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Consultant providing sleep advice to parents

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Getting a good night’s sleep is a major key to success, but for new parents, this can be one of the greatest challenges of all.

Joleen Dilk Salyn knows that firsthand.

Dilk Salyn will host two seminars to help parents learn about improving their children’s sleep habits. The first, on March 11, will target parents with children 12 months and younger, while the second, on March 18, is for those with children aged one to five. Both take place at Exquisite Taste at 1-2089 Plessis Rd. from 7:30 to 9 p.m.

When the Harbour View South resident was working as a music teacher at St. Andrews School, her daughter, Falena, now two, had trouble sleeping through the night immediately after the family moved into its new home.

"She was about a year old, she wasn’t napping properly. She got all these teeth all of a sudden," she said. "She’d be waking up at four in the morning just screaming. Now, in retrospect, I know she was so overtired, but at the time, I had no idea of what was going on.

"I would sit in the chair at four in the morning, just trying to get more sleep into her, because that’s the only way I could get her back to sleep, was to hold her."

After finding a sleep consultant online, Dilk Salyn decided to become one herself, receiving training through the Family Sleep Institute. She started Baby Sleep 101 last summer.

"We’ll be going over common problems that my clients and parents face," she said of the upcoming seminars. "In both age categories, sleeping through the night is a big one, it doesn’t matter if they’re a baby or a toddler— that’s the main issue that most parents face."

In the baby seminar, topics such as getting children to take restorative naps and how to deal with changes in sleep patterns will also be discussed.

"A lot of times, parents have a good sleeper, and then around the four month mark, there’s a change in the way the baby’s brain starts categorizing sleep, so there’s a four month blip," she said.

In the toddler seminar, Dilk Salyn will cover issues like transitioning from a crib to a bed, waking up in the night, and nightmares.

Early-bird tickets for each seminar are $5 and are available at http://www.eventbrite.ca/org/3324032482 or www.babysleep101.com.

There will be time for questions at the end of each seminar.

Dilk Salyn is also available for email, telephone, or in-home consultations.

"With most of the packages, I provide them a sleep plan. They fill out a whole big form for me, I analyze it, and I give them a sleep plan to follow," she said. "I make sure that they’re comfortable with it, they read over everything, and if they have any questions, they ask me ahead of time so that they’re good to go."

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