Why A Sleep Coach Should Top Your List of Baby Gear
Solve My Sleep Problems, Please!
As a pediatric sleep coach, there are quite a few questions I’ve grown accustomed to hearing. People are understandably curious about whether or not their child is going to cry during sleep training, and if so, for how long. They want to know how long it’s going to take before their baby starts sleeping through the night (and when they’ll be able to do the same). And even though they never come right out and say it, they want to know if there is some type of magical solution that will solve their sleep problem instantaneously without any effort, protest, or tears.
That’s not the verbiage they use, obviously. What they do say is something to the tune of, “My friend got her baby a special sleep device/apparatus/thingamajig and she says her little one has been sleeping through the night ever since!” Then they’ll give me a slightly hopeful look thinking maybe, just maybe, I’ll affirm that this product is indeed the key to all their sleep struggles and if they just buy it, their baby’s sleep problems will be solved in an instant.
And when you consider how many products are out there that say they’ll get your baby sleeping, it’s not surprising that parents think that maybe one of them might be their golden ticket to more peaceful nights. Maybe the self-rocking crib? The vibrating mattress pad? The weighted blanket? The motion-detecting auto-shusher? The hypnotizing bedtime book? (I’m not making this stuff up by the way. All of those are actual products available for purchase, and that’s not even a complete list.)
Now, I’m not saying that none of these products will help your baby fall asleep. In fact, the opposite is probably true; I think many of them do help…but therein lies the problem.
Bedtime Stories, Anyone?
Let’s take the hypnotizing baby book as an example. If you’re a parent, you’ve undoubtedly heard of it in the last year. It’s the first self-published book to climb to the top of the Amazon bestseller list, and it promises to get your kids to fall asleep quickly through repetitive phrases and near-constant yawning on the part of the reader.
Let’s say you buy the book, read it to your child, and it does its job and knocks them out. I’m guessing that as a parent, you also know that no one – including a baby – falls asleep and stays asleep for the whole night. We all go through sleep cycles that take us from light sleep into deep sleep and back again. In between cycles, we all wake up. As adults we typically don’t even remember these wakings because they are so brief and benign. We simply scan our environment and as long as everything is as it was when we fell asleep, we transition right back into the next sleep cycle. However, when babies rely on some type of crutch to get them to sleep at bedtime (like a hypnotizing book, maybe), they’ll start waking up completely in between their sleep cycles demanding for a recreation of what put them to sleep in the first place. So, unless you like the idea of getting up every 2-3 hours and reading said book, you’re probably not addressing the root of the issue when purchasing this product.
Teach Your Baby To Sleep
Sleep is a skill, and I don’t say that metaphorically. It’s no different than swimming, riding a bike, driving a stick shift, or playing the piano. While we are born with the ability to fall asleep, it still takes some guidance and practice to refine that skill in order to do it independently. When you lull your babe to sleep through motion, shushing, vibration, or feeding, you’re doing all the work for them. It’s like constantly holding the seat of their bike as they learn to ride it; it serves a purpose in the beginning, but eventually you’re going to have to let go and allow them to practice on their own.
THIS is what sets a sleep coach apart from all the apparatuses and devices on the market: together we teach your child to master those sleeping skills. We take them, step by step, from beginner to expert until you’re the proud and happy parent of the Michael Jordan of sleep. That means, no matter where they’re sleeping, no matter who is watching them, and regardless of whether the motor dies on their self-rocking crib, they’ll have no problem getting themselves to sleep at bedtime and staying asleep through the night.
Having a child so skilled at sleep comes with the added benefit of a well-rested child (as well as well-rested parents) but there’s another huge plus when your baby masters this skill: they’ll love to do it! Just the same as any other talent, when we’re good at something we enjoy doing it. It’s no longer frustrating or cause for protest. There are no more bedtime battles or epic meltdowns. There are just calm, enjoyable bedtime routines and peaceful journeys into sleep.
Dropping a few hundred bucks every six months when your baby outgrows their weighted sleep suit (or a whopping $1,500 when they get too big for their self-rocking crib) is a pricey set of training wheels – especially when you consider that these things are really just treating the symptoms, not the root cause. Teaching your baby the skills needed to fall asleep on their own is really the cure-all for your nighttime woes.
Of course, this is easier said than done. If you’re looking for expert guidance and step-by-step support as you teach your baby the skill of sleep in as easy and as stress-free of a way as possible, I’d love to help!
If you’re exhausted, totally overwhelmed by your child’s sleep habits, or looking for answers to the sleep questions that keep you up at night (literally), then you’ve come to the right place. I’m Jamie, founder of Oh Baby Consulting, and my goal is to help your family get the sleep you need to not just survive, but thrive!