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posted by on musings, sleep coach

alizaSleepNot getting enough sleep, for an adult, can be horrible. It can make us cranky, irritated,  impatient and even dysfunctional.  As a parent, it is so important to be happy, patient and have lots of energy. Being tired all day is the absolute last thing a parent should be.

Sleep is also extremely important for children and babies. For them, the most intense period of release of the growth hormone is shortly after the beginning of deep sleep.  A lack of sleep can result in slowed or stunted growth. It can also effect their immune system, motor skill development and concentration during the day.

In short, when baby and parents aren’t getting enough sleep, for the sake of their own health, something must change. But how? It can be a daunting task to get your crying baby back to sleep in the middle of the night. And how do you teach your baby good sleeping habits that will last?

How often do we feel like a certain change would be so great, but we just don’t have the wherewithal to make it happen? We know that the change would make our lives better, and that we really could do it, there’s just something in the back of our minds saying “it’s too hard” or “it won’t work”, etc. How nice would it be if when we got into these types of situations there could be someone there to say – “I”ll help you through it. I’ll be with you throughout the whole process. I’ll make sure you make no mistakes.” Wouldn’t that just make life so much easier??

Well, guess what? That is what I’m saying to you.

I am that person that will explain to you exactly what you can do to teach your baby to learn to go to sleep happily, and stay asleep throughout the night. I will be there telling you what to do every step of the way, giving encouragement and making sure you’re on the right path. I will help you through it and take you safely to the other side, where sleep is welcome and plentiful.

So let me help you along to make the change your family desperately needs.

posted by on sleep coach

This is a question that concerns many parents, whether they are new to the field or old-time players.
Sometimes it is hard to know whether your baby is actually getting enough sleep or not.
Here are a few pointers to help you assess your situation.

1. Here is a chart that shows, statistically how many hours of sleep babies and children of different ages need. Remember that every child is unique and these are only generalizations. But if your child is way off the charts it may signify that there is an issue that should be dealt with.

2. Another indicator is how cranky your child is during the day. If your baby is regularly cranky, and not just when she is sick or teething, it is possible that this is because she is over tired.

3. If your child is falling asleep whenever he stops moving, e.g. lying on the floor, in his high chair while eating, etc, he probably needs more sleep than he is getting.

4. Having trouble falling asleep at night, and/or at nap time can be a result of the lack of sleep. Many parents tend to think that the more tired out their children are, the faster and easier they’ll fall asleep. In fact, over tired children (and adults) have trouble falling asleep, and when they do sleep, it may be less restful. However, taking a long time to fall asleep can also be the result of many other things as well, so should only be used to indicate a lack of sleep when other issues have been ruled out.

As always, parents are usually the best judges of their children, and if you feel that your baby needs more sleep, she probably does. Getting her to sleep those extra hours isn’t always easy though. Especially if there are already other sleep issues.
One good pointer is just to try to be attentive to your baby, and not wait until she is over-tired to get here in bed. Once you start seeing signs of being ready for sleep, she should be in bed within 30 minutes.

I would be happy to help with any questions or concerns 🙂

Good luck!

posted by on sleep coach

One of the great mysteries of the universe is that people need to sleep. One subset of that mystery is that the less sleep we need, the more we want it. Therefore, adults who can get by with between 6 and 8 hours of sleep each evening love their precious sleep, but children, who need 11-15 hours, never want to get to bed. Newborns need more sleep than any other type of human, but somehow it seems like those little bundles of joy only want to sleep when their parents are awake, and stay awake when their parents, bleary eyed and exhausted from taking care of that little darling all day long, yearn for their pillow, blankets and mattresses.

This is the story of how I confronted the great mystery, and mastered the art of getting my kids to sleep at just about the right time of evening, using gentle, baby and parent friendly methods which leave everyone feeling happy and good about themselves and each other.

My first child was born about 7 years ago. Since I was raised on the notion of co-sleeping, it came naturally for me to have my daughter sleep next to me in my bed. This rarely posed a problem for my husband and me, and if you would like to learn more about this as an option for you, there are many web sites you can consult, or you can ask me more about this personal choice. Little did I know at this sublime state of parenthood that the real challenges to happy sleeping habits were right around the corner, with my second birth – to twins!

Twins are a special challenge in many ways. Although we were thrilled with them, our nights were thrown into turmoil. My husband and I were waking up about every 1.5 hours. During the day we were cranky and tired. I felt it was getting progressively more difficult to be a good mother and wife.

Luckily I heard about sleep coaching, which especially intrigued me as a mother that feels an affinity to attachment parenting and co-sleeping. I did not want to let my adorable twins “cry it out,” but I felt I needed to take action to improve their and my own, sleep schedules. Sleep coaching seemed the perfect answer for me. I found it was an incredibly wonderful, healthy and natural process. The methods did not conflict at all with my feelings about meeting the physical and emotional needs of my children in the most holistic and respectful way possible.

To my husband’s and my delight we saw great improvement within a relatively short time. By the time we were done with the consulting process with our sleep coach, both my twins were sleeping soundly through the night, and went to sleep happily when their bedtimes arrived. My husband and I were overjoyed that now we could get back to our busy, productive lives alert and relaxed, with the ability to enjoy our children without seeing them as a source of tension and discomfort.

When our twins were about a bit over two years old our fourth child was born. Unfortunately she began to develop bad sleep habits such as difficulty falling asleep and not sleeping well during the night. Before things got out of hand we called our much-loved baby sleep coach again. The success we had with our twins was repeated, and our daughter began to go to sleep easily and happily, and sleeps soundly straight through until morning.

Friends and neighbors began to ask me how I achieved such good results without letting my children “cry it out,” which most parents seem to feel uncomfortable with, but out of desperation and sleep deprivation feel they have no choice. I was happy to give some casual sleep consulting when I could, but the need seemed great to me among my friends and acquaintances, so I decided to become a certified baby sleep coach so I could help people to the best of my ability. I am thrilled to be able to help new and experienced parents get their children to sleep well during the night and go to bed with a smile in a healthy, natural way.

posted by on musings, other blogs

I stumbled upon a post giving “8 Reasons to Avoid Sleep Training Your Baby”. I recomend reading it, but the basic points are that sleep training your baby is not fair to the baby, doesn’t actually work, is dangerous and can ruin the baby’s trust in and connection with her parents.

I found the post very compelling and truthful. She is absolutely right on all her points. However, only in regards to methods of sleep training where parents are told to let their baby “cry-it-out” or “self soothe”. It saddened me that there was no mention of any method of sleep coaching (or sleep training – as she calls it) that doesn’t create all of these issues.

When I decided to use a sleep consultant with my own children, and when I help other parents with sleep coaching, the issue driving me most is the child’s wellbeing, his connection with his parents, and the parents’ wellbeing. I help parents to naturally, gently and gradually teach their children good sleeping habits without EVER letting them cry or loose their trust in them. I give parents the tools to deal with any sleeping issues that may arise in the future, so that their child continues to have good sleep habits.

I hope that people reading the above mentioned post will not despair and feel as if their only alternative is to continue the bad sleep situation they are currently in, but find alternative and healthy ways to help their babies and themselves sleep better.