Before her first child was born in 2005, Katie Peifer Bartley was terrified she’d never sleep again. She created a plan, though, and soon her daughter was, well, sleeping like a baby.
After the second daughter came along, friends noticed that Katie and her husband, David, never had that tired look that’s so common to many young parents.
“People started asking me how I got my children to sleep,” says Bartley, an avid Commodores fan who is proud of her time on the women’s soccer team while a student. “One day I was talking to a friend of a friend of a friend in Philadelphia, who stopped me after about 45 minutes and told me I should be charging for this advice.”
Today Bartley styles herself an infant sleep consultant. In the beginning she conducted an informal Facebook poll asking if people would pay to be able to sleep—and had 12 calls the first day. “I knew I had hit a nerve,” she says. “I thought people would be impressed with my master’s in social work, but all they really cared about was the fact that I had three young children who slept 12 hours a night.”
Bartley explains that most parents simply develop some bad habits early on. “Babies shouldn’t dictate how a parent’s life is being run,” she says. “I love my children, but I’m the parent. I have to encourage my clients to remember that they’re the ones in charge.”
Find out more: katiebartley.com.
© 2014 Vanderbilt University | Photography: DAVID BARTLEY
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