Philosophy and Training
One out of every four families has a child who struggles to sleep. Research shows that children need sufficient quantity and quality of sleep in order to develop physically, emotionally, and cognitively. Many parents are sleep deprived trying to manage the sleep struggles and become overwhelmed at all of the information out there to "sleep train" a child. "Sleep training" often carries a negative connotation as many believe that the only way to do this is through the "cry-it out" method.
As a Gentle Sleep Consultant and Registered Nurse, evidenced based research is at the foundation of my philosophy. Providing support and guidance to children as they learn and develop is the most respectful way to approach sleep. Leaving a child alone to cry as a form of teaching them to sleep is not only detrimental to the child, it is also affects the attachment a child has to their parent.
My philosophy in sleep coaching involves making changes to help the child learn to sleep independently, while the parent is being responsive and supportive to the child during this learning process. This approach does not involve leaving a child alone to cry. My approach respects the child and minimizes frustration and maximizes reassurance. It reduces stress but it does not take away every tear. Children often cry when there are changes simply as a way to communicate their confusion. So, their crying is their way of saying "Why am I not going into your bed tonight like I used to do?". This approach is about responding to those tears effectively and respectfully.
Every child is unique. Every family is unique in their dynamics, goals, and philosophies. Therefore, approaching sleep struggles requires a plan that is tailored to the specific child and one that best suits the family.
With my years of experience as a Certified Registered Nurse in Neonatal ICU, Certified Pediatric Gentle Sleep Consultant, and a mom of 3, I have acquired many strategies and approaches to enable me to identify and individualize the best approach towards helping a child become an independent sleeper.
My sleep work is in alignment with the optimal well-being of the child respecting their health, development, bonding and attachment, and overall mental health. Together with the parents, we create realistic, age appropriate expectations and an emotionally supportive sleep coaching plan that is in alignment with the temperament and needs of the child as well as the parents own parenting style.
Personalized coaching has allowed me to help reduce anxiety related to sleep, create confident, independent sleepers, and improve sleep for the entire family.
I am here to help parents find gentle solutions that are right for their family and I will hold the light at the end of the tunnel until they can see if for themselves.
Let's talk and get your family on the journey to better sleep!
Bachelor of Science Nursing Degree
Molloy College, NY
Certification in Neonatal ICU
National Certification Corporation
Certification in Gentle Sleep Coaching Program
July 2018- Current
The Gentle Sleep Coach Program is the first and most extensive professional sleep coach training and certification program available. The program involves over 80 hours of training with a faculty panel that includes 2 medical doctors, a psychologist, an attorney, lactation counselor, postpartum doulas and a family therapist. Each coach must pass an exam and participate in case supervision with Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. “the Sleep Lady”) who has been helping tired parents for over 20 years. Clinical supervision and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach. Some of my training topics included:
– Basic counseling and child development
– Sleep science and behavioral modification techniques to help parents of children age 0 to 6 years old.
– Secure attachment theory
– Support for the breastfeeding mother
The training also consisted of lectures from top specialists, including:
– Postpartum Depression from Dr. Shoshana Bennett, author and leading specialist on Postpartum Depression
– Medical Conditions and Sleep Apnea in Children led by Dr. Lewis Kass, Director of Children’s Sleep Center
– GERD and Sleep led by Dr. Anthony Loizides, pediatric gastroenterologist
Certification in 0-5 Month Program
The GSC Program also includes an exclusive advanced training specifically focused on how to gently work with babies 0-5 months of age.
Some of the curriculum training topics include:
In-depth knowledge of the importance of attachment and infant mental health
The sleep science behind the first six months of life
What special considerations need to be taken when working with and supporting families during this delicate period.
Specialized instruction on how to evaluate families in the first six months
Guidance on how to assess when the baby is ready for sleep coaching based on current research and evidence-based strategies
Review of gentle sleep solutions and strategies that are developmentally appropriate, breastfeeding and attachment friendly and promote a solid foundation for sleep learning and long-term healthy sleep patterns.
This specialty training is designed to give Gentle Sleep Coaches the knowledge, education and all the tools and resources they need to successfully work with families of newborns through 5 months of age in a safe, healthy and developmentally appropriate manner.