All posts by GreatExpectations

Interview: Brooke Hohenadal certified sleep consultant

It’s common knowledge that babies just don’t sleep, right? Well what if I told you it doesn’t always have to be that way?

I recently had the pleasure of interviewing Brooke Hohenadal, a certified sleep consultant and owner of Bedtime Beginnings

I had so many questions for her, but I narrowed it down to 5 main questions to give everybody reading a good idea of what Bedtime Beginnings services can do for sleepless babies (and parents!)

If you read this and still have your own questions Great Expectations will be hosting a live Q&A with Brooke on July 5th at 8:00 pm

if you wish to receive a reminder or notifications you can click ‘going’ to our facebook event. You can also make sure you follow this blog and receive updates as we promote the event!

on to the interview!

1) What is a sleep consultant?

A sleep consultant is a coach, mentor, motivator, teacher, hand-holder or whatever you need us to be in order to follow a plan to improve your child’s sleep!  Some people need education and guidance, others need someone to hold them accountable to truly implement the changes necessary to solve their child’s sleep problems- as a Sleep Consultant I am happy to take on whatever role you need in order to achieve your goals.

 

2) What inspired you to get into this work?

After my husband broke his leg, when our first daughter was only 4 months old, it only took me another month before I realized that I couldn’t do this any longer!  The constant night waking’s to “feed” (she was just soothing back to sleep, who are we kidding!) coupled with taking care of two babies (once slightly larger than the other…) took a toll on this new mom!  One night, at about 3AM I caved and bought my first sleep book and haven’t looked back.  Once I taught our daughter how to sleep through the night it truly changed our lives, and hers; we now have two girls that go to bed easily each night and sleep the proper amount each day, which means that every day when they wake up they are ready to take on that days challenges.  I was so inspired by how much it changed our lives that I wanted to help others achieve the same thing, but also to just get out there and let people know that you don’t have to go months and months without sleeping, there is hope, and it’s not as bad as you may think (or read online…)!

 

3) What is the most common complaint/problem you hear from clients?

Hmm, this is a good one- I have a few common complaints:

  • My baby wakes up 2-10 times a night, every hour, every two hours, she just won’t sleep!
  • I can only get my child to sleep 30-45 minutes at a time during the day; it is so frustrating, just when I start to do something he wakes up, every time!!!
  • Every night when we tuck our toddler into bed we have to lay with him, it used to be really sweet but now it can take over an hour and he just won’t sleep! 
  • We really wanted to co-sleep with our baby, it’s been wonderful but now our child has taken over our bed and will not sleep in her crib- I really want my husband back in bed with me, it’s really starting to take a toll on our relationship!
  • My baby wakes up every morning at 4:30, I give her a quick feed and she goes back to bed but I am really starting to get tired of waking up at that time- she is 18 months old so I know she doesn’t need a feed anymore!
  • My child falls asleep in their own bed every night but will have a nightmare and comes to sleep with us each night!  I didn’t mind it at first but it’s becoming more and more common, when will he start to sleep through the night in his own bed.

 

4) What is the most popular package bedtime beginnings  offers?

Some families just need a little bit of guidance and reassurance that they are on the right track with their child’s sleep but many of the families I work with benefit from a full 2-week package to ensure their little ones are sleeping properly with as few tears as possible!

What really separates Sleep Consultants from any book, online forum or relatives’ advice is the follow-up support and custom sleep plan.  Having a detailed plan laid out, that is specific to your child, when you are already exhausted makes the changes simple and straightforward and takes all of the guesswork out; on top of that I am here for you every day for 2-3 weeks while you implement the plan.  If you are worried about something, have a question or something needs to be tweaked I am here to offer education and guidance so the whole process can be as smooth as possible for your child.

Depending on the age of the child I offer custom sleep packages, in each sleep package I offer:

  • An Intake questionnaire so I can get all of the details of your families sleep situation.
  • A Custom Sleep Plan based on your responses to the questionnaire.
  • One hour private consultation to discuss the details of the plan and answer any questions you may have.
  • Digital sleep logs so you can track and see the progress your child is making each day.
  • Follow-up support in the form of phone calls and e-mails; this is what all of my past families have loved the most, knowing someone is there for you every step of the way!  We work together to help your child learn this new skill in the simplest and quickest way  because there is someone there to make any necessary changes so that your child learns as quickly as possible.  It’s all about providing the proper tools and structure so your child can learn easily.
  • Bedtime Beginnings Sleep Kit offers additional information after our time together has ended so that you are prepared for any future events (travel, daylight savings, nap transitions etc.).

 

 

5)  If you could give just one piece of information/advice to every expecting parent what would it be?

