BRITTNEY STEFANIC IS A CERTIFIED SLEEP CONSULTANT SPECIALIZING IN FULL-FAMILY SLEEP SOLUTIONS. SHE GETS THAT WHEN YOUR LITTLE ONES DON’T SLEEP, YOU DON’T SLEEP AND THEN YOUR MOM BRAIN STRUGGLE BECOMES EVEN MORE REAL! YOU CAN FIND OUT MORE ABOUT WHAT SHE DOES TO SUPPORT CLIENTS AT BRITTNEYSTEFANICSLEEP.COM. BE SURE TO FOLLOW HER ON SOCIAL, @BRITTNEYSTEFANICSLEEP, FOR SLEEP TIPS, TRICKS, TIDBITS AND Q&A SESSION!
NAH, THAT’S NOT FOR MOMS
“Get used to not sleeping”, they say.
We’ve all heard it. It starts when we announce our pregnancies, and it continues the entire time our bellies (and hearts) grow. And then, we bring home our bundles of joy and begin to watch the clock throughout the night as our sanity and well-restedness slipped away, minute by minute and night after night.
It is no secret that when newborns are introduced to life outside the womb, they have a hard time adjusting. As parents, we feel obligated to respond to their needs, so we swaddle them, we rock them, we feed them day and night and we comfort them to keep them from crying. We give no regard to “habits” that we are forming because when push comes to shove, we are coping, trying to get through each day and night without going crazy.
As the weeks pass on, our newborns enter infancy and then, quickly, become active 9 month olds with strong personalities. We don’t dare mess with them now. Coping at this phase becomes bringing them to bed with us because it is just easier, and since we’ve gone 9 months without rest, we are getting desperate.
Before long our bundles of joy are three years old and “sleeping” in their own big kid beds. We don’t care just how long it takes to get them to sleep, nor how long we have to lay in their bed with them. As long as they make it a few hours before coming to join Mom and Dad, we will count it as a win. Everyone is exhausted, and we all deserve to sleep.
Parenting is hard. Parenting on minimal sleep is even harder. Whether you identify with the newborn, baby or toddler parent above, your parenting journey doesn’t have run on an empty tank. Sleep can be your reality!
“With all of the information that I can access through Pinterest and Google, and #allthethings I keep hearing from friends and family who have managed to get their kids to sleep, why would I want to invite a stranger into my life to get my child (or myself) sleeping through the night?”
I get asked a variation of the question ALL. THE. TIME! This is a legitimate and valid concern that a lot of parents have when they’re thinking about getting some professional help with the sleep habits of their family. After all, your mother managed to get you to sleep at some point and your friend has four kids who are all champion sleepers, so they should have some answers for you, right?
Well, yes! At least they might. But then again, they might not.
And let me be the first to say, if you’ve got someone who can help you with your sleepless situation, I’m not the least bit offended if you want to ask them for help before you reach out to a professional. After all, we’re all trying to save money where we can, so if you can remedy the problem without paying for it, I’m all for that option!
There’s a chance that you might be REALLY close to a good night sleep and just need a small tip or tidbit. In that case, listen to your mother-in-law, soak up all the advice from your neighbor and then check out my Pinterest account where I share all things sleep that can be the catalyst for something GREAT – a restful night for your family.
THEN WHY SHOULD I HIRE A SLEEP CONSULTANT?
Most of the time, however, my clients are parents who have already tried the “phone a friend” route and found it (unfortunately) unsuccessful. There are dozens of reasons why that might happen. The biggest reason of all… All babies are different. So what worked for your neighbor’s second babe, your boss’ cousin’s newborn and your own very first kiddo might not be effective for your sleep resistant baby numero tres. And guess what? That’s okay!
Some babies are heavily reliant on sleep props. Others can’t sleep in a room that’s too warm. Some may not be getting enough daytime sleep, and others might be overtired. Some babes quickly develop an association between feeding and falling asleep, whereas some protest more when they are ready to drop their second daytime nap. And, of course, it could be any combination of all of the above, or the many other sleep challenges that babies might experience.
Adding to the challenge is the fact that most solutions don’t work overnight, so parents might try a solution that could potentially help baby start sleeping through the night, but they abandon it before it takes effect due to some heavy protesting on baby’s part which results in lots of questioning the parents’ part. We are a generation of “quick fix” remedies, so oftentimes, we don’t give tips/tricks/techniques LONG ENOUGH to actually work!
In short, sleep is a complicated issue and there’s very rarely one single thing that can remedy the situation overnight. As a professional sleep consultant I have the experience and training to recognize which problems result in specific symptoms and can work with you to develop a personalized plan for your family that addresses those individual issues.
I also pride myself on the support I provide to my clients. This follow-up is vital when things don’t seem to be going right because I am right there alongside you to give encouragement, offer new ideas and keep you keepin’ on until you see results.
WE HIRE PROFESSIONALS FOR OTHER AREAS OF NEED – WHY NOT SLEEP?
If you still wonder if this “trend” of hired help and professional expertise is really something that is worthwhile, consider the example of a personal trainer. Any one of us could easily buy some dumbbells and watch some YouTube videos in order to get in shape, so why would we pay someone else to guide us along? Well, because professionals in the wellness world are able to give solid advice based on their education and experience, help to keep us motivated, and know how to respond to the problems that might arise when we encounter bumps in the road.
We pay professionals (like accountants, house cleaners and photographers) for their services because they provide us with skills and amenities that are worth investing in. They are trained experts in their area of focus, and we are not!
You can call me crazy here but to me, very few things in life seem to carry the importance of sleeping well (and enough). We all know that this mom life is tough. But it’s even harder when sleep is on the backburner. You know that “mom brain” that gives us all sorts of trouble. Well… Part of the problem is a lack of quality rest. Either we are up all night with the baby, we have trouble shutting down our minds at night, or we are addicted to our phones and spend too much time scrolling instead of sleeping. Or maybe it’s all of the above.
No matter the cause of your sleepless nights, investing in sleep can help prevent illness, allow spouses to enjoy one-on-one time with each other once the little ones are in bed, give mamas a chance to catch up on other duties around the house (or Netflix), and boost the overall mood and attitude of the entire family! Heck – sleep is a basic human need.
So when it comes to your family and sleep, I hope you find success on your own and with as few problems as possible. But if that doesn’t happen for you, just know that a professional, certified consultant has the answers and customized support you need to bring healthy sleep back into your home.
Cheers to our mom brains and cheers to sleep,
Brittney Stefanic is a certified sleep consultant specializing in full-family sleep solutions. She gets that when your little ones don’t sleep, you don’t sleep and then your mom brain struggle becomes EVEN MORE REAL! You can find out more about what she does to support clients at brittneystefanicsleep.com. Be sure to follow her on social, @brittneystefanicsleep, for sleep tips, tricks, tidbits and Q&A session!
Educating and supporting families in finding sleep solutions, prenatal through adult