Danielle’s Review

Michelle has been absolutely brilliant in helping my daughter sleep through the night. She helped me out immediately with a very clear sleep plan and has been always on the other end of the phone or email since with support and advice. I highly recommend her!

Laura’s review

I just wanted to share my experience with Michelle.

My lb had not slept well since having tonsillitis at 7 months old. At 9 months we were seriously sleep deprived, trying to sell our house and prepare for moving on little or no sleep so i went through couple of sleep consultants websites and found Michelle’s. I had a 15 minute free consultation over the phone with her to discuss my lb’s sleeping pattern (not that there was one) and from speaking to her i felt so comfortable and she was great in calming me so I understood what things could have impacted him so i took the 30 min call package with her with a 7-10 day plan to use, and it could be used as well when we moved house.

2 months on my lb sleeps great most nights despite being disrupted due to moving house (our new house isn’t ready yet) and sleeps usually 7:30pm-4:30am (wakes for a bottle) then he sleeps on till 7:30/8am where when we go into him he is usually lying in his cot chattering away to himself.

She is a great person, so nice and helpful with full understanding of how even the smallest thing can cause disruption, what developmental leaps can impact as well as giving a sleep plan you can use whenever required.

She also looks into the nutritional and behavioural things that can impact sleeping so you know you aren’t failing or loosing your mind and are feeling calm and confident once your consultation is done.

Infant sleep challenges, which approach should you use?

There is so much advice out there in relation to child sleep difficulties but one aspect that is confusing is the right approach to use to help babies sleep. You may have read the latest advice from health/science journal’s stating that it is acceptable to move your baby to their own room at six months old, but it is also important to secure the attachment between baby and parent/s.

This can sound confusing and challenging when you are weary and sleep deprived. You feel guilty leaving your crying child who frequently wakes numerous times for no apparent reason, but you have no idea how to approach the sleep difficulties.

We know in health that the ‘Controlled Crying’ method may not be the best or most effective way of helping children to sleep even though no research has been conducted on these outcomes. How do we know what approach is best? Well research has been performed on healthy attachments and we are aware that children who feel secure are more likely to grow up emotionally stable. Bearing this in mind it makes sense to adopt an approach that supports this as much as possible for both parent and child, so to maintain healthy
relationships.

The latest sleep advice incorporates a holistic approach and it involves looking at the bigger picture. We know that this approach may improve sleep long term as well as health outcomes.

And finally, it has been identified that infant sleep challenges are more likely to resolve if parent’s can choose how they prefer to approach the difficulties. This style and the current sleep advice is how I practice, which may explain why my approach works so well long term.

Infant sleep challenges can be complex but my skills, knowledge and onging support, provide you with the most superior service available.

 

Why sleep training alone may not work long term

Some sleep training methods may appear to work for some children but many parent’s report that the sleep problem can reoccur at a later stage.

This regression may be due to other factors that have not been identified such as feeding, behavioural, developmental, environmental factors and supporting good attachments.

Part of my work involves reading, sharing and understanding the latest sleep support research that protects and nurtures a child’s emotional health. As more research is performed on child sleep challenges, it is becoming widely recognised that there are many other factors that can prevent a child from sleeping.

My sleep methods use a holistic approach and I make these recommendations as part of your personal sleep plan. I also incorporate a very gradual approach where your baby is not left to cry. The pace of this approach can be adapted in response to your baby’s cues so it’s flexible.

Most importantly, parent’s admit they need the emotional support to be able to adapt and understand their child’s behaviour. My training in solution focused support and elements of cognitive behavioural therapy can help parents feel confident and supported
while their child learns healthy sleep patterns.

The four hours additional service that is offered in follow up to my sleep packages, provides parents with the on going support they need for successful outcomes.

I also offer further advice in relation to diet, weaning and developmental milestones so my packages are fully comprehensive.

To hear more please book a free 15 minute consultation available on the Home page.

I look foward to helping you.

Best Wishes

Michelle

Should my child still need night feeds to help with sleep?

Some of the families’ that ask me for help are at their wits end as they are getting up in the night numerous times to feed their child, many are aged over 12 months of age. This article will outline general guidelines on babies’ needing night feeds and identifying if your child is using you, feeds or both as a sleep association.

Babies do vary in terms of milk feeds in the night depending on their age. Children who are 12 months old and over, should be weaning off their night feeds and contented after their evening milk until at least the early hours of the morning.  Some ‘experts’ feel that babies do not need night feeds from 4/6 months of age. Evidence suggests that with baby led weaning, babies need time to feel confident with food and it’s is not realistic to expect babies to just drop their milk feeds at six months of age. Some children are not eating three meals a day until around 9-12 months so consequently you wouldn’t expect babies to stop asking for night time feeds until around this age.

Below is a general guide to babies’ night feeds but this can vary from baby to baby and breast fed babies will feed more often.

• Newborns to 3 months old: Feedings every 2-3 hours or on demand

• 3-4 Months: -3/4hrly through the night/ on demand

• 5-6 Months: 2/3 feeds

• 7-9 Months: 1 to 2 feeds

• 10-12 Months: Sometimes 1 feed

• 12+ Months: Generally no feeds

Obviously, growth spurts are an exception and you should feed as needed during those episodes. Growth spurts are generally over within a week. Babies’ that are not eating or drinking well due to illness or eating difficulties will require more milk feeds at night.

