What guarantees do I have that this will work?
I can guarantee to teach your baby to learn to fall asleep independently anywhere between 1-5 nights, however I can also guarantee that if you are not 100% committed to putting a stop to you & your baby’s no sleep cycles or are not consistent with your personal sleep plan 24/7, no amount of help from a baby sleep coach will be able to help.
If after the course with you, my baby has not cooperated, can I have an extension of 1-2 weeks at no extra cost?
If you remain committed until all areas have been tweaked (up to 2 months post course) then I guarantee that your baby will be showing you the true meaning of sleeping like a baby & you will be too!
A baby’s cooperation is purely dependent on your cooperation with me. Following my guidance, trusting my knowledge, living the experience with me & being open to learning something new ensures that your baby cooperates during the course with me.
Why can’t I keep putting my baby to sleep?
This interferes with the natural development of sleep triggers & the ability to learn appropriate inhibition when their brains are developing critical inhibitory connections. Learning self-regulation is stressful but if your baby cries when you change a diaper, I am guessing that you’re still going to change that diaper, doing your best to sooth yet still meet their needs and yours. Sleep training is not much different it’s just about sleep…rather than poop!
Can a sleep coach help me if we co-sleep or room share?
This depends on your ultimate goals. If your aim is not related to getting your child their optimal sleep needs but simply need some help with scheduling or some help with positive invitations to sleep, then the answer is yes.
If your aim however is to have your baby fall asleep quicker, wake up less at night, optimise their sleep needs (naps too!) for effective growth hormone & antibody production & maybe even have that old thing called date night with the other love of your life then the answer is no.
Any sleep consultant that tells you differently or worse, that finds a way to convince you that using the Ferber/Cry-It-Out method while sharing a room is a workable solution, is most definitely not putting your child’s needs first. That kind of advice is highly irresponsible & there is ample research out there that is clear about any signs of being ignored elevates the cortisone levels in little ones resulting in their brains being in a stress induced situation. Researchers believe this plays a role in long-term emotional damage.
If you wish to work with me, I will require babies to be autonomous, in their own room & in their own crib.
Can a sleep coach help me fix night wakings, bedtime battles &/ or no-sleep cycles for my toddler?
YES! I work with toddlers up to 23 months of age, assessed on a case by case basis to ensure the most stress free approach for your toddler.
Can my baby’s doctor help me with my baby’s sleep?
Your paediatrician or child’s doctor can provide guidelines on sleep but unfortunately don’t have the time to present you with your personal sleep plan and to support you throughout the journey & may refer you on to a sleep consultant for further guidance.
Do I need to be at home during the course or can a caregiver do the training for me?
A child needs both parents in order to feel safe and secure during training. As such, I work solely with parents during the course, your caregiver can be introduced to the new changes with my guidance when your baby or toddler is ready.
Will sleep training my baby cause long-term harm?
Most babies who need help to fall asleep (and stay asleep) are falling asleep through total exhaustion the majority of the time due to a very present no sleep cycle. Their body gives up temporarily until they wake up from that first sleep cycle only to find themselves right back where they started, desperate to sleep but unable to do so without help.
Parents who continue to help their little ones to sleep believe that their method, their help, is less stressful for their baby than sleep training them.
This latest research recently published in the journal Pediatrics may surprise you. The study results found that sleep trained babies are less stressed and less anxious than babies who have not been sleep trained. Babies that are helped to sleep have a heightened level of cortisol (the hormone released by the brain during times of stress). Un trained babies spend much of their 24hr day desperate to sleep at all the wrong times. The interference provided by an adult at these misunderstood sleep opportunities results in the baby having an even harder time falling asleep & staying asleep. An all too familiar downward spiral of less and less sleep for everyone very quickly ensues, creating more stress hormones to be produced on a frequent basis.
What about the Ferber/ Cry It Out Method…Does that harm my baby?
This method is so very misinterpreted, misunderstood and misused. In these instances the answer is yes at the very least causing the stress hormone mentioned above to rise in newborns or infants all the way to the other end of the scale where there is less than adequate research on the long term repercussions later on in life (tendency to be violent is just one said link).
Most see the Ferber method as harmful or cruel since a baby is ignored. I agree and it’s not for me, I am not about ignoring your baby. However, I would like to highlight that parenting needs to be above all, done with responsibility.
As with everything in life, there is always a balanced way to see things through.
