Sleep Coaching Can Help With…
Sleep Questions like…
Should my kindergartener stop napping?
We have a lot of summer travel coming up – how do I keep my 2 year old rested?
How do I co-sleep safely?
Sleep Problems like..
My toddler is climbing out of her crib and insists on sleeping in my bed.
My baby won’t nap unless he’s in the car or stroller or being held.
Part of me wants my toddler to move into their own room and part of me wants them in my bed forever.
Sleep Crisis like…
I’m struggling with postpartum depression.
We’ve had a family emergency and I’ll need to be away from my baby.
We have a new baby arriving soon and my older child is still in our bed.
Will my baby cry during Gentle Sleep Coaching?
It’s healthy and normal to be upset by your baby crying! We are hard-wired to respond to our baby’s cries. My goal is to work as gently and wisely as possible to create a plan that minimizes crying. However, it’s likely your child will have feelings about the changes you are making.
None of us like change and if your baby is pre-verbal, or even if she’s talking, she may cry to express those feelings. Still, I never ask parents to leave their child crying and we work hard in follow-up calls to make sure everyone is feeling okay.
Will I have to stop breastfeeding?
Definitely not. I am a big champion of breastfeeding and your child can still learn to sleep while you continue to offer night feeds.
I’m already so exhausted from issues with sleep. Is this going to make it worse?
There is no doubt that sleep coaching can be physically and emotionally hard. If changes were easy to make, you would have already made them! However, it’s short-term work and on the other side is … SLEEP. Also, I am with you every step of the way to keep you on track and motivated.
What happens if my partner and I disagree about sleep coaching?
You are not alone in this! It may feel like there isn’t any common ground – or you agree on a goal, but not how to get there. These are all things we will work out when we make a plan. And, it’s important to work out because your child will be confused by mixed messages. Your ‘united front’ will be a key to your success. I’ll help you.
We have something going on in a few weeks. Should we wait?
It’s worth starting the conversation. As we craft your plan we will take all the details of your situation and family into account and do what makes sense. Sometimes it does make sense to wait. Sometimes it makes sense to get started but hold during an upcoming transition and sometimes you can coach right through family changes. It sounds cliché but it’s true - every family is different and therefore every plan is different.
Do I need to meet with you in person? It’s so hard to get out of the house!
Nope! I do all my sleep coaching by phone. Skype is an option, too. If you are in the lakes region of NH or midcoast ME, I’m happy to do an in-person initial consultation but that is not necessary.
Why do I have to wait until 6 months? My baby is 4 months and his sleep just completely fell apart! Is there anything I can do now?
Sleep often ‘falls apart’ after a period of rapid brain growth and development. After all, your baby is experiencing the world in a totally new way and that can be disorienting. Sleep regressions are common around 4 months. Even with all that growth, your baby is too young to self-regulate. They need a loving caregiver to help build calming pathways in their brain.
Despite what your grandmother says, you cannot spoil a baby. Love and hold and rock and feed your baby and don’t worry about ‘bad habits.’ In the meantime, we can brainstorm coping strategies and start to lay the groundwork for healthy sleep. Check out my newborn consultation.
How is Gentle Sleep Coaching different from regular sleep coaching?
The Gentle Sleep Coach (GSC) philosophy was developed by Kim West, LCSW-C, the Sleep Lady, because she found so many parents had difficulty following through with a program they made them fearful and guilty about emotionally hurting their child. The GSC approach is a gentle alternative for families who don’t want to let their babies cry it out or be left alone. I am happy to work as slowly and gently as parents want to work and am always protective of attachment, breastfeeding and co-sleeping.
How long does sleep coaching take?
It depends a lot on the age and temperament of your baby and also how consistent you and other caregivers are. Consistency is everything. That’s why we spend time and care making a thoughtful plan. I don’t want you to agree to something that you won’t be able to see through!
That being said, I usually recommend families clear their calendars as much as possible for two weeks. And, sometimes unexpected things happen like sickness or work and family demands. I’ll coach you through the bumps and we’ll fine-tune your plan as we go.
1. We connect briefly by phone if you’re feeling unsure, want to ask some questions or just get a sense of working together. If you’re ready to get started, see ‘get started today’ on Services page.
2. We schedule our consultation and I send paperwork for you to return, with payment. Forms and payment are received at least 48 hours before we ‘meet.’
3. The consultation: We meet for approximately 90 minutes to review your child’s history and make a gentle sleep plan.
4. I send you written notes from our consultation and a copy of the book ‘Goodnight, Sleep Tight.’ You start a sleep log tracking when and how your child sleeps.
5. Follow-ups: We talk the morning following the first night of implementing your plan to debrief the night, review your log, answer questions and talk about next steps. Coaching and follow-ups continue for approximately two weeks although it depends greatly on age and temperament of child and how consistent you and other caregivers are through the process.
Ready to Get Started?
Get in touch.