I completed the Gentle Sleep Coach (GSC) certification and training program in August 2014. The Gentle Sleep Coach Program is the first and most extensive professional sleep coach training and certification program available. The program involves over 80 hours of training with a faculty panel that include two medical doctors, a psychologist, an attorney, lactation counselor, postpartum doulas and a family therapist.
Each coach must pass an exam and participate 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 include:
- Basic Counseling and child development.
- Sleep science and behavioral modification techniques to help parents of children age 0 to 6 years old.
- Secure attachment theory.
- Support for the breastfeeding mother.
The training also consists of lectures from top specialists, including:
- Postpartum Depression from Dr. Shoshanna 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
- GURD and Sleep led by Dr. Anthony Loizides, pediatric gastroenterologist
The GSC Program also includes an exclusive advanced training series specifically focused on 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.