What people are saying...
Amy - Alexandria, VA
We have a happy, healthy, wonderful son who, in his first 8 months, was a nighttime monster! No one in our household slept for more than 3 hours at a time (if we were lucky!) from the point our baby was born - despite having read all the books, reviewing as many websites as we could find, and trying (and failing) to apply different sleep-training principles. Sleep-deprived? Frustrated? Desperate? We were all three. Then Ingrid started working with us and within days, everything changed. With a few simple tweaks, our son began sleeping between 11 to 12 hours each night, napping on a regular schedule, and eating voraciously. He goes happily to his crib, puts himself to sleep, and is a little ray of well-rested sunshine when he wakes up for the day. We saw improvements by the second night and had an established routine with a full night's sleep by the fifth.
It felt like a miraculous change - magic, even - and Ingrid gets all the credit. Her plan was easy to follow and her daily support and guidance kept us moving forward even when travel threatened to derail our progress. It was clear we were working with an expert who understood not only how to address our son's sleep issues, but also his parents' confusion, lack of confidence, and exhaustion! We needed knowledge, encouragement, and empathy, and Ingrid offered all three. If you feel like I did - confused about the different methods, uncertainty about what a sleep coach could offer, and suspicious that your child is just a "bad sleeper" - do not give up! This is worth trying! We now joke that our son is a "sleep genius," but Ingrid is the genius. We only wish we had started working with her sooner!
Laura- London, UK
My family will be eternally grateful to Ingrid for her fabulous work teaching us how to teach our toddler to sleep on his own. Before Ingrid’s assistance, we spent hours putting our 2.5 year-old to bed each night and more hours still waking up 2,3, even 4 times a night to put him back to bed. Needless to say, we were a collectively miserable and exhausted mess.
We found Ingrid through a recommendation online and worked with her remotely. She listened carefully to our personal concerns and asked insightful questions about our precocious but very anxious toddler. She designed a personalized plan that focused on gradually teaching him the skills he needed to feel comfortable in his bed and to fall asleep on his own. We were especially pleased that the program she designed focused on positive reinforcement and setting of boundaries, rather than discipline or “crying it out”. Completion of the training took nearly a month for our stubborn toddler, but Ingrid was there every step of the way with conference calls as needed to provide creative ideas and to keep us motivated.
The result? Our son is now able to put himself to sleep both for naps and at bedtime. Most nights he sleeps the entire night. On the occasion he wakes during the night, he is able to fall back to sleep on his own. With more sleep, his mood is better as is ours. Our daycare provider commented he seems like an entirely different kid – with more energy and fewer disciplinary problems throughout the day.
I cannot recommend Ingrid more highly to any parent who wants to help their child learn essential sleeping skills. I especially recommend the full package that includes one-to-one sessions to keep you motivated throughout the transition.
Jenny- Muscat, Oman
When we reached out to Ingrid, we were at our wits end. Our almost 4-year old daughter had been a light sleeper all her life and had resisted bedtime for months. But when we moved overseas, the changes overwhelmed our little girl, who went crazy. She ran away, screamed, hit, and kicked when it was time to get ready for bed. She would get in and out of bed dozens of times, often staying up for 2 or more hours after bedtime until she fell asleep. We didn’t have issues like this with our older son. We tried everything we could think of with our daughter: read and followed sleep plans, enticed her with rewards, warned of consequences. We were exhausted and beginning to think there was no hope. And then a wonderful neighbor and friend told us about Ingrid. Ingrid saved us. We had one meeting and that same day she gave us a plan. A plan that not only worked but was easy to follow. Within two weeks the monster was gone and our darling daughter had returned. She happily goes to sleep now. She sleeps peacefully through the night and wakes up happy. and so do we. We only wish we had contacted her earlier. The whole family had been held hostage to difficult evenings and the whims of a toddler. We got our lives back, thanks to Ingrid. Contact her - you won’t regret it!
