31 Transcript: Sleeping Made Easy (with Susie Parker)

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J: You're listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, episode number 31.

S: When it comes to sleep, I just wasn't that a rigid with my first, I did a lot of things wrong and I dealt with a lot of not great sleeping nights, but we kind of fuddled through it. But with my second child, she was born and I remember being in the hospital and literally, she was just staring at me with these beady eyes and I’m like, “This baby is not going to sleep well, is she?”

Intro: Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, stories of vibrant women living happy lives. And now, your host, Jen Riday.

J: Welcome to Vibrant Happy Women, I’m Jen Riday, your host, and on our last episode, I had a fun time talking with Amiyrah Martin about how to live a frugal life but still live a very full life. If you’re wanting to get your budget in control and get out of debt or just improve your financial situation, be sure to listen to that episode. Today, I’ll be talking with Susie Parker all about how to teach your infant or your preschooler to sleep better. Susie is super down-to-earth and she kind of takes things in strides and has a good perspective on sleep problems. She's not too far in either direction, so we'll go ahead and get started and you can get some great tips from Susie.

Welcome to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast, I’m Jen Riday, and today, I’ll be talking with Susie Parker. Susie is a certified sleep consultant and founder of Sleep Baby Love, Child Sleep Consulting. She is a ‘been there, done that’ mom of 2 beautiful girls who've had her deal with many sleep challenges head-on. She can help your baby, toddler, and preschooler to learn to love sleep with a great plan and amazing accountability. Susie lives in Chicago with her husband and her 2 girls. Welcome, Susie.

S: Hello, how are you? Thanks for having me.

J: So glad you could be here. We are pretty close geographically so this is kind of a new one for me; usually, everyone’s from far away. So we always start out our show with our guest’s favorite quote, so what would you like to share with us today?

S: Yes. So because I’m a sleep consultant, it's definitely one of those online… if you're on Facebook, a lot of people have a lot of opinions. So here's my quote, it’s, “Seeing both sides doesn't make you less passionate, it makes you compassionate.” So it's really just saying that, even though you might not agree with a certain parenting style, you can understand that it’s a parent’s decision and… and their decision only for what they do with their family.

S: Mm, that's perfect. And I have a suspicion that relates to your low point, so go ahead and talk about that for us.

S: Yeah. So, you know, I’m a sleep consultant because of my second child which is always a funny story which my first child… let me tell you about, I did everything wrong.

J: Oh.

S: So I have 2 girls, one just started kindergarten so obviously they're getting older now. But, you know, when it comes to sleep, I just wasn't that rigid with my first. I did a lot of things wrong and I dealt with a lot of not great sleeping nights, but we kind of fuddled through it. But with my second child, she was born and I remember being in the hospital and literally, she was just staring at me with these beady eyes and I am like…

J: (Laughs)

S: “This baby is not going to sleep well, is she?” And we like could not get her to sleep. Like… you know, and my first experience was I had a really sleepy baby. Well, my second one, it was like, “Just go to sleep. Isn't that what babies are supposed to do?” So we come home from the hospital and it just took everything to get her to sleep. And maybe because I try and do things at least well, I was like, “Okay, babies need to sleep to grow,” so I literally spent, what I felt, like all day long pacifying her, rocking, sticking my boob in her mouth and just trying to get her to sleep. So we hit some low times in those first months and then, to add to it, my older daughter, who was no easy baby or a toddler at that point, she was 2, she decides to jump out of the crib.

J: (Gasps) Oh boy.

S: And so we’re just being these sleep-deprived parents, we said, “Oh, let's…let’s just convert her to a toddler bed.” So those first few months were just a hot mess of being a parent.

J: (Laughs)

S: I just really was literally beside myself saying, “How can I get a baby who just doesn't naturally want to sleep?” like it was just really ridiculous. And, you know, we'd be happy; 2 hour stretches, you know…

J: Oh boy.

S: … it was just getting by on just fumes and a prayer during those initial months.

J: Fumes and a prayer that's great.


