Sunday, June 23, 2013

Spotlight on Mom: Laura Swartz, Creator of the SleepBuddy Sleep System

Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.

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SleepBuddy is a complete sleep system to teach your kids when to stay in bed
I am excited to share this week's Spotlight Mom with you, as I have been using her product for a couple of weeks now, and am finally seeing a change in Savannah's sleep schedule.  How is it that when you child gets sick, they seem to forget their sleep schedules?  While the girls and I were sick for the past 3 1/2 weeks, they were both up most of the night due to congestion, earache pain, and just not feeling well, and would sleep off and on throughout the day.  And, now that we are finally back to 100%, I am finding Savannah stuck in the sleep routine she had while sick.  For some reason she goes to bed late (around 10PM) and wakes up around 5:00-6:00AM ready to start her day.  Then, for the rest of the day, she is tired from not getting enough sleep.  When I asked her the other day why she was getting up so early, she said because it was light out. Hmm, I though to myself, I remember when Savannah was sick, she would wake when my husband got up, so that she could get a steam shower and open her nasal passages.  Then, she would sit with him on the coach as he ate his breakfast and got ready for work.  By the time he left, Savannah was wide awake, as it was already light out.  Gone were the days when she would go to bed at 9PM the latest and sleep until 8:30AM-9AM.

I turned to the Internet looking for device or advice on how to break this sleep habit, and that is when I stumbled across Laura Swartz's website and product, the SleepBuddy.  She came up with the idea for this product when her oldest son would wake at 2AM thinking he had slept enough.  I can't imagine what I would do if my girls woke this early, after going to bed a few short hours earlier.

So, what is the SleepBuddy, and how has it helped my daughter, Laura's son and so many other children and their parents? The SleepBuddy is a complete sleep system designed to help teach your children when they should be staying in bed, and when they can get up. This sleep system is geared towards
children who are in the crib and moving to a bed within 1-2 months, currently transitioning from crib to bed, or sleeping in a bed but not staying through the night.

The process is simple for you and fun for your children with three simple steps toward sound, healthy sleep.

  1. Present and explain SleepBuddy to your child. The system includes an engaging children’s book to help your child understand the concept.
  2. Program the soft blue light to turn on for scheduled nap time and when it is time for your child to go bed at night. Place the light in his/her room where it can be seen from the bed.
  3. Record your child’s progress with the included incentive chart and smiley stickers. When a goal is reached, choose a reward that you feel is right for your child.


SleepBuddy is for children who are:
  • In the crib and moving to a bed within 1-2 months
  • Currently transitioning from crib to bed, or
  • Sleeping in a bed but not staying through the night.

Three simple steps toward sound, healthy sleep.

Present and explain SleepBuddy to your child. The system includes an engaging children’s book to help your child understand the concept.
Program the soft blue light to turn on for scheduled nap time and when it is time for your child to go bed at night. Place the light in his/her room where it can be seen from the bed.
Record your child’s progress with the included incentive chart and smiley stickers. When a goal is reached, choose a reward that you feel is right for your child.
- See more at: http://sleepbuddy.com/how-it-works/#sthash.chBIzqKQ.dpuf

- See more at: http://sleepbuddy.com/how-it-works/#sthash.chBIzqKQ.dpuf

So, while I am still working to break Savannah of the habit of rising too early in the morning, I can stay with certainty that the SleepBuddy is helping us, and in no time, we will all be getting back to getting our much needed rest, and waking at the right times. :-)

Make sure you head back here on Friday, when I will share a giveaway, in which one lucky reader will have a chance to win a SleepBuddy for their little one.  Don't want to wait until Friday to enter my giveaway and see if you won the SleepBuddy? -- I don't blame you! Simply head on over to Laura's online website now -- http://sleepbuddy.com/ -- to purchase the SleepBuddy System for only $37.95. And, don't forget to use coupon code "SleepyBaby" at checkout to receive 15% off your total order, as well as mention my blog, Inspired by Savannah, as the source on how you heard about the SleepBuddy machine and discount. Act fast, as this coupon code is only valid through 7/31/13.

Once you are done ordering your own SleepBuddy System, please enjoy my Spotlight on Mom interview with Laura Swartz, the creator of this amazing sleep system device.
SleepBuddy is a complete sleep system designed to help teach your children when they should be staying in bed, and when they can get up.
The process is simple for you and fun for your children
- See more at: http://sleepbuddy.com/how-it-works/#sthash.chBIzqKQ.dpuf

Name: Laura Swartz
Company Name/Product/Service: SleepBuddy (Company Name is Blue Light Innovations LLC), also founded Healthy Happy Sleep, a sleep consulting business for newborns-age 5
Company Location: Atlanta, GA
Twitter Handle: @sleepbuddy and @hlthyhappysleep
Age of Company: SleepBuddy - 6 years and HHS - this is the first year! Graduated in Dec. 2012
Favorite Inspirational Quotes: Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart ,and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Favorite Book: Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers


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Tell us a little bit about yourself.  How many children do you have?  What are their ages? Your hobbies? Etc. 

