By Michelle Durham

By Michelle Durham

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Becoming a parent holds many surprises, but one of the greatest shocks to the system is the sleep deprivation.

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Long gone are those eight hour stretches, and one local mom is determined to help others avoid the common pitfalls that prevent parents and babies from getting the necessary rest.

Erica Desper wasn’t always a Pediatric Sleep Consultant.

“When my son was born he was not fond of sleeping, and I struggled with his sleep for over a year. So I decided to learn everything I could about why babies and children struggle to fall asleep and stay asleep and what options there are.”

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She works with parents to help them avoid the common pitfalls that lead to sleepless nights.

“The schedule, the sleep environment, the routines leading up to bedtime and nap time, and just by changing those things subtly you can see fantastic results. I want parents to know there are options available, it doesn’t have to be a ‘cry it out’ method.”

And she warns you that you will need to refresh those sleeping skills again, during teething or illness, but getting them back on track is not as difficult as establishing the routine in the first place.

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