I'm Charmaine I'm a mum, night nanny, coach to sleep deprived mums, a former early years educator & nursery manager & founder of Soundly Sleeping. I have been helping families with new-borns,babies and toddlers, sleep peacefully for over 18 years, working in Early Years for a total of over 20 years.
I grew up in St Albans & moved to London with my parents aged 11 to be closer to my large extended family. My mother was a nurse before she had me but retrained in nursery education when i came along so thats she could have the same holidays as me & my siblings. She often tookme to work with her when my school dates clashed with her work, it was there & that fact that there was almost always someone in my family with a baby toddler or young child, that my love for babies & young children was nurtured.
After leaving school I decided to follow a career working with children & like my mother before me I gained one of the most recognizable childcare qualifications in the world, the NNEB (National Nursery Examining Board, now known as the Cache Level 3) at St Francis Xavier College in London. After qualifying in 1997 I've worked as a private nanny, a nursery practitioner working with young children with mild to moderate special educational needs & as a room leader in the baby room at an Early Years Centre, deputy manager and toddler room leader in another nursery. Its safe to say i really love my work with babies and toddlers
How I became a Night Nanny Then Sleep Coach
I began my work as a night nanny back in 1999 intially as a way to earn some extra money. Once i started working with new parents and babies, I found I really enjoyed working closely with mothers and their little ones. I supported my clients with knowledge and confidence & by sharing the norms of infant sleep and development with them , offering respite so they could catch up on sleep, showing them how they could help their babies learn to self settle, helping their babies sleep better and longer overnight, extremely rewarding.
When I became a mother myself in 2002 and experienced the overwhelm of becoming a new mother for firsthand, my passion for my work as a night nanny grew even further
I realised just how overwhelming being a new parent really was, I was someone who was very experienced with babies when i became a mother and for a brief moment when i arrived home with my daughter for the first time, i felt a sense of panic and fear. I could only imagine how terrifying being a new parent could be for a person had no experience with babies whatsoever.I was lucky I had my support network (my mum is a health visitor)but how would i have coped if i didn't know what i knew or had the support that i did?
I got over the overwhelm almost immediately ( thanks mum!), had my daughter sleeping through the night by 8 weeks old without any controlled crying or cry it out methods and was back to work as a night nanny within 12 weeks of giving birth. I saw my role in a whole new light and the passion for my role as a night nanny and sleep coach was reignited. I wanted to go out empower and support as many new parents as possible , just as my family and friends supported & empowered me when i became a mother!
Many parents who struggle with their childrens sleep call on professionals like me ,others prefer to handle problems on their own. I offer various ways of helping you solve your infants sleep issues. From support and respite in your home to online support and advice.
I believe that learning to sleep independently is a skill that parents & carers can teach babies with tenderness, sensitivity & patience, and that every baby (and their parents) can enjoy a good night’s sleep with a positive, gentle approach and strategies that suit the individual needs of the baby and the family as a whole.
Here are some of the wonderful things some former clients have said about Charmaine:
“Charmaine is great- so professional and confident. I was so pleased when she washed her hands before picking up my baby. She worked 4-5 nights for us and I always had a happy baby after each night which was a good sign!” Mrs Marchant. Knightsbridge (London, UK)
"We got on very well with Charmaine and we got lots of sleep. I’d happily recommend her and employ her again if need be. Thanks.” MR Rollins. Tooting (London, UK)
I was desperate to change my babys sleep habits & Charmaine was recommended by a friend, she came to visit with me created a plan and was with me every step of the way. The fact that I could text her day or night for moral & emotional support was invaluable, and she really helped me to recognise my babies unique cues, thanks to her advice i feel confident and my baby is sleeping so well. She somehow unlocked the mothers intuition within me that i doubted existed. I'd recommend her to anyone. Mrs Murray. Chelsea (London, UK)
“Charmaine was brilliant. I just wanted someone I could call when I needed a nights rest. She was very flexible about this. She’s relaxed, trustworthy and just brilliant! I highly recommend her!” Mrs Atkins. Wandworth (London, UK)
"Charmaine was fantastic with us – she was extremely cheerful, helpful and discreet. She was liked by all in the family" Mrs Potel. Fulham (London, UK)
"Charmaine was great and a real pleasure to have around, as I was breast feeding and they were very easy to settle I was really doing it on my own so we only had her for a few nights to catch up on sleep" Mrs Baxter. Putney (London, UK)
“Absolutely wonderful, the best, amazing, we’ve been so happy with her. She’s always on time, is very bubbly and smiley and a delight to have around. She has established a great routine for us!” Mrs Dodd. Clapham (London, UK)
Charmaine was wonderful – she was recommended to us by a friend. She gave us great advice and help on sorting out the routine – and he is now sleeping through the night – she was reliable and punctual and we would definitely recommend her.” Mrs Pollis Fulham (London, UK)
It felt like Christmas every night she came, she struck the right balance between giving us constructive advice but NEVER preached to us, at an early stage we relied on her advice to get us through each day and it was always spot on. We never felt judged by her even when she turned up to absolute mayhem, she had a wonderful nature and it was always a relief and never a worry to hand over care of my girls to her in fact she was probably far more patient with them during the night than we were. We were nervous when she stopped coming but we remembered her advice and its all been fine. I've recommended her to all my pregnant friends!! Mrs Thomson- Wandsworth, London UK
We were really happy with the service Charmaine provided, we were soo tired and felt totally comfortable handing over care of our twins to her. She completely put us at ease! She was invaluable in terms of letting us catch up on sleep and in terms of support and advice concerning how to help the twins settle to sleep and self soothing. She was instantly warm and loving towards our children, which in tune made us feel relaxed and completely at ease with her. Mrs Walker Jones, Nunhead (London, UK)