Achieving good sleep – for parents and children!

When her first child didn’t sleep well (waking up a “mere” 6-10 times per night), Erin dismissed it as the “normal” course of parenting. Afterall, there’s a joke that a parent only sleeps after the child’s 18th birthday (perhaps not even then).  But, when Erin’s 2nd child woke up every 45-90 minutes, the sleep debt impacted the entire family emotionally, mentally and physically. That’s when Erin Lawyer sought a solution and, eventually, began an educational journey to become a Certified Sleep Sense Consultant.

Thank you to Chasing Dreams Sleep Consulting for sponsoring this article.

Parents make many sleep sacrifices for their child(ren) without a second thought. But, when the milk ends up in the cabinet and the mail in the refrigerator or when tasks are poorly completed and time is withdrawn from another child or partner, one must say “enough.” “I recently consulted with a family whose ‘enough’ was when the Dad’s pedometer logged 3 miles during a single night waking simply walking an infant around the family home because the child would cry when put down,” shared Lawyer. Children need sleep, as do their parents. Missed developmental milestones, abnormal food intake, and behavioral concerns like crankiness are the most common expressions of poor sleep in young children.

Night waking is a normal part of sleep. Humans never truly sleep through the night. With good sleep skills we are easily able to drift back to sleep, likely not even remembering being awake in the first place. For infants that rely on sleep “props” such as a feeding, a pacifier, physical touch (patting, rubbing, etc) and/or motion (rocking, walking, etc), they will come fully awake as they transition sleep cycles, needing you to recreate whatever situation that got them to sleep in the first place. That prop might be quick to implement or could take hours. When it takes hours, there’s often a lot of frustration and tears (from baby as well as parent), all to repeat this the next time the child wakes in an hour or two, with no improvement in your child’s sleep skills.

World renowned sleep expert, Dana Obleman, founded the Sleep Sense Program that is the foundation of Chasing Dreams Sleep Consulting. Lawyer herself received the support and guidance that transformed their family’s sleep struggles into good sleep skills for health, happiness and development before continuing her journey to become a Certified Sleep Sense Consultant. By the time the Lawyer family welcomed their 3rd son, with Erin’s knowledge and her gentle guidance, he was sleeping 12 hours a night by 11 weeks of age! Some families might have a “unicorn baby” who sleeps well without intervention followed by one who doesn’t. No one is to blame for a child not sleeping well. And, solutions exist when that happens. It is never too late to help your child sleep well. Sleep is a biological necessity, not a luxury.

“Some parents worry that there are trade-offs required for a child to achieve healthy sleep habits like stopping breast feeding or forcing a child to helplessly cry. This is not necessary.” remarked Erin Lawyer. The Chasing Dreams Sleep Consulting process is gentle, can begin before welcoming a child home or after, and is safely and conveniently achieved through private one-on-one consulting by phone. Lawyer works with children of all ages. A free 15-minute telephone consultation to share a child’s situation and come up with ideas for a solution is available by appointment at 864.764.4096, by e-mail [email protected], or scheduled online.

On February 4, 2021 between 8 am and 4 pm, Kidding Around will host a Sleep Q&A on our Facebook and Instagram accounts where parents can seek advice and share their story. Make a note to take advantage of this opportunity!

About the Author
Kylee is a happy South Carolina transplant from native Virginia. With 18 years in pharmaceutical research, she has transitioned to work independently in marketing, PR, and social media management for several clients. She serves with the Junior League of Greenville, volunteers with a local Catholic church, and spends time as a daughter, friend and plays with her rescued black cat named Lucy.

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