If you were to ask the parent of any newborn or infant how having a baby at home has affected their life, I would venture a guess that the most popular response would be “lack of sleep”.
Lack of sleep takes its toll in many different ways. It can cause memory issues. It can affect behaviour both in children and adults. It can increase irritability which can cause friction between partners or between parents and their other children. It can make a person so fatigued that they find themselves falling asleep while at work, or worse yet, while driving. Lack of sleep is even associated with increased weight gain.
Obviously the reason most parents of a new baby suffer from lack of sleep is because babies are not typically known for sleeping through the night until much later.
So, needless to say, most parents will do anything to get their babies sleeping regularly.
One way is through trial and error, which can be great if things work out early on, but exasperating if they do not.
Another possibility is to connect with Ayleen Gelbart of ABC SleepyTime Inc.
Why? Because she is a Sleep Learning Specialist.
I find it highly relevant to mention that Ayleen is a Pediatric RN ( Registered Nurse) with 15 years’ experience working in the ER at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, so I am choosing to share that in the context of this blog post.
A bit of background:
Although Ayleen’s own first and second children were excellent sleepers, when her 2nd daughter was about 9 weeks old (and sleeping perfect 12 hour nights!), Ayleen herself began suffering from both insomnia & Postpartum Depression, which in turn created what she describes as a ‘sleeping mess’ for her baby, who had previously been an ‘angel sleeper’. About one month later, Ayleen realized how badly things had deteriorated and decided to seek help- both for herself and to find a way to get her baby sleeping properly again. She started to do some research and discovered that there was a wealth of information to be found related to sleep.
So she read, and read and read some more. And she researched. With time she learned to recognize the difference between cries (hunger vs distress). She was able to get her daughter back on track, but continued to learn about sleep because she was absolutely fascinated.
Friends & family began to ask her how she got her daughter sleeping again and Ayleen began to share tips and help others.
Eventually she returned to work at the hospital, but her obsession and passion for learning about sleep continued. She spoke about it with colleagues, and as much as she was learning, she felt she was still missing knowledge.
She had A LOT of questions, and given the fact that she worked at the Children’s she had access to many professionals to whom she could ask those questions. And so she asked…
When she had questions about thumbs vs. pacifiers, she would seek out pediatric dentists and orthodontists. When she wondered about how the nervous system was impacted by sleep deprivation, she’d speak to neurologists. She even asked them to explain the science behind how the brain learns to sleep- She just had.to.understand. Today, Ayleen will confidently tell you that sleep is in fact a skill that must be taught and learned.
When her own third child was born, she taught her how to sleep from the very beginning, and put all that she had learned into practice. It worked
Through word-of-mouth, more & more people heard of Ayleen’s success in this area and she continued to help others. Given that she was now helping more & more people, she would sometimes get the same questions for which she already had answers but occasionally there were new questions and she wanted to be able to answer these questions as well, so she researched and questioned until she could provide the answers.
She continued helping people ‘as a hobby’ and gained more experience, did even more research, and began tracking results and refining her techniques. Her husband urged her to start a formal practice and turn this into her career. Ayleen was resistant because she didn’t really realize how valuable what she had to offer was. She was also daunted by the ‘business’ side of things.
She continued to work at the Children’s and to help others with sleep issues ‘pro-bono’ in her spare time.
By the beginning of 2015, Ayleen had been doing sleep work for over 9 years and with the encouragement (insistence!) of her husband and all those she had helped, she decided that it was time to turn this into her profession…before she hit the 10 year mark 😉
So in February of 2015, she gave birth to her fourth child: ABC SleepyTime Inc.
So exactly HOW does Ayleen support parents?
She offers different types of sleep learning packages, depending on what age and stage baby is at and what is needed. Although Ayleen has developed certain techniques, she does not believe in a one-size-fits-all approach.
She helps both Moms and Dads better understand how to help baby fall asleep and what to do when baby is crying at 3AM for the 3rd time in the night…
She has ANSWERS to A LOT of questions (thanks to all those years of experience and all of her own research and questions)
Her packages include a comprehensive sleep profile analysis, phone support and a HUGE part of what Ayleen does is journal tracking which becomes invaluable to the process.
You should also know that she’s all about tough love, which means she’s not necessarily going to tell you what you want to hear, and she WILL hold you accountable to do what you need to do. That said, Ayleen knows just how difficult this can be and she will also be your ‘soft place to land’ when needed, and provide you with a virtual hug when you need it…and we all know there are nights when parents need it.
Once nights are on track, Ayleen will also help with nap learning, which she considers to be vital.
Ayleen does so much more than “JUST” sleep learning. As an experienced nurse, she has medical knowledge that can be extremely helpful (I can honestly tell you that she helped one of my children in a non-sleep-related situation one night and it made a world of difference). She also helps parents with issues like teething, introducing solids, how to set up your medicine cabinet and your sleep environment.
I should also mention that Ayleen has taken course in child development and has also completed a breastfeeding course, so she is equipped to help Moms with the beginnings of advice, but she refers to other professionals if Moms want more specialized guidance.
Ayleen also prides herself on not leaving her families ‘in the lurch’. For parents who feel they will still need her or just the security of knowing they can reach out, after their ‘program’ is complete, she offers additional support at an hourly rate so that parents can call her with questions afterwards.
Tempted to try Ayleen’s services or to gift them to someone you know? She is offering montrealmom.com readers a $20 discount on any sleep package! (not applicable on hourly rates). All you have to do is mention that you read this post. Please note that the offer is valid for anyone who signs up prior to October 1st, 2016.
Interested to know more but not sure if you want to take the leap to sleep? Stop by the West Island Mommies Family Fun Fair on Sunday September 18th, 2016. You’ll be able to meet Ayleen in person and get a ‘feel’ for who she is and how she works. (And if you’re at all like me- you’ll be impressed with her knowledge, her warmth and just have such a good feeling about HER!)
Want to find out a bit more via web? Check out her site at abcsleepytime.com. There you can learn all about the various packages she offers, her rates and more about Ayleen herself! You may also want to follow ABC Sleepytime Inc. on Facebook.
If you are in the process of ‘surviving’ sleep deprived nights with baby, call Ayleen. If someone you know is going through it, share this post with them (or at least pass along Ayleen’s coordinates. Know someone who’d expecting? A gift certificate from ABC SleepyTime may just be the BEST.GIFT.EVER.
By the way…Ayleen has clients all over North America and overseas, so don’t let the miles deter you from reaching out! Also, if you or someone you know has an OLDER child who is having sleep issues…you can still call Ayleen- she works with children of all ages
On that note I wish you a wonderful day and a restful night, or…as Ayleen would say:
Sweet Dreams 😉
Disclosure: As with all sponsored posts, I will only ever share with you products and/or services I believe in. All opinions contained within are my own and cannot be bought