My Story and Approach to Sleep. My story as a sleep consultant really began when I became a parent. Although I have always had such a keen interest in child development and psychology, this was mostly centred on how children learn – hence why I became a teacher. Teaching is still something I do full-time and love; however, upon giving birth to my daughter in 2020, I began reading about sleep – simply because I thought I might die of sleep deprivation and wondered how long I might have left.
Little did I know, I would learn so much and become extremely passionate about her sleep. Sleep links with learning more than I ever realised, of course, I knew it was essential for us all to get a good sleep each night, but I had little knowledge of how important this was for her to develop. Research shows that lack of sleep can have strong links with poor performance in school involving working memory; increased risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life; increased risk of mental health problems such as anxiety and depression and, decreased learning capacity. Being a teacher and a parent, I knew that sleep had to be a priority for the whole family.
I read every book, read every blog and tried to implement good habits from very early on. I have to say, this really paid off, she was able to be put down from an early age and was great at self-settling. Although in the beginning it was very hard to get her into a consistent nap schedule, consistency meant that eventually she was extremely predictable and began to fall into a routine. I became a parent in the COVID-19 lockdown, therefore, I am aware I was at an advantage to implement such a strict routine. She is our first and only child and we were at home all the time.
However, throughout all the reading and knowledge, I really struggled to let my little one cry for any length of time. Therefore, when I decided to train as a sleep consultant I realised it was imperative to learn a variety of techniques to give parents choice around how to sleep train. This ensures that you feel comfortable throughout the process and it can be as gentle as you wish.
If you feel comfortable leaving your baby to cry for small intervals, I can teach you a gradual technique around this, however, if you wish to be in the room the whole time until your child falls asleep, this is also fully possible. I have an approach to suit every parenting style and will work with you along the whole way to give you all the support you need.