Out with the Sleep Training, in with the Sleep Coaching

Topping the charts at number one on the list of challenges for new parents is…sleep or, better said, no sleep. Let’s put an end to the rigid process of sleep training. We, parents need much subtler but way more effective strategies. In 2016, it’s out with the old sleep training and in with the new sleep coaching.    1. How many families struggle with sleep issues?

It’s estimated that 130 million (possibly more) babies are born worldwide each year. Of those, a very small percentage will have a true sleep disorder, but over 50% are likely to have at least one sleep challenge to face, if not more. Weissbluth’s study concluded that 76% of the families he studied claimed that their babies frequently woke up at night. We can’t definitively conclude that 76% of all babies will have sleep issues, but I suspect the number lies between 50 and 75%.While there isn’t a definitive number, however, what parent, at one time or another, doesn’t wonder whether their baby is sleeping enough or napping the “right” amount? What parent doesn’t wonder whether their baby’s waking is due to teething or out of habit? 

  2. Is there still a huge demand for sleep coaching advice?

Yes! Each year, millions of parents visit The Baby Sleep Site®  to answer at least one question about sleep, and many will come back over and over with new questions. While many will find answers to their questions by reading the online content, we also offer custom advice and have personally helped over 25,000 families since the company was founded in 2008. 

  3. What’s the difference between sleep coaching and training?

Sleep training, historically, has been a fairly rigid process. Most families associate the phrase “sleep training” with cry-it-out approaches. We feel that the phrase “sleep coaching” better represents the whole spectrum of strategies parents can use to gently and gradually help their babies sleep. While “gentle sleep training” might seem like an oxymoron, “gentle sleep coaching” is actually possible and works very well!  4. Baby S.T.E.P.S. to Better Sleep – What does this book offer parents?

Baby S.T.E.P.S. to Better Sleep is the first baby and toddler sleep book to put parents in the driver’s seat. Other baby sleep books offer just one method of sleep training, and it’s usually their way or the highway! Baby S.T.E.P.S. to Better Sleep, however, offers a wide variety of sleep coaching methods, allowing parents to pick and choose the strategies that work best for their unique situation (and for their unique baby). This book walks parents through a step-by-step approach to create a sleep coaching plan as well as offers tips and strategies to help parents implement their plans successfully.   

  5. What are your top five tips for parents struggling with sleep issues?

Your baby is unique, and not all “problems” are problems just because your baby may not be sleeping like your friend’s baby or even your older child. You need to assess your baby and make decisions accordingly.Similarly, what works for one baby may not be the right method for your child and vice versa. This is why a customizable sleep coaching plan make such a difference.

A solid sleep routine, including giving your child clues that it’s time for bed and setting expectations, is a great way to set your child up for sleep success. A good bedtime routine should consist of calming activities and should happen at about the same time each day.Being overtired is the number one reason for waking at night, waking too early in the morning, and taking short naps. So when someone says to keep your baby awake during the day so that he or she will sleep better at night, do the opposite.

The next likely reason your child may be waking at night and taking short naps is almost always due to some type of sleep association. A sleep association is simply the way a person falls asleep; if your child needs to be fed to sleep, for example, he or she has a feeding sleep association. Just knowing this fact can go a long way and can help you alter your behavior to help your child sleep better.  About the Author:

Nicole Johnson is the founder, president, and lead sleep consultation of The Baby Sleep Site® <http://www.babysleepsite.com> , a company devoted to helping parents solve their baby or toddler’s sleep issues. The company was born out of Johnson’s own experiences as a sleep-deprived mother of two. Since its inception in 2008, The Baby Sleep Site®  has grown into the web’s leading resource for tired parents worldwide. Today, over one million exhausted parents visit The Baby Sleep Site®   each month. Thanks to a personalized, tailored approach to sleep coaching, Nicole and her team of expert sleep consultants have personally helped over 25,000 exhausted families. This book was created out of Nicole’s commitment to empower families across the globe to sleep coach on their terms in a way that fits their lifestyles and unique goals.Nicole Johnson currently resides in Columbus, Ohio with her husband and two sons.