Wow! What an amazing whirlwind of a year. Those who have been on my journey with me may already know how my first year has been but for the rest of you I thought I’d share.
With so many children’s services being slashed, due to cutbacks within the NHS, families were missing out on important key health messages and out of this Littlelifesteps was born.
The first part of my year was spent setting up my website and deciding how best to pass on my knowledge and expertise. I didn’t realise how much work goes into website building – I now have a lot of respect for people who do it full time! I have lived and breathed Littlelifesteps to work out it’s direction; sorting through my vast collection of resources and deciding on what to include in my sessions.
The first sessions I developed were using my years of training and experience helping parents with their child’s feeding journey and potty-training issues; they are two very informative, interactive sessions to be delivered in the comfort of the parents’ home one to one or with a group of friends – I felt this created a relaxed environment for the parents to open up with questions and for me to be able to tailor the sessions to each individual or group, as after all each child is unique! These have been great fun and with some wonderful feedback:
“Absolutely amazing. Learned a lot about introducing solids to my boy, I feel confident it will be really easy and fun.”
“Sue’s knowledge is based on research and it is all about the right thing for the baby! Really interesting information regarding already made food for babies. I would recommend her 100%”
“I attended Sue’s baby led feeding session with a group of friends and our babies. It was so nice that this was held in one of our homes as it felt so relaxed. Sue is such a lovely lady and no question felt too silly. We were well informed using current guidelines, followed up with an email of the literature used. I feel that I have come away that bit more confident in starting this exciting new chapter in my baby’s development.”
For me, setting up Littlelifesteps was about supporting families to find a solution that is right for them and their family. Feedback like this makes me burst with pride.
I then received an enquiry through Facebook about a sleep consultation. This switched my focus in the second half of the year to using my Millpond training to help families improve their shut eye.
I use the “one size does not fit all approach”- family dynamics are all different, and parents know their child best. I work with the families own parenting style, without undermining their confidence. I learn their child’s temperament by observation and discussing with the parents any developmental stages, before a plan is suggested and then implemented by the parents.
I discuss their child’s day to day routine and give tips on areas to work on to establish good sleeping habits. I take a full history of their child’s sleep/behaviour habits and any factors that might affect them such as birth, diet, medication, illnesses etc. I provide many fact sheets on good sleep books to read to children, foods to promote sleep, separation anxiety and any behavioural techniques to try. Reassurance is given throughout and parents are supported to make the right choices for their family.
I work with parents alongside their baby’s natural sleep rhythms. I always have the child at the centre and being a mother myself I am sympathetic to how difficult it can be emotionally to deal with sleep challenges.
Networking with local businesses was key for me to make my first year a success. I very much enjoyed attending Babies in Waiting coffee mornings (and eating lots of cake!) and meeting Daisy first aid consultants in Essex where I updated my CPR skills for this year with the lovely Chloe.
My end of 2018 was very busy for Littlelifesteps. One happy sleep client and a super review lead to more clients. I have learnt that word of mouth is a very powerful tool in business. I would like to say a huge thankyou to everyone I have connected with this year and who have given their time to write a review.
“Sue is amazing and has helped us so much!! From the moment we spoke on the phone I loved her. She is a very warm, compassionate lady. She works with the family so she can learn about your own individual situation. Our daughter is almost 7 and I thought it was going to be impossible to sort out the bad habits but with Sue’s help we have made so much progress and still continuing to do so. I do not dread bedtime like I did in the past - Thanks so much sue xxxx”
“Our 17-month-old has always slept well but often would only settle if we stayed with her. With a baby due any day now, we had Sue come to the house and point us in the right direction to get our little one to go down quickly and without needing us. Sue spent time with us talk through our needs and then tailoring a plan for our family! The plan had steps to follow over days, eventually she could just be put down and we walk away! No crying she is just happy in her cot. Sue is on hand to answer any questions or worries and kept in touch throughout! If your struggling to get your little ones to bed or to stay in bed definitely give Sue a ring! Thanks, Sue, for all your help”
I have had lots of great comments and this makes my job very rewarding as I love to support and empower families. Thank you also for all the likes and follows. I regularly provide bitesize tips and advice on social media, as I believe small changes can make a big difference. Please keep sharing my posts with your friends and families and they might pick up a little gem.
At the end of last year, I teamed up with Therapy Life Centre in Westcliff to deliver my health promotion sessions to parents as a group session. I have more sessions booked for this year starting with “Preparing for potty training”. “Building skills for nursery/school “and “Introduction to Solids”.
Another part of my work that picked up at the end of 2018 was supporting families on their journey with infant massage. I am IAIM massage trained. The IAIM is accredited by the Royal college of midwives, and its purpose is to promote nurturing touch & communication.
The IAIM is a highly respected organisation and its instructors are taught to a high standard, to help support parents to have a deeper understanding of baby's needs. My first year I have enjoyed seeing the incredible way parents have strengthened their bond and connection with their babies. I am passionate about the many benefits of infant massage and empowering parents to trust themselves to respond positively to their baby’s cues. I feel privileged that families have chosen Littlelifesteps to be a part of this amazing experience.
“We did the baby massage class and absolutely loved it. It’s a great way to bond with baby and has loads of health benefits. We signed up for baby massage class but got so much more with the added baby sensory after each session. Would 100% recommend and will no doubt be using Sue again in the future.”
This review warms my heart as my vision for Littlelifesteps was to support families throughout their parenting journey with all their children’s milestones. Working with families you get to know the parents, the children and their aspirations which all help with building the pieces of a puzzle so you get success and happy parenting.
Lastly, I want to say I could not have done this year without my amazing family supporting me all the way. I have had master classes in Instagram, Facebook and Twitter from my daughters. A crash course in web design, search engine optimization and how it works from my husband and a huge thank you to my cousin Emma and her gorgeous daughter Isla, who is the star on all my literature.
My first year has been a massive learning curve with some great achievements.
Can’t wait to work with more families in 2019 and beyond, always happy to chat about any concern’s parents may have before an appointment is booked.
Watch this space for more exciting news from Littlelifesteps.