Sleep coaching vs. sleep training

Learn about: Sleep coaching vs. sleep training from Kim West, LCSW-C,...
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Sleep coaching vs. sleep training

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I don't really like the term sleep training. I really prefer to use the word sleep coaching or the phrase sleep coaching. And I think of this metaphor. I think of us as parents. We're sort of like a coach, you know. Kind of like maybe if we coached a soccer team. We're supportive. We cheer them on. We tell them what they could have done differently if they lost. But in the end, we're in their corner. But no matter what, no matter what kind of coach we are, we cannot go on the field and make the goal for them. We might want to. But we can't. And I think of this like when we're teaching our children how to put themselves to sleep. So I can stay with you, love you. I know you're feed and warm and dry and I can reassure you. But I am not going to put you to sleep. And so I'm going to be there to reassure you to help you to learn the skill to be a better soccer player, to be a better sleeper. And I'm going to do less and less as you take on and integrate the skill yourself. So that's why I like to use the term sleep coaching, because I don't think it's like training or breaking anything or breaking a spirit. You're really coaching them and you're staying with them throughout the whole process.

Learn about: Sleep coaching vs. sleep training from Kim West, LCSW-C,...

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Kim West, LCSW-C

Psychotherapist & Author, The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight

Kim West is a mother of two and a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical (LCSW-C) who has been a practicing child and family social worker for more than 19 years. Known as The Sleep Lady by her clients, over the past 12 years she has helped thousands of tired parents all over the world learn to listen to their intuition, recognize their child’s important cues and behaviors, and gently create changes that promote and preserve his or her healthy sleep habits. 

West has appeared on the Dr. Phil, Today Show, NBC Nightly News, Good Morning America, TLC’s Bringing Home Baby  and CNN, and has been written about in a number of publications including The Wall Street Journal, Associated Press, Baby Talk,  Parenting, The Baltimore Sun, USA Today, The Telegraph, The Irish Independent and the Washington Post. West hosts the sleep section of The Newborn Channel, played in maternity wards in hospitals across the country. West is the author of The Sleep Lady's Good Night, Sleep Tight: Gentle Proven Solutions to Help Your Child Sleep Well and Wake Up Happy with Joanne Kenen. She is also the author of 52 Sleep Secrets for Babies and The Good Night, Sleep Tight Workbook.

Kim received her master’s degree in Clinical Social Work from Simmons College in Boston, Massachusetts. She lives with her family in Annapolis, Maryland.

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