There are a lot of “sleep consultants” and even “sleep doulas” out there. Many of them are calm caring people who help you in your home with hands-on evening or nighttime help. Some of them help you help yourself and do a great job of letting you make your own decisions with a little extra help. If that’s all you need, I can provide this for you, or I can find you a postpartum doula within my practise to help you.
However, there are also a lot of people, and a lot of books, with a whole bunch of bad advice, sleep systems, expensive protocols, and not much science. Worse yet, they blog, post, talk all sorts of undermining, unhelpful, and downright harmful junk!
What you get from them…?
For years, I didn’t get into sleep counselling. I was too saddened by the pressure we were putting on moms and parents to have unreasonable expectations for themselves and their babies: To expect children to “sleep through the night” at non-biologically inappropriate ages; To breastfeed on cue or on demand, but also never let the babe fall asleep, or stay in your arms, or even let their babe sleep in the same room. Mothers came to me confused about what to do; I didn’t want to be part of that pressure. I hoped that some gentle guidance back to norms would be enough.
And then it got worse. The books, and websites got pushier, they published even more wrong science, the things they said to mom began to undermine mothers to their core.
And the mothers that came to me said that they had tried literally everything, even the horrible things, and none of it had “worked”.
What you get from me
What you get from me is completely different from offerings out there. I educate using my university education in cognitive science, and background in normative sleep, normal and atypical child development, and breastfeeding and infant feeding. And I plan with you, and your spouse, and any other household members if you want, with my training as a peer counsellor.
I teach you what is normal at what age, that your child acting on biological averages is just fine, and why it’s okay to nurse your baby to sleep every time if it’s working for you.
I help you build your own plan, not regurgitate a plan I found in a book, or made up. I never tell you what to do.
Sleep Best Practises
Just because it “works for me”, or because their baby is “fine” doesn’t mean that it’s the right plan for you. Choices about your child, any child, should work for the babe that’s having the hardest time, the babe that is the least self-regulating, the child that really needs the most help.
In many disciplines this is called Best Practises. In Engineering it’s called Inherent Safe Design – I like that idea, shouldn’t sleep, and the help we give our child, first be inherently safe for everyone? We gather together Best Practises for your family, and learn what is biologically normal, what works best for our families given the situation we live in, and what goals we’re striving for for our children.
Collaborative Problem Solving
Just because I don’t tell you what to do, doesn’t mean that I can’t help you with a structure that has worked for many parents and couples to make plans that work for them in the middle of the night while they, and their baby, are all crying and yelling.
I use a collaborative problem solving method called “Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C” which I also call the “Swimming, Sinking, and Surfing” system. Working together, after figure out the best practises that work in your household, we decide which choices fit in each of your families Plans.
“Sensory Diet” Integration
Some children really need help with supporting their bodies and minds towards sleep, more than average. Rather than being berated for not being “consistent” enough, parents need real techniques that help children get the “sensory diet” they need. Just like a food diet, we look for balance, and diversity to feed our bodies the way they need – and not every diet is right for everyone – a sensory diet gives a child’s body the sensation “nutrients” they need to have a balanced day – and night!
- Initial Phone and email consults are always free.
- In-person sleep services generally start at $30 an hour.