Ramya Antony is a mom to a 4-year-old little boy named Jude. She struggled with sleep training in her own home and decided to turn a negative into a positive! She enrolled in Center for Pediatric Sleep Management to “face her fears.” and take the Sleep Consultant Certification Course. After completing the course, she sought out the support of another CPSM graduate and together they teamed up to teach Jude to sleep independently and through the night. She is now excited to start helping others!
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Jayne Havens: Romea Anthony is a mom to a four-year-old little boy named Jude, she struggled with sleep training in her own home and decided to turn a negative into a positive. She enrolled in the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management to face her fears. After completing the course, she sought out the support of another CPSM graduate. Together they teamed up to teach you to sleep independently and through the night. She’s now excited to start helping others families. Welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have you here today.
Ramya Antony: Thank you for having me today.
Jayne Havens: Before we get started, tell us a little bit about starting your family with Jude. What did that look like when he was teeny tiny? How did he sleep from the beginning? How did that evolve as he grew older?
Ramya Antony: Yes, with Jude, it’s always been a struggle, I guess even since he was born and was five days late, he was only 5 pounds and 12 ounces. The doctors were concerned about his weight. So we had to feed him and struggled with breastfeeding. I was very adamant and was going to do it. But, I would have to wake him up so often, just to get him the calories. That kind of trickled through maternity leave and was very hard. Sleep was just hard. In our culture, my parents are from India as well as my husband’s parents are from India, the culture is just close, and everyone sleeps in the same bed. We thought that was what we were going to do. In the beginning, it was fine. our family and our babies there, everything was great, But as months go, Jude starts moving and kicking. I get more paranoid and I’m not sleeping. And at the end of four months, I had to go back to work and take care of patients. I had to, I couldn’t be sleeping and taking naps. It was getting worse. I had no energy left to fight it. The circle would not stop and it was just survival mode.
Jayne Havens: Yes, I can definitely hear that. I hear from a lot of my clients that they want to make a change, but they’re too tired to actually work on making that change. You’re in this vicious cycle of the same thing over and over again. Did you actually ever try to sleep train dude, or you just sort of were too tired.
Ramya Antony: We tried and we had a crib but ended up holding stuff in it. Jude didn’t like it. Even in daycare, they couldn’t get him to sleep in the crib. In daycare, Jude was a perfect sleeper but as soon as he got home he wasn’t
Jayne Havens: What do you think was missing? From your efforts to get Jude to sleep independently?
Ramya Antony: I think, lack the knowledge. My mom passed away five years ago. So I don’t have my mom anymore to tell me what to do, But guessing, my mom would tell me to co-sleep. During the time my parents had us, they didn’t have to go back to work. Right? They would be with the baby all day long. That was my parent’s job. Unlike me, I had to go back to work.
Jayne Havens: Yes, I always say, I think that’s the reason why parents really struggle with sleep training is they’re either lacking information or lacking support. It sounds like maybe you were lacking in both of those areas. You didn’t have the information that you needed to make a change and you didn’t have the support. Even if your mom was living like you said you probably would have told you to Bed Chair, Right? You didn’t have anybody in your corner, guiding you or supporting you through making a change.
Ramya Antony: I agree. We have friends and other moms who each have their own individual experiences. So you can’t judge people on what they go through. Their kids slept so that they can’t understand the struggle. They can’t understand what I felt.
Jayne Havens: Yes, absolutely. Let’s fast forward. About four years after he was born, You and I connected in a Facebook group. Were you looking for a sleep consultant or were you interested in becoming a sleep consultant? How did that all play out? I really actually don’t remember.
Ramya Antony: I know somebody posted in a mom’s or family group about looking for a side hustle. I remembered you mentioned becoming a certified sleep consultant for toddlers and babies. I felt intrigued. Because I’ve always wanted to have my own small business. I’ve been struggling to find out what business niche to take on, in fact, for the last couple of years I have been looking for a business that can help people, but I just didn’t know what it was. So I told myself, I think this might be perfect and will take a look at it more. I could learn and implement it in my own home.
