My Sleep Story
I’m so happy you are here taking this first step! Whether you work with me, another sleep coach or figure this sleep stuff out on your own, my biggest hope is that you find a way to get your family back to sleep.
Many years ago, after graduating from the University of San Diego with a Bachelors degree in Education and traveling the world, I gave birth to my first baby. She was born with a serious health condition and was in the NICU for 6 weeks. She had a rough start and for five years she wasn’t able to sleep on her own. I was utterly sleep deprived and desperate and so was she! When I became pregnant many years later with my second baby I was terrified! I knew I couldn’t go through that sleep struggle again, but had no idea how I would do things differently. Just by luck a friend gave me “Bringing up Bebe.” I learned that in France it is common for babies to sleep through the night by 2 months. I was astounded. I had no idea that was even possible, so I made a decision to learn everything I could about how to help my baby accomplish that. I have had two babies since then and I was able to help them sleep through the night by 3 months. I was always there for them with comfort, never leaving them to cry. It was an overwhelmingly positive experience for my family.
After all I had experienced with my kids and sleep, I knew I wanted to help other families who were struggling. I became known as a “sleep fairy” with friends and acquaintances and started working with many families, but I knew my experience with my two babies wasn’t enough. I found an incredible mentor in Kim West, and became a certified Gentle Sleep Coach. I work with babies 4.5 months and older. Even though I had such great sleep success when my littles were infants, I think for most families using the first months to bond, grow and learn about each other is the most important thing. However, if you want great tips and tools for the first months, I offer Baby Sleep Basics workshops and one on one calls focused on sleep shaping for newborns.
I LOVE what I do! I have dreams at night about the families I am working with where in my dream I wonder how their night of sleep coaching is going. For me sleep coaching is about so much more than sleep. Yes sleep is crucial, but the moments I love the most about my job are when a mom tells me how happy she is to be rested and able to look forward to the day with her toddler, or the dad that tells me how deeply he was able to bond with his baby during the coaching process and how connected he now feels to her. I love the elation in a couple’s voice when they tell me how happy they are to be able to sleep in the same bed again after months of sleeping in different rooms. There are so many amazing and unforeseen things that happen when you take a leap of faith and decide to work with a sleep coach. I hope to hear from you soon! Why spend another night discouraged and sleep deprived? Let’s give your family the gift of sleep!
Gentle Sleep Program – Intensive Course
Gentle Sleep Coaching® was created by Kim West, LCSW-C. I became certified in May of 2017. She has been working with children and sleep for more than 20 years. Impressively, Kim has worked with over 20,000 families. She is professionally known as The Sleep Lady® and has written an excellent book called Good Night, Sleep Tight. Her methods have been featured on:
GSC Training Program Summary
The Gentle Sleep Coach Program is the first and most extensive professional sleep coaching certification program available. The program involves over 80 hours of training, an exam and participation in case supervision with Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. “the Sleep Lady”) who has been helping tired parents for over 20 years. Clinical supervision and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach.
Some of my training topics included:
- Basic counseling and child development
- Sleep science and behavioral modification techniques to help parents of children age 0 to 6 years old.
- Secure Attachment Theory
- Support for the Breastfeeding Mother
The training also consisted of lectures from top specialists including:
- Postpartum Depression from Dr Shoshana Bennett, author and leading specialist on Postpartum Depression
Medical Conditions and Sleep Apnea in Children led by Dr Lewis Kass, Director of Children’s Sleep Center
- Sensory Processing Disorders and Sleep by Jodi Jennings, OTLR
- GURD and Sleep led by Dr Anthony Loizides, pediatric gastroenterologist
The GSC Program also includes an exclusive advanced training series directly centered around how to gently work with babies 4 and 5 months of age. This program which I have also completed consists of over 40 hours of instruction and mentorship.
Some of the curriculum training topics include:
- In depth knowledge of the delicate nature of infants under 6 months of age and how to consider all elements of their well-being.
- Current evidence based guidelines and instruction on how to evaluate the 4-6 month old child and family and determine if the child is ready for sleep coaching.
Gentle sleep solutions and strategies that are effective and developmentally appropriate for the younger baby.
This specialty training is designed to give coaches the knowledge, education and all the tools and resources they need to successfully work with families of babies 4-6 months of age in a safe, healthy and developmentally appropriate manner.
Mckenzie talks sleep for the first one
Mckenzie talks life, sleep and kids