A Parenting Journey Beyond Sleep
Owner, Founder and Executive Director of Advanced Nurturing and Awakened Sleep Coach
Co-Creator of Baby-Led Sleep TM
SHAWNEE LYNN BAKER, RN, BSN, IBCLC, has over twenty years experience caring for more than 26,000 babies and toddlers in her career. She brings her wealth of knowledge and experience to parents when navigate sleep, feeding and toddler challenges at home. Shawnee has worked in primarily in the NICU throughout her career in leading hospitals such as Brigham and Womens in Boston and Sick Kids Hospital in Toronto. Having worked in Texas, Ontario, New England and NYC, she understands the common thread among parents today for raising children with emotional intelligence. Families who seek support from Shawnee are looking for an alternative solution without compromizing emotional wellness. Shawnee has extensive training in modren parenting practices, sleep science, infant mental health and developmental care. Certified as a pediatric sleep specialist, parent educator, instructor and coach, Shawnee blends Eastern and Western practices to support families through hollistic sleep solutions. Shawnee's mission was to find a middle ground in a polarized debate for baby and toddler sleep. Recognizing that parents are confused with an overwhelming amount of information online and mixed messges, she brings clarity to the conversation and helps parents make informed decisions. Shawnee has mentored with parenting experts and neauroscientists who support her pratice and have grave concerns about traditional sleep training or controlled crying. Shawnee's belief is that controlled crying or extinction used to change a baby or child's behavior in order to acheive sleep is inappropriate and will be viewed as a dated practice.
IMPI, APSC, NANN, Safe Sleep Certified, STABLE, NRP, PALS, International Baby Planner, BCC Member
- Mom of three beautiful children, spirited, serious and easy going
- Pediatric/ Neonatal Registered Nurse, NICU, PICU, PEDS, ER
- IBCLC, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
- Certified Parenting Instructor, Educator and Coach
- Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant, IMPI, APSC
- Holistic Sleep Practitioner and Infant Sleep Specialist
- Developmental Care Specialist, Certified in Infant Mental Health
- Hand-in-Hand Parenting: Professional Intensive Program
- Conscious Parenting Educator and Emotional Coach
Sleep is a vulnerable place. Building solid connections, establishing a deeper relationship and understanding your own internal landscape will create safety and security for your child. Babies and children avoid disconnection with their primary caregiver at all costs and are highly intuative, downloading the emotional programing from you everyday. As adults we often lose sight of this and become so acustom to our internal landscape and feelings of anxiety that we remain unconscious to the impact it has on our little ones. Many of us are unsure of what connection really means. I still struggle with finding connection and have to ask myself often what the purpose of this interaction is. The reason connection with my children is hard for me comes from the reality that I wasn't truly connected to myself, in fact, I didn't even know what that meant. I was self-critical, controlling, judgemental and demanded perfection. Self compassion and self-care wasn't a part of my vocabulary, ironic because my career to nurture and care for others and I am certainly an excellent nurse. For some reason I didnt see that my lack of self compassion was affecting my children. I knew the benefits of self-care and taught my clients to practice this but it didnt apply to me, I didn't really understand the need for it in my life, I was blind to it and believed that strong women didn't need self-care or support. I was super woman and I could handle it all! In fact, asking for help meant that I had failed, that I was somehow not a good enough, that I was weak and helpless....Something I couldn't live with...or so I thought. I struggled with happiness, parenting, marriages and self-love. Being hard on myself was the only thing I knew, in fact it was expected. As a perfectionist and high achiever, exceptional was the only acceptable option for me. I was proud of my external accomplishments but those didn't bring me happiness or true joy. Life was very stressful and just as I began to understand how this affected everything.
Several years ago, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The years of stress, lack of compassion for myself and my inner child had caught up to me. Fortunately, I have fully recovered and remain cancer free, but I attribute much of that to my state of mind. My life has changed and I recognize the importance of self-care, self-love and compassion, not just for myself but for my family. Today, my passion for helping other moms and living life to the fullest has never been stronger. I met Dr. Sheflai just after my diagnoses and through my parenting courses I began to understand what was really going on and how the relationship with myself had affected my health and my children. I finally understood that loving myself was the first connection to my children and as much as I thought I was truly connected to them, I wasn't. Children can feel so much more than we realize, it's not about the "doing" it's all about the "being." I began to explore the relationship between conscious parenting and sleep challenges in babies and toddlers. And that's where the break through happened! We often wish we could have another start to our parenting journey, a "do over"... but I want you to know that it's never too late.
Combining parenting philosophies with a gentle approach to sleep challenges, while discovering the emotional path towards connected relationships is my mission. Offering an alternative approach to main stream sleep methodologies, with a belief that isolated crying causes harmful cortisol elevations has become my mission. We know so much more about the long term benefits of connected parenting and emotional synchronization. Through sleep foundations, conscious parenting and emotional wellness, the focus of my work is to build safety and security for your child. Through our relationships, we teach children the tools for healthy expression of emotion. Before we consider boundaries, limits and independant sleep practices we must first help our children practice shifting your comfort zones. Through a deeper awareness of "what's really going on," we look at the co-regulation between parent and child to support attachment, down-regulating, and connection. By creating an awareness of energy levels and introducing concepts for emotional healing and mindfulness, parents are better equiped to lead their children donw the path of healthy sleep habits. Consider sleep work the doorway to your parenting journey. It is so important that the first skill you teach your child is in-line with your parenting path. Relationships should always come before sleep. Having worked with toddlers in the pediatric care setting for many years with complex emotional challenges, including early crisis intervention, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that working through emotion is the key to success!
With an advisory team of pediatricains, therapists, child psychologists, lactation consultants, early childhood educators, fellow parent coaches, nutritionists, OT's, and sleep doctors, you have a wealth of knowledge to support you. Utilizing the services of professional counsel among several of peers and colleagues is often a part of the coaching package. The most challenging cases are often referred to various experts. Dr. Jessica Escott PsyD is available to all my clients and offers counsel in person or by Skype/phone. She provides a free 30min consultation and offers a complete assessment for those needing further support. I also refer clients to Dr. Patricia Barros, Pediatrician and fellow Parent Coach specializing in conscious parenting for families beyond the age group I work with. When possible, I encourage parents to reach out to Dr. Shefali, however her wait list is extremely long.
Most importantly, I am a mom! The greatest lessons in my life have been taught to me from my own children. They are in fact, the ones with the most wisdom, who were sent to me with a purpose. Each of them bringing me a unique gift to allow me to see the parts of my self that I was once unable to recognize. They are the ones who have helped me evolve and become aware of my true path. Although the most rewarding job in the world, parenting can also be the most challenging. Often one of your children will shine a light on your soul that no one else will, they will push your buttons and trigger you like no one else, this is the gift. Look deeper and embrace it, let's remove the buttons so they no longer exist for him to push. My middler son with his spirited nature, gifted abilities, sensory processing, high needs temperament and later, the development of OCD, who challenged me the most. Tristan was my spiritual guide, the one who was there to awakened me and help me see life through a different lens. Through my son I discovered my purpose. Many have told me, "You were meant to do this line of work." I believe that, when you're passionate about something and give from the heart, you will love what you do and will be the very best at it!