What is a holistic coach and why is it different?

Why is Lisa Gargaro Sleep Co, the Holistic Sleep Consultant different from other types of sleep coaching, and why is it different?

Passionate about Holistic Sleep. Holistic Sleep consulting is drives from 100% passion about being as natural and real as possible. When I think of babies, infants, and small children, I feel instantly about the words vulnerable, helpless, making them even more deserving of nothing but our very best as parents and society. It is not only the child who is susceptible, but also parents. I believe they deserve to be treated with respect, be given the full truth, and be allowed to make educated choices on how it is best to do something for their own family.

I have found over the years of helping parents with their child sleep, is that they have reached out for support and are nothing short of bombarded to the point of usually total confession. With various choices and advice freely handed out, (and sometimes it is given to them without even asking for it) on how best to approach sleep training. They find is they come away with more questions unanswered than they had before they asked for help. Just as should we just ride it out? Would a quick fix be best? Or maybe try this gentle approach, what is this and what does the term “gentle” really mean?

My Holistic Sleep Coaching qualification means that with the professional training I received I mean when I take on a client I approach the sleep issue by viewing it as it truly is by asking about and taking every relevant area of family life into account when I create the programs which are individual to each family.

The current dilemma

If we look at infant sleep, some believe this has changed over the decades, and we are looking at a crisis that will be on our healing hands before we know it. The truth is that in fact, infant & children’s sleep is no different now than what it was 100 or even 1000 years ago. There has been a change though, I do agree. But it is not in infant sleep. It is in how we parent. It is parenting that has changed. The truth of the matter is we as parents daily. Dealing with what is called a paradox information overload—coupled with time-poverty.

As parents, we understand and know more than ever about the importance of love. Attachment. Bonding and security that we give to our young impressionable children. We know this. We have heard it, read all about such things as skin to skin, breastfeeding, good nutrition, stress management, toxins, one-to-one time, and organic food (to name a few). What I find is that although parents have access to all this information. Parents, in fact, find themselves bombarded with all sorts of appliances and gadgets. Persuaded to believe they will make our lives easier. Yet in the end, what really happens is they end up confusing them further.

On top of this we are busier now as parents.

Parents are now leading much busier, more expensive lives, being told we have jobs we all love to then be able to financially provide childcare to our child to allow us to do this which in the end makes us feel completely guilty for doing this very thing. Parents especially try to extract as much productivity out of each day. They do so by micromanaging everything, even down to the most basic of tasks. How do they do this? By delegating as much as they possibly can.

The results of this are parents that are left feeling confused, overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated. While they are having less support than ever. In years gone by, the role of parenting was undertaken by a whole community, consisting of a mixture of family and friends. Today in many cultures around the world, this is still practiced and acknowledged as the being way to raise children. In all honesty, it actually first surprised me in how many adults that are really required to care for a new baby.

Simply put, two parents, in all honesty, it is not enough. If there is a new baby that requires constant care and attention, we will be needed are others around to help prop up on other tasks, such as helping with doing housework, getting shopping, doing the cooking, and the daily support. When we see a situation where there is no other to help them, we find that one or both parents quickly suffer from becoming burnt out, and therefore are much less likely and understandably able to cope with what is usually normal infant behavior due to this.

The options

Most infants usually have no sleep pathology, but because of the context in which people are trying to parent, some people find themselves at the end of their ability to cope. Some parents have researched sleep and parenting extensively. Knowing that they will raise their child in a particular manner, carrying out their certain beliefs and ethos. Then there is the opposite; those have few expectations. In either way, sometimes sleep deprivation is something that some parents cope well with, and then there are others for whom it is intolerable. If in the situation where the parents are struggling to cope, then, to be honest, the fact that their baby is behaving “normally” makes the whole moment irrelevant. After all, if you can’t cope, you can’t cope. It is that simple.

Well-meaning people

Often, we hear well-meaning people offering suggested strategies to new parents such as ‘you must sleep when the baby sleeps’, ‘be sure you get an early night’, ‘ oh, just forget the housework’, or ‘just ask a family member to come around and help’. Which are all reasonable suggestions, however, what if those suggestions are not feasible? What if the family have in fact already tried those ideas only to find they have not worked either, they aren’t sustainable, or simply aren’t possible?

For many parents, the thought of reaching out for help with sleep may feel conflicted about it. With many available strategies suggested. All followed up with countless books, websites galore and an endless number of people who can give advice. A simple google search on the terms like ‘sleep training’, ‘baby sleep coach’ or ‘gentle sleep’ yields millions of hits and results. How can we expect a parent to make an informed choice? Who they should trust and enlist in help with their family & everyone’s sleep?

A quick fix?

Some sleep experts are always quick to suggest those quick-fix methods. A controlled crying method is just that, fast, effective, and harmless. In their own opinion, they say this. What they then proceed to mention quickly is that anyone who then challenges this method is doing nothing more than scaremongering these parents and making them feel guilty…

I wonder if this misses the point? My promotion of holistic sleep programs – this being a multi-dimensional approach. Looking at so much more than just sleep as an area. The essential whole picture. Holistic sleep programs recognize that a baby is usually completely normal in their needs. To be aware that needs are so much more than just physical. Needs also are psychological. Emotional and relational too. Leaving them to cry will do nothing for these needs. All it does is stress parents out more!

I will be honest, I am in love with a quick fix just as much as the next. However only when there can be no losers.

What is holistic sleep coaching?

For almost 5 years now and my own journey of sleep, I have become passionate about providing a family-centered care, evidence-based healthcare program. These are based on holistic wellness and nutrition. Offering gentle parenting. Supporting and encouraging breastfeeding and sleep together.

My Holistic Sleep Consulting services have managed to create a culmination of everything that interests me. I’m definitely verging on being geeky about?

So above all, when I look at the sleep of an infant or child, I consider the following:

The child’s age, the developmental stage, where this is and with what is considered normal according to evidence.

The family context – I will look at siblings, wider family, parental health, environment and community.

Emotional and their mental health. Is there any anxiety or stress.

Nutrition – are their any allergy, intolerances, feeding problems and nutritional deficit

Health – this includes the interplay between stress, immune problems, nutrition and sleep

Exercise – the levels and frequency of this and, everyday activities.

Sleep biology, routines, cycles, and circadian rhythms


Over and over, it has proven these very contextual factors we speak about are explored it means sleep can be improved in a gentle way. Allowing it to be quick and without any actual ‘sleep training’ at all.

What difference does holistic sleep programs make?

The holistic sleep programs I create are from my love of supporting families, meeting lots of new people and helping them feel better, yes this does often involve people getting some more sleep, that’s not what is my motivation. The most joy for me comes from seeing parents feeling much calmer and more confident in their parenting. Their deep understanding of their child, the needs of their child, and in themselves as parents.

The Holistic Sleep Program is borne out of this desire to share this knowledge and understanding with parents, childcare & health professionals. Where I offer and share the evidence-based, gentle strategies to families. Supporting sleep without meaning will require parents to be less attuned and responsive to their children. This ethos is what my sleep programs are all about.

The Holistic Sleep Coaching Program, which is my qualification, is the most comprehensive course currently available. It has drawn on the expertise of 20 experts today. Areas of know-how are from pediatric occupational therapists to doulas, from pediatricians to play therapists and experts in anxiety and mental health to allergy and epigenetics. In other words, you now know your own family needs help in a supportive guiding manner. In a gentle, holistic, and most importantly, backed with science. I’d love to hear from you!

For more information please contact: Lisa@lisagargarosleep.co