S: I know, I know. So we… you know, it was kind of that low point that made me say, “Okay…” I just kind of knew about sleep-training, I did not do it with my first daughter which is the ironic part. So I said, “Okay, well, let's get her a little older, let's kind of wait to figure, you know, sleep out,” so I was just kind of waiting until she got a little older and I eventually did have the sleep train her. But up until that point, I was Googling so much about sleep while I was holding my baby in, you know, one arm and Googling with the other hand. I think… I remember a lot of times with the iPad just, you know, with one hand while my baby is sleeping in my arms. But I really did start realizing there's this whole knowledge about sleep and it was almost like an obsession was born in those early months because I kind of knew what I had to do eventually and I didn't want to do it and I didn't think it was going to be fun, but I knew that having my baby learn how to sleep independently (which she had no capability up until that point) was going to be the thing that was going to help her and ultimately us.

J: Susie, as you were sharing that story, I kind of started thinking, “Wow isn't it kind of providential that you had this horrible problem and then were able to turn it into a way to help other people?” kind of seems almost it was meant to be.

S: It was meant to be.


S: No, it was it was really meant to be. I have always wanted to start a business, that's the funny part, and it was kind of that like, “Oh wait, there’s support?” And one of the things during my low point in those early months, I really found a supportive community online.

J: Mm-hmm.

S: If you Google a lot, you will find a lot of different things. And this is before Facebook groups became popular, but basically there's, you know, a group of maybe about 8 to 10 women, they were going through the same thing that I was, they had similar babies and we'd always just share our war stories; our sleep stories.

J: Mm-hmm.

S: So through that, I got to like my online friends supporting me, but that's really what I found is, once I got past that, once I have a great sleeping baby, you know, shortly thereafter, I realized that having this support and knowledge is so important to just really support parents. Because, unless you have all that time where you are holding a baby, Google is really overwhelming. So you have to decipher what's going to be best for you, and for some parents, when they're Googling, it's just so overwhelming. So I realized that, “While, through my experience, through my story, through my ability to help my baby sleep better, I can help others.” So that's really how, it was pretty quick, I learned the certification program. This is probably about a year and my baby was probably about a year old so it was… you know, I went through, a couple months went by, but there's a certification program to become a certified sleep consultant and I’m like, “Oh my god, that's my lightbulb moment. I… that is my business that I want to create. I want to help others to support them through what I went through.” And I can tell you very firsthand how what it feels like what they are going through, so I think that adds a ton of credibility through empathy.

J: Mm. And so if a parent comes to you, usually probably it's the mom that contacts you, would that be right? Or did the dads get involved in solving this problem. (Laughs)

S: I think the majority, you know, of parents are typically the mums that reach out, but, you know, with the dad's influence of like at least buying into the process, but I’ve been working with a lot of dads lately. It was just actually fun. So it depends, but I would say parents, typically the moms reach out.

J: Okay. So the moms reach out and they come to you and I can imagine they have this… this stress of conscience trying to know, “Ah, we’re supposed to be attachment parents who meet our children's needs and responded to everything, but I want some sleep,” and then there's this other school of thought that says, “You needed to teach them sleep independence.” What do you say to people that are torn between those 2 mindsets?

S: Yeah. I mean, so number one, I think that anybody… I am very honest with anybody who comes to me. A sleep consultant cannot be a reason that you decided to sleep train your baby. It just can't be, it has to be your decision of similar to what I went through, “I know I don't want to do this, I know this is going to be hard, but I know this is in our best interest.” So that's… I do a lot of coaching up to that point and I understand that sometimes it's not me that's really the best fit for them right now because they are not ready.

J: Mm-hmm.

S: The last thing I would ever want to do is have somebody start something and then pull the plug, you know, 20 minutes into the process because it… they weren't really ready for it. So I do work a lot with that. But just overall, I mean, if somebody were to help… you know, I have to coach people into, “Well, I can't tell you what to do, but I can tell you that, you know, things will get better because your baby doesn't know how to fall asleep in the middle of the night, for example.”

J: Mm-hmm.

S: And obviously this is a very unique situation for every child that I work with because of age and obviously what the parents kind of see with night feedings being involved as well. But if your baby doesn't know how to fall asleep, they can’t get back to sleep in the middle of the night. So sometimes it's just teaching healthy habits up front, sometimes it's just giving some good advice or brainstorming, and then other times, it's actually going through a full-on sleep training plan and creating that for the parents, when that's, again, something that they're like, “I know we have to do it but I don't even know how. I don't even know where to start,” and that's really what I add a lot of value.

