At Sugar Night Night, Jen Varela helps you learn and grow just as your child will. It’s all about studying your child to shape (and keep) healthy sleep habits that work for your child and family.
There are no wrong questions. In fact, the more questions, the better! Based on Jen’s experience, here are some of the questions many parents ask when it comes to baby sleep consulting.
While the “cry it out” method and the starker extinction methods are used by many for a desired fast result, it demands that you as the parent follow through consistently and for long enough.
But many parents have difficulty following through with the tear-based sleep training methods for fear it will damage their child emotionally or fill them as parents with so much guilt they can’t follow through.
Personally, Jen is tear-adverse and is always looking at how fast a family really needs to go and if they do have the time for the more gentle methods to keep tears to a minimum.
Jen does not use the “cry it out” strict extinction method. She is always saying it is a trade… “Tears for time, the faster you go the more tears there are. The slower you go, the less tears there are but if you go too slow you will stall out and never make the shift.”
This is why she has aligned with Kim West, LCSW-C, aka The Sleep Lady®, who developed the Gentle Sleep Coach philosophy.
The Gentle Sleep Coach approach is a gentler alternative for families who:
- Emotionally or philosophically resist letting their babies cry it out.
- Tried “Ferber” (controlled crying) and it didn’t work.
- Let their baby cry it out earlier but now find it doesn’t help.
- Believe in co-sleeping but find that their child isn’t really sleeping all that well, even nestled snugly with them as parents.
- Did co-sleep for a few months to a few years and now want the family bed to revert back to the marital bed.
At Sugar Night Night, Jen’s goal is to have as little crying as possible. She encourages parents to be loving and responsive but to allow the child room to learn this vital life skill of putting themselves to sleep. With Jen’s guidance, the parent responds and stays with their child and offers physical and verbal reassurance without putting the child to sleep. This supports the development of a secure attachment between parent and child.
Jen works with you to create an individualized, step-by-step sleep plan that will factor in your parenting philosophy, your child’s age, health and temperament, the mother’s well being and the related family dynamics.
Most importantly, Jen supports and coaches you through the process with services from beginning to end – for night sleep and naps!
It is also myth that you have to night wean to sleep train your baby. Jen encourages mothers to discuss any adjustments to night feeding schedules with their doctor and lactation consultant. There are many important reasons to keep a feeding for babies at night and those decisions need to be made by the parent with guidance from their doctors and lactation consultant. Jen has had success after success with clients who have kept a night feeding and have their baby sleeping through the night.
There are many names for sleep training — methods such as extinction, cry-it-out, graduated extinction, time checks, fading, pick-up-put-down, The Shuffle and many more. Jen does not use “cry-it-out” and she always encourages slow removal of sleep crutches when possible.