Gentle Sleep Coach Philosophy


Many parents ask:

  • Are you a cry-it-out (CIO) proponent or family bed advocate?
  • Do I have to stop breastfeeding to sleep coach my child?
  • Do I have to choose between two camps: cosleeping/no crying or crib/cry-it-out?

You do not have to pick a camp; sleep coaching isn’t about right or wrong.  It’s about consistency and what works for you and your family.

It is true that the CIO method and the starker extinction methods can work well and a bit faster than gentler methods, but only IF you as the parent can follow through consistently and for long enough.

The Gentle Sleep Coach ® philosophy (GSC) was developed by Kim West LCSW-C, The Sleep Lady® because she found so many parents had difficulty following through with a sleep coaching program that they feared would damage their child emotionally or filled them with so much guilt they couldn’t follow through.

The GSC approach is a gentler alternative for families who emotionally or philosophically resist letting their babies cry it out, for families who tried Ferber (controlled crying) and it didn’t work, or for families who let their baby cry-it-out earlier but now find it doesn’t help. It is also for families who believe in co-sleeping, but find that their children aren’t really sleeping all that well (even nestled snugly with their parents.)  Or for families who tried co-sleeping for a few months thru a few years and now want the family bed to revert back to the marital one.

Can you guarantee no crying, you might ask?

No.  No one really can.

For example, if you as the parent have taught your child that the way to fall asleep is to be held or rocked to sleep for all naps, bedtimes, and wakings and you decide that you want to change this, your child will naturally protest or resist this change.  After all, they don’t know why you have changed your approach.  Especially if your child is preverbal, they will cry.

My goal is to have as little crying as possible.  I encourage parents to be loving and responsive, but also allow the child the room to learn this vital life skill of putting themselves to sleep.  The parent should respond and stay with their child and offer physical and verbal reassurance without putting the child to sleep.  This method supports the development of a secure attachment between parent and child.

I will work with you to create an individualized, step-by-step sleep plan that will factor in your own parenting philosophy; your child’s age, health and temperament; your well-being; and your family dynamics.  Most importantly, I will support and coach you through the process from beginning to end for night sleep and naps!

If you have any questions about the Gentle Sleep Coach Philosophy, please don’t hesitate to ask.

I can be reached by my contact me page, or just give me a call: 403-612-3980

The art of putting yourself to sleep is a priceless gift which you can give to your child and your entire family.

Start Sleeping Now!

About Calgary’s Gentle Sleep Coach

What makes a Gentle Sleep Coach?

See what parents are saying