The approach I use is what I call a Tool Box, meaning I have many different methods and the way I support families with sleep is holistic and highly personalised . Everything will be reviewed including your child’s physical health, development, mental well-being, feeding and eating, temperament, personality, sleep needs and behaviours and so much more that makes them unique. I view sleep within a family context so the approach will also ensure a deep understanding of your parenting styles, your family dynamics, the needs of all and everything that makes your family unique. This is not a sleep 'program' and there is no 'one-size-fits-all' here.
Whether you want to support your child finding sleep in their sleep space, you want to feed to sleep, you want to co-sleep or bed share or you want to cuddle or rock to sleep, I've got you.
However, my tool box does not include any methods that involve Cry It Out, leaving a child in distress or any level of upset that feels inappropriate or disrespectful to your child and your family.
At a high level, I work on the basis that we will do all the wonderful things to optimise your child’s sleep and we will remove any of the roadblocks that might be in the way. We will do that with the utmost respect for every aspect of your child and an evidence-based view of what normal infant and child sleep development looks like.
You might expect me to say that I can help you achieve anything with sleep but if I said that I would be lying. To be honest, I encourage parents to have a cautiously considered approach to anyone guaranteeing results with infant/child sleep and/or advising that any sleep issues can be fixed or offering specific results in a specific time-frame. Why is this?
Firstly, when we look at sleep it’s important that we view your child’s sleep in relation to what the evidence shows about infant and child sleep development and a solid understanding about sleep biology and patterns. I encourage parents to view sleep support in two categories:
Those aspects of sleep that we can tweak and change with the view to fixing a situation.For example, if a child is going to bed under tired and this is causing a challenge then we would change this with the aim to fix the problem.
Those aspects of sleep whereby the sleep is impacted by developmental changes. Sleep may become fragmented and a bit pear-shaped as a child moves through this. We cannot ‘fix’ development so there are times when we cannot ‘fix’ what is happening with sleep at that stage because what is happening is a normal stage of development. However, we understand it with clear knowledge and we have a solid plan for how to walk alongside our infant/child as they move through this stage. We avoid things becoming worse and more stressful through these times. It’s a huge stress relief for parents to take on this approach! For example, if a child is going through separation awareness and this is impacting sleep then we can’t ‘fix’ separation awareness but we can understand and support their development and their sleep as they go through this.
Secondly, every situation and child is unique. For example, some babies have a temperament that are okay with being placed into their bed and supported to sleep and others will not cope with this. Or some babies have lower sleep needs than others. Some babies are more sensitive to changes in their routines. If we are trying to push every baby and child into a certain approach without consideration of their temperament, needs and wants and everything else that make them unique, we move into a territory where we may not be gentle, we may be at risk of limiting the responsiveness and we are expecting all babies and children to be the same.
My commitment to you is that I will go deep with understanding your child and your family to provide you with recommendations and options for how to best support your child’s sleep. I will do this with compassion, empathy, authenticity and a deep respect for you being the expert on your child or children.