Common concerns I can support with: Early rising, short naps, nap refusal, frequent night wake-ups, needing to be rocked or held to sleep, reactive co-sleeping, night weaning, bedtime resistance, wanting to get rid of soother, bedtime separation anxiety, moving baby into their own room.
As a certified sleep consultant, I provide parents with a supportive approach to help their child learn how to fall asleep on their own. My method is based on the gentle sleep coaching formula created by Kim West, a highly experienced sleep coach with over 20 years of experience, who has assisted over a million families. I work with families to improve overall sleep and during the process you stay close to your child as they learn to fall asleep independently. I aim to have your child sleeping through the night and getting more settled sleep within two weeks. Whether breast-fed, bottle-fed or weaned, I can help you!
When you hear "sleep training", you might think of leaving your baby to cry alone in a room, which can be a tough approach for both parents and babies. It also makes you think of a very young baby sleeping alone for long periods (way before they are developmentally ready) which can impact breastfeeding among other things. This is not what I do!
What I do is a responsive and gentle method of improving sleep. It's important to understand that babies and children need our help to learn how to sleep well. They rely on us to provide them with comfort and security for all things, and this is no different when it comes to sleep. That's why I only work with families who understand this but also want to improve an aspect of sleep for all.
My approach emphasises the importance of responding to your baby's cues and needs, while gradually teaching them how to fall asleep independently. It's a process that takes time and patience, but it can lead to lasting improvements in your child's sleep and overall well-being.
Will there be crying in the process? Yes, there will be; and if you think about it, it makes sense. We are going to be making a change to how your baby sleeps or gets to sleep. You are still going to be responding but will be gradually changing the way you respond. If they are preverbal and don’t understand this change – crying is their only way to communicate. The difference between a baby crying alone and a baby crying with a parent present responding to them is significant. When a parent is present and responsive to their baby's cries, the baby feels safe and supported. This can help them learn to self-regulate and soothe themselves, which is an important skill for healthy sleep habits.
So, if you're struggling with your child's sleep and feel overwhelmed, know that there are gentle and effective methods that can help, you don’t need to do sleep training or what you think sleep training may be. You and your child can get better sleep while still being responsive to your child and their needs and in a way you feel comfortable with.
I will work with you to create an individualised, step-by-step sleep plan that will factor in your parenting philosophy, your child’s age, health and temperament, mother’s well-being and the related family dynamics. And most importantly I will support and coach you through the process from beginning to end for night sleep and naps!
Answers to a few other commonly asked questions:
It is never necessary to end breastfeeding when gentle sleep coaching your child. You can continue to breastfeed and also improve sleep.
You can continue to room share while sleep coaching.
I work with parents of children ages 6 months to 6 years old.
For babies under 6 months I will consult with parents on how to set up healthy sleep habits from the start and if appropriate how to gently shape their sleep.