What Does a Baby Sleep Coach Do?
When you first bring baby home, you’re prepared for long nights and little sleep. But as baby gets older, the nights are supposed to get longer as the baby sleeps longer, right? While that might be true for some parents, others find out that their baby doesn’t want to sleep at night. In fact, their baby doesn’t want to sleep at all. Not during the day, not at night, not when they’re being held. Never.
Sleep disruption can affect kids well through the toddler years and as late as the first year of school. For some kids, there’s a reason they can’t sleep through the night. For others, it’s a learned behavior or another type of behavior, such as parental attachment, that makes it nearly impossible for them to sleep.
When you’re extremely tired, and what new parent or parent of a young child isn’t? Trying to get your kids to sleep all night can seem an impossible task. Some parents resign to just waiting till their kids outgrow this phase of life, but that’s not the only option. Here is what a baby sleep consultant is trained to do:
1. Diagnoses Sleep Problems
If you’re interested in finding out why your baby can’t sleep without being held or won’t sleep all night long, you can hire a baby sleep coach to help you solve the puzzle. Thankfully, there are certified professionals that specialize in baby sleep coaching.
A baby sleep coach plan involves the whole family with the intention of finding out why the baby won’t sleep through the night and working on a plan that will let baby sleep sounder and longer, which will let Mom and Dad get much-needed rest too.
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Check out six important facts about baby sleep coaches to see if this professional might be the right fit for your family. Be sure to read to the very end for tips on how to choose the right professional.
2. Evaluate the Daytime Routine
One of the first things a baby sleep coach will do is examine a baby’s daytime routine. You’re probably wondering why daytime routines are important? It’s important because feedings, naps, and playtime during the day could effect how your child sleeps at night.
Items for review will include how much formula a baby is consuming during daytime feedings and whether baby is consuming solid foods or is solely dependent on formula or breast milk. Other topics that will be covered include whether baby is taking naps during the day. If baby is taking naps during the day, the baby sleep coach will look at how long and how often the baby naps.
3. Look for Medical Sleep Disruptions
Did you know that there may be a medical reason you’re baby isn’t sleeping through the night? It’s true! There is. A certified, baby sleep coach works with you and your baby very closely. Through their training and hands-on-experience for your baby, they can help spot medical reasons for sleep disruption such as reflux, sleep apnea, PPD, and other common conditions.
If your baby sleep coach suspects your child’s sleep is being disrupted by a medical condition, they will advise you to consult with your pediatrician. Some sleep coaches may suggest putting sleep training on hold until the condition is checked out, diagnosed, and a treatment plan is in place.
4. Help You Choose a Sleep Method that is Best for You and Your Baby
Did you know there are several methods used to sleep train babies. There are! The method that is right for you depends on how long you want or expect the training to take, the personality of your baby, and how the baby responds to sleep method coaching. The common sleep methods used for babies include Extinction, Modified Controlled Comforting, Controlled Comforting, Pick Up/Pick Down and The Chair Method.
5. Examine the Baby’s Nursery
You probably spent days and months preparing for the arrival of your bundle of joy. Everything from custom curtains to whimsy mobiles were picked out with care and a theme in mind. However, for some babies, the nursery can be overstimulating. If the nursery is full of spinning mobiles, toys that make noise, lamps that shine brightly, and colors that provide strong contrast, it might be too much for them at bedtime.
If the baby sleep coach thinks your nursery decorations or colors might be one of the reasons your baby can’t sleep, it doesn’t mean you have to strip everything down and start over. Instead, the coach can work with you to make changes that will allow baby to sleep sounder. Some little fixes that could help include removing bright lamps and whimsy mobiles. Some coaches might recommend blackout curtains to dampen sound and keep the sun away.
6. Client History and Temperament Assessment
When the baby sleep coach is getting to know you and your family, they will ask a variety of questions that include a detailed client history. You can expect to answer questions about your own health history and sleep habits. In addition to the client history, the baby sleep coach will want to get a temperament assessment for you and baby.
Although some of the questions may be uncomfortable, it’s important to answer them as honestly as possible. The more honest you are with the assessments will allow the baby sleep coach to know exactly what to focus on. The temperament assessment is equally as important and helps the baby sleep coach to get to know what type of temperament the baby has and how you and other family members deal with baby’s restlessness at night.
7. Journaling and Logging Baby’s Schedule
Another technique sleep coaches use is to have parents and caretakers journal baby’s daily and nightly routines. The most important parts of the journal will be logs of baby’s sleep patterns, feeding patterns, and diaper changes. After journaling and logging for a week or two, parents and coaches may seem patterns that may help discover why baby is restless at night and can’t stay asleep.
It might be easy to shrug off the thought of hiring a baby sleep coach, but before you do, you should consider whether it’s right for you and your family. If you check out all the information and decide you really need to get a good’s night sleep, you need to make sure you hire a certified coach. To do this, you’ll want to check out the coach, their reviews, and how long they’ve been practicing sleep coaching.
Specifically, you should check to see if the baby sleep coach is certified. There are many sleep coach certified individuals out there, so it’s imperative that you make sure the coach is certified to work with babies and their families. You’ll also want to ask questions about the sleep methods the coach uses. Is it one of the methods mentioned above, or is it something different?
inquire about follow-up
Another aspect to consider is how long of a wait the coach has before you can get an appointment and how long the coaching will last. Finally, ask if there’s any additional coaching after the initial assessment and plans are put in place. Following through with the right coach and sleeping method for your baby and family will help everyone in your home sleep better at night.