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Our Alumni

Sarita (Bibliowicz) Broda ‘05, Certified Child Sleep Consultant, Educator & Coach

What warms your heart when you think of your experience at Scheck Hillel?
The people! I had such great friends.

Share a funny/interesting/unique story from your days at Scheck Hillel.
I honestly can't remember an exact moment, but I can say there was never a dull moment and we had so much fun. I'll never forget the times I spent at the senior lounge, it was such a highlight of my last year there making strong connections and bonds with my classmates.

Was there a teacher who had a positive impact and made you feel like you could do it all?
I now have mom brain and blanked on her name, but my 6th grade algebra teacher! I really connected with her and she made me feel like I could figure out difficult equations - which I didn't think I could!

Do you feel like your days as a Scheck Hillel student had an impact on your adult life and your choices? How so?
Definitely! I think the most important thing I got from Hillel is my connection to a Jewish community and to Jewish life. Now that I have kids, I want to make sure they are in a school where they feel like they belong and are connected to our values and traditions. I am currently the president of the PA for their preschool [here in New York] which is Chabad and exactly what I was looking for in creating a strong community for myself and my family.

What educational path did you follow? 
I went to George Washington University for two years and then transferred to New York University. After college, I worked in a few different fields until I found my passion, which is helping parents with their children's sleep. It took 10 years to find it, but I love what I do and feel lucky to help parents navigate the early years of parenthood!

What is your current profession, and where do you work? How did you come to work in this field?
I founded a company called The Chil Pil and I am a Certified Child Sleep Consultant on a mission to empower parents to feel confident about their baby’s sleep. I am also a Certified Lactation Counselor and a Child Behavior Specialist, which allows me to provide parents and their babies with a very holistic and unique approach to sleep. I have worked with over 100 families with children ages 0-6.  

You’ve probably heard the phrase “sleep like a baby.” When I was pregnant with my son—my first of two children—I’d heard it, too. It’s supposed to mean, you know, sleeping peacefully through the night, oblivious to anything but sweet baby dreams. And so I figured that when my baby was born, the whole “sleep thing” would just fall into place. I was oh-so wrong. The first six months were sleep-deprived enough, but when my son turned seven months, he became The World’s Worst Sleeper (I’m working on a trademark). Aside from the obvious exhaustion, his nightly struggles with sleep made me feel guilty, anxious, and frustrated with both him and myself. Simultaneously, it caused him to be irritable, cranky, and overly clingy. Our sleep situation simply wasn’t sustainable. I began to obsessively research sleep training tips online, and the glut of information I found did anything but comfort me. While there was some helpful advice, a lot of what I came across scared me, as I worried about the potential trauma certain sleep training systems might have on my son. Overall, my research just led to more confusion. The baby sleep world was a deep, dark hole that threw parents in a million directions, with no way of knowing which direction would be right for them. That’s when I realized the need for sleep education that’s sensitive, thoughtful, and effective. I became fascinated with the topic, which led me to find my passion for helping parents navigate the world of sleep. I became a Certified Child Sleep Consultant from the Family Sleep Institute, as well as a Certified Lactation Counselor, and a Certified Behavior Specialist. 

As the founder and Sleep Expert in Chief of The Chil Pil, I use all of my training and experience to provide parents and their babies with an individualized, holistic, and unique approach to sleep. Not all babies are created equal in their sleep needs, and not all parents have the same philosophies, so sleep coaching shouldn’t follow a copy-paste format. I not only give families personalized sleep plans that fit their needs—I also work with them as much more than a sleep consultant. For each of my families, I’m a resource, educator, and coach, reachable almost any time of day. Sleep is as vital to human function and development as food and water, and when it’s disrupted, it affects all aspects of our lives—our health, cognition, behavior, and emotions. Our children can’t function properly without the sleep they need, and neither can we. 

As parents, we want to give our children a secure attachment in all aspects of life, including sleep. That secure attachment comes with love, warmth, and responsiveness, while also giving our children the independence and room for growth and development they need. “Sleep Training” has a bad reputation because parents think it refers to a harsh, one-size-fits-all model, but there are many ways to help support and improve your baby’s sleep habits. When you don't have the tools or strategy to improve your child’s sleep habits, life can feel messy and overwhelming. That's where I come in. I give parents the information they need, a customized plan of action, and daily support, so they can make the necessary changes to improve their family’s sleep (and, really, so much more).

What is most rewarding about the work you do? What are you passionate about?
Helping parents (specifically postpartum mothers) get their life back. Sleep is crucial and without it we can feel nervous, stressed and anxious. Being able to help parents feel well rested is such a gift! Not to mention how essential sleep is for kids and their development. It's so important for the whole family and being able to help parents with this process is such a reward!

Looking back, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?  
Follow my gut, it's usually right. I let myself get persuaded to do things because they looked good on paper, but weren't necessarily what I wanted to do. It took me a while to let that go and run with my own passion, even if it wasn't the obvious choice. Now I am so much happier with myself and my choices. I wish I knew this when I was younger and trusted myself and my intuition a little more.