The ‘Baby Sleep the Night™’ Philosophy
Before being a child and baby sleep specialist, I am first and foremost a mother. For me, the most important thing, as a parent or as a child sleep consultant, is a child’s well being.
My Baby Sleep the Night™ gentle sleep-training programme is based on the belief that proper sleep not only helps the child but also the entire family!
Plus, you can rest assured that my philosophy and methods are aligned with best practices recommended by The UK’s National Health Service, The American Academy of Pediatrics, and The Canadian Pediatric Society.
Background and Experience
Teaching my children to be fantastic independent sleepers benefited them immensely, and in turn, my family. That’s why I dedicated my professional career to helping other parents who were as desperate as me to get their babies and toddlers to sleep.
For over a decade I’ve helped thousands of families get more out of life with my tried and tested methods that are more than just tips to get your baby to sleep. I ensure that every step is done precisely right, leaving absolutely no stone unturned. Close attention to detail is vital, and is why I hold a 100% success rate with families that stick to my gentle caring plans.
Whether it’s a baby going through a sleep regression or a six year old with bad sleeping habits, I’ve worked with them all!
During my training, I learnt all about the importance of sleep within the development of children. I also realised how a baby’s sleep pattern affected the health of the parents too. In short, when I helped stressed and tired mums and dads get their child to sleep, I inadvertently helped the family as a whole.
The more I helped, the more passionate I became about toddler and baby sleep training. The more passionate I became, the more I wanted to spread the knowledge I had acquired in the process.
This is why I started training sleep consultants and certifying them to practise my philosophy.
I am determined to train people who care just as much as I do, so that they can help parents and babies get the sleep they need.
I understand that when parents reach out to a Baby Sleep the Night™-certified child sleep consultant to ask for help with their child’s sleeping habits, it’s almost always a last resort. Most parents never consult a baby sleep specialist because they feel it might make them seem like ‘failing at parenting’. Our Baby Sleep the Night™- certified consultants and I want you to know that asking for help does not make you a failure. Isn’t it said that it takes a village to raise a child?
However, we will make sure you understand the reason behind each and every step of the plan, why it’s so important, how it contributes to your child getting enough sleep.
What’s more, if you follow the detailed steps in your bespoke sleep plan you will notice a positive change in your little one, in terms of their energy levels, general happiness, and well being. That’s the power of good sleep!
Your Child’s Bespoke Sleep Plan
There are various methods to get your child to sleep that I use and teach. These strategies are based on individual family needs and preferences.
The most common specialist sleep solution I practise, and train the Baby Sleep the Night™-certified consultants, is the Gradual Retreat Sleep Training Plan.
This allows you to be right there with your child, touching them, talking to them and comforting them throughout the process of learning to sleep.
This isn’t for all families, of course. There are other ways to solve sleep issues and this is something that will be discussed in depth. This is so that parents get to choose what is right for them and their circumstances.
Regardless of method used, the success is in the detail – getting it just right. A consultant certified by the Baby Sleep The Night ™ will have been taught to:
- Learn About Your Child
As a parent, no one knows your child better than you. That’s why the Baby Sleep the Night™-certified sleep specialist will discuss your child’s sleep habits before designing a customised gentle sleep plan to get your child to sleep.
- A Step-by-Step Plan
After they’ve got to know all about you and your child, they’ll lay out a plan. This will detail the steps that you’ll need to help get your child to sleep in an easy-to-follow, step-by-step format. But don’t worry – it’s not a hard and fast rulebook. It’s designed to give you enough discretionary power to make choices that will work best for you and your child!
- Explain How to Measure Success
They will also explain what results can be achieved at what stage. The end goal is to get to the point where your child will sleep 12-hours a night. However, this will not usually happen on the first night (although it might!)
- Manage Your Expectations
As part of the gentle sleep training programme, they’ll tell you exactly what to expect. Baby Sleep the Night-certified consultants take the uncertainty and guesswork out with their detailed ways to get your child to sleep. Effectively, they will hold your hand and support you throughout.
‘Crying it Out’
People always ask me whether the Baby Sleep the Night™ ways to get a child to sleep involve letting the baby ‘cry it out’. Here are my thoughts on this.
Let me reassure you that I’m not an advocate of controlled crying, ‘shut the door and leave them’ methods. I’m not saying they don’t work if they’re done correctly. They do.
However, I just think they are too tough on all involved.
What I will say though is we like things to be the same every night. Making big changes to anyone’s sleep environment would almost always be met with some kind of protest. With a child, their protest normally involves at least a few tears. So, I can’t promise you there will be no crying. In fact, with almost all of the families I have helped, there has been at least some.
I also completely understand that no one likes the idea of hearing their child cry. I myself am a mother of three and have been in your shoes. The Baby Sleep the Night™ philosophy does not rely on asking you to leave your child alone to cry for extended periods.
