Missy Morrison Charko knows how to get a good night’s sleep, and she wants to help other Shuswap parents achieve the same.
After a year of training, Charko, who lives in Blind Bay, became a certified pediatric sleep consultant. She’s been running her own sleep consulting company, Say Yes to the Rest Pediatric Sleep Consulting, for close to a year.
“It’s a process getting everything up and going but so far it’s been super rewarding,” she said.
Missy said her first child, who’s now five, had colic. According to HealthLink BC, colic is when a baby cries for hours at a time, no matter what a parent does, between three weeks and three months of age.
“We had a lot of troubles in the sleep world with her and when we were kind of at our breaking point… a friend suggested a sleep consultant,” said Charko. “It completely changed our lives.”
Before one was recommended to her, Charko didn’t know sleep consultants existed. Soon, Charko’s daughter was sleeping in a crib by herself, taking naps and sleeping through the night.
These days, Charko is working to help her clients do the same thing with their children. She works with infants, toddlers and even older children up to age 12 on programs ranging from two to four weeks in length. She said the earlier parents start working on healthy sleep habits, the better.
Recently, Charko offered a free-to-attend workshop series at the Shuswap Family Centre where she shared sleep tips with parents.
Some of her top sleep goals for newborns include: beginning to develop self-soothing strategies; following an eat-play-sleep pattern; and establishing a bedtime routine, as it’s “wonderful to start at an early age and is an excellent cue to the body and mind that it is time for sleep.”
Some of Charko’s top tips for babies, toddlers and older children include: putting the child to bed awake so they can develop strategies to fall asleep on their own; establishing a consistent 20- to 30-minute bedtime routine; and having an early bedtime between 6 and 8 p.m. to prevent the child getting overtired.
Charko is offering two free seminars at 10 and 11 a.m. on Jan. 24 via Zoom, which can be accessed by visiting her Facebook page.