We recently decided to embark on the interesting adventure of holding our first ever parents workshop and on the topic of sleep, based on the feedback they gave us on their biggest pain points. We then scoured the web looking for the most engaging, experienced certified baby sleep coach who also fit the Purple Jay Nurseries values, we found what we were looking for in Iva Faulknerova.
We worked with her to hone an engaging and practical presentation to give to our parents, in person, teaching them how to get their baby or toddler to sleep faster, sleep more consistently and wake up more refreshed!
Read on to found out how we put this all together, and to see a breakdown of Iva’s top tips!
Asking and then acting!
At Purple Jay nurseries one of our key values and guiding principles is to “empower children and adults to make positive choices and fulfil their own purpose”. So, with this in mind, late last year we put out a survey asking our parents what they would like to learn to better empower them to make positive choices with regards to themselves and their children, and, crucially, how they would like to learn this.
The results were fascinating! Of the topics that rose to the top, sleep was the one that really stood out to us. Further, parents let us know that one of the ways they would most like to learn is in person.
We pride ourselves on being a company that really actively listens to our customers and then…actually takes action on this information!
So, that’s what we did!
We put together a strategy which involved holding our first ever (and COVID compliant) in person workshop event in conjunction with baby sleep consultant and specialist, Iva Faulknerova. We made the decision early that the event would be completely free as we didn’t want to put any barrier in place preventing parents from gaining the knowledge to empower themselves.
We were determined to find the the most experienced and knowledgeable baby sleep specialist that was ALSO deeply ethical and aligned with our unique values and principles and that of our parents. One without the other is no good to us!
After some intense Googling and a ton of introductory conversations, we found the one!
Iva Faulknerova from Sleepy Angels Consultancy is a professional baby sleep specialist and coach with 24 years of experience and a string of impressive qualifications to her name including OCN accredited Advanced sleep training qualifications. But beyond the string of qualifications, it was, in her words, her “family-centred, holistic and research-based” approach that really sold her to us.
Iva effortlessly executes the complex task of really listening to the parent and their unique situations and using all of her vast clinical research and experience, formulates a bespoke strategy and plan of action, that is completely tailored to that parent and child, using only ethical, natural techniques. That is what sets Iva apart and what we loved most about her.
Planning the workshop.
We worked with Iva over the course of a few weeks to help hone her presentation and ensure she would be providing the most value possible to our parents. We then set a date/time and Location, put together the marketing materials and launched our campaign to let our parents know.
We were careful to let it be known that this was a parent only workshop and Q&A event for those that are having issues with their child’s sleep. Within days we got a good number of sign-ups!
The big day!
But it was during the Q&A where she really shone, as she effortlessly answered the many, very different questions that were being fired at her from our eager parents.
The Q&A was followed by food and drinks (the sushi went down particularly well), giving our parents a chance to mingle and ask Iva further questions.
What did the parents think?
We conducted a post event survey and were absolutely thrilled to see that parents absolutely loved the event and found it incredibly useful.
BUT, those of you reading this that weren’t at the event won’t have to be deprived of Iva’s pearls of wisdom when it comes to all things child sleep.
We have broken down some of the key takeaways and her main tips/advice below;
Iva’s Top Tips on Improving Your Child’s (And in Turn Your) Sleep!
- 1) Pay attention to their daytime routine.
What a lot of parents often overlook is just how much what the child does during the day impacts their sleep at night. The frequency/duration of daytime naps, what they eat and how much, and how much activity and stimulation they get during the day can all have a profound effect on their sleep at night. So, experiment with daytime factors and watch closely to see how it affects their sleep, you may be pleasantly surprised!
- 2) Know what is common for their age.
Average sleep quantity varies quite significantly depending on the age of the child. So, knowing what is normal is important so you know what to aim for.
- 3) Feed them responsively at night.
A well fed baby will sleep well. This not only refers to the day, but also nighttime feeds. So, feed your baby or child responsively during the night.
- 4) Feed them foods that encourage sleep.
There are certain foods that naturally encourage sleep. In particular, foods high in the amino acid tryptophan, which has been shown to stimulate the secretion of the sleep hormone melatonin, for deeper, sounder sleep. And, remember, if you’re breast feeding, what you eat has a direct impact on what your child will be getting in their milk.
- 5) Avoid intense sleep training methods like “cry it out”.
Some of the more intense sleep training methods should be avoided, particularly the “cry it out” method. Some research has shown that it can be harmful to children.
- 6) Listen to your child.
Listening to your child even more attentively during the day and night will go a long way in improving their sleep. They will almost always strongly signal to you what they need.
- 7) Focus on building habits.
This one cannot be overstated. Strong, robust day time routines, marrying up with nighttime routines will really help the child get sound, consistent sleep.
- 8) Modulate the environment.
Simple but often overlooked. Much like adults, children need a sleep environment that is conducive to sleep. So, ensure it’s dark, cool and quiet for your child. A particularly important environmental factor that has recently been shown to likely have a negative impact on child sleep is blue light exposure (the kind given off by tech devices). So severely limit screen time for your little ones, especially around bed time.
- 9) Google sparingly.
As tempting as it may be to be Googling for that one magic, special sleep trick at 3am when your little one is giving you hell, please refrain from this. A lot of advice online is unfounded, and in the worst case could make things worse. And, the internet has a way of sometimes fuelling our worst fears and insecurities, which are the things that often end up most being untrue.
- 10) Be patient and persistent.
Last, but by absolutely no means least…be patient and persistent! One of the biggest reasons we’ve seen for parents not making progress with their child’s sleep is that they constantly chop and change routines and strategies.
We hope you found this article interesting, engaging and educational! We’ve been on quite a journey with this first workshop and loved it, so this is the first of many!
If you would like to find out more about Iva and her services, check out her site or contact her directly. And, if you would like to find out more about Purple Jay nurseries and what we offer, take a browse around, and you can reach us here.