5 Steps to Choosing a Baby Sleep Coach

Babies and toddlers are meant to wake at night, but there may come a time when you feel like you need to make a change to your child’s sleep so that your entire family can thrive. If you get to the place where you want to make a change, it can be very beneficial to have a sleep coach supporting you to help you to determine an approach to the changes you want to make, validate your instincts, or simply help you get unstuck when you’re not quite sure what’s causing the challenges you’re facing. We know we have helped hundreds of families to get started, make the whole transformation, or even just tweaked a little something that was off along the way. 

When a family is ready for support from a sleep coach, a natural question may be, “which coach is the best for my family?” We’re going to walk you through 5 steps to consider when choosing a baby sleep coach so that you can get this choice right the first time around and save yourself from potentially wasting time, money, or frustration from working with someone who just isn’t the right fit for you and your family. 

Step 1: Understand their training. The baby sleep industry is an unregulated industry. This means that there is no governing body to state what classifies and certifies a coach as a baby sleep coach. There aren’t standardized requirements or things that all coaches need to know to pass a centralized certification exam and anyone can create a baby sleep certification program. We think this is extremely important to know, because sleep coaches are not all educated in the same way and their knowledge and expertise will vary based on how they were trained. 

To become a certified sleep coach you can complete a variety of training programs that will all end with you becoming certified, but the length and depth of training ranges from a couple days, to months and months. Of course the level of depth and knowledge that an individual gains from a weekend training program will typically be less than what someone who invests close to a year on a program. At My Connected Motherhood, we were trained by Isla Grace Sleep, and learned all the information we use with families today over the course of 6 months. Understanding how they were trained can also help you to learn a bit more about their approach to sleep, which brings us to step 2. 

Step 2: Understand their approach & philosophy.  First, start by thinking about what you want in your approach to your baby’s sleep. Are you looking to sleep train? Is sleep training 100% not an option? Are you comfortable with emotion? Then once you know what you’re looking for, you can seek out a coach who is aligned with your approach. 

We’re sure you know by now that there are multiple different ways to approach your baby’s sleep. The most commonly known option is to sleep train and there are many coaches who will support you to do so. At My Connected Motherhood we support families to get more sleep without using any sleep training. We know that sometimes it can be hard to discern if someone is truly a gentle coach who will not suggest sleep training or if they just have a nicely branded sleep training company, so here are some things to look out for:

  1. Do they call themselves gentle sleep trainers? Anyone who will not sleep train will not call themselves a gentle sleep trainer because gentle sleep training is still sleep training. If you do not want to sleep train at all (including Ferber and Sleep Lady Shuffle), you want to steer clear of anyone preaching gentle sleep training. 
  2. Do they welcome dependence? Babies are meant to be dependent on us and sleep is no exception. If a sleep coach insists on independent sleep, they are likely to use a behavioural approach to achieve this, which in most cases is sleep training. 
  3. Can you keep the pieces of sleep you love? If you love an aspect of your family’s sleep, there is never ever a reason to change any of it. If someone tells you that you have to in order to achieve your desired outcomes, they may not be the right fit for you. 
  4. Do they offer a guarantee? As much as we would love to, we cannot guarantee that your child will sleep after working with us because so many things affect sleep. We know that some companies promise that babies will be sleeping through the night in less than 2 weeks, which should be a red flag for families that want a gentler and more connected approach to their baby’s sleep. While we cannot guarantee that your child will be sleeping through the night, our approach is designed to ensure you do feel empowered when it comes to sleep with your little one. 

Step 3: Understand their support offerings. The way coaches work to support families varies greatly coach to coach and you want to understand the level of support you’re getting from a coach before you sign on to work with them. The most common offerings are a full consultation, support emails or calls, hourly calls, group coaching, or a self-paced course. Some coaches may offer other things like texting support or a Facebook group for further questions. We encourage you to reflect on what you and your family would most benefit from as we know that some families love the support and encouragement from daily support and we have also seen that some families thrive, meet, and even exceed their goals with weekly calls instead of daily support. Whatever you’re hoping for, just be sure you understand what’s included before you book in with a coach to ensure your expectations are met! 

Step 4: Understand their experience. Experience is really just the theory being applied practically to families. The more a coach has supported families, the more likely they are to have seen something similar to your family and be able to help you through the challenges you are currently facing. It can be helpful to ask if a coach has supported a family to meet the goals you are hoping to achieve prior to working with them. If a coach is a little newer, they can also be wonderful and often offer a little bit of a discount to their pricing as they are building up their skill set and experience in working with families. They can be great to work with as well. If you’re apprehensive about working with a newer coach, we suggest checking in with the support network they belong to and if they have access to resources if they were to get stuck along the way. 

Step 5: Do you resonate with them and trust them? Sleep coaching is a deeply personal thing. You are sharing many many details of your family and your life with this individual so the most important thing to consider when choosing a sleep coach is if you feel good about them. Do you trust them to guide you along in your journey? Do you resonate with their thoughts and ideas around not only sleep, but how they view babies and toddlers as a whole? Do you feel drawn to work with them? Do you feel like they will validate you to follow your instincts or encourage you to ignore them? Beyond anything else, you really just need to trust your gut when it comes to working with a sleep coach. 

So there you have it! 5 steps to take when choosing a baby sleep coach! We hope that this has given you some things to consider if you’re ready to work with a coach to support your family’s sleep. If you do need support, we’re here and ready to help you too. Just click here to schedule a call with us today. 

Categories: : About Us, Attachment, Motherhood, Sleep Without Sleep Training