J: So could you share a success story or 2 of some clients that you've been able to help and what the process looked like?

S: So many. But I would love to. You know, so number one, I remember… this is like really early on into me starting this sleep consulting practice and the mom was like, “Have you ever worked with high-needs kids?” And I always think my oldest daughter’s a high-needs when it comes to sleep. So here I was like kind of trembling, I’m like, “I really want to work with this client, but I don't know, high-needs, you know, could mean a lot of things.” But ultimately, we decided to work together and she was up every hour. She was 8 months old and up every hour.

J: Wow.

S: The mom was passing out, I mean, it was… the dad was having to hold the baby and this was, you know, not a really young baby, it was really… you know, an 8 month old. Think about it, you know, they're getting heavier so really not doing great sleep practices but ultimately, I was like, “Oh my god, this is going to be it?” and ultimately, the kid… the child had no ability to fall asleep in the bed independently so we worked on that and then like literally, I prepared them for the night worst night of their life. Like, “This is going to be absolutely the worst,” and like the next day, they're like, “Oh my god, it wasn't nearly as bad as we had.”

J: Oh.

S: And then the next night and the next day, like the baby was sleeping like an hour and a half for each nap and like sleeping 12 hours at night.

J: No way.

S: Like I was like, “High-needs, high-needs,” and they were like, “Oh, this is just a typical baby who just doesn't know how to fall asleep.” So now, when people come to me and they're like, “Oh my god, this is going to be impossible. My baby, you know, just doesn't know how to do it,” I’m like, “No, we got this.” I’m like, “All we have to do is focus on the little wins and getting your baby to fall asleep independently and then the rest will follow. We'll figure it out from there,” but it's never as awful as the parents think or even I am going to think as well. But…

J: Mm-hmm.

S: That's definitely… so I have that story at times, you know, 20, I mean, I’ve worked with hundreds of clients at this point but like these unimaginable situations and it's like their life has changed, like that's what these parents tell me they're like, “Oh my God, there is a light. Oh my God, things are so much better, we are so much happier, our baby is so much happier.” But it's just when it… when you realize the toll sleep-deprivation takes just on you and your baby, it’s just amazing what happens when it does all come together.

J: Oh yeah, it's so amazing. And I know when babies are born, we as parents put all our focus on the baby and totally lose touch with our needs, but then, of course, these people got to 8 months and realized, “Oh, we've got to have sleep.” And so I always find it fun teaching women to know that, when they take care of their own needs, there are so much happier and that benefits the child even more than the meeting every need for the child and never meeting their own needs. So…

S: Yeah. I mean, and it's such a shame I think because parents are reading these horrible, horrible things about, “If you let you'll be able to x…” and I do want to throw this out there, everyone just thinks you… you put your baby in a crib and you say goodnight and you get them in the morning, that is a technique, but that is not the technique that majority of my clients use.

J: Mm-hmm.

S: So they just don't understand so they think that if you are not going to respond to every single cry that your child makes, you're a horrible parent and you're damaging your relationship and your child will never trust you again. Well, in reality, no, they're going to be okay and they're still going to love you and they're going to smile at you in the morning; and that’s what happens. But it's just these parents have just really… you know, are taking information at face value and… and, again, they are not looking at the big picture of or their needs and kind of in this comatose state and hoping that their babies or toddlers or preschoolers snap out of it. And sometimes they do but sometimes they don't, and that… that's just where this like constant, you know, horrible for years struggles begins. So each parent has to decide what they're most comfortable with.

J: Right, right. And having some boundaries when the child is young can pay off so much later.

S: Oh, for sure. (Laughs)

J: I don't know… you know, I’ve thought about this topic a lot when… when you read books about sleep and… and you're going with the attachment parent focus, they say… they talk a lot about co-sleeping, which I’m not opposed to, I definitely did that with a few of my kids for a while, but they mentioned these cultures where babies always sleep with the parents or babies never cry because they're always put the breast and then I compare that to our culture, sometimes I wonder if genetically the people that ended up in the us were more just of an adventurous type that were probably a little less calm genetically and not capable of such great sleep; I don't know. Have you ever thought about things like that?

