Gentle Sleep Coach Training Summary

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 includes two medical doctors, a psychologist, an attorney, a lactation counsellor, postpartum doulas and a family therapist.

Each coach must pass an exam and participate in case mentorship with Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. “the Sleep Lady®”), who has been helping tired parents for over 20 years. I completed my GSC training in June 2011. Clinical mentorship and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach®.

Some of My Training Topics Included:

  • Basic counselling and child development

  • Sleep science and behavioural modification techniques to help parents of children age 0 to 6 years old.

  • Secure attachment theory

  • Support for the breastfeeding mother

Lectures From Top Specialists, Included:

  • 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

  • Temperament and Sleep by Helen Neville, BS, RN And much more!

0-5 Month Old Training Summary

The GSC Program also includes an exclusive advanced training specifically focused on how to gently work with babies 0-5 months of age using the Baby-Led Sleep Shaping and Coaching. This gentle approach aids families to first shape their baby's sleep and then when appropriate (and according to their baby's unique temperament) offer alternatives to the "cry it out" method for newborns, based on an infant's developmental readiness to self soothe.

Some of My Training Topics Included:

  • In-depth knowledge of the importance of attachment and infant mental health

  • The sleep science behind the first six months of life​

  • What special considerations need to be taken when working with and supporting families during this delicate period.

  • Specialized instruction on how to evaluate families in the first six months

  • Guidance on how to assess when the baby is ready for sleep coaching based on current research and evidence-based strategies

  • Review of gentle sleep solutions and strategies that are developmentally appropriate, breastfeeding and attachment friendly and promote a solid foundation for sleep learning and long-term healthy sleep patterns.

This specialty training is designed to give Gentle Sleep Coaches the knowledge, education and all the tools and resources they need to successfully work with families of newborns through 5 months of age in a safe, healthy and developmentally appropriate manner.

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