“My name is Ashley Cooley and I’m the founder of Birth Baby Sleep Education and Support Services. I’ve been teaching prenatal classes and providing baby, child and sleep support for more than 7 years. Prior to this, I worked as a Health Promotion specialist for a mental health organization which is when my husband and I started our own family.
We have three girls now who are currently almost 7yrs and 9yrs and our youngest is 3.5yrs. They are my why. We struggled to get pregnant for a few years before our first arrived and by the time we had two kids there were some major gaps in the system. Prenatal classes were being taken away, support was being taken away and I just couldn’t imagine others not getting the information and support that anyone having children should have.
So, I aim to meet parents where they’re at, provide non-judgemental support and evidence-based information in a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere. I offer things that I never knew I needed as a newer mom, and I only hope to be able to bring a piece of that to others who need it too.”
“I offer a variety of services with special projects happening from time to time. Currently, Birth Baby Sleep is offering the following:
Prenatal Classes – A series of 4 prenatal classes to help you prepare for your upcoming labour and delivery, as well as how you’ll feed and care for your newborn. These classes (accurately named: Labour, Delivery, Feeding and Family classes) run every month, on Tuesday evenings or mid-morning on Saturdays. You’ll usually find us in-person (with a limit of 6 pairs) on North Street in Halifax or you can join us live, virtually from anywhere in Canada!
Bringing Up Baby Podcast – Find us wherever you listen to podcasts (Apple, Spotify, Google, Amazon, Stitcher) or directly from the website.
Sleep Consulting – Currently offering 1:1 coaching for kids under the age of 5 (with some 6 and 7-year-olds from time to time) These are usually virtual services – by phone, email and text. I can offer in-person consultations and support if requested.
Halifax Perinatal Support Network – A free Facebook group for anyone looking for support and connection during their pregnancy and at any stage postpartum (any time after you’ve had a baby. Honestly, any time!).
Car seat safety and installation – I educate families on how to properly install their car seat and ensure their baby is safe while in a vehicle.”
“There could be lots of reasons! But generally, someone would contact me about their car seat if they are having trouble with installation, they just want to check to make sure they installed it correctly, or they need more information on when to transition to another seat. “
“I have a BSc and an MA in Health Promotion, both from Dalhousie University. I’m also a Certified Childbirth Educator and New Parent Educator with CAPPA, a Certified Child Sleep Consultant with the Family Sleep Institute and a Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician with the Child Passenger Safety Association of Canada. Oh, and did I say I’m a mom of 3? “
“I’ll work with just about any age in young childhood, but generally under 5yrs. I would say the majority are under 1yr.”
“I think co-sleeping can work for lots of families, but it’s not for everyone or at least maybe not all the time. I loved it, myself! In fact, it was the only way my girls would sleep as newborns so it worked for all of us. But eventually, I decided to have them sleep in their own space but right next to me and that worked well for us. I’m all for it so long as the baby is safe.”
“This is a big question because there could be lots of different circumstances around it. In general, I would say when the parent(s) are ready. If using a crib, I usually recommend waiting to transfer to a bed until closer to age 3. ”
“Absolutely! I have a Highlight on my Instagram page dedicated to those older kiddos. In fact, I love working with toddlers and preschoolers. You can talk to them, get them on board with your plan and all have some buy-in to achieve better sleep. “
“Another big question because it really does depend! I would have an infographic or two on my social media around this as well, but generally, it goes something like this:
By 4 months of age, most babies are napping 3 or 4 times of day (usually 4 when those naps can still be pretty short).
Then they’ll drop to 3 naps some time within their 4th or 5th month.
3rd nap is dropped sometime between 6-8 months of age (definitely by 8 months, but the only 6-month-olds napping twice a day should be getting two good & long ones!)
Babies are usually on 2 naps a day from then until around 15-18 months of age.
Most kids will continue napping until at least their 3rd birthday or sometimes up until they start school.
It’s not just about age, though. It depends on how long the naps are and the times of day they are happening. Generally speaking, my goal is to usually aim to keep more naps than not for as long as possible.”
What is it like working with you? What is the process to book? What would you say are your core values?
“I think it’s pretty fun to work with me! Hahah No, but really, I know a lot about having babies and I’m an open book. You can ask me ANYTHING and I’ll give it to you straight.
I also give parents the confidence and reassurance they’re looking for, whether that’s helping them prepare for their upcoming labour and birth, or how to feed their baby and help them sleep. I educate to inform, not to push an agenda. I don’t judge AT ALL and I’m as empathetic as they come.
To book a prenatal class (or two or three or four), you can head to www.birthbabysleep.ca/birth. Follow the links to select your classes, dates and if you’d prefer to attend in-person or virtually (this can be changed if necessary).
When it comes to sleep consulting, typically parents are ready to start yesterday, so I fit them in my schedule as soon as possible. Typically, they would connect with me via email and we would have a conversation about what’s going on sleep-wise and how I can help. I usually have parents fill out an intake form as well so I can grab as many details as possible before we even dive in.
Once we agree to work together, we set up a time to have a consultation (within days or a week or two, tops) and a contract is signed so all parties are on the same page as to how the process works.
Sometimes parents are only looking to chat so I offer a mini-consult for this purpose. Other times, they want/need a full-support package (usually 2-weeks) which includes a full consultation (approx. 1hr), a detailed, personalized sleep plan, 2-weeks of follow-up support and a moving forward plan for optimizing sleep in the future. I never leave parents hanging either… If they’re not ready to move on without my support anymore, I stick around for no extra fee! I stand by my methods because they work so I have ZERO problems offering that bit of extra service so that a family can get the rest they need.”
“You do YOU! There’s a lot of information out there for good reason… Because what works for some won’t work for others. Get as much GOOD information as you can so that you can make INFORMED decisions along your parenting journey. We’re all figuring it out as we go so do what feels right to you and you’ll be just fine ;)”
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