My Sleep Philosophy
As the mother of two beautiful little girls, I have learnt that as a parent, we are the ones that know our children the best. Amidst the abundance of information made available to us these days, not to mention advice from well meaning friends and family, it is crucial for us to follow our instincts as parents.
Creating a positive association with sleep
I can't explain how much my heart hurts when I hear parents use sleep as a punishment.
"If you keep acting like this, you're going to have to go take a nap!"
As adults, how much do we love to sleep!? And if we get a chance to nap, who isn't happy!? Unfortunately, as parents, we can (indirectly) create a negative association with bedtime and nap time as we get into bedtime battles, create inconsistency around sleep. and allow our little ones to dictate the rules. I believe strongly in creating a positive association with naps and bedtime right from the start.
Teach them that sleep is a luxury, not a chore.
A gentle approach
HOW we teach out little ones to fall asleep independently and approach sleep is also crutial. You have the choice to be there and to support them through this process. To respond to them when they need you. Fostering a secure attachment, especially in the first few years of life, is pivotal to your child's future ability to create and maintain healthy relationships. Not responding to them when they are scared and confused only serves to create a lonely and distressed environment in which your child learns to sleep. We should aim to create a safe and comforting feeling for them as they drift off to sleepy land. Now, this doesn't mean that there will be no crying, but your child will know that you will consistently be there for them when they need you.
Empowering parents and caregivers with knowledge to not only make changes now, but to address sleep-related obstacles in the future. I could easily write out a step by step plan for how to reach your immediate sleep goals, but this helps no one in the long run. When you understand the biology of sleep, why your child is waking frequently, and have reasonable and age-appropriate expectations for sleep, you can apply the tools I've taught you to address each hiccup. And there are many hiccups along the way; nap transitions, starting daycare, moving, illness, teething, physical milestones, traveling, potty training. All of these can influence sleep and you will have the tools to deal with them as they come.
I am very aware that each family is unique, each child has his or her own little personality, and that as parents, we have our own values and expectations for our family. I value these differences and respect them as we work towards reaching your sleep goals.
If you have any questions about my approach and services, please reach out today.