Kind & Gentle Sleep Training Is So Important

Kind & Gentle Sleep Training Is So Important

Blog from Gina

In exchange for a free phone consult I asked Gina, my other halfs niece, to write me a blog about her experience. Here it is and I think it will help many other mums get help and know they are not alone.
I am lucky enough to know Karen and have been given some wonderful advice by her since our daughter (who just turned 1) joined our family. Karen is someone who I have full faith in because I know she is very qualified in this field, understands babies and most importantly she is KIND and loves babies!  To say Karen knows her stuff about baby development and sleep is an understatement.

Waking a lot at night

Last year we brought home a newborn who slept well and from early on was doing long stints of sleep. When our daughter started and kept waking up 4+ times per night at around 4.5 months old, Karen was the person I called as I thought it wasn’t the best idea to just keep feeding her all those times and hope for the best.
I did not want to be at either end of the spectrum – leaving my baby to cry or feeding to sleep every single time, which would not have been sustainable for anyone.
In that call Karen did me a big favour- she gave me permission to not feed my baby every single time she woke over night (without making me feel like a horrible mother!). Some feeds were ok as she was still a young baby, but some feeds went.

Needs and Appetites of a 4 Month Baby

Karen explained the needs and appetite of babies and how too many over night feeds can impact day time appetite and get us into a bit of a muddle (which we were in by that stage). With Karen’s tips my husband and I were able to respond to night time wake ups and be with our baby in a way that was gentle but also didn’t perpetuate a cycle of waking and feeding for months and months.

Introducing Solids

Karen also gave me tips on introducing solids and making the most of awake time- all extremely helpful and valuable information for new parents. The night time waking reduced and we now have a very happy one year old who sleeps brilliantly day and night.
 Simply put, Karen is the best… she is knowledgeable, balanced and measured in her advice and most of all kind (to parents and babies) in her approach which is really what you want.
Thank you Karen for everything you do  x
Read more here about introducing solid food.
And my new online Nurture Sleep Program.
Not Once but Twice

Not Once but Twice

When you’ve helped a family not just once but twice now to get a good night’s sleep it definitely needs sharing.

“Hello lovely Karen,

I’ve been holding out emailing you a progress and finally I have great success I wanted to share.

I am not surprised that William has adjusted so quickly and he’s even more deliciously adorable than ever. I think he’s loving the tweaked routine as much as mum & dad are.

Since our call last Sunday will has now slept through the night 4 times, and requires less and less time from us to resettle himself if he does wake. The last 2 nights he had slept from 6.45pm – 6.45am (I literally have to wake him).

He even had a big upper tooth pop through in the last week and we didn’t even realise

I’ve also seen an improvement in his lunch sleep – with more 2hr sleeps from him.

I’ve definitely taken your advise on clothing and am rugging him up more overnight which I definitely think has helped as well as re-thinking his diet.

I feel really confident now that I’m doing the right thing and he certainly seems sprightlier and happier in himself.

You are amazing!

I’ll keep you updated once we make it through the 4 week stage.



This is mum’s testimonial on my Facebook Page.

We’ve first used Karen with our 1st baby when she was 8 months, and just recently I contacted her again for my 2nd bub who is now 8 months.

I am not surprised that we’ve seen immediate results and after 4 nights we are now getting continuous sleep through the entire night from our 8 month old! We are all much sprightlier and happier than ever before.

Karen has given me the confidence and tools to understand my children’s needs for sleep and nutrition. Both my kids are now amazing sleepers and I credit this to Karen.

What is involved in my sleep methods?

Reasons baby sleep may come undone

Do Nightlights Help Baby & Toddler Sleep?

Do Nightlights Help Baby & Toddler Sleep?

Darkness is essential to sleep. Light in the day is responsible for setting the 24 hour circadian rhythm responsible for sleep and awake periods.