Laura- Warrenton, VA
We were in a sleepless state of mind when we began entertaining the idea of a Sleep Coach.
Initially, we thought it was a crazy idea, and as parents, we should be able to figure things out ourselves. Night after night of hourly wakings coupled with utter exhaustion, we decided to reach out for help.
We looked into various books at the library, talked to our pediatrician, and spoke with friends whose little ones were sleeping through the night, but all the methods were so different. We knew we weren’t comfortable leaving our little one in a room to cry to eventually fall asleep nor did we have a kiddo who just loved sleep and seamlessly transitioned to a crib without us.
More confused than ever, we knew we needed professional help - someone who had studied and understood little ones and sleep.
A quick Google search led us to Ingrid with Best Rest Families. After reviewing her credentials and learning she not only completed hours of study under The Sleep Lady, but was a registered nurse, we were ready to give it a shot!
We began by completing a questionnaire about our little one; I appreciated this so much as her approach was not a one size fits all. She wanted to become invested in getting our little one to sleep and that meant digging deep and ensuring she knew our health history, any concerns we had as parents, as well as current routines and sleep.
After we had the plan, we were committed to consistency and ready to get started! We followed the plan, spoke daily, tweaked whatever wasn’t working, and most importantly, we were right there to comfort our little one whenever he needed us.
I’m happy to say, sleep is a completely different topic of conversation at our house now!! We’re rested, and we feel it was such a healthy change for us all!
Liz- Pretoria, South Africa
Before contacting Ingrid at Best Rest Families, my 7-month-old baby was waking up crying several times a night. My family and I were exhausted and frustrated. After unsuccessfully trying every sleep training method I could find, I contacted Ingrid. Because she is a nurse and a mom of two, Ingrid's advice is rooted in medicine but comes with the compassion of someone who has "been there." Thanks to her easy-to-follow sleep plan and practical advice, my sweet baby boy is sleeping like a champ, and our family is once again enjoying restful, peaceful nights. I highly recommend Ingrid and only wish that I had asked for her help earlier.
James, Leesburg, VA
When we initially reached out to Ingrid for sleep coaching we were in five alarm fire mode with our 7 month olds sleep habits. She would only fall asleep on her mother or in my arms and was regularly waking three or four times nightly. The evening bedtime routine was a disaster of feeding, walking, shushing and failed set downs that quite literally took the entire night and seldom resulted in solid sleep for anyone in the family. Similiarly, daytime naps were a mess. We had to coax her to sleep in our arms and most of the time attempting to set her down would result in her waking up. There was no schedule or rhyme or reason.
Right off the bat Ingrid identified the trouble spots in our strategy and worked with us to customize a plan that was effective and comfortable to our sensibilities as parents. The change was dramatic and rapid. I would say that within four or five nights of implementing Ingrid's suggestions we saw a substantial change in our child's sleep habits. Gone was the nighttime juggle of trying desperately to get her into her crib. The wakings became fewer and fewer. And over the next passing weeks Ingrid helped us fine tune our daughter's sleep habits. She was always responsive, available and patient. But more importantly, her methods WORK!
A bedtime that once took me hours now takes me twenty minutes. Naptimes consist quietly singing two songs before setting her down in her crib. It's reliable, consistent and BLISSFUL. The other night as I was singing softly before bed my daughter cried to get out of my arms and into her crib! Two months ago we were regularly sleeping in chairs with the baby in our arms because she was so dependent upon us. If you had told me this would be the result I'd have called you crazy!
Our older daughter was never sleep trained and she didn't begin sleeping through the night until she was three. There's no reason for everyone to be overtired and exhausted for so long. If any families are reading this and can relate to a similiar chaotic sleep schedule with their little one I cannot recommend Ingrid enough! It is possible and I guarantee you it's worth the investment! Thank you Ingrid for everything!
Mary- Washington, D.C.
