The hell of sleepless nights is familiar to all parents.
Mandy Gurney is a registered nurse, midwife, health visitor and infant massage instructor.
During her 20 years working as a health professional with families in the NHS, she saw first-hand the many problems caused by sleep deprivation. This motivated her to set up one of the NHS's first children's sleep clinics.
The outstanding results encouraged her in 2000 to set up Millpond with co-founder Tracey Marshall. It is now the country's leading children's sleep clinic and helps parents around the world. It was the first private clinic to specialise in babies' and children's sleep problems when it was established and is the only clinic to help school-aged children.
The practical nature of its behavioural techniques means Millpond’s techniques have been found to work for parents across all cultures. ‘I sometimes find myself waking up in the morning to an anxious call from someone about to face the trial of putting their child to bed for the night,’ says Mandy. But it is not just about techniques - which Mandy acknowledges are not unique to them. ‘The difference with our approach is that it’s modelled around the family’s specific needs. It’s about being sensitive rather than prescriptive,’ she says. This adaptive approach means that results are quick. Most families see their baby or child sleeping like the proverbial angel within two to three weeks of the first consultation.
"For me solving a child's sleep problem is like putting together a jigsaw. By taking parents through all the issues – however apparently small - that could be contributing to the problem, I find the missing piece. Together we put it in place, and completing the picture is often a transforming experience for the family – and the best job in the world for me!"