This week for my Parents in Business series I’m excited to be featuring Becky; the founder of Happy Sleepy Baby. When we become parents we all dream about having a soothed and settled baby, I know that I did, however (most of the time) life with a newborn baby is far from that. In response to this Becky set up Happy Sleep Baby where she runs a series of Baby Yoga and Baby Massage classes, as well as a Colic S.O.S programme.
I loved reading Becky’s interview, I know only too well how valuable these classes and courses are for new mums. Prior to Happy Sleepy Baby Becky was a solicitor and since having children she wanted to do something a little less stressful, and so Happy Sleepy Baby was born. Now the classes have waiting lists, and her top tips include staying true to your “why” and you.
Do all have a read of Becky’s story, my favourite part is how Becky has used her own experience to help others, and to benefit and support new mums.
Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?
When I was a little girl I always said that I wanted to be a solicitor. Although I wasn’t a straight A student, I worked hard and finally qualified as a solicitor in 2008. I specialised in civil litigation so it was meticulous and stressful working to deadlines and targets. Then the recession hit and I was made redundant in 2010. Unfortunately, the day that I found out I was being made redundant, I also found out that I was pregnant. After my son arrived I knew I needed to change career as I didn’t want to be stressed or tied to the office desk at all times and wanted to spend time with my family that I had created. With being made redundant and then having a baby it gave me that career break that I needed to know that my heart was elsewhere and I had to do something completely different. After my daughter, Trudy, arrived in 2014, I decided to retrain in baby massage and baby yoga. In 2015, Happy Sleepy Baby was born, providing baby massage and baby yoga classes to local parents on the Yorkshire Coast. I have now had the pleasure of working with over 1000 families, educating parents on the importance of positive touch, helping to facilitate attachment between parents and babies and helping to make motherhood better.
In 2019, I devised Colic SOS, which is a support service for parents struggling with colic. The aim is to educate parents on the root causes of the colic, identify the underlying problem for their baby, signpost parents to the best likely treatment and advise on techniques on to settle and soothe baby. It also provides support for parents, ensuring that they are listened to, validated and provided with self-care practices so that they prioritise themselves during a challenging time. I love the saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” and I think that this is very true.
What were your motivations for setting up your business?
When my son arrived, Samuel was not a ‘happy baby’. The introduction to motherhood was not what I had envisaged as he screamed all of the time and it became very isolating. The one solace for me was the weekly baby massage sessions that I took him to at my local children’s centre. It helped my son’s colic and it provided me an opportunity to meet other new mums where I could see that I was not the only one with a crying baby. I knew that working with mums and babies was what I needed to do after my first experiences of motherhood. I wanted to have a positive impact on families and create space for mums to come and be with their babies in a safe and non-judgemental environment. I chose to train with Blossom and Berry in baby massage and baby yoga as it felt heart centred so very much resonated with me. I now create classes where mums can come and relax, chat with others and eradicate the loneliness that often comes with motherhood.
After working with so many families who were experiencing colic and with my personal experience of how difficult parenting a colicky baby can be, I took further qualifications in colic and reflux. Colic is surrounded in mystery, with so much conflicting information available, parents are unsure how to help their baby. I want to shed light on the symptoms and help parents further by bringing some calm to a challenging time.
How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?
Running your own business and juggling a family is never easy. When I first began classes, my mum would have my baby daughter one morning a week, whilst my son was in nursery. I relied heavily on my mum to help with Trudy whereas we benefitted from free childcare hours for Samuel. Now that Trudy has begun school this now means I utilise the time they are at school to run both sides of the business and I feel like now is my time to reach for my goals of really making a difference both locally and nationally, which resulted in the launch of Colic SOS.
Since setting up your business what’s been your biggest success to date?
My success has been a slow burner. I really have worked hard behind the scenes to build up my business. Going from nobody to booking onto my classes or just one person attending when I first began, to now having full classes, a waiting list and a really great reputation in my local area. I really enjoy receiving such positive feedback from mums who attend my sessions and comment that it has had such a positive impact upon them and their babies.
What are your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?
Stay true to your ‘why’. Setting up your own business is a journey with many twists, turns and challenges. You can often get swept up in the journey and find yourself drifting away from the original reason of setting up in the first place. Keep that original reason at the core for all that you do. My ‘why’ is to make motherhood better for all mothers by taking away isolation through my classes and helping parents get through colic hell. I have been through an isolating existence as a mother, with a screaming baby and felt totally helpless. All that I do, is with the aim to prevent mothers feeling like I did.
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Love Lemons, Amy Merrywest Consulting, and The Kid’s Festival