Thank you to Doulas of Memphis for sponsoring this post! And for offering in-home sleep training to the desperate parents of Memphis!


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Sleep Training Lessons from My DIY Manicure

Anytime you DIY something, there’s a risk involved. There is Pinterest, but there are also Pinterest fails. Every time you hit up the internet for a project idea, you hope you can post the results online with a success that somewhat resembles that one pin’s perfectly-curated photo.

I was a panel speaker at this year’s Bloom event, and as I was rushing out the door I realized that my nails looked atrocious. I couldn’t possibly be seen as an expert on sleep with unkempt nails, right?!  I didn’t have time for a manicure, but I remembered that a friend of mine had posted about how pleasantly surprised she was with her drugstore press-on nails.

Off to Google I went, hurriedly typing “best drugstore press on nails” in the search bar. I was immediately overwhelmed and flustered by my options. I found a beauty blog that seemed legit enough, made a hasty Walgreens decision, and got in my car.

I had never had fake nails, even in a salon, but in my temporary lapse of judgement I attempted to do it myself. In a car. In my dress clothes. An hour before I was supposed to speak at an event. What could go wrong?

Shockingly, I was not pleasantly surprised with my press-on nails. I messed up the glue. They weren’t the right size for my nail. They were too long. They were crooked. I got a whole hand done, before I realized that I hated it. I sent my business partner a photo bemoaning my stupidity, but I was determined to continue…

Until one broke. Well, great. Now what? I was supposed to be there in 30 minutes!

This does not look like the Pinterest photo. Oops.

I went back into Walgreens, bought a remover kit, some nail clippers, and frantically searched for a neutral color so I could have SOMETHING on my nails. I made the walk of shame to the same Walgreens cashier from 15 minutes ago and proceeded to remove my mistake in defeat from the privacy of my car. I then covered up my transgressions with regular nail polish and rushed to the event with only a few minutes to spare.

By the time I arrived, I had spent extra time, money, and energy...all for a result that was mediocre at best. Instead of confident, I felt flustered and embarrassed.

Mediocrity at its finest.

Melodrama aside, my DIY nail faux-pas was relatively low risk. I came out of the experience with bruised confidence and a little less money, but it didn’t have a profound impact on the rest of my day.

When it comes to sleep and the impact it has on our health, the risks are higher. Add postpartum depression or anxiety to the mix, and the effects of sleep deprivation can be debilitating to a new mother.

When the dreaded 4-month sleep regression hits and the house of cards that is your baby’s sleep comes cascading down, where do moms typically turn out of exhaustion and desperation?

Google. Mom groups. This sleep book. That sleep book. That mom blog. And what about the crying?! There is all sorts of conflicting information out there, and it seems like there’s no way to win. Who knew how polarizing sleep could be? And there’s always that one unhelpful soul (or three) who tells you to cherish it, aka suck it up, because babies don’t keep and one day you’ll look back and long for these days. Mmm, I always love a splash of guilt in my coffee, don’t you?

Can you DIY sleep training? Yes, but will you feel confident with the result?

In the same way plenty of women have perfectly fine births without the support of a doula, plenty of parents are able to teach their babies to sleep with little issue.

Other times, attempts at DIY sleep training yield little success and leave parents feeling desperate, depleted, and confused. You’ve tried everything, nothing seems to work, and you’re still not sleeping. You’re exhausted, and so is your baby.

If that sounds familiar, it doesn’t have to be. As a professional sleep coach who offers in-home sleep training, I can help you get your baby sleeping independently and bring some much-needed rest to your home.

The problem with all of the books, blogs, and other methods out there is that they don’t know you or your baby. They aren’t there at 3 am when it’s not working and you’re exhausted, confused, and unsure of what you should do.

When I stay with families, I take the time to look at the big picture around the family’s sleep and routines, figure out what would be best for that particular baby, and carefully observe to ensure that the baby’s needs are met. While some crying is inevitable, consistent in-home support helps to minimize tears and confusion. At the end of 48-72 hours, I leave families with a baby who can fall asleep independently in their own space and a new game plan moving forward. In the weeks to follow, I coach families through adjusting to their new routine and ensure that they are equipped to overcome any setbacks.

I am thrilled to be able to offer this service to Memphis area families. The impact of a well-rested baby and parents is huge and life-changing. If you’re ready to get off the DIY Merry-Go-Round, I’d love to help!

Abby Powell is the co-owner of Doulas of Memphis. She is a birth doula, postpartum doula, and sleep coach that lives in Memphis with her husband and three children.



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