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Macall Gordon Temperament and Sleep expert

When my children were babies (a while ago), there were two choices for sleep training: cry-it-out or gut-it-out. I knew that if I let them cry, it would go on for hours and they would never give up ever, ever.


At the time, there were no other choices. I honestly can't recommend just suffering through it. The wear-and-tear is real.


Sleep doesn't have to be all or nothing.
There is a middle ground.

I have a grounding in the research on sleep interventions and temperament and I know that alert/sensitive/intense children need a different approach (and so do their parents).


I focus on the reality of parenting  "little livewires" because I've been there.

My philosophy about BABY + CHILD sleep

Couple in handyman gear looking overwhelmed
There are options

You get to decide what's a problem

There's no "right" or "wrong" —only what works and doesn't work for you. You may be so tired, you just need things to be "better." I can work with that.

Woman with a pillow, pajamas, and eye mask looking frustrated
It's not "sink or swim"

No one's learning anything when they're hysterical.

The notion that learning is taking place when babies are hysterical just doesn't make sense. We want to nudge children into better patterns, not throw them into the deep end. Stepping in to help them manage big feelings is in our parent job description. It's no different with sleep.

Spunky young girl with goggles
Temperament is everything

Livewires need a different approach.

The usual sleep training advice often just does not work for these little ones. Understanding how they tick can be key in getting them on board with sleep.

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My Philosopy of Sleep


My research topics:

• A critical review of the research that underpins sleep training advice

• A survey of parents' use and perceptions of sleep advice

• A survey about the "upsides" of a challenging temperament

• How elements of temperament affect sleep behavior and sleep training

You can learn more about these on my ResearchGate page

Presented at the following conferences:

  • International Congress for Infant Studies (ICIS)

  • World Association for Infant Mental Health (WAIMH)

  • American Psychological Association (APA)

  • Society for Research in Child Development​ (SRCD)

  • Occasional Temperament Conference (OTC)

  • Postpartum Support International (PSI)

  • B.S. in Human Biology, Stanford University 

  • M. A. in Applied Psychology (focus on Infant Mental Health), Antioch University Seattle. Coursework in infant development, attachment, emotional regulation, sleep research, psychopathology, and family systems. 

  • Certificate in Infant Observation, Family Services/Univ. of Washington

  • Postpartum Action Institute Training (with Jane Honikman and Dr. Shoshana Bennett)

  • Senior Lecturer, Graduate Dept. of Counseling Psychology,
    Antioch University, Seattle (2008-present)

  • WA State Certified Counselor (#CL60604117) 


Certification in Gentle Sleep Coaching

Certified January 2016

The Gentle Sleep Coach Program is the first and most extensive professional sleep coach training and certification program available.  The program involves over 80 hours of training with a faculty panel that includes two medical doctors, a psychologist, an attorney, lactation counselor, postpartum doulas and a family therapist. Each coach must pass an exam and participate in case supervision with Kim West, LCSW-C (a.k.a. “The Sleep Lady”) who has been helping tired parents for over 20 years. Clinical supervision and ongoing advanced training are required to maintain certification as a Gentle Sleep Coach.

Training topics included:

  • Basic counseling and child development

  • Sleep science and age-appropriate techniques to help parents of children age 6 months to 6 years old.

  • Secure attachment theory

  • Support for the breastfeeding mother

The training also consisted of lectures from top specialists, including:

  • Postpartum Depression from Dr. Shoshana Bennett, author and leading specialist on Postpartum Depression

  • Medical Conditions and Sleep Apnea in Children led by Dr. Lewis Kass, Director of Children’s Sleep Center

  • Reflux and Sleep led by Dr. Anthony Loizides, pediatric gastroenterologist

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Gentle Sleep Coaching
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