Meet Laura Gaskell, a member of The Sleep Nanny consultant team;
Tell us a little bit about yourself;
I am Laura, I am based in the North West, Cheshire and I have a little boy, Joel who is 8 months old. Joel suffers from a cow’s milk allergy and from birth he was never in a routine and sleep was horrendous.
Why do you want to help sleepless families?
From my own experience, there is very little help and support out there for families. The hardest thing I found was the lack of knowledge around sleep; when should a baby sleep? How long? How often? What is normal…the list goes on.
I want to help families because I know how it feels to feel helpless, lonely and in need. It is OK to ask for help and I want parent to know that help is on hand and there is always someone to listen. It is OK that your infant does not sleep through, it is nothing to be ashamed of and it can be solved..
Describe your approach to ‘sleep training’
My approach to sleep training will provide you firstly with the knowledge around sleep with an insight into what it should look like for your child’s age. I look at all areas of your routine to identify the best and most gentle way to approach sleep training that will suit your family and situation.
I am your tool in sleep training, I will guide you and empower you with confidence to make it successful
Do you have any particular areas of specialism?
I am a teacher and I have a vast experience of working with children and families from my pastoral responsibilities. I am trained in Child Psychology and Infant Nutrition. I have experience and training in allergies.
What are your top 3 sleep tips for parents?
- Stop being hard on yourself, sleep is a huge skill to teach an infant and many parents struggle with sleep – the good news is help is available!
- Have faith that things can be improved and will get better, consistency is key in this.
- Be aware of exactly how much sleep your child needs in a 24 hour period, this is the MOST important thing when identifying sleep problems.
In your experience, what are the most common mistakes parents make?
We all make mistakes, when we hear our child cry we reach for anything to comfort them and soothe them. I think one of the biggest problems parents have is their child waking at 5 am. Many parents start the day at this time and believe their child is ‘done’ with the amount of sleep they need. This could not be further from the truth, this is a sure sign of over-tiredness creeping in somewhere in their day.
A second common mistake is keeping your child awake as long as you can in hope it will tire them out. This is possibly one of the worst things that you can do. Be clear on your child’s sleep needs and wakeful windows and watch carefully for sleepy signs. Remember, sleep breeds sleep!
What would you say to someone who is afraid that nothing can help them in their situation?
Every child is able to fall asleep, they just need teaching. You situation can be solved, it will take work and it will be hard BUT it is always achievable. That’s why I do this job; I give you the confidence to do this!
What do you love about your job?
I love knowing that there is support for parents, I love knowing how much they appreciate their own sleep once they have cracked their sleep training. I also love seeing the journey parents go through to get to the end result and the conversations we have upon departure of the achievements made and how far they have come, often parents can not believe the progress!
If you have your own sleep issues then click on the link below to book a free 15 minute call with Laura.