No. We do not believe in letting your child scream for hours and hours by themselves. We think it is very important they know someone is there for them in order to assure they do not feel abandoned, but, this does not mean your child will not cry. To learn more, please read our Sleep Philosophy.
Yes. We can send you references for work with single babies, toddlers and multiples.
It is very difficult to answer this question. Sleep plans are tailored to the needs of both the child and the parents. It is impossible to know exactly how a child will respond. Many books and sleep trainers / sleep consultants will tell you that you can get your child to sleep in two to three nights. Sometimes this is true, but not always. We think it is important to be realistic and manage your expectations. Rather than rushing the process, we do what is best for the child and most comfortable for the parents. However, in general, you usually see progress and improvement in two to four nights and usually meet your goals within seven to ten days.
This is totally up to you. It is most important you do what is comfortable for you. If, for a variety of reasons, you want your sleep consultant to take over completely, this is perfectly OK. If you want to be involved in every step throughout the night, this is OK too. You can also do a combination; you can be involved for bedtime, but not during the night. It is your call. We have even had people leave the house and go to dinner or take a break. We support whatever you need to do. Either way, we provide you information and demonstrations so you will have the tools you need when we are no longer there.
No, we do not think it makes it harder that your child does not know us. Sometimes, we actually think it makes it easier. We come to your house before bed and make sure there is time for your child to get to know us. Sometimes we actually have the experience in which it appears the child responds better to us than to their parents. Our theory is that the child does not have the same connection to us as he does to his parents. Therefore, he does not associate us with the same habits he associates with his parents. For example, he does not associate us with nighttime feedings or with rocking, so he doesn’t expect the same things from us. Yet, the child is perceptive and still knows someone is there and responding with care and tenderness. Ultimately, what is hard for your child is to be sleep deprived and to have sleep deprived parents! If you are worried about your child not knowing us, you can be involved in the process. We want to make this as comfortable for you and your child as possible and provide as much support as you need.
I am so sorry, but no, we do not offer guarantees. There are so many things that are out of our control. We can only do our job, but we cannot MAKE your child sleep or MAKE them wake up at a particular time. Although we have an amazing success rate and our reputation speaks for itself, we are working with human beings and we cannot make guarantees and promises that your child will do exactly what we/I want. It is similar to hiring an attorney.. you hire them based on their reputation and you hope they win your case, but there is not a guarantee. Having said that, if things are not going well, we will work with you as long as we can until we are out of options.
No, we do not use the Ferber Method. We do have a basic method we have developed and follow, but it is not set in stone. We use tailored strategies depending on your circumstances. Because some children and situations present a unique set of challenges, we may not use the exact same plan for every child.
Unless you get approval from your pediatrician, we would prefer your child/children be at least 4 months in gestational age (and 12 pounds) in order to begin sleep teaching.
Yes, we can teach multiplies and siblings to sleep in the same room. Multiples can learn to sleep with each other and through each other’s moans, groans and cries. We have seen it many, many times!
Please read About Us.
We make sure your child knows that someone is with him and that he does not feel abandoned. They are checked on, comforted and cared for very frequently. Children sometimes cry for a multitude of reasons: they do not want to lie still long enough to have their diaper changed, they want more cookies, they do not want to leave the park, they do not want to stay in their car seat, whatever it may be… However, as long as you acknowledge their feelings and reassure them, they may be sad and upset, but they are not abandoned. Many parents are worried sleep teaching is emotionally unhealthy for their children. We respect and respond to all of these apprehensions and will discuss them with you at length in order to insure your security in helping your child learn to sleep. What we know for sure is that sleep deprivation IS unhealthy and can cause many negative effects, so we work with you to resolve this problem!
I, Kimberly Walker, the owner of Parenting Unlimited, have worked with children and babies since a very young age. After college in North Carolina, I moved to Washington, DC. Exhausted parents of a toddler and newborn twins hired me to help them at night. My job was to help take care of the twins so the parents could sleep. I quickly realized what they eventually needed was not just sleep for themselves, but also for their twins. I helped their twins learn to sleep through the night. My name was then passed on to another set of twin parents and another set and so on. I moved to New York City to go to graduate school for social work. I continued working with newborn twins at night and getting them to sleep. Soon, families begin to hire me not for night help, but to teach their children to sleep. Eventually, I became so busy that I started Parenting Unlimited. For many years, I only worked with twins and now I work with singletons and toddlers and even much older children. For more about my background, please read About Us.
We are different because we offer a clear, concise plan along with compassion and support. With the multitude of books available and the constant advice from friends and family deciding what to do can be overwhelming. An overload of information and opinions can make it difficult for you to decide how you want to conquer your sleep challenges. We help you with your sleep plan, with the bumps that occur and with the doubts and emotions that may arise. We are right by your side helping you through the process. We can answer all the “what if ____ happens,” which the books do not answer. We are available for support, questions and encouragement. Most of all, we do not focus only on your child. It is very important for us to help YOU, the parent, through this process. We pay attention to your emotions and needs and listen to your concerns. All of these things together help accomplish your goals.
Sometimes we sleep when they sleep. Sometimes we lie awake waiting for them to wake up!
Whether we sleep in the room with the child depends on the available accommodations and the age of your child. We can sleep on sofas, floors, bring an air mattress.. whatever works! Our comfort or needs are the last things you need to be concerned about. We are there to help you and your child, not the other way around. Do not worry about us!
It really depends on what you need and what problems you are having, but we do our very best to accommodate you.