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).
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.