RACINE, Wis. — Heather Taylor is a certified gentle sleep coach who focuses on teaching parents different variations of a method called the “sleep shuffle.”
And as we found out, its nearly the same method used by professionals at the sleep research center at Children’s Hospital, according to WDJT.
As a mom of three, Heather Taylor knows how agonizing it can be when your child just won’t go to sleep.
Frustrated when nothing was working with her second born child, Heather sought out help on the internet and found the “sleep shuffle” method.
“You would put the baby in the crib and stay in the room and offer encouragement to the child, sitting right next to the crib, for the first couple nights,” said Heather.
Each night moving the chair away, until you’re in the hallway.
A method so successful for Heather, she spent four months studying, training and working with medical experts so she could earn a certificate and teach variations of this method to other parents
The appears to be on par with advice being given to parents at the sleep research lab at Children’s Hospital, where parents are encouraged to go in and comfort their child.
“Pick them up, comfort them for a minute, lay them back in bed once again drowsy but awake,leave the room again, give them a few minutes and then go back in and comfort the child,” said Megan Grekowicz, nurse practitioner at Children’s.
Both Heather and Megan agree that’s just one piece of the puzzle. They say letting your child cry it out isn’t effective and some parents “helpful” actions might actually be setting them up for failure.
“Babies develop sleep crutches, which means they require certain things before they fall asleep. Maybe that’s bouncing, maybe rocking, or singing or nursing before they go to sleep,” said Heather.
Megan says you can expect your child to start sleeping through the night by 6 months of age but heather says she works with clients as young as four months old, practicing a technique called sleep shaping.
Heather says she doesn’t do any sleep coaching unless the parents get consent from their doctor and encourages parents do to their research before getting their own sleep coach.
Because no matter the method the ultimate goal is for parent and baby to enjoy a good night’s sleep.
“The hope is that once the child learns to fall asleep independently at bedtime. When they do have the normal waking, the baby will wake up, go ‘I’ve got this figured out,’ roll over and go back to sleep and mom and dad are none the wiser,” said Megan.
If you’re wondering about cost, some treatment at Children’s Hospital is covered by insurance. And while a personal session with Heather runs about $700, you can take part in one of her group workshops for $127.