Top Sleep Tips From Our Sleep Consultant: Mama Likes

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I wasn’t always a Sleep Specialist, but for much of my life I’ve been a poor sleeper. Sleep is hard work for me, the stress of sleeplessness wears me down emotionally and physically, so I am overjoyed that it’s NOT something my girls will struggle with. Fierce independence and willfulness… yes. Sleep, no.

After teaching Social Studies and Dance/Yoga in the public schools for 10 years I moved to New York City where I began teaching Yoga to kids and adults. Soon, I was drawn to teach prenatal and postnatal yoga and became certified as a Birth Doula. I loved that I could support families in so many areas of their journey: pregnancy, birth, healing your post-baby body, and then teaching children themselves. Mindfulness, relaxation and support was a key part of all these benchmarks.

Then, I became a parent myself. And it was HARD. I found pregnancy limiting, uncomfortable, and anxiety provoking. I had an empowering home-birth and then I spent five months in a state of crisis as I attempted to function on very little sleep with none of the coping skills I had before. I was eager to get back to my work supporting families, but I was too tired to do it.  As my child became more independent, her sleep became increasingly dependent, interrupted and off balance. We were ALL exhausted, confused, and desperate. No matter where I looked for advice and information I was ineffective at successfully implementing it. Finally, at 11 months someone pointed me to a sleep consultant who turned our lives around in a matter of days.Kristine2

As it turns out, my first born is an expert sleeper – she went from sleeping 9 random hours a day to a solid routine of sleeping 16 hours a day. By the third night on our new routine she was sleeping all night long!! Life with kids isn’t always unicorns and rainbows, but the day to day chaos of parenting is much easier to problem solve when the whole family is getting the sleep they need. After a few months I felt like a whole new person, and I was so grateful each morning I woke up well rested. It was really fun to parent my patient and cooperative child who was no longer throwing baby tantrums and hurting other kids in her exhaustion. In fact, life was so dreamy that I began to scheme about two things: having a second child and becoming a sleep consultant myself.  

Now, I have a thriving business and two well-rested daughters. It’s really an honor for me to nurture families in this new capacity: to empower them with education, reassurance and support as they walk their own path to healthy sleep.

These Are My Top 5 Sleep Tips:

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Hospital Bag(s) Hits, Misses, and Regrets: Pregnancy

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When I hit my third trimester it seemed like all of my nervous first time mom energy was thrown into what needed to be packed into my hospital bag. I blame Pinterest. You can’t spend ten minutes searching for Chip and JoJo inspired home decor on Pinterest without seeing at least seven different “Hospital Bag Must Have’s”.  Believe me when I tell you that I combed all of them over at least twice. Some of them were so ridiculous that they included “straightener and round brush” while others seemed to lack the important addition of shower flip flops. Another massive “perk” of my crippling anxiety is the desire it gives me to make a list, achieve the list, and then triple check the list. So, in short order, we had a list for baby’s hospital bag, my husband’s hospital bag, my hospital bag, and of course–the ever so important snack bag. We kept putting off making the bags actually happen, and I also attribute this to the anxiety that once the bags were packed, she was shortly following.

I was positive that I would be the first time mother that showed up to Labor and Delivery with fourteen bags, and never got out of my hospital gown. I decided that I would walk on the edge of caution and pack lightly.

Here is the rundown of what we actually used, what never saw the artificial light of day, and what I wish we would have had at our disposal.

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10 Most Wanted Baby Registry Items

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Registering for baby things was legitimately the most stressful part of the second trimester for my husband and I. I’m a chronic over-researcher who had to find every single Amazon rating, review, and BBB rating for all of the things that we would “need” for baby. Then, once you figured out your essential list…there are at LEAST twelve hundred options that you can choose from for that ONE specific thing that you really need. The internet is weird, man. I checked with all of my Mama friends and got their lists of items that they felt like they couldn’t live without after they became mothers to newborns, researched every Pinterest board that I could find, and this is what we came up with. You can view our complete registries here on Amazon, or here at Target. If you have any “why’d you pick that?” questions for me–please shoot me an email. I’d love to chat! If you see things that you think “Holy macaroon, they are going to be lost without THAT.” then do the same so we can learn from your wisdom.

I’m going to highlight the ten things that we  who am I kidding, I, am most excited for in regards to all things baby registry.

First of all, registering at Target and Amazon were legitimately the easiest things in the world to do. They gave us cute welcome boxes filled with samples, and my personal favorite–COUPONS! Amazon had a lot of products cheaper, with free PRIME shipping that Target, and vice versa. So we went back and forth to make sure we registered for the right place for the cheapest value.

  1. The Halo Basinest Swivel Sleeper

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We are planning to safely co-sleep with baby Virginia until she is at least six months old. After researching all of the benefits for mom and baby, it seemed like a complete no brainer. To do this, we started hunting for bassinets that would reach the height of our master bed. Well, as hard as that entire process was we didn’t really find any that looked remotely functional. I decided on the Halo Basinest because: #1 it’s pretty minimalist and streamlined. #2 It has a light, a vibration setting, soft music, and a nursing timer built right into the bassinet. #3 It swivels. You can swivel the sleeper over to the side of the bed when baby needs you, and swivel them away when they don’t. All without having to get out of the bed. #4 Kathryn Dennis (Bravo’s Southern Charmed…duh) had one for baby Saint Julien which is pretty much all I needed to cement my desire for this one.

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