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  • What is sleep training?
    Sleep training is teaching your little one how to fall asleep and fall BACK to sleep without being dependent on anything external such as rocking, feeding, or bouncing to sleep. Sleep training is different from night-weaning. Under 6 months old we don't need to remove night feedings to teach our babies how to sleep through the night. This will just come as the baby no longer associates feeding with sleep. After 6 months old we might need to address night wakings as part of our goal of sleeping through the night.
  • When is the best time to sleep train? Doesn't my baby have to be a certain age?
    The best time to sleep train is when you, the parent, are ready to sleep train. Studies show that week-by-week a newborn is gaining self-soothing skills naturally. You'll see this as their night sleep is regulating (they've got to connect sleep cycles which entails self-soothing as they emerge from a sleep cycle!) Studies also show that by 12 weeks old an infant's circadian rhythm is developed to create more predictable patterns, and they have the ability to suck on their hand to self-soothe. *I recommend a more formal sleep training method as early as 12 weeks old* You can start PRACTICING independent sleep as early as 3-4 weeks old.
  • Will sleep training involve crying?
    Unfortunately there really is no guaranteed "no cry" method. The methods that tout this label either aren't effective with long-term self-soothing, or don't block the crying as stated. Because EVERY baby or toddler is different, and with change comes protest. Research shows that crying in itself is not detrimental to a child's (whether newborn, infant, or toddler+!) development or attachment. We meet our baby's known needs, and part of that need is both sleep and the development of self-regulation/self-soothing skills which is a skill that will be necessary going forward, in both sleep times AND awake times (think about when a toddler gets upset about not being able to have that cookie they really want before lunch!).
  • Will my baby go through regressions after sleep training?
    Yes, your baby or toddler might go through hiccups. Teething, developmental milestones, sickness, and travel all can cause a temporary downward spiral in sleep. I don't typically see a regression at a specific age for all babies. It really will depend on your baby's unique development and when they go through milestones. Our babies aren't robots! There will be ups and downs and sleep training isn't necessarily just one event. However it is much easier to get back on track after a disruption if your baby has already been sleep trained.
  • What sleep training methods do you use?
    For infants 12 weeks old until your little one moves to a toddler bed I typically use one of two methods. The first method is a check-in method, where you will be offering reassurance to your baby in set intervals. The second method allows you to sit next to the crib and slowly get farther away each night. I like these two methods with a toddler in a crib as well. Once the toddler is in a bed we have to have incentive to stay in bed. A "stay in the room" approach that turns into "I'll be back in a minute!" works great for this tough transition! Though these methods sound easy peasy, they can't quite be summed up in one or two sentences. There will be lots of troubleshooting during our time together to reach our goal of a consistent, independent sleeper.
  • Does your newborn plan require crying?
    My newborn plan is what YOU want to make it. Crying is inevitable and it's not always something we need to block. However, that doesn't mean at 3 weeks old letting your baby crying indefinitely is going to produce the results that you want. As we go through this plan we take your newborn's development in mind. We set up healthy sleep habits and an environment conducive to sleep, and we PRACTICE independent sleep as we are able to. I will be teaching you the hierarchy soothing techniques that can help your newborn settle into sleep while still building on their self-soothing skills. So you will not just be leaving your newborn in the crib to cry. Parental intervention, including picking your newborn up at just the right time, is a big part of the plan. Some parents that I work with are ready to make necessary changes in your newborns routines and parental intervention, and other parents aren't comfortable, which is 100% okay. I want families that I work with to be able to look back on the process and feel confident about their decision, with no regrets! And if that means prolonging independent sleep until past the newborn stage, IT'S OKAY! I'm there with you helping you make these decisions through continuous communication during our time together.
  • Can I breastfeed and sleep train?
    YES! In fact, most of the newborn and infant clients I work with are breastfeeding. We will continually keep an eye on your supply and ensure that you are emptying your breasts the amount of time that your body needs to keep making the amount of milk your baby needs.