We have a 2yr old that was waking up multiple times a night because we were his lovey. I had read many sleep techniques but felt I needed an expert to guide me through the process. Ingrid is not only a sleep expert but a nurse and a mom, which made her that much better. She was there to guide us through each step and now my little man is going to sleep on his own, stays in bed and no wake ups.
Keira- Moscow, Russia
To say Ingrid changed our lives is no exaggeration. Our seven-month-old baby was waking up six or more times a night. He often woke for the day at 5:00am or earlier, and he would often only sleep for extended periods if held and rocked. He was frustrated, as were we, to say the least.
Our work kept our whole family traveling, and our schedules prevented us from starting full-blown sleep training until several weeks after we contacted Ingrid. Fortunately, Ingrid identified steps we could take to start the process right away, which immediately cut our son's night wakings in half. Then when we started the full sleep training, Ingrid's detailed explanations of exactly what steps we could take (and why to try them) gave us even further confidence in the process. Ingrid tracked every step of our progress and helped us adjust and figure out the best individual plan for our son's unique needs. It takes a real expert to know not just what's "normal," but to have endless tricks up her sleeve to help even the most "spirited" babies and others drumming to their own beat.
Despite our son's spirited temperament and serious jet lag, it took less than a week to see the first results of Ingrid's suggested sleep training techniques, and by the end of seven days he was virtually sleeping through the night. He now he sleeps 11 - 12 hours per night, plus multiple daytime naps. Our entire family is so much better rested, healthier, and happier than we were before we found Ingrid. We can't thank her enough!
Stu – Fairfax, VA
Our 8 month-old daughter was unable to sleep at all in her crib. We’d put her down and she’d immediately start crying until we picked her up again. In desperation, my wife and I took to holding her in a recliner for four hours each per night, which allowed our little girl to sleep, but meant that all three of us were constantly exhausted. As first-time parents, we lacked the experience and knowledge to solve this problem on our own.
Ingrid worked with us over skype and by phone to learn about our habits, routines and concerns, and helped us to come up with a workable and sustainable sleep plan. On the first night, we were prepared for the worst, but actually it only took an hour to get our daughter to sleep in the crib. There was a little complaining on her part, but nothing traumatic for any of us. Within just a few nights of working with Ingrid, our baby was sleeping for 9-11 hours straight, and continues to do so. Not only is she better rested, but mom and dad now sleep for a full eight hours every night, which means we’re better equipped to give her what she needs.
Ingrid has been a joy to work with. She is warm and supportive, a good listener and a consummate professional. She helped us achieve a remarkable transformation in under a week, for which we are enormously grateful. We would recommend her without any hesitation to parents dealing with similar problems.
Nancy- Muscat, Oman
I first enlisted the help of Ingrid when my son was about 7 months old. Since he was born, Mika was never a good sleeper. I could not figure out the 30-minute nap intruder. Within a week or so Ingrid managed to get us past the 30-minute nap intruder. I remember thanking her for allowing my husband and I to enjoy an extended coffee chat without having the timer set at 25 minutes before running to help Mika in transitioning between cycles.
But "beating"' the 30-minute intruder is not Ingrid’s biggest achievement. As all moms know, average teething age starts around 6 months. Mika’s first tooth came around 6.5 months and every single tooth had a different story but a common “nightmare”. So, we went through the various phases of teething, developmental leaps, physical milestones, summer holidays and when Mika turned 18 months I found myself picking him up, rocking him, constantly rushing in for shushing and patting, I even tried co-sleeping. Mika needed constant reassurance at every sleep cycle and on top of that, he was an early riser (starting at 430 am). I had tried the Ferber method as well as CIO before contacting Ingrid again and I have to say it was tragic! My husband literally walked out the door one night at midnight after Mika crying for 1 hour and 15 minutes.
