My name is Megan Stearman. I am a well-rested wife and mother of two boys ages 6 and 4 living in Pittsburgh, PA. But I haven’t always been so unwearied.
My second son was a terrible sleeper from day one. He needed to be held or rocked to sleep. Then laid down ever so lightly to his bed, lest he wake screaming again. Middle of the night wakings were frequent daily occurrences. We didn’t know which way was up. Or down. We were both exhausted and miserable.
We were sleep deprived.
At 3 a.m. one morning (or was it night!) I finally reached my breaking point. Ellis was eight months old. Crying and screaming, searching the internet, I found The Sleep Lady aka Kim West and her book Good Night, Sleep Tight. For the first time in months, I was hopeful. I immediately purchased the e-book and began reading.
Within three weeks of implementing “The Sleep Lady Shuffle”, Ellis was sleeping through the night in his own bed and taking regular naps. He was a completely different baby. I was finally a well-rested mommy, in love with her children again.
This experience gave me a desire to help other children, mommies and families like mine. I became trained and certified as a Gentle Sleep Coach through the most extensive and professional sleep certification program available.
I am also a member of the International Association for Child Sleep Consultants, a non-profit educational organization that establishes the standard of professionalism and educational training for it’s members so that the medical and parenting community has a trusted resource of educated Child Sleep Consultants.
GSC Program Summary Including
4-5 Month Old Certification
The Gentle Sleep Coach Program is the first and most extensive professional sleep coaching certification program available. The program involves over 80 hours of training, an exam and participation in case supervision with Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. “the Sleep Lady”) who has been helping tired parents for over 17 years. Clinical supervision and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach. Some of my training topics included:
- Basic counseling and child development
- Sleep science and behavioral modification techniques
- Secure attachment theory
- Support for the breastfeeding mother
The training also consisted of lectures from top specialists, including:
- Postpartum Depression from Dr Shoshana Bennett, author and leading specialist on Postpartum Depression
- Medical Conditions and Sleep Apnea in Children led by Dr Lewis Kass, Director of Children’s Sleep Center
- Sensory Processing Disorders and Sleep by Jodi Jennings, OTLR
The GSC Program also includes an exclusive advanced training series directly centered around how to gently work with babies 4 and 5 months of age. This program which I have also completed consists of over 40 hours of instruction and mentorship.
Some of the curriculum training topics include:
- In depth knowledge of the delicate nature of infants under 6 months of age and how to consider all elements of their well-being.
- Current evidence based guidelines and instruction on how to evaluate the 4-6 month old child and family and determine if the child is ready for sleep coaching.
- Gentle sleep solutions and strategies that are effective and developmentally appropriate for the younger baby.
This specialty training is designed to give coaches the knowledge, education and all the tools and resources they need to successfully work with families of babies 4-6 months of age in a safe, healthy and developmentally appropriate manner.