Tuesday, July 3, 2012

My Life As A Baby Whisperer

I don't think I've ever shared with you guys, but one of the things I most obsessed over when I became a first-time mom was my baby's sleep schedule.  Sleep patterns, sleep techniques, hours of sleep, type of sleep.  You name it, I thought about it.  Endlessly.  I read just about every well known book on the market including Ferber, Weissbluth, Baby Wise, Baby Whisperer Vol. 1 & 2, and Happiest Baby On the Block.  My knowledge was as vast as the Sahara.

So vast in fact that when Taylor was about 9 months old and I had "nailed" her sleep patterns, I volunteered to be a Nap Forum Moderator (very official title yes) on the Baby Whisperer forums.  I'd say this was my first entre into the world of online chat rooms.  You see at 3 months, due to go back to work and not being able to make heads or tails of my baby's cues and schedule, I was in a panic. I had read both of Tracy Hogg's books (the Baby Whisperer) and knew she lived in Los Angeles and had originally started out by giving private sleep sessions to her clients.  I was prepared to look Tracy up, contact her and give her 10 MILLION DOLLARS to help me get my baby to sleep.

I logged on, hands shaking with excitement.  Why hadn't I thought of this before?  Of course I'll just contact her office and get her right down to my house!  I visited the site and what did I find?  A memorial dedication for Tracy Hogg.

You guys, Tracy was dead.  What was I gonna do?!?!?  And as a side note, this is how crazed and consumed I was by the thought of getting my baby to sleep; I didn't even give thought to the fact that this woman had died before her time of cancer.  No, all I cared about was now who in the hell was going to help me get my baby to sleep?

By doing some further research, I discovered that there was a whole online forum dedicated to people following and teaching Tracy's methods she wrote about in her books.  I visited and I was hooked.  I quickly shot up to Veteran commenter in the forums session, and joined a little support group with babies born in the same 2 month window as my Taylor.  We had weekly chat sessions, we asked each other questions, gave advice, and just listened.  All of us were first time moms and all of us could sympathize with how lonely and scary being a first time mom could be.  Those ladies were like my lifeline for a long time and we all still keep in touch now.  We exchange Christmas cards every year and some I have even met in person.  I often tell people it's why I have no fear now when I meet up with blogging friends I only know online; it's because I've gone to amusement parks (Michelle!) with a woman and her family that I'd never met either and we spent 2 days together!  To me it's totally natural in a weird unnatural sort of way.  We are located all over the world, from US to Canada to New Zealand.

Besides joining the little support group, I was a boss in the Naps forum and could answer questions from any harried mom trying to get her baby to nap like it was my job (a volunteer job that is).  For years after I had resigned as a moderator, I still got emails from desperate moms whose babies wouldn't nap, asking for advice.

I came to know a lot about infant sleep patterns and schedules, more than any layperson should know.  But it turns out I put that knowledge to good use with my first post for Disney Baby!  Yes, all that to introduce my first post on the Disney Baby site.  I figured a little back story would help you understand why of all things I decided to write about babies napping when I could have written about anything, yes anything.  I've been given pretty free reign on topics to discuss as long as they are overall positive, so when I sat down to write, it seemed natural that I talk about sleep, and naps in particular.  I have a feeling that I'll be thinking and talking about babies sleeping a lot in the following months.

So if you have any interest in reading about how to get out and about, working around your baby's nap schedule, please go visit my first post.  I'll be writing over there 3 times a week and will just do a weekly recap post here linking to my articles, so no more Disney Baby sponsored posts.  I hope you'll visit!  It is a job and they monitor stats and all that official stuff, so it would be nice if my stats were good so I don't get fired ;)  So please go on over and say hi!  I'd say I'd pay each person per click but I think that's actually illegal.  Kidding Disney, kidding!  Have a great day y'all!


  1. I too am a Baby Whisperer follower. One of my girlfriends told me about BW when I was pregnant with #1, and I'm so glad she did. My kids are great sleepers, and I have to credit that to the routine and making sleep a priority (in terms of scheduling days around). Sure, it meant I had to turn down a lot of things that started too late (had to be home by 7 to get the kids in bed) but it was worth it. Congrats on your first Disney post! :)

  2. This cracked me up!
    Because I was totally obsessed with sleep with my first baby too.
    I read lots and lots of books and was pretty much a sleep nazi.
    I do have to say he was an amazing sleeper and napper.
    As was my 2nd.
    They shared a room at 2 years and 2 months and both slept through everything.
    With my 3rd, I was a bit less scheduled because I had to be with a 4 and 2 year old who were used to playing in the morning and not being home for naps.
    But we still never missed afternoon naps.
    Now I'm on baby # 4 and the most relaxed ever.
    I gotta say, he sleeps and naps the best.
    From the get go I have read his "sleep cues" laid him down and he just goes to sleep.
    As he's gotten older, he sometimes cries a bit but I let him cause I have to--I have 3 others to deal with.
    Also, he misses naps or goes down at different times or naps on the go.
    He has to--the 8, 6 and 4 year old have to be taken to baseball, or swimming, or we are going on a field trip.
    Life is very different with a baby and older kids.
    The good thing is that you aren't a first time mom so you can roll with it.
    It is actually been a lot more enjoyable to be a little less uptight about sleep scheduling.
    And my kids still sleeps great, so I guess we're all happy.
    And congrats on your first Disney post!
    Love from,

  3. You forgot to mention our weekly chats usually involved a fair amount of wine. :0). So proud to call you friend and can't wait to make it official soon. Cali, I WILL see you sooner or later!

    1. xoxo many chats about endless sleep. Oh how I don't miss those days of fretting over it. But, I do miss the online chats with wine. ;)

  4. This post made me giggle. It's fun to learn something new about a friend - you go Nap Moderator!

  5. Love all my BW girls to this day! Miss those days of constant communication...you girls were my lifeline! So glad I "met" you virtually, Andrea...looking forward to doing it in person someday. So proud of all you've done!


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