By Lauren Hermon
Port Lincoln mother and businesswoman, Jessie White, knows all too well what it’s like to be a parent to a kid with inconsistent sleeping patterns.
It’s partly the reason she created the smartphone app Baby Sleep Guide.
“After having my first born, he was quite a good sleeper at night but would ‘cat nap’ during the day for 45 minutes or so. I almost tore my hair out reading books, trying to implement routines while also seeing sleep consultants,” says the mother of two.
Baby Sleep Guide helps parents improve their baby’s sleep by providing professional advice on creating the ideal bedroom environment, nutrition and tips for when parents are ‘out and about’ with their children.
But while helping babies – and parents – get some much needed sleep is important, Jessie is also on a mission to reduce the incidence of Post Natal Depression (PND) in new parents.
“Sleep deprivation is the number one cause of PND, affecting up to one in seven mothers and one in 10 fathers,” she claims.
“By giving parents valuable advice to help get their baby to sleep will go a long way in reducing PND in the community.
“I wanted to get my advice out in an affordable way and thought most people would probably have a smartphone. I tried to keep it really short and to the point, so they wouldn’t have to dig deep for the answers.”
Despite only creating Baby Sleep Guide late last year, Jessie will soon visit new parents and their babies in Port Lincoln homes to consult and write personalised sleep plans for children aged between zero to five.
She also plans to work closely with some of the town’s health professionals who may be able to refer the Baby Sleep Guide app to their patients or clients.
Both Jessie’s app and sleep consulting business will be beneficial particularly for regional areas, like Port Lincoln, which Jessie says can often lack professional services due to limited resources.
“The lack of services here was something I didn’t really notice until I had children and had to keep going back and forth to Adelaide for professional services,” she says.
“It became obvious a lot of important things that affect parents and the bond they have with their child were lacking in the town.”
But Jessie’s Baby Sleep Guide journey is one she’s sharing with the close-knit town.
“There have been really good success stories from some people who have used the app. One woman used the app and started implementing the routine for her child one morning, and that night the child slept throughout the night.
“It obviously doesn’t work like that for everyone; it can take a few days, but that’s how quickly you can see results.”
Jessie recently won the May 2016 Best App for Children and has received two nominations – one for digital innovation and ‘people’s choice’ – in the St George Banking Group Ausmumpreneur Awards celebrating mums in business.
Winners will be announced on August 14.
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