Mondays are for sharing a mom in the Greater Lansing area with you. And this week, GLAMoms is honored to share Dr. Allison Kidwell. Dr. Kidwell, or Dr. Allison, as her patients call her, is an area pediatrician and owner of Kidwell Sleep Consulting.
Learn more about Dr. Kidwell – New Yorker who has made East Lansing her home, her adorable family, what led her to Sleep Consulting, some helpful sleep hints for children of any age and more! 😴
Welcome to Greater Lansing Area Moms, Dr. Allison, we are glad you are here!
Dr. Allison, please introduce yourself!
Hi! I’m Allison Kidwell. I’m a pediatrician at Pediatric Care of Lansing and I own Kidwell Sleep Consulting. I help tired parents transform their kids’ sleep. As a Mom, I know that when kids are sleeping well, the whole family is healthier.
Where are you from and where do you live now?
I’m from upstate New York. My husband and I relocated to East Lansing from Buffalo, NY in 2017 to do our residencies at Sparrow. My husband had graduated from MSU before I met him and he knew we’d love putting down roots here.
How did you and your husband meet? We always love a good love story!
We met 10 years ago in school. He was the funny guy in class and I thought his jokes were cheesy at first but obviously I fell for him. I brought my dog on our first date, and that sealed the deal. Roscoe is still a Daddy’s boy!
You’re a mom! Please tell us about your children and their ages. And what is your favorite thing about being a mom?
We have two babies, Evelyn is 20 months and Cannon is 5 months. My favorite thing about being their Mom is experiencing such intense love for my little humans. Somehow it’s like I’ve known them forever and yet I’m still getting to know them every day. It’s a whole new experience, that’s for sure!
You are a Board-Certified Pediatrician and Certified Child Sleep Consultant! How did you get into this career?
I’ve always loved kids and science so pediatrics is the perfect career for me. Once I became a doctor, I realized that so many families struggle with sleep, but that most pediatricians don’t have any training in this area. I also started studying this stuff for my own personal benefit! Helping my kids develop their independent sleep skills has done wonders for my own mental health.
We would love to know more about the services you provide –
Parents come to me with all types of sleep issues, like resisting bedtime, waking up as soon as they’re transferred to their crib, etc. Together we develop a customized sleep plan and then I offer text/phone/email support while they put the plan into place.
Besides helping parents get their kids sleeping better ASAP, I aim to teach them the science behind their kids’ sleep so they can navigate tricky situations in the future, like travel, illness, dropping naps, etc.
Who is your typical client/family? Do you travel to client homes or do they come to your office?
My typical families are so darn tired! Most of my clients are struggling with both nighttime sleep and naps, and they’ve usually already tried to change some things but just don’t have the time or energy to figure it out on their own. I do all of my sleep consulting work through calls, text, and email so I’m lucky enough to work with families near and far.
What is the most common sleep training misconception?
That tiring our kids out by skipping naps or keeping them up later will help them sleep better. Actually, the opposite is true! If they’re overtired, they become “wired,” and it’s even harder to sleep (hence 5 AM wake-ups, even if bedtime was late). If they’re better-rested, it’s much easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Would you be willing to share some of your top sleep training tips?
Of course! Everyone asks me about melatonin. Instead of giving your child melatonin at bedtime, encourage their brain’s natural melatonin by dimming lights and avoiding screens 1-2 hours before it’s time to sleep. It’s hard but it’s doable, and dinner/bathtime with dim lighting can be different and fun!
My favorite tip for reversing overtiredness is paying attention to your little one’s behavior in the early evening. If there’s a time when they become fussy or hyper, make note of it, because this is the dreaded “second wind.” Aim to have them in bed trying to sleep right before this time the following night.
Sometimes this means bedtime is super early (like 6:00 PM), but the more you can avoid the second wind, over time, the easier and longer they will sleep.
Best piece of advice you have received as a mom?
My own Mom tells me to forget the housework and sleep when my kids do. Not having things tidy stresses me out but if I’m exhausted everything’s stressful anyways. Prioritizing myself, even a little bit, goes a long way.
What is your favorite family activity to do in the Greater Lansing area?
Potter Park Zoo! Our toddler is a big fan and we love adding new animal sounds to our repertoire these days.
What is a favorite shop of yours in Greater Lansing?
One of my absolute favorite shops is Mother Earth Baby Boutique. It’s owned by another local Mom who really puts thought into the items she sells. If you haven’t been, you have to go!
Now some FUN ones!
Favorite place to vacation in Michigan –
Traverse City. We went on our honeymoon so it’s sentimental to me. We loved walking around downtown and taking a day trip driving up M22 to Leland.
Favorite date night idea –
Going out to dinner! Enjoying a delicious meal and not having to clean up makes this a no-brainer for me!
Current binge show –
The Home Edit. I’m in a home organizing kick inspired by Amanda Liford, the Greater Lansing Mom you recently featured. She’s helping me simplify my life and she’s amazing!
Last book you read –
“The End of Her” by Shari Lapena. I love mystery/suspense novels, but I don’t make the time, so I’ve been meaning to look into books on tape.
Favorite Mom Trick/Hack –
Giving my babies formula and letting go of the guilt I felt! Breastfeeding is HARD. Letting go of what I can’t control and taking some pressure off of myself was essential.
What’s your favorite thing to do when you need some “me time”?
Shopping! Retail therapy is my guilty pleasure. I’ve missed being in stores and browsing things in-person.
Last one – Who is your biggest mentor in your life or in your business?
My two biggest mentors are Dr. Hemming and Dr. Long from Pediatric Care of Lansing. I admire them both for so many personal and professional reasons. These two lead their own medical practice through a global pandemic. How many women can say that?!
Thank you so much for taking the time to answer these questions! If readers would like to get in touch with you, what is the best way to reach you? ☺️
Thank you for having me! The best way to reach me is by sending me a message through Facebook or Instagram.
⭐️ And I’d love to offer families 10% off of my services by using the coupon code “LANSING” at checkout ⭐️