Did you catch my post on my and Max’s sleep troubles? If not, here it is.
After I contacted Nicole she had me complete a questionnaire. Then we chatted on the phone and she spent time developing a sleep plan that fit our family – it was a mix of my parenting philosophy, Max’s needs and a course of action for us to implement over the coming weeks.
As a mama who strives for a gentle parenting, no-cry sleep environment I was so pleased that Nicole didn’t push a plan I wasn’t comfortable with. She gave me tips and tricks to establish a better routine with Max and assured me that good habits take time to build. She offered support and educated guidance when I had questions and most of all, she was a voice of understanding. Pretty much, I’m super thankful for her.
Today, I’m pleased to introduce you to Nicole of Belly to Bean Sleep Consulting …
When I had my first child, I went about 6 months with no sleep, literally days with just a couple hours total! I was always up trying to console her through the night and searching for help on the internet in the wee hours of the night and somehow found a sleep consultant in Seattle. I had already read EVERY sleep book there was and since I was so sleep deprived none of it made sense or stuck. I tried different approaches every couple of days but did not realize you had to stick it out longer than 2min for it to show improvement, Ha! It was awful really, worst time of my life, my marriage too. Anyways, I called the Sleep Lady and couldn’t afford her! Ughhh right back to square one! Books, different approaches, crying to my hubby about this devil seed of a child HE created and then somehow I found another sleep consultant. She changed my life. Her name was Sarina and I will never forget her, with just one phone call (that I could afford) she gave me support, a friend I needed at the time, she understood my emotions and a plan to get Ayla to sleep. In one night my baby was sleeping through the night. I was happy, marriage happy, all good in the Elizondo-hood! I knew that one day I wanted to pay it forward and help other moms in desperate need of sleep help.
What was one of your favorite resources or readings during your training? What book/blog/article do you most recommend to your clients?
There are so many good books out there and countless blogs, articles etc. so I cannot just pinpoint it down to one. At the same time I don’t offer books to clients because they are so sleep deprived none of it usually makes sense, they are just too tired. I am hired because I have read all the books and have the training to back their approaches.
What is one sleep “mistake” you see most parents making?
Letting baby fall asleep feeding.
How important is a consistent nap and nighttime schedule for little ones and why?
Children are creatures of habit for one so if they know what is coming next they are easier to get to sleep, if you are consistently doing the same routine at the same times their bodies natural melatonin will start to kick in automatically. Certain times of the day are better for napping because they suit your baby’s biological clock; these optimum periods balance sleep and wake time to affect nighttime sleep in the most positive way. A nap too late in the day can cause night sleep disruption as well.
What sleep advice do you have for us parents? How can we get better rest?
Watch your baby’s sleepy cues, many parents miss them and then don’t know why their baby won’t sleep. Watch for these signs of fatigue; your baby may demonstrate one or more of these:
- decreasing activity
- quieting down
- losing interest in people and toys
- rubbing eyes
- looking “glazed”
- laying down
- caressing a lovey or asking for a pacifier, bottle or to nurse
Once you see any of these signs get your baby to bed asap! If you see the signs, then you change baby, lotion baby, get a coffee, answer a text, then all of a sudden your baby is wired and no longer looking tired, you have missed the window. Your baby will have gained another hour or so until they are able to relax and go to sleep. Timing is EVERYTHING with babies and sleep. (When I say babies I mean toddlers too).
Keeping things the same and following a flexible but predictable schedule can not only help you get more sleep but help your baby’s growth and development. If your baby is up multiple times a night they are not getting that solid REM sleep they need. Day sleep helps night sleep and vice versa. If you are always on the go and baby is getting short naps under 45 minutes they do not count as restorative to the brain or body. Babies are only babies for a short period, why not give them what they need to grow and develop at a healthy rate?
Are you needing sleep guidance in your family? Hop over to Nicole’s Facebook page and read more about the packages she offers here.
GIVEAWAY ALERT! When the Belly to Bean Sleep Consulting Facebook page reaches 800 likes Nicole will be hosting a giveaway for an adorable owl costume so “like” and share! And, she’s been known to give away a sleep consultation and GREAT discounts so keep your eyes peeled!
Belly to Bean Sleep Consulting provided me with sleep advice in exchange for sharing our experience.
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Thanks for the wonderful free advice, Nicole :) I honestly think that sleep consultation should be a part of insurance packages! Chiro and massage care usually are! How many happier and productive parents would there be if we all got several sessions in preparation and after baby is born??
Wouldn't that be the best – to have sleep coaching wrapped into insurance! It's so important for parents and babies as it's the basis if health! Great idea, B!
Cant wait for a follow up post on what you did and how max's sleep is now! She's so right about the not feeding to sleep, I don't know why so many mom s don't listen to that!
so interesting what she said about letting babies fall asleep "feeding." Does this include nursing? I nursed parker to sleep until she was about 7 months old and she transitioned wonderfully to nursing after naps…now i only nurse to bed…but is that something she doesn't reccommend?
I think it depends on the age. I know for us, we've gotten into a habit of Max always wanting to nurse to sleep … which means I'm the only one who can put him to bed. Nicole recommendedand eat, play, sleep schedule :)