Do you have long and tiring nap and bedtime rituals?
Is exhaustion affecting family health, happiness and relationships?
Do you want to take action but don't want to leave your child to cry?
Do you have long and tiring nap and bedtime rituals?
Have you read every book on sleep and still don't know what to do?
Do you feel like you have tried every method and nothing works?
Is your tiredness affecting your emotions, health and relationship?
Is your child’s tiredness affecting their mood and behaviour?
Do you want to take action but can’t bear the thought of leaving your child to cry?
If you answered yes to any of these questions I can help you!
My name is Helen and I am passionate about empowering families to achieve sustained restful sleep and find balance in their lives. I have first hand experience in the effects of sleep deprivation and know how devastating they can be for the whole family. The right amount of good quality sleep is vitally important for health and well-being. It is essential for growth, learning, memory, disease prevention and resilience.
It is my mission to support you as a family, to implement gentle and effective strategies that align with your values and preferences. I use my experience as a professional coach, mentor and mother, combined with my studies in Psychology and Paediatric sleep to empower you to implement positive sleep patterns that are sustainable, gentle and effective. I offer unwavering support throughout the entire process, giving advice where needed and wanted.
We will work together to devise a completely unique plan for your family, whether you are bottle or breast feeding, co sleeping or in separate rooms, have twins or multiples. I take into consideration your child’s age, weight, temperament, medical needs, mother’s well-being and family dynamics. The result will be a completely bespoke service, with judgement left at the door and bucket loads of compassion and empathy. I’m here for you, so let’s get you some more sleep (and regain your sanity) right now!
My Family Sleep Promises
- I will respect utmost confidentiality
- I will only work within my scope of practice
- I will encourage you to maintain breastfeeding if you would still like to do so
- I will work with you to provide the best plan for your family
- I will not place any judgement on your choices
- I will enable you to make informed choices
- You as the parent are always right
- I will empower you to achieve your personal goals
Gentle Sleep Coach Philosophy
Many parents ask “Are you a cry-it-out proponent or family bed advocate? Do I have to stop breastfeeding to sleep coach my child, and do I have to choose between two camps: co-sleeping/no crying or cot/cry-it-out?”
You do not have to pick a camp; this isn’t about right or wrong. It’s about what is working for you and your family.
It is true that the Cry It Out method and the starker extinction methods can work a bit faster than gentler methods IF you as the parent can follow through consistently and for long enough. There have however been a number of studies suggesting that leaving a child to cry unsupported can have damaging effects on later development and attachment. It could also be argued that not developing your child’s skills in sleep can also have effects now and in later life with insomnia and sleep difficulties, resulting in poor health.
The Gentle Sleep Coach philosophy was developed by Kim West LCSW-C, The Sleep Lady® because she found so many parents had difficulty following through with a sleep coaching programme that they feared will damage their child emotionally, or filled them with so much guilt they couldn’t follow through.
The GSC approach is a gentler alternative for families who emotionally or philosophically resist letting their babies cry it out: for families who tried “Ferber” (controlled crying) and it didn’t work, and for families who let their baby cry-it-out earlier but now find it doesn’t help. It is also for families who believe in co-sleeping but find that their children aren’t really sleeping all that well, even nestled snugly with their parents. Or for families who did co-sleep for a few months to a few years and now want the family bed to revert back to the marital one.
Can you guarantee “no crying” you might ask? No, no one really can. For example, if you as the parent have taught your child that the way to fall asleep is to be held to sleep for all naps, bedtime and wakings and you decide that you want to change this; your child will naturally protest or resist this change. After all, they don’t know why you have changed your approach. If your child is pre-verbal then they will cry. My goal is to have as little crying as possible. I encourage parents to be loving and responsive but to allow the child the room to learn this vital life skill of putting themselves to sleep. The parent responds and stays with their child if appropriate to and offers physical and verbal reassurance without putting the child to sleep. This supports the development of a secure attachment between parent and child.
I take an evidence-based approach to my practice, using the latest research, along with my extensive training and experience, to provide you with a highly personal service. You will be empowered to make informed choices that you will feel confident and happy to see through. The art of learning to fall and stay sleep is a priceless gift you can give to your child and family.
If you have any questions about the Gentle Sleep philosophy, please don’t hesitate to ask. I can be reached by filling out the contact tab or by telephone at 07973 128133.