Mum and Dad to Annabelle and Evelyn, the family live in a beautiful beachy town on the East Coast of New Zealand. They have just emerged from the first year after Evelyn was born and the impact of sleep deprivation is not far from a distant memory!
Their older daughter Annabelle was a textbook sleeper and they thought they hit the sleep jackpot. Although it was something that was never spoken about out loud (as to not jinx it!) Annabelle slept through the night from 8 weeks old…right until she was over 2 years old coinciding when baby Evelyn arrived (more on this later).
Catherine and Conan hired a sleep consultant when Annabelle was 6 months old as they had to travel overseas for a business trip. Although up until that stage, they were happy to feed Annabelle to sleep, the realisation quickly became apparent that this would not work for the family when Granny had to look after her for a few days and Annabelle quickly needed to learn how to fall asleep on her own and get herself back to sleep after one sleep cycle.
Along came Evelyn a couple of years later and they soon realised that although they thought they knew all of the tricks of the trade with getting (and keeping) a baby to sleep, they soon realised that it doesn’t work for every baby! Little Evie became affectionately nicknamed from the midwife as a Velcro baby. She could not be put down…for 5 months! Two little girls from the same parents were complete opposites on the sleep spectrum across all aspects. Breast fed vs. bottle fed, co-sleeping vs. sleeping in a bassinet, multiple wakes in the night vs. sleeping through, etc.
Between the two girls, over $1500 has been spent on sleep consultants, books and sleep guides using various methods and techniques and although there is a lot of universal information, there is also information at complete opposite ends of the spectrum with conflicting advice which makes it exhausting and overwhelming to navigate through the information as a sleep deprived parent. Some books that arrived in the mail weren’t even opened as they couldn’t face having to page turn hundreds and hundreds of pages let alone find the time.
Catherine is an aspirational go with the flow, see where the wind takes you kind of mother but is more like a don’t mess with my kids’ routine, stick to the schedule type of mother. As far as extroverts go, Con is off the spectrum (and is definitely the fun parent!)
Being fanatical about sleep, Catherine wanted to make information accessible combining multiple techniques that they had used and learnt about and options that could be adapted and implemented depending on the requirements and temperament of the child. Additionally, she was very passionate that almost equally as important to the information was the format that it comes in as operating in a sleep deprived state is like no other and time and concentration ability completely disappear. In the process to get a view about all of the conflicting advice, Catherine became a registered sleep consultant and a trained Dunstan Baby Language specialist in the process. One early morning after Con came back with the reusable coffee cups still on the roof of the car, he agreed that it was a great idea!
Just like their girls are completely different, both Catherine and Conan have unique parenting styles but they both have the common goal of empowering parents to equip them with knowledge so that they feel confident to adapt methods that will work for each baby and family. Ultimately, they want everyone to be able to get a good night’s sleep!