A Q + A with this month's special guest.

In just a few short questions, we can already see the amount of sleep information we will get from Jessica next week! Read on to see for yourself.

How did you become the Baby Sleep Geek?

My son had always had trouble sleeping. I call him my "spirited sleeper". When my daughter was born I decided that in order to keep my sanity, I needed to do things right from the start. After spending many hours researching online forums, reading numerous books by sleep experts, + even seeing sleep specialists for my son, I came to the conclusion that while there is a vast amount of information available, it's not easy to interpret, often conflicting, + difficult to implement when you are insanely sleep-deprived. I knew there had to be a better way + was excited to learn about the growing field of sleep consulting. In addition to my certification as a Child Sleep Consultant through the Family Sleep Institute which I received in February 2014, I have a master's degree in public health with a concentration in maternal + child health, am a Certified Lactation Counselor, + have training in health literacy + health behavior change. This diverse training + background provide a comprehensive approach which goes beyond just sleep, taking into consideration breastfeeding, nutrition, + other child health issues.

What are your favorite things about helping parents?

My favorite thing about helping parents is seeing their confidence in their ability to meet their child's sleep needs grow. My ultimate goal is to equip parents with the tools + skills to handle whatever the night throws at them—basically, it's a success if I work myself out of a job!

Do you use your method with your own children?

I don't have a specific "method" that I use, instead, I use a combination of approaches that have been scientifically proven to work, + then customized to the family's unique needs. There are certain components that I use within my own family, such as a soothing bedtime routine, age-appropriate schedule, consistent limit setting, + an environment conducive to sleep, but I also customize to meet my own family's needs.

Do you ever let your kids stay up late + why?

Of course! Making memories is an important part of life! But what makes it possible for my kids to stay up late now + then is that 99% of the time I keep a strict + consistent bedtime. Keeping their "sleep bank" full means they have some extra change to give away when a special event keeps them up late. It's also important to understand just how much variability your child can withstand + still stay rested. It varies from child to child + also as they get older.

What is your favorite fun thing to do with your kids?

Well, it's winter + we love hitting the slopes! My kids are avid skiers + snowboarders. It's also great because it wears them out + they sleep like logs!

Thank you, Jessica. We can't wait to have you here at Little next Thursday, March 15th at 5:30 pm. If you haven't gotten your tickets to this can't-miss event, you can do so here.


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