WHY USE A SLEEP CONSULTANT?
Quite often parents have explored many other avenues before employing the help of a child sleep consultant. Please be assured that through the careful analysis of your child’s sleep questionnaire and consultation, I can identify issues that you may not have considered. My objectivity and experience will enable me to put together a sleep program specifically tailored for your baby or child.
DO YOU WORK WITH TWINS/MULTIPLES?
Yes, absolutely! - This is a passion of mine. As a twin mum myself and a long standing member of TAMBA I have particular expertise in the area of sleep training twins and multiples together. Additionally I offer discounts to parents of twins and multiples so please do take a look at my services page for more details on this.
HOW LONG WILL IT TAKE TO SLEEP TRAIN MY LITTLE ONE(S)?
Most babies and toddlers will respond well within the first week or two of introducing their new sleep programme. Improvements will normally be seen within a few days but it may take a number of weeks to feel confident that the new routine is fully established.
WHAT HAPPENS IF MY BABY STOPS SLEEPING IN THE FUTURE?
During your consultation/program you will be advised on how to handle future issues and deviations from your sleep routine. For example, how to deal with teething, sickness and other common issues. If however you require any further help re-establishing your sleep routine or healthy sleep habits further support can be provided at a discounted rate.
WHAT GUARANTEES DO YOU PROVIDE?
I provide a professional and tailored service to every single customer. It is not possible to provide a guarantee that your child will be sleeping through the night within x number of days as each child is unique and each sleep plan is wholly dependent on the parents’ commitment to implementing it in full. However, I am happy to say that I have a 100% success rate with families that adhere to my personalised programs.
WILL I NEED TO LET MY LITTLE ONES “CRY-IT-OUT” (CIO)?
The CIO method is when you put your child down awake, shut the door and don’t come back regardless of how much they cry. When the time came to sleep train my own babies, I didn't feel comfortable using that technique and therefore I wouldn’t ask you to either. I subscribe to the Baby Sleep The Night™ philosophy which is a far more gentle approach where you can stay right beside your child offering comfort and support while they are learning independent sleep skills. That said; there will likely be at least a few tears initially but the good news is that I can teach you methods which will minimise the crying in the long term and give you tips on how to cope with the anxiety it may cause you. Also, it won’t last for long! Both you and your child will soon be rewarded with great nights’ sleep.
WHAT AGES DO YOU WORK WITH?
I work with children who are newborn through to age 8 years old. The programs will obviously look very different for children 0 - 3 months vs. 3 - 8 years.
WHEN IS IT A GOOD TIME TO START A SLEEP PROGRAMME FOR MY CHILD?
It’s never too early to introduce better sleep methods into your child’s routine. In my book, prevention is better than cure, so when I work with expectant parents and newborns the aim is to ensure that remedial sleep training is not necessary. However, if you have a toddler with sleep issues, or older children up to age 8, it is never too late to introduce healthier sleep habits.
CAN YOU HELP MY BABY SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT?
Yes! We view sleeping through the night as 10-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep, as the body needs this length of time to support deep REM sleep cycles to provide the restorative support for a child or baby’s health.
WHY DOES MY CHILD WAKE SO FREQUENTLY?
We all naturally wake multiple times a night as our body goes in and out of deep and light sleep cycles. For a young child, a single sleep cycle is usually somewhere between 30-60 minutes. As adults we barely notice these natural wake ups as we know how to knit our sleep cycles together. If your child needs help to go to sleep, for example, feeding, rocking, dummy etc then when they naturally wake in the night, they are looking for these ‘props’ to get back to sleep.
WHY IS IT SO MUCH HARDER TO SETTLE MY BABY IN THE EARLY HOURS OF THE MORNING THAN AT THE START OF THE NIGHT?
One of the things that makes us go to sleep is our homeostatic drive which means the more time we’ve been awake, the more we need to sleep. If you think of your child like a rechargeable battery, when they go to sleep at night, they are naturally very tired and they have that tiredness helping them to settle. As they go through the night they recharge so if they don’t have the same level of tiredness pushing them back and an ability to settle themselves, they struggle. As a desperate parent you start trying different ways of ‘helping’ them to go back and unfortunately in the process, your child can become dependent on you to put them back to sleep.
CAN YOU CREATE A SLEEP ROUTINE UNDER 3 MONTHS?
Depending on your child’s needs it may not be appropriate for your baby to sleep through the night without feeding. I can help you work on laying down good foundations and teach your baby to settle for nap and bedtimes and getting some good feed and sleep routines in place. For parents of newborns, I offer a special 'get it right from the start' package at a reduced rate to help guide you through the first few weeks, build your confidence and give you the tools for the months ahead. If you lay down these foundations well you will likely be rewarded by baby sleeping through the night from 3-4 months old.
DOES IT MAKE A DIFFERENCE IF MY BABY IS BREAST OR BOTTLE FED?
Good sleep and good feeding go hand in hand whether it is breast or bottle. However you choose to feed your baby is incorporated into your tailor made plan. We will discuss your child’s needs and help you to create a gentle sleep time routine so you are not reliant on feeding your baby to sleep.
WILL MY CHILD BE UPSET BY THIS PROCESS?
Change is unsettling especially when you are all tired and it is completely normal for your child to show some resistance. I will be there to support you whilst you support them. As I said above, I do not advocate cry-it-out. I will always make sure that I have given you options and that it feels manageable before we start. As a mum myself I really do understand how important your little one is to you and that you don’t want them to be upset. Remember why you are doing this, the best possible outcome for every family is having a good night’s sleep. You can rest assured though that I will never ask you to leave your child to cry alone for extended periods, nor will I ask you to ignore their cries. The reason that the Baby Sleep the Night™ methods are so effective is that they let you develop strategies that you feel comfortable with, based on your own parenting style and what you know about your child.
