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.
Dear Karen, I just wanted to thank you for all your kindness towards me, I really couldn’t have sorted out… Zac’s sleep without your support, encouragement and positivity.Its amazing, now I have time to myself of an evening and I am looking forward to sharing them with my husband! Thanks again, I could never have done it without you! Lots of love Kay xxx Read more “”
Our son Harry only ever woke once or twice during the night from birth and it was quite manageable. He… even slept through the night at 2 months. However when he reached 3 months old there was significant regression as he began waking 4/5 times a night and sometimes every hour all night, each time I would have to feed him. We could not understand why there was an all of a sudden change as we followed a set routine every night and hadn’t deviated from it. Harry was not good at being put down in a moses basket or cot for a nap from birth, he would wake after only 20 minutes or less. Harry would only nap well in someone’s arms and by 3 months he had to be rocked to sleep and we couldn’t put him down at all without him waking up straight away. This meant that I was literally stuck to the sofa all day with breastfeeding and naps. It was mostly our fault, it was difficult to conceive Harry and therefore we literally didn’t want to put him down and enjoyed every last cuddle with him. By 3 months however we began to realise that we were not getting anything done, we could not go anywhere and we had no time to ourselves at all. Soon we began to dread night time and exhaustion had set in. So we contacted our good friend Karen, we were desperate to get Harry back into good sleep habits. We didn’t like to see Harry upset so we were concerned about the possibility of having to leave him to cry during sleep training but we were honest with Karen about this. After our first consultation with Karen we knew immediately we had done the right thing. Karen really listened to our story and concerns and gave us so much knowledge about how our little baby worked, what was going wrong and how to improve it in a way that was comfortable for us as a family. Karen was so thorough, supportive, honest and made no judgements. We were given a bespoke sleep and nap plan and we were able to stay in Harry’s bedroom and sit by the cot so he was never alone. Although we were warned by Karen that she could not say Harry would not cry a little we were put completely at ease knowing we could be in the room with him. It even taught us the differences in his cries. We had a few very hard emotional days to begin with and we ensured we stuck to the plan to every letter. Karen was there to support us every step of the way with lots of words of encouragement and it kept us going. Within 3 days Harry was sleeping through the night (around 11 hours) and 5 days in he was having 3 naps a day in his cot of one and a half hours or more. AMAZING Read more “”
For the first 8 months of Alice’s life, Jon and I adopted a rather laid back approach to parenting. Alice… wasn’t in any form of routine, apart from the one which she naturally created herself, and I spent my days and nights breastfeeding her to sleep. After months of sleepless nights (getting up 3 times a night was considered a good night – quite often I was up every 45 minutes), I finally reached a level of exhaustion that I didn’t know existed, and we decided that for my sanity, something had to be done. I stumbled across Karen purely by coincidence whilst I was on a baby-based forum one night. Another lady was talking about how Karen had changed their lives in a matter of days so I picked up the phone first thing the following morning to talk to Karen and see if she could help us. And help us she did! By following the plan that Karen made for Alice, we saw our little girl transform from waking every 45 minutes, to sleeping 11 hours in a row on night 2 of the plan! Alice has been following the plan for almost two weeks now and no longer needs us to send her to sleep. She settles down for the night all by herself, sleeps 11-12 hours, and on the occasions that she has woken up, resettles herself within minutes. The transformation is incredible and Alice is much happier, as are mummy and daddy!Karen truly is a miracle worker and we can never thank her enough for putting happiness (and sleep!) back in our home. I would recommend her to absolutely anyone who is suffering from sleepless nights and I am already planning on talking to Karen again when we have another baby so we get it right from the very start next time – after we have caught up on our sleep of course! Karen, we thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Read more “”
My 7 month old baby girl was waking every hour and needing to be resettled every night from the day… she was born. Our lives were horrendous and my husband and I were arguing all the time and my other two children suffering as we were sooo tired all the time. Having read all the books and with two other children who always slept the night from 3 months I didnt think we were ever going to sleep believing Sienna was just a baby who wouldn’t ever be able to sleep properly. I decided to hire karen and see if she could help. If im honest I didnt think anything would work.. I am an experienced mum and didnt think there was anything karen could do that I hadnt already tried. But it did work and on night 2 of karens sleep plan Sienna, to my complete surprise slept the whole night. . She has slept every night since. Most nights 12 hours solid. I cant thank her enough for changing our lives. Miracles do indeed happen (with the right help). My only regret is I didnt hire her sooner. Thanks karen xxx Read more “”
I came across Karen’s details via a popular parenting forum, having spent far too many months googling sleep tips and… reading baby books with advice on how to get my baby to sleep well. We started sleep training at age 11 months, and at this stage it was becoming desperate for me as I was returning to work at age 12 months and was still rather sleep deprived with a baby who needed fed/walked or rocked to sleep in a baby carrier for naps; and sharing a bed at night – 75 centimetres of wriggling baby was not getting anyone a good night’s sleep! We had habits, which we knew were bad and weren’t working for our family – co-sleeping, breast feeding to sleep and using a dummy for naps/night wakings, and even these were not guaranteed to work as time went on and sleep time became a dread. Whilst some of these ‘habits’ were lovely in the early days, you can only learn for yourself that they aren’t ideal for teaching your baby good sleep habits, despite lots of anecdotes saying that these things never do harm! We were very much against crying methods for our family, and this was all that had worked for anyone I knew. Karen