S: Yeah. Well, I do think about the bed thing because I agree, I’m like, “Well, but I don't understand. If, you know, culturally they sleep in a bed together, why is it so different?” Well, unfortunately, from a safety respective, our beds are soft, we have really big pillows and blankets. And so from a risk standpoint, it's way higher than in other cultures where you're basically on a floor mattress or maybe no mattress at all; and so from that standpoint. But I just think, you know, again, parents just need to do what's best for them and, you know, no hating on any way of parenting, but one that doesn't work for you and, unfortunately, a lot of parents outgrow it where they're not sleeping well, it’s not this magical a baby goes to my breasts at night, its baby keeps me up all night and then now we need to… what’s our plan b? And that's where I can come in and help but, you know, if that works for you, you are probably not the one who would come to me anyway, you know?

J: Right, right.

S: So…

J: Exactly.

S: You know, I think that, again, going back to my quote, I see that I’m very compassionate to… to people who decide to do that, great, you know, I think that’s great. I had my baby in my bed like for a short, short period and I slept horribly, and I was very uncomfortable; I didn't like it, for me.

J: Right, right.

S: It works for some.

J: Yeah. Really in the end, all moms are doing the best they can and they… they want to have that light and energy from the inside that can really out outward, and if they don't have that, then they make an adjustment. And so no shaming, like you said, I agree.

S: Mmm-hmm, exactly, amen. And you have so many kids so you have much experience, I only have 2. So with my 2, I have so many sleep, you know, challenges that I have dealt with, but imagine, hopefully nobody would have more than even my 2 together.

J: (Laughs) Well, so, for me, for my first child, we did all kinds of sleep arrangements, but by 9 months, he still could not put himself to bed. So inevitably, we had to teach him to cry it out and it only took 2 nights. And I thought I was being the best parent ever, but really what I was doing was draining myself into oblivion so I was a walking zombie for all those months. But, you know, live and learn.

S: Mmm-hmm, exactly.

J: Yeah, yeah.

S: Yeah.

J: Well, shifting forward, tell us more about something else you might be struggling with today and also how you are living a vibrant and happy life to the best of your ability.

S: Well, so what I’m struggling with right now is, you know, just like any parent and even ones who have the greatest sleeping baby or even toddler or even 3-year-old who has really never had, you know, a problem with sleep, you know, come 3 and a half, 4, you know, it's… it's not uncommon to have your child test the limits. So we're going through a little of that right now and a lot of people come to me with toddler and preschooler sleep issues where they could have been great and so I’m living the dream with my second daughter. And I obviously went through a ton of challenges that we haven't really touched on with my oldest daughter as well, but I think it's just so important that I just remember, number one, I am a sleep consultant so I have a lot of, you know, understanding of this topic, but I just needed to make sure that things stay in check. And when they get too imbalanced, I just always need to pull in the reins a little more. And thankfully, you know, she's a great sleeper.

J: So what does your bedtime routine look like for your girls and are you pretty strict about the bedtime?

S: Yeah. So speaking of today, there was a great article talking about early bedtimes, the benefits of them where they've basically found that, measuring preschoolers at age 4, the ones that had early bedtimes were less obese than the ones, those children the same age, who actually went to their sleep later; so they actually followed them from 4 to teenage years. So that's always an interesting topic. I just believe in and obviously doing the best that you can. I believe in the power of an early bedtime, so I am never that parent that just, you know, lets my children still past late as they want to.

J: Mm-hmm.

S: We are going through a little of a bump as well because I have a napping, you know, almost 4-year-old and a non-napping, you know, 5 and a half year old. So finding the balance in the bedtime routine is definitely something that has changed for us. So it's a balance of napping days and not napping and being able to put them to bed early enough on not napping this. But I’m not so strict but I definitely believe in the structure. So we have a pretty routine bedtime routine and I always use that for my clients as well, you know, your children need to know what to expect and you as parents really need to help them have those expectations by making sure that things are as consistent as possible. So I… bath is not part of our bedtime routine, for some families, that works, but for my children, I think that it just pretty much riles them up and it was never one of those calming components to a bedtime routine. But we do have, you know, a story, we get water, we go to the bathroom, but because my youngest one is testing the limits, we just make sure to add in her testing into the process. So, for example, she loves to go to the bathroom at the end of the routine; she always asks. So guess what? She goes to the bathroom at the end of the routine. But that's it and then she is back.

