Clients fill out a questionnaire and temperament quiz early in the process. This helps me know just what your baby needs!
You will focus on improving health and nutrition, optimizing the routine, gradual changes that keep your child calm and pleasant, and building skills over time to make them permanent habits.
During the first two weeks, we will prepare the child for new things to come, gently beginning these new habits. Children begin to sleep longer stretches and improve their naps, etc as early as the first two weeks.
My goal is to make your plan peaceful and gradual. I teach children new skills at optimal times, over short periods, and respond to their emotional and physical needs to keep them happy, attached, and building security.
After the preparation period, your child will learn to fall asleep on his/her own and will go back to sleep and sleep deeper during sleep cycle transitions.
My program runs for 4-6 weeks, including extra time to work out kinks and stay on track.
You can always plan a 1-hour consultation later. But I will fully equip you to know how to handle the future and stay on track. I rarely have consultations with past clients.
I am against "Crying it Out" techniques. I teach parents how to help their children fall asleep on their own, with an emphasis on gentleness and stress-free methods. I teach the "Sleep Ride" technique to help develop trust and security; if a baby becomes agitated and upset, the work stops and baby is comforted. Babies are prepared ahead of time so they fuss less.
For most infants, sleeping through the night happens naturally as their night time sleep stretches longer from week to week. With that being said, some babies cry before they fall asleep. Some children cry for 5-10 minutes before falling asleep at nap time, every day to let off steam. It is easy to tell if the child needs to cry to decompress. The cry starts out normal and gets quieter as time goes on. Toddlers often cry because they don’t like change. I will go over this scenario with parents but I believe in keeping little ones from getting upset or worked up, regardless of the situation.
Many babies won't learn to fall asleep on their own from crying it out. They often become more clingy and nervous or cry for hours without end. I believe t's best to be sensitive and kind. When it comes to changing children's sleep habits, it is important to comfort and help a child avoid feeling stressed out or worked up, and that is an art that I will teach you. I will be sensitive about how you feel, too. I understand that it's important to take things slowly, so that everyone is comfortable and we are able to build long-term habits.
Studies show that children whose needs are met by their parents, consistently, learn security sooner!
Yes, you can nurse your baby. You do not have to change to formula. Of course, your milk supply will be affected as your baby sleeps longer at night. But, your body will adjust. Sleeping through the night doesn't usually affect milk supply. When a baby sleeps through the night, he/she will eat more during the day and the increased demand will produce more milk at the right time. The quality of your milk improves when you follow a consistent schedule.
Sometimes breastfed babies sleep for a shorter period at night than formula fed babies do. For example a breastfed baby may sleep for 9-10 hour stretches, while a formula fed baby may sleep 11-12 hour stretches. Our work together during the day and evening will help your baby sleep longer and longer at night. If there are any habitual night feedings (the child is waking out of habit and doesn't need to eat at night), we will use gentle methods to gradually wean him/her off night feedings. Your child should eat more at other times.
In the newborn program, infants learn to sleep 8-12 hours through the night between 12-16 weeks old. It may take longer for some children, but by 4-5 months old you should have a well rested baby. If the program is followed correctly and baby is healthy, your baby's nights will stretch naturally. I will give you tips on how to avoid night-time conflicts and sleep interruptions in baby's new sleep patterns. If your baby takes longer to sleep 8-10 hours at night, be patient and give the program some time. Only a small percentage of children won't sleep all night at 4-5 months old.
For children that are older than 3 months up to 4 years, it could take 4-6 weeks (or less) after you begin the program for your baby to sleep 8 hours or more. Sometimes breastfed babies sleep for 9-10 hours maximum, while formula fed babies sleep for 11-12 hours. (sleep stretches continue to lengthen out after the 3-6 weeks)
We will discuss whether or not your child's temperament determines a longer period of time for your desired length. Flexibility is important if your child is sensitive, needs to be held most of the time or is spirited/high needs.
I do not offer a guarantee to my clients for a few reasons. I have an amazing track record! (98% success rate) I offer training and guidance for you and your child, and then it is up to you to follow through and be consistent in using these tools. I want to see you reach your goals and be successful, so I offer an online course with training videos, resources, written step by step material and directions plus email support and weekly coaching sessions. The extra support I offer at the end of my program is a helpful addition because children experience mental and developmental leaps, illnesses and teething, which cause sleep interruptions. I want to help you through those bumps in the road. If you get off track later on, or run into new problems, you can schedule an appointment for a 30-Minute or 1-hour consultation to troubleshoot. This rarely happens with my clients.
What are you waiting for? Let’s get started!
There is nothing wrong with nursing or rocking your baby to sleep and sometimes you just want to snuggle longer. That's fine! It's important to give your child a chance to learn how to fall asleep on his/her own, too. It will teach the ability to go back to sleep smoothly, when there is no need for food. It will also help him/her learn to feel secure, to trust his caregivers, and to relax into a deeper sleep. Babies/toddlers advance quickly in almost every other form of development. When it comes to sleep, babies can fall into a healthy rhythm of napping and night time sleep, with just a little guidance from mom and dad. It's amazing to see how easily infants and toddlers can gain these skills- and it's so good for them, too!
To help a baby between 8-16 weeks old sleep for 8 or more hours, he/she must eat regular, predictable feedings throughout the day and cluster feed later in the evening. Baby must be healthy and at an average weight. When I begin working with a client, I rely on the doctor's feedback about baby's growth and development and look into other details of everyday life. I ask specific questions about the baby's feeding habits and history, make sure the baby is getting the right quantity and quality of nutrition, then I help moms with the other pieces of the puzzle that extend the length of night sleep naturally. I always encourage my clients to rely on their family physician to monitor diet and nutrition according to recommended guidelines. On occasion, some children need to eat at least once at night. We will rely on your baby's cues to see if that is the case. My approach is to feed baby when he/she is hungry. I want parents to respond to their babies' needs. I encourage mothers to wean babies slowly from night feedings, to help them replace the calories at another time.
Babies develop the most while they are sleeping. Children declutter their brains from the busyness of the day and from stressors, and then reset for the next day when they dream at night. They take breaks from discovery and stimulation during their naps, so they can recharge, grow and absorb nutrition. Adequate rest helps them feel calm and peaceful, and gives them a pleasant temperament. Sleep really begets sleep. The more they sleep, the better they sleep! As for long term affects, they need good sleep habits for life so they can be great students and healthy kids! Sleep deprivation looks just like ADHD.
If your baby is a good sleeper for both day and night, it will give you time and energy to build other relationships in your family and leave you feeling more balanced. You have physical, emotional and mental needs that can only be filled through a good night's sleep! Helping your child learn proper sleep habits will help you feel your best, too. Motherhood can be very rewarding! But sleep patterns will make it or break it. If they don't snooze, you lose!