To say Amanda Jewson is a baby sleep expert is an understatement. Mom of two young girls, this Canadian certified sleep consultant and trained educator founded Baby’s Best Sleep in 2017, and has since then helped countless parents create healthy sleep habits for them and their children using a research-based approach to develop custom-tailored programs for her clients. She’s also the creator and host of The Slumber Party Podcast: a funny and informative look at common baby and child sleep issues! We chatted with Amanda to learn more about her services, and to get some pro tips you can put in place for your wee one right now! —Noa Nichol
Hi Amanda! When and why did you launch Baby’s Best Sleep?
After experiencing my second maternity leave and watching my mat-leave friends stop attending social events and become shells of themselves, it became abundantly clear just how important sleep was/is to wellbeing. There is also a lot of shame and stigma around sleep training. I created BBS to give moms a soft spot to land, ask questions and inevitably get the read they needed to sleep.
What is a certified sleep consultant, and who are your services for?
A certified consultant is someone who has completed training in baby sleep training methods. I chose a program accredited by the Association for Professional Sleep Consultants as I thought it was important to be a part of a governing body. I work with babies and children from newborn to age 5 (and indirectly of course, with their tired parents!).
Tell us about some of the common issues associated with babies and sleeping. How do these impact babes, and how do they impact parents?
Many parents are equipped with knowledge about baby gear, clothing and feeding, but sleep is rarely discussed by medical professionals and it is assumed that parents will instinctively know what to do to help their children sleep—this isn’t the case! Many babies are not born with an innate knowing of when to sleep. The adage “it will get better with time” isn’t true for everyone and often a baby’s sleeping patterns are reliant on the parent’s behaviours to help them to sleep (think rocking, patting, shushing or feeding). I help parents to teach their babies how to sleep on their own—thus providing more sleep for tired babies and exhausted parents. These ways of helping your child to sleep are not wrong and often work well! But because humans wake several times overnight (anywhere from 4-6 times) they often need parents to help to go back to sleep. This means many parents are up anywhere from every hour on the hour to 4-6 times a night to help their child get back to sleep. Then they have to wake up and be productive caregivers to the baby and often other children. In a time where we don’t live with our family members to help, it’s quite taxing on parents to show up as their best selves and parents.
What are your top tips (including getting help from a pro like yourself) to help overcome some of these issues?
- Start early! It’s OK to implement things like a bedtime routine as early as day 1!
- Prioritize sleep for you and the baby and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Avoid letting the baby get over/under tired. Appropriate wake windows (the amount of time a child can be awake before needing to sleep again) are key (and you can find these WW on my Instagram!).
- Put your baby down awake to sleep or at the very least, keep practising it! It may take a while but practising helps!
- Call a pro when things are tough. We’re masters at making this as gentle and fast as possible for all parties. Sleep work gets some sideways glances but when done right (with love, emotional support and a plan!) is a really wonderful thing.
How are you able to help babies and parents gain better sleep in just three days?
We create a plan in the light of day (which is important because no one makes good decisions at 3 a.m.—or at least I don’t!) and we have a plan to emotionally connect with the child the whole time. When children (of all ages!) feels seen, heard and supported they cry less. Period. We help parents remain consistent while giving them permission to love, touch and cuddle the baby through the process of weaning the behaviour baby requires to fall asleep!
What sets Baby’s Best Sleep apart from other infant and baby sleep consultants?
Our support is unparalleled. Period. We work with a responsive (and not prescriptive) approach. We may start off with a plan in place but through getting to know our families, we often veer from the plan, change things up and honour the child in front of us. We also work in a proactive manner—we are texting and on the phone with parents as problems are happening not the next day or two days later. This allows parents to avoid common pitfalls of sleep training and have great results quickly. We’re also real people who are honest, forthcoming and open—this matters. Sometimes parents want to keep a behaviour or want their babies to sleep until 10 a.m. We are honest about what’s possible for the baby and what’s most likely to work/not. We’re not into achieving sub-par results and we will work with you until you are satisfied.
What’s some of the best, most heart-warming feedback you’ve received from clients?
This job is incredibly rewarding because you see a changed family in three days. Working with parents in COVID has been especially rewarding. Many new parents start the process afraid, anxious and lonely. A few weeks after we had finished working a recent client she sent me this text: “I know our communication is done. But I just wanted to thank you again. This is the most confidence I have felt this far in my motherhood journey. It’s been overwhelming, lonely and sometimes a little dark. I know COVID has a lot to do with this. It was so nice to have someone to talk things through with. I finally see the light, and already feel so much more like myself. My husband and I are connecting better again, I honestly just feel like I can breathe again. Thank you so much! ❤️” I mean—what a gift to be able to do this work—especially in these dark times!
Win! A $250 Babies R Us Gift Card!
Congrats Sarah Jean F. @jeannel1022 of Saskatoon, SK, who will receive a $250 Babies R Us gift card courtesy of Baby’s Best Sleep! To enter, follow @babysbestsleep and @vitadaily.ca on Instagram and follow the entry rules on our corresponding post. Contest opens June 22, 2021, and closes June 29, 2021. Rules and regulations here. Please note: if you are the winner, you will receive a DM (direct message) in Instagram directly from @vitadaily.ca. Please be wary of fake accounts, which often use similar handles with an extra or missing letter, number or symbol. We will never ask for a payment or for your credit card number, and we will never ask you to click through a link. If you are unsure whether you have been contacted, via Instagram, by us or a fake account, email us before responding.