THE LITTLE PERSON SLEEP GUIDE
Holistic Sleep Consultant
Baby and Toddler Sleep Support
EVIDENCE BASED. COMPREHENSIVE. BESPOKE.
Here to guide you and your little person through your sleep challenges, using evidence based advice. My services look at the whole picture for you and your family and will work around your individual goals - no more one size fits all, prescriptive sleep plans!
I am passionate about promoting biological norms for sleep, supporting parental instincts and reducing the pressure around how our little people should be sleeping - allowing you to enjoy parenthood, whilst also achieving better sleep, without the need for cry it out methods. My approach is founded on gentle and responsive techniques that build and maintain secure attachments between you and your little person.
WHAT IS A HOLISTIC SLEEP CONSULTANT?
As a holistic sleep consultant all of my services involve getting to know you and your little person before giving any advice. Whilst sleep isn't a skill that can be taught, there are many different variables that can affect it so my role is to look at the whole picture. I look to understand your circumstances and your child's sleep in order to optimise the current situation and/or generate suggestions as to why there could be difficulties. I will take into account all of the relevant factors that surround you and your little person, with you being respected as the expert on this. All of the information I have is analysed and any advice and education I offer is evidence based. Some of the factors I would consider, where necessary, as part of my work are:
The current sleep situation/routine
Biological sleep and developmental
norms based on age/developmental age
Your family's individual needs and sleep goals
Any relevant physical and
mental health issues, developmental, behavioural or
learning difficulties for the little person and parent/care giver
Feeding and dietary information, including allergies and intolerance
Parenting style and beliefs
The little person's temperament, attachment, style and sleep chronotype
A holistic approach means I am able to guide you using advice and plans that are tailor-made to suit or you and your family - based on your individual needs and goals. After all, we and our little people are all unique!
Hi, I'm Zena!
First and foremost I am a mother of two of my own little people, a survivor of sleepless nights and a strong advocate for supporting little people's needs whilst also supporting their parents!
My 'journey' here began, before I became a mother, when, in 2013, i acquired my Social Work degree and began supporting vulnerable children, families and young people. When I had my own family, the immense love and passion for your child that you discover as a parent, coupled with my knowledge and background in child development and attachment theory, led me to develop a strong interest and alignment with gentle, responsive and attachment based parenting.
As a parent I was quickly able to experience how misaligned my beliefs and biological norms were with societal pressures around early independence, convenience and co-operation in our children - particularly when it comes to how our children sleep! With my children I co-slept, fed on demand (day and night), fed to sleep, contact napped etc. all of the instinctual and normal parenting behaviours that we are often made to feel are 'problems' to be solved, 'bad habits', that we are 'making a rod for our own back'. I felt confused an angry at how much misinformation was being thrown my way my society, including professionals! I also experienced common sleep difficulties such as cat napping, frequent night wakings, bedtime battles, early rising, parental preference at sleep times, night weaning etc. and often felt that, whilst i knew these phases would pass and that most of this was common, there wasn't any middle ground between riding the wave or harsh sleep training methods. At times feeling lost and like there was no where to turn.
This gave me a drive to support parents, parents like me, in what is already, at times, a difficult journey, to drown out that noise and feel reassured and supported in decisions they make for their little people and the future for their child's sleep. To feel that there is somewhere to turn when their sleep situation feels unsustainable or when they wish to make gentle changes. Somewhere that doesn't have to compromise their values and attachment with their child with methods like 'cry it out'.
I am now an accredited Holistic Sleep Coach. I hold an OCN Level 6 (degree level) certificate from The Holistic Sleep Coaching Programme - the most comprehensive, evidence based programme available and a programme that echoed all of my core values in order to ensure that I have the best foundations to support the families I work with.