My name is Laura Malbrecht and I am a Certified Child Sleep Consultant at Good Night Sleep Site London. I received my certification from The Family Sleep Institute. I have a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology and a Graduate Certificate in Autism and Behavioural Science. Prior to obtaining my certification as a sleep consultant I worked with children on the Autism spectrum and their families, providing Behavioural Therapy.
I am a mom of two boys. When our first son came along and he grew out of those early newborn sleepy days, he suddenly would not sleep. We knew he was exhausted, but we just could not figure out why he wouldn’t sleep! My husband and I were overwhelmed, sleep deprived, and feeling isolated. We read everything we could about sleep but when you are exhausted, the last thing you want to do is try to read about sleep! If that isn’t enough, what we were reading was conflicting information.
It was so frustrating!
Then we found Good Night Sleep Site and the life changing impact sleep support could have on our family. We made it through those days, and I started to become sleep obsessed. I feared that any changes or “off” days would send us right back to those sleep deprived trenches. With each passing week, I was more and more confident that we had sleep under control.
I turned to my husband and said “we can’t let other families go through what we did! Everyone needs to know that sleep support is a “thing” and it is life changing!”
If you are reading this and you are where we were, I promise, it gets better! Hang in there!!
I wanted to answer some common questions that I receive as a Child Sleep Consultant when it comes to what I do and how I can help your family.
What is a Child Sleep Consultant, what do you do?
A Certified Child Sleep Consultant is someone who has obtained an educational background in infant and child sleep. Together with families. I assess the current sleep struggles to develop a plan based on the science of sleep and proven methods in order to help families get the sleep they need and deserve. Once families have received their plan from me and had a chance to review it, I provide extensive support as they implement their new sleep habits. I remember always wishing that we had an in-house sleep consultant for our sons, so my goal is always to have families become so confident in their sleep knowledge that they do not need an in-house consultant! When something arises around sleep, having worked with me in the past, they know just what to do.
Can you tell me more about your Child Sleep Consultant Certification?
During an intensive 16-week (over 250 hours) course, I was taught all aspects of the science of sleep from an evidence-based standpoint. I studied . and learned the ins and outs of healthy sleep. Milestones and how sleep needs evolve as our little ones grow. Current Safe sleep recommendations and how to prevent SIDS. How to manage sleep challenges and create solutions.
Behavioural, delayed onset of sleep, crying, broken sleep, parasomnias and so much more!
I have studied various barriers and how to move forward and implement healthy sleep. The certification process required me to learn many of the factors which affect sleep as well. Child development, parent coaching, working with twins. Working with families of children with special needs, medical conditions which effect sleep, GERD and reflux in infancy. We learned about varying parenting styles, ethics and more. The process included many case studies and live support scenarios. Completing the certification process was an incredible learning experience and something I am very proud of.
Do I have to leave my baby to cry?
Sleep consultants have a bad reputation and many people assume then when you work with a sleep consultant, you will have no choice but to leave your baby to cry (aka extinction). This is an unfortunate misconception, and simply not the case! While I cannot promise that there will be no crying, I can promise that we will work together to choose a method that works for your family and parenting style. Each plan that I write is customized to each unique family that I work with.
When we set our little ones up for success by utilizing all of the tools in our sleep tool box (I assess sleep environment, timing of sleep based on sleep needs for the individual child, and the sleep routine), we see that sleep improves tremendously! When families simply use a sleep training method but do not assess the other aspects of healthy sleep, they do not see the improvements they were hoping for. So, while I cannot promise there will be no crying (because unfortunately, when we make changes to things our babies are used to, they protest that change!), I can promise that I will teach you all of my tricks to help keep crying to a minimum for your child.
I need so much help! Will two weeks really fix our issues?
Every child is so different. I can’t tell you how long it will take to have your family’s sleep on track. How could I!? My sleep support and education aren’t a gimmicky band aid fix, they are a method to help you confidently navigate the information. Doing what is right for your unique family to get the sleep you need. I can promise is that your child will sleep through the night and take proper consolidated naps. Some children take longer than others to learn sleep skills. Just like some children take longer than others to learn to ride a bike with no training wheels. Together we can make it happen!
Do you only work with families in the London area?
This is one of the best parts of my job! While I love to connect with local families, I am set up and insured to support families world-wide. You do not need to be local to the London area or even Ontario. We will find a way that works best for us to connect- whether that be over the phone, e-mail, WhatsApp, Facetime, or another platform.
If you are struggling with your little one’s sleep, know that you are not alone. Also know that this is not how it has to be! All the time we hear statements normalizing parental sleep deprivation, but it is not normal,. We all need sleep in order to maintain good health, be a better parent, spouse, friend, employee, etc. If you are interested in working together, visit my website to sign up for your initial consultation.