What are Baby-Led Sleep Solutions?
Isla-Grace & Advanced Nurturing, have joined to create Baby-Led Sleep!
With an emphasis on mother's instinct, our holistic sleep approach nurtures the parent-child relationship.
I began the journey of sleep consulting as a parent coach, lactation consultant, pediatric and NICU RN. I wanted to apply the methods used for developmental care concepts in the NICU, and emotional wellness through conscious parenting to the principles of sleep work. Through my own experience, years of education, extensive parenting, and sleep courses, I began to see what was missing for so many parents. There was a conflict between nurturing parenting practices and achieving healthy sleep. Main stream sleep solutions were all about "training" your baby and using cry-based methods to achieve results. With the focus on controlling behavior, rather than being attuned to your child and supporting them emotionally. This was not in line with my parenting philosophy, and the need for alternative sleep solutions was born.
Recognizing that brain development in the first three years is happening at an alarming rate and that early traits become a part of a person's temperament, I was not comfortable following the recommendations of sleep pioneers from twenty years ago. Becoming aware of the need for emotionally supportive parenting, it was clear that sleep training was not following the path of connected, attuned parenting. Advanced Nurturing supports both baby-led sleep and parent-led sleep practices, with an emphasis on mother's instinct and emotional wellness. Parents are given the option when booking a sleep consultation, however, both concepts are based on the latest research and use holistic sleep practices to achieve results without using any form of controlled crying.
Baby-led sleep is a process of understanding your child's developmental stages, supporting the foundations for healthy sleep, transitioning through co-regulation and following your child's cues along the way. Once all of these foundations are in place and connected parenting is practiced during the day, babies and toddlers begin to feel emotion safety. It is only once emotional safety is achieved and the nervous system is in a down-regulating mode, can we start the process of change. The brain cannot learn when it is under extreme stress. The goal of baby-led sleep is to follow baby's lead, respond appropriately, contain your child with safe limits and help them learn when they are receptive to taking it all in.
Emotional wellness is the freedom to express emotions and release tension. The studies indicate that emotion release is beneficial by removing toxins from the body and flushing chemicals from the brain. Human beings are both highly intelligent and highly emotional, in comparison to all other animals. As a result, we need to accept what it is to be human and to feel all of our emotions in a safe secure environment, supported by a loving, connected parent. Baby-led sleep begins with the parent and teaches moms how to understand her own emotions and have clarity on why these emotions can interfere with baby sleep. Once emotional wellness has been practiced during the day, your child will begin to let go and lead the way. Both you and your baby will be prepared for the change and will shift through the layers in the following nights. By simply supporting, and not controlling, your child will be able to regulate through "you" and attach to the crib as a sleep association. Your child will learn to adapt to the change and feel safe in the new space that allows them to surrender to sleep without feeling stressed.
Just like adults, babies and children must first learn what it feels like to be safe and secure, to be stable and steady, next they can learn to be adaptable, flexible and resilient, and finally, be willing to move out of their safe space. Looking beneath the surface and adding the skills babies & toddlers need, before taking anything away is the solution for baby-led sleep! When you use the methods for emotional safety and teach with connectedness vs disconnection, you build a relationship with your child and send a strong message that you will be there no matter what!
Sleep isn't any different from other milestones. Like the many challenges you face as a parent throughout the day, we are always learning. Creating safety and security for your child to surrender to sleep is the key. It's a process that takes a little longer, but it works long term and does not risk compromising the emotional relationship you've worked so hard to establish with your child, in fact...it will enhance it!!