Category Archives: Parenting

“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).


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!

Busting Through Bedtime Battles

Do you start dreading bedtime at dinner time?

Does your child sleep fairly well once they are finally asleep for the night?

Do you feel like bedtime is the most hectic time of the day?

Does your child hate bedtime too?

I can help get your child’s or children’s bedtime under control!

Introducing the Busting Through Bedtime Battles package!

In this package we will create a plan to make bedtime a more enjoyable, relaxing part of your family’s day.  We will pick enjoyable, calm activities and figure out the ideal timing to be able to get your children to sleep at a reasonable time.

Just imagine, your evenings will be under control!

For an introductory price of only $67 – here’s what you get:

  • A 30 – 45 minute phone call where we will discuss the plan
  • One week of email support so that I can support you during the week when you are implementing the plan

I will have you fill out some information before we speak so that I will have ideas in advance of us speaking.

Ready to get started?  Enter your email and Click the PayPal Button to pay the introductory rate of only $67.  You will then receive the form to fill out along with a link to chose your time for the first phone call.  Hurry, this rate won’t last for long.


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New Moms and Dads Don’t Sleep Enough: How to Fix it

Please Enjoy This Guest Post

It’s no secret that parents of newborns don’t get enough sleep. Both moms and dads suffer from a lack of sleep with a new baby.

In a recent survey, only 5 percent of parents with babies under six months of age get at least eight hours of sleep at night.

Rather than a full night’s sleep, parents of newborns are likely to get a fragmented night of sleep that doesn’t add up to enough rest to face the day well rested. For 43 percent of new parents, sleep comes at an average of one to three hours of uninterrupted rest at a time. That’s not enough to get the deep, restorative sleep you need to feel rested.

The lack of sleep that parents of newborns experience can result in extreme daytime fatigue and a decline in cognitive and physical function. In fact, 30 percent of parents with newborns fall asleep at work.

What Makes Newborn Sleep Difficult

Newborns need care around the clock, including when you’re sleeping. There are many reasons why babies cry and need help at night when parents would otherwise be sleeping.

Parents need to tend to feedings, diaper changes, colic, and other needs for babies at night.

But even when babies aren’t actively asking for help, parents of newborns may be too anxious to sleep. The survey indicates parents with infants often lose sleep worrying about providing a good life for their children or taking care of housework.

How Newborn Parents Can Get More Sleep

Parents of newborns should understand that sleep will be difficult for the first few months. Many babies start sleeping through the night by six months, so sleep difficulties won’t last forever. In the meantime, you can take steps to support healthy sleep for all: mom, dad, and baby.

  • Accept offers of help. If friends and family offer to help when the baby comes home, let them. Typically, offers are genuine — and at this time, you need all of the help you can get. You’re not likely to get offers to stay up all night with the baby, but daytime help can make it easier for you to get the rest you need. Let someone babysit while you take a quick nap during the day, accept dinner, or let them take care of housework such as dishes, laundry, or vacuuming so you can rest later instead of worrying about chores.
  • Take shifts with your partner. Nighttime parenting doesn’t have to be an all hands on deck situation. One partner can take care of baby’s nighttime needs for a few hours; then the other can take over. Consider four-hour shifts, such as 11 p.m. to 3 a.m., and 3 a.m. to 7 a.m. Shifts can be helpful, allowing one partner to get four hours of uninterrupted sleep at a time instead of choppy sleep that’s less restorative. To make this work, breastfeeding moms should pump ahead for nighttime feedings, and the resting partner should consider sleeping in a separate bed where they won’t be disturbed by the baby or their partner getting up to tend to its needs.
  • Take one night on, one night off. Similar to shifts, switching one night on and one night off with your partner can help you both get restorative sleep — although not at the same time. With this arrangement, one partner tends to all of the baby’s needs for one night while the other sleeps. The next night, it’s the other partner’s turn. This option can make it possible to get a full night of sleep every other night instead of endless nights with fragmented sleep. As with taking shifts, breastfeeding mothers should pump for nighttime feedings on the nights when they’re not getting up with the baby, and the sleeping partner should sleep where they won’t be disturbed.
  • Teach your baby how to sleep. Although many babies will sleep through the night by six months of age, it is possible to help them develop healthy sleep habits from birth, which may encourage better sleep for everyone. Maintaining routines is the best way to support healthy baby sleep, including a consistent bedtime and naptime, as well as predictable patterns throughout the day. Keeping familiar routines can help signal to your baby that it’s bedtime or naptime, and time to start getting sleepy. It’s also important to help your baby distinguish nighttime from daytime with noise and light cues, allowing household noise and daylight in the day, but keeping baby’s bedroom quiet and dark at night.


Sara Westgreen is a researcher for the sleep science hub She sleeps on a king size bed in Texas, where she defends her territory against cats all night. A mother of three, she enjoys beer, board games, and getting as much sleep as she can get her hands on.