Light exposure at night also stimulates alertness— posing a serious problem for healthy, abundant and refreshing sleep. Light exposure during the late evening leading up to bedtime can make it harder for the baby and toddler to fall asleep. Insufficient darkness throughout the night can lead to frequent and prolonged awakenings. Melatonin, a hormone produced in the pineal gland is at it’s lowest at 5 am and any light that enters the bedroom will hit the brain low in melatonin leading to early morning waking. This will in turn lead to day nap problems and a poor appetite.

Melatonin influences sleep by sending a signal to the brain saying it is time for rest. This signal initiates the body’s physiological preparations for sleep—muscles begin to relax, feelings of drowsiness increase, body temperature drops. Melatonin levels naturally rise during the early evening as darkness falls. At night, particularly between the hours of 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. melatonin is secreted. The problem is, even the slightest ray of artificial light can disrupt its release. It continues to climb throughout most of the night, before peaking at around 2-4 a.m. Levels of melatonin then fall during the early morning, Remaining low during much of the day. Continuous darkness at night leads to increased levels of circulating melatonin. Whereas continuous light including night lights leads to suppression of melatonin.

Evening light exposure inhibits the naturally timed rise of melatonin, which delays the onset of the body’s transition to sleep and sleep itself.

Nurture Parenting store image computer and baby

Electricity the modern sleep enemy

In the old days humans did not need to seek out darkness. The advent of electricity has created a modern problem. We need to recreate the darkness and dim lighting our ancestors enjoyed naturally pre bedtime. Blue light, is especially problematic, created by screens, tablets, smart phones and televisions interferes with and inhibits the natural production of melatonin.

Managing light exposure is essential for a healthy nights sleep for your baby and toddler. Any electrical night light left on during the night affects the appetite hormone ghrelin and can lead to insulin resistance, a risk factor for diabetes.

7 things you need to know about day naps and baby sleep

Heavy lined curtains & blinds

Your childs room should be pitch black for sleep. Using heavy lined curtains and block out blinds can make a big difference. Plantation shutters don’t provide a dark enough bedroom. Bedroom blackout blinds can make a huge difference and Nurture Parenting has a discount code NURTURE10 ONLY for parents living in Australia.

Toddlers and Nightmares

Once your toddler starts reading and maybe waching TV their imagination starts. This can lead to nightmares and suddenly becoming scared of the dark. Rather than give in to them and leaving a bedroom light on try using a light on in the bathroom. If this starts causing early morning or frequent night waking then you need to know about Lou The Owl. This is a Dutch designed nightlight that turns on in response to your child crying out and turns off automatically within 5 minutes. A word of caution place this light out of reach for your toddler in case they start to play with it and over ride the automatic turn off mechanism.

The Early Morning Riser and Addiction to Dairy and the Boob

The Early Morning Riser and Addiction to Dairy and the Boob

Strong Temperaments

This blog could have been written about several little cuties that I know. The problem often starts at around 6-8 months. I can even see the writing on the wall and predict which of the early morning risers will continue to do so!

Most of this behaviour is down to their strong temperament and is not due to any underlying medical problem or physiological issue. The babies with a very fixed view on life are the ones to keep on a very short rein.

You may remember reading about the baby who wouldn’t sit in his high chair and the parents had resorted to feeding him in the bath?

The baby who would only eat yoghurt

Well I’m adding a new one today, I’m naming him the baby who would only eat yoghurt! His name is Keanu. When Keanu was 6 months old I went to help his parents teach him how to sleep through the night. I remember he had an addiction to yoghurt. If he could just eat yoghurt he would of. Mum was tearing her hair out getting this little 6 month old to entertain other foods. I knew straight away that if mum continued with yoghurt this little one wasn’t going to sleep.

Babies need a balanced diet in order to promote sleep inducing hormone – melatonin. And yoghurt is a disater for sleep as it has too much tyrosine which undoes all the tryptophan that promotes a good nights sleep.

