About Irene


Irene Gouge- Sleep Coach 2. jpgMy journey as a mother
 began in 2006 with the birth of our son Connor.  What a life-altering experience childbirth can be!  It was filled with the roller coaster of emotions that all new mothers experience: moments of happiness, feelings of being overwhelmed, and many sleepless nights.

I still remember thinking that the weeks of decorating and preparing Connor’s room for the perfect sleep environment seemed to be so easy. This was the kind of room that my husband and I wished we had for ourselves.  Connor was going to love sleeping in his room!   However, as the months turned into a year, he ended up in our bed every night.  I remember thinking “at least I can get a few hours of sleep here and there.”  We all know how that story ends.

Months later, sleep deprived and begging for a full night’s sleep.   I quickly began to wonder, in the sea of books, videos and websites, if my husband and I would ever know which advice to believe.  I would hear things like: “oh, my child did that too” or “they’ll grow out of it.”   I started to come to the conclusion that this is what motherhood was about and that I needed to become better prepared for this sleepless journey.

The next chapter of that journey occurred in 2008, with the arrival of our second son Bailey.  Let me tell you, learning to juggle an infant and a toddler was quite a transition from the life I knew.  This time around, the one thing I was sure of was that Bailey would have good sleep manners.  I mean, how hard could it be for a baby to sleep?  And again, I think you can guess how that story ended up.  It was as if both boys held a secret meeting and decided to test my ability and never allow me to sleep again.  Connor began protesting his naps, unless I would lie down on the floor of the same room he was in, and Bailey refused to go to sleep unless he was held and rocked. Needless to say, I was beyond exhausted and losing more sleep than any person should.  Soon those nap-time dilemmas carried over to night-time troubles.

Here I was, lying in the world’s most comfortable bed, wondering,  “why won’t anyone sleep in this house?  What were we doing wrong?”  I tried everything I knew.  I let the boys cry it out; I held and rocked them; I cried; I prayed; I watched videos; and I surfed the web for help.

The only thing I knew for sure was that what we were doing wasn’t working for me, my husband, and most importantly the boys.

Finally in January 2009, I was introduced to the book Good Night, Sleep Tight, by Kim West a.k.a. “The Sleep Lady”.  After I implemented Kim’s strategies, our lives immediately began to change for the better.  My children were sleeping, my husband was sleeping, and I was finally sleeping.    I couldn’t believe it!  Our family was on the way to healthy and happy sleep behaviors.   Instantly, I felt like the haze had lifted, the dark clouds parted and my life was sunny again, not to mention how the other aspects of parenting became easier after a good night’s sleep.

Because of the huge impact this had own our own lives, I realize the importance of healthy sleep habits, and I’ve dedicated my career to teach other parents how to have the same.  I want all parents to remember:

  • no one is perfect and we can all learn from our mistakes,
  • sleep is a skill that has to be taught,
  • parenting is the hardest job you will ever do,
  • you have to be intentional in your actions,
  • you have to reach out for support,
  • you have to be patient,
  • and remember to always breathe!

The purpose of this website is for parents to obtain knowledge and help with a wide-variety of sleep and educationally-based problems children often face.  Through my years as a teacher, as a  mother and now a Gentle Sleep Coach, I desire to see all families grow and live as healthy as possible. I truly believe that all children are capable of learning healthy habits for a healthy future!

As you read through the other pages on this site, if you find you are in need of any of my services, I welcome the opportunity to work with you.

Wishing your family Sweet Dreams,