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Frequent Night Waking, Find The Right Solution

Learn how certified sleep specialist Erica Desper helps families find sleep solutions that work.

With parenthood comes sleep deprivation. For some it’s brief, but others face frequent night wakings well beyond the newborn stage, resulting in frustration for both parent and child.


The definition of frequent night waking can be different for every family, but generally speaking if your child is over the age of four months, and is waking up more often that you think is necessary for their age, or more often than your family can sustain, it’s appropriate for you to seek advice.


Erica Desper, owner of Confident Parenting recommends her clients start with a visit to the pediatrician.


“It’s important for your child’s doctor to know about sleeping challenges as it relates to their overall health, and to rule out any underlying medical causes. What pediatricians can’t do, however, is offer the regular support most parents need,” points out Desper.


So, after you’ve checked in with your doctor, consider enlisting the help of a certified sleep specialist. When choosing the right person, first and foremost, make sure they have a professional certification. Desper, for example, is certified through the International Maternity and Parenting Institute and received field training, including case supervision, through the 55-hour Gentle Sleep Coach program.


Before Desper begins customizing a plan of action, she makes sure her clients understand, sleep is comprised of a series of cycles, and everyone, whether they remember it or not, experiences a brief period of arousal between those cycles. A skilled sleeper might remember it now and again, but generally just goes back to sleep. As a sleep specialist, Desper is called in to help parents whose child goes beyond a brief arousal, and into a state of wakefulness, multiple times throughout the night, and then needs help to get back to sleep each time.


As a mother herself, Desper understands the challenges sleep deprived parents are facing. When families come to me I tell them “sleep learning might be hard at first, but what you’re currently coping with is already hard.”


She also understands each family has to do what is right for them. Her approach is not to tell you what to do, but instead offer you various tools to help you meet your goals.


“I tell my parents they need to start where they are comfortable,” says Desper. “Each family is different and I change gears based on what they need.”


What is consistent among all Desper’s clients, is the end goal.


“The goal of sleep learning is to work toward helping a child learn to fall asleep independently and in the same space and environment where or he or she will wake in later in the night. “Basically,” explains Desper, “this is a process of learning how to fall asleep and go back to sleep independently.”


In addition to guiding parents through sleep learning, Confident Parenting can help with potty training, infant massage techniques and tools to soothe especially fussy babies. For more information on how Erica Desper, of Confident Parenting, can help you and your little one, and to schedule a consult, visit her website at beaconfidentparent.com.


Photo by Sarah L. Bender

Sleep solutions for tired families. Whether your child is 3 months or 3 years, we work closely with you to create an age-appropriate plan that suits your child's personality and your parenting style. Now offering workshops at Advocare Pediatrics Broomall! beaconfidentparent.com