Celebrating 10 Years of The Parent and Baby Coach!
Happy 10 years to The Parent and Baby Coach!
Somehow, an entire decade haws passed of me running this incredible business and I wanted to reflect and mark it with some celebrations on social media, a podcast episode and a reflective blog post that goes behind the scenes and shares what it’s really been like to run a Sleep Consultancy business for a decade!
How The Parent and Baby Coach started
One of my biggest bug-bears in the sleep world currently is that it is a large, unregulated space and that not everyone is fully qualified to be giving advice to parents on the topic of sleep. I, personally, didn’t enter into this industry because of money or to make a profit; I genuinely wanted to work with babies from the time I grew up. Even as a teenager, whilst other girls were off going out or meeting boys, I was still playing with my dolls, Sophie and Rosie! I played with the dolls day-in, day-out until about the age of 14! I used to ‘feed’ them, buy them clothes, pop them in the highchair – the start of my business came from this deep-rooted love of everything baby-related.
At the end of school I chose to study Psychology and, at age 16, got my first childcare job. A local family with 3 children wanted support with their baby for the day (a family friend!) and she paid me £3 an hour to look after their baby, whilst she took the older children to London for the day. It was a long day but I loved it! I gave him bottles, his feed and took control of his naps. Looking back at that time I had a maternal instinct6 straightaway (backed up by amazing Mummy, a nurse and childminder who was at the end of the landline [remember those?!] if anything had gone wrong!). From that point onwards, I knew all I wanted to do was to look after babies.
During the gaps between lessons at College, I would look after babies and then go back to my studies!
The Gap Year
Aged 18, when my friends were off to university, I decided I wanted to stay close to home and to be a Nanny for a year. There were about 4 or 5 families who required help from me in our village, so I managed activities with them, their routines and everything. I loved it! I was known as the local Mary Poppins and thoroughly loved every minute of it.
When I started university I wanted to stay local and so I studied Psychology at Winchester University. Whilst studying, at every available opportunity, I would Nanny and always chose child-related modules of study. I loved earning money, babysitting and being an entrepreneur with juggling my families! I had that spirit of wanting to work for myself and that’s what started it all.
My gut drew me to London and, although not very confident at 19 or 20, I had a sense of wanting to build a business. I knew I wanted to be my own boss so I decided to do a Masters in Business Psychology to become a business coach or a consumer psychologist. Totally different to my Nanny experience! Luckily I managed to move in with 3 girls who had also just moved to London from home and, as fun as that was, I knew I needed to pay for the lifestyle!!
To manage this, I started being a Nanny around my 2 evenings of studying. Then I began ‘Night Nannying’, from as young as day 2. I hadn’t heard of this in Hampshire but it fitted in really well with my studies and it was something that I was really interested in. So I would arrive at a home at 9pm, speak to Mum about how the day had been. Mum would then express (if breastfeeding) and go to bed. My job would be to have the baby in my room, do their dream feed and then take baby to Mum at 3am (or give the bottle if in with me~) and then keep baby quiet throughout the farmyard hour until 7am. Then I’d get up, make their spare bed and get dressed, knock on the parents’ door and off I went!
I did 6 years of this, often working 5-6 nights a week!
For a couple of years of my early 20s, I didn’t have a lot of time because I was working in the day and the night. I would go from one job to the next and worked back-to-back Monday through Friday for so many families!
Around this age of 22 – 24, I was trying to decide what to do long-term. I had a natural business instinct (my husband may disagree!) that wanted to set something up as a business. Taking my wealth of experience that I’d accumulated I registered my business, started teaching baby massage and sleep and routines to parents in March 2011. Now, in 2021, here we are ten years on!
I slowly reduced my Nannying and Night-Nannying, as my business grew, to a gradual decline into my Consulting work but it took SO much work! I would leaflet cars in Clapham, speaking to people in the streets, pay thousands of pounds for magazine advertising – without Facebook or Instagram I knew I had to grow my business by word of mouth!
If someone starts a business in 2021, progress can be so much quicker with social media and influencers. In the days when I started, it took a lot of time and hard work to grow my audie4nce. After 4-5 years, it really grew and I was still doing the odd Night-Nannying job to keep everything afloat.
Since having my boys, I do not Night-Nanny and I have had to slow down my night-time packages, only on a 1-1 basis.
Instagram and the success of my business
About 4 years ago, I didn’t know what was about to happen to my business and I! I had done a sleep workshop and Mother of Daughters, an influencer, posted about one of my sleep workshops and – to be honest – things took off from there! Binky posted about me just before I had my first son, and now the rest is history!
From 90% of my work coming from word-of-mouth, now everything really comes from referrals and social media. From filling out my courses to running a super successful business where I talk at the Baby Show and I am growing my team.
It takes a village
I will only have maximum 3 days of childcare a week and I am stubborn in this! It isn’t just me and it would be impossible if it was. I have a PA to support with my Inbox, a fab podcast team, branding, a web designer, content support – a mini team! There are lots of freelancers who support The Baby and Parent Coach to maintain the growth of my business and I am super proud of what my business has become.
Thank you to all of my 5000+ clients that I have supported over the last decade, here’s to the next 10 years!