I bring all my knowledge and training to this work including:
- Basic counseling and child development
- Sleep science and behavioral modification techniques to help parents of children age 0 to 6 years old
- Secure attachment theory
- Support for the bodyfeeding parent
- In-depth knowledge of the importance of attachment and infant mental health.
- The sleep science behind the first six months of life.
- What special considerations need to be taken when working with and supporting families during this delicate period.
- Specialized instruction on how to evaluate families in the first six months.
- Guidance on how to assess when the baby is ready for sleep coaching based on current research and evidence-based strategies.
- Review of gentle sleep solutions and strategies that are developmentally appropriate, breastfeeding and attachment friendly and promote a solid foundation for sleep learning and long-term healthy sleep patterns.
The Gentle Sleep Coach
® philosophy was developed by Kim West LCSW-C, The Sleep Lady
® because she found so many parents had difficulty following through with a sleep coaching program that they feared will damage their child emotionally or fill them with so much guilt they couldn’t follow through.
- The GSC approach is a gentler alternative for families who:
emotionally or philosophically resist letting their babies cry it out
- Tried “Ferber” (controlled crying) and it didn’t work,
- Let their baby cry-it-out earlier but now find it doesn’t help
- Believe in co-sleeping but find that their children aren’t really sleeping all that well, even nestled snugly with their parents
- Did co-sleep and now want to transition to solo sleeping
- Families who want support and guidance along whichever path they choose
Can you guarantee “no crying” you might ask?
No, no one really can. For example, if you as the parent have taught your child that the way to fall asleep is to be held to sleep for all naps, bedtime and wakings and you decide that you want to change this; your child will naturally protest or resist this change. After all, they don’t know why you have changed your approach. If your child is pre-verbal then they will cry. My goal is to have as little crying as possible. I encourage parents to be loving and responsive but to allow the child the room to learn this vital life skill of putting themselves to sleep. The parent responds and stays with their child and offers physical and verbal reassurance without putting the child to sleep. This supports the development of a secure attachment between parent and child.
Do I have to stop bodyfeeding to sleep coach my child?
Nope! As a Lactation Education Specialist, I will work with you to help your child sleep while preserving your bodyfeeding relationship -- it is never necessary to end nursing when gentle sleep coaching your child.
What if we cosleep?
Great! You can continue to room share while sleep coaching.
Contact me here to find out more!