Author Q&A: Rachelle Gershkovich
I wanted to be “Nurse Nancy” from the childhood book from the Golden Books collection. To me she was the perfect picture of a caretaker and problem solver. As for where I am now, this is spot on. I am not a nurse like I thought I would be as my 4 year old self, but I am a nurturing caretaker. I am lucky enough that I get to hold the most pure and precious souls of this world.
What was the defining moment when you realized that this was your gift? (Your A-ha! Moment!)
This came to me when I finally merged my science brain with my ability to calm a baby. Science and babies!
Babies are all I have known for the better half of my life and they have always responded to me in a beautiful way. Subconsciously I was speaking to these babies nervous system, reading their cues, and translating their needs to their parents. This is an instinctual gift I have, so when I could put the research behind it I felt complete in my life’s passion for the littles of this world.
I love the human body and how during the first year so many components are still developing. This requires a person to see them in a very intuitive way, which is my greatest gift.
What do you see as the most common thing that parents are doing “wrong”?
I don’t see parents doing things wrong I see them completely confused. It is overwhelming and the trajectory of change in the first year and is typically hard to process. I see them trying to fit their baby into a pair of shoes designed for their sisters, friends, moms, and basically any baby but their own. Each baby is a unique individual and is best understood when they are listened to.
How did your kids do when they were newborns when it comes to sleep and nutrition?
My kids are a perfect example of how a person grows and develops themselves over time, experience,and education. I was a very young mom and I contribute that to my instinctual parenting now. Not only did I not know what I was doing but society did not expect me to know what to do. This meant I could follow my instincts and if I “failed” it was expected and by default not judged. Any positive strive I made was praised and I was seen as a wonderful mother. In hindsight I was the exact same as any first time mom, I just had freedom to be a parent without others judgment.
Trust me that doesn’t mean I didn’t get my fair share of unsolicited advice. As I have had more children and aged (to societies appropriate parents age) I saw my peers approach my parenting style much differently. With my youngest I was supposed to read every book, follow every schedule, and plan every bit of my babies life. As eye opening as this was it was beautiful to see how I can help. With this book I bring my parenting, education, experience in work and life to the table to create an instinctual based approach to a tough topic.
I am a firm believer in the the student becoming the master, but for me it doesn’t end there , I am the student-master because I will never stop learning and striving to better understand the life changing moment of becoming a parent.
What is your best advice to flustered parents who want to give up?
I want them to get help. True support. This is a short period of time in your life but you will never forget it. You can ask any parent on the road passing you by if they remember their child’s birth and the first year, you will get a resounding yes with smiles, tears, and beautiful stories. This moment in time will impact your life forever and I want everyone to look back and smile at the beauty of it all.
Can you tell a story about a rapid change that a family made after setting up sleep consultations?
I have seen parents see results in the 30 minutes of talking, which means they just needed to know what was going on, what was normal, and when it would change. Other clients I have seen results in 1-2 days time with a few very small changes. Of course I have also gone hand in hand through the trenches with other parents. Where we cry together with every corner we turn and rejoice together when we have finally found the missing puzzle piece that we have desperately been searching for.
What was the most difficult part about writing the book? What did you learn about yourself during the process?
Writing. I am not ashamed to say writing is not my talent. Holding a baby is! I was able to learn an enormous amount about myself. I found my more in love with my life’s work than ever before. This was a journey I needed to go on and look forward to what more I can bring to my profession in the years to come.
What do you hope parents will gain from the book?
On a basic level I want them to know how to support their little one with a healthy way to sleep train. Anything more then that would be confidence in their parenting ability and infant’s development.
What is some of the best feedback that you’re getting from the book?
I have heard a lot of thank yous, which means the world to me. It is such a wonderful feeling to hear what you have done has helped someone. It really solidifies your purpose and passion in your profession.
What is the biggest myth out there in your opinion on baby sleep and nutrition?
The worst myth I have some across in my line of work is behavioral training for infants. They are not manipulating, tricking, or picking on you. In my professional world I am faced with this a lot and it is the largest disservice to parents and babies.
The best form of support will come in better understanding them so you can both be on the same page.