The reason that the Baby Sleep the Night™ methods are so effective is that they let you develop a planned way of getting your baby, toddler, or child to sleep that you feel comfortable with. This is completely based on what you already know about your child.
Sleep regressions happen at very important stages in a baby’s life. Despite what the name implies, it is in fact developmental rather than a regression.
So what is it?
For adults, a sleep cycle has four stages. These are:
- Drifting off
- Light sleep
- Deep sleep
- REM sleep
For a newborn, however, there are only two stages – deep sleep and REM sleep. Since these are both deep sleep stages, your baby will usually sleep soundly once they do drift off.
However, around the age of four months, the sleep cycle develops into the four-stage sleep, with stages of light sleep. Since this is so new for the baby, they will easily wake up when they reach those stages.
While the four-month sleep regression is the most well known, babies can also go through sleep regression commonly at the ages of 8 months or 18 months, or at just about any age! It usually lasts for two to six weeks, while the baby adjusts and adapts to this lighter sleep duration.
However, if you aren’t expecting it, it can be distressing.
Sleep regression can throw a lot of parents off. They can’t understand why their child, who was sleeping so well, is suddenly waking up unexpectedly.
My gentle sleep-training programme is designed to ensure that this phase is easily and quickly managed instead of becoming the basis of poor sleeping behaviour for your child.
Learn More About Our Gentle Sleep Training Methods and Results
My methods have worked consistently over the last decade. This is why teach them to all the Baby Sleep the Night™-certified consultants.
Please do have a read of some of the Happy Client testimonials where parents talk about their own experiences.
We are a family of 5. Two teenagers and one 15 month old. When I was pregnant with my youngest… – Mala – I read a book (an ancient hippy 1970’s one to be exact!) That said, in no uncertain terms, that babies cry in cots because they are scared. There was no way my baby was going to be scared and as the book advised, that meant that she would sleep with us, by choice from day one. We never bought a cot. In the early days this worked OK ish, it meant that I could latch her on without properly disturbing each time, which led to more sleep, hooray! Everyone was happy and also it was lovely to all wake up together, warm and cosy… As Mala grew we split up at night, with my partner (Alex) sleeping on a single bed next to Mala and I in the double. Gradually the rustling of duvets, flushing of toilets, doors gently closing and in fact pretty much anything woke her up, every night… even if I wasn’t feeding her, I was awake trying to keep still! It certainly was not much fun for the rest of the family either. The lowest point we got to was after 15 months of feeding about 12 to 20 times a night (No exaggeration!)… My exhaustion meant that I could barely function. I HAD to sleep in the daytime in order to function which meant that I was barely dressed or ready for the day by 2pm… just in time to start dreading the next night. The trouble being that because this was of our creation, this habit, I could see no way out. Every time Mala murmured, she was pacified immediately,,, she was totally used to being in with me and being breastfed most of the nigh,t how would we ever break that? And more to the point I didn’t have any energy at all for even thinking straight, let alone contemplating even less sleep whilst we sorted it out?! That was it. Life was awful and utterly unmanageable. I wont go into what this eventually evolves into within a small house, I’ll let you imagine it all! A friend who knew what we were up against passed us a copy of Karen’s advert. It stayed around for a few weeks, but reading was something I wasn’t doing anymore as it was blurry. My partner teaches and at the start of his summer holidays he encouraged me to call and at least find out what the technique was and if we stood a chance of it working. To say I was sceptical is an understatement. Mala is strong willed, intelligent and in a 15 month old habit. This would clearly work for all other children in the world, except mine! Karen explained over the phone what she thought about babies crying in cots… instead of anxiety and fright, Karen explained it as being tiredness and frustration at not knowing how to stop the feeling… needing help to gain the valuable skill of being able to fall asleep on their own… it made sense and sounded great… 2 weeks of support and then she’d be doing it on her own…. would she???! Karen came over one afternoon and spent a couple of hours with us finding out what sort of parents we are, what we wanted and what she advised we followed to the letter. After getting ready we embarked on the new routine. As that day grew closer I got more and more stressed as I ‘KNEW’ this was going to be a nightmare, and I cannot bear the sound of her crying. That’s when Alex took over. On the first night as I sobbed into making a rissotto in the kitchen with earplugs in and the radio on (?!) Alex got her to sleep, in her cot, in 9 minutes flat?! I was ready to back out