What Is the Best Sleep Coaching Method for My Child??

Are you a tired Parent?  Is your baby not sleeping?  There is a great blog post by Kim West I wanted to share where she talks about the different sleep coaching methods.  I like to use the gentlest method possible that fits a family’s personal situation and no 2 plans are exactly the same.  The important thing about the plan is that you feel you can follow it, it fits your family, and you have support from your sleep coach to make sure it continues to work for you.  If you don’t see progress in 3-5 days, you need a new plan.  To listen to this blog post in video go to http://www.sleeplady.com/baby-sleep/what-is-the-best-sleep-coaching-method-for-my-child/#.UGHgH7KPVQI  The following is the transcript:

Hi. I’m Kim West, the Sleep Lady. Today I want to talk about all the various sleep coaching methods. I know that there are more sleep books since my book first came out in 2004. I hear parents say “I have to find the perfect sleep coaching method. Maybe this new book will have the magic trick.”

I want to give you a quick behavioral modification tip: when it comes to behavioral modification methods, there’s only so many ways to peel an apple as they say. I have broken them down to four main methods. Now, when you go into a book store and you’re looking at the different sleep coaching books or looking at e-books online, you can think about this and figure out which method the book falls into. From there you can figure out what method you can follow through with consistently, because that is the key to sleep coaching success.

On one end of the spectrum is extinction. Meaning, you put your baby in their bed awake (by the way everyone is going to tell you that), you leave and you don’t go in all night. That way, you can’t be inconsistent by going in and intervening which can create even more crying.

Extinction is true “cry-it-out” and lots of us can’t stomach that!

Next to that would be graduated extinction. That basically means the parent goes into the child’s room to reassure them in timed intervals. For example, in Dr. Ferber’s book he recommends going into the room in 5, 10, 15, 20 minutes. In some countries they call this method “controlled crying”. In Good Night, Sleep Tight, I call it “timed checks”.

A lot of parents say to me, “What’s the magic number Kim for going in and checking on them? Whatever that is, that is what we are going to do whether its go in at 7 minutes, or 12 minutes or 14 minutes.” Unfortunately, there’s no magic number in the minutes. The minutes are there to control you, the parent. So pick the number of minutes that you feel comfortable with and follow through with it consistently.

Then in the middle road (the one I like) is fading. There are a couple of books that use fading like I do, for instance, The Baby Whisperer and No Cry Sleep Solution.

Fading in behavior science is when you slowly move away from something. So in this case, we’re intervening less and slowly moving away from your child’s bed as they learn to incorporate the skill of putting themselves to sleep.

One important part of fading is that you don’t stretch it out too long, because that can make it more difficult for your child. The more you stretch it out, the harder it can be on your child and the more difficult it will be to stay consistent which is essential in sleep coaching success.

On the other end of the sleep coaching method list is doing nothing, status qou, doing whatever works or I’ll deal with it later approach. You may say, “Well, that’s not a method Kim.” Well, actually, deciding to do nothing or nothing different is still a decision so I’m considering that a method so to speak. If a family is happy, functioning well and they’re doing whatever works and they don’t want to do any sleep coaching, then I support them. Family first.

Those are the basic four methods of sleep coaching. And again, the most important point is that you pick the sleep coaching method that you can follow through with consistently.

Sweet dreams,
The Sleep Lady


Call me if you need pesonalized sleep help.

Tracy Spackman- Certified Gentle Sleep Coach

602-524-7610       tracyspackman@cox.net

Your Baby won’t Sleep? You get a Personalized approach to sleep coaching.

Your Baby won’t Sleep? You get a Personalized approach to sleep coaching. Talk to a real person who knows how to teach your child to Fall asleep and STAY Asleep All Night!   Gentle methods only.  Kim West the Sleep Lady Trained and Certified.  www.GetQuietNights.com

School has started back up, routines are being reestablished, and I am able to take a good look at my typical day.  With 5 spirited children (plus an extra one this week as her parents go to Paris on business) … I am tired by 9pm.  You must be too if your child is waking in the night and needs some attention to get back to sleep.  Sometimes I sit on the couch outside their bedroom doors as they wind down and get into bed with a few reminders about quiet and lights going out.  I check my calendar for the next day and answer any sleep emails I got during my busy with kids evening time.  I love it when the families I work with text or email me how long it took for their child to fall asleep.  I love to follow the progress of a tired family bringing it all together and getting the sleep they need once a gentle sleep plan is put into place.

