I would like to introduce to you a well-established sleep coach who is also a Gentle Sleep Coach, a part of my faculty panel and a wonderful asset to our community.
Andrea Strang is a Birth and Postpartum Doula and trained Childbirth Educator with over 10 years hand-on experience working with children and their families mostly at night in the Toronto, Canada area. Her extensive hands-on experience working with babies throughout the night has given her a unique learning experience that many sleep experts lack. She has been there with tired parents night after night and observed sleep behaviors first hand year after year.
Andrea also values the importance of being well trained in sleep coaching and has been encouraging other coaches and doulas to enroll in the Gentle Sleep Coach program. Here is a letter she recently shared with her fellow doulas:
Dear Doula Friends,
I am excited to announce my certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach.
My Journey Starts: I started my journey to Sleep Certification in 1999 with my Labour Doula training, followed a year later by the Postpartum Doula andCBE training. While supporting young families, it was natural to try to help them with the infant and toddler sleep issues that many of them face. However, I often wondered if I was giving the best advice and if there could be long term negative effects. I needed to learn more.
Experience Based Methods: Starting about 6 years ago, I started an intensive research project of evidence based methods of resolving sleep issues. I had many opportunities to practice these methods and I learned much. However, I still felt that it was not enough to base my practice on just my own experience and research. I was aware that many books available on the market are written for profit, and may not necessarily contain the best or most up-to-date information. In addition, I felt that it was important to find a sleep training method that suits the individual child and family’s health, temperament, age and family values when teaching children to sleep through the night, and these options are not always given or well explained in the popular sleep books.
Training Options: So I researched child sleep courses throughout the world and discovered only a handful of options. It turns out that most child sleep consultants were untrained, and I was at the same disadvantage that they were. I was determined to become certified, so that I could better serve the children and families I worked with. In 2010 I participated in a new training course that opened up in the U.S. with Kim West, LCSW-C, known as The Sleep Lady. This course was very comprehensive with over 65 hours of in-class training by medical and professional experts from throughout the U.S. Besides the many classes on child sleep issues, other topics included various medical issues that can affect sleep, including reflux, colic, allergies, asthma, and apnea as well as postpartum mood disorders, breastfeeding, and attachment. After completing the course and exam I am now a certified Gentle Sleep Coach.
My Sleep Philosophies: During all this training, I was still working with many families. I have had great success applying the teachings from these courses while working with families of children 5 months to 5 years old. Now with my education and extensive experience I can help families get better sleep with less frustration using evidence based, proven techniques. The personalized plans I create involve offering a lot of support to the child, and are designed to keep tears to a minimum. I do not use cry-it-out methods.
My Journey Continues: I love offering families sleep help and support. Many families have sleep challenges that a specialist can quickly resolve. I begin with an assessment of a detailed client history form. A one-hour consult follows, either in the home or by phone, where we create a sleep plan tailored to the family’s and child’s individual needs. Follow-up support is then provided during the implementation of the sleep plan. If needed, in-home support during the first few nights of sleep training is also available.
Certified Gentle Sleep Coach and Child Sleep Consultant, Postpartum Doula
Andrea is also one of the coaches who teaches 4-5month old program in the Gentle Sleep Coaching Training and Certification Program.th. If you haven’t already visited the Curriculum page to receive more details of the program then please go there now.
The Sleep Lady