Sleep Training

Teresa Boardman, who provides this specialist service, is a candidate with over 30+ years’ knowledge and experience working with new-borns and children of all ages. She has therefore gained a broad experience of children within different family setups.

Sleep deprivation causes innumerable problems to both parents and baby alike and takes away from what should be a special time for a family.

If there are any sleeping problems in your child’s routine, Teresa’s advice to parents is to keep a detailed diary for 3 to 4 days. This diary should include all activities in their day to day lives, looking at the amount of milk your child is drinking and how much solid food they are eating, to what kinds of activities they are involved in, and so on.

(You can download a Consultation Chart from our Downloads page.)

Sleep Habits:

  • What is the normal evening bedtime routine?
  • What is the normal bedtime? Example is it too early / is it too late?
  • What activities are performed 2 hours immediately before bedtime?
  • How long does it take your child to fall asleep?
  • If it takes longer than 30 minutes to settle your child, what is your child doing from lights out to falling asleep?
  • As parents what are your reactions to these behaviors?
  • What steps have been taken to help assist your child in falling asleep?
  • Is the child permitted to fall asleep somewhere other than their own bed/bedroom for morning, afternoon and bedtime sleeps?
  • Are there things the child requires in order to fall asleep? (I.e. stuffed animals, nightlight, soother, milk or parents lying beside them).
  • Does the child awaken? How often, for how long, and at what times?
  • What do you do to get their child back to sleep, if they awaken?
  • Are there any unusual movements during sleep? (i.e. teeth grinding, head or leg movements, screams)
  • Does the child snore? Every night? Is the snoring mild, moderate, severe?
  • What time does your child awaken in the morning? Do they awaken naturally by themselves or by the parent? Is it difficult to awaken them?
  • What is their mood upon waking (i.e. grumpy, happy, and tired)?
  • What time of the day is the child most active and most alert? Most tired, most cranky?
  • Does the child nap during the day? What times, and for how long?

Good Sleeping Habits:

  • Bedroom is dark and quiet for the wind down.
  • Bedtime routines are strictly followed by the 4B’s Bath, Breast or Bottle, Bedtime Story & Bed.
  • Time of morning awakening is consistent no matter what kind of night you have had.
  • Bedroom temp. Is cool (i.e. 18 Celsius to 20 Celsius).
  • Home environment noise is reduced for bedtime.
  • Make sure your child has active and play time during the day.
  • Outside play (i.e. going for a walk).
  • Not going to bed hungry (make sure your child has proper meals during the day).
  • Children should learn to fall asleep alone (i.e. without parents’ being in their room).
  • Avoid energetic activity before bedtime.
  • Avoid caffeinated foods and beverages several hours before bedtime.
  • Check medications and vitamins to see if they contain caffeine.
  • Are naps during the day affecting your child’s nighttime sleep?
  • The numbers of hours your child needs to sleep:
  • Newborns – 12-18 hrs.
  • Toddlers (ages 1-3) – 12-14 hours
  • Preschoolers (ages 3-5) – 11-13 hours
  • School age (ages 5-10) – 10-11 hours
  • Teens – 8½ – 9¼ hours (Teens need more sleep than adults)

How it works:

The family is requested to keep a detailed diary on their baby or child’s day for a minimum of      3 to 4 days.  A consultation is organised with our specialist, after which a course of action will be recommended and a tailor made programme set in place.  Usually elements of both day and night routine need adjusting.

As any parent knows, the lack of sleep during the night for both child and parent can be overwhelming, thus disrupting daily activities. At this point, a sleep trainer is organised to come into the family home.  Normally this is done over 3 to 4 nights, with a 12 hour shift each night.  Parents are guided through the tools that are required to facilitate baby or child settling in their own bed and remaining there for the night.

Baby is never left to “cry it out”, parents are present throughout, thus restoring in them the confidence that is needed to maintain the good habits.

Families who request the services of “sleep training”:

  • Baby will be anywhere between 3 months old and 5 years.
  • Baby is either not sleeping at all, refusing to settle, only sleeping with Mum and Dad (unsuccessfully) or hugely challenging to get to bed in the first place. This in turn often reflects on baby’s eating habits, humour and sometimes even development.

For more information on this service, please email: or contact Teresa Boardman directly at 01-5331986.

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