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meet zanda…

A mother of  3 young boys. 8 yrs, 6yrs and 1 yr old. I often hear that I will be going straight to heaven. But for me I feel like I am in heaven already, how lucky can a mother be having 3 gorgeous and healthy boys. I am truly blessed. I absolutely love being a mother and I believe in forming a close bond with my children and adapting and changing as their needs change/develop. Each one of my children have such unique personalities. I must handle each one in their own unique way.  Motherhood has its challenges and for some part, I wished I had a village to turn to, expert advice.

It can be quite a lonely and confusing time for some parents going through those everyday struggles, like sleep, breastfeeding, nutrition, potty training. Sometimes we just need to be reassured that we are on the right track. That our intuition and following our gut is the right thing. The internet is full of parenting and sleep noise. How do you know what advice to follow, what will work for my child and baby? The truth is you need to listen to your heart and find someone you trust and feel comfortable with. Someone who can take the stress out of parenting. Parenting is hard enough as it is.

Having studied a Bachelor’s degree in Early childhood Education at the University of Pretoria my love for children and their well-being is evident.

I also studied subjects like educational psychology, cognitive processes, family development, environmental and health psychology, child psychopathology, child development and abnormal behaviour. I am currently doing my certification in infant and baby sleep consultancy.

I have a big love for music and the benefits that music brings to children and their wellbeing. I am a performer and songwriter too and worked with many artists in the recording business under the artist name Zanda Traut. So I have had a broad experience working with all kinds of interesting people and understanding them. When one has to write a song about their experience and putting that experience into words. I know how to empathize and put myself in your shoes as I have most probably been there and had the same struggles too.

I have had quite the journey with my kids as they each had their own struggles. My first born Willem is an emotional and sometimes quite sensitive child. He has an amazing music talent. As with one’s first born you realize quickly there just is no manual for this baby. No book or person can prepare you once your baby is here for the emotional rollercoaster ride you are about to experience. I had no family support, I struggled to breastfeed and failed at it miserably, my episiotomy was infected, I struggled with postpartum depression. Willem had reflux. We carried him, we walked and rocked him, we played the same John Mayor CD x1000 to get him to sleep. Only to play it again once he woke. I never even reached out for help as I thought this was normal practice and how life should be as a parent. I slept next to him until his sibling brother arrived 22 months later then my husband took over with Willems sleep. Somehow, he started sleeping through and I am not even sure when it happened.

My second child Leon the Lion was born and from 6 weeks he was in and out of hospital and  ICU for his whole first year of his life. He was diagnosed when he was 6 weeks old with pertussis. Soon after that he had the Rhino Virus, Meta pneumonia and so I can name the viruses up. These viruses unfortunately hurt the lining of his lungs and therefore he struggled with pneumonia throughout the years. Why we call him Leon the Lion is because he was super brave through all of the tests and drips etc and he is a strong willed boy with lots of energy and you would never think he had went through any kind of trauma. On top of that he also suffered from silent reflux and eczema. We survived and he is now stronger than ever. I just survived through this and his sleep is a blur to me. Both these children of mine have asthma too.

Therefore, I have quite some experience with children and health difficulties and how to empathise with someone who is going through some similar struggles.

My youngest and 3rd son is an absolute champ when it comes to his health. Little Andreas was a wonderful sleeper, until the 4 month regression(progression) happened. Having 3 kids with such different needs really made not sleeping hard on me. Needing to be able to cope with 3 kids, work, a household and no sleep. I was at my wits end. Andreas did not sleep through the night; he woke up 7/8 times overnight and during the day he slept on my nanny’s back taking several 10-minute naps throughout the day. I knew in my gut that what was happening with his sleep was not normal and I needed help. I started reading everything I could find on the internet about sleep and I believed I had to wait until 9 months before I could implement any sleep training or take away his bottle. And that is where I discovered my newfound passion: “sleep”.  

I followed Dana Obleman’s Sleep Sense program and it worked brilliantly! I did her DIY program and had to read in my sleep deprived state 300 pages which was quite hard. When I started to implement her suggestions. The program worked in 2 days. He slept through for the first time in 9 months. His naps took a while to consolidate but they also fell into place and we have never looked back. That is when I was convinced that I would love to help other families with their sleep struggles and concerns. Little did I know that I would help with nutrition, breastfeeding and relationships as well. I just fell in love with the career. 

I am an empathetic, compassionate person and someone willing to listen and understand. I love the process to try and help parents find the perfect solution to any sleep problems, fussy eating, difficulty in potty training as well as supporting parents through sibling rivalry, bullying, whining and temper tantrums to name a few.

What a privilege to do the work that I do.