I am the wife to a wonderful man whom I met when I was only 17. He's very supportive of every crazy dream I have - I couldn't do anything without him! We have 5 children ages 9,8,6,2 and 1. We homeschool and absolutely love it (most days) :). I love to slalom ski and snow ski, and enjoy participating in "mud runs". Even though it can be overwhelming at times, cooking and baking have become my outlet and a way I can relax (unless the toddlers are hanging onto my legs and screaming). Lately I've been experimenting with gluten free recipes now that our youngest was diagnosed with Celiac Disease about a month ago. When I have free time, you'll find me reading parenting books or researching new findings on children's sleep.
  
Briefly explain your business.  How did it come about? 

SleepBuddy started because our oldest son would not stay in his bed after we moved him from his crib to a bed. I tried everything to keep him there, and it became an exhausting power struggle. I felt so desperate and knew that he needed to sleep if only I could help him understand when to stay in bed! He was always trying to please us and you could tell he just didn't get it. He genuinely thought if he had been in bed long "enough" it was time to get up - how do you explain that 2 am is not really the morning to a 2.5 year old? I searched everywhere looking for a programmable light that would tell him when to get up and couldn't find a single thing even close to what I was envisioning. I ended up purchasing a few things at Walmart, rigging them together and created the very first SleepBuddy prototype. It literally worked like magic for our son. After using it with him and eventually our second child, I knew we needed to share this with other parents. It took us longer than expected to get it up and running, and in the meantime other companies have come out with similar products, but nothing is as complete and intuitive as SleepBuddy. 

After SleepBuddy hit the market I found that many parents were looking for sleep advice as well as a product, and although I'm a mother I still didn't feel qualified to answer their questions with confidence. This aspect of the company became overwhelming because I had suddenly become a counselor and sleep consultant without any training! All day long I was fielding emails from parents who were desperatly trying to help their toddlers sleep. That's when I decided to take a course through the Family Sleep Institute and get certified as a sleep consultant for children. I honestly believe I have found my calling now that Healthy Happy Sleep is thriving and I'm helping families daily. It's such an honor to watch their babies go from having some pretty major sleep debts to sleeping well consistently. 

What is a typical work day like? 

Since I homeschool my children, there are only certain time periods of the day when I can truly focus on work. My family is my top priority, and sometimes my work has to take a backseat. Sometimes I wonder where SleepBuddy would be if I had waited until my kids were grown to embark on this dream, but I believe they are watching, learning, and experiencing what it takes to work hard while staying focused on what's really important and still succeed. With that said, my work schedule would look a lot different if I had more time each day!

I typically have about 2 hours in the middle of the day to send emails, do some PR work, consult with sleep clients, etc. Every evening after the kids are in bed my husband and I pack up SleepBuddy orders to ship out the following day and send emails to new customers. Most nights I'm up pretty late planning for school the next day, grading papers, tying up loose ends with both businesses, writing blog posts, and/or preparing sleep plans for clients. On the weekends I schedule all of the Facebook posts that will post the following week so that I don't have to squeeze in that task througout the week. 
What has been a struggle while starting up your company? 

The hardest thing for me has been my inability to recognize my own limits. I am a very goal oriented, driven person and when I set my mind to something I go for it no matter how hard it is on me or my family. It's been a learning experience for me to let some aspects of my work take a backseat for the good of my sanity and my family. 
What did you do in your past work life?

I was a first grade teacher
What have been some of your major successes? 

SleepBuddy won a few awards such as the Mom's Choice Award and the Parent Tested Parent Approved award. Even better, hearing from parents about their success with SleeBuddy warms my heart every time. The whole reason I started both SleepBuddy and Healthy Happy Sleep was to help people, and each day I get to see the fruit of my labor in the families we've helped. 
What have been some of your major challenges? 

One of the major challenges of running a product based company such as SleepBuddy is keeping customers happy. I never realized how mean people can be! At first I took everything personally, but over time I've realized that as long as I respond kindly and follow our policies, the responses from others are not my problem. Since I am a "people pleaser" by nature, this was a hard lesson to learn! 
On those impossible days, what motivates you to keep going? 

Honestly, I have a lot of days like this and at the end of the day I always come to the place of realizing all over again that I'm only doing this because I feel God is calling me to help people in this way. So many families struggle with teaching their children how to sleep well - for some reason I know how to help them. Whenever I feel discouraged, I go through a process of being sad, then mad, then determined...and finally I remember that the Lord will complete the work He has started in me - I believe He will work through these companies regardless of what I do or don't do!  
What is your balancing secret in managing a business and family? 

Ha Ha - so far it's been staying up late, which totally goes against everything I recommend as a sleep consultant! So far I've found that planning ahead, staying organized and taking on only what I can realistically manage make things a lot earlier to manage. Putting the family first may make things "unbalanced", but I sleep a lot better at night when I know everything is as it should be with my husband and my children, regardless of what I may have missed with my work. 
What is next for your business? 

Right now we're at the start of a marketing push with SleepBuddy since up until now we have been relying on blog reviews and word-of-mouth referrals. We're hoping to one day be in big box retail stores in the US and Canada. 
Do you have any advice for other mom entrepreneurs that are starting out and struggling, or are on the fence about starting a business? 

The best advice I can give is to keep going even if the progress is slow. You will see the rewards of your hard work over time...nothing worthwhile ever comes easy! 


Disclosure: I was sent a sample from the vendor in order to write up an honest review.  The views shared are mine and mine alone.

1 comment :

  1. sounds pretty interesting and uniqu.. and helpful!

    ReplyDelete