talkhealth meets... Lisa Lamb AKA The Night Ninja
Lisa Lamb turned a challenge into her passion when, after having her first child, she went on a covert mission to get more sleep - and help others with little ones conquer bedtime too.
Now a certified sleep consultant, the Night Ninja works with parents to make sure they are in control of their baby’s sleep, and they stick to their guns when it comes to routines and boundaries.
In her webinar Counting Sleep: Tips and Tricks with the Night Ninja, the expert shares easy, actionable advice for parent-led sleep routines. Before her event, we asked Lisa a few questions about how, and why, she helps families…
How did you come to specialise in sleep? Tell me more about yourself.
Hi, I’m Lisa, AKA The Night Ninja, a certified sleep consultant. I first became interested in sleep consultancy after having my first daughter. I was navigating life with a baby and what that brings in terms of sleep or lack of! I have always worked with children, having been a teacher and nursery nurse, so after completing a lot of personal research on sleep, I decided to partake in a course in America, Sleep Sense by Dana Obleman - it was truly fascinating and eye-opening! After passing and having my second child, I decided to make my passion my full-time job and that was nearly 7 years ago.
Sleep always seems to be the biggest worry for first-time parents, why do you think this is?
Whenever you announce your impending arrival, one of the first things many will say is; ‘Get ready for the lack of sleep’.
Why? Because it is the first time in many people's lives that they experience sleep deprivation and nothing can truly prepare you for it until you are living it. And it isn’t just at the beginning, many parents will come to me when they need to go back to work and they just don’t know how they’ll be able to function on no sleep.
What is your approach to sleep training?
There is a taboo around the term 'sleep training' as many associate it with leaving their baby to 'cry it out', which is never the case. When I think about 'sleep training' I see it as making positive changes to your baby's sleep. It’s about looking at your baby's 'sleep hygiene' which encompasses setting sleep routines and the right sleep environments for your baby to help them sleep well.
Why is routine so important for young children? And, is breaking it so bad?
Routine is important for young children as it provides them with security – it creates boundaries and cues that make them feel safe, calm, and ready for bed. Once a sleep routine has been established then you can become more fluid with it. You might start by letting your child nap in a pram, you can stay up a little later for a given event, or not worry about a change in routine on holiday.
What do you think about current attitudes towards sleep training? Do you want to shift these and how?
A lot of information about sleep training refers to leaving your baby to cry, or dropping night feeds, at six months - this just doesn’t work for all babies. Every child is different and parents need to be guided with this in mind. There are many elements to helping your baby to sleep, from setting the right routines, the right sleep environment, and being responsive to your baby - it just isn't one size fits all.
.How have you been able to help families struggling with sleep?
I help families that are struggling by providing them with the confidence and guidance they need to establish the right sleep hygiene for their little ones. My whole process is parent-led, with the first question I always ask being: ‘What do you want your baby’s sleep to look like?’
It’s a very cohesive and natural 2/4 week programme, whereby we first set the overarching goal, before delving into things like current routines, sleep patterns, and self-settling. Then, I supply the tools and resources they need to help them reach their goal. I make sure that I adapt to varying needs by offering online services, daytime meets and overnight stays.
What are your top three tips for better sleep for the whole family?
1. Routine, routine, routine
Morning: Set the same wake-up time every day for your little ones (generally speaking, this will be 12 hours from bedtime).
Naps: Creating a clear and predictable nap-time routine will help your baby make the transition and take a nap more readily.
Bedtime: Establishing a good bedtime routine from day one is a great way to help your baby organise days and nights, and start to consolidate night-time sleep more quickly. I suggest starting a bedtime routine off with a bath – it’s a great step one. It’s such a significantly different experience that your child will soon learn that a bath means bedtime is near.
2. Empowerment for parents:
Become your baby's sleep expert – it’s all about confidence and mindset. Once you have the given tools, you know what your baby needs and you can do this.
3. Stick to your guns:
Once you establish your routines and become your baby's sleep expert, stick to your guns, consistency is the key
Information contained in this Articles page has been written by talkhealth based on available medical evidence. The content however should never be considered a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek medical advice before changing your treatment routine. talkhealth does not endorse any specific products, brands or treatments.
Information written by the talkhealth team
Last revised: 17 March 2023
Next review: 17 March 2026