Frequently Asked Questions
When it comes to our children, there are always questions we want to understand before we try something new. I have tried to answer as many questions as possible below. If you would still like to talk to someone then please ask a question or get in touch.
Why does my baby or child seem tired and yet they don’t sleep well?
Sometimes when babies and infants are overtired, they appear to be hyperactive with lots of energy. Most of the time when we start the sleep training process and the baby/infant is getting lots more sleep, this then tends to settle, and they appear to be even more tired. So, the more sleep they get, the more they need.
How long does the sleep training process take?
This is a difficult question to answer. As I have previously said every child is different the same goes for how long it will take them. Most of my clients see changes within a few days. However, a few parents have had some minor problems that needed addressing and working through, when this happens it can take a bit longer. Most children will be sleep trained with in 2 weeks.
Will sleep training be harmful for my baby?
This is a question I get asked all the time, there is so much information on the internet it can really scare parents into not getting help with their child's sleep issues. I am passionate about knowledge and I have done a considerable amount of research into the effects of crying and damage caused by leaving a baby to cry (there is an assumption that is what sleep training involves, leaving babies/infants to cry). Yes, there is valid research that leaving babies/infants to cry for prolonged periods of time, day after day will damage their nervous system. But what we are talking about here is severely neglected babies/infants.
Sleep training should not, and certainly the sleep training I do, does not involve leaving babies/infants to cry for prolonged periods of time. And, just as importantly there is a significant amount of research that has proven that a lack of consistent sleep does in fact delay children’s’ development and compromise their immune system.
Why does my 9-month-old baby still want milk in the night?
Your baby might still want milk in the night out of habit rather than needing it. By consistently giving a baby milk during the night, they will automatically wake for it and expect it. When a baby his 9 months the most beneficial source of nutrition comes from what a baby eats. We need to ensure that they are getting a well-balanced diet of solid food. Sometimes babies fill up on milk and then are not very interested in food. Parents then worry about their baby not getting enough to eat, so give them more milk. The milk then fills them up and when they are full up on milk and they might not be interested in their food and so the cycle begins again.
Why choose me to be your sleep consultant?
I am a qualified sleep consultant with a first-class honour’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in primary education. With over 30 years of experience working with babies and children, there is not much I have not experienced. I was in your position 24 years ago, at my wits end with lack of sleep with my first-born child, being told by the professionals that some babies ‘just don’t sleep’ and it will pass. Seeing all the other babies around me sleeping through the night and napping on time, I felt like a failure.
I now know I was not a failure, I just needed help, support and guidance, I needed a ‘me’ back then.
Why can't I just read a book on sleep training my little one?
The difference between reading a book about sleep training and trying to address the sleep issues yourself, is that when things go wrong a book can’t support you, encourage you or say its ok, let’s take a breath and go to plan B. That is why using a sleep consultant comes with a much better success rate.
Why will my baby only sleep for 30-40 minutes at a time?
As humans we have an internal body clock know as our circadian rhythm. This clock regulates when we sleep and when we are awake. Babies circadian rhythms don’t start to develop until they are about 12-14 weeks old. What this means is a new-born baby’s internal body clock does not know that its day or night, and therefore tend to sleep the same amount in the day as they do at night. Once they reach 14 weeks old, their circadian rhythm should be well on its way to becoming established.
For babies their sleep cycle is about 40-50 minutes long. The first phase of the cycle is a light phase, which lasts for about 10-15 minutes, they will then enter a deep phase for about 20 minutes, transitioning into another light sleep phase for the last 10-15 minutes. Babies and infants are easily woken during the last phase of their sleep cycle and that is why your baby will only sleep for 30-40 minutes. The trick is to get your baby to transit from one sleep cycle to the next, that’s where I come in.
Is it safe to let my baby sleep in my bed?
In lots of cultures co-sleeping with your baby is the norm, however, numerous studies would question how safe this practice is. Personally, I would rather babies didn’t co-sleep with their parents purely on the basis of the research I have read. Realistically, as exhausted parents we have all done this, but it’s not ideal.
Is there a reason why my baby won’t fall asleep in their cot?
When a baby is in the womb, they are curled up nice and snug, feeling lots of motion and lots of noise, this is all they have ever known. Once they are born, the safest position for a baby to sleep is on their back, some babies cope well with this whereas others do not. We they find that the only way baby will sleep is curled up in our arms, this then becomes a habit and so sleep issues can form. It becomes a circle, you need sleep, baby needs sleep so you cuddle them, they become used to sleeping this way and then they don’t want it any other way.