FAQ’s

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q: “What is a sleep coach?”

A: Akin to a lactation consultant or birthing Doula, sleep consultants educate families about the importance of sleep to a baby’s growing body and brain. Sleep coaches can teach you how to recognize when your child is tired and how to create a sleep schedule/routine that solidifies your baby’s growing sleep rhythms. A sleep coach works individually with families to create a sleep plan that respects the child’s natural temperament and the parent’s Parenting philosophy, lifestyle and work commitments. By the end of your work with a sleep coach, you should have an individualized sleep plan designed to improve your child’s sleep.

Q: “What should I look for in a sleep coach?”

A: Reputable sleep coaches should be certified by an established training program that requires passing a rigorous exam and provides ongoing supervision and sleep education. A great sleep coach can easily provide you with references from other families whose sleep issues, closely match your own. Also, look for a track record of happy clients and years of practice. Unfortunately, sleep coaching in the United States is not regulated. This has led to a number of untrained people entering the field of sleep consulting. Do your research! Many sleep coaches offer a 10-15 minute free phone call where you can ask questions about their services, methodologies and experience.

Q: “Why should I choose Sleepy Bug?”

A: Founded in 2007, Sleepy Bug was the first sleep coaching service in the Philadelphia and surrounding regions. I have over eight years of practice and have helped hundreds of families both domestically and internationally. My clients live in the United States, Ireland, Spain, Africa, South America, Central America, Puerto Rico, Australia and the United Kingdom. Unlike many other sleep coaches, I have specialized, ongoing training through the Gentle Sleep Coaching Program. My sleep education and training methods work because I spend a lot of time getting to know each of my families before I make my recommendations. While many children experience similar sleep issues, no family is alike. Parenting philosophies, work schedules, family values, siblings, living situations, finances etc. have an enormous impact on what kind of sleep plan will work. Most importantly, I have never forgotten what it feels like to be exhausted, worried and frustrated by my baby’s sleep. A sleep deprived family is a stressed family. My holistic approach to the well- being of the entire family is what leads to satisfied clients. Finally, Sleepy Bug has established affiliations with a number of parenting centers and pediatricians offices including Center City Pediatrics, Fairmount Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and the Breastfeeding Resource Center in Abington, PA.

Q: “What is your training and certification?”

The Gentle Sleep Coaching Program is currently the most extensive & professional sleep certification program available. The program involves over 50 hours of training, an exam and participation in case supervision with Kim West, LCSW-C who has been helping tired parents for over 16 years. Clinical supervision and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach. Areas of training include:

  • Basic counseling and child development
  • Sleep Science and Behavioral Modification Techniques
  • Secure Attachment Theory
  • Supporting the Breastfeeding Mom
  • Postpartum Depression by Dr Shoshana Bennett, author and leading specialist on Postpartum Depression
  • Medical Conditions and Sleep Apnea in Children  by Dr Lewis Kass, Director of Children’s Sleep Center
  • Sensory Processing Disorders and Sleep by Jodi Jennings, OTLR

Q: “At what age should I begin sleep training my baby?”

A: Sleep researchers state that the optimal time to sleep train your baby is between six and eight months of age. After approximately 26 weeks, babies go through important neurological changes that suppress their appetite overnight (much like an adults). Also, by six months, your baby is familiar with the concept of cause and effect which is a key component to successful sleep training. Before six months, it isn’t dangerous or impossible to sleep train your baby. However,  sleep training babies earlier than 5.5-6 months can take longer and be more prone to setbacks.

Q: “What sleep issues you have successfully solved for your clients?”

A: I offer research based education and support on a variety of pediatric sleep issues including multiple night wakings, early rising, short, inconsistent naps, toddler bedtime battles, moving  baby to a crib, teaching a toddler to stay in bed, navigating baby sleep regressions, creating bedtime routines, transitioning mom back to work after maternity leave as well as more specialized sleep disturbances found in children experiencing reflux, ADHD, infant sleep Apnea and behavioral based, voluntary vomiting.

