Sleep Parenting, founded by Gentle Sleep Educator Steph Kishimoto in early 2018, is an organization, a community, and a philosophy. The Sleep Parenting philosophy is one of moving away from sets of rules and “methods” when dealing with our children’s sleep and returning to the mindset that it is OK to parent overnight, and STILL be able to accomplish major improvements in sleep patterns while maintaining a responsive and supportive approach. A happy medium between harsher cry-it-out methods, and just praying things will get better with a wait-it-out approach. Sleep Parenting believes in inclusivity and equality in all forms, welcoming families and individuals from all walks of life, whether two parent, single parent, queer or blended homes.
Our mission is to create a positive outlook on sleep by helping parents to set realistic sleep expectations based on the developmental, emotional, and cognitive needs of their unique child. We want to empower parents with the knowledge and tools to navigate this period of time filled with constant change and to trust their instincts.
This might mean for some, that they ignore conventional wisdom and OWN the fact that they love parenting their child to sleep, bedsharing, or nursing throughout the night – SHAME FREE! Or for others, this might mean removing any guilt associated with wanting to CHANGE their sleep situation if it is no longer working for them, their child, or the entire family dynamic. We believe that sleep is part of the greater fabric of the family culture and strive to address any struggles within that bigger picture, protecting the breastfeeding relationship and parental attachment.
The postpartum period is unlike any other stage of life and we are sensitive to the sudden changes and resulting struggles that families encounter, and we provide support to families that find themselves navigating postpartum mood disorders. We strive to create a non-judgmental community where families feel comfortable discussing their sleep related concerns and know that when they reach out for support, it will be met with empathy, gentle advice, and guidance for realistic sleep expectations.
Our deepest desire is to surpass our clients’ expectations with our heartfelt attention to detail and care for their unique situation – we are parents, too, and appreciate the trust that our clients put in us by asking for our help.
Core Values and Beliefs
- Independent sleep is a developmental milestone, just like walking and talking.
- Sleep does not improve linearly. There are ebbs and flows as with everything else in life.
- Parents can often times become the barrier that gets between their child and great sleep if they do not provide or create gentle opportunities for their children to learn independent sleep skills when they become developmentally ready.
- Responding to your child’s cries (day AND night) fosters secure attachments and independent children.
- A parent need not replace genuine parenting with sleep training or a series of methods, rules, and one-size-fits all plans.
- Crying is a form of communication and when occurring in short durations, buffered by a caregiver, at the appropriate developmental age and without the presence of true pain or danger, is a form of positive or tolerable stress which will not harm your child’s attachment or development.
- Every family is unique. Every baby is unique. There is no one-size-fits-all solution.
- Following a specific sleep “method” can undermine your natural parenting instincts, preventing you from focusing on your child while focusing instead on a set of rules, and restricting your ability to address sleep hurdles in the future.
- Poor sleep is a symptom of underlying or external factors that are not in line with optimal health and proper sleep science and sleep hygiene.
- You can’t drink from an empty cup. Our health (both mental and physical) is just as important as our child’s. It is OK to prioritize this at times.