By Guest Writer: Courtney Nolde
It was 7:35pm on a Tuesday night, and my husband and I were relaxing on the sofa while watching TV. After a year of spending 2 to 3 hours getting our two children to bed, this very unusual occurrence was only possible after Erin Anderson, a certified Gentle Sleep Coach, came into our lives. Our evening routine changed drastically once we met Erin. Over the course of a few weeks, Erin helped us transform our 1 year old daughter from a “bad” sleeper into a good sleeper and in turn, help us develop better routines for our 3 year old son.
During her entire first year, we struggled to let my daughter, Anna, to sleep well during the day and at night. Although Anna was completely content most of the time and seemed happy during the day, her nightly battles at bedtime and frequent night wakings were leaving my husband and I so frustrated and sleep-deprived! That’s when we decided to get help! However, after only a couple of weeks working with Erin, Anna started sleeping through the night-which is something she had never done before! We wanted the process to be gradual for us and for Anna so that no one had to suffer sleepless nights, but we were able to overcome all of our sleeping obstacles so quickly that we wondered why we hadn’t hired a sleep coach earlier.
I know that there are various philosophies and “doctor approved” methods of getting children to sleep; however, for me, letting my daughter “cry-it-out” just was not something I could stomach. I must have been looking for an answer, though, because one day while playing around on Facebook, I came across Erin’s Sleepytime Teacher website, and I was intrigued. I clicked once and the process had already begun.
I contacted Erin Anderson immediately and she was very responsive. Erin is located in Blacksburg, VA and trained by the Sleep Lady, Kim West. Erin works with clients across Virginia and beyond. We worked with Erin over the phone to design a personalized sleep plan for our family. She took into account Anna’s characteristics, our busy work and family schedules, and the fact that we had another child to consider. Erin charged a very reasonable flat fee for her services. The fee included a two hour consultation with a personalized plan, sleep coaching documents and references, many conference calls to coach us through the process, and continued support. Best of all, Erin was available by email, text, or phone on a daily basis when we needed support.
Erin’s calm and reassuring personality, sleep expertise and motherly instincts, helped my husband and I carefully follow the sleep plan that allowed Anna and the rest of the family to get more sleep. It has truly been life changing. We had no idea how much our lives revolved around getting our children to sleep. We were spending hours getting the children to sleep and then we were up anywhere from 3-8 times each night getting our daughter back to sleep once she woke up. I just thought she was a “light” sleeper, but now that she is sleeping through the night, I know that I was wrong. I quickly learned from Erin that sleep is a “learned” behavior, and we had to teach our daughter how to put herself back to sleep once she woke up in the middle of the night.
Naps had been a problem too. In order to get Anna to nap during the day, I found myself driving all around town. She was practically impossible to put down at home in her crib, and I did not have hours each day to spend getting her to nap. Once I put her in the car, she fell asleep immediately, and I just found errands to run while she slept. While working with Erin, I recognized that my car napping attempts simply were not giving my daughter the same quality, restorative sleep that a bed or crib can provide. Babies and children need restorative sleep in order to grow and develop correctly.
According to Erin, “It is so important for children to not only get the right amount of sleep but also the right kind of sleep. Providing children with a dark, quiet and calm sleep environment will help them get the restorative rest they need.” To find out if your child is getting enough daily sleep, click here.
Thanks to Erin, we now have a solid night time and nap time routine with our daughter. Anna puts herself to sleep, sleeps through the night, and takes naps in her crib twice a day.
Now that I know Erin and am confident in her services, I look forward to continuing our relationship. I am sure I will be reaching out to her for future issues – how to transition from two naps a day to one, how to make the switch from a crib to a big kid bed, how to get my kids back on track after traveling and much more! Erin Anderson is a bank of sleep-related knowledge that I intend to continue to learn from. Our family is much happier now that we are all sleeping. Happy, well-rested children equal happy parents and a happy family!
Erin Anderson is a certified Gentle Sleep Coach, based in Blacksburg, Virginia. She helps families with children, newborns to age 6, create and implement customized, gentle sleep plans-without letting your child “cry-it-out”. She provides in-home or by phone consultations along with follow up support to tired families in her local area, across Virginia and beyond. To learn more about her services, visit www.sleepytimeteacher.com or contact her today at firstname.lastname@example.org.
During the month of January, save 10% off any sleep coaching package! Simply mention “Richmondmom.com” when you schedule your consultation!
“Like” The Sleepytime Teacher on Facebook, and you can join Erin Anderson Sunday evenings for a live chat. She will answer any sleep related questions you may about your child between 8:30 and 9:30 pm EST. Check out her blog http://www.sleepytimeteacher.com/blog-2/) for helpful tips and sleep related articles.
“Courtney is the mother of two young and energetic children – Anna and James. She enjoys her busy days as a full time mom and in her “spare” time she works for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (http://www.lcldnet.org/) as a part time Program Manager. Courtney is proud to call Richmond her home for over 30 years.”