How Does a Gentle Sleep Coach Create a Sleep Plan? You’ve asked, so I’m answering! When I work with families, there are multiple factors I take into consideration when creating a customized sleep plan.  Before your consultation, I send you a 7-page history form which guides me in putting your sleep plan together. I always recommend that my clients put as much detail as possible into this form, as these details are crucial in creating a sleep plan that will work for you, your child, and your entire family. Key Topics Covered in the History Form Include:
  1. Your Goals:
    • Some families I work with want sleep as quickly as possible, and some prefer to trade tears for time.
    • Most of my families with babies under 12 months prefer to night wean slowly or to partially night wean until their baby is a little older.
    • Some families are preparing for a back-to-work transition and want their baby to sleep well at daycare (and they want to function well at work)!
    • Some families want to improve sleep while continuing to room share, while other families are ready to transition their little one into their own sleep space.
    • I understand that not everyone has the same goals, and I want to make sure that your sleep plan will help you achieve YOUR sleep goals.
    • Feeding practices/patterns/breastfeeding:
      Breastfeeding and sleep coaching can work together!
      Breastfeeding and sleep coaching can work together!
      • I want to know all about your current feeding practices as well as your feeding goals.  If your goal is to continue breastfeeding, I want to make sure that your milk supply is protected throughout the coaching/night weaning process.
      • By understanding your child’s current feeding patterns, we can ensure your child takes in more calories during the day after they start taking in less at night.
      • I also look at your current night feeding patterns, as they provide the blueprint for your night weaning (or partial night weaning) plan.
    • Personality/Temperament:
      • This is HUGE!  Just as every adult is different, so is every child.  Easy going babies go through the coaching process much differently than anxious/alert/highly sensitive babies.
      • Depending on your child’s temperament, I will have different suggestions to make in both your daily routines, your bedtime routine, and which sleep coaching method I choose for you.
    • Your baby’s age:
      • I work with babies and children up to 6 years of age.
      • Before 21 weeks, I work with families on gentle sleep shaping strategies to set the stage for great sleep habits.
      • Between 21 weeks and 6 months of age, I work very closely with you to ensure your baby is coping well with the plan.  I have had special training to work with this age group and take into account their developmental stage and feeding needs.
      • After 6 months, I take into account any developmental leaps or motor milestones your child will be facing and provide strategies to help you navigate these occurrences.
    • Your baby’s current age/health/weight:
      • Has your child had any problems with gaining or maintaining weight?
      • Some night feedings can be kept or eliminated at a slower pace if any of the above are issues.  I always recommend you get a green light from your child’s doctor prior to sleep coaching.
      • There are certain medical issues that can interfere with sleep.   These include reflux, obstructive sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, night terrors, sleepwalking, among other parasomnias.  To be clear – I am not a doctor and do not diagnose medical conditions, but I do have training to identify when a referral to a doctor would be the best course of action.