Moving to a new house this summer? Worried your child will be scared of their new room?


Any change in a child’s sleep environment can effect sleep.  It’s so important to keep things consistent, especially if they are just learning to master sleep skills.  For example, if you use white noise (which I love), turn it on when your child starts falling asleep.  Then continue to play it all night.  If it goes off after 45 minutes like in the super cute sleep sheep, then when they wake up between sleep cycles –(Which is totally normal and is never going to change) … so when they wake up between sleep cycles, the white noise will still be there.  If it’s not, it’s a change in their environment that they will likely notice and find disconcerting.  Can there really be such a thing as too quiet?  For some babies, yes.


Moving to a new house with a new room for the baby is a big change in the sleep environment.  Be sure to clearly label all the boxes containing the baby stuff so it’s easy to find.  The baby’s room is the first room you set up. (Even before the kitchen)  Let your baby hang out with you while you do it or even let them “help”.


Put your baby’s recently used sheets (so they smell like her old room) back on her bed and play a few games of airplane with her bed being the landing field.  Make this clearly a play time and not a plop her in bed time.  Spend enough time in her room to help her get used to it and make it look like her room as much as you can.  Hang the black out blinds or curtains so the late setting summer sun doesn’t make bedtime harder.


If your child is slow to handle change, consider camping out in her room to offer her reassurance that you haven’t left her in a strange place.  Some children need you to go through a few steps of your sleep coaching routine again to help them adjust and others surprise you by how easily they make the change.


It’s important to catch your child’s sleep window so you don’t have overtired stress compounding on new room stress.  The familiar smelling sheets, the close proximity to parents, the usual teddy bear or special blanket, the soothing calm of darkness and a predictable bedtime routine can help make this a smooth transition.


If the kids are sleeping well, it’s much more likely the parents are sleeping well, too.  …Unless you stay up all night setting up the kitchen.


Do you need a sleep plan?  Call me for help with sleep issues for Sleeping through the night, napping consistently, or bedtime battles.  Free 15 minutes for new inquiry’s.  Just call and leave a message.


Tracy Spackman

Certified Gentle Sleep Coach


I’m the first to admit that it’s “OK” to ask for help. With sleep training, potty training, even personal training.

This week I asked my 13 year old son to be my personal trainer. (I need some serious help) I told him I would give him $10 if he could get me to work out 15 min a day 5 days each week. Each consecutive week,  I would increase it by $1.  It was hard for me to ask him for help but he really knows his stuff.   He’s almost 14 and starting high school freshman football. The Cross Country Running Coach was disappointed he wasn’t doing High School Running.  All my boys are Athletic.

My Son woke me up at 5:45am and told me I had to be outside by 6. He only had until 6:30 to get out the door to go to his own work out club. He had already been up and was ready for school.  I got a “Dramatic Wake Up”.  He slammed the mattress by my head with his fist.  It’s a good thing I was already rousing or it would have made me fall out of bed.  I had to laugh at myself all through the work out as he told me to jog around the lawn 3 times to warm up (it was already 78 degress outside) and do side sit ups etc.  I had previously had him research how to use the TRX (Tension Resistance eXercise) thing I had and we have a bunch of free weights, skipping rope, yoga mats etc.  He had 7-10 exercises for me to do switching me between types of exercises that he encouraged me through (through my laughing) and I may be a little sore tomorrow.  I may get a flatter tummy yet.  Today was day 1.


Yesterday I asked my 15 year old daughter if she would work out with me.  She agreed right away but then I told her who my personal trainer was…her little brother (who has been beating her at almost everything lately-piano playing, sports, marks, but not singing–She rocks the vocal talent)  She still agreed to work out with us.  It’ll be good for both of us and I love we are doing it together.  She’s not laughing and wants me to take it more seriously. She’ll be good for me, too.

What do you need  help with.  Go ahead and ask.  I can’t believe it took me this long to ask for help.  I have been trying to fix my tummy on my own for years.  (5 kids is a lot of tummy troubles to overcome)

I hope you don’t wait as long as I did to get a knowledgeable person to walk and encourage you through the information and to get  a plan in place to fix what is bothering you.  Sleep.  Weight.  Potty Training.  Cooking.  Nutrition.  Sometimes a YouTube video just isn’t enough.

If you need sleep help, call me.  Free 15 minute initial sleep assessment with me.

