“Can you come sleep coach my child for me?”

I hear this occasionally, parents asking me if I can come sleep train their child for them.  Some are joking when they ask, some are serious.  I wanted to talk a little about why I do not offer this service.

Children act differently for strangers and other people who aren’t Mom and Dad

If you’ve ever seen your child in school or daycare you may be amazed at how they are acting.  They are behaving and listening so well!  Some of that could just be consistency, they know exactly what to expect and when to expect it at school, whereas home can be a little more chaotic at times.  Also parents may be a little inconsistent at times – I know when I’m trying to do things around the house and my child is bugging me for something, I may be a little more willing to give in then their teachers may be!  So if I, or someone else, would come into their home and try to put them to sleep, they may very quickly and quietly start falling asleep, but then when Mom or Dad try to do the same thing, they may behave very differently.  Plus if Mom is nursing, baby will smell mom when she’s there, but not when the stranger is there.  (Speaking of this, I do sometimes recommend Dad do the coaching in the beginning until baby is used to not eating, but I always have Mom step in at some point as well).

Outsourcing?

I’m not crazy about the idea of parents “outsourcing” when they feel like the task is going to be hard for them.  (Of course if you have hired someone to come in, I’m not judging you – everyone needs to do what feels right to them).  I want parents to feel confident in their parenting ability.  No matter how competent or incompetent you feel, you can do this.  Your child will feel most comfortable with you, and yes that may mean they’ll fight longer or act out more, but I always want bedtime to be a calm, relaxing experience, and I cannot imagine it will be that calm or relaxed with a stranger in the room, no matter how comforting they are.

You can do it! 

You don’t need someone else to come in and coach your child.  You know your child best and you can read them better than anyone.  Plus you will gain more confidence in going through this process!

Yes, I can help!

This is not to say I cannot help you at all.  My services help you create a plan to follow to help your child get the sleep they need to be happy and healthy.  Sometimes I also add in text support where I can be available while you are doing bedtime, so you can ask questions and get immediate answers, or just general support.  I also have been available in a family’s house, I’ve stayed downstairs while the family is doing the sleep coaching upstairs.  I can watch on baby monitors and just be there for support.

 

Do you have questions or comments?  I would love to hear them!

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