Problems with sleep associations happen when babies are waking numerous times in the night for feeds but are not actually hungry or feeding.

How can I tell if my baby is not hungry but waking due to habit or a sleep association?

Signs that this may be happening are when older babies’ are waking frequently through the night and are happy to feed or nurse for short periods to help them get back to sleep. Other signs are when children are crying for you to go in and see them regularly through the night. As a health professional I would advise that this attachment is healthy as babies’ will eventually sleep at night when they they are emotionally ready.

Brain maturity in relation to night sleep can happen at different stages for each child. Infant sleep support is delivered when a child is receiving an inadequate amount of sleep for their age and it is impacting on other areas of health and development. Other reasons can relate to over feeding to sleep, anxiety that inhibits sleep or showing no signs of independent sleeping as they grow older. The emotional health of the family must also be taken into consideration as a happy less sleep deprived mum/dad may result in a happier, healthier baby.

Dream Sleepers only use a healthy and gentle approach to sleep support that is recommended by health.

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All my reviews/testamonials are genuine clients and I do not use friends/family to boost my profile😊

What happens with lack of sleep?

The latest research from Dr. Michael Moesley’s (May 2017) findings state that the less sleep adults and children receive, the more calories we consume. I would also like to point out that in my experience, younger children tend to eat less but snack more. With lack of sleep, a child’s behaviour and food intake can become chaotic as infants also appear to eat less and at the wrong times. Parents report that they eat more and cannot function resulting in a vicious circle for both parent and child. Parents also report that they feel too tired to go out with their child which then has a negative effect. Children need exercise for healthy development and adults need excercise for good mental health and well-being.

The good news is that my sleep plans include all of these aspects such as the correct food groups, times of foods and the appropriate activities to help a child feel restful before bed. I also support parents through the duration of sleep support and more if needed, so that they feel confident and reassured when introducing a healthy sleep approach for their child.

Read Michael’s Mosely’s research on my Facebook page blog.

 

It’s not just about the sleep

If I’m not a sleep trainer than who am I?

I am of course, a health visitor who has studied and solved sleep challenges for many years. But how is this different from a sleep trainer?

Firstly, I would like to say that my four year’s of studying infant health, stood me in good stead to understand what babies and children need to develop and thrive.

I ensure that my approach delivers the right age appropriate advice keeping in mind all the developmental milestones that can sometimes interfere with sleep.

Sleep training alone, may not protect the emotional health of your child therefore the sleep problem can reoccur.

Babies’ and children need to feel secure before they can adapt themselves to a new way of sleeping and my approach prepares your child emotionally before the sleep methods are put in place.

I have had years of sleep training and attend constant up dates of new research in breast feeding and support, (UNICEF Baby friendly) infant mental health, developmental reviews and solution focused support (helping parents feel confident to make changes).

I also have knowledge in all aspects of child health which will provide your family with gentle, healthy and nurturing advice to help your infant develop healthy sleep patterns.

And finally, I will support you throughout your families journey so you feel happy and confident to make the changes.

Happy sleeping

Susie Zaffran’s review

Evening all! Just wanted to let you know that Michelle Long is a fab sleep trainer and I highly recommend! We called Michelle because our 2.5 yr old son started waking up several times in the night and was difficult to settle. Michelle’s 10 day plan was gentle, sensible and effective. Plus the 4 hours of support over phone was fab. Michelle really knows what she’s talking about and she has literally saved us from the despair of sleep deprivation. Thank you Michelle. We are incredibly grateful!

Susie Zaffran

 

 

 

How to spot a child sleep difficulty

Every child is unique and may thrive on less or more sleep than another child so how do you spot a sleep challenge?

1. Does your child’s behaviour appear more agitated when the bedtime routine starts e.g. do they start to delay bedtime and make excuses stating they want to play, eat, drink get more toys out etc.

2. Is your child frequently waking in the night crying for you when they have outgrown night feeds?

3. Do you regularly have to sit or lie by the bed/cot until your baby is asleep?

4. Do you regularly take your child to bed with you as you have given up going into their room numerous times with no result?

5. Do you struggle getting your child to sleep at nap times?

6. Is your child’s eating or behaviour becoming a challenge?

7. Does your child have no mealtime or bedtime routine whatsoever and they are over 6 months old?

8. Are you finding that your evening is spent going backwards and forwards to your child’s room as they will not settle?

9. Is your child’s behaviour affecting your mood/ energy levels and you dread bedtime?

10. Are you struggling with understanding what is normal sleep and feeding behaviour for your child’s age?

All these sleep challenges may be related to common child anxieties, a change of environment or simply loosing that natural sleep skill they once had. Developmental milestones can trigger sleep disturbances at certain ages e.g. when gross motor skills start to develop. Some children feel lost when it’s time to sleep in their own bed after sleeping for so long with their parent’s, as this environment appears alien and lonely.

Parents often worry that their child’s  sleep difficulties will not be solved. My sleep solutions  are 100% effective when followed throughily. I aim to promote only solutions that are age appropriate, gentle, healthy and sustainable for the parent to ensure long term effectiveness.

 

Testimonials

“I saw changes in my son’s sleep from day 3 and by day 7 he wasn’t even attempting to get out of bed. He is now an independent sleeper and sleeps all night till 7am.”

Read more testimonials

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