each family is different. Hence, the sleep plan that your family creates to form healthy sleep habits can look different from your neighbor’s or your sister’s. Your family’s philosophy, preference, and goals as well as your child’s personality and temperament will play big roles in your story. They will determine how you respond to your newborn or which method you choose to help your infant, toddler, or preschooler sleep better.
Regardless of your family's specific sleep philosophy, reaching a goal of a well rested child and family does require some specific components to be in place. It also requires you as the parent to be flexible when necessary and consistent when necessary. It often takes hard work and a lot of commitment.
However, it is all worth it for your child and family to get the sleep that everyone needs for a happy and healthy life.
I am here to provide research-based information and compassionate support so that you do not need to go to a Facebook group, a friend, or a relative for biased and conflicting advice.
When working together, regardless of your parenting philosophy, you will need to agree to use safe sleep practices outlined by the AAP. Thus, every sleep plan consists of guiding the child to sleep in his/her own bed. Working together does not mean that you must use Cry It Out unless this is the method you choose, does not mean your child cannot room share, and it does not mean getting rid of all night feedings unless your child naturally drops them or you make the decision to wean.
What does it mean to be a Certified Child Sleep Coach?
Establishing Healthy Sleep Habits from Birth Through Early Childhood
Biological Sleep Milestones: Stages and Transitions
Common Sleeping Challenges and Solutions: Behavioral, Delayed Onset of Sleep, Crying, Fragmented Sleep, Parasomnias.
Working with Families of Children With Special Needs
Medical Conditions which Effect Sleep
The Incidence, Pathophysiology and Treatment of GERD During Infancy
Parent Coaching 101
Case Study Reviews
Intake Assessments, Evaluation, Creating Sleep Plans, Coaching Process and Support
Final Project with Three Different Families
What does it mean to be a Certified Postpartum Doula?
I participated in a 12-hour workshop and was required to meet specific requirement within a six-month time span to complete the ProDoula Postpartum Doula Certification, which consisted of the following...