Help your toddler sleep by addressing the underlying reasons keeping him/her from relaxing.

Help your toddler sleep by addressing the underlying reasons keeping him/her from relaxing.

But how do you know the underlying reason when you feel like you’ve tried everything?

Trying to teach sleep is like trying to teach a flower how to grow.

Just like flowers know how to bloom, your child has an innate mechanism for relaxing. 

If it’s so natural, then why do so many little ones have trouble sleeping?

Common parenting practices are not aware of this natural process for letting off steam, so many parents don’t recognize it or know how to help…

…and then inadvertently end up stopping a process that’s actually key to success.

Along with sleep troubles, you may be seeing other challenging behaviors as well. They’re related! 

There’s always an underlying reason–for any of the challenges you’re seeing. And we need to look at them all together.

Toddlers try desperately to communicate with us. But without much recognizable language, many parents find it difficult to understand their often intense feelings and behaviors.

There is a way to address all of these concerns that respects your child as a person.

When you truly know how to be a detective–to read cues and decipher those needs–you’ll find there’s no need to distract, manipulate with rewards, or even ‘teach’ correct behavior.

You might even discover things aren’t always what they seem–that what at first was a problem is actually your child’s drive to heal his/her experiences.

Our son is well into “tantrums” but I find there is a reason behind his actions.

I am finding that once he cries [with me present], it is quite cathartic for him, and I know he wants me to hold him through it because he will crawl straight back into my arms if I put him down!

The awareness we have now around how our children are and how they relate to the rest of the world has made a difference in how we live.

Aware Parenting has been a blessing, and I can see he is reaping the benefits of it. He is a happy, confident and a bright little soul who loves to be involved in everything. I am really pleased for him.

Irene

The key to unlocking this mysterious innate mechanism? Understanding that it’s about more than just sleep.

What we need to do is take into account all aspects of development—bubbling emotions, body movement, and even early life experiences—-to get down to the roots of why your little flower isn’t able to relax and settle in the first place.

When you can resolve the underlying triggers, it will be easier for your child to relax and you’ll understand your toddler in a whole new way.

Here are the three main underlying needs we’ll be working with.

Stress release & Aware Parenting

If your toddler has meltdowns ‘for no reason,’ fights sleep, or gets wound up before bed, there’s a good reason! Your child is trying to communicate and relax. I’ll show you how to handle this process of ‘letting off steam,’ what these non-verbal cues mean, and why it relates closely with sleep.

Attachment Play

Play is your child’s natural ‘occupation.’ It’s also a way of communicating. By using play with specific intentions, you can address difficult behaviors, help your child understand his/her experiences, and help sleep. It helps release tension so that you can better understand and communicate with your child, resolve conflict, and power-pack a feeling of connection and safety for your child.

Birth Story

Toddlers need to process and understand their experiences just like we do. If an early experience feels unresolved, children can remain stuck in a loop of odd behaviors, strange fears, or difficult habits. When we’re able to dig deep to the source of these issues, your child can work through them and move on.

Most methods teach active ways to get your child to sleep. These often backfire.

When little ones wake often, cry at sleep-time, or ‘fight sleep,’ many people assume it means they don’t know how to calm down or sleep and must be taught how.

This understandably leads parents to utilize strategies such as walking, bouncing, extended swaddling, a pacifier, and even feeling like you’ve become a ‘human pacifier.’

But by doing so, you may instead end up inadvertently bypassing what your child is trying to communicate. I know it’s confusing–how are you to know when all the other advice says otherwise?!

You see, even though your child may sleep for a bit, these strategies don’t solve his/her underlying needs.

…which means the problem can submerge and come back later in a different form of behavior.

When you do address the underlying reasons, you’ll:

  • Help your toddler sleep
  • Meet your child’s legitimate need for closeness
  • Deepen your connection with your child
  • Foster his/her ability to sleep based on internal cues rather than depending on all the externals being just right
  • Communicate better with your pre-language child
  • Establish foundations for lifelong communication, self-esteem, and relationship
  • Build a bond based on authentic relationship and trust

…all at the same time.

So when you’re exhausted and want a quick fix, it’s easy to turn to crutches, like pacifiers or constant nursing.

The thing is, if sleep isn’t fostered through an innate process, it will be based on associations, which will affect you in the long term.

I propose that we address these underlying reasons now to make sleep easier–and healthier.

A typical sleep plan also won’t address those deeper feelings of worry or guilt about why your baby isn’t sleeping. So if the plan backfires, so does your confidence. It takes commitment. But in the process, you’ll build such a solid foundation that everything becomes easier—not just sleep—and not just now, but ongoing.  