Life is after all not so black & white (thank goodness) & sleep training far from it! If ever you do choose to try the CIO/Ferber method, please remember that it is not a cure all & above all be responsible about it, in other words, never put your baby through it when it is not safe to do so. (>> link to Let the Feelings Be section detailing when Ferber is safe to use list). I am personally against it & believe in always listening to a baby & decoding their needs but having said this, there are no studies that show that the CIO method is harmful or will result in changing your baby’s personality if practiced on babies over 6 month of age, not even this famous Harvard article on the subject (insert link: https://mainstreamparenting.wordpress.com/2008/01/23/when-proof-is-not-proof-apnp-research/
I also know that no parent actually wants to listen to their baby cry let alone be told to do just that when your little one needs to get to sleep. Most parents actually turn to the Cry It Out sleep training method as a last resort, once they have exhausted all the more supposedly ‘gentler’ methods without success and their patience (and sleep) has just about run out.
The Cry It Out method is often misused (see above link for safe ways to practice it) and that is what makes it such a no-no in my books. It does indeed allow babies to get the much needed sleep they deserve in a very short amount of time, thus avoiding further detrimental sleep deprivation, however there are studies that demonstrate that the amount of time to success is not much less than using a more gentle ‘low cry’ method.
It is also worth noting that there is not one single thing that you can or not do as a parent that will define your relationship with your child (abusive crimes aside of course). I like to remind myself too, that the one time I was not close enough to catch my son when he fell off the swing in the park backwards or took a good tumble when learning to ride his bike, or inviting him to walk just that one step too far when he was learning to walk, that these moments when I was not right there for him, have not affected his trust in me whatsoever. These examples are all times when I let him cry, not where I made him cry & I those are my valuable reminders how life’s greatest lessons always come with protest before success & are not markers for the trust we have between us. This positive parenting mind set of “letting the feelings be” has also greatly helped me navigate my son’s toddler years. We are our little ones’ guides, they need us more than we can appreciate & it’s up to us to let them know what’s best for them not the other way around. Sleep deprivation is far worse for him that it is for you, imagine that…and that is when the parent is needed to step in and guide accordingly.
So yes, learning to sleep independently will always come with protest, but if you know that your baby wakes every 10-20 minutes at night because he needs you to come in and feed or rock him back to sleep, you already know the reason why he is crying so does that mean you give your baby everything simply because he is crying? Does that mean that even though that’s all he knows that he is un-able to learn another way, a better way? My answer is a big “NO” & this is where I decipher your baby’s language together with you & help you show them that even though they most definitely believe that they absolutely need you no matter what to fall asleep, that they can learn with you, how to do it differently to allow them to have ALL the sleep their little bodies need (& you too!).
So back to the Cry It Out method. Is it cruel? Only when you as a parent ignore all of your baby’s needs. There is a big difference between ignoring every single need & being a completely irresponsible parent versus tending to some needs when the time is right.
It is a very fine line however and this is why I like to steer clear of the Ferber sleep training method. I have found it to be useful as it was intended to be used in well slept pre-schoolers with very clear schedules but once again, only if you already know why your toddler is crying and not because you did something to make them cry.
How To Choose the right Baby Sleep Coach for Your Family:
I as a mother myself and a baby sleep consultant I only ask that you thoroughly research any sleep coach before hiring them, no matter their chosen methods they wish to use on your baby. Some key areas to look at are their parenting philosophies & their word of mouth client experiences & following. Lots of super happy mamas & positive word of mouth referrals is usually a sign that they will know what they’re doing. Most importantly their success rate based on families who trusted them enough to pay them for their services should not be overlooked.
Aside from the likelihood of a volunteer family being more likely to pull out over the first 24-48hrs since they don’t feel 100% invested in the service, it is also worth noting that any volunteer basis clients a sleep coach uses as part of their experience is not a reflection of success based on their own experience. A student studying how to become a sleep coach sometimes requires volunteers to include as their coursework, during these trials and errors when testing out their skills they are closely followed by a mentor or expert sleep coach. This mentor ensures that their students are able to find a suitable way out of a difficult situation with their help and guidance. As such, it’s always a good idea to hire your sleep coach based on their long term experience and success rate from paying clients & the strong word of mouth following.
I always reflect on how life’s greatest lessons are never the perfect textbook versions of themselves. Life is after all our greatest teacher, pushing us to always strive to be one step ahead, better than the day before.
Baby sleep training is just like being a mama & papa, every day can bring new challenges & you can only do your very best when these crop up to guide your little one with the best guidance you know how. The wellbeing of your baby is a responsibility that I hold dear & believe is too great to entrust it in someone with little to no experience, even for free (maybe that’s just the mama in me talking!).
You may be more comfortable having a whirl at sleep training your baby on your own via the numerous methods found online or a book or you may prefer having a support system in place along with your personalised sleep plan during the transition by coming to someone like myself for guidance. Either way I wish you only luck and perseverance to succeed & if you do choose to be in touch with me, you may find you become a true believer…not hearse anymore but based on a pleasant experience & results.