“In my culture, the husbands, they don’t help,” laughs baby sleep-coach Suzy Giordano
. She raised her first three kids in her native country of Brazil, and her last two here in the States. Along the way, she realized one thing: getting these babies to sleep through the night would be key to enjoying her time as a mother. So she developed a technique to teach her babies to sleep through a solid twelve-hour stretch by twelve weeks old.Today, she offers her personal services to parents across the country, many of whom credit her with saving their sanity (including Washington Post political columnist Dana Milbank, whose baby Giordano says she had sleeping through the night in less than a week.) That’s right: Giordano will come to your home and sit up all night with your baby, easing him or her through the night to the tune of $60 per hour in the D.C. area – or $1,000 per day out of state. (She also has package deals for baby-arrival preparation, phone assistance, etc.) According to Giordano, it’s all about setting a consistent rhythm, providing Pavlovian cues that signify sleep-time, and ultimately, teaching your baby to soothe himself back to sleep when he wakes up in the middle of the night. Her instructional book, The Baby Sleep Solution, was published in December. Giordano spoke with Babble about her techniques. – Will Doig
You work at night. It’s noon. Why aren’t you asleep right now?
You’re not going to believe this – I have sleeping issues. Ever since I was a little girl. I sleep four hours a day, and I work all night, seven days a week.
Did you develop these sleep-coaching skills through your own experience as a mother?
Yes. I have five kids, and with my first three I made all the mistakes that one could. By the time I had the twins, I also had a two-year-old, a five-year-old and a seven-year-old. So it was out of desperation that I had to come up with something. A plan. And it saved me. I came to America a year later [in 1990] because my brother was a Navy Seal for America’s Navy. He got shot in Panama and he was in a wheelchair. He introduced me to this family that had six-month-old triplets. He said, “Suzy, your kids are so good. Do you think you can help them?” I was like, “I can try.” Then I started working five nights a week, seven nights a week. People started approaching me: “Do you think it would work for quads?” “Do you think it would work for kids with special needs?” And it never, ever failed.