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A Helping Hand

There’s no such thing as a silly question when it comes to the wellbeing of your child. Below you will find some common questions asked in relation to baby and child sleep. However, my role as a sleep practitioner is as much to support the parents as the child, so if you have any questions that are not answered below please get in touch and I would be happy to discuss.

Why is sleep so important?

Sleep is important for babies and children as it is vital for their functioning, rest, growth and development. During sleep, the body goes through many processes which facilitate the function and development within the brain and the body. Without the correct amount of sleep, a child will find it difficult to concentrate and relax, may be irritable, and most importantly, development, health and growth will suffer, especially when sleep deprivation occurs over time. Other benefits to a child getting enough sleep include increased appetite, enhanced intellectual ability and better mood. For more information, check out my blog article ‘The importance of sleep’.

What method will you suggest we use?

Throughout my training and experience, I have learnt a variety of different methods to use to help a baby or child sleep better. I believe that every child and their family are unique, so there is no one size fits all approach to sleep training. A full history of your child will be taken prior to deciding on a suitable method, taking into account information such as your child’s age, personality and current sleep habits. As well as the right fit for your child, I will ensure the sleep method used fits with  your parenting philosophy and how you feel about sleep training. My ultimate goal is to provide every client with substantial improvement in their child’s sleep, therefore the method chosen will only lead to success if you are truly committed to implementing it. At the consultation I will be able to give guidance on what method best suits your situation.

Will my baby cry during sleep training?

Crying is an unfortunate yet very likely side effect of sleep training, especially in babies and toddlers who are yet to formulate their opinions into words. Many parents feel they cannot commit to sleep training due to not being able to listen to their baby cry during the process. The cry of a baby has an innate function to not be ignored, so as parent (and as a sleep trainer!) it is very difficult to function and commit to sleep training whilst a baby is crying. However, if we can understand why a baby is crying and recognise the importance of continuing with sleep training, it makes it easier to deal with. When any kind of sleep training is undertaken, no matter how gentle the method, we are making changes to their routine so it is understandably confusing for a child who has been used to going to sleep in a particular way. We temporarily alter their ‘safe constant’ and until this new routine replaces their previous understanding of sleep and the sleep associations they have been used to, they are highly likely to let us know of their frustration! In babies and young children, this frustration is communicated in the only way they know how…crying. It is a completely normal part of sleep training, but the more consistent we are with implementing the new routine, the quicker and easier the transition is for all involved. Gentler methods of sleep training will greatly reduce the amount of crying, however, there may still be a certain level of crying involved.

How soon will I see results?

If only there were a magic wand to wave to sprinkle some sleep-inducing dust and forever more you had wonderful sleeper! As much as I like to think I can help lay the foundations for a better sleep-filled future for you and your family, an magic overnight cure is yet to be established! So until then, sleep training comes down to one word: CONSISTENCY. Depending on your circumstances, improvements can be seen within the first week, however, these improvements are only possible by being truly committed and following the sleep plan consistently night and day. Most previous clients have seen positive changes by the end of the first week, but to continue to prolonged sleep success you must ensure that you remain consistent even throughout little bumps you may encounter along the way. A more accurate and realistic time frame can be given at a consultation when all the necessary background information is obtained and a sleep method is chosen.

Where does a night nanny sleep?

This is a very common question for clients wishing to use my night nanny service! As a night nanny, as well as providing advice and help with routines, I will take over your role as a caregiver during the hours I am there whilst you rest and sleep. Therefore I will sleep when your baby is sleeping, either in the same room as your baby (such as a spare room or living room) or nearby with a monitor. These arrangements can be discussed at the initial meeting.

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