Frequently Asked Questions
What is a holistic sleep consultant?
A holistic sleep consultant is someone who looks at sleep as a piece of a larger puzzle and understands that sleep is multi-factorial in nature. A holistic sleep consultant is someone who chooses to work from a natural and organic approach, while honoring where the individual is at – not where it is expected they “should be”. They acknowledge the value and power of small sustainable changes versus trying to push behavioral change by withholding reward or parental comfort (in a child’s case).
With adults, the focus remains on lifestyle and health in terms of optimizing sleep. We cannot train an adult to sleep “better” anymore than we can train a child to sleep “better”. Sleep is a biological function that needs to be supported in order to be optimized- that is a core belief for a holistic sleep consultant.
In general, a sleep Consultant is someone who is knowledgeable and well versed in the field of sleep. They are able to provide a plan and guidance to aid you through sleep challenges. Unless they have other education or designations, sleep consultants are not medical professionals.
How is the holistic & responsive approach different from traditional sleep training methods ( ex: controlled crying)?
To explain this, we need to start with the theory of behaviorism and operant conditioning. The theory of operant conditioning is that a behavior is learned through rewards and punishment. The behavior which is rewarded becomes strengthened and the behavior that is punished/ignored becomes extinguished.
In terms of sleep training the idea is the same. By not responding to your child’s cries, you are working to extinguish that behavior – the behavior of your child calling for you. However, an extinguished behavior is not gone, it is suppressed. This means that the child’s need to call for you has not disappeared; they have just learned to not call for you.
With a responsive and holistic approach, we do not teach a child to stop calling for their parents. Rather we educate parents on realistic expectations around child sleep and provide natural solutions/techniques that help to support the process. Our goal is to set the stage for optimal sleep while remaining responsive and present for the child. We do this while understanding that sleep is linked to brain maturity and simply takes time.
You can read more about the differences in this blog post: https://quietmoments.squarespace.com/articles/2019/10/14/sleep-training-vs-the-holistic-and-responsive-approach-what-is-the-difference-and-why-does-it-matter
My friend sleep trained her child and they sleep through the night. Will my child do the same if I work with you?
“Sleeping through the night” is a loaded phrase as it means different things at different stages of child development. It is normal for children to wake at night and seek their parents, especially when ill or going through bouts of separation anxiety. Children wake in the night just as do adults.
New information has come to light that a child who does not call out for their parents at night (sleep trained) does not sleep more hours or better than a child who does call out. This indicates that sleep is linked to brain maturity and age – not forms of training. You can read more about that here: http://evolutionaryparenting.com/helping-baby-sleep/ and here: http://evolutionaryparenting.com/controlled-crying-cortisol-and-attachment-a-critical-look/
Your friend’s child still wakes at night, as will yours, the difference is in the parental responsiveness. This is where our approach is a lifestyle as it truly does extend well past sleep and deep into parenting.
Why do you only offer 1 child sleep package?
We decided to offer 1 package as it encompasses the level of support, we feel is most beneficial to our clients who embark on this journey. Since we are not training the child to stop calling for their parents, this process is different in nature and that was considered when creating the optimal sleep package.
Progress is always child specific and can take time with this approach. As such, this package is 5 weeks in length with post follow-ups and does not have a limit in terms of emails/phone calls. This allows our clients to feel fully supported during our time together and not worry about excess costs such as extra phone call fees.
Will this process work?
Consistency is key when trying to develop a new habit for adults and the same is true for children. Working with a sleep consultant is a team approach. We will provide you with the plan, the information, and the support however you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to the application.
If you stay true to the plan and consistent in the approach you will see results. The key is to continue being consistent on an ongoing basis even after our work together has come to an end.
Children thrive on routine and knowing what to expect. If you start to bend the rules shortly after you see progress, all the work your child has put in will begin to unravel. Continue being consistent and you will continue to see results.
I do not want to sleep train , can you still help me?
You are in luck! We do NOT use sleep training methods! There are many ways to encourage your baby to sleep and ultimately it will depend on what your goal is for your family. Quiet Moments has a holistic approach to sleep as outlined on our website. In some simple situations, just a few small changes can result in beautiful and peaceful sleep.
Will my baby cry a lot?
Not only do we value your child’s emotional wellbeing but we also value yours. We know how difficult it is to suffer sleep deprivation and we also know how heart wrenching it is to listen to your baby’s cries.
Learning new sleep habits is a change and some babies always cry with change. Anyone who tells you otherwise is not being truthful. However, we want to be clear that we work within your comfort level and use gentle methods. You will be there with your child supporting them the entire time.
How long is this going to take?
Since we do not use controlled crying or behavioral methods, progress may take a little more time. The actual timeline is dependent on your child and when they feel secure enough to take next steps.
Every child is different however with the right plan, teamwork ,and consistency you should be seeing progress within the first week. Children develop dramatically and change quickly. The first year is full of big changes both physically and mentally. Your little one may be sleeping well and then not so well 2 months later. This can happen for many reasons including major developmental milestones, illness, growth spurt, or teething pain. As long as you continue to apply the techniques you will learn and remain consistent then your child will sleep. If you find that you need a little more help down the road - we will always be here for you.
Do I have to stay home during the whole training time?
It is best that you clear your schedule for the first 2-3 weeks of coaching. Consistency and familiarity will be key in your child’s sleep success. As such, we recommend that you begin working with us at a time where you are able to be home to fully support your child’s journey.
How old is old enough for this sleep work?
There are big changes happening during the fourth month and as such some parents choose to wait closer to 5 or 6 months of age. Some parents wait even longer and that is also okay. We are here whenever you are ready. Behavioral methods are not recommended for children under 6 months of age - and we don't use them.
As previously mentioned we do use gentle methods however your child has to be physiologically ready for change. This is where speaking with us is best. If you are concerned or curious as to when your child is ready we can help with that. Also, it is important to ensure your child is in good health prior to starting sleep coaching so a chat with your physician is always a good idea, especially if your baby was born premature.
Your website shares plenty of information on child sleep, do you help adults?
Yes, we do help adults optimize sleep by using a holistic approach as well. You can read more about how we work with adult sleep here: https://www.quietmomentssleep.com/new-page-92.
This is not just about treating the symptom of difficulty sleeping rather find the root of why you are having difficulty sleeping. We work with you to address the root of the sleep challenge which then eradicates the symptom.
The child sleep world can be daunting and overwhelming Our website shares plenty of information in regards to child sleep as we feel it is important for parents who are seeking another way to work with their child’s sleep to learn what our philosophy is.