So once again, Ingrid to the rescue and after an elaborate discussion, we started the coaching and I witnessed a miracle. We went from 3-4 wakings per night to 0-1 wakings and even with the 1 waking Mika learned how to settle back to sleep on his own. I also can no longer complain about him being an early riser. After months of rushing to him at 430 am, picking him up, rocking him back to sleep, I can now say Ingrid successfully managed to get him to sleep till 6 am and at times we even slept till 630 am.
Ingrid's persistence & confidence gave me the reassurance I needed and the courage to carry on through the nights. She is very generous with her time. She would continually message me, checked on me during weekends when she is supposed to take time off for herself and her kids. Ingrid – our family sleep angel … thank you! Thank you for believing in Mika more than I did! Thank you for giving me my sleep back!
Britta - Arlington, VA
Becoming a parent is an absolutely incredible, but utterly exhausting experience! Like most new parents, my husband and I spent the first few months of our son’s life stumbling around like a pair of zombies. Our beautiful boy was incredibly happy, but just couldn’t connect his naptime sleep cycles. While he slept decently at night, naps were unpredictable and lasted twenty minutes at most. We couldn’t get anything done during the day and felt trapped in the house, while our son just woke up cranky and in need of more sleep. We tried so many things—different beds, props, rocking. Nothing worked! All the books offered conflicting advice, and left us confused and without a solution. His twenty-minute naps gave us no time to rest, or even a break. We decided to call in a professional. We found Ingrid, and within a few days our lives felt changed. Our son had learned to fall asleep and connect his sleep cycles on his own. He began to wake up refreshed, happy, and ready for the day. And so did we. With Ingrid’s help, our 6 month-old son now sleeps on his own for 12 hours every night and enjoys a pair of two-hour naps each day.
I recommend Ingrid to anyone whose baby has a hard time sleeping. Having a well-rested baby will completely change your experience as a parent. Ingrid gave us the knowledge and support we needed to help our son become a great napper and we thank her for changing our lives as first time parents!
Jennifer- Louisa, VA
This was not something which I ever thought I would need, as I was not a first-time mother, and my first child slept great without any real effort. My now 8-month old son on the other hand, started off sleeping well as a newborn, but after a bout of illness at around 2 ½ months old, he turned into a fussy night owl. This continued for months, and even after he turned 6 months old he was nursing up to three times a night, and was waking up an average of 10-14 times throughout the night needing me to re-plug his pacifier. I was getting around 4 hours of non-consecutive sleep each night, and I could not take it anymore. I did some research and found Ingrid Hanifen as a sleep coach. I was hesitant at first, and a bit skeptical as to whether or not she would be able to help me, but her initial email, and then our phone consultation put me at ease, and left me feeling hopeful that I would soon sleep again.
Ingrid was vital in helping to guide me through the process, and in supporting me through the tough first nights. After the first night, things improved incrementally, and after the four night, I slept almost entirely through the night! I have never been so grateful for another person’s help in my life. I feel whole again, and my son’s sleep has only continued to improve over the past couple of weeks since I engaged Ingrid as my sleep coach. I highly recommend her services for any family struggling with any part of their child’s sleep, from naps to bedtime. She has given our family peace, and the ability to move forward and enjoy our children, and meet life’s challenges without feeling depleted.
Kalee- Muscat, Oman
Ingrid has been a huge help! Our 4-year-old son was waking long before the sun was up and she gave us strategies to help get him on a healthy sleep cycle. He now consistently sleeps through the night and doesn’t wake-up until 6:30, and that is a win in my book! Ingrid is very helpful and understanding of how awful it can be. She is amazingly helpful and I highly recommend her!
Alana- Chantilly, VA
We now put our 11-month old daughter to bed by doing a simple bedtime routine, and she sleeps through the night in her crib. There was a point in time where I honestly didn't think any single one of those facts would be possible for us, let alone all of them. Bedtime used to be so stressful for me--I felt like even after she was asleep, I was always on call for if she started crying. It's such a huge relief (and so needed for my mental health) to now know that once I put her to bed, it truly is my time off. I really can't thank you enough for all of your help in making that possible.
