Baby Coach Teaches Newborns to Sleep All Night

Nov. 26, 2005 — -- The first few weeks with a newborn are all a blur, as "Good Morning America Weekend Edition" co-anchor Kate Snow can tell you. Her baby, Abby, is 11 weeks old.

"Right now I'm counting minutes of sleep," Snow said. "I'm not counting hours of sleep, I'm counting minutes."

Her new baby kept waking up for diaper changes, feeding, rocking and burping. With each middle-of-the-night awakening, the sleep deprivation grew.

"You go through your whole day in a daze," said Chris Breault, Snow's husband. "A fog is in your brain."

But luckily, help was on the way in the form of a "baby coach."

Suzy Giordano, whose book, "Twelve Hours' Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old: A Step-by-Step Plan for Baby Sleep Success," will be out in January, teaches babies how to sleep through the night.

"By the time she's 12 weeks of age, three months, she will be able to sleep 12 hours straight," said Giordano, who has been coaching new parents -- mostly professionals in their 30s and 40s in the Washington, D.C., area, where she's based -- for 13 years.

Giordano charges $60 an hour. If you want her 10 hours a night for 3 months, as some clients do, that's more than $50,000.

Why are people willing to pay?

"Because people need sleep that much. You get to a point where you would pay whatever to come fix this for you," Giordano said.

"By teaching the baby to sleep through the night you allow the parents to get their necessary sleep so they can be the best parents they can be," she added.

Hands-On Coach

The basic idea is that instead of sleeping in two- or three-hour blocks all night long, Abby would learn to stretch the sleep all night long -- 12 hours. To accomplish that, those middle-of-the-night feedings would slowly disappear.

"Whatever amounts we take from the night is going to be added during the day," Giordano said.

She starts by creating a routine.

"I want to make sure you establish a difference between day and night," she said. "Day is bright and active and noisy, exciting to be awake. At night, quiet, dark, no interaction."

While Snow is sound asleep, Giordano works on night duty taking notes on Abby's sleep habits, while also keeping tabs on her and taking care of everything.

In the morning, Giordano asks Snow and Breault to keep daily logs, recording every time Abby eats and for how long.

After Giordano leaves, she coaches Snow and Breault by e-mail for weeks. It's a time-consuming effort, but the payoff has been huge. At 11 weeks, Abby sleeps 10 hours every night.