Working With A Sleep Specialist

What is a sleep specialist anyhow can they help us train good sleepers.  Introduction Of Lindsey Burchfield with Columbine Sleep Solutions.  When to see a sleep specialist and best advice for expecting parents.

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episode Transcript

Welcome back to First Breaths to First Steps. This is Bev Garrison. Today we have a treat. Ms. Lindsey Burchfield is joining me today from Columbine sleep solutions. So I had the pleasure of meeting Lindsay in my practice. She has a nice young family that I’ve helped to move along in their pediatric journey. One day I looked at Lindsay’s file and I was like, what is a sleep specialist? As Lindsay and I have gotten to know each other, she’s definitely educated me on why it’s so important to have sleep coaching, but I wanted to bring her on today to the podcast to really explain to parents what a specialist in sleeping is and how they get trained.

So welcome Lindsay. Hi. Thanks, Bev. I really appreciate you having me join you today. So let’s just jump right in. Can you define for me, what is the role of a sleep specialist? Absolutely. a sleep specialist. Can be kind of one of two things. So first and foremost, the sleep specialist can be somebody that is ultimately educating parents and especially expecting parents on what does healthy sleep look like? How do we set a healthy sleep foundation from birth forward so that your child and you are really ultimately getting a best night’s rest as early as possible. The other thing that sleep specialists do is actually help to troubleshoot if sleeping is not going well. Let’s say you’ve had your child and your four or five months down the road, and you were having good success with sleep and then suddenly something popped up and that’s no longer the case. Sleep specialists can come in and troubleshoot what’s happening and going on and really help to make sure that you’re getting yourself and your little one back to sleeping very well, and through the night. Yeah, I think that there’s absolutely no argument in well, rested parents, well rested babies definitely makes for a much more enjoyable parenting experience, but also just feeling confident in your ability to handle your child because you are rested as a parent .

What is the background and training of a sleep specialist? I know there are different types of training, but can you take us through specifically your training and the background that kind of got you there? Yeah, absolutely.

So I am personally trained and certified under the Sleep Sense methodology. It started by Dana Obleman 17 years ago. It’s been around for a really long time. I am actually trained under that particular way of going about sleep training and relaying, healthy sleep foundations with families.

I went to a training with her in person a year and a half, two years ago. She educated me on her methodology all the way from prenatal through to older children. I actually can help children all the way up to the age of 12 years old. Sleep training or sleep having a sleep specialist.

Doesn’t just have to be for those early years of your child’s life. We can actually help all the way into adulthood if you appropriately certified. I went to that training and I then after my in-person training, I had a practicum with a couple of sleep specialists that had been with Dana for many, many years. I have now been underneath that program for over a year and a half now. I still have a community of women that I work with in this space. Not only am I trained with Dana directly, but I continue to work with all of the specialists in that same space. We’re constantly learning and growing being able to offer our clients the most up-to-date and important information in the sleep space.

Sure. And I know that your product is called Columbine Sleep Solutions. You started in October of 2019. I know that you are helping with coaching and sleeping. I would guess a majority in a younger population. That’s why I found it so important to have you in my team for First Breaths to First Steps. I think that it’s super important to help those exhausted moms and dads and or birth partners get their babies, whether they’re newborns or toddlers sleeping through the night so that everyone can enjoy. Their environment to the fullest. I know that your kids have been great sleepers. I think you have a great background.

You and I had talked, you were fortunate in the fact that your first was a fairly good sleeper initially, even without this background in training. I always tell clients, a lot of times. Good sleepers are made. They’re not born that way. We have to kind of help coach and train and support through that process.

So what do you think as a sleep specialist is the most ideal time to start working with clients before delivery, after delivery or both? What is your opinion on that? That’s a great question. And I always say that it’s never too early or actually too late to seek out a sleep specialist. Personally, I would love to see all clients in the prenatal setting.

I think that being able to educate parents early on or even before their little one gets here on sleep. And the fact that sleep is a learned skill. Skill just as you’ve mentioned, not something that is just inherent within us. I think that being able to get to the parents early so that they understand that can really help them to see success earlier on in the sleep space for their children.

