Last updated on April 4th, 2024

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Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

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Baby Sleep Coach — When to Hire a Professional

If you’re a first time parent, there is almost no way to prepare for the early days of sleep-deprived stupor. Perhaps this isn’t your first, but you blocked out the experience with your previous children. Most new parents encounter some period where they are getting by on very little sleep. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to consider a baby sleep coach.

Newborns and infants wake frequently as a survival mechanism, so little sleep is par for the course in early parenthood. However, once the initial shock of the “fourth trimester” subsides and your healthy baby grows closer to their half-year birthday, it’s time for some sleep.

  • Your child and situation are unique
  • You want to sleep train quickly
  • You would like the reassurance and accountability of a professional

baby sleep coachAnyone who has ever sleep trained their little one will tell you how important and sanity-saving it is, but they may also share that the process can be a little — or in some cases a lot — daunting.
Yes, there are plenty of baby sleep books — I even wrote one of them. There are also many reasons to hire a trained sleep coach to work with you one-on-one.
Here are five of the most common reasons a family might benefit from hiring a baby sleep coach.

Your Child is Unique

Of course your child is special! We’re referring to the individual challenges your baby might have that are getting in the way of sleep. First you should consider age; sleep coaching for nights and naps is recommended for babies who are at least six months old. He or she may have health, special needs, or personality concerns that make the job more challenging.

Believe it or not, temperament plays heavily into this. It’s not unusual for alert, bright, and aware children to have slightly disrupted sleep. These children may hit developmental milestones early and can be very persistent, but they also tend to need a little more sleep than most.

A certified sleep coach can help you decide when to start gentle sleep coaching and suggest custom strategies for your baby or child to learn the skill of putting themselves to sleep.

Wondering what to expect from your newborn?
Read: What Newborn Sleep Really Looks Like

Your Situation is Unique

Family dynamics can be especially sensitive and require extra consideration.

You may have done research on a sleep solution, but books often don’t talk about how to incorporate things like long work hours, a complicated childcare situation, or siblings who also need dedicated time settling for bed.

A certified sleep coach will weave your individualized systems, schedules, goals, and preferences into a plan that will work for you.

baby sleep coachYou Need a Solution Quickly

Maybe you have a demanding job. Perhaps you have four other children and a husband who travels for work, or you’re caring for an aging loved one. Whatever your reason, you are stretched to the max without a moment to spare for anything. Reading a sleep book isn’t an option, and you need a solution, pronto.

If there are no vacations, illness, parents returning to work, or other major disruptions, most sleep coaching programs with a certified sleep coach take a few weeks to complete. They’ll help you quickly determine what works and what doesn’t. You won’t have to spend too much of your valuable time on trial and error.

Gentle Sleep Coaches can help you use the Sleep Lady Shuffle!
Read: The Sleep Lady Shuffle: How to Gently Sleep Train your Baby

You Want Accurate Information

Let’s face it. There’s a lot of information on this topic. You’ve probably been inundated with books, blog articles, advice from your friends and relatives, online forums, and even healthcare providers. While all of them are very well-intentioned, you need to consider the source. Is the information based on research and evidence, or is it just from personal experience with a dash of old wives’ tale thrown in for good measure?

A trained and certified sleep coach has research-based education on the topic and is up-to-date on current pediatric sleep recommendations, standards, and best practices. A baby sleep coach will spend time educating you and your family on sleep and answering your specific questions so you don’t have to sort through outdated or irrelevant information.

A well-trained coach will also know when to refer you back to your healthcare provider to rule out an underlying medical condition that may be causing or contributing to your child’s sleep problem.

Have no idea where to begin solving your child’s sleep issues?

Start with this guide.

Get this guide

A Baby Sleep Coach Gives you Reassurance and Accountability

Hiring a sleep coach is similar to hiring a personal trainer. You may already know what you need to do to be successful, but having someone objective to come on the journey with you — to help identify goals, support your progress and celebrate your wins — will help you achieve results faster and with confidence.

Additionally, your goals may change. A certified sleep coach can help you tweak your direction and plan in real time.
If you’d like to know more about hiring a certified sleep coach, the best thing to do is to talk to one.

Looking for a sleep coach near you?
Read: Certified Gentle Sleep Coaches

Author: Kim West, MSW, Mom of 2, creator of The Sleep Lady Shuffle

My name is Kim West, and I’m the mother of two beautiful girls, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has been a practicing child and family therapist for more than 21 years, and the creator of the original gentle, proven method to get a good night’s sleep for you and your child. My sleep journey began when I started experimenting with gently shaping my daughter’s sleep by not following the conventional wisdom at the time. After having success (and then more success with my second daughter!), I began helping family and friends and my step-by-step method spread like wildfire, exactly like an excellent night of sleep for a tired parent should!