How can I be an attachment parent and a sleep coach?
I get asked this a lot: if I sleep coach my child does that affect my bond? OR I am an attachment parent so sleep coaching isn't for me.
All the families I have helped can truly say their bond is even stronger after sleep coaching. WHY and HOW? Because, all of these families including myself are attachment parents and they also sleep coached!
There is a misconception out there about sleep coaching and what truly is an attachment parent, so I wanted to take the time to explain the two and how they work hand in hand.
How can you be an attachment parent and still sleep coach your child?
You are an Attachment Parent (as per The Attachment Parent organization) if you: (simplified version)
Prepare for pregnancy, birth and parenting: You have read books, researched where you are giving birth (pros and cons), you have a nursery ready and you have an idea of what the stages are of a baby’s development.
How Sleep Coaching can help you: learning what infant sleep can look like and how to regulate the body’s natural circadian rhythms.
Feed with love and respect: Fed is best whether it is bottle or breast; your goal is to feed and do your best to ensure your child is thriving.
How Sleep Coaching can help you: Formula fed and breastfed babies can both sleep through the night! Nutrition and sleep go hand in hand.
Respond with sensitivity: Learning what your child’s needs are, responding to your child’s cry in a gentle, supportive and loving way. Helping them learn to self soothe in a gentle, consistent approach to regulate their emotions. Celebrating their victories and joys!
How Sleep Coaching can help you: Being there for your child, gently teaching them this skill, being consistent and celebrating their victories!
Nurturing touch: We all need touch but our children need double, triple amount the hugs and kisses, lots of skin to skin, massage, gentle touching… don't hold back!
How Sleep Coaching can help you: bedtime routines that include bath, stories, giggles, massages, kisses, hugs, back rubs and gentle encouragement.
Ensure safe sleep: Ensuring your child has a safe and secure sleeping space, whether you co-sleep, share a room or have baby in a nursery the goal is that your child gets the sleep that they need.
How Sleep Coaching can help you: The key to sleep coaching is to teach your child the skill of independently falling asleep without your direct assistance or sleeping beside you. This results in a safe sleeping space and proper implementation makes a child love their sleep space (just like we love our beds).
Provide consistency and loving care: Being there for your child, giving them structure and consistency so they feel safe and loved. It takes work to be consistent!
How Sleep Coaching can help you: Sleep coaching requires a lot of consistency! It is not easy for your child to learn a new skill when their body is developing rapidly. Consistency provides stability for your child. It helps them feel secure and helps them understand what to expect next.
Practice positive discipline: This is very dear to my heart! Positive parenting is when discipline is based on love and respect. It helps your child to build their internal empathy and moral guidance.
How Sleep Coaching can help you: It is very important to ensure that your child feels loved and respected during sleep coaching. Toddlers need a lot of attention and love as this helps them form and build their personality. When implementing sleep we want to encourage your child through motivation while respecting their feelings throughout the process.
Strive for balance in your personal and family life: Balance is the key word, ensuring you have time for yourself and not feeling guilty for it!
How Sleep Coaching can help you: Sleep coaching will help make sure your child gets the rest they need. It will also help you get the rest you need without feeling guilty! Sleeping coaching isn't done because the parent is selfish, it’s done because the parent wants to help their child and are selflessly putting the child’s need first.
- Khudeja Williams, Sweet Dreams Sleep Consulting
Join Khudeja Williams, owner of Sweet Dreams Sleep Consulting for a 1 hour in-depth Baby & Toddler Sleep Seminar at Cheeky Monkey followed by a 30 minute Q&A.