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How I became a Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant

I spent the majority of my adult life being a career nanny. I had the honor of helping to raise some wonderful kids and many of those families I am still in touch with today. Even though I knew a lot about babies and had a ton of experience with kids, when my son was born I struggled with how to feed him and how to get him to sleep. He woke up every two hours for the first eight months of his life to eat. It was exhausting, but I didn’t know any better and didn’t know how to fix it. After I found my footing, I knew that I wanted to help other moms in a way that I had needed help, separate from my role as a nanny. In 2015, I worked for a family who had just had twins and had hired a postpartum doula after they were born. Once I learned what that entailed, I was hooked! It was exactly what I had been wanting to do and had never known it was an occupation. When the twins were ready to go to preschool I took my first postpartum doula training. It was amazing and I was so ready to get started.

I worked as a postpartum doula for a couple of years and was always asked the same questions; 

“How do I get them to sleep through the night?”

“What can I do to extend naps?”

“Why are they waking up so early?”

“Should I be doing something in the newborn stage to promote good sleep?”

Honestly, I had NO idea! So, I read some articles, I reviewed the books I had read during my doula training but there are so many methods and different techniques and so many books about sleep. I didn’t know where to start. Adding sleep consulting to my already existing doula business sounded like the next logical step to take. I began to research programs and found that they were insanely expensive. I also noticed that I could sign up for the course, pass the exam and be a consultant without ever having to talk to a single live person. Ever. 

My doula training had been in person and I was able to reach out to the instructor if I had a question or need advice, we were Facebook friends and she was very much a mentor to me when I started. I wanted that same experience with this training, I wanted it to be personable. And then I found Jayne Havens.

I am not even sure how I stumbled across Jayne Havens and her program, The Center for Pediatric Sleep Management. I believe I saw her name pop up in one of my doula Facebook groups. She was building her business and had a little over 100 graduates at the time. I joined her Facebook group, Becoming a Sleep Consultant and within minutes she had sent me an instant message, inviting me to a Zoom call to have a one-on-one with her and discuss signing up for the certification. She asked me about myself, my life, my family, my business, and why I wanted to be a consultant. It impressed me and made me excited. Jayne’s program was affordable and personable and I saw that she was building a community of sleep consultants to mentor each other and cheer each other on. I signed up that day. The course was interesting and informative and taught me answers to all the questions my clients were asking me. I looked forward to the lessons and when I got stuck, Jayne and the other consultants gave me the push I needed. The course gave me new tools for my doula business but it also helped me confidently launch an entirely new business as a certified pediatric sleep consultant. 

When I worked as a nanny, my schedule was at the mercy of the families I worked for. It was hard to take a day off because that required them to take off. My vacations were scheduled around their vacations. It was hard with my own young child to figure out summers and camps, school holidays, and work schedules. As a single mom, I needed a lot of help from friends for pick-ups and drop-offs. I had to rely on other people and I missed a lot of school events and summer days with my son. As a doula, I was able to have a more flexible schedule but I still needed to be flexible with the family’s needs. As a certified pediatric sleep consultant, I work virtually and am able to be anywhere in the world and still support my clients. I am always able to pick my son up from school.

In the last two months, I have supported 15 clients. It has been my most profitable time and I have done it from my couch, from my car, while watching my son play baseball, and while supporting other families as a postpartum doula. Last week was my son’s spring break and I took him to Florida for a week while supporting 6 sleep clients. I wrote a sleep plan while sitting at the pool, watching the boats sail by.

Becoming a certified pediatric sleep consultant is by far the best thing I have ever done for myself and my business. When I start with a family who is struggling, frustrated, and sleep-deprived, and after the first night they are seeing progress and it shocks them, it makes my whole heart happy. I am so honored to step into the lives of these families for just a short time and watch them start getting the sleep they need. Their moods change, the babies are happier and they think I’m a magician. I seriously have the best job…

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