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Certified Sleep Trainer Lisa Rietzke shares her insights on why getting shut-eye for parents is so important
Ashland Health is pleased to announce that we are now offering sleep training services! We’d like for you to get to know our sleep trainer extraordinaire, Lisa Rietzke. Dubbed as the “baby whisperer” for her ability to connect with children and teach them how to fall asleep on their own, her services are a huge help to new parents who are battling the exhaustion of a child who doesn’t sleep through the night.
“We went from our son waking 4-5 times a night on average (and for many nights it was more than that) to sleeping through the night within 3 days,” says Allison H from Chicago.
Lisa answered a few questions for us. See what she had to say!
How did you decide to get into sleep training as a profession?
I have my bachelor’s degree in nursing from Marquette University in 1989 and my first nursing job was in labor and delivery. Since then, all of my jobs have been working with children. When I started working as a newborn care specialist, I realized that the end result of my care should be babies sleeping well. I am certified by the NCSA as a newborn care specialist and advanced infant sleep consultant.
Over the years, have you found methods you prefer over others?
I offer numerous methods depending on what the family is interested in and what is appropriate for the child. I find that a modified Ferber method is the most effective and shortest for the child. That said, I tailor my services to whatever makes the family is comfortable with and suits the child. I work with children 4 months on up, even toddlers, so I don’t expect the same method to work on everyone.
What’s the one mistake parents make when sleep training their children?
Not being consistent. Babies and children will only be as consistent as we are with them. A lot of times when people tell me they’ve been sleep training without success, the reason is inconsistency in the schedule and method.
What factors do you consider when deciding what technique would be best for a particular baby?
The child’s age, health, and weight, and the negative associations that have been keeping them from falling asleep and staying asleep. I also discuss with the family their ideas and goals that they wish to achieve.
What’s the most difficult thing about sleep training?
Consistency is the most challenging aspect of sleep training once everything is taken into consideration and we have a plan in place. This means coaching and encouraging the family to stick with the plan. The more consistent everybody involved in the sleep training is, the faster the results will follow. I’ve had several families that believe that they have the one child who isn’t going to respond to sleep training, but I haven’t had that happen yet!
What about the most fulfilling thing?
Getting an entire family sleeping well by sleep training the child. Families are so ecstatic and amazed about their child sleeping well.
How important is sleep to new moms and parents?
I always point out that sleep deprivation is a form of torture, and cumulatively it can take a toll on parents when they’re experiencing it night after night. For moms, sleep deprivation can also exacerbate postpartum depression. Everybody needs good sleep to be the best parent they can be.