Menu
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.

You might also like:

Why do all of my good parenting or baby-focused inventions come after they've already been invented by someone else? Sigh.

Like the Puj hug hooded baby towel, aka the handiest, softest cotton towel ever created.

Safely removing a wet, slippery baby from the bath can be totally nerve-wracking, and trying to hold onto a towel at the same time without soaking it in the process seems to require an extra arm altogether. It's no wonder so much water ends up on the floor, the countertops, or you(!) after bathing your little one. Their splashing and kicking in the water is beyond adorable, of course, but the clean up after? Not as much.

It sounds simple: Wash your child, sing them a song or two, let them play with some toys, then take them out, place a towel around them, and dry them off. Should be easy, peasy, lemon squeezy, right?

But it hasn't been. It's been more—as one of my favorite memes says—difficult, difficult, lemon difficult. Because until this towel hit the bathtime scene, there was no easy-peasy way to pick up your squirming wet baby without drenching yourself and/or everything around you.

Plus, there is nothing cuter than a baby in a plush hooded towel, right? Well, except when it's paired with a dry, mess-free floor, maybe.

Check out our favorites to make bathtime so much easier:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

My belly has been through some things.

Hyperemesis Gravidarum (yep, severe debilitating pregnancy-related vomiting), the pregnancies of each of my four kids, the 65 pounds of weight gain I have endured with each pregnancy, stretch marks, Occupational Therapy for pregnancy pelvic pain, unmedicated childbirth, and of course, postpartum recovery.

It's my personal opinion that this belly deserves some love. So starting with my second pregnancy, I've relied on Belly Bandit's postpartum belly bands (which I own in three sizes) to help support my core, reduce swelling, and begin to activate my midsection after nine months of being stretched to the max.

Here's why I love Belly Bandit:

Keep reading Show less
Shop

Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


Keep reading Show less
Learn + Play