Let me preface this post by saying that I know traditional sleep training is not for everyone. You do what is right for your baby and your family. This article and Newborn Nightingales is about way more than “sleep training,” so please don’t let the subject matter deter you from reading.
It was no surprise to me that the newborn stage was incredibly challenging on many levels. I’d heard enough from friends, family members, and the internet to know I was in for a wild ride once my first baby was born. I felt somewhat prepared with my baby books and meticulously researched baby registry, but I had yet to find that “baby manual” that people talk about. What shelf of the library was that one on?
We brought our son William home in early August 2020, and the butt-kicking exhaustion set in fast. My sweet bundle of joy “wasn’t sleeping” and “hated his bassinet.” Which meant in turn that I wasn’t sleeping. Between the postpartum depression and anxiety and the overwhelm of feeling like I wasn’t meeting my baby’s needs, I knew I needed help. My husband Joe and I were desperate.
I found Melissa and Newborn Nightingales from a referral, and I immediately sent her an email to schedule a consultation. What came next was an honest-to-goodness baby sleep miracle. In about three hours, Melissa came into my house, waved her magic sleep fairy wand, and quite literally changed my life.
Q&A with Melissa, Founder of Newborn Nightingales
Q. How did you begin your career, and what led you to being a newborn sleep consultant?
A. Prior to starting Newborn Nightingales, I was a NICU nurse for 12 years. After many sleepless nights with my first daughter, Madeline, I researched all I could on pediatric sleep and realized there was a science to fostering great sleep early on. This knowledge really helped supplement my nursing career, and I switched gears to help families in a different role.
Q. What can families expect from an initial consultation?
A. Besides a great sleep plan and schedule, consultations really adapt to each family’s needs. I often help navigate feeding concerns, reflux, gas, colic, skin issues, plagiocephaly, nursery design and setup, and help with breastfeeding and pumping questions, too.
Q. From my own experience, I was so doubtful of a “quick fix,” but I was proven wrong! What can you tell struggling parents about getting the sleep help that everyone so desperately needs?
A. Just because you have a baby doesn’t mean you have to be exhausted. You also don’t have to wait and “sleep train” later. Most infants can sleep through the night around week eight, even breastfed babies. By addressing the right things early on, you can foster great sleep from day one, and children will naturally sleep through the night when they are ready.
Q. You provide more than just in-home baby sleep help. What other services does Newborn Nightingales offer?
A. Besides our consultation options, I have an amazing team of Nightingales to help with the night shifts. Typically they work from 9pm-6am and are an excellent resource for all things baby and fostering great sleep. Some are Registered Nurses and some are night nannies with various backgrounds, certifications, and years of experience.
Q. If a family doesn’t live in the DFW area, what options are available to them?
A. I have phone and email consultation options for families outside DFW. Plus, many of our Nightingales love to travel and have helped families outside of Texas.
Q. What else would you like families to know?
A. Support after having a baby is really essential, and my goal is to make that support more accessible. Some families need a plan and want to put the plan into practice on their own and some families need nighttime relief. We have also had many clients reach out years later and want to help families by becoming a Nightingale. We have a wonderful network to help when you have a baby so you can enjoy those first few months rather than trudge through the sleepless nights alone.
Q. And finally, how can families contact you to discuss your services and packages?
Melissa was the “baby manual” that I couldn’t find anywhere else. I have paid for her services twice (once for the in-home consultation when my son was a newborn, and again a few months later when my family was recovering from COVID-19). Her advice and tangible results are the secret sauce if you are a parent desperate for sleep…both for you and for your baby.