Demanding Yoghurt

Keanu is now 15 months old and is still demanding yoghurt for breakfast. He also likes fruit. But not much else. He demands a breast feed 6 times a day and wakes at 4:30 am and demands a breast feed and to get up and start his day!!

You might remember a blog I wrote recently about limit setting? Boundaries and limit setting start with babies, not with 15 month olds or even 3 year olds. By the time they are toddlers a lot of these habits are well and truly entrenched and are much more challenging to change.

The time to have put your foot down was at 6 months and not now at 15 months. However we have no choice as time has now lapsed and the mini-dictator is well and truly in charge in this home!

So what can you do to rectify this situation?

  • Reduce all the breast feeds down to one just before bed – toddlers only need 2 servings of dairy a day. And a serving of dairy is equivalent to 40g or a matchbox of cheese or 2 slices or 200 mls ful cream milk or a breast feed or a small tub of full fat yoghurt
  • Tell the toddler that ‘booby’ is broken, cover your nipple and breast with a dressing plaster such as duoderm to make booby far less attractive.
  • By day 5 his appetite will improve
  • The toddler is most probably iron deficient so either an iron supplement or chicken liver pate on the menu on alternate days. Iron deficiency can cause sleep problems
  • Re-settle him at 4:30 am when he wakes using my technique, Magic Presence until 6/7 am whenever you’d like your day to start
  • Expect tantrums when he doesn’t get his own way, tantrums are helping him learn to emotionally self-regulate so are actually a good thing
  • Make sure his room is pitch black to help reduce early morning waking
  • Offer foods high in tryptophan to help promote melatonin
  • Plenty of good nourishing fats
  • Make sure he’s warm enough at 4 am as body temp can drop at this time
  • This will take 2-4 weeks to resolve and 2 months at the outside!

Sleep training has changed this mums life!

Sleep training has changed this mums life!

Levi 8 months old

I have been meaning to write you to let you know the progress of Levi. I still recall that first meeting when you said to me that I will enjoy my baby so much more after sleep training and since seeing you and following the sleep training, it has changed our lives. He is so much happier, not as cranky, increased appetite and naps are improving.
The morning naps we can pretty much walk away and he self-settles immediately. It brings me so much joy seeing him eat, while we are still working on getting him to be more adventurous with food and lumpier food, he pretty much eats all 3 meals a day now! Oh, and dessert has been a huge hit. This is from a kid who hardly ate and always refused his bottle, it has been the biggest change for the better and certainly reduced our stress levels a lot. And not to mention, I am finally sleeping consecutive hours!!!!!!!
Karen, thank you so much for your help. I am so grateful we saw you and we will continue to work with Levi as he settles more. It really has changed our dynamics and I am enjoying him so much more. And more importantly, he seems to be much happier. I think the last thing for us is really the morning where he still wakes at 5 am demanding a bottle.
Wishing you all the best with your book release and your business. You are amazing Karen, I can only imagine how many families you help and change their lives too.
All the best
A very happy and sleeping mum X

And if you’re battling with getting your little one to sleep then… You need to know about my NEWLY launched online #nurturesleepprogram 💤😴
It will stop the guesswork and give you:
a tried and tested approach (20 years of helping families with baby & toddler sleep) ✅
Evidence based ✅
Gentle baby sleep methods ✅
Holistic assessment ✅
Nurture & Nourish nutrition program – all recipes have sleep inducing ingredients and a perfect balance for a good nights sleep ✅
Access to a closed Facebook group for one on one support from Karen and 90+ timecoded Facebook Live videos ✅
Prevention for under 4 months ✅ so no need to do sleep training ever ✅
And all at a low $97 for a very limited time ✅
Can you tell Karen is getting rather excited for all you parents who need a good nights sleep and one that happens EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and not just in a blue moon 🌑 .

CLICK on the link below to find out how my new online program can help you and your baby

Nurture Sleep Program