So I’d love to see everyone early to do education and then follow their children through as they start to actually implement some of the tips and tricks that I work with them on and then helping to tweak that so that their child really is sleeping through the night as early as possible. However, for some reason, if you don’t seek a sleep specialist out in that prenatal phase, then I can absolutely jump in and help after delivery. Often times a lot of the folks that I actually do see, I see around that four month mark. If you’re listening, you probably have heard of the dreaded four month sleep regression that comes around. . They trying to just get through that newborn phase. They’re just seeing that that’s not happening. Really sleep deprived. Moms who are desperate around that fourth or fifth month will just reach out to me so I can absolutely help in the prenatal setting. That’s what I prefer. Like I mentioned, I think that parents will see greater success with teaching the skill, if they do see sleep specialist before their baby is born, but often as I mentioned, I can absolutely help parents around that three to four month timeframe. Around that three to four month timeframe is really where actual quote, unquote, sleep training methodologies can be used versus setting up healthy sleep foundations. Parents often asked me, when can you sleep train? I often say, you’d want to wait until that third or fourth month before you do anything a little bit more drastic, but you can absolutely from day one, Start to lay some really healthy foundations for your child in the hopes that you will actually never have to sleep, train them, but rather they’ll just catch on at a very early age.

Couldn’t agree more. I feel like with developing my own business when you and I started talking really one of my core principles and values in first breaths to first steps is empowering with. Education before things become a problem. I think sometimes just even having the awareness that, Hey, things might go great until four months and then just be warned. You may see some changes in that sleep pattern. I think that’s just helpful in itself highlighting and knowing ahead of time, I think also makes you feel more confident in there’s nothing wrong with my baby. And there’s nothing wrong with my parenting skill. It’s just that, that can be a natural phenomenon.

What do you say to your clients, or what do you think for your clients are the most important things to cover in a prenatal visit before this baby is born? Yeah, I absolutely think that it’s important for parents to understand that babies are born really not having any kind of organized sleep whatsoever.

Right? They’re not born with a set circadian rhythm. In a lot of cases. Babies are born, not even knowing what day is and night is. So we are given a little one that has really no foundation or . understanding naturally of sleep. Right? So what we need to do in the new born phase has really help to start to achieve some of those things for our child or help to set that up for our child.

Some of the things that I love to tell my prenatal clients, is that when your little one is born. One of the first things that you can do is to really help to establish day and night . One way of doing that is to make sure that your little one is out in the light during the day around noises, things of that nature, and then making sure at night time that you’re in a very quiet, dark space.

That can be very helpful. I also suggest having and creating 12 hours of night and 12 hours a day for your child as well. This will really help to set that day/ night cadence for them. The other thing I love to tell expecting parents is that when you do get your baby home, don’t expect your baby to be sleeping through the night. That’s going to come months later for you. Really. One of the most important things that you can do in those early months is to get that baby on a great feeding schedule more than anything. Parents don’t understand the correlation between sleeping and feeding. In those early, early months, and really those early weeks, I suggest focusing on making sure your little ones are getting those full feeds because that’s really going to help lengthen sleep in the long run.

The other thing too early on is that I often suggest. Starting routines very early. So something like a bedtime routine. Is something you can start from day one. It helps to get your child ready and cue them for sleep. And the earlier you start with that , the easier that your child will catch on. I actually , suggest doing bedtime routines up until, through the elementary years, even past that . Even adults have some type of routine when it comes to sleep.

Of course, I think one of the most important thing to in the prenatal space is understanding safe sleep. There’s nothing more than we want to do as parents, but ensure safety for our children. There are a lot of things that we can do to make sure that we are helping to make that a very safe experience as well. That I think is so critical before the baby comes, but understanding that sleep is something that is learned. You need to help them learn that skill. And it’s gonna take a few months to get there. Exactly. Couldn’t agree more. I think you bring up some really great points as far as really trying to delineate between day and night.

I’m always like, Oh, you know, especially during the day the doorbell’s going to ring the TV’s going to be on your is going to be ringing your dog’s going to be barking like mine in the middle of this podcast. You got to get babies used to that because that is daytime environment. Whereas at night I really encourage parents to do things by dimmer light, not a lot of singing, cooing talking, do your business and get your baby back to sleep. Kind of establish that, feeling that things are at a different level, a different tone and quiet.

Lindsay, I really appreciate your time today. And I look forward to talking with you in future podcasts and informing our clients all the benefits with sleep specialist. If you thought that the information in this podcast was helpful, you can click on the description below and pull down an easy PDF that talks about and has the notes outlined that Lindsay and I discussed today. if you’re interested in working with me coaching your child from first breaths to first steps, you can also contact that link and get ahold of me until next time.

Be well.