Dr Nicole Williams has worked for a number of years in Paediatric Sleep using a gentle and responsive approach. The following are common concerns for which families often benefit from external professional support. There are many individuals who describe themselves as 'consultants' and do not have professional training in this area. Finding a professional who uses evidence based techniques which are consistent with your parenting approach is important.
Babies & toddlers waking overnight
Yes this is normal! But there is also a point at which your family could benefit from some evidence based support. If it is a problem for you let's do something about it. (This does not mean you have to stop breastfeeding or responding to their needs. No matter what people may tell you!)
Having said that babies waking in the night is normal, there are some times when it is not. How can you tell the difference? Without professional training this can be extremely difficult. Finding providers you trust and whose approach aligns with the way you want to parent is important. Dr Williams has seen hundreds of children and is well placed to advise what may be causing you child to wake. The reason your child is waking may change the intervention.
Children not wanting to go to bed/ won't stay in bed/ taking a long time to fall to sleep
This is SO exhausting! It happens in many households. There can be many factors contributing to these issues such as bedtime fears, anxiety or fear of missing out. It can also be due to their body not being ready to sleep. Professional assistance can help.
Night terrors & nightmares
Night terrors and nightmares are very different. If you aren't sure what is going on with your child or what might help come and have a chat. Often one session can give you some tips and put your mind at ease.
Strange bedtime activities
Any odd behaviours your child exhibits during the night are worth talking about to your GP or a sleep professional.
Research shows bed sharing can be beneficial for children. Risks increase where parents or caregivers are smokers or affected by drugs and alcohol, or don not follow guidelines regarding placement in the bed, blankets etc. Co-sleeping is a completely legitimate choice. If you choose to co-sleep, read the guidelines and do so safely. If you are co-sleeping only because your child struggles to sleep without you, and your preference is not to do so, we should talk.
A word about other approaches
Dr Williams only uses gentle, evidence based approaches to children's sleep concerns. Many different approaches exist: you should find one that feels right to you. Please don't be swayed by others into doing what they did unless that approach feels right to you. There are many options and no rules. Dr Williams' training in clinical psychology, including attachment theory particularly, has meant that she personally values methods in which parents can choose to be responsive to a child's needs.
Referrals for sleep concerns
Families can consult with Dr Williams under a Mental Health Care Plan for the diagnosis "Sleep Concern". The plan can either be in the name of the parent or the child. Private Health may also rebate sessions depending on cover. Please see our Contact page for more information or to book an appointment. Online booking available via that page also. (Please note only Dr Williams consults regarding children's sleep concerns specifically.)