April Russo, of Sleep Sister, is a NICU nurse who is a local Sleep Consultant as well! We were able to spend some time with April and learn more about sleep training and her services and we could not wait to share with you!
Let’s get started by learning a little more about you! Can you tell me about yourself and your services?
My name is April! I am a NICU + Research Nurse, and Certified Sleep Consultant. I own a company called Sleep Sister where my mission is to help families get more sleep and establish healthy sleep habits with their newborns through 4 years old! I offer a range of support from a question and answers call, virtual ongoing support packages, and also in-home support.
When and how do you recommend beginning a sleep program with babies?
It’s never too early to start implementing healthy sleep habits with your baby! I recommend starting to implement developmentally appropriate strategies even before your baby is born! There is so much you can do to start your baby’s healthy sleep habits even before starting formal sleep training at 4 months old!
What are your two favorite methods to use for sleep training babies?
Depending on the age and temperament of the child and also the level of comfort the parents feel with the method, I have a number of methods to choose from when writing a sleep plan. Of those methods, I find most success with the methods involving consistent and increasing intervals for parents to "check in" on their child. The most success I see is with families who consistently implement this for two weeks! The best tip I have for parents who desire better sleep for their child is to have a plan and be consistent with that plan!
How do you recommend working with a team of childcare providers? (i.e., parents, grandparents, nannies, daycare)
I encourage every caregiver to be on the same page about the care of the child including the sleep goals set for them. This way, there is consistency and that child will learn to know what to expect and when to expect it. When working with families with multiple caregivers, I like to have communication with everyone to ensure all are on board with the changes being made.
What is the best advice you give your families know throughout the process?
The best possible advice that I can give the families that I work with is to be consistent! Consistency is key when it comes to making any change especially when it comes to sleep for your child.
What are the biggest challenges to sleep training your child? When do you switch methods when faced with challenges?
The biggest challenge that parents face when sleep training their child is not knowing if they’re doing the right thing, leading to an inconsistent approach. That is where I come in! Having a medical background with years of experience working with infants and toddlers, I am able to support these families in feeling confident that what they’re doing is the best thing for their family!
Want to know more? Check out April's website here!
The Sleep Sister