How long does a sleep plan take?  It varies from family to family. It’s sometimes as fast as 3 days or as long as 2-3 weeks.  Sometimes there is a set back or a medical issue that extends the process but usually there is significant progress within 5 days.

What makes the difference?  Consistency, Temperament,  Past Sleep History, Age, Environment, Type of Sleep Crutch etc.

How do you get started with a sleep plan?  Call me!  602-524-7610 Or email me.  Tell me about what’s been going on.  I’ll send you a sleep history to fill out and we’ll set up a time for a consultation.  If you live in my area, I’ll come to your house if you like.  Most of my consultations are done over the phone or by Skype.  I’m going to tell you what to do, why you do it, and how to do it.  We will make it work for your schedule and parenting style.  You don’t have to stop night nursing unless you want to.  My plans are very breastfeeding friendly.  You CAN have it all.  I don’t teach cry it out.  If that’s what you want, you probably don’t need me. If it doesn’t work within a reasonable amount of time, you do need me.   I offer alternatives to that method.  Gentle Alternatives.    After our consultation I coach you through the plan as you implement it with your family.  We talk the next day after you start and as much as you need going forward.  Choose a sleep package that will give you the type of support you need.  There is email support, phone calls, texting, videos to watch, and facebook encouragement if you want it.  Check out the full list of packages on my website www.GetQuietNights.com


If you would like to read about the experiences of some other families, please visit and like my facebook page http://www.facebook.com/QuietNights

I also post on facebook tips for sleep and answer questions from tired families.

Let me know if I can help you.

Tracy Spackman-Certified Gentle Sleep Coach




This is the experience of a 5 month old.

This is the experience of a 5 month old.
“When my daughter was about 5 months old she stopped sleeping. She had been an excellent sleeper  up until then and I was baffled. I had been diligent about trying to let her put herself to sleep and was determined to have at least one good sleeper as my son was not!. After about a month of nobody sleeping, I called Tracy in tears and begged for her help. I had found her through The Sleep Lady website when I was at my wits end and Kim West’s methods were my favorite and I had read EVERY sleep book when my son was an infant. Tracy is truly an angel. She talked me through my tears, talked to my husband, and we arranged for some sleep nudging to begin. Tracy talked to my husband and I for about 2 hours and we made a plan. She was very specific with her directions and explained everything thoroughly. I followed her instructions and we began the following night. Within 3 nights my daughter was falling asleep within 5-10 minutes and was sleeping 12 hours straight. Tracy and I talked each morning. I believe she truly has a gift as she listened to what I did during the night and knew just what to do/how to adjust things and support me so that my daughter would sleep. It really helped me get through some of the tears knowing that I had a professional to talk to in the morning who would tell me what I did right and what to change. Now when we fall out of our routine, I know what to do to get my daughter back to sleeping all night. It is the most wonderful thing in the world to wake up to the sounds of a happy well-rested child. My son never got enough sleep and therefore never woke up happy and I wish we would have contacted Tracy back when he was 6 months old; the difference is worth every penny!!
Tracy also helped us with my son. He was a much tougher case because he was older and we (my husband and I) made the decision to transition him out of his crib into a bed and move his sister into his room all at once. Poor guy. Tracy was again so flexible and great at tailoring a sleep plan for our family’s needs and situation. While he is definitely not perfect, he is finally able to really put himself to sleep and sleep all night in his bed most nights. Any flaws in his sleeping are because we didn’t follow Tracy’s advice 100%, but the bottom line is how he is sleeping now works for us and we are all getting sleep. I seriously wish we would have invested the money with Tracy when my son was younger. I would have been a much happier momma and he would have been a much happier little guy and I know he would be a much better sleeper now.
Thank you Tracy for everything. I constantly sing your praises to all my friends and you gave my family back some much needed sleep!