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How is this approach different to sleep training?

Updated: May 31

This question comes up in so many discussions that I have with sleep. Sleep training is still considered the main approach to understanding and supporting sleep here in Australia, and a range of other countries. So it makes sense that people are often uncertain about what other possible approaches there could be other than sleep training or 'wait it out'.


And I really thought about whether I provided you a high-level simplified answer. I know you're busy and perhaps tired reading this. However I want to respect any of you who might right now be considering your options. You might be sharing this information with a co-parent as you work on finding a common ground with approach. Or you're a practitioner trying to find someone you can connect with or refer to who aligns to your approach.



Here are just some of the ways the approach offered here is different.


Please note, this isn't to add to the 'us' vs 'them' heated arguments that can happen with sleep. I have aimed to keep things factual, based on what I have experienced with sleep training education through a highly popular sleep certification and also what I see constantly in sleep training guidance.


I'm also not here to preach that sleep training is 'wrong' or 'terrible' for all either. For some children and families, sleep training and the focus on independence has been life-changing for the positive. Sleep training can work for some but it can leave others traumatised, feeling guilty, that they have failed, that there is something wrong with their child and that they are left with no other options.


I simply rather offer an approach that can work for all.


SLEEP TRAINING THE NURTURE & THRIVE SLEEP

INDEPENDENCE CRITICAL FOR ALL All children must, can, should sleep independently and away from parents for ‘good’ sleep outcomes. 

INDEPENDENCE MAY OR MAY NOT BE A GOOD NEXT STEP

Rested children and families come in all shapes and sizes. There is no one right way for all for great sleep.

PLAN FOR INDEPENDENCE WITH SLEEP IS QUICK

Typically short 3-14 day programs and often regardless of how child is managing.

INDIVIDUALISED APPROACH

What/when/how IF independence included is unique. Accept differences: some adapt quickly, some need small gradual steps, some not right thing or time.

SLEEP IS A SKILL

Need to teach your baby how to sleep. It’s a behaviour you need to condition. They can unlearn how to sleep.

SLEEP IS A NATURAL PROCESS

Process of body, not a skill. Babies sleep in utero and are born able to sleep and don’t unlearn how to sleep.

PRESCRIBED ROUTINES OR SCHEDULES

To have ‘good’ sleep and habits and for you to feel ‘good’. Often made up information, not based in evidence or flying in the face of evidence.

CLARITY TO FIND YOUR BEST WAY

Free from made-up guides or that ignore full ranges of normal sleep. Empower you with knowledge and clarity about what works best for YOUR baby

SETTLING = WHAT HAPPENS IN NIGHT

How your child goes to sleep dictates what happens in the night.

SETTLING = MAY OR MAY NOT BE RELATED TO THE NIGHTS

Knowledge to avoid being set up for failure, guilt & stress. Ditch the one-size-fits-all definitions and milestones of success. Reassurance and clarity to understand and support your child and family’s sleep. 

‘SLEEPING THROUGH’ FOCUS

Often from young age, limited reasons considered for wakings. Often ignore biological & developmental norms, suggests not sleeping through = problem sleep. Night feeds often limited to being about calories.

‘EMPOWER YOU WITH TRUTH’ FOCUS

Knowledge to avoid being set up for failure, guilt & stress. Ditch the one-size-fits-all definitions and milestones of success. Reassurance and clarity to understand and support your child and family’s sleep. 

LIMITED INFLUENCES + ALL FIXABLE

Often limited view of factors that influence sleep. Often suggests that every sleep challenge has an immediate solution that’s within your control to fix. 

HOLISTIC & FACTUAL VIEW OF SLEEP

Holistic view of sleep rather than limited ‘tip-of-the-iceberg’ view. Ditch the failure, pressure and stress from this misinformation. Empowered to feel calm and clear to understand and support your child’s sleep from every angle.

CAN INCLUDE UNRESPONSIVENESS

May include guidance that suggests you remain unresponsive to your child regardless of how they are/are not responding. 

RESPONSIVE IN ALL WAYS

Responsiveness not only viewed as what we do when child is upset rather focus on needs and experience of all involved to either avoid or minimise upset with whole approach. 

YOUR WELLNESS DEPENDENDENT ON CHILD’S SLEEP

Pressure to solve sleep challenges as the answer to your mental & physical wellness when those challenges may be out of anyone’s immediate control or be normal infant sleep.

 

Reduction of the complexities of mental health.

MULTI-FACTED APPROACH TO WELLNESS

 

Frees you from this vulnerable position to enable you to thrive, feel calm, rested and well through the journey of sleep.

 

Approach aligned to deeper understanding and support of mental and physical wellness.

ASSUMPTION: EVERYONE WANTS INDEPENDENCE

Everyone wants to stop feeding/rocking/cuddling/lying with/cosleeping to support their child’s sleep

FOCUS ON YOUR DESIRED APPROACH & WANTS

Ditch the one-size-fits-all and support sleep in ways that align to your decisions about your family’s sleep. 

USUALLY FOCUSED ON CHILD  

Mostly limited focus on the child’s sleep being a specific way and that might also not fit real-family-life. 

FAMILY FOCUSED

Approach that accounts for the whole family. Support that is not just focused on what needs to change for the baby or child’s sleep. Equally as focused on your journey as parents.

‘PUSH THROUGH’ or ‘TOUGH LOVE’ APPROACH

Methods often remain same for regardless of how child is/isn’t responding (whether responsive or unresponsive methods)

One set outcome of independence regardless of individual differences.

UNIQUE & ADAPT APPROACH

Aligned to your unique child with goal to feel clear, calm and confident about how you are supporting your child and family’s sleep rather than achieving a prescribed single outcome. Adapt and shift along the way.

 

NOT TRAUMA-INFORMED

Focus is always independence and often quickly which often won’t account for the trauma experiences of the child or family.

TRAUMA-INFORMED

Accounting for trauma relating to pregnancy, birth, postpartum, parenting, family of origin and general life before or after having children in every aspect of the support, care and recommendations.

The entire foundations of this approach are completely different to a sleep training approach.


If you would like to discuss any of this, talk about any of your questions or concerns, I would love to connect with you. Either book in for a free 15 minute Hello Chat HERE or send me your details so I can get in touch HERE.


Always love,

Annie x






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