We need to slow down to meet your child’s pace. Working in tandem with his or her pace is absolutely necessary. No one likes the feeling of being ‘done to.’ It’s a process, yes. And it’s exactly what will serve the ultimate success of your relationship because lifelong patterns get set up now.

Working with your child’s own awareness and drawing out his/her own abilities will serve you far beyond a typical sleep plan!

With a package focusing on your current sleep challenge, you’ll gain wisdom that will serve you through an entire childhood-worth of parenting and will keep giving back.

Welcome to my Baby Guided Sleep approach ~ for Toddlers!

Together with your child, we’ll identify and address the underlying needs behind why your toddler isn’t sleeping, and then help him/her relax and feel safe.

It’s a child-focused, authentic, respectful approach based on listening, communication, and connection that comes from Aware Parenting (Aletha Solter, Ph. D). We work toward improving sleep by fostering on your child’s innate mechanisms for relaxing (note, this is not ‘cry it out’). You’ll have me with you as we go through this process so I can give you real-time feedback about cues and you can ask me questions 

You’ll build more confidence as a parent, release mom guilt, and truly establish your parenting in the direction you want it to go.

What you’ll gain:

  • Help your toddler resolve tensions and release stress in a healthy way
  • Help him/her relax and sleep
  • Better understand non-verbal cues
  • Understand why stress release relates to sleep and what to do about it 
  • Discover the depth your toddler’s ability to communicate and how to deeply listen to his/her needs
  • Foster emotional intelligence, help your child express emotions
  • Understand what your child needs in the face of challenging moments
  • Improve areas of relationship that feel disconnected
  • Truly parent in a respectful, child-led way across the board

I work with clients online in USA and internationally. I worked fully online before Covid!

What Baby Guided Sleep is NOT:

I’m a sleep consultant, but I’m a bit different. Will you get a ‘sleep plan’? Not in the typical sense, because that’s usually based on training a manipulatable skill. You’ll get something even better–a ‘being-a-full-potential-whole-person’ blueprint!

For real though, you’ll have a compass for how to think about and respond to challenges with your child. It will keep on giving you support and insight throughout childhood far more than a ‘sleep plan’!

I’d love to say your toddler will start sleeping through the night. And s/he might! Usually, sleep improves naturally. However, I can’t promise exactly what sleep will look like because it’s ever-changing. Remember we’re not training a skill–we’re supporting the process of being human, which encompasses all they’re going through in development and on a day-to-day basis.

My clients find that what they actually need–in addition to sleep–is relief knowing their child is okay. As they release mom guilt and gain more confidence, their child also relaxes. You’re part of the picture too.

In occasional cases when sleep doesn’t improve, I can help point you in a direction. This approach allows honest issues to emerge, allows us to see a clearer picture of what’s going on. If there are deeper layers than just relaxing and sleeping, we’ll be able to see that. Sometimes the answer is in more questions—but this is extremely important to know too.

I knew I didn’t want to leave my baby crying alone but I knew I wanted to make a change, so I was pretty sure this was the right thing for us and didn’t feel any hesitation. Also we thought the package was very reasonably priced!

The first time, working with my son, he started sleeping better, but also we noticed that he would say things like, “I just need to have a cry” [in arms], which was amazing, that he could express his emotional needs at the young age of two.

This second time with my daughter, I really appreciate the permission for her have all her feelings and the fact that we can hold her through them. Thank you!!

I love your way with both my children, you really respect them as people and I really appreciate that. Also I loved the emails between sessions, I felt so supported throughout the time. And I loved the transferring tips!

Heather

Here’s a glimpse at what else we’ll cover

  • Why little ones cry when tired and after needs have been met, and what to do about it
  • How to know when crying is stress-inducing and when it’s healing
  • What ‘fighting sleep’ really means
  • Why using aids to fall asleep can come back to haunt you
  • The ‘human pacifier’–what’s going on behind the scenes
  • What ‘falling asleep on their own’ means in relation to a baby’s ‘biological imperative’ for closeness
  • What your child’s birth experience has to do with the picture and how to help
  • Options for ways to play that will help create a sense of connection and safety, as well as help address any challenging behaviors

The #1 thing parents tell me help them the most is having me there with them through the pre-sleep process.

I find this approach so helpful. When we actually stopped trying to distract our baby’s cries, he started sleeping so much better. He was also more content when awake.

It’s simple but powerful!

