Sleep Shaping: What it is and what it isn’t.

Many parents find themselves desperate to encourage healthy sleep patterns for their babies, because let’s be real – sleep deprivation sucks. For everyone.

When we talk about encouraging healthy infant sleep behaviors, most people assume that we are referring to the Cry-It-Out Method or a controlled crying method. We do not use rigid methods of sleep training to help your family establish a good sleeping arrangement. We help your family establish healthy sleep habits in a gentle way that is baby and parent friendly.

It is developmentally normal for young infants to wake every three hours to eat. This needs to happen for normal infant development, both neurologically and physically. As a side note: rigid sleep training should never be used for infants younger than 4-6 months.

Understanding the neurological jumps is key to understanding how your baby may need to be supported through sleep regressions. Understanding your infant’s personality and needs are vital to Sleep Shaping being successful.

While Sleep Shaping is typically not an overnight fix for families, it does help both in the short term and long term for establishing routines, rhythms, and adequate sleep patterns. Sleep Shaping is a behavior intervention, but it is not a method that will tell you to change every aspect of your life to sleep train a baby. It is a series of simple changes that set the stage for your infant to fall asleep in a way that works and is healthy for the whole family.

Laying the foundation for appropriate sleep habits can feel really overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s what happens when our team provides Sleep Shaping support:

  • We visit in the evening (preferably arriving just before your baby’s usual fussy time) and stay through the initial bed time. During this time, we discuss nap habits, family desires, what’s developmentally normal, current routines, and evaluate for any issues that could benefit from an immediate shift in habits.
  • From there, we make suggestions and discuss ways that we could intervene to change those habits and encourage a healthy sleep pattern.
  • During a second visit, we work on strategies for effectively calming your little one, figuring out the best sleeping arrangements, establishing simple routines that shape normal sleep patterns, handling naps, and how parents can get more sleep in the process.
  • We stay in touch for the first 4 weeks of your customized sleep plan and check in frequently to answer any questions that may come up while you’re implementing the strategies that work best for your family.

Sleep Shaping works best for babies 6 months and under and is the foundation on which we build from. We see fewer long term sleep issues when we build from the early days.

Contact us to schedule your Sleep Shaping consultation at deb@queencitybirthcollective.com

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