There is one topic when it comes to infants that always brings tons of conversation, questions, and let’s face it, desperation and that is SLEEP! We decided to reach out to an expert on the topic to see how she helps families get more sleep. Meet Dana Parsons owner of Sheep at Night and certified sleep consultant! After getting some tips below make sure to check out her website where she even provides some great sleep breakdowns by age (newborns up to 3 years).
- How long ago did you start Sheep at Night and what was your inspiration?
Sheep at Night is a brand new company started in 2012. My inspiration for the launch came from my own personal experience working with a sleep consultant. I had such a meaningful experience, I always knew it was something I wanted to pursue. I have the chance everyday to impact families in a positive way and truly change their lives for the better.
- What exactly does a certified sleep consultant do for families?
I have been certified through the Family Sleep Institute learning from one of the pioneers of this industry. I also do continuing education classes in areas such as post partum depression, SIDS, and many more. As a certified child sleep consultant, I work with pediatric offices, preschools, parenting groups, nanny agencies, and individual families working to solve sleep problems. The problems can be anything from solving night wakings with infants and breaking a short nap cycles to solving issues with preschoolers staying in their beds at night. If a parent has any concerns about their child’s sleep, I closely examine the issue and find a way to solve the problem. Some of the problems I see can be fixed in a matter of days while other problems can take multiple weeks of consistency and patience to overcome.
- Do you go into families’ homes or do you work with them other ways?
This is a common question I get all the time! I truly believe in empowering parents to get involved and be the key component in solving the problem. This happens by putting the parents in charge and having them complete the task themselves. I work with the families throughout the entire process. We start out with either a consult over the phone or in person and come up with a plan that the parent will feel comfortable implementing. We will then continue to follow up via email and phone over the course of two weeks. This type of follow up support is crucial for success and also helps give the parents the confidence they need to get through the process. While I do believe it is always best for the parents to be in charge of implementing the plan, I understand that sometimes you need someone by your side to get the job done. I always advise someone interested in having me at their house to contact me so we can discuss it.
- What about for our Moms of Multiples…do you provide support for multiples?
Of course I support MOM’s. I am actually a contributing writer to the MOM’s of lower Fairfield county newsletter. I have a new “Ask the expert” column for every outgoing newsletter. I offer the same type of support and consults for mothers of multiples with no extra fees.
- Is there one piece of advice you would give to new parents on sleep?
Start from birth! While no official sleep training can begin until around 4 months of age, there are certainly techniques and routines that can be put in place from birth that will help both you and the baby.
- Do you have any advice to a mom that wants to start her own business?
Make sure it is something you are really passionate about. It is hard work to be a busy mom and business owner and sometimes other things get sacrificed. Those sacrifices are TOTALLY worth it as long as you are passionate about your business
- What does your daily schedule look like? How do you divide your time and priorities between your kids, your husband, your home and Sheep at Night?
I have two active preschoolers so my time has to be carefully divided between work and family. I answer emails first thing in the morning before the kids are awake. It’s my way of starting off the day and ensuring the my morning routine with my kids isn’t interrupted by work. I am fortunate to still have both my kids napping so I get another gap of time in the afternoon for work and home obligations. Truly, it’s a daily juggle to find a way to fit it all in. Somehow, I find a way.
Thanks Dana for sharing and for helping families get more sleep through Sheep at Night!
Sweet Dreams! xoxo, Julie