I hired a baby sleep consultant—and I wish I had done it sooner 😴

When you're a sleep-deprived new mom, it's hard to solve anything alone. Sometimes you need to take a step back and get some perspective which, for me, meant farming out the process to a trusted individual.

I hired a baby sleep consultant—and I wish I had done it sooner 😴

Full confession: When my baby was 2 months old, I hired a sleep consultant.

Hold up. Hadley, Aren't YOU a sleep consultant?!

Yep! But in that moment I was also a new mom. My baby was doing a great job overnight but she had a serious love affair with her Ergo at nap time. My chiropractor took one look at my warped back and sat me down for a serious chat: my infant wasn't getting any lighter, nor was she showing signs of loving her bassinet during the day.

Sleep consultant or not, exhaustion is no joke. It's not particularly fair that women are expected to create tiny humans, give birth to them, not sleep for a few months... but still function like rational human beings. As a new mom of two, I felt overwhelmed by life so couldn't decide on a sleep strategy and stick with it.

One day I reached my breaking point.

As soon as my husband arrived home from work, I launched into a long-winded rant. "I can't keep doing this… my body is literally breaking… If I have to put her in the carrier one more time, I'll lose it… I make sleep plans for other peoples' babies, WHERE IS MY PLAN?!"

He took one look at my crazy eyes and calmly suggested that I call a colleague for help.

I ignored his advice. For the next few days, I grumbled about how it was silly to pay good money for this—I was a sleep consultant and soon my baby would recognize my genius. Anyway, the sleep situation would magically improve on its own, right?

Spoiler alert: It didn't.

I admitted defeat. Doctors make the worst patients and, apparently, sleep consultants make the worst clients. I called a colleague, over-apologized for the fact that I couldn't figure this out myself, and threw myself humbly at her feet for advice.

After ending the call, I already felt better. I had a plan. All the doubt, confusion, and feelings of failure disappeared and I felt reinvigorated to tackle my daughter's nap time shenanigans. Suddenly, I felt like I could.

And it worked.

I tried not to overthink things, followed the plan, and hoped for the best. Within a few days, my daughter had made some progress. There was light at the end of the tunnel.

A week later, she was no longer attached to me for half the day like a demented marsupial. I felt like I could breathe again. (I could also cook, clean, watch TV, and work while she was napping in the other room). Amen.

Here are my takeaways from this experience:

  • My daughter is not impressed that I'm a sleep consultant. Despite the many tricks I have up my sleeve, she's much smarter than me.
  • Parents face very real barriers to reaching out for sleep help. You might feel ridiculous that you can't solve the problem yourself. You might worry that it won't work. You might worry that it's not worth the investment, both in terms of your time and your hard-earned cash. Or you might not be able to find the mental bandwidth to even ask for help. I get it. I was there.
  • Sometimes you need your village. I had an arsenal of knowledge at my disposal and should have been able to find the answer myself. But when you're a sleep-deprived new mom, it's hard to solve anything alone. Sometimes you need to take a step back and get some perspective which, for me, meant farming out the process to a trusted individual.

So I'm here—in humble, full-confession mode—to say: if you're struggling with your baby's sleep, it's okay if you need some extra help. Go for it. Whether that means reaching out to a professional (doesn't have to be me!), your pediatrician or a very wise friend, it's worth it.

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14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Detective set

Plan Toys detective set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

Codex Beauty: Exceptionally effective sustainable skin care

Codex Beauty's line of sustainable plant-based skin care blends the science of plant biology with biotech innovations, to create clinically proven, state-of-the-art products for all skin types. They're all vegan, EWG and Leaping Bunny verified and created in collaboration with Herbal Scientist Tracy Ryan who uses concepts dating back to the 8th century leveraging plants like sea buckthorn and calendula flower. Not only are we totally crushing on the innovative formulas that are in the packaging but we're in love with the sustainable sugarcane-derived tubes as well.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

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