Q: “what guarantee can you give my family that sleep coaching will work?”

A: Successful sleep coaching is highly likely if three elements are squarely in place. 1.) Parents feel comfortable with the collaborative sleep plan created during our session 2.) Parents consistently follow the steps of their sleep plan and 3.) Parents reach out to me in a timely manner with concerns, questions and suggestions. Equally important is that parents understand that sleep coaching is a parenting tool that they will have in their toolbox whenever their baby or toddler’s sleep is derailed by things like travel, illness and developmental leaps. Having realistic expectations of what sleep coaching can teach their children is key to being not just satisfied, but thrilled, by their experience working with me.

Q: “What is your refund policy?” 

A: A full refund will be issued under the following circumstances.

  1. A refund request is submitted within 60 days of purchase.
  2. A request is submitted within 60 days of the completion of a sleep session for a refund on follow up phone calls/e-mails. Please keep in mind that refunds for purchased follow up calls/e-mails will only be issued if none of the e-mails/follow up phone calls have been used. Using one week of e-mails and two follow up calls does not entitle a refund on the remaining phone call and week of e-mails.
  3. You can always request that your follow up support and/or your sleep consultation  be placed “on hold” within 60 days of purchase. Please call me at 267-432-1020 if you have any questions about my refund policy.

Q: “Can breastfeeding families sleep train their babies, too?”

A: Absolutely! The majority of my clients are either breastfeeding exclusively or combining bottle and breastfeeding. In fact, healthy sleepers are often very healthy eaters! Conversely, mother’s and baby’s who are seriously sleep deprived tend to give up on nursing earlier than necessary. Studies have also shown that when a nursing mother is getting too few hours of sleep, her milk supply can be adversely affected.

Q: “How far will you travel for home-based consultations?”

A: Home based consultations are available to families living within 30 minutes (each way) to the 19038 zip code. Please type “Wyndmoor, PA 19038” into Google/Yahoo maps to see if your address qualifies. I am happy to make pre-arranged exceptions with an additional travel/fuel charge when my schedule allows.

Q: “Does sleep training mean letting  baby “cry it out?”

A: No parent wants to hear their baby cry. The sound of our children in distress is unbearable and can often cause parents to do anything they can to avoid it. The widespread image of sleep training features a crying, scared, helpless child left alone in a dark room to cry themselves to sleep. This is not sleep training. Sleep training offers parents a variety of  safe, age-appropriate methods  to teach their children the skill of falling asleep and putting themselves back to sleep, overnight. This can be done in a variety of ways with varying degrees of parental support.

Q: “Do you offer a “no cry sleep solution”

A: Honestly, no. Why? Because I believe that when a child is asked to make a change they never asked for, it is unfair to expect them to not protest. Children cry during sleep training because parents are challenging them, in a fair, age-appropriate ay, to  learn an important life skill. Learning healthy sleep habits  plays a key role in a child’s health, emotional well being, an ability to tolerate frustration and develop be rested enough to learn and have strong social skills.

Q: “Why do babies cry during sleep training?”

A: As parents, we need to remember that babies/toddlers don’t understand the importance of sleep to them and their parents.A continuous challenge of parenting is making decisions that we know are in the best interest of the child, even if the child is not happy about it! Rather than promising a “no cry sleep solution” (which, by the way, doesn’t really exist) I coach  parents through the guilt, frustration, sadness and fear that naturally comes up when our children experience frustration. As a sleep coach, it is my responsibility to create a sleep plan that empowers parents and minimizes crying.

Q: “What are the benefits of a sleep coach vs. a sleep book?”

A: The biggest benefit of a sleep coach is the chance to create an individualized sleep plan tailored to your baby and family. In order to appeal to a wide audience of exhausted parents, sleep books offer general advice that usually works for just a small percentage of families. Sleep coaches eliminate the need to read numerous books and websites and to take the guesswork out of helping your child sleep, quickly and safely. Working with a sleep coach also gives spouses, family members and child care providers the opportunity to simultaneously learn alongside parents and  caregivers.

 

 

 

 

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