I have written about it before, sleep and bedtime was something I got really wrong. It was hard to establish a sleep pattern because of co-parenting issues and her insecurities all coming out a bedtime – the time I was tired and desperate for her to sleep often so I could work and catch up on my day. The whole thing was a mess and looking back I wish I had realised that there are amazing sleep consultants out there who really get it who can guide you and support you. I recently read about Sleep Consultant Kate Cohen so I reached out to find out more.
Hi Kate, Welcome to No Mum Is An Island. I am a great believer that no mum or dad should have to do everything themselves, we can’t possibly know it all, and we need all the support we can get, there is a wealth of information out there to help us upgrade our parenting to make our lives easier and this website is a hub for just that! We love that you have upgraded your life by taking your own children’s big problems around sleeping during the day and through the night and turning those into a career to help others using your own experience.
On your website it says you believe “all children and families deserve a good night sleep” and that in your “quest to find the answer to our own children’s problems with sleep”. Can you tell us more?
I truly believe that sleep is so vital for everyone in the family, whether we look at it from the point of babies, toddlers or older children who need it to develop well, improve behaviour and concentration or just general wellbeing, or from the parents perspective who need sleep to be able to function well in all aspects of day to day life. We all need sleep and it’s my aim to help people get the best sleep they can!
My own journey with sleep started with my Son’s lack of it as he didn’t sleep well until 2 years old. It was only when we understood what was causing the sleep issues that we managed to make some changes and solve it all. There are so many aspects to sleep that can affect how a child settles and sleeps well which is why I undertook my extensive training program to help understand this further and then apply that knowledge to help others. That’s how Sleep Time Baby was formed and I’ve now helped over 1000 parents improve their sleep.
There is a lot of controversy about crying. What are your feelings about crying at bedtime?
Crying can be a controversial topic for definite! I think the first starting point is trying to understand why a child might be upset as for younger children it is often their only way of communicating. So it’s vital to try and figure out what could be causing the crying before assessing how to handle it. For example if a child is overtired they will find it harder to settle so might be upset, therefore if you put them to bed earlier then the upset might well be less. Once you can understand that and know that you have met their needs well you can move to help them reduce the upset to settle well. I would never recommend a crying it out approach for a family as I think that as parents we should be helping our children but from a point of understanding.
Can you talk to us about night waking in toddlers? Do you have quick fixes?
There isn’t often a quick fix unfortunately – the key thing is to try and work out why your little one is waking. Are they able to settle well on their own as that could be waking them in the night, have they slept enough or too much in the day, are they satisfied from a nutritional point of view? These are some considerations, so if you are then able to understand them you can start to make improvements.
One of my favourite things with toddlers is to draw out the bedtime routine to get them to come on the journey with you. You find pictures of each stage (eg bath, teeth, story) and then end with saying good night and waking up when the sun wakes up . If you can do that it can act as a visual reference for each night and you are then reconfirming what you want them to do. The little ones love this and you can chat it through the next morning and refer back to it.
Is there any advice you can give about Night Terrors this was one of the most disturbing things I experienced as a mother of a toddler.
Night Terrors can be common in little ones. The key thing is not to worry too much about them, but they can be scary for a parent. Remember that your child won’t remember anything about them and the most important thing is to keep them safe whilst it is happening but don’t try and get them to come out of it as they are fully asleep. A night terror would normally happen in the first half of the night and there are three main things to try and help avoid them. 1) Overtiredness has a strong link to nightterrors so try an earlier bedtime, 2) Watch out for a full bladder, so perhaps limit liquids before bed 3) Check your child isn’t too hot as that can also cause Night terrors.
If they do continue then speak to your GP, mostly they start around 3 years old and are fairly short lived.
Do you have any advice to prepare older children for a good night’s sleep?
My best advice is to try and understand firstly your child’s sleep needs and then once you have that it’s key to work out whether the sleep they are getting is okay for them and for you. If you are then looking to make changes try and identify what could be the cause of these issues and then make a plan to address them. It’s also key to stay consistent as results can take a bit of time.
How can parents work with you?
The best way to get in touch is via my website www.sleeptimebaby.co.uk or on social media on Facebook or Instagram. You can find out more about my services there as I work 1-1 with clients or I now also offer a facebook coaching course the Sleep Academy for anyone looking to improve their sleep. You can join my waiting list over at the website!
Find out more at www.sleeptimebaby.com https://sleeptimebaby.co.uk/