Why sleep coaching with Sweet Babydreams may help your family…
1. Go to any mother’s group or group involving babies and sleep is more than likely to be a topic of discussion! New parents often feel guilty or think their child is not as good as others if the child does not sleep well. This is such a shame – each child is unique and wonderful in their own right, no matter how they sleep! However, we believe that a well-rested baby results in well-rested and more patient parents, who are better equipped to look after their little ones.
2. Bad sleep habits can take years to resolve and are often a source of anxiety and frustration for parents. Good sleep habits in infancy set up your child for a lifetime of restful and restorative sleep.
3. There are many benefits to establishing healthy sleep habits in your child from a young age. Although it may not seem like it, a lot happens while your child sleeps. Their bodies grow, heal and the immune system is strengthened, memories are consolidated, emotions and experiences are processed, stress decreased, while brain connections and new skills are developed. Research shows that even a slight deficit in sleep can negatively impact a child’s development, learning ability and later academic competence significantly. Children with healthy sleep habits are more capable of handling their emotions well and concentrating for longer periods of time. A deficit in sleep during childhood has even been linked to decreased physical health later in life. Moreover, lack of sleep can increase risk of maternal postpartum depression. Sleep is important for everyone!
4. Having realistic expectations of your baby’s sleep can be a welcome relief. Well-meaning parents and friends may contribute to new parents’ anxieties (“Well my Johnny was sleeping a straight 12 hours at night from 4 months of age, I wonder if you should try [insert well-meant-but-unhelpful tip] to get your Sally sleeping better?”). We are not going to force your child to do anything that they are not biologically capable of doing, or anything that you don’t feel comfortable with as a parent. We are there to empower YOU to become your child’s greatest coach by noticing what their needs are and encouraging him/her to be more independent where capable, while still maintaining realistic expectations and most importantly, a strong bond between you and your baby.
5. Our approach is not one-size-fit-all. You as the parent have the right to identify where you are struggling, and we will then coach you in how to make age-appropriate changes in a way that fits to your parenting style. We are trained in gentle sleep coaching methods, knowing that consistency and patience are the best way to get your baby into a good sleeping pattern. We can’t promise that the process will be completely tear-free, as changing any sleep habit requires some time for the baby to adapt; however, your connection with your baby is of utmost important to us, and we will never recommend any methods that would threaten the relationship of trust between you and your child (ie, leaving the baby to cry for hours).
6. We have done the work of reading the books and research and compiled it together so that YOU don’t have to. We endeavour to keep myself up to date with the latest scientific research on infant and child sleep in order to offer you and your family the best possible service.
7. We have personally been where you are, sleep deprived and wondering if it’s ever going to get any better. We know what it feels like to wake up in the morning, bleary-eyed from multiple night wake-ups, emotional and unsure of how we’ll make it through the day. However we also know what a relief it is to finally be able to sleep well again, confident in our baby’s ability to sleep well, to finally have energy to be the mom we want to be. Our coaching comes not from a place of judging and “shoulds” but from a compassionate place of understanding and wanting the best for both you and your baby.
8. We will provide on-going support for the entire process, every step of the way. You will never be left just to “figure it out on your own”. We offer a variety of individualised packages from in-home visits to telephone and email consultations, with varying degrees of support included. Or get a group of parents together over coffee and let one of our sleep coaches come answer your questions. Together, we can find the right package that meets your needs and suits your family situation. Check out the various packages here.
9. Our coaching style is holistic and broad. Not only do we look at your child’s sleep habits, but we also take into account their day routine, nutrition, general well-being, development, sleep environment, sleep associations and temperament, as well as your parenting style and family situation. If we feel that another professional opinion is needed or the situation is too complicated for my expertise, we will always refer you to a paediatrician, lactation consultant, or other health professional.
10. Many babies struggle with sleep, so don’t feel alone – your baby isn’t the only one! Examples of issues that we can help you solve:
- You have a newborn baby and want to encourage good sleep habits from the beginning but are unsure how
- Your newborn cries a lot and you need some help to settle them
- You would like to introduce more routine with your baby but would like some guidance
- Your baby only takes very shorts naps during the day (cat-capping)
- Your baby does not nap at all
- Your baby wakes up multiple times a night
- Your baby wakes up too early in the morning
- Your baby or newborn is fussy and difficult to settle
- You have a toddler who can’t sleep through or still wakes for a bottle overnight
- Your baby can’t put himself to sleep or wakes up every 45 minutes and can’t resettle
- You want to change a sleep association such as using a pacifier/dummy or rocking or feeding to sleep
- Your baby is going through a sleep regression (where they previously slept well, but not anymore)
- Your baby is experiencing separation anxiety and as a result is struggling to sleep
- Your baby won’t sleep through the night and you feel they should
- You would like to wean your baby at night from night feeds while continuing to co-sleep or bed-share.
- Moving your baby or toddler from bed-sharing to a their own bed, or from parents room to baby’s own room
- Your toddler refuses to nap or settle in the evening
- Your baby has/had colic and you want some skills to help him/her learn to settle
- Your baby had reflux and now is ready to learn to self settle
- Your toddler wakes screaming at night
- Your toddler is struggling with nighttime fears
- You have multiple children and are struggling to know how to fit their daily routines together
- You have experienced some change in your family situation (mother going back to work, child starting daycare, etc) and you need some advice around sleep during this transition
- Illness or travel has caused your child’s sleep to deteriorate