Working together means we will do all the wonderful things to understand and optimise your child’s sleep, we will remove any roadblocks to their sleep and we will do this based on the evidence of what normal infant and child sleep development looks like as well as a deep knowledge of sleep science. We will find what's best for your child, your situation and your family.
Key Pillars of My Support
Knowledge: as an evidence-based Sleep Coach I will provide you with the evidence and the 'why' under everything we do. Many parents are amazed at how much stress they have been under due to misinformation and myths and sometimes from highly reputable sources. Let's do away with those for you. You will find the clarity such a relief.
No one way for all: Rested children and parents come in all shapes and sizes. There are no assumptions that there is one way which is the best way for every child, parent or family. I support families with feeding to sleep, cosleeping, self-settling, floor beds, cots, feeding parents who are okay with feeding lots in the night and those who are wanting to make some changes. Some who need support to soften boundaries and some who need help to firm them up with love and respectfulness. I support just about anything except for unresponsive methods, anything that feels “icky” and expectations that ignore the evidence.
Gentle & Responsive: the word 'gentle' has become a bit of a buzz word in the sleep industry with more and more consultants bringing this word into their marketing or methods as more parents are asking for gentle approaches.
Unfortunately 'gentle' is subjective and it is commonly only tied up in the idea of how your child goes to sleep. For some this might simply mean you are not going to do Cry it Out. Or it might be you will still be doing many changes at once at a fast pace regardless of your child. What I mean by gentle is intricately connected to what is critical in my approach which is 'responsiveness'. Not only does this mean that I won't ever ask you to leave your child alone and in distress, I will also do everything to ensure we are avoiding your child or you getting into high stress in the first place. We might not even change a thing about how they are falling asleep.
Responsive means we work alongside your child's temperament, needs, wants, how they adapt to change, their unique sleep needs and so much more that makes them the individual they are. It means I won't be pushing 'a method' or 'a set outcome'. This responsiveness also extends to you and other family members too. The physical and emotional needs of everyone is so important!
Nurture: You matter! You are such an important part of the whole picture of sleep. Your needs, your emotions, your thoughts and your wants are all a part of my approach. A key aspect of the transformation is to empower you to feel more calm, confident and clear about your child's sleep which then spills into the every day experience of parenting. I feel for any parent who feels their joy is being sucked out each day and night so a key aspect of my approach is supporting you.
How does this all come together?
What this isn't....
Not sleep training: This is not a Sleep Training approach which assumes that all children, must/can/should sleep independently for sleep to be 'good' and that this typically is done quickly and may involve both responsive or unresponsive methods. Often this is regardless of how a baby or child may or may not be responding. For some children, the way they journey to sleep is a game changer for their sleep. For others it's not. For some children they can cope with many changes quickly. Others will not and sleep can in fact worsen when this is is pushed. The sleep training view means we can miss so much about your unique child and the methods often ignore what is biologically and developmentally normal, can create a one-size-fits-all approach where all babies and children must sleep a certain way.
Not 'Wait it Out':Nor is this an approach where I'm going to tell you to just wait it out and that sleep will simply improve over time. While that is typically the case, there are also many wonderful ways we can support sleep. The 'Wait it Out' approach is ofen about telling you that the right way for all babies, children and families is to feed to sleep, rock to sleep, cosleep or bedshare and so on. That might work for many families and may be part of what I recommend for your family but not for all and this approach can be equally limiting and one-size-fits-all if you are told this is what you must do even if it's not working out.
My commitment to you is that I will go deep with understanding your child and your family. I will walk alongside you with compassion, empathy, kindness, authenticity and a deep respect for you being the expert on your child or children.
Biological & Emotional Pathway: Typically we will always begin with this pathway first which means we are going to ensure that everything about your child's sleep is in line with their biological and emotional needs based on everything that arises in the Holistic Assessment (in some circumstances we will do this and the Behavioural Pathway below at the same time). This means we are creating optimal opportunities for your child's and family's sleep. You might be coming to me with a clear set of goals for your child with independence with sleep but like many families I support, you may find the initial approach we take to support sleep from a Biological & Emotional Pathway makes such a difference that you don't even need to change their journey to sleep. Or if you do, firstly what may have been a Level 10 challenge may now at the end of this initial stage be a Level 3. Secondly, it means you are then taking next steps with a great level of knowledge and a greater sense of your own calm,
Behavioural Pathway: Some families do want to make changes to how their child is falling asleep. While we can accept that being supported to sleep is biologically and developmentally normal, as en evidence-based Sleep Coach, I can't ignore the large bodies of work that show that for some children, being supported to sleep can create challenges with sleep. For some children and families this is not an problem. For others it is and I will support you to find a way, steps and pace that is responsive to your unique child. Every child is unique and some might be okay to adapt to changes in a few days, others may need weeks and some just are not ready for these changes yet. I'm not going to be rushing you through a cookie-cutter program.
Nurture & Mindset: Supporting your journey as a parent is woven into every aspect of what we will do together. One of the greatest sleep interventions is honestly plain old kindness. Parents share with me how immensely reassuring and comforting it's been to have someone who will walk this way shoulder-to-shoulder.
Holistic Assessment: We begin here. The benefit of a holistic approach is that aside from looking deeply at your child's current sleep situation and sleep history, we will also review and take into account temperament of all involved, sensory profile, development, feeding, allergies, intolerances, health issues, trauma, family history, pregnancy, birth, infant mental health, parental mental health, family dynamics,family logistics, support for family, life experiences, extended family dynamics, parenting styles and anything that makes every child,family and situation unique.