Today I’m so happy to discuss getting your baby to sleep with Carolina Romanyuk. So many moms wish for the day that their baby sleeps through the night. Having a newborn and toddler can be stressful enough and if you aren’t getting enough rest it really can add up to one Stressed Mommy.
Carolina Romanyuk is a Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant and specializes in pediatric sleep hygiene and behavioral coaching. She also is an International Children’s book author of “Goodnight Melanie. Good morning Cory!” and creator of the program “The Sleep Trifecta: 3 Steps to Sleep Success“.
Stressed Mommy – Carolina I’m so excited to do this interview with you as I know it effects so many moms out there.
First, can you tell me what kind of training did you go through to be a Certified Child and Family Sleep Consultant?
Carolina – I received my certification through the Family Sleep Institute. It’s an online program and is the most intensive program that prepares you for almost any family sleep dynamic case based on scientific evidence in sleep. The education alone was over 260 hours, plus an intense final. In addition to receiving the certification, I am also certified in SIDS Prevention and a member of the IACSC (International Association of Child Sleep Consultants.) To keep the certification active, there is an amount of independent coursework needed. The classes I have taken recently are:
Courses in sleep safety, sleep training, and child care by Cheryl Carey, MSW
Chiropractic & infant/toddler sleep disturbances with Dr. Glory Eidt
Incidence, pathophysiology, and treatment of GERD during infancy with Dr. Warren Lynton Shapiro, M.D. F.A.A.P.
Canadian Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths and ABC’s of Safe Sleep
As They Grow, Early Childhood Development course– FSI
Sleep Training for Children with Special Needs (FSI/Dr. Debbie Sasson)
Adult Sleep Challenges– (FSI/Patty Tucker PA-C)
I want to be well rounded when helping my families. Since they are investing their money and time to get help, I want to make sure they get results and that is what I provide.
Stressed Mommy – That definitely is a ton of training! You have 2 children. Is that what made you move into this career – did your children have trouble sleeping?
Carolina – Actually they were both pretty good sleepers but it’s also because I did a lot of reading on sleep before hand. I have always loved to sleep and took my sleep seriously. When we had friends came over our house, I would go place my boys to sleep and be out of their room in a few minutes. Our friends, with their own children, were always in awe and say “why are you out of there so early?” I looked confused and said “what am I supposed to do in there? They are sleeping.” Then I would get asked, how do you do that. So I go into the approach. It was at that point that I realized there was a real need for this and started researching about sleep careers. I found FSI and the rest is history. I worked full-time in Corporate America while simultaneously working on my business. Until last year when I quit Corp America to work on my dream career and helping parents get sleep. That is my true calling. Helping people.
Stressed Mommy – My daughter is now 3 and she has been sleeping through the night since 1. However I’m struggling with getting her to go to bed. It gets later and later. What ages do you find moms struggle the most with getting kids to sleep?
Carolina – At all ages, from 4 months until 6 years and even teens. If the proper sleep hygiene isn’t in place, then children will always have a hard time falling asleep. Which then rolls into adult hood with medication usage, etc. What I mean by sleep hygiene is creating a healthy and conducive sleep environment plus synchronizing a child’s circadian rhythm (internal sleep clock) with an age appropriate schedule. Just the environment alone can make or break how great the sleep is. For example, a dark room vs. a light room. White noise vs. no noise. Older children have FOMO (fear of missing out). If a proper pre-sleep routine isn’t in place, you will continue to see that bedtime is pushed later because they force themselves to stay awake in fear of missing out.
Stressed Mommy – What are the leading causes of why babies don’t sleep? Before my daughter was born I read a lot about using white noise or a vacuum to calm her but I don’t remember if it really made a big difference.
Carolina – The leading cause of why babies don’t sleep is there is no schedule and proper sleep hygiene in place. Most parents aren’t aware of how much actual sleep their LO needs. That is the starting point. To record how much sleep your LO gets and then how much they need to see if they are even on the healthy sleep scope. How is it the air quality in the room or do they need white noise? Yes, those play a role also. Especially if it’s to light in the room. Our body works off of light and dark. Light is our enemy when we want to sleep. Hence why you always hear black out curtains are needed. White noise is used to mask outside noise that can startle or fully arouse a child during a sleep cycle transition. It’s not supposed to cure or help the child sleep if they currently aren’t without a prop. It’s an addition piece to the whole picture.
Stressed Mommy – How long is the process to take a baby or toddler that doesn’t sleep and to start seeing improvements. Is it immediate or does it take days or weeks?
Carolina It depends on the case. On average at least 2 weeks. I’ve had a few days and even close 1-2 months because the older the child, the more ingrained their routine is. Meaning it will take that longer to stay consistent with a plan to make it permanent. Also it depends on the severity of the case and how gradual we may need to be. For example, a family that bed shares vs. a child sleeping in there own crib will take time. Steps have to be taken gradually so you don’t stress the body of the child or the parent. Your goal is to begin with where you currently are and create an exit strategy that compliments your child’s behavior and parental philosophy.
Stressed Mommy – For a toddler age baby how important is a consistent nighttime routine for getting them to sleep at night? Do babies also require a routine?
Carolina – A consistent nighttime routine is extremely important for any age. I have my own routine and I’m 32 lol. A bedtime routine preps the body to get ready for bed and sleep. We aren’t machines. We don’t have on and off switches. A child and an adult is busy all day and by nighttime our body goes into over drive. A routine should be short and relaxing. Going from a transition to bright light, to dim light, to no light, to sleep. From electronics, to no electronics an hour before bed, to sleep.
