Born and raised in France, the beautiful Virginie Lozac’h recognized the importance of helping parents out their with babies. After all, we all know that soon-to-be parents will always hear about the lack of sleep they will be having once their child is born…but that doesn’t have to be the case. Bringing to you ways to better understand your baby’s needs, Virginie is what you would call the baby whisperer, and thanks to Dodo & Co, you are in good hands. Keep reading on and discover ways you and your family can finally get a good night’s sleep!

Share with us what you do and what you hope to accomplish.

I help sleep-deprived families to understand and know better about their baby’s needs. Good sleeping habits are a learning process, the same as eating healthy or exercising. Sometimes a baby just needs some help from his caregiver to learn how to soothe himself and to sleep through the night. I just want to let know every new parent that good sleep habits need to be told from day one to their baby. And yes, it is possible to have a baby and sleep through the night at some point.

Sleep is so underrated today, and there is very little or no information about baby’s sleep needs. I want to spread the information to help other mums who are desperate, distressed, and tired with their newborn. It’s a very lonely role to be a young mum at home so being able to help them to at least to sleep through the night it is already a huge accomplishment.

What inspired you to pursue a career in this field?

I felt very lonely during my first experience as a mum and was missing some support regarding my baby’s needs. You get home 3 days after delivery; exhausted with a newborn you don’t even know (and meant to love straight away…) and no “manual” on how to take care of him. You are supposed to do it all naturally. The difference is that before, women raised their kids in a village, in a community, surrounded by family and neighbors, Women supporting each other. Today, you just do it yourself on your own most of the time. The pressure on women today is also higher, you need to be performant in all different areas: work, couple, family…etc.

What has your journey been like up until now? How did you prepare yourself to help families with sleeping issues?

I worked for 20 years in the Luxury fashion industry for C. Dior and Louis Vuitton. Then I got my first baby at 40. My Job had always been my priority until I met my baby. After spending 1 full-time year taking care of my daughter, I went into a totally new mindset. I wanted to find a balance, a job where I could work at my pace to be able to spend time with my family and feel that I was sharing my experience with other mums. Got my sleeping consultant certification in February 2020 after studying for 7 months while I was also taking care at home of my daughter who was one year old by then. I launched Dodo&Co whilst pregnant with Pablo, my second child and during lockdown last year in March 2020. I started with few consultations a week but then very quick I got very busy and now this is sometimes overwhelming but so happy to be able to help families to get their balance back.

Explain to us what kind of impact lack of sleep can have on children. 

A good night’s sleep is vital for everyone, but it’s especially important for babies and children because of the rapid pace of brain development during those first few years. The impacts of lack of sleep on children are very alarming: Children who get less than 10h of sleep per night have difficulties concentrating, learning, to perform at school. They are more likely to be obese, sick and they are at a significantly higher risk for hyperactivity. Sleep is as important as eating. As a matter of fact, the worst torture to make someone talk is to sleep-deprived them…so gives you an idea on how important is sleep. Unfortunately, today it is so underrated, we are all set towards performance and profit. It is a bit of a shame.

How can parents better help their children who are affected by this?

Parents have a responsibility here. They must take care of their children’s needs. In that case, sleeping must be taken care of by the parents if there are issues and their baby is not meeting his needs. Obviously, it is also a choice or a sacrifice sometimes… when you’d rather be having a glass of wine with your friends if you have a young kid and you must stop what you are doing to go home to let them have their nap or go to bed early. It is not always easy.

Best advice you could give to families?

Put your baby in bed before 8pm. No matter what. Passed that time, your kid will get so excited that it will be harder for him to fall asleep.

Share with us what is the “shaken baby syndrome”? 

We are more and more conscious about it today, there are a lot of campaigns about the shaken baby syndrome. It is when a baby is violently shaken by an adult and the violent back-and-forth movements of the head cause the brain to bounce around inside the cranial cavity and the tearing of the bridging veins located at the convexity. It usually occurs in children under 1 year of age. The consequences can be death or irreversible damage. It can happen to anyone: the caregivers or the parents. One of the reasons to do that could be an extreme tiredness and when baby is screaming for hours you can’t cope any longer. So again, good night sleep for everyone in the house is extremely important. And when you feel that you are losing it, the best thing to do is put your baby in a safe place (his bed) and take a deep breath outside the room. It won’t hurt him to cry out for few minutes while you are getting your inner peace back.

Can you share with us a personal anecdote of how you (your family) have been affected by lack of sleep? How did you fix it?

The first 9 months of my daughter were pretty rough. She was crying for a long period of time every evening before falling finally asleep of exhaustion, then waking up every hour for months. I was exhausted, depressed and not nice to be around. I don’t deal very well with lack of sleep so can become pretty snappy with everyone around me, especially with my partner. I could not accept that for him having a baby didn’t change anything in his life (or that’s what I thought then) and I had to give up on everything to take care of my baby and I was miserable, becoming this horrible woman who can’t even take care of herself, complaining all day about everything. It was a difficult time.

I then called a sleep school to help me and to try to understand what I was doing wrong. I regret I waited so long to do it; this would have saved me probably lots of sleepless nights.

Tips for getting a better night of sleep (and for kids)?

The no screen rule at least 2 hours before going to bed. Create a cozy environment in your bedroom/ and kids’ bedroom, have a good routine every day and try to go out every day and get some sunshine.

What do you hope 2021 beings to you and others?

Going back to basics, good healthy food, good night sleeps, get time for yourself at least few hours every week.

Dodo & Co @dodo_andco
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