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Having worked with many families over the last ten years, I’ve become aware that there is a certain level of scepticism for gentle parenting methods, especially when it comes to sleep. 
Between older relatives offering pearls of wisdom and a vast amount of confusing and conflicting advice on the internet, it’s easy to see why. However, after just one consultation, I can genuinely say that most of my clients go away feeling confident and comfortable with my approach. 
 
The short answer to “can gentle sleep methods really help my baby sleep?” is YES! The longer answer is dependent on a few things. 
If you want to employ gentle sleep methods, first of all you need to be ready to commit. If it’s not the right time, come back when you’re really ready. 
 
Once you’ve made the commitment to start, the single most important thing to remember is that consistency is key. Gentle sleep methods will only give you the best results if you’re ready to create a routine and stick to it. This is because we want your baby or toddler as calm and open to change as possible. If they are overtired, they will be more irritable and want to go to sleep just as they are used to.. 
 
Creating an environment in which your baby or toddler feels safe and content enough to sleep means that bedtime will no longer be a battle, and addressing any sleep-affecting issues will allow you to be in control of what you want to happen and when. 
 
Many parents expect to be able to put their child down and have them go to sleep, without factoring in the sense of insecurity that this can create. Babies are hardwired to want to sleep with a parent. But since industrialisation, society has instilled in parents that babies should be able to sleep independently. So there is a disparity between what babies can do and what society expects of them. 
 
With gentle sleep techniques, we can turn bedtime into a calm, comforting time during which your child will drift off feeling safe and secure. With consistency and routine, your child will come to view bedtime as something to look forward to, rather than dread. You can conquer bedtime and make it an enjoyable time, without needing to resort to techniques which leave you feeling uncomfortable. 
 
Another common query that parents come to me with is “won’t I be making a rod for my own back?”. Once again, this is an outdated notion from a bygone era which I believe needs to be stricken from the records! 
 
By being present for your child when they need to feel settled, you will reassure them that bedtime is relaxing and routine, thus instilling them with the skills they need to sleep soundly. As far as leaving babies to “cry it out”? All this does is teach them that you’re not there to soothe them when they need you. Self-soothing is a myth as babies don’t have the neurological development to do this. 
 
If you need any more reassurance that gentle sleep methods can work for your family, take a look at some of the testimonials from our happy clients. Many of them were sceptical at first, but they’re all gentle sleep converts now. 
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