When it comes to sleep so many parents think that if you choose to address issues and seek out help then you will need to take a cry it out approach and for many, this misconception scares them off seeking help as they believe that any help won’t match with their parenting style. This couldn’t be further from the truth and there is a wide range of options we can take based on what you as a parent are looking for.
What so many don’t consider though when seeking help is their little one’s temperament. This plays just an important part as parenting style and if it isn’t taken into account then quite often the sleep help won’t work and this will often lead families to believe that they just need to wait it out or put up with any issues they are having as both themselves and their child grow increasingly overtired. They believe that there just isn’t a solution because one approach didn’t work.
Temperament is such an important part of helping a little one to sleep well. I often see parents come to me and they are ok with some crying in their approach to sleep but when I get to know their little one, I can tell that they won’t respond well to this as they need their parents close by providing complete support. If we were to not consider this when making the choice of what approach to take then this can lead to more stress for the child. I also see the reverse happen.
A parent comes to me and they are adamant that they want a very parental involved method where they are right there and providing a lot of support through touch and voice – perhaps at an older age. If we have a more independent child and don’t look at this little one’s temperament and follow through with this approach regardless then quite often, I see a child getting extremely overstimulated and frustrated with such a hands-on approach which can actually lead to them getting more upset than if we took a step back with our approach.
As you can see it is extremely important to look at both Parenting Style and Temperament when we are planning on teaching a little one to sleep well and it will result in the process going a lot smoother. This is also why it is important to have a Sleep Consultant who doesn’t just work with one method or style. It is important to be able to look at what the parents would like as an approach and blend this in with the child’s needs.
Often, we will still end up following the parents’ wishes but during the consult the child’s needs become clear. This allows you to honour both and parents feel that they have listened to their child and not made the decision for them. It is important though to be able to identify when a little one is giving you signs that it just isn’t working for them. That they are getting overstimulated or in reverse, they are seeking more reassurance and to be able to adapt and make a change during a consultation based on what each child is communicating.
This doesn’t mean you need to give up on helping them sleep if it isn’t working or that it just won’t work at all. It just means that we need to change course. This fits in with the rest of my approach which is Holistic and very Baby led. We always read what a little one is telling us and adapt to them.
Overall getting each little one and family better sleep is what is most important and we want to do this is the best way for each family. An approach that takes both needs into account and works with this is key. It is also important to remember that with Dream Winks settling comes last and we always address every other need that relates to sleep and settling first in order to optimise a little one’s chances for good sleep and only then once we know that we have covered all their needs do we look at settling. This approach sees much faster, longer lasting and more consistent results.