A Parenting Journey Beyond Sleep

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SHAWNEE LYNN BAKER

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 thousands of 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, intelligent, spirited children
  • Experienced in the parenting trenches for many years
  • 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
 

Most important job I have and ever will have is that of 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 and have changed my life. Each of them bring a unique gift and through these gifts I have been able to see the parts of myself that were once unrecognizable. The spiritual growth awakened by my children has helped me evolve and become more aware, authentic and consious in my daily life.  Motherhood has been the most rewarding job in the world, but has also been the most challenging. I hope that one of your children will shine a light on your soul that no one else will, that they will push your buttons and trigger you like no one else, this is the gift, and one my son brought me.  Look deeper, discover who you really are as a parent and embrace it, let's remove the buttons so our children no longer need to show them to us.  My middle son with his spirited nature, gifted abilities, sensory processing, high needs temperament and later, the development of OCD, challenged me the most. Tristan has been my spiritual guide and has helped me see life through a different lens. My oldest has also taught me to be a better parent and has carried my pain despite my best efforts to hide it from him, and my youngest mirrors back to me daily the unconsious fears I didn't know I was sharing with her. Personal growth is always hard but if I can help just one parent early on in thier parenitng path it will be worth it!

"You were meant to do this line of work." I believe when you're passionate about something, give from the heart, and love what you do, you will be the very best at it! 

 

Sleep is Vulnerable!

 

Sleep is a vulnerable place for little ones and night time parenting requires just as much consideration as daytime parenting. 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 own internal landscape and feelings of anxiety that we remain unconscious to it, not recognizing the impact it has on our little ones.

 

Internal Landscape and Sleep

Many of us are unsure of what connection really means. The reason connection with our children is often so hard, comes from the reality that many of us are not truly connected to ourselves. It took me years to understand this concept. I didn't even know what it meant. I was self-critical, controlling, judgemental, my own worst critic 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 didn't 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 didn't give it much thought in my daily life and honestly didnt see how it was affecting me. I was stoic and acually felt pretty good about the fact that I could get by on little sleep and self abuse my body without recourse. I didn't really understand the need for it in my life and believed that strong women didn't need self-care or support.  I was a 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. Little did I know that my internal landscpae played such a significant role in the lives of my children. They were mirroring me, watching me and becoming me. Sleep was impossible for them because they couldnt relax, they learned from the best. They didn't feel safe, how could they when I wasn't even safe in my own internal landscape. 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. This pressure had a ripple affect on my children. When you know better, you do better! 

Several years ago, I was diagnosed with cervical cancer. The years of stress, lack of compassion for myself and my inner child had finally 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 now recognize the importance of self-care, self-love and compassion. I now know that loving myself was a gift to my children. 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 beneath the surface and how the relationship with myself had affected my health and my children. 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 no matter how far along you are in your own parenting journey, I want you to know that it's never too late. 

 

Consious Parenting and Sleep Solutions

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. 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 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! 

 

Meet Our Advisors

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.