the second he found it hard, but he stayed strong. That first night she woke up between 7.45pm and 8.45pm on and off and each time, she cried for less that 3 or 4 minutes. She learned so much in that first night. When she woke at 2am, and 4am she self soothed back to sleep. I slept the whole night for the first time in 15 months! It was unbelieveable. I felt I could see better, and realised just how awful it had been. The next night we did exactly the routine Karen advised again and she woke at 1am and 5am and again both times got herself back off to sleep. On the third night, with Alex still settling her, so that Mala didn’t think about breastfeeding, she slept through the night!!! And, has basically done so ever since. We have the odd blip with cold or teeth etc but either one of us can now settle her and know that we wont be required again until the morning! It’s changed our lives in so many ways. To have an evening together…. to catch up with work or household things….We went out together for the first time the other night…. she slept! We can flush the toilet, close doors, watch TV etc etc as she is in a deeper more satisfying sleep… she doesn’t wake. For Mala it’s changed her life too… she is a calmer, more observant and happy child… Hilariously, she now loves her new found sleeping independence so much that she begs not to have a story or song shouting “IN IN” to get into her cot and lie down! Do I recommend Karen?! Totally, utterly with no hesitation whatsoever! Do it, you can’t be a good parent until YOUR basic human needs are met, and sleep is one of the most important. I’m now pregnant again and Karen is going to help us get it right from day one… We can’t go through that again! Read more “”
‘This has completely changed our lives. Before contacting Karen I couldn’t imagine how it would be possible to get my daughter… to go to sleep by herself. I really cannot recommend this enough. Both my husband and I agree that this is the best money we have ever spent. We are all so much happier as we are getting some sleep! I can concentrate at work, my husband and I actually get to spend some time together and our little girl is so much happier (which I didn’t think was possible). I wish we had done this sooner!’ Thanks for everything karen. Hope you had a great christmas. Read more “”
When I called Karen I was feeling a bit hopeless about our sleep situation, my beautiful 15 month old daughter… Evie had been sharing my bed since around 3 months of age and had been breastfed to sleep for every bedtime and nap since she was born.. I couldn’t see how we could ever get out of that as previous attempts had proven upsetting for me and her and I had resigned myself to carrying on until she decided to get herself to sleep or wanted to go in her own bed, whenever that would be!! None of us were getting a good sleep as she would wake between 10-20 times a night and need to be immediately pacified (fed) back to sleep. As a result her appetite and moods were suffering in the day. I barely saw my other half and eldest daughter as i would go to bed with Evie and not be able to leave the room as she woke so frequently.. it was all a mess.. something needed to change!
I called Karen and she immediately she made me feel positive, her confidence told me that we were going to come out of this alive!! After speaking to her I just couldn’t wait to get started.
At the 90 min consultation I was made to feel even more at ease and confident.. Karen had put together a plan to suit us all with a routine that worked perfectly for our family.
First night was hard but even then she surprised us with how quickly she learnt.. By nights 7/8 she was sleeping 7-7.30 with one or two little shouts in the night but she was settling herself. I never ever thought she would be doing that.. I have my evenings back and my bed.. She is a different child in the day too.. So happy and she has a wonderful appetite now too. She loves her new routine and knows what’s coming next and I think she is actually beginning to enjoy going to sleep as she leans towards the cot when we sing her bedtime song 🙂
Best thing I ever did ringing Karen, she has changed our lives completely and was worth every penny! Read more “”
We have struggled with poor sleeping patterns for a very long time with our 3 year old – almost since… he was born. At times, the sleep deprivation and bedtime behaviour was almost insufferable and everyone was affected. We decided that enough was enough and felt that there must be something we could do, but we felt utterly powerless, as everything we had read and tried to date had failed. However, we came across Karen through a friend and within a week of starting the programme, we experienced a massive change in sleeping behaviour – a positive change that is maintained three weeks later and has now become the norm.
At a time when we were so tired and could not see the wood for the trees, Karen disected the route causes of the problem and constructed a programme that was the sum of many small changes. It was firm but fair, initially a challenge (mainly a psychological one as parents) as it required a concerted and consistent change of behaviour from us in order to bring about the required changes for our three year old, but it worked really well.
