How do I get sleep as a new parent?
After learning to feed a newborn, the most common questions that I receive from new parents concern sleep. There seem to be countless opinions about infant sleep, almost as many books with conflicting information, and an incredibly wide range of what normal infant sleep looks like from family to family. This is largely because sleep is just as cultural as it biological and it is tied to both temperament and environment. What works for one baby or one family may not work for another, and that's ok. That said, increasing security and predictability is accessible for most and will lay the foundation for self led sleep habits.
In 2016 I certified to become a Sleep Savvy Sleep Coach with Moorea Malatt because I found her approach to match my own philosophy about sleep. I firmly believe that healthy sleep can look a variety of different ways and that restorative sleep can happen while bed-sharing and breastfeeding. I have worked with hundreds of newborns and infants and work both from practical observations and from what we know scientifically about the sleep needs of babies. I believe that babies learn best when they feel well supported by their parents presence and when there's consistency and routine. I find that parents feel more confident guiding their child's sleep when they have a plan for responding to their needs.
My goal is to provide evidence based information to parents about the specific developmental stage that your child is in and help you build a plan for sleep around their developmental needs. I comfortably work with families from birth through preschool age, though the level of intervention in the plan would vary greatly across these ages. Before 4 months, I primarily focus on creating a conducive sleep environment, safe bedding, creating routine, establishing circadian rhythm, and coming up with a feeding plan that encourages night sleep. From 4 to 9 months, the focus tends to center on learning to fall asleep laying down without movement, being intentional about sleep signals, creating consistency in the routine, moving toward a long term sleep arrangement, and helping your baby connect sleep cycles. After 9 months, we talk about long term sleep planning, taking in fewer calories at night and shifting more daytime sleep to the night when parents want to be asleep, and working through developmental transitions.
What does sleep coaching look like and what is your rate?
If you're concerned about sleep and would like to hear more about my approach, I offer a 30 minute phone consult at no charge. My sleep support is tailored to the specific needs of each individual family and a short conversation with me will reveal whether what I do is a good fit for your family. If you decide to work with me, I will spend time getting to know your family and your sleep concerns. I will help you identify some goals for sleep and then we will craft a sleep plan together that gets you closer to ideal. Generally speaking, we craft the plan together and you implement it. In some cases, it might make sense for me to work with your child in person or even spend the night in your home to observe your child's sleep habits. Ultimately, my goal is for you to feel like you have a plan moving forward that you feel confident implementing yourself. I ask that you make a minimum 7 day commitment to the plan that we craft as babies learn quickly but they learn with consistency over time. In my experience, significant learning will take place in the first 3-4 days of implementing a new sleep plan. I provide you with written notes so that you have them to refer to forever.
I charge $60/hour for my time whether we are speaking on the phone or meeting in person. I find that most families can create a plan with me in about 2 hours. Sometimes there are some follow up meetings, but often this initial plan is enough to make a significant start. I also have a 7 day package that includes a comprehensive sleep plan, a daily phone check in for 7 days and 24/7 text support (yes, including at that difficult 3 am wake up) for 7 days while you are implementing the plan. This package is $500. Many families will start with the initial meeting and then decide what level of support you need. Like with all of my services, if you are experiencing financial hardship, especially if lack of sleep is seriously affecting your mental health, please inquire about sliding scale.