I have 5 children and I am a sleep coach. People always ask me if I used my methods on my own children and I laugh and say “no”. I didn't know any better than the mom’s I talk to now. I wish I had a sleep coach when my children were babies and I did so many things “wrong” but they still turned out pretty great. It could have been so much easier but without that experience, I certainly wouldn't have the the helpful insight I have when talking to sleep deprived moms.
The things I wished I had known most were mostly what was realistic.
- Babies can sleep longer stretches at night usually after 6 months.
- Night nursing’s are the first (not the last) ones you start to wean. Not necessarily all of the night feedings but some of them. I didn't know that. My doctor had said that at 3 months, my baby should be able to go all night but that didn't sit right with me. It still wouldn't. But I took it too far by not night weaning any until 12 months.
But you know, I handled it OK (other than some depression from lack of sleep) I think that anything you really don’t have a problem with is not a problem. In hindsight I wish I had done it differently but c’est la vie. So here I’m telling you.
- When your waking child seems to be waking too much, look at the longest they have ever gone and start there.
- Starting some gentle and responsive sleep coaching after 6 months is ideal but you can wait until you are both ready, whenever that is.
- Try to get the best naps you can, anyway you can while you work on night skills. Day sleep is the building block of night sleep skills. Night sleep skills is the building block of Day sleep skills. So nights first and then naps or do both together.
- Every child is different so don’t compare your child to others. Your child is wonderful and unique and I’ll bet you are doing a great job!
A bit about Tracy.
Tracy Spackman is a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach. She is the mother of 5 school aged children. She is passionate about all things family related. Tracy is trained and certified by Kim West in Gentle Sleep Coaching with 200+ hours of sleep education. She believes in offering educated choices to parents how to teach their children in gentle ways to put themselves to sleep. Tracy speaks to mom’s groups, hospital lactation support groups and community groups. She gives workshops, and personal consultations locally and over the phone. She helps children 4 months to 8 years old. Tracy lives in Phoenix, Arizona and has been helping families all over North America and beyond.
Tracy is personable and easy to talk to. She makes herself available to work around your schedule no matter your time zone. She’d love to be your sleep coach.
“I have been there and remember the frustration and chaos that comes from a lack of sleep. I wish I had found a sleep coach 15 years ago and knew what I know now. The field of sleep science has come a long way in the last 10 years. A good sleep makes a world of difference. ”
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