Meet Rachel Helyar, a member of The Sleep Nanny consultant team;
Tell us a little bit about yourself;
I’m Rachel and I’m a mum of two girls aged 2 and 4. I’m based in the New Forest in Hampshire.
Why do you want to help sleepless families?
My second daughter was ‘the devil at night’. We were up for hours every night with her and nothing we tried was working. We then employed a sleep consultant who transformed our lives!! Having seen the benefits of sleep to our family, I was inspired to train as a sleep consultant. I want to give other families the gift of sleep so they can enjoy time with their child rather than just survive it!
Describe your approach to ‘sleep training’
I will develop a sleep training plan that is gentle yet effective and that the parents are fully involved in creating. There is no point in creating a plan if parents are not comfortable implementing it. I will be in contact throughout the training to adapt the plan based on how the child reacts. Each child is different therefore no one plan is the same, they are fully bespoke.
Do you have any particular areas of specialism?
I have been working as a doctor within the NHS for 9 years so I thought I knew sleep deprivation…until I had my second child! It was a different level of tiredness. My medical experience, however, is useful when it comes to being a sleep consultant. I am aware of the signs and symptoms of medical problems causing sleep issues, therefore understand how to manage these alongside sleep training. Having a science background, I need evidence behind theories before I practice them. I have therefore fully researched sleep training methods and how and why they work, before I impart my knowledge on you as parents.
What are your top 3 sleep tips for parents?
1) Try to ensure your baby/child is not overtired
2) Good sleeps in the day = good sleep at night
3) Be consistent!!
In your experience, what are the most common mistakes parents make?
The most common mistakes are caused by inconsistency. Your response to your child needs to be the same every time, otherwise the child is confused and training takes a lot longer. It is also easy so bring baby into bed with you when exhaustion hits at 4am…….don’t do it!!! The child should be in their own sleep space until after 6am (which is an acceptable get up time). The first few nights can be tough but don’t give up. Think of the end result!
What would you say to someone who is afraid that nothing can help them in their situation?
The sleep packages I develop involve fully getting to know your child, their personality type and daily routine. This means we can breakdown problems one at a time and improve every aspect of your child’s sleep. All children can be helped, it’s just about taking the correct approach with a consistent plan.
If you want to know more or are unsure if this would work for you book a free 15 minute call today and we can discuss any concerns.
What do you love about your job?
I love hearing the parents comments at the end of the journey, when their ‘unable to be sleep trained’ child is sleeping better than they ever imagined. It’s great to hear about how the whole family’s lives have been transformed because everyone is getting more sleep and are so much happier. I know how much better I felt after a sleep training package and it’s a nice feeling to be able to share this.
If you have your own sleep issues then click on the link below to book a free 15 minute call with Rachel.