Cheryl Fingleson

Internationally Certified Gentle Sleep Coach

My Story

Hi there, I’m so glad you have popped by to ease your curiosity about what gentle sleep training means, and how I work.

As a sleep consultant, I often meet parents and carers who are stressed and worried about their own energy levels as well as their children’s. Many have tried everything they could think of already, and some have almost given up. Almost everyone have been recommended by someone I’ve helped, or by a GP or Paediatrician who have referred them to me.

When I work with a family I take my time to understand their specific needs, what do we need to do to fit in a healthy sleep routine for this particular family? I will help with settling and sleep techniques, establishing a good routine, transition from cot to bed, potty training, safe co-sleeping, identifying signs of postpartum depression as well as adult sleep problems. My training and experience are extensive and my passion is genuine. I believe we all have the right to recharge and to get good sleep.

As a mother myself, I know the feelings of agony and desperation when you have a child that struggles to settle and sleep. I know how hard it is when they won’t stop crying, or when you want to cry yourself because you feel like you’ve tried EVERTHING. I DO NOT believe in leaving babies or children to cry it out (CIO), nor in the practices of controlled crying. My technique is always with the child’s and your mental health benefits in mind, not leaving anyone behind. In the familiar comforts of your home, we will use gentle sleep techniques that reassures your child that you’re right there with them. By following a sleep plan put together for your personal needs, your child will learn to calmly go to sleep (and go back to sleep) without needing to be rocked, patted, bounced, driven or fed.

Every child is different and has his/her own sleep needs. Together we’ll design a sleep program that puts the right sleep guidelines in place for your child. I will then coach and support you every step of the way.

My Training

My passion for empowering parents with positive, proactive and gentle sleep techniques first became obvious to me after being involved in a paediatric ward for six months. Seeing tired, exhausted and desperate parents with no-one to turn to for support led me to fulfil a dream – to guide mothers, fathers and families through times of crisis.

After years of research, study and personal experience to become a certified gentle sleep coach I am fully qualified and confident to find an individualised in-house solution to guide and support you.

I completed The Gentle Sleep Coach Program, the first and most extensive professional sleep coaching certification program available. The program involves over 80 hours of training, an exam and participation in case supervisions with Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. “the Sleep Lady”) who has been helping tired parents for over 25 years. Clinical supervision and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach.

My speciality and training topics include:

  • Sleep science and behavioural modification techniques
  • Secure attachment theory
  • Support for the breastfeeding mother
  • Postpartum Depression from Dr Shoshana Bennett, author and leading specialist on Postpartum Depression
  • Medical Conditions and Sleep Apnea in Children led by Dr Lewis Kass, Director of Children’s Sleep Centre
  • Sensory Processing Disorders and Sleep by Jodi Jennings, OTLR
  • Basic counselling and child development

I also completed an advanced training specifically around how to gently work with babies 4 and 5 months of age. This program consists of over 40 hours of instruction and mentorship and include:

  • In depth knowledge of the delicate nature of infants under 6 months of age and how to consider all elements of their well-being.
  • Current evidence-based guidelines and instruction on how to evaluate the 4-6 month old child and family, and determine if the child is ready for sleep coaching.
  • Gentle sleep solutions and strategies that are effective and developmentally appropriate for the younger baby.

I often give interviews, share professional advice and hold talks in exclusive groups and in TV and radio.

Please get in touch if you want to know more. I look forward to talking about how we can help your baby or child learn to go to sleep calmly, happily and independently.

International Association of Child Sleep Consultants
Gentle Sleep Coach
4 & 5 Month Old Program Certified

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