Sleep is a basic human need, not a want. You are not a bad parent for wanting more rest! We all need sleep to function at our best. I know it feels overwhelming to make the transition to independent sleep for your child. I will help you make these big changes so that your entire family gets the sleep you all desperately need.
During this process, we are going to help your child feel comfortable and confident falling asleep in a new way. Some parents start to worry their attachment with their child will be ruined. I am here to make sure that does not happen.
I will partner with you to help your family move toward healthy sleep routines based on your unique goals. My sleep programs are evidence-informed, effective, and designed to maintain and encourage a secure attachment between parent and child. No more throwing spaghetti on the wall and hoping it sticks. Instead, you’ll get a step-by-step, comprehensive, holistic plan personalized to your baby or toddler.
As a Board Certified Lactation Consultant, my sleep programs also include an emphasis on effective feeding and nutrition. Feeding and sleep are completely intertwined – most often, you can’t solve one without addressing the other. With my expertise, we will make sure your child is meeting their nutritional needs and set up for sleep success.
As parents, it’s hard to hold boundaries, especially in the middle of the night. This is why follow-up support is a critical component of my sleep programs. I will ensure you feel prepared to implement your sleep plan, answer every “what-if” you have, and help you troubleshoot along the way, all while holding you accountable. Then, we will celebrate your success!
As a Registered Nurse, I approach every situation through the framework of the holistic nursing process. This means that I look at the whole picture when coming up with strategies to help you reach your sleep goals. I assess feeding, weight gain, development, their sleep environment, and your parenting style. When we address each piece of the puzzle instead of just one part, that’s how we will find success! I am also a Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), so I have unique expertise to offer when it comes to feeding. Feeding and sleep are so intertwined!
I tailor my sleep plans to each individual family. The sleep training method will depend on your child’s age, temperament and what you are comfortable with as parents. For infants, I like to focus on teaching independent sleep skills, rather than forcing the elimination of night feedings. This approach allows a baby to decide when they are ready to stop eating at night, and usually results in a baby dropping most or all of their feedings on their own. For toddlers, my programs include a heavy focus on emotionally preparing them for this change in routine. While my goal is always to minimize crying, protest is expected when working towards independent sleep. Crying is how children express frustration with change, and as parents, we can validate those feelings while still holding age-appropriate boundaries. The level of parental response to the crying is what will vary depending on your family preferences and specific sleep plan. This is not Cry It Out, but rather giving a child appropriate reassurance while still allowing them the space to learn the important skill of independent sleep!
Both of my sleep packages are available for children ages 4 months to 3 years. Both packages include a comprehensive, personalized sleep plan, a live video consultation to review your plan and answer all of your questions, and a digital sleep log to track your progress.
The Essential Package also includes four check-in phone calls over two weeks while you implement your sleep plan.
The Premium Package also includes the four check-in calls, plus daily communication and feedback from me via your sleep log over two weeks while you implement your sleep plan. This package also includes some email support following the completion of your two week coaching period.
If you are a person who wants regular communication and quicker answers to questions, choose the Premium Package. If you are someone who feels confident they can implement their sleep plan between the regular check-in coaching calls, choose the Essential Package.
After booking, you will receive an email confirmation which includes a link for you to complete an intake questionnaire. This questionnaire must be filled out at least 48 hours in advance of your consultation appointment. I will use this questionnaire to create your child’s sleep plan. The confirmation email will also include the Zoom Meeting link for your virtual consultation. We will meet virtually on the date and time you selected while booking.
Following your consultation, I will send you your child’s electronic sleep log, as well as instructions for booking your included support phone calls.
My sleep packages start at 16 weeks (about 4 months) old. I find that this is the typical age that an infant is capable of learning independent sleep skills. Some infants may be ready around 3 months. If your child is younger than 4 months old but you need help, contact me and we can discuss some options for support.
Yes! I will help you build an optimal (and safe) sleep environment, whether in your child’s own room or yours. They must be on a separate surface from you.
Not likely, however, I will provide tools and suggestions to move through this process with the least amount of disruption for your entire family.
You do not need to stay home 24/7 when working through your sleep program. Life happens, and it is totally okay to be out of the house for part of the day. I do ask that you avoid overnight travel during your two-week sleep plan implementation.
Breastfeeding and healthy sleep routines can absolutely co-exist, and I will teach you how! As a lactation consultant, I will do a feeding assessment as part of your consultation to ensure there are no underlying issues which could cause supply challenges down the road. I will also take your breastfeeding history and goals into consideration when building your sleep plan. I do not encourage clients to “drop feeds” cold turkey, instead I suggest a gradual process when teaching your child to feed when they’re hungry and sleep when they’re tired. This makes it so much less stressful for everyone involved!
Hi! I’m Larissa. I am a Registered Nurse, Sleep Consultant, Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and the owner of The Mama Coach based in Westchester, NY.
When I had my first child seven years ago, I thought I was set. I mean, I was a L&D nurse, afterall! Surely I’d know how to handle all of the things that came with being a new mom. As the first of my friends to have a child, though, I quickly realized how hard it was.
On top of everything, my husband was away serving in the Army, and it was a whirlwind of a storm. I had to switch from breastfeeding to exclusively pumping, and my sweet baby was a terrible napper and woke up all night long. I was hyper-focused on tracking his sleep, which only added to the overwhelm when he wasn’t sleeping.
And then the 4-month sleep regression hit.
At our next pediatrician visit, I exhaustingly poured out everything that was going on to our doctor who looked at me and told me that my baby was now at an age where he was capable of falling asleep on his own. But the idea of removing all of my son’s sleep props (which, looking back, were super unsafe), was daunting.
I went home, got a book that dove deeper into child sleep, and decided I was going to do it. I was going to make the changes needed so that my son and I could both sleep better.
And you know what happened?
It went better than I imagined. And my life completely changed.
As painful as my early postpartum experience was with breastfeeding struggles and my son’s sleep, all of that brought me to where I am today. I want to share the same feeling I had – the hope that change is possible and sleeplessness isn’t a life you have to live forever. And that’s why my Mama Coach practice was born.
When I work with families, I provide evidence-informed programs and judgment-free encouragement. I believe that the decision you make is best, so long as it works for your family! Trust me, I know there’s enough mom-shaming out there – but you won’t find that here!
The heart behind my work is to empower you with the belief that your happiness and health matter and to remind you that you cannot pour from an empty cup. Your child’s sleep and feeding routines need to work for YOU just as much as they work for your child. And if they aren’t working, that’s what I’m here for.
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