J: Mm-hmm, mm-hmm.

S: That really helped us.

J: Yeah, I like how you anticipate that there will be problems and then build them right into the routine; that's brilliant. (Laughs)

S: Exactly. And you know what? It changes, by all means with my clients and I have a whole course coming out just on preschooler sleep because parents are just so overwhelmed and I give the hand-holding step-by-step approach. Building a bedtime routine is really important and it's definitely a key component to the plan. But in my case where things aren't so crazy or off, we do have it a little fluid and flexible, which, you know, that's… that's okay.

J: Mm-hmm.

S: Either way you choose.

J: Some of both, right.

S: Yeah, exactly.

J: Well, let's talk about some of your favorite things. The first one is, tell us about a favorite personal habit that contributes to your success.

S: Okay. So this is probably… I’m just going to keep it real. This is not my favorite habit, but it's a really important habit that I am really happy that I am getting back into.

J: Mm-hm.

S: I am working out again and I think it's really key. It's nice to have a time, you know, in the morning that I have to myself but it's also great that I am teaching my children the importance of being healthy. So they know that I go to the gym in the morning because I go when they're kind of eating breakfast. And it's not everyday, I only do 2 times a week and my husband is obviously able to pitch in during that time. But we talked about the importance of being healthy. So I go to the gym to be healthy and I love that we're having that conversation about what it means to be healthy and be… you know what you can keep your body really energized and it's great for mommy and daddy and it's really important to add exercise into our routine.

J: Nice, that’s super important.

S: Now, being at the gym, no, not my favorite part.

J: (Laughs)

S: But I love… I love coming home from the gym. The favorite… the best thing about working out is being done with a workout.

J: Yeah, the feeling afterwards, right? Ah, such a good feeling

S: Exactly.

J: And what's a favorite easy meal that you guys eat regularly?

S: Yeah. So I am going to just share my favorite thing and I really hope this is nationwide; and if this one specifically isn't, I’ll give you others. But I have really jonesing this concept of like the meal deliveries delivery service.

J: Mm!

S: So nationwide, Blue Apron is one of them, Home Chef, there's like… there’s a ton of different ones, they're always in my Facebook feed trying to give me a coupon code. But basically the food comes to you and you just have to prepare it and do it; so I put it on the table. So a Blue Apron used to be my favorite it was just an awesome concept. I cooked things that I never would.

J: Mm-hmm.

S: But the problem is, I found is a little too time intensive for me personally with…

J: Yeah.

S: … you know, going on in our life. So I just found a new one and it's in Chicago, it's called Madison & Rayne. And basically, it's a less prep, equally as awesome.

J: Ooh.

S: So the meal is on the table in ten to 20 minutes.

J: Madison & Rain?

S: Yeah.

J: R a i n?

S: R a w n e.

J: Okay.

S: Yeah. So and like, again, I really hope so, if not that one, there's tons of other options to you. At least try it, and there's always a coupon code where you can get it as discount, but I really like this one specifically because my meals have gotten on the table in 10 or 20 minutes and there are awesome meals.

J: Nice.

S: Now, let me do the caveat to say it’s… it might not be in everyone's budget to do it every week or you can pick the time. So right now, I am in kind of this chef's tasting where, if I commit to every week… and I just started it so who knows in… you know, in a couple weeks if I’m going to want it every week? But I only do 2 meals.

J: Mm-hmm.

S: So it's not budget-busting, it's not like so out of… like, I look at it, I spend that money in going to the grocery store for 2 meals.

J: Right.

S: So I thought it works for me pretty good, but I just like the concept of getting out there. I remember just being in such a rut like, “What do I make today?” And I always, at 5 o'clock, started to think about dinner at 5:30 like without fail, but then, my best intentions are like I’m never the one to put like a casserole in the oven so it's like fresh at 5:30, I’m like, “Okay, what do I do?

J: (Laughs)

S: So I feel like energized by this food these days. I get like very excited; like it's coming today and I’m like excited about it.

J: Yes. I tried Blue Apron once and it did take me about an hour to get the meal on the table but it was delicious. So I’m going to check out Madison & Rayne. I don't know, I hope they deliver in Madison, Wisconsin. (Laughs)

S: I know, I think so.

