CatholicCare partners with Sweet Dreams Baby to help parents and their babies get more rest

In an effort to support the wellbeing of parents and carers, CatholicCare’s counselling services have partnered with Renee Sciulli and her organisation, Sweet Dreams Baby, to teach parents effective techniques aimed at solving infant and toddler sleep challenges. The goal is to help carers and their young ones get the restful sleep they need.

Working with Sweet Dreams Baby, CatholicCare has hosted a number of Nurturing Sleep Workshops in Newcastle and throughout the Hunter. The most recent workshop was held at CatholicCare’s Mayfield office.

“CatholicCare is excited to be partnering with Sweet Dreams Baby to provide much-needed practical support for families nurturing their babies.

Renee is passionate about her work and her values, centred around individual supports for children and families, closely align with ours,” said CatholicCare director, Gary Christensen.

Nurturing sleep and supporting one another

Speaking to a room full of mums, dads, foster carers and infants ranging in ages from eight weeks to two years, Renee began the workshop by introducing herself and detailing her qualifications. These include being a Certified Maternity and Child Sleep consultant, a Certified Happiest Baby educator and a member of the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants. She has also dedicated the last five years to helping sleep-deprived parents and carers develop more manageable sleeping habits in their infants and toddlers.

After detailing her long list of qualifications, Renee shared her personal experience as the mother of two children - a daughter aged seven and a son aged five.

Her experience as a mother struggling to maintain her own wellbeing while caring for and nurturing her children, is easily Renee’s most compelling qualification when it comes to teaching carers the necessary techniques to ensure their infants or toddlers are getting the sleep they need.

After introducing herself to the group, Renee went around the room and invited parents and carers to introduce themselves, their child and the unique challenges they face in getting their baby to sleep.

As each person shared experiences, the idiosynchronicity and individuality of each family’s circumstances became apparent.

Following introductions, Renee reminded everyone that it is okay for their child and their family to be different.

“There is no baby bedtime and there is no mould for baby sleep,” Renee said before admitting, as a first-time mum, she threw out all her baby books after it became apparent that her experience as a mother did not match the regimented nature of parenting detailed in popular parenting handbooks.

Uniqueness and individuality were common themes throughout the Nurturing Sleep Workshop. From start to finish Renee dedicated plenty of time to questions and allowed for the natural flow of conversation as parents and carers sought answers to the individual challenges they face in getting their child to sleep.

Sweet Dreams Baby

As a Certified Maternity and Child Sleep consultant, Renee offers free 15-minute consultations to parents and carers in Newcastle and surrounding suburbs.

She works with parents and carers and teaches them strategies to soothe their infant without feeding; to encourage babies and toddlers to sleep through the night and to move away from sleeping in a “family bed” as well as one-on-one support for parents and carers in need of solutions to their child’s sleep challenges.

To learn more about Renee and Sweet Dreams Baby, visit her website. You can also reach her via email at

CatholicCare’s Counselling services

Ahead of the Nurturing Sleep Workshop, CatholicCare’s Assistant Director, Tanya Russell, spoke to the group about CatholicCare’s counselling services and explained the benefits of caring for yourself first in order to better prepare yourself to care for your child.

“A selfish mum is a good mum,” Tanya said.

CatholicCare recognises the importance of mental health and that it underpins all aspects of a person’s life including their ability to parent and nurture a child.

To learn more about CatholicCare’s counselling services, visit the website, get in touch by phone at (02) 4979 1120, or email at

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