Jayne Havens: Yes, it was really exciting. I love enrolling people in the sleep consultant certification program, just like you because, you sort of became a convert a little bit, right? You were the one that had your child and your bed for four years. You enrolled in the program with the idea of using the knowledge to work on it in your own home first, and hopefully, become successful, feel empowered, and prepared to help others, which I think really sets you up for a huge success in your own business. Because if you tell your clients, I’ve done this, I’ve walked the walk, I am talking the talk, I can help you because I’ve been through it recently, Right? I think that that’s huge. So you went through the course I remember, As you were going through the course you were so excited to just work on this in your home. You were asking questions in the Facebook group. I think I said to you, have you gotten to the sleep training portion yet? Wait till you get there? Yes, I didn’t want you to jump the gun and get started before you had all of the knowledge. But you got through the course. And you were ready to start working on this with Jude. You were feeling a little nervous, rightfully so. Right? Yes, this is a big transition. So I think I had suggested that you reach out to our community, which I think is sort of one of our major assets is having this community where we all support one another. I think you know, what did you do? You made a post within the group asking for help.
Ramya Antony: Yes, I think we talked. I remember you saying, “Oh, why don’t you make a post in our community and see if anyone would be willing to take you on, as a promo client and for them to practice.” It’s a two-way thing they can practice and you can implement what you know, because I knew what I was doing, right. I needed the support and that’s what we’re all about. Right? We are the support. So yes, I posted on the Facebook group, expecting it to take a day or two, and then it was like everyone was so supportive, I saw a lot of messages saying they would love to work with me and would love to do it. An awesome community where everyone was willing to help me out, build my confidence and then help my child sleep, as well help build their business in their confidence. Yes, the mentorship program. That’s kind of how I felt it was.
Jayne Havens: Yes, exactly. You ended up teaming up with Karen, is that right? Yes, which I actually think was the perfect fit. Because Karen is all about toddlers and preschoolers and big kids. She runs an in-home daycare, and she’s all about toddlers and preschoolers. I think it was really the perfect fit. What did that look like for her to support you? I imagine she took you through her client process. Right?
Ramya Antony: What did that look like? Yes, basically, she emailed me and did the questionnaire, and we had the phone call. We also talked about expectations and the possibilities, she sent me her whole plan. And I would review it before talking to her. Then we talked about a couple of scenarios such as, what was likely to happen, and the troubleshooting before it happened. Then as we started the process, she was on top of it every morning, even though she was in a different time zone with text messages, I would get that text message from Karen, “how did it go?” And she was always there in every win. We had to pivot a couple of times, but it was great because she knew, Ok if that doesn’t work, let’s do this and it was very engaging. It was kind of hilarious because we had our toddlers FaceTime and talk about sleep training to each other. That’s really sweet. It was amazing to have that support and we text message every other day even when we’re done with sleep training. It was a great way to build my confidence, have her build her confidence, and now I gain a new friend and a colleague. It’s like it worked out so well.
Jayne Havens: It was a perfect match. I don’t think it could have gone any better. As far as pairing you up with the right person. Were there any major takeaways from your experience working with Karen?
Ramya Antony: I think it’s probably what everyone does is just being there when you say you’re going to be there. I think that’s customer service one on one, she was always responsive and I enjoyed that, and we had to pivot or we had to accelerate, but she was always ready for all those.
Jayne Havens: Yes. How long did it take for Jude to sleep through the night for the first time?
Ramya Antony: We would start him in his bed, but we had to be in his room for him to fall asleep. Then he would end up in our bed like five hours later. But I think because we already had that step. Then seven days later, he finally got it and slept well all through the night.
