Amanda and Nicky met when they were 15 years old and at the same high school in Auckland, New Zealand. Amanda went on to university and graduated in the medical profession while Nicky completed her first bachelors degree then went back to university and gained an additional post-graduate qualification in Education. They branched out in their respective fields, traveling, working, achieving a lot of professional success. Some years later, the girls went on to marry and start their families. Fast-forward a few more years and Nicky and Amanda’s “little ones” (their youngest children) were newborns and their close friendship rekindled over their babies and the daily challenges associated with parenthood.
Across the span of their older children (Nicky has 3 kids and Amanda has 2), they had separately dealt with and learnt a heck of a lot about baby sleep. Independently, they had researched, analysed, tried several different methods and routines, assisted countless friends, extended family, colleagues and coffee group mothers with their baby sleep challenges and by the time their newest babies arrived, Nicky and Amanda had cumulatively amassed quite a lot of knowledge!
Between them they had had babies who didn’t sleep, babies who slept too much, babies who wouldn’t settle, babies with pacifiers, tummy sleepers, side sleepers, babies with reflux, colic, tongue ties, allergies, intolerances. Babies who were breastfed, bottle-fed, slept in bassinets, hammocks, swings, strollers, frontpacks, arms. Babies who woke all night, babies who needed to learn to self-settle. And so, naturally, with their renewed close friendship came a 24/7 dialogue about their babys’ sleep patterns and ideas and suggestions about the complex world of baby sleep.
The idea for Little Ones was born.
Nicky and Amanda had used private sleep consultants in the past, so they knew how that area of the baby sleep industry worked and knew there could be a better way that the advice around baby sleep could be delivered and still be relevant as the baby grows. They had strong beliefs and values that all families should have access to affordable, instant, reliable resources, which would provide them with all the information they needed to get their own baby’s sleep on track and would be relevant as their baby grew and changed.
And so the hard work began!
Amanda, with her background in health science, could analyse the scientific side of things, taking on board all the relevant research and experimentation they had both done over the last 5 years. Nicky, being an educator and having studied developmental psychology, understood the behavioural aspect and knew how to effectively convey information to educate people. It was a winning combo.
Their backgrounds in health care and education, amassed real-world experience and the success of their methods was enough to develop their ideas into something tangible.
Months and months of writing, rewriting, reviewing and editing took place before the first version of the Sleeping and Feeding Guides was ready. Quite soon after launching the business, Nicky and Amanda discovered they needed additional products to go hand in hand with their Guides, and the Settling and Self-Settling Guides were created and the whole lot was packaged up into comprehensive Sleep Programs.
Every few months all products are reviewed and updated according to current research and methods and based on information, frequent questions and common troubleshooting queries within the closed support group: the Little Ones Village. In keeping with their primary company values, all customers receive a free updated version of whatever they had purchased when the updates are released.
Once the success of their Programs started spreading, the girls branched out into audio creation and developed their own series of white noise tracks. White noise is an important element in settling your baby and they wanted to be able to give families all the tools they could. You can now find their white noise album, Perfect Sounds for Baby Sleep, on iTunes, Google Play Store and Spotify.
After a good 6 months in the market and having spread outside New Zealand to Australia, the UK, the USA and beyond, Little Ones needed some more team members! The support group had grown so large and Nicky and Amanda wanted it to remain a place families could access advice about the Little Ones methods for free, so they went searching for some like-minded ladies to help them out… The ever-growing Village Team currently consists of 12 compassionate consultants. These wonderful women manage and facilitate the Little Ones Village as certified Sleep Consultants, offering advice and guidance to mothers around the use of the Little Ones Programs. The Village has grown into an incredibly supportive place, housed in the custom-built Little Ones app, where thousands of parents meet daily to help each other on this tricky journey of parenthood.
Just like Amanda and Nicky did, not so long ago.
And the story hasn’t ended yet!
Little Ones is endorsed and recommended by Dr Kate Johnson, Ph.D. Sleep Physiology and postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School and SRI (formerly Stanford Research International).
Our Sleep Programs are recommended by paediatricians and doctors around the world; we even have paediatricians among our customers!
Little Ones is an accredited and recognised member of the IACSC (International Association of Child Sleep Consultants) and the Little Ones Team is trained in baby sleep neurology and behaviour, age-appropriate settling methods and best sleep practices through our extensive internationally registered training programme.
(For a full list of our references click here.)
In 2018 Nicky and Amanda were approached by Tara Sofair, an Accredited Practising Dietitian, who was passionate about infant feeding and providing a research-backed nutrition guide to assist parents on their baby and toddler’s food journeys. Tara and Little Ones teamed up and released the Baby Nutrition Program, a fully comprehensive guide to starting solids and baby nutrition, from 4 months to 12 months old.
The team has big plans for the future, more exciting products, more ways to make it that much easier for a tired parent looking for a solution. Despite the growth and success of the company, our fundamental goals remain the same – to assist parents to be more confident in their ability to respond to their baby’s needs. And for everyone to get more sleep!
And from the 100,000+ families they’ve helped so far… Little Ones definitely seems to be achieving that goal.