During the last few years, I've been repeatedly asked the same questions. The two that stand out the most go as follows. "What are you going to tell me, that I haven't already read?" Followed by, "I'm not comfortable with my baby crying unattended to. Can you still help me?" Very valid, decent questions that I have come to both expect and appreciate. Therefore, I felt moved to write towards these specific inquiries. Sleep is a pretty hot button topic in the world of parenting. Some of you may be thinking, doesn't everyone want their baby to sleep all night? Well, the answer for some is: not at any cost. And I'm not referring to finances, but rather a moral obligation.
I come from a place of understanding, and my role is one of a supporter. I'm an educator, but certainly not a parenting judge. My main objective is to find out the root cause of a child's sleep issues. That's all of it, and it's also none of it. There are so many components in between and no two cases are the same. I spend a great deal of my time helping parents decipher their baby's sleep code, and mapping out their little one's nighttime and nap time troubles. I do not prescribe any information without fully understanding the ailment. This is a necessary component to success, and the other piece is equally important: I understand and respect each client's goals and parenting approach.
I can't speak for all sleep coaches, or really anyone other than myself. This is my take on what I do, and how I can so easily justify it as a positive experience for everyone involved. First of all, here is a short list of what I don't do, just so we're clear. First of all, I DO NOT show up barking orders like the televised Super Nanny, and command that caregivers do exactly what I say. I DO NOT spit out sleep advice like a robot or recite the latest baby sleep book on the market. I DO NOT shove the idea of sleep training down a parent's throat, especially when it may not even be necessary. If it is suggested, I DO NOT advocate for babies or children to cry in their room/bed alone without comfort from their parents.
So what is left - what do I do? How do parents get results without compromising their parenting beliefs? That's the million dollar question that cannot be simply answered. Here is why. When I work with parents, I find sleep is often a fraction of the overall "problem" (sometimes there is simply no problem at all - just a baby sleeping how babies should sleep). Depending on your child's age, sleep accounts anywhere from 2/3 to 1/2 of their entire day. However, your child's wake time plays a very large role in the matter. In fact, it's not unusual for me to collect information ranging from little one's birth history, to their feeding schedule and sensitivities. Sounds extreme to some, right? Now, those two answers alone don't paint a clear picture for me, because I need to know your child inside and out. The reason is, I don't want to just try various techniques with your baby to see what sticks. I work hard to get it right the first time, because I've put in the time to understand your child's specific needs. You can comb over every article you can possibly find online, but how do you know what is the right information for your child? What do you do, if you aren't comfortable with that advice? Or say you try this advice and it backfires, and once again you are feeling defeated and your baby is getting more and more overtired by the day. How can you possibly know where to turn when there are conflicting resources left and right? That's where I come in...
This is precisely why I can't quickly tell a parent how to get results in 10 minutes time. If I could, I would be no different than the mom next door excitably proclaiming what worked for her baby. Or one of the various books you've already read and tried without success. We can't all apply the exact same knowledge from the exact same blurb of information to every baby and child that is struggling with sleep. In an ideal world, it would be that simple, but it's just not. In summary, if you want a sleep plan catered more towards your individual child, then its going to take a bit of work. And the payoff - it's enormous.
Considerate sleep consultation starts here at Baby Sleep Central.