  • Can I co-sleep and sleep train? Can I room-share and sleep train?
    I have not found sleep training to be effective if continuing to co-sleep. This is because the baby or toddler will still have an association present, YOU, which can cause lots of crying with no real progress, or continual regressing in self-soothing skills. I am also obligated and committed to following the AAP's safe sleep guidelines which regards co-sleeping as unsafe and increases the risk of SIDS, suffocation and strangulation. Room-sharing is a YES! Whether you aren't ready to move your baby into a different room or you don't have an option for moving the baby into another room, room-sharing is an option that should not cause lasting problems with the sleep training process. It may be a tad harder to do at first, but we always reach our goals even with room-sharing. I know all the tips and tricks that work to ensure that your little one can fall asleep and stay asleep, even in the same room as you.
  • Do you have a money-back guarantee?
    I do not have a money-back guarantee. Part of that decision is because your baby's success is dependent on BOTH of us being committed to the process. It would be easier for me to say, "Eh, this wasn't as easy as it usually is, here's your money back." It's easier for you to say, "This wasn't as I pictured it would go, I quit!" (since as I've mentioned, babies aren't robots! They can throw us for a loop!) What I CAN guarantee is that I will stay with you until we meet our agreed upon goals that are outlined in the sleep plan when we start working together. Some little ones need 2 weeks to get into a predictable routine and consistently sleeping well, others need 3 or even 4 weeks if they are going through developmental milestones and schedule changes. Even though my plans are 2 weeks long (toddlers are 3 weeks), I continue on with you if we have not yet met our goals or if there are loose ends we need to tie up, and that is without you having to shell out extra money.
  • Will we work on both naps and night sleep at the same time?
    There is a philosophy of sleep training that involves working on night sleep before moving onto naps. However I have not found that to be the most efficient method and with some babies you will not see success at night until you remove all sleep associations, both during the day and at night. If you think about it it isn't very fair to your baby to rock, feed your baby to sleep, or hold your baby all day for naps, but come bedtime put your baby in the crib and expect him to use his self-soothing skills. There will often be ongoing protest and night wakings, rather than just protest the first couple of nights when we work on nights and naps together. We will start the plan on night #1 at bedtime, and move to naps the following day.
  • What is a postpartum doula?
    A postpartum doula supports your family during the critical transition of adding a new baby to the family unit. This looks like both emotional and practical, hands-on support. My goal is to ensure that your needs are met and any hinderances are lifted so that you can bond with your newborn the first several weeks following birth. This may look like: *Supporting breastfeeding or bottle feeding *Providing resources and education for mental health, newborn care and sleep, and postpartum issues *Providing hands-on care such as feeding, diapering, helping with laundry, meal-prep and introducing the sibling to the newborn. *Prioritizing the family's (both Mom AND Dad) sleep when possible by providing the newborn care. A postpartum doula can also work overnight so that the family can be more rested. I provide both daytime and overnight services.
  • Can you help with breastfeeding?
    Yes, I can help troubleshoot breastfeeding issues. I can be hands-on as you are figuring out this new breastfeeding experience (as it is so different for each of your newborns!). But more importantly, I can help you find expert local resources so that you can feel supported and be armed with the most up-to-date lactation education. I have lots of training and experience in nursing, but I value the experts in the field!
  • Are you going to sleep train my newborn? I don't believe in that.
    NO! I am very adamant that whatever support I offer is exactly what your family feels comfortable with and will find beneficial. This might be working on healthy sleep habits and sleep SHAPING (not training!), or this might look like providing relief from holding and rocking your newborn all day/night by taking on that responsibility temporarily. My goal is not to teach you how to do what I would do or did do with my newborns. My goal is to help you figure out what YOUR parenting goals and values are, what voices you will entertain, and what choices you will make when it comes to newborn care. *As a postpartum doula and sleep consultant I must follow the strictest safe sleep guidelines as outlined by the AAP. Therefore when I am at your home I must prioritize safe sleep and cannot make any unsafe sleep recommendations.


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