Stressed Mommy – As a new mom I know that I used to get so scared about SIDS and even had a monitor with an alarm on my daughter. What advice do you have on SIDS?
Carolina – Yes I did as well. It’s very scary and most often even saying the word SIDS is horrific. The best precaution is:
1. Have your LO sleep in their own sleeping space such as a crib and on their back
2. firm mattress
3. fitted sheet
4. no toys or loose blankets. A sleep sack is great and moon cocoon offers a 20% discount if you use the code CR20 when checking out.
5. keep the air in the room clean. An air purifier is great.
6. they also have this wonderful device that came out called the owlet. I have heard raving reviews from it.
7. no wires in the crib. Some video monitors have lots of wires, and parents place the monitor in the crib. There is a devise called VUsee which is a wall hanging monitor. It’s awesome.
8. no bumpers or anything that has strings around or on the crib.
Stressed Mommy – You seem to care a lot about moms taking care of themselves as well as the baby. What methods do you suggest for a mom to recharge so the stress of a baby that doesn’t sleep doesn’t just keep adding up?
Carolina – Thank you for noticing that. It’s incredibly important to take care of yourself and putting yourself first. Some might say that is selfish. But you are everything to your family. If you don’t feel good, that has a ripple effect to everyone else. One method I always use is breathing. Your breathe is incredibly powerful and you can do that while holding your LO to calm them down also. Deep breaths will help sync your breath to theirs. Also drinking lots of water. We under estimate the power of these 2 pieces that are what help us stay alive and calm. Another important factor is focusing on gratitude and celebrating on even the smallest accomplishments. You took a 20 minute shower and did the laundry while taking care of your LO. That deserves a celebration.
Stressed Mommy – I’m sure helping take stress out moms by getting their kids to sleep is very rewarding. What’s the best part of your job and over your career how many moms do you think you’ve help with your methods?
Carolina – Yes it’s incredibly rewarding when I receive emails and calls from my families thanking me and that they couldn’t have done it without me. Usually I’m the last chance for them. Most parents try and figure it out themselves or say their child is teething. Well 3 years pass and they still are not sleeping. Yet what is more rewarding is the reassurance that the parents get after they have went through the process and their confidence back. We live in a world where we try to be the best at everything. Parenting and sleep didn’t come with a manual. It’s stressful being in ON mode all the time. I bring back the clarity and the purpose to families and their connection. Sleep is the foundation. Without that everything falls apart. I have helped countless families and saved several from the verge of divorce because the sleeping arrangement and sleep was so horrid. I get to make a difference and help people. That means the world to me.
Stressed Mommy – what made you decide to write the book to help moms versus working 1 on 1?
Carolina – I do offer 1 on 1 coaching, yet I wanted to create a program that is different than anything on the market. All the books focus primarily on sleeping methods. When in reality that is 10% of what sleep training actually is. You need to have in place 3 components before even implementing anything else..
1. the right amount of sleep
2. at the right time
3. in the right place
Then focus on the method which needs to compliment the child’s behavior and parenting philosophy.
Stressed Mommy – where can moms get more information about working with you 1 on 1 and where can they buy the book? Are you available for speaking engagements and if so how can they reach you?
Carolina – My children’s book :’ Good night Melanie Good Morning Cory’, is available on Amazon or on my site www.AchieveWithCarolina.com under Books. You can also print out a free coloring book from my site. This book is about Melanie Melatonin (our sleep hormone) and Cory Cortisol (our awake hormone) helping their friends in Friendly Forest to sleep. With Bobby the Blanket and Penny the Pillow. The book contains 2 interactive games as well.
The Sleep Trifecta_3 steps to sleep success is what you learn when we work 1 on 1 together. The consultations are either virtual, through email/phone/skype and also in home consultations where I come to your home and in real time show you exactly how you will place your child to bed. What to do when they wake at night or naps. Parents can email me at ItsMe@achievewithcarolina.com or give me a call at 347-770-2242 and yes I will pick up. Not a robot lol. You can also contact me through my website www.achievewithcarolina.com or www.sleepcoachny.com
I am also launching 4 ‘Sleepless in NYC’ Signature classes this Fall and Winter. If you live in New York or would like to visit, make sure to reserve your seat at http://www.achievewithcarolina.com/signatureclasses.
The 4 classes are:
1. ‘How to raise a happy and healthy sleeper’ : expecting parents till 8 months:
2. ‘Why am I yelling and you’re still not sleeping’ : toddler
3. ‘The Mom Incubator’: a consecutive 3 week membership program ( meeting once a week) and talking about 1 important sleep topic accompanied with the pairing of an expert in that field. Such as feeding to sleep and is accompanied with a lactation consultant, etc. It’s a platform for parents through this confusing and google-it-is world. With conversation on the topics of sleep, parenthood, marriage, wellness around panels of experts and cocktail hour.
4. ‘A Father’s Love’: A father’s love, their strength and their firm touch is a secret weapon I use. A father’s masculinity to be used to comfort to sleep. You can think of it as a “father’s special touch.”
When a new baby is born, many fathers don’t know:
– How to step in and help
– When to step in and help
– If they are even wanted to be OF help
This class helps with answering that. Along with having The Marriage Boss, Rick Gabrielly as a coach to talk about opening communication between parents and how to keep that spark alive once a baby is in the picture.
Regarding speaking engagements, please email Maria@achievewithcarolina.com
Stressed Mommy – Carolina thanks so much for taking the time to chat with Stressed Mommy today and I know so many moms are going to be able to start taking steps to a happier good night’s sleep.
Carolina – Thank you for giving me this opportunity and for creating such an awesome network for moms.