Jayne Havens: Yes, that’s fabulous. You made a huge shift. Yes. And in a relatively short period of time, which I think just speaks to a few things. One, it speaks to the fact that our children are capable of this, and they want to be sleeping, they want to be sleeping through the night, and they just need to be empowered. They need to see from us as parents, that we believe in them. Right? Would you say that was a huge component, and totally needed to believe it in order for Jude to believe it to be true, right? I always tell my clients that, if you don’t believe that your child can sleep through the night like they sense that from you. Yes, we have to instill confidence in our children so that they believe that they can do it. I think Karen’s really good at that. I think she’s really good at helping you to get to a point where you believe it’s possible, right?
Ramya Antony: Agree. Yes. It was such a good experience. In fact, I don’t have to stay in the room for an hour till he falls asleep.
Jayne Havens: Yes, I think this is a huge confidence booster for you as a business person exactly because, I think that for someone like you who had a child in your bed for your entire parenting career, to actually make this change really does position you to support others at a really high level, you have competence now, because you’ve seen it play out. I think back to when I started supporting families through sleep training, I never had a toddler or preschooler sleep struggle, because my own children were sleep trained at three or four months. So I never had a kid climbing out of their crib, I never had a kid sleeping in bed with me. So the idea of supporting parents through those types of struggles felt really out of my comfort zone. My very first two clients were a six-and-a-half-year-old little girl who was bed-sharing, and a two-year-old that was climbing out of her crib, So this was out of my comfort zone. I think you are set up for success to support these toddler and preschooler families. It’ll be interesting to see you support the infant families because it’s the reverse. Right? That might feel a little bit outside of your comfort zone. But everybody has that, right? We all have the personal experiences that we bring to this work, and then we have our training that fills in the gaps. I’m excited to see your support, maybe that’ll be your specialty, too, right. Maybe you will focus on supporting those that culturally tend to lean towards bedsharing. You’ll support them through making those changes if that’s what they’re looking for. Right.
Ramya Antony: Yes, totally. I think we have a great community that will help you through what is not your comfort zone. I think that’s what’s awesome about the community that you created. I mean, you know, in our culture, most parents probably want their kid’s sleep trained as soon as possible because both parents have to go to work and everything has to keep moving. And yes, obviously toddlers are in my comfort zone because I lived it, but I’m excited to do it. I’m always about like, limb, give me the hardest cases, and let me struggle through them. I will get my confidence with my own son. But I know that we have a great community to bounce things off of if I’m unsure, but I have the training to do it.
Jayne Havens: Yes, absolutely and you know, that you can lean on our community. Yes, and always to get that support that you need while you’re supporting families that are in situations that are a little bit foreign to you, personally. So I know that you’re in the infant stages of your business. Have you set any goals for yourself that you’re sort of looking to achieve in the first 6 to 12 months of business?
Ramya Antony: Yes, I will be doing this, I guess part-time, right. I love my full-time job. I’m a nurse practitioner. And I deal with adults and oncology and so totally different. But nevertheless, I’m a family nurse practitioner, and familiar with all this stuff about the kiddos, but we didn’t learn about sleep training. But my goal is to start my business in the second half of the year and would love to have two clients a month for the first 6 months. And it will all depend on how I can handle it, but ideally, I would like to have four to five a month would be great.
Jayne Havens: Yes, I think that that’s really spot on. And a really reasonable place to start. juggling two families a month I think is really reasonable on top of a full-time job, it’s manageable. Then sort of slowly build on that as families start to refer to your business. Hopefully, you’ll have lots of happy clients and they’ll start sharing your name with friends. That’s how I think you’re going from two to five. I think that’s absolutely doable and that’s perfect. Thank you so much for chatting with me today. I’m so glad that we got to get on this call to share your story, solve the struggle in your own home, and feel really empowered to help others. So thank you for taking the time to chat and I will see you in our Facebook group for CPSM students and grads.
Ramya Antony: Thank you for having me. Have a good one. Bye-bye