I cannot say how much better we both feel and as a dad, I feel my relationship with my youngest has improved massively as we now both have so much more energy to play and learn together thanks to so much more sleep. This programme and approach has made such a positive impact, it’s hard to say how much. I cannot recommend Karen highly enough – it has made the world of difference, thank you! Read more “”
I can’t thank Karen enough for her advice, support and patience! She is THE best problem sleep solver. Our 2.5… year old went from the perfect sleeper to the sleeper from hell. One email to Karen and 3 weeks later we now have our evenings back and a much happier little boy. I only wish I had found her months ago. Read more “”
So, which method would you like to choose? Pick up, put down? Controlled crying? Bringing your son or daughter into… bed with you? A wee dram of whisky? OK, not the last one, but we had gone through the rest of the list, and the only one that ended up working consistently, allowing us and our daughter to sleep through the night, was bringing her into bed with us. Without fail. Every night. For many, many months. Oh sure, “pick up, put down” worked for a while. Even controlled crying. A week or two later, and then it was….. well, it was back into bed with us. We’ve all done it, and really, it isn’t conducive to a healthy family lifestyle. We must be failures, right? I mean what about all those perfect parents with perfect children who sleep perfectly through the night from day one? Well, do they really exist? I suspect not! If they do, they’re about as far removed from our reality as it’s possible to get. Coming into bed with us was habitual. We all got some sleep at least. This was the way to go. Until we found out that number two was due. Oh. Well, having number one in bed with us every night wasn’t going to cut it for long. By chance, one of our friends had heard about Karen and told us. Were we going to give it a try? The downside – we could be spending time and money on a technique that just wasn’t going to work with our daughter. She was unique, after all. The upside – well, let’s put it this way, with number two not far down the line, the upside to having number one managing to sleep on her own in her own bed was….. well, the upside was enormous. Even so, skepticism is hard to shake until you’ve been through any process and seen the results, and really, the results have been….. well, wow. Just wow. Number one is now consistently sleeping through the night (that took all of about four nights from starting), and getting herself to sleep without attention too (OK, that took a bit longer, but in the grand scheme of things, nothing that we now look back upon as being excessive). Even more thrilling – she wakes up in the morning happy and singing! What else could you ask for? Was the investment in time and money worth it? Absolutely. Karen and her technique get a completely unreserved recommendation. Read more “”
Im really pleased I went with a friend’s advice and contacted Karen. I have to admit that the free consultation… was a great start and reassured me she could help. Then Karen developed a plan to meet my own needs (as little crying as possible!), as well as the baby’s (who had a tricky start with very poor sleeping habits when first born and feeding issues, reflux too). My 7 and a half month old slept through the night the first night,with only 6 minutes of intermittent crying. Then proceeded to just really grizzle if anything and become a textbook night time baby since. This was great as I needed the help getting over the last hurdle- night time wakenings. Oh, and the dummy. And her association of sucking and sleeping. I thought she had been doing really well and that maybe i just needed to have more patience at night time, but Karen change things up and helped me jump the last hurdle really quickly with some changes to our routine and behavior that I wouldn’t have been able to get from any of the books I had been reading. Karen held my hand throughout the next couple of weeks, and answered all my many and random questions promptly and thoroughly, which included sending studies my way as well as offering reassuring words from a fellow mum who knows her stuff and has helped hundreds. I would thoroughly recommend Karen. Hand on heart, it is the best money I have spent this year in fact. And the bonus is, I get to feel myself again Read more “”
Just over 7 weeks ago I was living off about 3hrs sleep (broken) per night and this had been going… on for 5 months. I barely saw my husband in the evenings as we did shifts – dinner together, talking about our day or even just 5 minutes of TV was a big NO in our home and we both couldn’t see how this would change. One of my friends gave me Karen’s leaflet and since meeting Karen in August mine, my husbands and our daughters life has completely changed – it sounds dramatic but it’s true. It got so bad that rocking Ruby (for 2hrs one night!!!) or even putting her next to me in bed was not helping her to sleep and now…she does between11-12hrs every night and she is such a happy, smiley, chatty baby – it’s amazing and her development just increases day by day. For my husband and I we have our evenings back! We can sit and have dinner together, chat about Ruby, listen to music all with the knowledge that our daughter is sleeping soundly and its great to know that we’ve helped her to learn to self soothe – sleep is so important. Karen, you were brilliant and supportive – I still pinch myself every morning when I hear her stir just past 6am – thank you very much. Ps All of the tips you gave me for going abroad worked wonders, Ruby slept through the night even though we were all in the same room and in a totally different country. Thank you. Read more “”
Amazing is just one word!! My son is 16 months old and has only slept through the night 3 times. … He would wake up the same time every night at around 11pm and 3am. He would always want milk to get him back to sleep. Me and husband had come to point where is was driving us mad and had to seek help. That’s were Karen came in. After having a new routine and the fabulous Karen at hand he was sleeping through after night 4! I thought it wouldn’t work and that I would cave in but no I stuck to it and the result was amazing. I have already recommended her to friends and I am sure that they will be amazed as we were. Read more “”
Strength, determination and conviction that you’re doing the right thing are qualities that dwindle when in the depths of sleep… deprivation! After 7months of existing on around 2-3 hrs sleep a night, desperation had set in to find a way of helping our gorgeous little girl to sleep soundly. When Karen introduced us to the clarity, simplicity and step by step approach of her plan, I knew this was exactly what I needed! With Karen’s unfaltering guidance and support, in a matter of days we were on our way to sleep like we’d never before experienced! The results really were astonishing and within a week our little girl had gone from not sleeping for more than an hour at a time to sleeping a straight 10 hours. Success, blissful nights and a much healthier, happier household! Read more “”