Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sleep Coaching- The Gentle Sleep Coach Philosophy

Many parents ask “Are you a cry-it-out proponent or family bed advocate? Do I have to stop breastfeeding to sleep coach my child, do I have to choose between two camps: co sleeping/no crying or crib/cry-it-out?”

You do not have to pick a camp; this isn’t about right or wrong. It’s about what is working for you and your family.

It is true that the CIO method and the starker extinction methods can work well and a bit faster than gentler methods IF you as the parent can follow through consistently and for long enough.

The Gentle Sleep Coach philosophy was developed by Kim WestLCSW-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 filled 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: for families who tried “Ferber” (controlled crying) and it didn’t work, and for families who let their baby cry-it-out earlier but now find it doesn’t help. It is also for families who believe in co-sleeping but find that their children aren’t really sleeping all that well, even nestled snugly with their parents. Or for families who did co-sleep for a few months to a few years and now want the family bed to revert back to the marital one.

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.

I will work with you to create an individualized, step-by-step sleep plan that will factor in your parenting philosophy, your child’s age, health and temperament, mother’s well-being and the related family dynamics. And most importantly I will support and coach you through the process from beginning to end- for night sleep and naps!

If you have any questions about the Gentle Sleep philosophy, please don’t hesitate to ask. I can be reached by email at or by telephone at 919-414-2978.
Answers to a few other commonly asked questions:

-Breastfeeding is best and it is never necessary to end breastfeeding in order to successfully sleep coach your child

-You can continue to room share while sleep coaching.

-I work with parents of children ages 6 months to 6 years old. Babies under 6months I will consult with parents on how to set up healthy sleep habits from the start and if appropriate how to gently shape their sleep.

The art of putting yourself to sleep is a priceless gift you can give to your child and your entire family.

Plum District Sleep Deal

How else can I use my Plum District Voucher?

I’ve had many inquiries about the Plum District Vouchers.  The $80 can be applied to your choice of personal or group coaching services from Loving Lessons Pediatric Sleep Consulting.  A secure payment via PayPal can be made for the remaining balance.   

Because I believe sleep is so important for your family, I’ve created options to meet all budgets to make sure sleep is in place to help bring peace in parenting and academic success for children 6 and younger. 

  • Personal Coaching services are for families that would like one-on-one services that are done in your home or via Skype for those outside the Raleigh area.   Personal consultations include a review of your sleep history and a personalized sleep plan.  The most popular package is the Sleep Consultation and 8 Follow Ups for $250.
  • Gentle Sleep Success Webinar Group Coaching is an option to be a part of a small group of 8 families in the comfort of your home on a 2 part webinar call that will be recorded.  The group coaching sessions will include a review of your sleep history, and a personalized sleep plan.  The Gentle Sleep Success Workshop includes 2 phone follow ups for $125.
  • Sleep Smarts, Sleep Success Webinars are ideal for a do it yourself family that needs to learn about the “How To’s” to gentle sleep coaching methods and creating a sleep plan.  The Sleep Smarts, Sleep Success webinars are available for $40.  This seminar will cover specific age groups and sleep related concerns.  However families that wish to have their sleep plan reviewed along with a follow up call may add on Webinar Client support which will include a sleep plan review and a follow up phone call for $40.  

What do I get with my Plum District Deal?

Doing the consultation using the Plum District voucher as is gives you the 1.5 hour Sleep Smarts, Sleep Success webinar session for $40, and then also offers the webinar group coaching clients a personal sleep review of the plan you create along with a follow up for the remaining $40.    This totals the $80.  In the group coaching session you learn the ins and outs of creating a sleep plan, and then I will review it and give you feedback, and then we would do a 15 min follow up to and answer your specific sleep questions.
 If after this point you would feel you would need additional support in following through with the plan, asking questions and understanding it better, you would be able to purchase just a follow up package.  Of course for the follow up package you could use a second voucher and pay the difference. 

Where to I go to attend the webinar?
You can be a part of the webinar from the comfort of your home.   If you are not able to make it to the scheduled webinar date or time, no worries, I will send you a link of the recorded session.  July and Ealry August are currently posted.

I’m a current or past client can I use the voucher?
Yes current or past clients are welcome to purchase  vouchers and I will apply it to the client discount rates.  Learn more by visiting the Loving Lessons Parenting Community Resources at Client Resource tab.

How do the personal coaching sessions work?

Personal Family Consultations are available in your home if you are located in the Raleigh Area.  If you are outside the local Raleigh area, then we can do a Skype or Teleconference in the comfort of your home.   Personal 1.5-2 hour consultations are scheduled in the evenings and weekends upon a first come first serve basis.  

My baby is 6 months or younger, can I still use a voucher to sleep train?
I do not recommend  families to sleep train their baby when they are younger than 6 months of age.  At this stage, I am happy to support families in “sleep shaping” your baby which is creating the foundation of good sleep by creating healthy habits right from the start.  Sleep shaping involves following your babies cues, creating gentle routines, learning, observing, and understanding your baby. 

If you have further questions, please call me directly at 919-414-2978 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting            919-414-2978      end_of_the_skype_highlighting and I am happy to answer your questions and concerns.  

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Building Trust and Security with our Children

“I feel like I’m damaging my child.” 
“I feel like my child is mad at me.”
“My child feels like I am abandoning him/her.”
 “My child is sad.  I am sad.”
“My child wants to be with me all of the time and I just need a break.”

These are statements I hear from parents who love their child more than anything, but are frustrated and are at their wits end right now when it comes to parenting.  Are they wrong for feeling this?  Most definitely not!  We are all entitled to have feelings and express our emotions.  When we suppress these feelings and emotions, it can cause us to have a negative attitude toward our child or disconnect from our child.  That is what you don’t want to do. 

The most supportive and loving parents reach out for support and look to add to their parenting toolbox to help them through this journey of parenting. 

Listening to the families I support I created The Loving Connections, Secure Attachments seminar.  At different ages and stages our children have different needs so there are two sessions: The First SixYears or Elementary and Beyond.

In each seminar, you’ll learn how to use techniques to instill positive, healthy behaviors that will continue to build the relationship of trust and security.   The Loving Connections, Secure Attachments will help parents learn and answer your questions about:

  • The number one secret to good sleep and easy parenting
  • Build trust and security- no programs or extra stuff
  • How to become intentional and have quality interactions with your child every day
  • How to start ongoing conversations with your child
  • What can I do or say so my child will always talk to me and come to me when they have a problem?
  • How to build in “quality time ins” without adding to your day
  • Strategies and tips you can implement immediately
  • How to defuse potentially difficult situations such as tantrums and power struggles throughout your day

Parents will learn about expected behaviors by age and a wide range of ways to solve common issues. Fewer battles, better listening, restful sleep, more peace!   Discover the secret ingredient for a lifelong connection with your child to enjoy the parenting journey!

Learn how to build these Loving Connections, Secure Attachments from the comfort of your home.  Can’t make it to the scheduled time of the seminar?  No problem- once you are registered for the designated seminar you will receive a recording and access to all the materials shared in the session.