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Frequently Asked Questions

Why does my child wake so frequently?

It is natural to wake multiple times a night as our body goes in and out of deep sleep and for a young child, a sleep cycle is between thirty to fifty minutes. As an adult we barely notice these natural awakenings, as we know how to join our sleep patterns together. If your child needs help to go to sleep (for example, feeding, rocking, dummy etc.) when they naturally wake in the night, they are looking for these ‘props’ to help them get back to sleep.

Why is my baby harder to settle in the early hours than the beginning of the night?

The more time we are awake, the more time we need to sleep. Think of your child like a rechargeable battery…when they go to sleep at night, they are naturally tired. As they go through the night they recharge, so if they wake and don’t have as much tiredness pushing them back to sleep, they struggle. As a desperate parent you start trying different ways of helping them back to sleep, but unfortunately during this process, you can send your child mixed messages.

Can you sleep train under six months?

A baby’s sleep clock (also known as circadian rhythm) does not form until they are four to six months old and depending on your child’s needs, it may not be appropriate for your child to sleep through the night without a feed. Sleep in early life is important for development and future learning and if sleep problems can be avoided from the start, the better the outcome for the child in later life. For ante natal parents and parents of newborns, KALM Horizon offers a special plan to help guide you through the first few weeks, build your confidence and give you the tools you will need for the months ahead.

Will my child cry?

If your child is distressed, of course comfort them and to imply there will be no tears is misleading. Change is unsettling for children, especially when you are all tired and I do not advocate ‘cry it out’. Instead, I will give options where possible, so that it feels manageable from the start. As a mother, I do understand how precious your little one is to you, and that you don’t want them to be upset. Keep your goal in your head and remember why you want to do this… for everyone to have a good night’s sleep.

My child is five years old, have I left it too late?

I work with children up to eight years old. It is never too late, and work can always be done to improve sleep. However, the longer sleep issues have been happening, the longer it may take to resolve.

Does how I feed my baby make a difference?

Good sleep, feeding and diet go hand in hand, and hungry babies or children will not sleep. However your baby or child is feeding will be incorporated into your tailor-made plan, and I will discuss your child’s needs and help create a positive routine, so your baby does not need to be fed to sleep.

Is it a sleep problem?

Every family is unique and what works and is acceptable for one family, will not be right for another. Sleep is only a problem when a parent says it is a problem. If a parent is happy with what they are doing, then it is not an issue. A sleep plan has to suit your needs and expectations. With every family that contacts me, I will first rule out physical issues such as hunger, and we can then unpick the habit, and lay down positive sleep associations.

Fascinating facts about infant sleep

Fascinating facts about infant sleep:

  • REM and Non-REM sleep can be detected in twenty three week-old foetuses
  • When infants sleep, new neural connections are made in the brain
  • Around sixteen weeks, a baby’s day and night body clock starts to develop
  • Grandmas used to say, “you grow in your sleep”.  We now know that 75% of a child’s growth hormone is released in sleep, or more specifically deep sleep.
  • Quality sleep matters… sleep deprived parents have difficulty expressing facial emotions, particularly happiness. Parents need quality sleep so that they can be the best parents they know how to be.
  • Night waking is normal; it is part of our survival mechanism. Every night we wake, check we are safe and then go back to sleep. Children should wake up between 3-6 times every night, that is what is meant to happen. The fact that some don’t go back to sleep without a little help is another matter altogether!
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