If your family needs more sleep, and your baby or toddler is not getting the restorative sleep they need, ask yourself these important questions when you feel ready to start sleep coaching your baby or toddler:
Is my baby on an age-appropriate schedule?
One of the most important aspects of sleep coaching is understanding your baby’s sleep needs. Often parents put their baby down when they are already overtired (baby has already started rubbing their eyes, looking distant or being fussy), this often leads to difficultly falling asleep and staying asleep. Resolving any schedule related issues prior to sleep coaching will enable your baby to be relaxed and ready to accept sleep at appropriate times.
Is my baby’s sleep environment primed for quality sleep?
Before sleep coaching, take a look at your baby’s sleep space. It should be dark at all times, for both night and naptime. Light will suppress a baby’s melatonin (the hormone that helps babies fall to sleep and stay asleep) and can contribute to early rising or the inability to transition between sleep cycles during the day. These are my favourite blinds and what I recommend to my clients. These blinds don’t let any light sneak in, you don’t need any hardware to install, and you can still use your cute nursery panels or curtains over them.
White noise is another useful tool for a baby’s sleep space. I recommend a consistent and steady white noise at a low to medium level that plays from sleep time to wake time. White noise can serve as a positive sleep association to signal sleep is on the horizon that should be turned on at the start of bedtime and nap routine.
What sleep coaching method will I use?
Typically, babies require some type of sleep coaching so they can learn how to fall to sleep and back to sleep on their own. There are a variety of methods out there that are no-cry solutions, however, these techniques will not work perfectly for all babies. When deciding on a method, think about your baby’s personality and temperament, this will guide you in deciding on a method that will work best for you and your baby! Parents want as few tears as possible during the process, and understandably so! However, if you choose a method that offers extra comforting and holding, sometimes babies will reject being picked up and soothed too often (a baby may arch their back and cry harder). Be aware of these signs and adjust your soothing techniques accordingly to make learning more comfortable for your baby.
How will I manage tears?
During the sleep coaching process, it is particularly important to remain consistent. Remember, you will be breaking old habits and creating new ones, this can take time! Babies do not like change, but they do thrive on consistency and knowing what to expect. It makes them feel safe and secure. With this in mind, you can be pretty certain that your baby will protest any changes to their current sleep habits. It is important to not confuse these tears with cries of abandonment or helplessness. My particular process, for example, is designed so parents can comfort their baby as required while allowing the baby time to figure out how to fall asleep independently and find self-soothing techniques that work for them. If you remain consistent with your plan, soon your baby will come to expect and crave the new habits you have put in place.
Do I have a support system?
It is not a good idea to go blindly into sleep coaching without a solid plan and someone to lean on for support. In desperate times, when we are at the end of our rope, parents attempt CIO and often fail because they are not ready to truly commit and don’t have a plan and a support system to keep them on track. Before starting any sleep coaching program, talk to your partner, close friend, or even a certified sleep coach. Discuss your goals and what you want to accomplish during coaching. It is very important to manage expectations, and not expect immediate results. There will always be ups and downs during and after sleep coaching so having supportive people encouraging you and supporting your journey is imperative!
Whether you want to live a healthy lifestyle, lose weight, overcome pain, overcome/manage a medical condition or be successful, mindset is important. If your mind is not set in the right place, achieving goals may be difficult and may not occur at all.
I didn’t realize the significance of mindset until I started researching how to be more successful. I was looking for answers as it relates to business and professional success in books, podcasts and articles.
What I discovered was that successful people have a particular mindset that allows them to continue in the face of challenges. They did not become successful just by luck. They knew exactly why they wanted to do something and were optimistic that they would find a way to achieve it.
There are 2 important ingredients I just mentioned, which are worth mentioning again. You need to know your why and then you need to have a positive mindset.
Prior to learning about this, I was a bit of a negative Nancy, no offense to any Nancy’s, its just a saying, I focused on what’s not working and being very emotionally involved with things that did not go my way. This was creating so much stress and burnout. For every step I tried to take forward, I took 2-3 steps back with my negativity.
It just so happened I heard of a on a podcast that really resonated with me, called The Magic of Thinking Big. It was after reading this book that the importance of mindset really started sinking.
Instead of focusing on “I can’t” start focusing on “I can” attitude. Don’t focus on what you don’t have, focus on what you do have. Start your day with positive self talk or gratitude. Successful people don’t make excuses they make things happen or learn from short-comings so that they can try again. Frame your thoughts from a place of hopefulness, learning and growing.
Prime the brain with positive thoughts. Have visions, daydreams of what success looks like for you. Lastly, get very clear about your WHY.
Why are you doing what you are doing? Eg. Because I want to get healthy. Why is getting healthy important to you? Eg. Because I want to be around for my family. Then ask yourself why again. Why is being around for my family important to me? Hopefully by the 3rd WHY you will see the true value of why you are making a change in your life.
Challenges will come so its important to know why you are doing something and then back it up with a mindset of I can do this.
When your mind is set on something your brain goes to work for you. It starts scanning your memories for information or experiences that may help you move toward your goal. The brain will also start scanning the environment making you more hyper alert to people, knowledge, experiences to achieve your goals or at least get you to the next level. The mindset of “I can” puts your brain into an optimistic perspective and seeks out optimistic solutions.
The mindset of “I can’t” puts your brain to work as well, except in this case the brain scans for reasons you can’t. Instead of moving you closer to your goal it moves you further. It does this by searching your memory or experiences of why it won’t work. It stalls your actions. It discourages you and makes it seem that your goal is unachievable so why bother trying. It sets self sabotage into action.
Your brain can also attract you to information, people, experiences to prove that the thoughts you are having are true. If you believe you can’t, you will oddly attract people who believe you can’t too. It can appear in a subtle way, for example friends or family members agreeing with you, that, yes in fact your idea or plan is impossible.
“Whether you think you can or can’t, you are right”
I have heard sayings like these throughout my life and never really stopped to think about it more deeply. These sayings exist because people have found truth in them. What makes a person successful? Hopefully I this article has given you a place to start.