When I tell people that I am a certified sleep coach, I often hear these questions: “Do I really need a sleep coach to get my child sleeping better?”, “I should be able to figure out this sleep thing on my own, right?”
And sometimes before contacting me, parents have read about sleep training or have dabbled in it on their own. They’ve read a few blog posts, picked up a few books, and attempted to create better sleep habits for their child.
On average, these attempts at sleep training lack clear direction, consistency, and support.
For a lot of families, their first attempt at sleep training is usually during a moment of deep frustration… in the middle of the night…totally exhausted… with no clear understanding or solution.
At this point, no plan has been established. You want more sleep and are willing to try anything. Haphazard sleep training just doesn’t work.
So, why hire a sleep coach? In short… Expertise, A Clear Plan, Consistency, and Accountability.
Common Failures of Sleep Training without Support
As I stated above, there is no plan! Sleep training is started on a decision based out of desperation and exhaustion. The family is overtired and is searching for answers, so usually, parents jump to letting their child “cry it out.”
Hearing your baby cry and cry is heart-wrenching and it isn’t a sustainable plan. After 10-15 minutes of crying a parent usually gives up and resorts back to their old habits.
Or you’ll stick to your plan the first night, but the next night it gets too hard and you go back to rocking your child to sleep. This inconsistency is confusing for your child and inconsistency is the number one cause of sleep training failures.
Also, parents generally lack knowledge about what to expect and how long it will take. If the process takes too long and gets too hard, they don’t have the support or accountability to keep moving forward.
3 Key Benefits of a Sleep Coach
- Expert Advice
Your sleep coach has worked with many families and is able to tell you what amount of crying is normal and what is not. They can walk you through what to expect, how long it will take, and how you can help your child in these moments. (It’s not instantaneous).
Your sleep coach creates a detailed plan for your family. It is based on a thorough assessment of your current sleep situation, your parenting style, and your goals. This plan is clearly laid out. You don’t have to question whether you are doing it right, the work is done for you based on your sleep coach’s vast expertise.
- Support and Accountability
You won’t be going through this process alone. You’ll have someone helping you succeed. You’ll be able to ask how to deal with your child being upset and frustrated as they try to learn new sleeping skills.
You’ll experience a deep level of support from your sleep coach. If needed, your coach will keep you accountable to your plan. Or they’ll provide you with the emotional support you need during times of frustration.
- Customized Care
A sleep coach will provide a plan built just for your child and your family’s needs. Yes, you can find a lot of information online or in a book to get you started with sleep training, but once your child does something that isn’t covered in that book, there is a tendency to give up.
A sleep coach is able to understand your child’s changing needs and modify your sleep training along the way. We can slow down or speed up the process. We can add in additional tools if needed along the way.
Your sleep plan is very specific to your child AND your family.
A Common Fear When Hiring a Sleep Coach.
I have already alluded to it, but many parents who call me are very nervous about sleep training because they assume it means letting your child “cry it out” – also known as the Extinction method. Right at the beginning of our ‘Let’s Get Acquainted’ call, they state, “I’m not interested in the Cry-It-Out method, I just can’t do it”.
Rest assured, I typically don’t recommend this approach. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to sleep training. Each child is different. Each family is different. At Tender Transitions, we find the best approach for your family based on your assessment and our conversation together.
“After multiple failed strategies to help our 9 month old sleep thru the night, we contacted Leann. Our daughter needed to nurse to sleep, wouldn’t go to bed before 9pm, and was up every 2-3 hours at night to nurse. Within the first three days, we saw huge improvements and by the end of the first week she was falling to sleep on her own and sleeping thru the night.”
If you’d like to learn more about how we can help you have more peaceful nights, book a chat with us.