Sleep Coaching vs. Sleep Training

I like to use the term “sleep coaching” in my work, instead of “sleep training” and wanted to discuss a little why I like this term better.  I feel like coaching implies a more interactive approach, you can coach a child to do something but they have to be involved in the process.

Like a soccer coach, the parent is coaching the child to sleep well.  A soccer coach will teach children basic skills first before expecting them to know how to play a game well.

So we work on small skills first with sleep, working with a child to learn how to spend some time alone, working on them knowing that their room and sleep area is a safe place.  Once they learn small skills, then we can start expecting them to learn the larger skill, sleeping through the night.

And if the child has trouble, a good coach will help them learn, not scold them for not playing well.

If the child is having trouble playing the game, a coach will not get in the game and play for the child or the child will not learn.  While sleep coaching, if the child is having trouble falling asleep, if the parent put the child to sleep, they are, in essence, playing the game for them.

I like to think that when I work with a family, everyone is involved in making the changes and supporting the child.  I am the coach for the parents, coaching them through, then the parents in turn coach their child, helping them learn how to play the “game”, which in this case is sleeping well!

Nature Nurturers: Empowering Kids In The Outdoors

Please enjoy this partnered post


(Image Source)

A lot of people like to think that children have changed over the last couple of decades. With less of them out on the streets, in the fields, and in other outdoor areas, it can seem like they have let go of the natural side of life. This line of thought is so powerful, in fact, that a lot of parents will work very hard to try and turn it around. In reality, though, it isn’t that your kid is bored of the outside, they simply haven’t had the chance to experience it properly yet.

This is where you and your excellent parenting skills will come in handy, and it will be your job to get them out in the great outdoors. Achieving this goal can be done through a number of different methods. To help you out with this, this post will be exploring some of them, giving you the chance to tackle this part of your child’s life. Spending time with nature will always have a positive impact on a young person. So, it makes sense to work hard to give your children enough exposure to it.

The Student

The natural world is a fascinating one. From the tiny insects and plants you see each and every day, to the great and wonderful natural marvels which take your breath away, this part of life has an incredible amount to offer. For a child, it’s very easy to be inspired by nature, and this makes it into an incredible learning tool. This sort of approach is great when you see potential for your child to be a biologist or scientific communicator.

Starting this journey, books and other resources will be enough to satisfy your child’s appetite for knowledge. With the right options in hand, you will be able to leave your child to improve their reading skills while also learning about something useful. Of course, though, as time goes on, their need to learn will become too great to be handled by simple tools, and you will need to give them some practical experience of nature.

There are loads of ways that this sort of work can be done. To begin, simple activities like exploring the woods or going to the beach can be very good for your child, as they will give them the chance to learn by themselves. Of course, though, you could also look for SeaQuest aquariums near you to give your children an interactive experience with some animals. Getting the chance to handle some exotic creatures will be very exciting for any child.

The Conservationist

Of course, some natural goals are a little bit different, and won’t involve so much learning. Instead, passion will be the key, and is very important when it comes to a field like conservation. Developing your child into an environmentally conscious individual doesn’t take too much work throughout their life, and most parents already have everything they need to get started.

To begin with this, exposure to the outside world is one of the best ways to build some compassion for it. If your children get to experience the wonders of the great outdoors, they will naturally want to protect it. Of course, though, children are very basic creatures, and they won’t always retain interest in something unless they are given something to champion.

Animals are by far the best way to do this, and it’s very likely that you already have some good candidates nearby. For example, bats are very common when you ignore the individual species which make up their population. There are loads of endangered bats, though, and a lot of them aren’t getting much help. A child will find it much easier to love these creatures for what they are than an adult can, making them into the perfect little conservationists.

This sort of field opens up loads of options for careers and jobs when your child gets older. Large companies which have an impact on the environment will almost always employee people with a background in conservation to make sure that they’re doing things efficiently. Along with this, though, a lot of people are able to make their living through saving animals, and this is a very honorable goal.

The Artist

Finally, as the last way to inspire your children to enjoy the outdoors, it’s time to think about the creativity the outdoors can inspire. Artists have used this part of life to give them creative ideas for thousands of years. Life brings artwork off of the paper, making it much more immersive and pleasing to view than other works.

When trying to do something like this, a lot of parents will fall into the trap of thinking of art as merely painting or drawing. In reality, though, art is merely an expression of who you are, and this means that it can come in loads of different forms. Some people will like to paint when they are doing this. But, other people will prefer the idea of making sculptures from rock and clay. Finding your child’s area of artistic passion will take a lot of work. Once you get there, though, it will be well worth it.

The road to outdoor art has to start with taking your child out into the world. Visit after visit to the woods or other natural area you have close by your kid will be inspired more and more, giving them the desire to create out of what they see. When this first starts, you should give your children as much freedom as possible, providing them with the tools to experiment. It won’t take long until passions start to show through, and this will give you a great place to launch from.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working to inspire your children. The outside world is a great place to help your child learn, with their time there impacting almost every aspect of their life. Not a lot of parents put this sort of effort in, nowadays, and this is why it seems like children are moving on from the outdoors.