Belly Rebuild Sleep Consulting
Often parents have a lot of questions surrounding their child's sleep and the sleep coaching process. Here are a handful of questions that we get asked frequently - if your question isn't answered on this page, shoot us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'd be happy to answer it for you!
American Academy of Pediatrics: Safe Sleep and Your Baby - How Parents can Reduce the Risk of SIDS and Suffocation
Pediatrics - Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics: Five-Year Follow-up of Harms and Benefits of Behavioral Infant Sleep Intervention: Randomized Trial
What is sleep coaching, exactly?
Sleep coaching is the process of helping your child learn how to sleep independently and soothe him/herself back to sleep if a night waking should occur. We usually begin "formal" sleep coaching when your baby is a minimum of 4 months old and once your pediatrician approves it (although the foundation for healthy sleep habits can be gently started earlier than that.) The signs that indicate that your baby may need sleep coaching are frequent night wakings and a general inability to fall or stay asleep on his/her own, without the use of sleep props. The whole sleep coaching process usually takes between 4-14 days, and promotes healthy sleep habits, which in turn will benefit the whole family.
Is sleep coaching just a fancy name for letting our baby "cry it out"?
Absolutely not. There are SO many different methods of helping your child learn independent sleep, and one of the jobs of your sleep coach is to come up with an effective solution that you and your partner are comfortable with. We are well-versed in every sleep coaching method, from the most gentle and hands-on approach to what is known as "cry-it-out" and everything in between.
I get so tired and bring my baby into bed with me because she sleeps well in my bed. Can I just continue to bed-share?
As sweet as it is to snuggle in bed with your baby, this is not something we recommend doing for sleep. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, over 3,600 infants dies each year due to unsafe sleep conditions, making bed sharing dangerous and even life-threatening to your baby. It increases the risk of suffocation, strangulation, and SIDS. We follow the AAP guidelines outlined here: Safe Sleep and Your Baby - How Parents can Reduce the Risk of SIDS and Suffocation. We feel it is safer to have your baby sleep in his/her own bed and establish this routine from the start. This is easier than trying to break the habit of bed sharing later down the line.
Will sleep coaching cause any harm to my little one?
This is probably the biggest fear parents have when considering sleep coaching, and the short answer is no, sleep coaching causes no harm, physical or psychological, to babies. In fact, studies have been done that compare a test group that is given no real plan when it comes to sleep and other groups that are given different sleep training methods to follow, and have found that the stress hormone cortisol is LOWER in the babies that are following a sleep coaching plan. (To read the full article, click here.)Additionally, studies by the AAP have shown that sleep plays a fundamental role in child development. Lack of sleep during childhood is associated with physical and mental health problems. Sleep deprivation can also cause major health problems including a weakened immune system later in life.
What if my baby shares a room with a sibling? Or I have twins or triplets? Is sleep coaching still going to work for me?
Yes! Our sleep coaches are able to handle any sleeping situation and provide a solution that encompasses the individual child's sleep situation. Additionally, we are experienced in dealing with multiples, as well as with siblings who are different ages but may both need help with sleep.
What ages do you work with?
Primarily, we work with children who are 4 months - 5 years old. We have a special newborn sleep guide for babies younger than 4 months that will give parents gentle methods for laying a foundation for independent sleep as the baby gets older.