I am a trained and certified Gentle Sleep Coach and I won’t tell you to Cry It Out. I want to help you get your child sleeping through the night.

Tracy Spackman 602-524-7610

Tenacious, spirited, alert babies grow up to be smart, driven, go-getters.

Tenacious, spirited, alert babies grow up to be smart, driven, go-getters.

Meet my son Christian. Frequent night waking until sleep trained around 13 months old. (I waited so long and was at the end of my rope). I wish I had known then what I know now as a gentle sleep coach. I needed a sleep coach. Someone to tell me how to help him sleep.

Now that he’s 13 years old he is still very spirited and needs an outlet for all his energy. (Football and other sports help a lot). He taught himself to play the guitar while taking piano lessons and doing band at school. His tenaciousness proved to be a good thing as he was determined to find his lost capo (a guitar tool) so he could help me with a song parody I’m making up about whining bedtime toddlers based on the song ‘Last Friday Night’ by Katy Perry- or rather it’s a parody of the mine craft version ‘Don’t Mine at night’. My song is called ‘Don’t Whine at Night’. Well Christian couldn’t play it without his capo and just wouldn’t give up looking for it. Today was day 4 of his search for it. Today he was looking behind furniture, on tops of book shelves, in pick up baskets and all the weird places. He finally found it. Now we can work on my parody. I can make up songs but I don’t play any instruments.

My spirited, energetic children are true blessings. It’s just hard to get past the sleep challenges they have as babies and children. Now I can help you with that and I can relate to all that you are going through. I’ve been there.
Tracy Spackman
Free 15 minute sleep assessment for sleep deprived parents of sleep deprived babies and children.
Text me, call me, contact me through my website.

Does teaching babies to sleep in the dark spoil their chances of being able to fall/stay asleep in dim or lit environments later in life?

No. That is a common misconception.


If your baby is able to sleep in loud, bright places- fantastic, you have an easier baby than some others. It’s fine. If you struggle to get your baby to sleep, that is a different story. A baby sleeps easier in a completely dark room. Just like adults. Especially after the vision changes and they can see farther across the room. The lights from a night light, window, baby monitor are all distracting and stimulating…”What’s that bright thing?” Moms who notice the baby is staring at them through the monitor, that baby is captivated by the little 

light on the camera. Once your baby is a good sleeper, then you can introduce more challenging sleep situations. They are likely going to be much more flexible. Nights and Naps are different and one can never get it as dark for a nap as you can for the night but any darker that you can get it, is likely going to help. Your body has a circadian rhythm, (a clock) which drives the need for sleep.  It is reset each day by light exposure starting around 4 months old. It’s essential that we experience a regular light dark cycle in order to maintain appropriate sleep at night.  That’s not saying we need to nap in the light.  During daytime waking hours, be in the light starting with light exposure first thing.  During naps and night time, stay in the dark. This means that if your baby wakes up at night, try to keep him in the dark or very low light.

Erin Flynn-Evans (PhD in sleep and circadian physiology) says “the bright daytime sun is quite able to invade a napping child’s room during the day. There isn’t a circadian need to have a dark room during the day, however, in order to avoid an inappropriately short nap it is absolutely key that a napping child’s room is cool, dark and quiet. A dark room can mean the difference between a 30 minute nap and a two hour nap. If your child only gets a 30 minute nap, but really needs a two hour nap, everyone will pay the price. An un-rested child will have more difficulty going to sleep at night, will wake up more frequently during the night, and will exhibit negative behaviors such as crankiness and inappropriate reactions to situations while awake.”

A dark room helps your baby sleep longer.  Once your baby has good sleep skills, they are likely going to be more flexible to unusual situations like hotel rooms, air planes, and restaurants.  I have seen this happen over and over again.  A mom tells me her child won’t sleep longer than 30 minutes.  The first thing I want to know is where the baby is napping?  Often the answer is in a playpen or a swing in the living room.  TV on, toddler playing nearby.  I suggest she try putting the play pen or the swing in the baby’s room where it is dark and quiet and see if that helps.  It usually does.  That may not be all she needs to do but it’s a good start.

You nap and sleep better in a dark, quiet room.  It’s the same for your baby.

I believe in using evidenced based methods that are gentle and backed by science.  If you need sleep help, sleep consultations offered in person and over the phone.  Contact me for a free 15 min sleep assessment.

