What is a Sleep Coach? Skip to main content
Powered By Book That In
More Parenting Articles

What is a Sleep Coach?

By Emma Howlin founder of Twinkle Twinkle.

Sleep Coaches are referred to in several different ways – Sleep Consultants, Sleep Experts, Sleep Trainers. Whatever their 'label’, they are most often brought in by desperate parents, when they have exhausted all the advice (solicited and unsolicited) from family and friends, read all the sleep books, and started Googling ‘can you die from sleep deprivation?!’

In short, an effective Sleep Coach is there to act as a cheerleader, supporter and educator. They can work with you in a variety of ways, depending on your family’s needs, to improve the sleep of your child (and, in turn, your family). While many assume a Sleep Coach is there to coach the baby or child, they are in fact coaching the parents. The success of a Sleep Coach is most often down to the mindset of the parents (rather than the temperament or personality of the child), and the extent to which they follow the advice and recommendations given to them. A good connection between parent and coach is, therefore, essential.

The Sleep Coaching or Consulting industry often has negative connotations. It is a largely unregulated industry, so there are ‘coaches’ out there practising with very little knowledge and/or training. Additionally, the phrase ‘sleep training’ is peppered with negativity – as it is linked to the more hardcore ‘cry it out’ method (where babies are left to cry without any response from parents). Nevertheless, this is just one (negative) part of the industry – the other is filled with Certified Coaches, like me, who have a vast amount of specialised knowledge and experience, and only use gentle methods to help you and your family.

If you are struggling with your little one’s sleep, don’t feel guilty about wanting to make a change! Sleep coaching is for the benefit of both you and your child. Although adults do tend to sleep better once their child is sleeping better, it is not just for you. When a child needs caregiver intervention to fall back to sleep each night, it can be frustrating for them. Learning how to self-soothe is an important skill for infants to avoid nightly crying and means they can sleep peacefully and only wake when needed.

Sleep Coaches offer so much more than the sleep books (and unsolicited advice) out there. This is because, the good ones, create bespoke plans for every family they work with. This ensures the plan closely aligns with the family’s parenting, philosophy and lifestyle, as well as the child’s temperament. As a sleep coach, I support families with multiple, gentle, methods. Parenting is not a one size fits all approach, and neither is sleep.

The other benefit over books is the support you receive after your consultation with a Sleep Coach. As with anything in life, things don’t always go to plan, so the support available after the consultation is critical to sleep success. Flexibility is key when it comes to children and their sleep. As my mum always says, ‘children are not robots!’ (And books often assume they are).

So, if you do choose to use a Sleep Coach, do your research. Make sure they feel like a good fit for you and your family (you’ll be working closely with them!), that their values align with yours, and that they are Certified. And, if I may be of service to your family on your sleep journey, please feel free to book a free Discovery Call with me.

I’d love to meet you!