WHAT TYPES OF SLEEP ISSUES CAN YOU HELP WITH?
Frequent night wakings
Short and inconsistent naps
Early morning rising
Establishing an age-appropriate daily schedule
Nap transitions and dropping daytime nap
Cot to bed transitions
Getting little ones to sleep without co-sleeping or motion
ARE YOUR PROGRAMS SUITABLE IF I WISH TO CONTINUE CO-SLEEPING WITH MY CHILD?
No they’re not. The reason for this is I do not have any programs which would be compatible with safe co-sleeping guidelines, and would never provide advice that could prove harmful to your child. However, my programs are suitable for room-sharing, and I can offer some great advice on ways to do this effectively while still seeing all the benefits of the program.
WHY SHOULD I ENGAGE A CHILD SLEEP CONSULTANT? CAN’T I JUST DO THIS BY MYSELF?
There is so much conflicting material out there from the internet, books, television and listening to different people’s advice. It can make it extremely difficult to know what to do. Long periods of sleep deprivation can cloud your judgement and make change difficult to implement. By hiring a certified child sleep consultant, you will not only receive a specific sleep plan, customised to fit your child's unique challenges, but you'll also have a coach in your corner to support and encourage you throughout the entire process. I will be constantly evaluating the success of the plan, making any modifications needed as progress is made, and cheering you on through every victory. You'll be free to ask any and all questions so that you can confidently guide your child to healthy and restorative sleep.
WHERE DO YOU WORK?
I base myself between Wimborne in Dorset and Forest Hill in South East London, however with the modern wonders of Skype and facetime I am more often than not working with clients across the whole of the UK and beyond.
WHICH PACKAGE IS RIGHT FOR ME?
You will get a free initial 15 minute phone consultation which involves an in depth discussion about your child's sleep issues. If it is something I can help you with there and then I will offer you some straight answers and advice. Otherwise I will be able to refer you on to someone else who can help you or suggest which consultation package would be the most suitable for you and your child.
CAN YOU COME AND DO IT FOR US?
I will support you throughout the program and can even be in your home on the first night that you chose to begin the plan (local to Wimborne). However, it is important that you implement the program yourselves and be consistent with it. It will give you the confidence and knowledge to use these skills as your child grows and their needs change. You can also transfer these skills to other carers such as babysitters and grandparents.
CAN MY APPROACH OR PHILOSOPHY AROUND PARENTING BE RESPECTED THROUGHOUT THIS PROCESS?
Of course! My approach is to empower parents with knowledge, and not to force anything on you. My aim is to help parents to achieve the changes they need for the healthy sleep of the whole family, without compromising their parenting style. Whatever is working for you, if you’re happy – keep doing it. However, if you think your child’s sleep could be improved for the health of your family, I’ll provide advice and support to guide you to improve your child’s sleep habits and practices.
WHAT IMPACT IS WORKING WITH A SLEEP CONSULTANT GOING TO BRING MY FAMILY?
Sleep is important – for you and for your children – and every family has a right to be achieving the quality sleep they need. It’s OK to ask for help. Working with a trained baby sleep consultant is usually about changing the associations that your child has with sleep, so that your whole family can achieve optimum sleep health and all function at your best.
WILL SLEEP TRAINING HELP WITH OTHER PARENTING CHALLENGES?
A good sleep forms the foundation of our waking lives. You will have no doubt seen the impact that sleep has on your mental health, as well as a range of physical wellness indicators. The same goes for your children; their development, nutritional intake and behaviours are intrinsically linked to the quality and quantity of their sleep. Many families find that dealing with a sleep challenge also helps with feeding/eating or behavioural issues – even, in some cases, with other things like colic. Let a quality sleep lay the best possible foundation for your child to reach their potential.
ISN’T SLEEP DEPRIVATION JUST PART OF THE EARLY YEARS OF PARENTING?
Sleep deprivation is a form of torture and while many people think it’s a rite of passage to joining the parenting ranks, the early years of parenting don’t need to be fraught with lost sleep. So many families are suffering and it’s hard to be the parent that you really want to be when you are that tired, let alone maintain your relationships or function well back in the workplace. Sleep is absolutely vital for our health and wellbeing and, with some simple and sustainable tweaks, your family can be back to achieving the sleep they need.
WHAT IMPACT DOES SLEEP DEPRIVATION HAVE ON HEALTH AND WELLBEING?
Sleep is as important to our health and wellbeing as food, however we often don’t give it the same sort of energy and attention. Research surrounding the science of sleep is ongoing and we now know so much more than ever before about what it means for our overall health. In 2016 the World Health Organisation (WHO) released official guidelines around the sleep needs for children and how these relate to obesity, proving once again that sleep’s impact on our health is significant and that the role that it plays for our wellbeing starts from a very young age.
DO YOU CONSULT IN THE EVENING OR OVER WEEKENDS?
I’m a mum too and understand that it’s often easiest to talk once your baby is asleep for the night. Because of this, I will always try to book in a phone consultation at a time that suits you.
I do however tend to spend Sundays with my own family, so generally don’t answer emails until the Monday but will always try to be as flexible as possible to work around your availability.
WILL I NEED TO CLEAR MY SCHEDULE FOR WEEKS WHILE WE GET THIS DONE?
When you commit to improving your child’s sleep, I would recommend that you make it a priority to be at home for naps for the first week and to avoid all non-essential journeys for the first ten days or so, and then continue to be respectful of your baby’s need to sleep for the first month. That said, you won’t need to cancel all of your commitments and, even better, I can help you adjust your routine where possible to fit things in in a way that works for you.