Welcome to my first blog post! I wanted to share my story on becoming a certified pediatric sleep consultant.
Right around the time we found out we were pregnant with our son is when our then two-and-a-half year old daughter, Skylar, started climbing out of her crib and coming into our room at night. It turned into a nightly event with her spending the night in our bed, and nobody was getting good sleep so we decided to take down her crib and move her to a big girl bed. We completely failed to prepare her for this transition, and when we came back up from hauling her crib to the basement, we found her sitting in that spot crying. We felt HORRIBLE. So horrible that we ended up taking turns sleeping with her in her new bed. This went on for weeks! The first trimester exhaustion was setting in and I just wanted to sleep in my own bed. My husband felt the same, but my daughter wouldn't sleep alone. So we all ended up in our bed. Again. This went on for several months and we finally decided we needed to address it before baby #2 arrived. I started reading about how to do this - I wanted to be successful in one shot and I also didn't want to botch it again!
While researching sleep training I came across a course to become an actual sleep consultant. I work from home as a full-time pharmacist but have always wanted a little side-gig. Not just any side-gig though. It had to be one that I enjoyed, one that was fulfilling, and one that paid well or else the time commitment on top of already working full-time wouldn't be worth it. I came across several certification courses and scheduled a call with the founder of one in particular - the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. I instantly felt that this was the right course for me and decided to pursue my sleep consultant certification knowing that I would learn how to sleep train our daughter, and that I could help other families with similar situations. The most appealing thing about being a sleep consultant is that it can be done 100% virtually, during my own hours that I set, and that I don't have to be available in the middle of the night! Because remember, sleep is important! If there is one thing that I learned during the fourth trimester after my daughter was born is that I'm a miserable person when I'm exhausted. My brain is foggy, I'm anxious and irritable, unmotivated, and I'm also not a nap-taker and so the whole "sleep when the baby sleeps" didn't work for me. With baby #2 coming, this was just more incentive for me to get my certification so that I could apply this knowledge to my own children.
I'm not going to lie - I skipped straight to the toddler section of the course to first learn how to transition Skylar out of our bed and into her own bed! I had been dreading this transition because as I said before, I wanted to have success in one shot and I was so afraid that we'd be faced with several sleepless nights of sleep training and that I would throw in the towel. We chose the "silent return to bed" method and after a week of preparing her for the upcoming change, we finally pulled the trigger and had immediate success. She was sleeping all night in her own room by the third night!! These days, every now and then she'll come into our room at night and we let her crawl in bed with us. Because you know, they're only this little once and we do love the snuggles... just not the tossing and turning and fear of getting punched (or kicked) in the face! But the best part is that she's confident in sleeping in her own room and we know that a night in bed with us every now and then doesn't ruin any of the sleep training we did with her.
I've completed the course and received my certification as a sleep certified consultant. I started working on my business launch while on maternity leave with my son, Levi, and am now trying to learn all of the fun ropes of marketing myself, using social media to get myself out there, WRITING BLOG POSTS, and everything else that comes with launching a business! It's been a fun journey so far on so many levels. I've been able to help several families already and it has been as rewarding as I had hoped. Most parents come to me out of desperation and I've been there. I know how awful it feels to be exhausted and feel so helpless, and I love having the opportunity to help these families get better sleep by teaching their little one to fall asleep independently.
If you're interested in learning more about becoming a sleep consultant, let me know on the contact form on my site or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - I'd love to chat with you!