Frequently Asked Questions
What locations are you serving?
I’m based in Ireland, so the majority of my support goes to the Irish families. Yet of course, thanks to the amazing opportunities of the online world, I am able to work with you wherever on Earth you are! Going global is very exciting, but staying local has its unbelievable charm too. I love in-home consultations, which I’m very happy to offer to the families living in Donabate.
What methods are you using?
Do you know why the “sleep training” or “sleep coaching” advice you get or find online often doesn’t work? It’s because there’s no magic “one fits all” approach. Plus the method itself is just one little piece of the sleep puzzle – a relaxed, confident and consistent parent is however a big one!
I’ll tell you all about a range of methods that can help children learn how to fall asleep independently, from the extremely gradual and gentle to more direct ones. I’ll list advantages and challenges, I’ll let you know what to expect and explain what and why will happen. I’m an expert on sleep and you’re an expert on your family, together we’ll agree on the approach that suits best your parenting style and your child’s age and personality.
The key to success is staying consistent with whatever you choose – and that’s much easier when you’re comfortable with what you’re doing because you understand exactly how it works and when you have a personal cheerleader by your side (me!).
How old does my baby need to be to sleep well?
The sleep of sweet, tiny newborns is not very organised, their circadian rhythm is yet to develop as they slowly adapt to the world. This period is called “the 4th trimester” for a reason! The key moment comes around 4 months of age (adjusted, that is calculated from due date), when the sleep patterns mature. If healthy sleep habits are in place, you can expect sleep to start consolidating, slowly but surely. If however the story gets bumpy then and these bumps are not addressed in the right way, they may stick around for months or years. At the same time, great sleepers don’t grow out of their healthy sleep habits if these are nurtured consistently. Even typical sleep regressions, related to developmental leaps, traveling or teething, are much milder and pass quicker when your child has sleep skills. If your baby is more than 4 months adjusted age and you need help with establishing healthy sleep habits, don’t wait too long, now is the time.
I’m breastfeeding, can we sleep well too?
Breastfeeding, whether you were a natural or fought hard to become one, is a journey on its own – yet of course linked with sleep and this link will change with time. I’m a great fan of demand-feeding a newborn. Newborns don’t have their circadian rhythm yet developed and they digest breast milk much faster than formula milk, so they really need those frequent nursing sessions, also at night. But hang in there mama!
Even after the so called “4th trimester” breastfeeding on demand can absolutely be your choice (though you’ve probably heard that a lot of older babies thrive on routines and age-appropriate schedules). The key thing is whether your older baby associates sleeping directly with feeding – or anything else that involves your active help. As long as after 4 months (adjusted age) your baby does not fully depend on feeding to fall asleep, the road to more consolidated, restorative sleep is open for every baby, both breastfed and formula-fed.
You can read more about it in my blog post: To breastfeed or to sleep? That’s NOT the question.