About us

We are Karolien, Geertje and Vanessa, certified Gentle Sleep Coaches®. We stand for a gentle, loving way of sleep coaching. We are happy to help you!

“Give a person a fish, he will eat once; if you teach him how to fish, he will eat for the rest of his life”

– old Chinese saying


My name is Karolien Kop-Huisman, married to Lucas, mother of Julius, Benjamin and Felix. I have been a speech therapist for 14 years (2007-2021) and a certified Gentle Sleep Coach® since May 2017. My passion is to help (overtired) families solve their sleep problems and restore their energy. I know what it’s like to be sleep deprived and what it’s like to solve this with sleep coaching. I have turned this experience into my job. I want to help sleep deprived families experience the same thing: in the end, we all need sleep and it’s possible to get your sleep back!

My personal “sleep story”

Lucas, Julius, Benjamin, Felix and I are now a family that sleeps through the night, of course with an interruption, such as a nightmare or a monster under the bed. Wake-ups are part of the deal. But when parents and/or child become too sleep deprived, it’s time for action. When Julius was 10 months old, he needed me every 90 minutes in the night; I fed and then rocked him back to sleep. He only napped on my lap or in the carrier. Julius wasn’t able to fall asleep independently and therefore didn’t know how to sleep through the night. As a result, he became very sleep deprived. After many short nights and reading many books, I knew a lot about sleep of young children, but Julius still wasn’t sleeping. We noticed that the lack of sleep was eating him (and us) up, so time for action!

How could we improve Julius’ sleep? We were often advised to let him cry-it-out, but that didn’t suit us. Then we contacted Gentle Sleep Coach® Susanne. With her help, we taught Julius to fall asleep independently and to sleep through the night. In a way that suited us well. We learned that sleeping is a learned skill that we as parents can teach Julius. During this journey, we saw Julius’ pale face regain color and the dark circles under his eyes vanished into thin air (and ours too).

And then…

My growing interest in sleep and the experience as a mother of helping our son with sleeping, inspired me to take the Gentle Sleep Coach® course. It fits well with my experience, which I have practiced for years, of helping families with children with speech problems (including babies and toddlers with eating and drinking problems). The Gentle Sleep Coach® approach, where parents guide their child in the process of learning to sleep, fits well with my ideas of secure attachment and children building self confidence.

My work experience

As a speech therapist, I have always worked with children and their families. My 14 years of experience as a therapist helps me a lot in my job as a Gentle Sleep Coach. I have a lot of experience in guiding families, in actively listening to the personal request for help, and realising that every child and family is unique. For me, a successful procedure begins with a customised plan.

As a speech therapist, I’ve always had my own practice, which made me responsible in my profession. Over the years, I have found that it’s important to have a well organised business behind the scenes in order to be able to offer a high standard of quality. I like to work at a personal level, and for me it’s important to create a safe environment for the families I work with. I also value clear communication.

Contact Karolien?

Do you want to contact Karolien? Call +31624856786  or send your email to karolien@by-sleep.com.


My name is Geertje van Heeswijk. I am married to Pieter Paul and we have 3 kids: Casper born in 2015, Pleun born in 2017 and Tijn born in 2019. We live in The Hague with our dog and cat.

Switch direction!

I used to be an attorney. I didn’t find the fullfillment I was looking for, because I prefer to work at a personal level with people. So I decided to do something completely different: I became a sleep coach. Since I have a lot of experience with poor nights, I know how valuable it is to get a little more sleep. And now as a professional sleep coach, I help other families improve their sleep.

My personal “sleep story”

When Casper wasn’t able to fall asleep on his own, wanted us to lay down next to him during the night, and woke up at 5 am, I was often advised, “Just let him cry-it-out. It will pass.” I never believed that and personally I don’t want to let my kids cry for too long. I learned a gentle way of teaching Casper to fall asleep independently. At that time he was 15 months old. It also taught him how to put himself back to sleep at night when he woke up. We tackled the early rising with his “sleep sheep”. He learned that he can get up when his sheep is “awake”. Since then, our days no longer starts at 4:30 am, but at 6:30 am!

And then…

The experience of gently teach my son to put himself to sleep, made me excited and confident. I got to know the American Gentle Sleep Coach® course and did my utmost best to be trained by the Sleep Lady®. In May 2018 I completed the GSC course and since then I work as a certified sleep coach at By Sleep.

I’ve seen what (too) little sleep can do to a family and how hard it can be to break through that cycle on your own. The good news is: you are not alone! As a sleep coach, I want to help you bring peace and sleep back into your family.

Contact Geertje?

Would you like to contact Geertje? Then call +31 6 14 280 386 or send an email to geertje@by-sleep.com.


My name is Vanessa De Malmazet and I’m originally from Germany. I have lived in the Netherlands since 2010. Together with my husband and three sons (born in 2018, 2020 and 2022), I live in The Hague. At home we speak German and French. But I also speak fluent Spanish, Dutch and English. Kim West’s sleep coaching approach has given us our sleep back as a family in such an incredibly gentle and effective way that I can’t think of anything better than helping other families in the same way.

My personal “sleep story”

Our eldest son had great difficulty falling asleep. Usually this only worked in the carrier or breastfeeding / rocking on the arm in a completely darkened room. We were busy all day trying to get him to sleep and in the evening we were exhausted. The nights were even more disastrous. Although there were better phases from time to time, they were always short-lived. Letting him “cry-it-out” (as recommended by so many) was out of the question for us and so we coincidently ended up on the site of the first Gentle Sleep Coach® in the Netherlands. With her help, we taught our son to fall asleep on his own and within a week he was sleeping 11 to 12 hours through the night. We were able to stay with him during the coaching and calm him down. Back then I had played with the idea of ​​becoming a freelance sleep coach, but then son number 2 came along and the plans were put on hold for the time being.

And then…

After falling asleep did not happen by itself even with the second child and the Gentle Sleep Coach® method helped us again, I decided to train as a Gentle Sleep Coach® and in this way to be able to help families in a similar situation . I quickly got to know Karolien and Geertje from By Sleep. They have been running their Gentle Sleep Coach® practice in The Hague since 2017. We got along very well and decided to bring By Sleep to Germany. This way we can use Karolien’s and Geertje’s years of experience and also help German families to have peaceful nights in the tried and tested, gentle way.

My professional career

During my professional career I have worked in various positions in human resources. I still work part-time today as an HR Advisor for an international foundation that supports children in crisis areas. Advising and coaching employees and managers is an important part of my work. The change to children’s sleep coach is a very conscious choice which arose from my growing passion for the subject of children’s sleep and the desire to help other families with this. My coaching skills help me advise and support families in the best possible way.

Contact Vanessa?

Then call Vanessa directly on +49 151 243 890 25 or send an email to vanessa@by-sleep.com.

Want to sign up?

Do you want to start sleep coaching or more information about it? Call 06 - 248 56 786 or send an email to contact@by-sleep.com.