Sleep coach has tips for new parents

Sleep coach has tips for new parents

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by Cathy Marshall

Bio | Email | Follow: @CathyMarshall8

kgw.com

Posted on November 9, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 9 at 9:37 PM

How many times have you heard a parent say they would give anything for a good night’s sleep?

A West Linn woman based a business on the never ending need.

In the past fice years, Suzanne Hansen has helped more than 600 families get much needed rest.

“When I tell people what I do, no matter what their age, they say similar things like I would have paid a million dollars for that,” remarked Hansen.

Friday she visited Durham client Carli Westerly and her six month old son Calvin.

“I was looking for a way not to get up eight times a night,” said Carli

“I had read all the books and nothing worked.”

“The key,” explained Suzanne “is helping the baby find a way to soothe themselves back to sleep when they wake up. Sometimes it’s their hand or something else to suck on.”

Carli paid $300 for a month of online and over the phone coaching, learning not to pick Calvin up at first cry.

“Now there is a plan and I know he won’t fuss for eight hours straight. It’s down to just 10 minutes.”

Suzanne will recommend a pacifier or favorite small blanket if necessary.

“I’m really there to support the family and to help them implement whatever works for them,” she added.

More than two decades ago, she was a Hollywood nanny working for Rhea Pearlman and Danny Devito. She helped put their now-grown son to sleep.

“He was a good sleeper but when he would wake up in the morning, Rhea would take him and say now you go get some sleep,” Suzanne recalled.

Whether it’s in Hollywood or Portland, she notices a reluctance to ask for help.

“It’s almost like there’s a little bit of shame when you can’t get your baby to go back to sleep and it’s a problem for most mothers.”

Carli says she’s much happier and more rested now that she has a plan in place. Suzanne says other parents could feel the same if they allow baby some alone time early on,

“Put them down when they're awake from the very beginning. If you do that regularly you can avoid ever needing a coach because the babies will find ways to put themselves to sleep.”

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