6 Myths of Sleep Coaching

Jill Bertelsen
There are many myths about sleep coaching that I hear a lot! Either from social media, moms on the playground, or even from doctors offices. I want to talk about the 6 most common myths of sleep coaching and clear those up!

Myth #1 To sleep coach you need to be done breastfeeding.

Absolutely FALSE! Breast is best! I work with moms to help their children get one long stretch of sleep for their development and then work together to manage night feedings. A child may not be able to sleep 12 hours straight while breastfeeding because the mom may need to feed sooner to not lose milk supply. But we can definitely teach a child how to have good sleep habits and get into a deep sleep so they are rested in between feedings.

Myth #2 Can’t co-sleep and sleep train

FALSE: Although it is a lot more difficult to teach a child to sleep longer stretches when co-sleeping it is not impossible. The American Academy of Pediatrics does recommend to not co-sleep or to have the baby has their own sleep space for at least the first 6-12 months of life. This makes your baby safer. But if you have a bassinet that is right next to the bed, this is safe and you are able to set up good sleep for your baby.

Myth #3 The only way to sleep train is to let your child “cry-it-out”

FALSE: There are many techniques to help a child learn to sleep better. My least favorite is cry-it-out. I take the child’s temperament, health, and family dynamics and figure out what technique would be best for them. There are many gentle sleep coaching methods in which a child can learn the skill of putting them self to sleep without leaving them to cry for hours.

Myth #4 It takes months to get your child to sleep through the night

FALSE: When sleep coaching your baby if you don’t see some improvement within 3-5 days you need to change something in your plan. Or see if there are underlying medical conditions. Average children learn to sleep through the night in 7-10 nights. Older children, 3-6 years of age, may take up to 3 weeks because the habits are more ingrained. It is true that you should not start sleep training until AT LEAST 4 months old because your child is still developing their sleep cycles.

Myth #5: Only for babies

FALSE: Sleep coaching can help toddlers and small children. I am certified to help children anywhere from 4 months to 6 years of age. Different techniques are used for different age groups of children. But on average, children need about 11 hours of sleep at night for their first 9 years of life.

Myth #6: It’s selfish to force your baby to sleep so that you can sleep. Being a parent is about sacrifice.

FALSE: Yes, sacrifice is needed in parenting. Teaching your child to sleep better is one of the greatest skills you can teach your child. Children who sleep better can learn faster, remember better, hit developmental milestones better, have a higher IQ, and much more. Yes, your sleep will improve. But sleep coaching is about helping your child to sleep better, not just you.

Debunking myths is important. Sleep coaching your child can be so beneficial for the entire family. If you would like help sleep coaching, please sign up for a sleep coaching https://www.bertelseneducation.com/Individualized-Consultation. Or if you want to learn how and create a plan yourself, take the https://www.bertelseneducation.com/sleep-coaching-101 course. Let’s get the sleep y’all need!