I’ve thought about writing this blog for a long time. It isn’t easy. It’s an honest reflection after the countless times that parents have asked me what they can expect with sleep training. I have four values which underpin the support I provide to parents. This drives everything I do when helping you move towards achieving better sleep for your little one.
- We need to treat each child as the first child we help
The honest truth about pediatric sleep is that each child is completely unique. As such, it’s important that every sleep coach tailors each and every sleep plan completely to the child. Sure, there are some areas which are essential and need to be reiterated every time. But, the sleep methods we recommend really need to mirror the temperament and age of the child, as well as bolster the values that each parent has. We should approach each new client as we did our very first client, with unwavering commitment to helping those who seek out our help.
2. We need to follow the science
It’s true that there is over a decade of experience from renowned sleep trainers around the world that helps build the body of evidence on what does and doesn’t work. There is also a small, but growing, number of academic studies on pediatric sleep that helps distinguish effective sleep methods and approaches from those methods that just don’t work. We need to read, understand and absorb what those studies are telling us.
While it is true that there is no study that proves that letting your baby cry themselves to sleep is bad for them, there is also NO study that can categorically say that it is okay for them. As such, we as sleep professionals have a duty of care to the parents and children we help, to identify the most gentle method for them. We want them to love sleep, so that they can grow and develop to their fullest potential. Getting a great early experience with this can only be the best thing for them.
3. We need to be 100% honest with parents
Sleep consultants will promise you the moon: that perfect sleep is just within your grasp and in a few nights you will all be sleeping soundly. Bliss. While that may be completely true for most kids, there are also some instances when those results aren’t seen in a few nights. We need to be honest that the use of gentle methods best suited to those kids can take a good deal of time and parental effort to see results. Having a sleep professional guide you through the journey is critically important. There may be moments when you just want to quit. It happens. Being a sleep-deprived parent can be crippling. Having a kind listening ear and providing caring support is what we do best.
4. Sleep training isn’t always a one-time solution
What you have read about child sleep pattern’s changing (read: developing) over time is completely true. What works to help your newborn get to sleep is not going to work for a 6-month old or a toddler. You may feel disappointed that you hired a great sleep coach when your child was 5-months old and then they are sleeping poorly again at 18-months old. But, just as you go to your pediatrician with each new ailment, you need to develop that same lasting relationship with your sleep coach. Because of this, I have added in a special price for each child that needs support again later on in their life (see the ‘ask me anything’ package). I am here to help your child pass seamlessly through each developmental phase in their young life.