Tracy Spackman


Certified Gentle Sleep Coach



What’s with the 4 month sleep disaster?

Great Question:  Tracy Spackman, my DD was a decent sleeper up until about the 4 ish month stage. Now at 5 months, she has a harder time falling asleep now, and only naps for very short periods during the day, why?


Yes, around the 4 the month, there is tons of brain development. Like the vision changes. Your baby can now see farther away and with all the added detail to her world,  she is more perceptive and therefore more distractible.  Sleep falls apart and naps are hard to get and often feeding is harder as she is more easily distracted.  This is when the baby is ready to lean sleep skills. Previous to this, sleep is innate. Either she can do it or she can’t. Sleep self soothing is a learned skill. This skill enables her to relax and organize  her body to sleep when she is tired and it also helps her to better manage her emotions when in stressful situations. Many parents tell me their child’s temper tantrums stop and their child is more even tempered once they are able to sleep without a sleep crutch. So, your child is reaching this time. It’s very exciting and frustrating at the same time. If you want to do sleep training, it’s still a good idea to wait until 6 months if you are going to follow a book. If you need better sleep now, that’s where I can help. To do something gentle like I do, your baby still needs to be at least 18 weeks old and at least 2 weeks into the more distracted phase of the 4 month sleep regression and you would want to have appropriate night feedings as part of your plan. Until you have a plan in place that you feel confident in and can be consistent about, keep doing what ever crutch gets you both as much sleep as possible. Swings, nursing, co-sleeping, rocking etc. these are blessings until you are ready for change. You may want to check out my website and read the success stories of parents going through what you are going through.  I have recomended books and a blog on there too. Thanks for asking. I wish someone has explained it to me when my babies were that age.


For sleep consultations, visit

Tracy Spackman is a certified gentle sleep coach. That means she will teach you how to help your child sleep through the night without doing Cry It Out.

Free 15 min sleep assessments. Call 602-524-7610

What is a sleep coach?

What is a sleep coach?twins, sleep, mother, nap, sleep training10268713_10100653650137585_72414404882098053_n
A sleep coach is a parenting counselor who specializes in sleep. Like Kim West. I trained with Kim West. Or rather, I am trained by Kim West. Now, I teach parents gentle methods to help with their baby sleep goals. It’s different than a sleep trainer who goes into homes and does cry it out to try to get a baby sleeping 12 hours by 12 weeks. I don’t do that. I show parents gentle, kinder options to work on sleep skills who don’t want to do CIO (Cry It Out). And I work with families with babies over 4 months old. I really love it. I feel needed. And I’m good at it. I have 5 kids myself and can relate to a lot. LoL. I teach the parents and then the parents help the child. I can work with the family as they are working through their plan to ensure success. I have a 97% success rate.

My husband has chronic insomnia and I don’t want anyone else to end up like that. Teaching children sleep skills can make a huge difference when they grow up. Self soothing is a learned skill. My husband never got this skill as a child and that issue has been far reaching. He’s one of the reasons I do sleep coaching and I give out free advice all the time. It’s a little late for my husband. But it’s not too late for your child.

Call me for a free 15 minute sleep assessment.
Tracy Spackman 602-524-7610
Check out my website

I love getting emails like this! Another success story-17 months old

I love getting emails like this!
Hi Tracy!

How are you? Long time, no talk which in your line of business isn’t a bad thing 😉 I never began my 2 weeks of follow up calls with you because Hailey responded very well to some of the changes we made during the day. Per your advice, I began giving her a morning nap again (no more than 45 mins), changed the night light situation, I bathe her with lilac Epsom salts every night, and I have waged a war against any form of light entering her room. I think one of the biggest changes is that she now goes to sleep no later than 7 pm (whereas previously it was 8 pm) and I’ve been diligently paying abiding by the sleep windows. As such, she’s been sleeping through the night and the world is a much brighter happier place for our family 🙂 In fact, we’ve fallen in love all over again with her! She is a TOTALLY different kid and has such an unbelievable little personality. She’s more coordinated, there’s no more banchy screaming crying, she’s nowhere as intense, she’s active, and best of all she’s HAPPY! Some of the things that desperately concerned me are no longer concerns as it seems that the sleep has fixed so many of my worries. The more sleep she started getting during the day and the earlier bedtime allowed for her to start sleeping through the night. I didn’t have to do any of the shushing. There was one week where she woke up often but she was getting 3 molars so I gave her an excuse. Aside from teething she sleeps through the night and it has been glorious.