Parent J

Here’s how we’ll work together (package details)

During this package, we will explore all three main areas (stress release, birth story, and attachment play) to find the underlying reasons why your child is not relaxing.

  • 2 full sessions online with you and your child together. Each is around 90 minutes, spaced apart with enough time for you to implement what we’re working on and see what’s shifting.
  • Detailed follow up notes after each session, including a recap of what we covered (so you don’t have to worry about taking notes)
  • Email support between sessions: share updates and ask me questions as you implement so we can respond to what your child continues to show us. This is one of the most valuable parts of this process!
  • Wrapping up either by email or a 10 – 30 min phone/video session so you feel confident going forward.
  • To be completed in about 4 weeks.
  • $525 USD (If you don’t want to do this entire approach but have questions and want to focus on one aspect, check out my Baby Guided Sleep – Mini package). If you’re experiencing Covid-related hardship, please get in touch with me.
  • BONUS! Access to my full resource library, which includes all my pre-recorded courses (Why Babies Fight Sleep and more), helpful handouts, videos to help you remember the handling techniques, and past FB Lives that answer common parent questions.

Plus this bonus, while they last: complimentary copy of the book, Women Living Consciously, which contains my chapter, “Our Life Tells Our Birth Story: How Babies Helped Me Heal”

Once you’ve worked with me, you’re welcome to join my ongoing Conscious Baby Community membership group!

Ready to get some sleep?!

Ready to go for it? Tell me a little about your situation and we’ll get you set up.
Still have questions? Let’s chat 10 min, no charge.
Either way, begin the process with the button below.

Still have questions?

Feel free to contact me directly if you still have questions. Here are some of the most common questions parents ask me.

Are online sessions effective?

Absolutely. Babies and toddlers are highly aware, and they communicate in many different ways. They’re not held back by distance and a computer screen! In fact, online sessions are often the most magical because of the heightened sense of focused attention.

It also allows a little more normalcy to your baby’s process, which helps us discover what’s going on.

I’ve worked fully online since a few years before Covid-19. I’m able to facilitate interaction with your child through the screen and take you through the process effectively.

Is two sessions actually enough?

Two sessions may not seem like much time. We will have a month together. Utilize the email support between sessions. And remember that we’re working with sleep by addressing your child’s state of being. We’re entering through three separate doorways, but they are interconnected.

You’ll be surprised at how something that may seem nebulous right now (everyone’s sleep) and disparate (stress release, motor development, and birth story) coalesces into a related whole!

My toddler isn't on a schedule. How do we plan calls?

I hold flexible timing for you so that I can be with you in real time. We aim to meet about 45 min before nap or bedtime. This way I can observe and interpret what your child is showing us, then show you how to respond in the moment.

I’ll take you and your child through the process in real time so that you don’t have to try to explain to me later on the phone what your baby was doing.

Moms tell me that being there with them (virtually) is the #1 thing that helps them the most!

What's the best age to start?

We can begin at any time, as early as you’re ready. We’re working in the realm of relationship and communication, not training, so there’s no age too young. Relationship is relevant at any time, from the very beginning onward (I work up to age 2 and a half-ish).

Will you work with us if we use a crib? If we cosleep?

Yes and yes. I don’t work from rules about sleeping arrangements, that’s not my style! We’ll let your baby show us whatever she or he needs to, listen to everyone’s needs, and go from there.

Why invest if my child keeps changing or will grow out of it?

The work we do together is foundational–it’s not only about the ‘symptoms’ on the surface. And remember the key is understanding that it’s not just about sleep. We’re taking a deep dive down to the root causes.

Babies don’t grow out of it, they grow into it.

The underlying needs in each of the three main aspects we’ll cover (stress release, motor development, and birth story) all relate to sleep–but they also relate to who your child is at his or her core. Babies won’t grow out of who they are! This is about her state of being, what she’s processing, and how she manages stress, even at this early age. The skills you’ll gain will apply to every stage.

And yes, there are tweaks. Toddlers are different than babies! They’re still themsleves at the core. But for new developmental stages, you can fall back on my courses, which cover babies and toddlers. And you’ll have the personal follow up notes from our sessions, which will help you utilize the courses even better. You’ll have lifetime access to these resources.

Also once you’ve worked with me, you’re welcome to join my ongoing Conscious Baby Community membership group!

Ready to get some sleep?!

Ready to go for it? Tell me a little about your situation and we’ll get you set up.
Still have questions? Let’s chat 10 min, no charge.
Either way, begin the process with the button below.