As I prepare to embark on this new chapter, I was reflecting on what brought me here – what made me decide to make the leap and start my own business helping tired families. I was reminded of my journey becoming a mother for the first time and trying to figure out how to get my baby to sleep. I was utterly exhausted. I had read multiple sleep books, I Googled, I received advice from mamas, friends, family – but I was so confused! I thought I was never going to get a full night sleep for the next 18 years. This HuffPo article sums it up perfectly:
“Don’t let your baby sleep too long, except when they’ve been napping too much, then you should wake them. Never wake a sleeping baby. Any baby problem can be solved by putting them to bed earlier, even if they are waking up too early. If your baby wakes up too early, put them to bed later or cut out a nap. Don’t let them nap after 5 pm. Sleep begets sleep, so try to get your child to sleep as much as possible. Put the baby to bed awake but drowsy. Don’t wake the baby if it fell asleep while nursing.”
Say what?!?!?! While this made me laugh as the author goes on and on with all of the conflicting information, it is exactly what so many families are trying to navigate. I was there too and our family was guided through our confusion with the help of a sleep coach – and in two days, our son was sleeping through the night. It was exactly what we needed to get us through the exhausting days and nights and regain a sense of normalcy again. This is why I made the leap – to help get sleep back for all those tired families out there!
When people hear “sleep training” or “sleep coaching”, it sometimes brings a negative connotation and is connected to the theory of cry-it-out. For most, this goes against our natural instincts to provide comfort and care when our child needs it. This is why I was drawn to the Gentle Sleep Coaching method. Throughout training, we learned about all of the different sleep training methods: Cry It Out (Extinction); Controlled Crying (Modified Extinction);“No Cry”; and Fading, where the goal is to gradually shift the responsibility of falling asleep from parent to child without many tears. While every family and baby is different, and one method will work for one, but not another, I am here to help educate and provide the information necessary to determine the gentlest way to coach your baby to learn the life skill of putting themselves to sleep. Kim West, LCSW-C, aka “The Sleep Lady”, developed the Gentle Sleep Coaching method and the “Sleep Lady Shuffle”, which is a middle ground where parents are able to stay with your child to verbally and physically reassure them as they are learning how to fall asleep on their own.
Most babies thrive under a gentle, gradual method that allows the parents to minimize tears and be there to reassure their child. That’s why I am so incredibly thrilled to be educated and supervised under Kim and her team of experts. I will be right there with you as you implement our plan and provide the guidance all the way through the process.
More questions about sleep coaching and how it works? Feel free to call or send an email – I am so excited to help you create and maintain healthy sleep habits for your little one’s naps and nighttimes!