About Sleep Speak

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Melissa Prinsloo

Certified Baby Sleep Consultant

Hi, I’m Melissa and I am a certified Baby Sleep Consultant and founder of Sleep Speak. My interest in studying sleep in babies and children began during my time as a Paediatric Speech Pathologist in a community health setting. I was working with toddlers and preschoolers with speech and language difficulties, but many presented with behavioural and attention difficulties as well. In order to work on communication goals, it was really important to look at the big picture and examine other areas of the child’s development, including their sleep habits. What I commonly found was that these children were chronically overtired. For some children it was a matter at looking at routines and setting limits to change the behaviours. For others, the sleep disturbances were the result of obstruction to the airway such as enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids causing sleep apnea. Whatever the cause, these children were not getting the sleep they needed, which in turn impacted on their behaviour, attention and learning. It makes sense right? We know ourselves that when we don’t get enough sleep we feel cranky, we can’t concentrate and we find it difficult to learn or do our jobs. The same goes for our children, except they’re not as good at regulating their emotions and behaviour so we see it manifested in many different ways. They can be moody, have frequent temper tantrums and emotional outbursts, or they may exhibit hyperactive behaviour. 

My own son was a problem sleeper. I had no idea that putting a baby to sleep would be so hard!  I thought that a tired baby would just go to sleep! Boy was I in for a surprise! At around the 4 month mark (yes that dreaded 4 month sleep regression), Miller was waking up every 90 minutes looking to be rocked/fed back to sleep! It was absolute torture! One day I decided, enough was enough, I couldn’t continue on the way we’d been going, something had to change. I enlisted the help of a Sleep Consultant, and it really was life-changing. She helped me to understand the science behind what was happening and provided me with the reassurance I needed, that my baby wasn’t broken, he was completely normal! He just didn’t know how to put himself to sleep without my help! With a few changes to the sleep environment, routine and some strategies to minimize how much assistance I was giving him, we had a completely different baby in a matter of days. It was truly remarkable! We were all so much happier and I could begin to bond with my baby. Something I felt I’d missed out on as I was always so exhausted! My only regret was not seeking help sooner!

 

My Philosophy

​I believe in using approaches that are underpinned by the best scientific evidence whilst also taking your baby’s temperament and parenting style into account. I work with tired families just like yours, giving them the knowledge and tools to empower them to develop healthy sleep habits for their little ones, making positive changes which have far-reaching results for the whole family.

My work with families involves listening to you and your situation, and developing a plan using a method you’re comfortable with, whilst respecting the needs of your child. Together we will work to ensure you reach your sleep goals, to get your little one sleeping well. Helping your child get the critical sleep they need will have a positive impact on your child’s behaviour, learning, growth and development. 

As a mother myself, I approach each situation with empathy and understanding. Remember I’ve been in your shoes! Let us sit down together and allow me to take all the hard work out of trying to figure out your little one’s sleep issues.