OWLET: How did you get into the field of helping babies sleep?
JILOS: It all started with my first sleepless baby! As a psychotherapist, I thought I would have no problem sleeping with him. But when my son was 8 months old, he had trouble sleeping. I was the ultimate “soft mom” when she came to cry – I can not bear to hear him take a look! At night, I would run to my baby every time he cried – breastfeeding and replacing the paci over and over again – and during the day, I would walk him to Central Park for hours to get him to sleep. My husband and I were so tired that we literally hit the walls.
Online, personalized baby sleep solution
OWLET: I’m sure many moms and dads reading this will be able to relate! So what did you do?
JILL: I talked to everyone and anyone who would hear about my sleep problem and those with older kids told me to stop for a moment and let him solve it. This sounds like torture to me and him. But then I hit a wall and got some support from a local parenting center. Eventually I had a plan, and although I was afraid to follow it, to my surprise Jake got it fast enough and it became an amazing sleep. When I moved from New York to Los Angeles a little later, I realized that apparently every parent I was talking to had a sleep problem. Then the idea of a business that supports parents through this process was born.
JEN: In the meantime, because Jill and I were good friends – we really met in college! – I was closely monitoring all of Jill’s sleep problems and we were constantly talking about how many parents needed help with it. So I set up my own sleep practice in Chicago, and a few years later I moved to Los Angeles and joined forces. We feel incredibly lucky to be such good friends that they can also run a business together!
OWLET: So you created the field of children’s sleep!
JILL: We did. When we started 20 years ago, there was only one other person on the east coast – it started at exactly the same time we did.
OWLET: This is amazing. So how long have you been working now and how many families have you worked with over the years?
JEN: We have been working with children and families for 40 years. At that time, we have helped more than 500,000 families to help their children get the rest and good “sleep nutrition” they need.
OWLET: So what is the secret to your success in helping children fall asleep?
JEN: When we started all these years ago, there was no training for this field, because the field did not exist yet! So what we did was get our background in child development and family systems as professionals at the master level, gathered every bit of research and science we could find about children and sleep, and started experimenting with different methods to let’s see what works best. We then improved and improved these methods over the years to help families get through the learning process as quickly as possible and with the fewest tears possible. That was our goal when we started 20 years ago and it is still our goal today!
JILL: We wanted to offer families a very personalized, personalized experience that took into account the development and sleep pattern of their particular baby – there is no “one size fits all” when it comes to children and sleep, because every child is unique and different. And we really wanted to keep our parents’ hands on the emotional side of learning to sleep. It is NOT easy to see your little one get frustrated while learning new skills – even if this frustration is inevitable and temporary! – so we spend a lot of time helping parents find a method that feels better in their head AND in their heart. I would never suggest that a parent just close the door and leave, leaving a baby to “cry” alone.
OWLET: Most parents find it very difficult to make their baby cry. What do you say to parents who are worried about this?
JILL: Well, that’s what we know for sure: A little crying – for a few minutes at a time, for a few nights, with parents lovingly supporting their baby – does not hurt this baby at all. How do we know? Because after 20 years and having helped hundreds of thousands of families, we never received an email or phone call after their child learned how to sleep by saying: Oh, my baby’s attachment has changed or it is not okay. Not once! There are research studies that show the same thing, but our direct experience was our best teacher in this.
JEN: Learning how to sleep is like learning how to ride a bike. In the beginning, you are unstable and unstable – and you may feel quite uncertain about the whole thing. But after a little practice, pedal and drive and enjoy the ride! But helping your child sleep well is also a big part of a parent’s responsibility to take care of your baby. If your baby got upset in the car seat while you were driving, you would not say, “Oh, I’m sorry you don’t like your baby in your car seat, why aren’t you coming to sit in my arms?” Because of this, there is a safety issue – and as all parents know, sometimes you need to be willing to keep an eye on your child’s (temporary!) Unhappiness when making a decision in their best interest. It’s really the same with sleep. Your baby may not be excited about the changes you make in the beginning – but he learns quickly and there is nothing like the calm you get as a parent when your baby sleeps well because you know you take good care of them.
JILL: We feel incredibly lucky to be able to help families with something that is the ultimate foundation of a happy and healthy family life. I know first hand what sleep deprivation is and how much it damages not only your baby’s well-being but yours as well – as an individual and as a couple. And I also know first hand how it feels to turn this ship around and sleep soundly, and I feel more attached to your baby than any other baby because you are relaxed and present during the day. There are very few in life that can be upside down on Wednesday, and right-again very soon later. Helping children sleep better is one of the rare challenges in life that can be solved very quickly with the right plan and support!
Why are you excited about Dream Lab?
JEN: It has always been our dream to be able to offer the same level of customization that we give to our private customers, but on a much larger scale. Owlet could not be a more perfect partner, as what we have done is to marry the heart and the personalization and solid information we offer to families with Owlet’s incredible technology and platform.
JILL: It’s incredibly exciting to be able to provide this level of help digitally! It’s like having a sleep counselor in the palm of your hand. We are excited that Dream Lab has such a great ability to help parents with the specific sleep problems they are having with their babies – and to make it feel like parents are there with you in your living room, training you every step of the way. way.
Learn more about Dream Lab here.