Should I hire a sleep coach?
“The first time my daughter slept through the night, I wrote Liz a very excited email and even cried at how much she had helped me. There is no way we could have done it without her, and I am immensely grateful.Now, we are working on naps, which has been tougher - but Liz has continued to be amazingly helpful. If you are having trouble with your baby’s sleep, seriously consider working with Liz. She is extremely knowledgeable, has many different techniques she can go over with you and is very respectful of how you would like to approach it. Most of all, Liz will provide you with a source of support that will really help to make the outcomes of sleep coaching successful.”
— Anna, ME
Are you missing out on sleep because your child is, too? Do you find yourself half-heartedly trying different methods, unable to find anything that works for your baby, or having trouble sticking to one approach for more than a few days? Do you feel paralyzed by indecision?
If you nodded your head to any of those questions, the answer is “yes.” Consider it one of the soundest investments you can make in your family’s well-being.
Parsing through the conflicting sleep advice out there is hard enough after a full night of sleep, let alone when you feel like a walking zombie. As a sleep coach, I’ll offer objective, compassionate, experienced advice to help you cut through the information clutter and find relief. I’ll keep you motivated through the ups and downs of the process, guiding you to the right approach and helping you stick with it. I’ll offer answers to all of your questions along the way. Together, we’ll make a good night’s sleep the new normal for your family.
Won’t my child grow out of these sleep issues?
Maybe. It’s always possible, but some kids don’t get past their sleep issues until they’re 5 or 6 years old, or even older. I believe that sleep coaching helps you lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy sleep habits. With that in mind, it’s wise to give the gift of sleep to your child (and yourself!) sooner rather than later.
How long does this process take?
For most families, this process starts yielding permanent, positive changes within 1-2 weeks. Timelines do vary, depending on your goal’s and your child’s temperament (or your own).
Consistency is the key. When a child’s parent or caregiver is diligent with the process, results come more quickly and last longer. My role is to help you lay out a plan for healthy sleep to which you can commit, and to help you stay committed throughout the experience - whether it takes 3 days or 30.
Isn’t sleep training just another way of saying ‘cry it out’?
Absolutely not. As a trained and experienced sleep coach, I’ve seen a variety of sleep training methods work like a charm - some with very little crying, some with a lot. Again, the most important factor is consistency, so your ability and willingness to commit to a plan is the #1 consideration. My role is to help you choose a path forward and begin walking, cheering you on along the way.
In many families, “sleep training” is unnecessary because we resolve the root cause of the problem, yield peaceful sleep with no behavioral modification or tears.
Will sleep training harm my baby or our relationship?
I try my best to stay out of polarizing parental debates. I truly believe that the vast majority of parents do what’s best for their children and families; no one knows your child like you do. In fact, one of my favorite parenting mantras is “I am the best parent for my child. And my child is perfect for me.” There are some who loudly declare that sleep training is harmful to kids, and I believe that their chastising causes unnecessary grief and guilt in the lives of many kind, tired parents. There is no science to back up their claims. On the other hand, there are numerous rigorous studies that have proven the opposite.
Regardless of your beliefs about sleep training, my role is to help you feel good about your decision to help your child sleep, and I’ve got the pertinent data to back up my claims if you’re into that kind of thing. :)
I prefer the term sleep learning to sleep training, because it’s less polarizing and because it indicates that learning to sleep well is a skill we have the capacity to develop, just like reading or riding a bike. As parents, we can provide the necessary environment and support for this learning to take place.
I want to continue breastfeeding. Can I improve my babies sleep while preserving my breastfeeding relationship and milk supply?
Yes! If you’re breastfeeding and want to keep at it, go for it. Switching to formula will not help your baby’s sleep issues, and it’s totally possible to breastfeed and work on sleep at the same time - I’ve done it twice and have helped hundreds of parents do the same. Of course, if you choose to formula feed, that’s absolutely fine as well. I support whatever makes you and your baby happy and healthy.
What does sleep coaching with Little Dipper usually look like? What if I am not local?
Because I offer virtual sleep coaching, I can work with anyone in the world. Sleep coaching can occur by phone, email, Skype, in person, or via text. If you want in-person services, I will travel up to 20 miles from the ZIP code 27510 for free and farther for an additional fee and as my schedule allows.
No matter where you are, we’ll create a customized, healthy sleep coaching program to best meet your needs. After you purchase a sleep coaching package, I will provide you with an intake form so that I can learn more about your family’s sleep history and goals in sleep training; this is crucial to helping me understand your parenting style and unique family situation. From there, I’ll develop a tailored healthy sleep plan for you. Once you’ve had time to digest it, we’ll have a follow-up conversation in order to make sure that you understand every step of the process. As your coach, I’ll be here to help you stay the course, addressing every question along the way. (I also offer cheerleading, empathy, high-fives, or literal shoulders to cry on.) The amount of follow-up coaching you receive will depend on the package that works best for you.
I see you teach yoga and mindfulness? Can yoga actually help my baby/child sleep better?
Yoga can help adults relax and release tension, and thus sleep better. That goes for kids, too. Practicing yoga with your baby also creates valuable bonding time that, as part of a daily sleep routine, can help create feelings of security and attachment in your baby. This can help her calm down and drift off more naturally. Baby yoga can also help minimize gas and fussiness, promote healthy motor development, and strengthen your bond with her.
I’ve seen age-appropriate yoga and mindfulness techniques transform bedtimes too! Toddlers and children respond very well to these tools for relaxation.
Can you come to me?
Yes! I can definitely bring sleeping coaching and/or yoga to you (as long as you’re within 20 miles of ZIP code 27510). If you’re outside of my service area, I’ll provide the same support via video conference, phone, email, or any other modality you desire! I can also travel farther for a fee, as my schedule allows.