J: (Laughs)

S: I think so, but there are so many other different ones.

J: Yeah, there's a ton. Ok, so what's your current favorite kitchen gadget? Maybe it's a knife to open your boxes for your meal plan. (Laughs)

S: Kitchen gadget. So I love… and it's so funny, I had to buy this, the chopper of a salad. So you can buy them at Bed Bath & Beyond, they were like no more than 8 bucks.

J: Mm-hmm.

S: But ultimately, like if you go to a restaurant to go place, they chop and toss your salad and you're like, “How do they get it so perfectly?” So it's like this little chopper, I mean, that you can actually like pound on your salad and mix it into little pieces.

J: Oh.

S: Pretty awesome.

J: Okay salad shopper at Bed Bath & Beyond. We'll put a link to that in our show notes.

S: Yeah (Laughs), I’m sure on Amazon too, you could buy it too, but…

J: Okay.

S: … it's like it makes it just so… when you can get a little bit of every ingredient into your salad, it just makes it so much better.

J: Oh yeah, when you have texture and flavor; you’re right. Alright, and what's a favorite book that you'd recommend for us today?

S: Well, I’ll have to keep that one in sleep. You know, if you have a baby and you're just even thinking about getting pregnant, I read this before my baby came just to give me like the idea of getting good sleep, oh my god, what is it called?

J: ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child’, that one?

S: Yes!

J: Okay.


S: ‘Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child’ by Marc Weissbluth. And I do think it's a great knowledge builder when you are ready to read about sleep. It's an easy… I think his writing style’s easy. There's other books that are also great for asleep, but I just think that this was the most informative.

J: Great, great. I also loved that book so definitely check that one out. And what's the best advice you've ever received?

S: You know what? I think the best advice is literally, “Just do your best.” I think or I’m telling you the best advice I think, like you just can't compare yourself to anything. Like, I will tell you, I was a judgment person before I had babies. I am like, “My child is never going to have a pacifier. I am going to breast feed. I am going to this.” And it doesn't matter what your best intentions are, things change when you're in the deep of parenting.

J: Right, right.

S: So don't worry about whether, you know, this idyllic lifestyle that you knew that you are going to have, this parent that you want it to be because things can happen and it might not be that way. So, you know, since… my child was a bad sleeper, guess what? We didn't leave the house


S: So… and I know I said that jokingly; that's not true. But I feel that we were not that like, “Oh, great, I have 2 kids in tow, let's go places…”

J: (Laughs)

S: “… you know, for a while.” Like, “Oh, you have… I didn't know your baby is one,” I am like, “Yeah, because she didn’t leave the house for a full year.”


S: And of course, I am joking, but if that conversation did happen several times.

J: Oh, funny, I love it.

S: Exactly. So it doesn't matter what your expectations are, these kids are just going to, you know, throw you a new bone and you just got to figure it out.

J: Oh, it's true. I think the greatest… if I were to offer my advice on that same topic is, “You have got to tweak and roll with it constantly as a parent; no expectations, those have to go out the window,” right? (Laughs)

S: So especially, again, 6 kids, right? Like, I don’t…

J: Oh my goodness. Yeah, and you also can't compare to other families, you have to look at your norm and try to improve from there. (Laughs) Yeah.

S: I think that, you know, set low expectations, you can only go up.

J: That's right, that's right.

S: But don't… and you know what? Those, you know, people that you think are all perfect on the outside, I think you never really know until you start peeling back the layers, they're going through their own thing too.

J: Mm-hmm, oh, it's true.

S: So, you know, they might look at you as the perfect family, you know, that's… that's a great thing.

J: (Laughs)

S: You’re a role model to others.

J: Oh, I’m too authentic, I lay it all out there so everyone knows we're not perfect. (Laughs)

S: Yes. I mean, especially when you know, you have a podcast, you know, if ever say any of your good juicy stories, you know, they will know.

J: There we go.

S: And the same with me, I mean, I have a blog so everyone knows that I had pretty by the sleepers. So…

J: So what's the name of your blog in case our listeners want to go check it out?