Courtney- Roanoke, VA
After wavering for several months on whether I should contact a sleep consultant for my 11-month old daughter, I reached out to Ingrid for help. So thankful I did! Her knowledge, guidance and support were essential in giving me the tools and confidence to teach my daughter how to fall asleep on her own, and in turn, sleep through the night. Woo hoo! Although I had read numerous books, blogs and websites about sleep help, I was frankly too pooped to troubleshoot by myself. I really appreciated that Ingrid's services included an initial conversation via Skype/FaceTime where we could thoroughly discuss my daughter's sleep challenges, my parenting philosophy, as well as address any questions. Her personalized sleep plan was detailed and easy to follow. Ingrid was also very responsive and as sweet as can be throughout the sleep training process. I highly recommend her to any parent facing sleep challenges with a baby/child. So worth it!
Karen- Taipei, Taiwan
I cannot express enough gratitude for having an expert like Ingrid to consult about my sleep questions for my 2-year old toddler! My only regret is not finding out about her earlier. For our one-hour remote consultation, Ingrid listened very carefully to my concerns and provided a constructive framework for me to work with. I feel so much more confident in my ability as a parent to set better sleep goals and troubleshoot sleep issues. I will definitely be consulting Ingrid again the next time I hit a wall and will recommend her to my new parent friends!
Ariana- Muscat, Oman
Ingrid is awesome. I have to admit that I was not sure spending money on something like sleep coaching was a smart idea. Especially since I didn't know if it would work but I was desperate! So glad we did! Turns out we just needed to tweak a few things and it's made all the difference. My 8 month-old son has been sleeping through the night for the past week or so. The improvement was almost immediate! Ingrid did a great job in customizing a plan that worked for our son. Totally recommend her!
Heather- Harrisonburg, VA
Working with Ingrid was a wonderful experience! Prior to working with her, our 6-month-old son Josh rarely napped in his crib and was waking up several times at night. She helped us change all of this! Starting with the consultation, and through our many phone calls walking us through the sleep coaching process with Josh, Ingrid was very patient and understanding as we did hit a few setbacks, but she always kept us on track. From the time that Josh gets up in the morning, I know what time to get him down for his first and second naps, and what time to put him to bed. We are so happy with Josh's sleep now. We are deeply thankful to Ingrid for helping us work with Josh to help get his sleep better! It was just so amazing and comforting having her strong support and guidance during the time we worked with her. Thank you so much Ingrid!
Colleen- Gainesville, VA
The cost to sleep coaching was always a deterrent for me, so when I found Ingrid, I felt she had affordable prices compared to others in the area. I also delayed because of the fear of letting my 9-month-old baby cry it out. In the past, I tried to save money by buying lots of sleep coaching books, reading online, asking other moms, and watching YouTube but it never clicked with me, I really had to have someone walk me through the process as I was going through it. Ingrid was there to help me step by step, night by night. For some reason, I thought it was the baby that needed training, the truth is, it’s the parents that need the training to know how to help their babies. We had our initial call and I felt very confident and prepared that day to start. As I was going through the first night of training, I realized that if I had paid someone else more money to be there in person, I may have accidentally turned off my mommy instincts and it would be a crutch for me. Instead I listened to my own instincts for my baby and the first night he cried 40 minutes but I was with him the whole time. The next night he cried 20 minutes, and each night after lesser and towards the end he would cry for 5 minutes and then play and then sleep. One of the positives that I did not expect was that he started learning on his own, how to sleep through the night. From the time, I put him on his crib to the time he woke up in the morning, he would sleep through. This program has been worth it, Ingrid has been very gentle with me and supportive, I've gained back my evenings and afternoons and I have a plan to make it even better going forward. I recommend this program for all the parents who are looking for the gentle method for their kids because in the end its going to give them back lots of time and sleep in the long haul. I also believe that sleep training your child is setting them ahead for their future as adults because they've learned at an early age how to be disciplined for sleep.