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Frequently Asked Questions

Q

When can I, a tired parent, expect to hear from Sammy?

A

I generally respond to new client requests within 2 business days. If you are receiving individualized support from me, I respond to messages as soon as I am able to on Mondays – Saturdays from 7:00am-8:00pm MST.

Q

Do I need to live in Albera to be your client for sleep support?

A

Yes, I only see clients who live in Alberta, as this is a requirement of my psychology license.

 

If you live elsewhere and are seeking mental health support, please seek mental health care from a licensed professional in your jurisdiction. In North America, the following resources can be places to start:

Q

What ages and issues do you help with?

A

I help children from birth through to elementary age. Issues we can work on together include changing how a child falls asleep to build more independence when assisting to sleep is no longer working for a family, bedtime struggles (e.g., fighting bedtime, anxiety around sleep, etc.), night wakings, nightmares, early morning wakings, and nap trouble (e.g., short or non-existent naps).

Q

What do you mean when you say “sleep training?”

A

When I say sleep training, I mean a behavioral intervention where parents respond to their child in a chosen way that supports the baby in falling asleep independently (on their own from wide awake). It’s all about how the parent responds to the child's crying and protest, and almost always involves decreasing parent involvement and at least some crying from the child (see the FAQs on crying below for more on this).


When I say sleep training, I do not mean “cry it out” (CIO). CIO is one sleep training method some families use. It’s not something I use with my clients. I choose from over 20 sleep training methods to offer to families I work with, depending on baby's temperament, parent's goals, parent's preference on level of responsiveness, and how quickly they want baby to learn independent sleep skills.


Sleep training is not the same as night weaning, but some families choose to work on dropping night feeds as part of the sleep training process.

Q

Do you offer “no cry” sleep training?

A

In my opinion, “no cry” sleep training doesn’t exist! Sleep training is a response to crying. A really responsive sleep training method will mean as soon as baby cries at all, the parent responds in some way to try to stop the crying. But if there’s no crying with the sleep training process, babies don’t need help from parents in learning how to put themselves to sleep. They’re already doing it!

Q

I don’t want to hear my child cry. Is sleep training the right choice for me?

A

You get to decide if sleep training is right for you. You also get to decide how responsive and hands on you are in the process too. Your consistency will be the biggest factor in your child learning independent sleep skills, so it’s important that you feel ready and that this is the best choice for you at the time.


As far as the crying goes, I totally understand not wanting to hear your child cry! My babies are older now and I still struggle when I hear them cry. Our hearts hurt when our babies are upset. It helps me to remember that crying is a baby’s primary way of communicating. So they cry to have their needs met (e.g., hunger, pain, dirty diaper, etc.), but they also cry to express any of their tricky feelings. If a baby doesn’t like something, they may cry to let us know.


Sleep training is change, and most people don’t like change – babies included! It’s okay that they don’t like everything we offer to them, even things we know are important for them, because all feelings are okay. Important things for babies that they may not like include learning sleep skills, being safely buckled in a car seat, consuming medication when they’re sick, and wearing a coat when it’s -20 out when they prefer to wear their summer clothes. Side note – is anyone else’s toddler like that?


When your baby is crying and you know their basic needs are met, they are feeling their feelings. Feeling and expressing feelings are key parts of learning to regulate those feelings, And you supporting them through that process of feeling their feelings is so helpful to them too!

Q

Do you work with families who bedshare?

A

If you would like to shift from bedsharing to having their baby in their own sleep space, I’d be glad to help! If your desire is to bedshare on a long-term basis, I would be glad to refer you to another sleep consultant who works on this goal, as it is not my area of expertise.

Q

Is this a psychological service I can submit under my extended healthcare benefits?

A

Yes, because I am a Registered Psychologist in Alberta.

Q

Why are there no testimonials on your website or social media?

A

As a psychologist in Alberta, I am prohibited from collecting testimonials and am not to participate in online reviewing programs when possible. The intentions behind this guideline are in part to ensure people are receiving unbiased service (not doing the work just for a review) and to protect people’s privacy. I try to offer the very best service I can to every client I have. 

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