S: Oh, that's great. So I am the founder of Sleep Baby Love and I do blog there. There's a ton of great input if you just go to sleepbabylove.com and then there's this header with ‘blog’, you'll be able to find my recent posts. I have a great nugget about sleep training and, you know, just one of those epic posts that really are trying to help take the shame away from it, especially when you have these exhausted parents. So I definitely encourage you to find that one as well. And then I had a lot of freebies, resource guides and cheat sheets that you will find all peppered throughout my site that you can get as well.

J: Great, it sounds amazing. Well, let's go to our final question, my favorite, the happiness formula. What would you include if you were to create a formula of actions that maximize your happiness?

S: Well, for me, it’s maximizing happiness is children sleeping well, a husband who does amazing things around the house, and I’m just even going to say it, binge watching Netflix; happiness all day long.

J: (Laughs). That is perfect. So what's your favorite Netflix show right now?

S: Oh my god, I have so many. Let's see, my husband and I were watching Narcos, not my favorite, but… but that just came back on. You know, I have got to say, we watched Odd Mom Out, that might be on Amazon, it is… oh my god, every mom needs to see that show.

J: Oh.

S: It was so funny and so true to me, oh my god, so many parenting. I mean, it's basically like our life in New York.


S: Actually, I take that back, not even close to my life because they're in New York and they're like… you know, they go out all the time, not us. But it was just a fabulous, fabulous show.

J: Odd Mom Out, great.

S: Yeah, love anything still reality, but my husband I pretty much are watching anything. Love documentaries, there's just so many.

J: Well, so, in there, you mentioned when your husband's helping with the house, do you have a secret tip to share on how to get a spouse to do that?

S: Yeah, you just have to marry the perfect husband which I did.

J: Oh. (Laughs)

S: He loves to clean. I won the husband lottery and he is very involved in our kids and he loves to get up early and make the coffee and give it to me and then obviously he is very great at, you know, cleaning up after. I’m like, “We don't need to clean the floors every night,” and he's like, “Yes, we do.”


J: Okay, women, choose right, if you haven't chosen yet. (Laughs)

S: Yes, exactly. And so I just feel… I mean, he is definitely the backbone of our family and, you know, he's… he is the best but I’m just lucky in that we're… again, I can sometimes sneak in the bed early to start watching Netflix and he is still cleaning the kitchen.

J: Oh, that is very lucky; wow. Well… well, Susie, let's have a challenge for our listeners from you and then we'll say goodbye.

S: Perfect. Alright so I want to challenge everybody that… and I’ll just keep this general, to any parent of a baby, toddler, or preschooler, if things are crazy in the sleep department, I want you to just think about kind of what is causing that craziness and, well, for babies, sometimes it could be they just… your baby doesn't know how to be… fall asleep alone so you're rocking them and then, you know, for a preschooler maybe it's just you're letting things kind of get imbalanced with respect to the bedtime routine. And once you are able to put your finger on it, once you're able to say, “Okay, the reason things are a little crazy are off right now and causing some sleep challenges,” once you're able to say, so for the baby example, “Well, because he doesn't know how to fall asleep independently,” for the preschooler, it's, “Well, because I’ve been letting him sleep in my bed all, you know, night long. Once you're able to say the reasons, I think that this helps you decide whether you can take action to fix that. And for some people, like I said, you are not ready, you'll never be ready, but for others, when you say, “I am ready,” that's something where you’ll start to figure out what it entails to kind of make a change and make a plan. And if it gets too overwhelming, there's people like me that actually can help you kind of handhold through it. So I definitely think that that's helpful. But being… knowing that you're ready is going to help you. So to basically reiterate, if you know, find out what is in the way of your crazy sleep challenges if you're having any.

J: Great advice. Well, thank you so much for being on the show, Susie.

S: No problem, it's great being here, thanks so much for having me.

J: And everyone, you can already tell that Susie is hilarious so go check out her blog at sleepbabylove.com.
Thank you so much for joining Susie and me today. And be sure to join me next week when I talk with April Boyd who shares her story of losing her little baby girl when she was just 1 day old. April shares how she was in a very dark place, but she decided, “I have to come out of this place or else my daughter's life becomes a tragedy and I would rather her life be a legacy.” April shares how she is on a mission to help other women who have faced a similar loss to come out of that dark place and find the joy and meaning again. So be sure to join me next week when I speak with April, and until then, make it a great week. Take care.

Outro: Thanks for listening to the Vibrant Happy Women podcast at www.jenriday.com.