Parents in Business featuring Little Sleep Stars

Parents in Business featuring Little Sleep Stars

This week on my Parents in Business series I’m delighted to share with you Lauren’s business journey about how she created Little Sleep Stars after having her child, and experiencing first hand how difficult it was to get her child to sleep. I think that we’ve all been there?

On living on broken sleep for over a year and with her return to work looming, Lauren enlisted the help of her own sleep consultant. As a result of this and her legal background, Lauren decided to set up her own sleep consultancy and Little Sleep Stars was born. 

This is a brilliant read for anyone who is thinking about a change in career after having children, and Lauren’s top tips and her achievements reflect that anything is possible when you put your mind to it. 

Tell me a little bit about you, your background, and your business?

Before having my son, I was a lawyer for over 12 years and specialised in criminal law. It was a career I had always wanted and certainly intended to return to after maternity leave. Having set my heart on being a lawyer aged just 14, when we read To Kill a Mockingbird during school English lessons, I took a traditional route to qualification via an undergraduate law degree followed by postgraduate qualifications to practice. I worked initially in criminal defence before moving to an in-house role with the Civil Service. 

Little Sleep Stars came about following my own journey with child sleep. The ethos of my business is that all babies and children have both the need and the ability to sleep well – it’s just that some need more help than others to unlock their innate sleep potential. The term “sleep-training” holds a number of negative connotations and often conjures up images of babies being left alone to cry. That couldn’t be further away from what I do! By taking a holistic, whole-child approach, it is always possible to improve sleep without the process being an ordeal for parent or child. My practice is underpinned by the most comprehensive, evidence-based training available which sets Little Sleep Stars apart in an increasingly saturated but, to-date, unregulated industry. Far from holding the business back, my legal background has proved to be a huge asset. Not only is my assessment process naturally forensic and my advice clear and direct, I am able to identify well with my clients who are often professional women feeling that same thing I did: “I am a competent person, why is this so hard?”.

Parents in Business featuring Little Sleep Stars

What were your motivations for setting up your business?

I hadn’t spent much time around babies before I became a mother and it wasn’t something I expected to come particularly naturally to me. So, in order to be as prepared as possible, I spent my pregnancy researching parenthood as I would a new case – there was even some colour-coding involved!
 
I knew that sleep in the early months would be broken – everyone knows that. But as my son, Harry, approached his first birthday, he was still taking short-naps and waking twice-nightly – often staying awake for an hour or two. I felt like I was failing him, despite reading everything I could find on the subject of child sleep.
 
I delayed my return to work because thinking on my feet in a courtroom, with only five hours’ broken sleep a night behind me, didn’t seem feasible. With the benefit of hindsight however, there was more to it than that: my losing battle with Harry’s sleep had fundamentally affected my confidence.
 
In desperation, I contacted a sleep consultant. Despite modifying the advice we were given to make the plan even more gentle, it still worked! Able to take the rest he needed, Harry became a different child. The calm, steady support of a professional, who wasn’t sleep-deprived, changed everything for us.  A passion for sleep was ignited and I knew that a career change was calling. I handed in my notice, retrained, and have been helping tired families ever since!

How do you balance the business around your family and childcare?

It helps that Harry sleeps fantastically which enables me to get a lot done in the evenings! The families I work often prefer evening appointments too as it enables both parents to be involved. Until our little boy went to pre-school, we had a part-time nanny which worked really well for us as it enabled me to remain on-hand if needed and facilitated a gradual transition as work picked up. The last two years have been hard at times as the business took off very quickly and I spent a long-time working late into the night and often at weekends too. It’s arguably a nice “problem” to have when self-employed though!
 
Moving forward I plan to align my working hours into the school day so that family time is protected as for too long I have spent my weekends and evenings working.
 
Parents in Business featuring Little Sleep Stars

Since setting up your business what has been your biggest success to date?

I’m super-proud of the credibility of Little Sleep Stars and the doors that has opened. Despite only establishing my own consultancy at the beginning of 2018, having previously sat within a larger, established brand, I have already been asked to provide my expertise by some of the most trusted names in the baby and toddler world such as Mamas & Papas, The Baby & Toddler Show and Mother & Baby magazine. I have also helped over 200 families find their way back to sleep which is a huge privilege.

What’s your top tip for anyone who is thinking about setting up their own business?

Make sure you are able, and willing, to invest in the right things. For me, this was some marketing and PR advice, which has paid dividends and saved me a lot of time. In turn, I have been able to concentrate on my core business. As my business continues to grow, I am considering outsourcing aspects of my work to a virtual PA because whilst I can undertake certain things, it doesn’t mean doing so is the best use of my time.
 
Thank you so much Lauren for being part of my series, it has been an absolute pleasure to feature you on my blog.
 
You can find out more about Little Sleep Stars by visiting Lauren’s website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram page. 
 
If you like what you’re reading and would love to be part of my Parents in Business series just drop me an email: thepramshedblog@gmail.com. Or have a nose at some of the other businesses I have featured in the series: Now Is The TimeRuth Wilson PR, and Honest Mum
 
Claire x

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