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 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 “”
Life was tough when my mum was diagnosed with terminal cancer and with a lack of sleep it was hard… to keep things together! Mum gave me some money to buy myself something nice and I said the greatest gift anyone could give me was sleep….it was the only bad thing I could take control of. I did some research on sleep training and found Karen on the internet. I spoke to Karen and she was sure she could help. My husband was completely sceptical but I convinced him to give it a try. Due to mum passing away in June we had some delay in starting as we did not feel ready to take on the challenge. Karen was sympathetic and understanding and said it was entirely up to is when we were ready. I wish we hadn’t waited, as after weeks of night wakings and driving him round in the car at all hours when we finally did start in august, miracles happened! Thomas had a dummy all the time and at 20 months still had 4 bottles a day. Karen said we had to cut them all out, which we did. The first night he cried for an hour, but after that we have had no issues at all! He has taken to it so well and even settles himself at nursery or if we are away from home. We are 3 weeks in and he has not once needed us to go into him between 7pm and 6 am. You need to be prepared to follow Karens advice to the letter (even if it goes against your “mum” instincts). It has changed our lives, we have our evenings back and we haven’t had to try and function on 2 hours sleep!! It was worth every penny and would recommend it to anyone! Read more “”
I can’t thank Karen enough for her help in getting Jack to sleep quickly at bedtime, and then remain asleep… throughout the night. Saying ‘I can’t believe the difference it has made to all our lives’ would not be true – I was always fully aware of how much better/easier/happier life would be if we didn’t have to spend two hours every night getting Jack to sleep, and then deal with him running into our room every couple of hours thereafter – it’s just that as a family nothing we tried to achieve this was very successful! We spent a couple of months assuming/(hoping?!) things would get better before we decided to seek help when it was apparent this wasn’t going to happen. I was unsure as to how a proper consultation could take place without meeting in person and without seeing the baby’s bedroom, but Karen listened carefully for 2 hours to understand Jack’s personality, the current bedtime routine and to gauge what would work for both him and his parents. This allowed her to construct a detailed plan for us to follow. A nervous Dad put Jack to bed the first night and was amazed the process only took about 20 minutes – which has been the case almost every night since. Stopping the night wakings took longer, but we could see improvement, which kept us confident we would get there. While there are ups and downs in the process – having Jack throwing his teddy out of him room and shutting the door behind him was a particular low-light –nothing phases Karen or appears to be a new scenario to her, and ‘the plan’ is slightly tweaked to allow for the previous night. A month later, Jack has now slept for a full 12 hours for over a week, and having him happily running into our room at 6.45 with a big smile saying ‘rabbit’s awake!’ is one of the highlights of my day! I can confidently say that this would not be the case if we hadn’t had Karen’s help. Read more “”
After 21 months of crying for 2-3 hours a night we decided enough was enough and contacted Karen to help get… our little boy sleeping through the night. We have read and tried numerous different ways to try and get him to consistently sleep through the night and none of them worked for us. Karen devised a sleep plan for us to work with and it was tweaked along the way to suit our little boy and us. Unfortunately during the process, we had the clocks changing, chicken pox and a nasty cough and cold to contend with but we have now had 16 nights of sleeping through!!! Not only are we feeling more human, our little boy is much happier in the daytime and napping better too. Thanks Karen Read more “”
I cant recommend Karen enough even my husband agrees it’s the best money we have ever spent. Joel is my… third child and hadn’t slept from day 1. As a newborn he would be awake for hours at a time, 9 months down the line he was waking repeatedly all evening and all through the night and the only way he would settle was if I fed him. My other two hadn’t been great sleepers and I couldn’t see how it was ever going to get better. On night 2 of Karen’s sleep plan Joel slept through and it really was so easy I almost felt cheated that it wasn’t a bit harder, had I really gone without sleep and looked after three children for 9 months and within two nights he was sleeping? I wish I had known about Karen 6 years ago when my daughter was born I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her. 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 “”
Wow what more can I say but thank you so much Karen, my son who is 17 months old slept… in my bed with waking every hour for a bottle of milk to comfort him back to sleep, I was totally worn out, being pregnant too I thought enough is enough, so calling Karen for the first time was amazing, she told me my sons sleep could be sorted I thought it wouldn’t work and was so negative about the plan given, but to our amazement our son slept through the whole night on the “FIRST” night!! I couldn’t believe it, so thank you again Karen for your fab advice and support but most of all patients, we have our evenings back and a very happy little boy. 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 “”
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 “”
Ever since Harriet was born we had sleep problems. Inability to latch on, then silent reflux then lactose intolerance, then… a major set back in building work on our house meant living here there and everywhere sharing a room with Harriet far longer than expected! As a baby she would wake every 20 minutes , she got to a year and we would get about an hour or so before each wake up, luckily I only worked part time so I managed to catch up on sleep an hour here or there when I could but I just felt exhausted depressed and saddened that we had this amazing bundle of joy in the day but such a terror at night. We didn’t understand why she would constantly wake cry and want us. When Harriet was 18 months we moved back home , we never really had a routine and would dread night time every evening at dinner time my husband and I would get anxious and dread what was coming. We would either stay at my parents or Gary’s parents for dinner then drive home late for her to fall asleep in the car just for an hour respite or else it would be her falling asleep downstairs for us to then take her up when the night was over for us! She seemed like the Duracell baby and never wanted to sleep or needed it! We thought , to try and encourage sleep we would put her in a big girls bed! Well it made no difference and so many times she just climbed out and called us. I was up and into her up to 10 times a night to quickly put the dummy in or settle her before she woke up fully. I was exhausted!!! My husband would go in from 9-1 and I would do the night shift to try and help each other out. But it got to the point where I was working full time and enough was enough and we couldn’t go on like it anymore, and we felt so sorry for her little brain and body never resting!!! A friend of mine had used Karen and highly recommended her. My husband and I were a little apprehensive and thought it would never work with our strong minded stubborn independent 2 year old! WELL IT IS SINGULARLY THE BEST THING WE HAVE EVER DONE! For all those non believers and pessimistic parents PLEASE HAVE FAITH!! Karen gave us confidence and exactly what we needed to do without the crying out approach.We had to revert back TO THE COT which I felt so terrible for but the bed wasn’t working anyway. We also had to take her dummy and taggy away (all the distractions) but she was allowed her soft dolly.We had a routine we needed to follow, and as hard as it was we stuck by it!!! Night 1: an hour of tears and upset then settled- 2 wake ups, Night2: 30 minutes of tears and crying – 1wake up, Night 3: 10 minutes crying then settled- 2 wake ups and put herself back to sleep after only a few minutes of calling out! Seeing Harriet so upset and calling out our names and begging for us even when we were sat in the room with her was heartbreaking and we felt distraught but it wasn’t because she was actually hurt or sad it was just because of change, and she soon got used to it! And has days now when she is upstairs wanting messy bath time before we are even ready! 🙂 She asked for her dummy for 2 nights we explained how we gave it to her baby cousin and that was that. She soon got over that. 3weeks later……. My husband and I have never had so much sleep in over 2 Years!!!!! And can watch a film uninterrupted!!!!! A MIRACLE!!!!!! I REALLY CANT EXPRESS WHAT A LIFE CHANGER IT IS FOR ALL THE FAMILY!!!!! We also had friends round for a curry night which has never ever been possible before without constant interruptions!!! PLEASE DONT WAIT ANY LONGER….. IF you are reading this it’s because you are probably desperate for a little sleep!!!! CALL KAREN you will not regret it!! Xxx Thank you Karen for everything! We will call you when our next bundle of joy is due to arrive to ensure we get it right from the start! Read more “”