Interview with Karen Faulkner – Nurture Parenting: a lesson for us all – Unstress with Dr Ron Ehrli



Listen to the full episode here:

Karen Faulkner – Nurture Parenting: a lesson for us all

Registered midwife, child and family nurse and registered baby sleep consultant, Karen Faulkner from Nurture Parenting joins me to chat about baby sleep, breastfeeding and formula, modern gadgets and whether they actually make your life easier and her holistic Nurture Sleep Program. This is a life-changing episode as we all know the importance of sleep. And a sleeping baby or child means sleeping parents and carers.

Selected Links from this episode:

• Nurture Sleep Program
• Karen Faulkner’s website, Nurture Parenting

Dr Ron Ehrlich:

Hello and welcome to Unstress. My name is Dr Ron Ehrlich. Now we’ve covered the subject of sleep before, but today we’re going to cover it from a slightly different perspective and I think if you were going to start good sleep habits, starting them from birth is a really good place to go. My guest today is Karen Faulkner. Karen is a registered midwife, a child and family nurse and registered baby sleep consultant. She’s published, she’s a pair as she’s parenting author, her proven holistic approach, and I can attest to this because she has consulted with my own family and my own grandchildren and had done that, made a huge difference to their lives and the lives of many of my grandchildren’s friends, young ones that is, and their parents as well. So if your baby’s not sleeping, can you imagine waking up after 11 hours of uninterrupted blissful sleep?

Dr Ron Ehrlich:

Well, I remember when my older daughter was born and that’s now 33 is ago. The pediatrician said to us, you’re the one thing you must do is in the first year of life, teach your child to sleep. Well, of course, we ignored that and it took us several years to recover from that lack of following, some very sound advice. And of course if you are not, if the baby is not sleeping and then the parents are not sleeping, then things can really start to go wrong. Not just emotionally within the family, but also health-wise. Sleep is as important to a newborn baby as it is to any of us at any age. And getting into a good sleep habit, a good sleep pattern, a good sleep routine is a really important part of building a foundation for a healthy life. So I hope you enjoy this conversation I had with Karen Faulkner. Welcome to the show, Karen.

Karen Faulkner:

Thank you, Ron. I’m, I’m very glad to be here. Thank you for inviting me.

Dr Ron Ehrlich:

Well, Karen, sleep is a very big topic, very important topic, one that we focus on a lot in this, podcast and there’s so much I want to talk with you about, but I wondered if you might share with our listener, your own journey, how you got to where you are at the moment. Yeah. To this point in time.

Karen Faulkner:

Yeah. And, I was, in Manchester at finished doing a psychology degree and I got told there was no jobs for psychologists in those days. This is like the 1990s and I was told I should go and do health visiting and go back to nursing. And at the time I had no idea what health system was all about, but I knew it was a bit of which are free a bit of nursing a bit of health needs and preventing health problems, but it also had a big component of behavioral psychology and a big component was helping people, parents with their children’s sleep. And we are also doing toddler behavior work as well. So we’re actually trained by psychologists how to do these interventions with families. And at the time my caseload was 350 families that I was responsible for. And in the very early weeks, from six to eight weeks, postnatal, the first six to eight weeks, we went to the homes, for an hour each week to teach parents how to teach their babies to self settle.

Karen Faulkner:

And so we worked on preventing sleep problems and I realised as soon as I got the skills, how much I could change people’s lives and I felt like I got gold in my hands and it felt really, you know, amazing and I became really, really addicted to doing this because you could just make the biggest, biggest health outcomes and England always used to say to families was are you put the baby down fully awake in the cot and just those few words every time we met a family meant we had very little sleep problems. And then fast forward to Australia 17 years ago and I was working in Melbourne for three years doing outreach work and again involved in doing sleep work, behavior work, sort of health promotion stuff as an enhanced home visiting nurse. And at that time I was, I was seeming to get really good results and colleagues would say “Karen, you’re amazing at this”.

Karen Faulkner:

I go, no, no, we are all trained. You can do this. They’re like, no, no, you have something ladylike are you Sure? And when you come from the North of England, you very grounded and my family is extremely grounded and so it’s like the tall poppy thing in


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