Respect your child’s sleep; it is as important as diet and exercise!  Children can only deal with their daily stresses when they are running at full capacity- if your child has constant meltdowns, a hard time focusing, or just always seems to be tired then there is a good chance that they are not getting enough sleep!  An early bedtime (7-8 latest) is recommended right up until the pre-teen years- don’t underestimate their desire to sleep, even if they say they aren’t tired.  Pick an early bedtime and stick to it, it might take a few nights for the change to take place but once their bodies realize they can go to sleep at that time they will start getting the proper amount of sleep and it will change their life for the better!

 

If you like what you just read and want to support this new blog please, comment, share, and tell your friends! any support is appreciated. Thank you

Kate,

Why I refuse to call my Clients ‘mama’

If you’ve had any experience in the blogging birth world, you might have noticed this odd trend in speaking about our clients. Here’s 10 reasons why I don’t:

1) The person giving birth isn’t my only client. Yup, that’s right I support ‘papas’ too as the family transitions to life with baby. My job is primarily to support the person carrying the pregnancy, but I do get hired by families to make the transition into parenthood easier…

2) Not all people who give birth identify as ‘mama’ because transgender people exist and have children. I don’t ever want to push potential clients away.
2) Sometimes the partner identifies as a ‘mama’ too and that could just get confusing.

http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/transgender-dad-gay-partner-first-biological-child-trystan-reese-biff-chaplow-oregon-a7767271.html

3) I wouldn’t call my clients parents grandma or grandpa, nor would I call their partner papa or mama. Its a familial term an even though doulas do certainly get very close with families we are not actually family.

Let’s try this on for size ‘ I love looking after my grandmas too! They are usually so tired after the birth happens!’ Does this make sense? No. Just no!

4) Doulas have fought hard for recognition as a legitimate profession. You would not hear a nurse or an OB or a midwife calling their patients mama for a lot of the reasons listed above, so neither will I.

5) As a PSW I’m pretty sure I would have been in trouble if I called my residents ‘Nana’ or ‘papa’ because its unprofessional. I’m just saying…

6) I already have a mama. She is wonderful. I don’t need a new one

7) I truly respect who my clients are as a person. We are not just the roles and titles we choose to take on. 

8) It doesn’t feel right, it’s about as odd as calling a stranger ‘honey’ or ‘sweetheart’ it’s just….no. 

9) I am a professional doula who works hard to maintain the image of professionalism in my industry. Therefore I don’t have ‘mamas’ I have clients that hire me to care for them during birth and postpartum.

10) My final and biggest reason for not calling my clients ‘mama’ is because of the reality that not all of my clients will have a baby in their arms at the end of the journey, and they may or may not want to identify as a mother at that point. I accompany clients through abortions, miscarriages, still birth, relinquishment and apprehension.
I think that this trend is on its way out among professional doulas, and good riddance, because our clients need support, not cutesy names.

-Kate, your lovely, local, London doula

Title of my parenting book

We’ve all been there. Some ridiculous moment where you think WHY?

Chapters considered:

-Where the eff did this orange come from and why is it in your room?

-Do you even want a dresser? Or shall I just throw your clean clothes in the the corner for you?

-How did you even climb up there!?

– Why is there an olive and a quarter in the bath tub

– Its either poop or chocolate. Don’t smell it, assume its poop

– So that’s where my kid learned how to say that

– Toys, toys everywhere!
Got any chapters you’d like to add?

-Kate, your lovely local Doula, mom and blogger

Dancing for Birth

Have you heard of this phenomenal, energizing, connecting, educational and dynamic class for expecting and new moms? Read on

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Dancing for birth combines intuitive childbirth education with…you guessed it! DANCING!

When I decided to join Sheina’s Dancing for Birth Class, I’ll admit I was nervous, because I hadn’t danced in years (well, outside of my kitchen when a scissor sisters song comes on- then I just can’t help myself). I was pretty sure I couldn’t dance at all (and I will vehemently state that I DO NOT dance in public situations), but I figured it would be a good motivation to get out of the house and active with my (then) babe in arms.

The best part of the class was getting to talk to other moms, while we had fun and exercised! I felt energized, and lighter after each class.

I loved every class, in fact I was sad when it was over, and If I was pregnant right now I’d be signing up for the next series… which happens to start very soon BTW (March 21 https://www.facebook.com/events/242210862851251/) hint hint 😉

Do you have questions for Sheina? Head over to her facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/DancingforBirthLondonOn%20/

or email her at sheina@dancingforbirth.com

Have you been to a dancing for birth class? tell us what you thought!

 

-Written by Kate, Local (London,ON) birth and postpartum doula, PSW, Student and mother of 3

 

Are you looking for some free advertising?