taught me that , yes you will have to listen to your baby crying and gave in-depth explanation of why, but that you can choose to be beside her so that she doesn’t feel abandoned Night 1 was very tough, but the next day held an amazing improvement and a few weeks on my baby enjoys the simple steps of our new nap and bedtime routine and reaches out for her cot to go to sleep. I can return to work safe in the knowledge that anyone can put my daughter to sleep in the daytime and that Daddy can do his share at bedtime! Karen is a great listener, with experienced ears and a ton of advice, you feel as though you are in it together and she genuinely cares – there is no judgement of your bad habits at all and I found her to be extremely professional and personable. My daughter got a bug 3 days into sleep training, but fortunately she had learned the principles already and was still able to sleep in her cot all night and for naps and Karen supported us throughout the illness. If you are concerned about the cost of paying for help with sleep training, it is understandable, given than many of us are on budgets during maternity leave and beyond, however, this is one of the best ‘baby purchases’ for me. You cannot put a price on a good night’s sleep – it is really a transformation and I would suggest that you consult with Karen rather than buying books that you won’t have time to read or follow through with complicated routines and plans that will confuse your sleep-deprived parent brain (from someone who has been there :)..) Remember before you had a baby when you used to get a whole night’s sleep? it can be very close again if you do something about it now – don’t hesitate – the change is so uplifting and most of all you will very extremely proud of your child for learning these valuable new skills so well 🙂 Read more “”
So before we had kids everyone use to take the mickey out of me as I was always going on about how… much I loved my sleep! I even had a badge that said I love my bed, I just love sleeping!!! So it seemed strange (and cruel) that I could produce two children that didn’t like sleeping, at all!!! Sleep had become a distant memory as we had been suffering with a four year old who has never slept very well and now a 10 month old who was following exactly the same path and we had tried everything possible so I decided enough was enough! Our nights were just extensions of the day except for the fact we were desperately trying to catch 40 winks inbetween the kids waking up! We were exhausted and had turned into parent robots! So when someone gave me the Echo with Karens interview in I could relate to so many things I decided to give her a call. Initially I hadn’t decided to go ahead with it but just wanted to see what she had to say. As soon as I spoke to Karen I felt like I had known her for years, she was friendly, understanding and gave me such confidence that she could help I immediately signed up. OK so my husband nearly collapsed when I told him I had spent money on this ‘sleep lady’ who was going to solve all our problems, but I was willing to try anything. When Karen came round for the consultation we went through all the relevant information and she came up with a plan, my little girl only cried for such a short spell of time those first few nights, the plan was easy to follow and it was a relief to have times to aim for so I felt I was doing the right thing. After just one day my 10month old was sleeping through the night! 7-7 no waking!! I am not kidding it was a miracle! She has continued to do this since that day! My eldest one is no longer waking either with advice and support from Karen both my girls are now like little sleeping beauties at night and we are no longer robots but have got our lives back! People don’t understand what sleep deprivation is like, parents of kids who sleep well think you are just overreacting or being overdramatic they don’t understand how it effects every single area of your life. What we have now is ‘normal’ to most people but for us Karen has given us our lives back! My husband and I believe Karen is worth every single penny! You just can’t put a value on your life or your sleep!! Read more “”
My twins Olli and Jessi are nearly three with my son having speech and language difficulties.
I contacted Karen at… the end of my tether, lacking in ideas and
suffering from sleep deprivation.
Jessi was not settling at night running me ragged. I was up and down the stairs for hours to a girl who would not stay in her bed and if she did she would cry and scream for hours..
Both twins were waking several times in the night with Olli coming into my room and refusing to return to his bed…
Both were often awake at 4.30/ 5am……… Karen has been incredibly supportive, professional and very
honest and always quick to explain the reasons for the structured
programme we have introduced….
Has the past three weeks been easy…. no….. especially having two
toddlers one with special needs…. but we have stuck with the programme and three weeks on I am downstairs relaxing by 1830 every evening with my twins settled and sending them selves to sleep with their doors open….I have to say I never thought I would be where I am today…! Karen is a life saver, she can solve your problems and get you relaxing for the evening….. Thank you Karen…. I feel as if you have been sitting on my shoulder for the past 3 weeks and I will
miss you….and all your support……. 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 “”
We were at breaking point when we contacted Karen for help with our beautiful twins. They were never good day… time nappers but initially they only woke once in the night to feed and then would go back to sleep until 6.30 -7am. However, after one of the twins became poorly this changed and between them they were waking nearly every hour. We were exhausted and so were our babies, which then impacted on their day and my ability to enjoy my time with them. When we spoke to Karen she was so positive and provided a sleeping program that was so individually tailored to our babies needs and our parenting style that it inspired confidence in our ability to help our babies learn how to sleep through the night and nap for longer. One of the things that make the program so effective is the regular contact and support that Karen gives, it is invaluable to have someone to talk to who is so positive and kind when you are feeling so low and sleep deprived. Now my lovely twins are sleeping longer at nap time and throughout the night and they are developing both emotionally and developmentally in leaps and bounds as they are no longer exhausted. We cannot thank Karen enough for the difference it has made not only to our lives but to our babies lives and we would recommend her to anyone who has children with sleep problems. 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 “”