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Sleep, kids and staying on top of your finances

12:44pm March 19 2021

Hana-Lia Krawchuk says sleep is so important for “parents, babies and the whole family”. (Provided)

More than a decade since founding her business, making the lives of new parents easier still inspires Hana-Lia Krawchuk and her team every day. 

“Everyone has their own experience with lack of sleep once a baby arrives. For our family, it was 18 months of severe sleep deprivation with our newborn son who would not sleep for more than 45 minutes at a time,” Krawchuk says. “I’m not kidding you…18 months of sleepless nights, severe sleep deprivation and hundreds of dollars spent on products that promised to restore our family’s sleep, but nothing worked.”

It’s an issue many parents are well across, having major negative flow on impacts, whether it’s career, health or caring for the family.

As a father of three young children, I know all too well how challenging juggling a job and a baby can be. 

However, you might not know that sleep deprivation also may have an impact on a family’s financial wellbeing. According to the Sleep Health Foundation and Australasian Sleep Association, financial costs of poor sleep are large, in 2016-17 causing $26.2 billion in financial costs and a further $40.1bn in non-financial (loss of well-being) costs, “predominantly due to lost productivity and to accidents”. 

Any tools that can help with a bedtime routine for the little ones are welcome news for parents, but also a boost for the broader economy.

To align with World Sleep Day, Love to Dream has this year launched a free sleep series of insights and tools parents and carers can use to help babies enjoy better, longer sleep. Westpac’s Davidson Institute is in April also rolling out a new course for parents to help them prepare and manage money as their family grows.

“Sleep is so important – for parents, babies and the whole family,” Krawchuk says. “It breaks my heart to hear about families struggling with sleep deprivation, and the time and money spent searching for answers while they're desperate to get their babies to sleep.” 

Over time, Krawchuk noticed her baby, Elijah, seemed to sleep better with his arms up, rather than wrapped against his body, leading her to do some research and discovering that many babies sleep better and longer if swaddled, and have access to their hands for self-soothing. Using her skills as a fashion designer, she spent weeks refining, simplifying, and sampling what would become the very first version of the company’s signature Swaddle UP swaddle.

Since then, back in 2009, Love To Dream has swaddled millions of babies in more than 40 countries and created award-winning sleep solutions for newborns and toddlers, in 2017 being named one of Westpac’s Businesses of Tomorrow. 

In 2019, with turnover running well north of $30 million, Quadrant Private Equity acquired a majority stake in Love to Dream to help fund the company’s growth.

Krawchuk says she decided to launch the sleep series, including videos, lessons and downloadable guides developed with a range of paediatric experts, to give parents everything they need to know in their quest for more sleep in one place. 

“Since launching Love to Dream our mission hasn't changed – and we’re more determined than ever to arm all families with the knowledge and tools they need to start laying healthy sleep foundations for their babies and give them the confidence to help their baby sleep well from the start,” she says. 

“As a parent or carer your health is just as important as your baby’s…looking after this new little person is a really big shift. On top of that, there’s the impact on your family’s finances and interrupted sleep every night.” 

The information in this article is general information only, it does not constitute any recommendation or advice; it has been prepared without taking into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs and you should consider its appropriateness with regard to these factors before acting on it. Any taxation position described is a general statement and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute tax advice and is based on current tax laws and our interpretation. Your individual situation may differ and you should seek independent professional tax advice. You should also consider obtaining personalised advice from a professional financial adviser before making any financial decisions in relation to the matters discussed.

Lali Wiratunga is Chair of 50PLUS, a Westpac Employee Action Group which aims to create a supportive culture around the diverse needs of mature age employees. He also serves as Chair of Plate It Forward, which donates restaurant-quality meals and provides training and employment opportunities to vulnerable community members. 

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