Let’s talk!
Great Expectations is a blog for parents in London Ontario written by a local mom, doula and entrepreneur Kate Williamson. 

We are looking to build a network of local businesses by writing blog posts to feature local businesses that new expecting parents want to know about!

If you have such a business please send me an email at greatexpectationsdoula@gmail.com

And of course share this post with anyone interested!
-Kate

3 Tips For Changing Toddlers (peacefully)

Your cooing, drooling, adorable little bundle of joy who hardly squirmed or put up a fuss about diaper changes, bath time, or being dressed, has changed into a (still adorable) laughing, running, thrashing, autonomous human being.The days of a still, cuddly baby on the change table are long gone.

 You might feel frustrated and maybe discouraged if they decide to use their new found autonomy come diaper changing time. You might also begin to dread diaper changes, and maybe dislike how upset your little one becomes. I assure you, you are not the first parent to have a toddler running around with a saggy diaper (or better yet naked) because it wasn’t worth the struggle.
Here are 3 quick tips I have learned diapering 3 toddlers
1) Take Your Time

Nothing will kill your toddlers desire to be cooperative faster than you trying to rush them. Nothing. So, make sure you have a good 10-20 minute window of time if possible. If 10-20 minutes isn’t possible then having an established routine will be, so read on.
2) Find ways to make it fun

Making diaper time fun, could mean something as simple as a special toy on the change table or having a soother\ teething toy (or in our case a favourite baby lotion).Music, or even a favourite video or t.v show can help keep a toddler calm or distracted (and still)
3) Involve them as much as possible

It sounds counterproductive but it’s really not. Little things like letting your toddler pick their diaper or getting the wipes etc are helpful in keeping them calm and encouraging cooperation. Talk to your toddler about what your doing and why, throughout the process. Let them play with a wipe or have them throw the old diaper in the garbage. Or maybe they want to name their body parts, like their feet or toes while you clean them up.
I’m no expert but I do know what has worked with my 3 kiddos over the years. These tips may not work on the first try, especially if the child has formed a habit of fighting you during a diaper change, but over time your toddler will learn to cooperate more if you remain peaceful and calm in your attempts. Nothing ever works 100% of the time so just try new things and experiment with what works and what doesn’t with your toddler
And if all else fails and they are ripping off diapers and clothes constantly… You can always dress them backwards! Let us know if you have any other tips in the comments and I’ll make sure to include them in the next post!
More toddler tips to come. Make sure you check back for quick parenting tips from me and other local experts.
Written by Kate Williamson, Mother of 3, blogger, Birth and Postpartum Doula, and full time fanshawe student

Great Expectations Annual Diaper Drive

Thats right! We’re doing it (again!)

 

This is the perfect time to throw some education your way. Prepare to learn

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Why do I do this? because I was that parent who couldn’t afford diapers. The month my first child was born we couldn’t afford rent or groceries and we turned to the food bank for help, they gave us 8 diapers, and I remember thinking ‘How can I make 8 diapers last?’

Now, I’m in a position to help. Join us as we raise awareness for a critical need in London. #helpababyoutlndn

 

 

Spring Diaper Drive

I am delighted to announce that I am organizing a diaper drive starting on March 21rst! and ending on March 31rst

diaperdriveflyer4

All donations will go to The Rothholme Shelter and Lifespin, both of which serve families in crisis

Please join our group if you wish to donate: Join our facebook group

We will be accepting:

Unopened/opened Disposable diapers (larger sizes are preferred)

Gently used baby clothing

Cloth diapers

and unopened baby toiletries as well

Drop off Locations:

Unique Birth Services (March 2rst only)

Come to the Wholistic hall, enjoy an afternoon of pampering and drop off your diaper drive donation!

head on over to: www.facebook.com/events/433255880165378/

Rebirth Wellness Centre
http://rebirthwellness.ca/
256 Central Ave
London, ON
N6A 1M8

Nurturing Baby (home address-please check out the drop off list in the group)
www.nurturingbaby.ca
Sweet Stellas (home address- please see the drop off list posted in the group)
http://www.sweetstellas.blogspot.ca/
https://www.facebook.com/SweetStellas/timeline
More locations to come!

Sponsors

Great Expectations

greatexpectationsdoula@gmail.com

www.facebook.com/greatexpectationsdoula

Sweet Stellas

http://www.sweetstellas.blogspot.ca/
https://www.facebook.com/SweetStella

Nurturing Baby

www.nurturingbaby.ca

Rebirth Wellness Centre

http://rebirthwellness.ca/

The Doula Chef

http://www.thedoulachef.com/

www.facebook.com/Doulachef