Healthy sleep habits make healthy children. These are the words of our next influencer who is helping exhausted parents teach their children healthy sleeping habits. For new parents, it is a mammoth task to ensure that their young ones are getting ample sleep. If the children of the house are not getting enough sleep, the adults ultimately also become sleep deprived.
Therefore, it becomes imperative for the parents to inculcate healthy sleeping habits in their young ones so that they can enjoy their days and nights without having to worry about a cranky or fussy child.
Our next influencer is Kristen from Kristen Faith Sleep Solutions.
Kristen is a pediatric sleep consultant, helping children develop independent sleeping habits to ensure a proper sleeping cycle. Her Instagram boasts of a plethora of satisfied clients who have seen a remarkable difference in their child’s sleeping habits. Let us dive into this success story of Kristen as a mother helping other mothers to enjoy life as it is meant to be.
Looking at your Instagram page, it looks like you have a lot of satisfied clients. Do you have a certain approach or methodology for solving their sleep problems and maximizing satisfaction?
My certification as a pediatric sleep consultant is through the Sleep Sense Program and my sleep philosophy is deeply rooted in it. I help exhausted parents teach their children how to sleep through the night and take restful naps during the day so they can enjoy this season of life that was designed to be fulfilling. I believe that healthy sleep habits make for healthy children.
The best way for a child to obtain healthy sleep habits is to learn how to self-soothe or fall asleep independently. My approach when I work with clients is pretty simple: I’ll give them honest information about WHY sleep is so important for your child’s well-being, I’ll lay out an easy-to-follow, step-by-step plan that lets them make some choices about what is the right approach for their child and I’ll show them how to measure success. I offer consistent and committed follow-up support to all of my clients and I never stop working with them until their sleep goals have been met.
You have often mentioned independent sleeping skills on your Instagram page. What exactly is the crux of independent sleeping skills and do adults have issues with the same?
The crux of independent sleeping skills is the removal of all external sleep props so that a child can learn to self-soothe. We all have our own journey into sleep. Think of your own for a minute. For example, maybe you have a certain position you like to be in to get comfortable for sleep. Babies and young children also have their own journey. Maybe this looks like breastfeeding to sleep, rocking to sleep, bottle feeding to sleep, swinging to sleep etc. These are all considered sleep props or external strategies needed to fall asleep.
It isn’t that sleep props are “bad.” It is simply that when a child does not know how to self soothe, an association between the prop and sleep is formed making the child unable to fall asleep without it. Most always, the sleep prop involves the parent in some way making consolidated or uninterrupted sleep non-existent for everyone involved.
Sleep is a learned behaviour. When it comes to the behavioural side of sleep, parents can create sleep problems, prevent sleep problems and correct any sleep problems that occur. I hope that is life-giving and encouraging.
What are the most common setbacks that a child faces that prevent them from getting proper sleep?
Every client I have worked with has had different setbacks but nonetheless, they all involved a sleep prop of some kind. The most challenging situations I have found is when there is a strong feed-to-sleep association. However, with commitment and consistency from myself and the parents, we have always worked through every set back that came our way. In these situations, parents have always found that a well-rested baby eats better because they are able to focus on full feeds rather than having a snack and snooze session.
Apart from children, what are the issues that parents face when their child is having trouble sleeping?
I have to be so completely honest here… sleep training is NOT my most favourite terminology. I think it gets such a bad rep like it is something being done “to” a baby rather than “for” a baby.
Sleep deprivation affects the whole family. Exhaustion has a way of leaving us in an extremely vulnerable state making everything always feel worse. It is easy to take on lies we tell ourselves through negative self-talk. Exhaustion also makes us impatient and short-tempered leaving little room to extend grace to ourselves and others. It makes us struggle mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually! What we think is going to be the best season of life quickly turns into something very dark and lonely. Sleep issues quickly become a sense of failure for many parents. It is my joy to come alongside struggling families’ and speak life and truth to them; all while implementing a customized sleep plan that brings results.
You have specific plans according to the needs of the child. How different are those plans from each other and do they vary for different age groups?
I have two methods that I generally use with my clients. Normally, I lay out both methods to my clients and let them choose which one they prefer. However, I always customize these methods for each child based on the information the parents provide me about their child in their sleep evaluation.
Yes, sleep plans vary by age and in all circumstances. There is no cookie-cutter approach as the variables from child to child are numerous. The details of each method must be customized to meet the needs of the child and family.
As a sleep consultant and influencer, what tips do you have for up and coming sleep influencers?
I want to be a voice of encouragement to them! This is a great field to be in. Social media is huge in this field so I think my best piece of advice is to stay true to who you are. Do not compare your business to anyone else. You can be as big or small as you want. For me, I am super personable with my clients and that is how I like it. I am a wife, a mother, park ranger and sleep consultant. I take on 2-4 clients in a month because this enables me to give them support in a way that feels right for me. Always do you, my fellow sleep sisters <3.
It is tough for parents to cope with the non-uniform sleeping patterns of their children. Sometimes, it takes years for children to develop a proper sleeping pattern which in turn affects their health in various ways. Kristen understands this dilemma and has been helping families get proper sleep. In case your young one is having trouble sleeping, you can get in touch with her on Instagram or her website and benefit from her remarkable experience in this field.
Featured Photo from SleepSolutionstn.com
Written by Abhinav Goel
This post is by Abhinav Goel. A law student, he loves to read, write, and watch movies. He believes that a good book and a movie can be the perfect antidote to all of your worries. You can connect with him on Instagram to know more ways of escapism.