As a Neonatal Registered Nurse with over ten years of experience, and a mum herself, Leesa Steele wants to help give families strategies to lead a fulfilling and balanced lifestyle with their baby. Understanding the importance of sleep and how challenging a new addition can be for the whole family, she became a certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant with the Institute of Sensitive Sleep and International Association of Child Sleep Consultants. She loves working with babies and assisting families to find sleep solutions that are suitable for them and their lifestyle. Here she talks about the inspiration behind Little Sleepers Consulting, how she balances work and family time, and the pros and cons of running her own business.
The passion: What inspired you to set up your business?
As an experienced Neonatal Nurse, I am passionate and truly love helping babies and their families. So often I would see families, friends, and patients going through heightened states of anxiety surrounding their baby’s sleep and ongoing tension when sleep was disrupted or didn’t go as planned. I began to question this impact and see families lose the enjoyment and wonder of their baby.
During the journey of having my own child, I could understand firsthand a gap in the information and support parents receive in the first year of their baby’s life. I felt compelled to help others find sleep and settling solutions that are individual to their needs as a family. I was inspired by my own experiences to be a resource for parents and to highlight common misconceptions surrounding baby sleep, which has been the driving force behind my business.
The launch: How did you start out in the beginning?
Although I have many years of experience as a neonatal nurse, I decided to undertake an infant and child sleep consultant course to gain further knowledge and evidence on how sleep impacts a family.
I decided to call my business ‘Little Sleepers Consulting‘ to acknowledge the personalisation of my services as a consultant. Due to my work with babies, I identified there is no one-size fits all and each family requires customised education and time to work through their concerns.
I started out small by helping friends and family and using word of mouth in my community. Using social media and online resources has been a great way to get started, allowing me to work and support families from home.
The innovation: What was the biggest breakthrough for you with your business?
I would say the whole experience of starting out and deciding to go out on my own has been the biggest breakthrough for me. Confidence in myself and my knowledge has led me to be a resource for families with the added benefit of being present for my own family. It was a big step to go from working in the clinical setting to an online platform and I have had to learn a lot about developing a business.
The journey has been marked by continuous learning, challenges, and a series of milestones that has contributed to the overall growth and development of my business and myself as a person!
My goal to educate and inform parents has not changed and I am constantly looking at new ways to support families.
Yin and Yang: How do you balance work and family?
My support system truly assists me to balance work and family. As with any work, time is a crucial factor and can sometimes be a challenge to fit in during the day-to-day business of life.
The main benefit to my work is the online and work from home flexibilities. I can utilise my baby’s nap time and bedtime to jump on the computer and keep up to date with families and provide support. I am lucky to have family support and a partner that can help babysit or take the dog for a walk so I can focus on the business.
While my goal is to be with my family and create lasting memories, I have also found asking for help is vital so I can attend my own self-care, which I have found extremely beneficial to my overall wellness.