gentle parenting coach
+ infant sleep educator
Anxiety Free Sleep Support
I know how tiring it can be to have a new baby, with LOTS of unexpected nighttime parenting needs. It can be especially challenging when we aren't getting good sleep ourselves!
As an Infant Sleep Educator, Id love to help you through education around normal sleep, and to guide you towards more sleep for your whole family. The focus of an Infant Sleep educator is not on changing your babies sleep, but instead, on finding ways to help you as parents get more sleep, and thrive while parenting your babies very normal sleep needs. I will also assess the possible causes for wakings that are outside of the normal expectations for babies, such as feeding changes, environmental disruptions, or food intolerances. Once we have been able to discover your true needs and your babies sleep needs, we will brainstorm ways for you to all find more sleep by addressing what we come up with.
How Am I Different from Most Sleep Consultants?
A majority of the sleep help out there assumes that babies are experiencing bad habits, and use techniques to break those habits down. Consider an Infant sleep Educator the alternative to baby training! I give our tiniest humans a bit more credit than most others do. babies like sleep, just like we do - often the problem lies within their sleep environment, attachment needs, parental expectations or physical barriers to good sleep. Most of the time something is causing unusual wakings, and when that has been figured out, sleep comes almost on its own! I get to implement my background as a lactation consultant and infant feeding expert, doula, and parenting coach with trainings in infant mental health and attachment to find your family the healthiest, most anxiety-free sleep possible!
Here is a great infographic on the difference between a typical sleep trainer and an infant sleep educator:
A large focus of our work together will be on how to get your whole family more sleep, with us working towards shifting your adult sleep and lifestyle habits that may be leaving you too tired to parent normal baby behaviour. Much new research has shown that distress-based sleep training doesn't actually help babies sleep better, and doesn't change their own night waking intervals or wakeful time. It does teach them to stop asking for help when they do wake. Babies are born with the expectation that when they need you you will be there, and traditional sleep training methods make them believe that you wont come when called. This training will create neuropathways which lead to babies no longer asking for help when they need you - the end result of distress/crying based sleep training. If training doesn't actually teach your baby to sleep better or longer, and is more to meet adult needs of not being called for in the night, why not first find other, simpler and less upsetting ways to achieve the same goal!
If you would like to focus on interdependent children who know when to ask for help and when to attempt it alone, my alternative to sleep training is the answer!! Together we can help your family teach interdependence while maintaining the trust needed to know that help is coming if it's needed. We can avoid possible unwanted consequences such as relationship and attachment concerns, and help you feel more rested. Many families simply feel strongly that their babies cries are meant to be responded to. If this sounds like you, know that your instinct and your baby’s ability to learn to trust are valid and worth protecting.
That was a lot to read... however it is important to me that you know exactly what I offer before we work together. This isn't the path for everyone, and that's ok. What I offer is an alternative to sleep training. As we focus on helping you find ways to feel better and sleep better, we also maintain your baby’s developmentally normal sleep needs. if this resonates with you, then I can't wait to meet you and guide you into anxiety-free sleep!
I offer both private consultations or phone consultations, depending on your needs. I can see you in my office at Abaton Integrative Medicine in Oakville, or come to your home for an extra fee.
ATTACHED AT THE HEART PARENT COACHING
What words would you like to use, to describe your children 10 years from now? Kind, empathetic, happy, helpful, confident, resilient, capable... Sound pretty good? As an AATH and Positive discipline trained parent coach, I will guide you and your family towards these amazing characteristics as we look at your long-term parenting goals. We will find workable ways to parent that teach respect, and cultivate amazing little humans!
Parent coaching sessions are $200 for our initial visit, and $100 per follow up.
Feeding and Sleep Package
When working out a feeding/sleeping issue, we will have two visits. The first is a feeding assessment and focuses on ensuring that the sleep issue isn't just a common feeding issue. We can almost always improve sleep when feeding is involved, by managing your breastfeeds differently. Well-gaining babies can have feeding issues - it's actually more common than most would believe! And it's a fairly easy "fix" when it is the case. Other physical causes of poor sleep are assessed, adressed, or ruled out. The second visit is focused on improving your adult sleep habits, gently and in line with your infants developmental norms. We discuss the science of infant sleep, and how to help your baby fall into anxiety-free sleep as much as possible. Stress round sleep is reduced, and your ability to model good sleep habits for your baby are improved. If you are desperate for more sleep, we can switch the order of these visits to find you much needed rest, while we work out the possible environmental causes of your sleep concerns.
The investment for this package is $400 (my office) or $450 (your home).
These are best when you want to discuss sleep tips & tricks, and may be a good place to start if youre unsure about needing the above package. Sometimes, all we do need is to tell our story and understand if our baby is ok, healthy and their sleep is normal!
The fee is $1.50/minute and I usually schedule in 30-60min blocks of time.
CLASS - UNDERSTANDING INFANT SLEEP: ANXIETY-FREE SLEEP FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
Infant Sleep is the topic of most mommy blogs, drop in groups and online threads... And when trying to learn about sleep, there is a world of conflicting information and advice. It can be so hard to determine what's right for your own family, especially when we don't yet know what normal is! Setting expectations that are realistic and workable is the foundation of anxiety free parenting! By the end of this class, you will have an understanding of why babies sleep (or don't sleep) the way they do, what is happening through different sleep phases, and how you can get your entire family the best sleep possible while maintaining strong, secure attachments.
Specifically, we will discuss:
- Infant sleep, biological norms and cultural expectations
- Brain growth, brain wiring and how responsiveness plays a role in brain development
- Tricky times to watch for (sleep regressions, progressions, and disturbances, etc)
- Various safe sleep environments and options
- How to respond to outside pressure and advice that may not represent your own goals
- How to determine if there is a sleep problem, and what you can do
- Tips to help the whole family find enough healthy sleep
You will receive emailed handouts. Babies in arms welcome. See events section for upcoming classes.
This class is best suited for pre-natal families to families in the first 12 months.