This mom’s baby was 17 months old, we did some gentle things to adjust her schedule and she had food sensitivities and would wake screaming bloody murder. The mom had serious health issues with her thyroid and what looked like PPD but guess what, getting back to sleeping all night fixed all the mom’s health issues. A good sleep makes a world of difference. Sleep deprivation was wreaking havoc with her family and now it’s wonderful again.

If you are sleep deprived, I can help.
Free 15 minute sleep assessment. Just contact me.
Tracy Spackman

Blanket Races Help Children Sleep Through The Night

I get great Questions on my Facebook page and here is the last one.

Great Question:  Tracy, when can babies sleep without the sleep sack? When is it safe to switch to a blanket? It’s starting to resemble spring here and hopefully allow for open windows soon.

My Answer:  Usually around the time they switch to a toddler bed after 2.5 years old or when they can pull the blanket up over themselves on their own after 2. Sleep sacks come in all weights and sizes and prevent babies from getting a leg up to climb out of their cribs as they get more adventurous.

A fun way to teach a child to pull up their blankets is to do “Blanket Races” It’s a game I made up. You and your child lay on the floor covered in a blanket. (Each your own blanket) On Your Mark, get set, GO! Kick off the blankets. Mark, get set, GO! Pull them back on. On Your Mark, get set, GO! Kick off the blankets. Mark, get set, GO! Pull them back on.   Repeat.  The Mom or Dad races the child to get the blankets back on the fastest and usually ends in a lot of giggles. This game can help your child develop the muscle memory to pull up their blankets in the night in their sleepy state when they wake up between sleep cycles if they have kicked them off.  Don’t do it right before bed at night as it will get you both all riled up.  It’s better as an afternoon or morning game.


I need to get someone to make me a video of this blanket race game.  Any takers?  Send your video to me at  602-524-7610

A consistent gentle plan usually works but what if it doesn’t…

382491_516682955052791_106023441_nMost people who attempt to improve sleep through sleep coaching just need a solid method and a lot of consistency.  If sleep coaching has been a real challenge and you just can’t get there 100%, there may be an underlying problem to investigate. Sometimes as a sleep coach I feel like a detective. Some medical issues that mess up sleep are;

  • Low Milk Production-breast milk should be thick and yellowish.  If it’s white and thin, there may be a problem if your child always seem to want to nurse and can’t sleep long stretches.
  • Tongue Tie-This often gets overlooked when it’s a simple fix.
  • Sensory Processing Issues-An OT (Ocupational Therapy) Assessment can be good for all kids.  Maybe your child perceives the world differently than we do.
  • Circadian Rhythm Abnormality-Your body’s natural body clock is off
  • Melatonin regulation issues-Without the body’s natural rising levels of Melatonin in the evening, it is difficult to fall asleep
  • GERD/Reflux-Talk to your Doctor about this and all these issues.
  • Allergies-from environment allergies to food sensitivities, when sleeping things tend to feel worse.
  • Asthma-a chronic (long-term) lung disease that inflames and narrows the airways
  • Anemia-your blood does not carry enough oxygen to the rest of your body. The most common cause of anemia is not having enough iron.
  • ADHD-sometimes is misdiagnosed and is actually a sleep issue but most ADHD also have sleep issues.
  • Restless legs-also can be the result of low iron and Apnea.
  • Night Terrors-There may not be anything you can do about this other than keep your child safe and calm.
  • Seizures-There are tons of types of Seizures.
  • Apnea-narrow or blocking of the airways that will wake you up if you can breathe-a startling way to wake.
  • Anxiety-With this, Cry it out is not the way to go.
  • Medications that are stimulants-of course this will make a difference, talk about the timing of dosage with your doctor.

I usually find that a consistent and gentle behavioral modification method works for most families and there is no underlying condition but if things still seem not right, this is where you start looking. Sometimes I see red flags in your sleep history and we can address it sooner rather than later but it helps to book a consultation with your Medical Doctor or Natrualpathic Dr just to discuss sleep. There often isn’t enough time to add sleep to the list of things to discuss at a normal well child visit.
50% of pediatricians do not ask about and/or screen for sleep issues. A gentle method is the best place to start and then we go from there… Call me if you need help. 602-524-7610