Fascinating Women 2022: Baby Sleep & Parenting Coach Ria Campos-Lopez
Her goal is not just to sleep-train your children, but to help build a better future for us all, one good night's rest at a time!
We're pretty sure you've heard about sleep coaches. But have you heard of baby sleep coaching? This is amazing news for parents who are just tired and weary, wondering when they'll ever get their full eight hours ever again! Meet Ria Campos-Lopez of Himbing, a certified Baby Sleep Coach!
Some parents think that it's normal to lose sleep, or go sleepless during the first few months of a baby's life, but according to Ria's personal experience, there is a better way to go about it. Because of her determination to learn about sleep training, she decided to pursue formal studies about the field, and now she wakes up every day with the passion to help families sleep better!
For this month's Metro.Style Fascinating Women feature, we spoke to Ria about how she got into this career, and how the seemingly simple aspect of sleep can build a better future for all of us. "My goal is to raise children who will be good, kind and responsible—future leaders of our country, and I have learned that many parents share this same hope but we just don't have the tools to get there", Ria shares. Keep reading to find out more about this super-mom!
Metro.Style (MS): Please tell us about your beginnings. How did you get to where you are now? Has this field always been your passion?
Ria Campos-Lopez (RCL): I am a lawyer and an educator by profession. I was practicing for 10 years, teaching in law schools but everything changed when I gave birth to my first son. He just did not sleep! That sent me down the path of learning all I could about sleep training and after realizing how important sleep was for my child and for me (I was a mom-bie!), I went on to learn everything I could about sleep training.
I got my certification in 2018 as a Child Sleep Consultant from the Family Sleep Institute in the US in 2018, and originally, my plan was just to help me make sure my future children would be sleeping well. But then, it turned out to become something I loved to talk about! I discovered that sleep was difficult for many Filipino families, and as sleep is a cultural thing, many of the sleep techniques popular in Western culture did not fit well with our Filipino values. So this led me to learn more. In 2019, I took a step further to study respectful parenting and learned about child behavior to learn about positive discipline.
Taking the science behind how baby sleep works and putting it together with how loving and attached Filipino parents and families are made all the difference. When I talk to parents about sleep, it goes beyond just getting your child to sleep by leaving them crying (which is typical of the notion of "sleep training") but put it together with parenting and it becomes all about the parent learning and it's all about parent training! My goal is to raise children who will be good, kind and responsible—future leaders of our country, and I have learned that many parents share this same hope but we just don't have the tools to get there. I absolutely love what I do and it took me awhile to find it, in 2020 I stopped practicing law and focused completely on Himbing and working with families to help them get better sleep and to learn to be the parents that we want to be.
MS: Tell us the top 3 most valuable lessons you learned along the way.
RCL: Time management is important. When you think of all your to-dos, always make time for those you love, and you can never be too "busy." Although they will always understand, time spent with your loved ones is never wasted. Plus the power of connecting with those who you love will always help carry you through. These people that you love are also usually the "why" of your journey or hard work, so remember to put them first.
Second, it is tough and scary putting yourself out there. I never thought how hard it would be to be more public in terms of speaking, sharing and talking about my own story and journey but that fear does not matter so much, because when you want to make a difference or help out, be brave and people will see your genuineness come through.
Choose kindness. Be kind to others, you really don't know their whole story (they might just be parents who haven't slept the whole night!) and be kind to yourself too, there are limits to helping everyone and trying to do everything, it's good to say no as well to protect your peace and time with your loved ones.
MS: What makes you wake up in the morning? What is your passion?
RCL: My family! I have two great boys and my husband to take care of. I want to show up and be the best person I can be for them. I'll be the first to admit, I am not a patient person by nature. So learning skills of parenting, understanding where my children are developmentally and using the tools of positive discipline helps me practice my communication skills and as I continue to share this with families, I practice being a role model for my children. Our children learn from what we do and not just as we say, so my goal is to raise my children as good people, and I always want to be a better version of myself.
MS: If you could change one thing in your journey, what would it be?
RCL: The cliché answer would be nothing because everything I did got me to be where I am today, but I think it would be to stop allowing others' opinions to stop me from doing what I believe is right for me. Of course advice is always welcome but at the end of the day, I make my choices and live with them.
MS: As a woman today, what do you think is the value you want to pass on to future generations that will come after you?
RCL: There are no limits to what you can achieve, whether that be personally or professionally. It just takes a lot of grit and grace to get through. Things won't always be easy, but failure or roadblocks are not reasons to stop or give up. These are challenges to push you to think out of the box to overcome them. Pursuing your passion is tough, but you are tougher.
MS: If you could go back in time, what would you like to tell your 18-year-old self?
RCL: There will always be people who may doubt you, put you down, or tell you that you are not good enough or can't succeed. I would tell myself not to listen to them! Even today as an adult, there are times when I can let the negativity of others get to me but instead of letting that stop me or bring me down, I just keep doing what I can and keep working hard. I do not have to prove anything to anyone else except myself. As long as I know I have done my best, then that's enough and the perseverance will pay off.
MS: What's next for you and your brand/company Himbing?
RCL: To keep helping as many families as I can sleep better! I also would like to focus on helping families learn about positive discipline and other practical parent tools for children of all ages. I am currently taking my Masters in Psychology and hope to finish this year, that will be able to help me with two things, to help more families and also to pursue more studies in adult sleep as well. I want the whole family to be sleeping well! Sleep is so important, I want all Filipino families to learn more about the value of sleep. It's not just a luxury but a necessity!
Follow Ria on Instagram at @himbing.ph and @maria.campos.lopez