Meet Jessica, the Sleep Coach just for toddlers & preschoolers! She’s the founder of Awesome Little Sleepers and a new resident of Southport. When her 3 year old daughter suddenly started refusing to go to bed and waking up multiple times a night, Jessica was going crazy trying to figure out how to get her sleep back on track. She could find lots of advice for babies but nothing for her *very* opinionated, stubborn 3 year old who wasn’t confined to a crib anymore. Jessica learned everything she could about toddler development and behavior and then got certified as a pediatric sleep coach. She’s spent the last 7 years perfecting her proven REST Method™which helps parents turn their big kids into awesome little independent sleepers. She’s successfully helped thousands of parents with even the most strong-willed kids get them to bed happily before 8pm and sleeping soundly 10 – 12 hours through the night with no wake ups. She lives in Southport with her husband, Ryan, and their two daughters – Layne (12) and Kenley (10).
Where are you originally from and how long have you been in Fairfield?
Originally from Atlanta but my family has bounced all over from California to Minneapolis to Tampa. We joke that we’re trying out all the climates! We’ve been in Fairfield for only about 8 months.
Tell us about your Family!
My husband and I have been married for almost 18 years but I’ve had a crush on him since I met him in high school! We have 2 wonderful daughters, 12 and 10 years old, and we’re a pretty tight crew. We all get along really well and enjoy making each other laugh. Oh, and I can’t forget the glue that binds our family together, the center of our collective universe – ha! – Libby, our 3 year old Boston Terrier.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I’ve been hang gliding & bungee jumping!
One thing you wish someone would have told you about motherhood?
That it always changes – the good and the bad. It all comes and goes so try and enjoy the good stuff and know that the rest will pass. And if you need some help, get it! Just because we’re moms, doesn’t mean we have all the answers.
What’s your favorite thing about raising a family in Fairfield?
Might be too soon to tell since we haven’t lived here through Spring or Summer yet. But we’re loving the amazing downtown and great restaurants. And the location couldn’t be better! The beach, skiing, Manhattan – it’s all so close!
Best mom hack that makes your life easier?
Wash all clothes together on cold. Pretty sure I was the only one separating my darks & lights until, like, a year ago when I learned this!
Tell us about your business Awesome Little Sleepers, and when & why you decided to start up this business?
What’s that saying…“necessity is the mother of invention”. When my 3 year old moved to a big girl bed and started refusing to go to bed and was suddenly waking up at all hours of the night, I felt like I had a newborn again. It was miserable! You can find lots of help on how to fix baby sleep problems but no one was talking about how to fix big kid sleep problems. And once kids are out of the crib, it’s a whole new set of challenges! I couldn’t survive like that. I need my kid-free evenings and my 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. So, I learned everything I could about toddler development and behavior and got certified as a Pediatric Sleep Coach. Seems kind of extreme but I’m telling you, I was miserable! And I figured it out! I was able to get her back to her good sleep habits and that’s when I knew I could help other families. I’ve spent the last 7 years perfecting my foolproof framework called the REST Method™. Now I’ve successfully helped thousands of parents with even the most strong-willed kids get them to bed happily before 8pm and sleeping soundly 10 – 12 hours through the night with no wake ups.
What is different about your sleep coaching service then others?
The biggest difference is that I’m the only sleep coach who specializes in big kids – ages 3 to 8 years old. My REST Method™teaches families how to work WITH their child to set up new sleep rules, instead of always battling against them. My online sleep course gives families options to customize the approach that will work best for their unique family. It’s not one size fits all. And it’s guaranteed!
Tell us about the different services or ages do you help with?
My mission is to empower families with the tools they need to create peaceful evenings and well-rested kids. So, whether you have a child who refuses to stay put in their room at bedtime, demands a parent to stay with them while they fall asleep, wakes overnight, sneaks into parent’s bed, wakes at 5am – or any combination of these – my course is designed to fix it. All of it!
Without telling us everything what are a few tricks to getting kids to go to sleep, besides melatonin 🙂
Lol! Melatonin is an all-too-common band-aid “solution” but it’s not recommended unless it’s prescribed by your pediatrician. I love helping families get off melatonin reliance so kids can learn the good sleep habits they’ll need for their life.
I’ll give 2 pieces of advice because they’re both so important…
Unless you choose to be a co-sleeping family, one of the best things you can do for your kid’s sleep, is allow them to fall asleep in their room by themselves. When kids develop an over-reliance on parents at bedtime and they need mom to lay with them, sit there or rub their back, that can actually cause overnight wake ups and lead to more sleep issues in the long run. Solo sleep at bedtime is the goal!
The other very important thing is to make sure that you’re putting your kid to bed on time. Most families have bedtimes that are too late which causes kids to get really hyper or clingy/fussy at bedtime and they struggle to fall asleep. Kids under 6 should be asleep by 8pm. If you want some more tips, I have a free Toddler Sleep Masterclass. You can sign up at ToddlerSleepMasterclass.com
Best advice for moms who experience the inevitable MOM GUILT handling a career and raising a family?
I know that I’m doing this for my kids. I want them to see that anything is possible. They’ve got one parent on the corporate track and one entrepreneur. I love that they get to see both. Of course I struggle with the mom guilt but I do my best to keep set work hours and good boundaries around family time. Is it always perfect? No. But, to me, it’s worth striving to find the balance.
Who has most influenced you to be the mom that you are today?
My kids. They inspire me to want to be better, more present and always learning and evolving to meet their needs.
What advice would you share with a new mom or other moms?
Find your own way. And make some mom friends early so you guys can share the experience together.
We love supporting local businesses – favorite places in Fairfield to…
Have Dinner with Family: Little Pub or Riko’s
Grab a Drink with Friends: Geronimos
Have a Date Night: trying new restaurants
Spend time together as a Family: Penfield Beach
Outside Activities: Lake Mohegan with Libby
Grab coffee: Starbucks – where’s the best local coffee shop??