Sleep Support Services in Washington DC
Are you overwhelmed by all the conflicting information on sleep?
Do your instincts tell you one thing, but google/friends/family tell you that you are creating bad habits?
Are you confused what is normal sleep for your baby /toddler?
If so, you are not alone. Common sleep approaches do not align with infant development or parental instincts, but there are other ways to find balance and rest.
My sleep support provides an alternative to sleep training. As a Certified Infant Sleep Educator, I approach sleep from a developmental perspective that stresses the science of infant/toddler sleep, parental intuition, and responsiveness. I look beyond baby’s sleep to address the parents’ needs for rest and wellness so that nighttime parenting is possible.
Whether you are expecting a baby or have a little one at home, I hope you will find an option below that fits your needs.
Understanding Infant Sleep
This class provides parents with an understanding of biologically normal infant sleep and strategies for supporting the whole family during this time. Using evidence-based research and practical parenting tools, you will know how to make bedtime a safe and peaceful time. This class will draw from a developmental understanding of sleep which fosters responsiveness and strong attachment between parents and babies.
This class is designed for both expecting parents and those with younger babies.
We will cover:
- The connection between attachment, brain development, and sleep
- The science of infant sleep
- Baby’s sleep patterns
- Ensuring safe sleep
- Sleep tools
- Common challenges
I offer this class as a 2-hour group class, a semi-private class, and a customizable private class.
Understanding Infant Sleep is offered monthly on Wednesday evenings at the Breastfeeding Center
(1020 19th St NW, Suite 150).
Registration can be found on their class calendar below
Want to learn with friends? You gather the group, and I will teach this class in my teaching space in Capitol Hill at a time that works best for your group. I need at least 3 registrations for this option.
Cost: $50 per individual, $75 per couple
Contact me for a semi-private class
I can tailor private classes to meet your individual needs.
Cost: $175 for a 2 hour class
Fundamentals of Breastfeeding and Sleep
This 4 hour class is a combination of my Preparing for Breastfeeding class and my Understanding Infant Sleep class. Expecting parents will learn about normal baby nursing and sleeping behavior, why babies eat and sleep the way they do, and practical tips for common challenges.
I teach this class in Capitol Hill in partnership with Balanced Birth Support.
Registration is handled on their website below!
Upcoming class dates:
Sundays 1:00pm – 5:00pm
Sleep Consult Packages
Before booking a sleep consult please read the below description of my approach.
I approach sleep development from a biological and evolutionary perspective. I support normal infant/toddler sleep and recommend behaviors that promote brain development and attachment. This includes an emphasis on responsive parenting, even at night. I help parents understand that responding to their baby is the foundation for strong attachment and optimal brain development.
When approaching a family’s sleep challenges, I focus on providing:
- Education on biologically normal sleep so that their expectations are realistic for their child’s temperament and developmental stage. Some waking is both healthy and normal, and crying is how baby says, “I need help.”
- Information on optimal sleep conditions through environmental factors and daily patterns. If parents need or want to make changes, I guide them through ways to do so gently and respectfully.
- Guidance on strategies for increasing rest and wellness regardless of their child’s sleep patterns. I help parents find strategies to meet their own needs while still meeting baby’s needs.
When you just have a few questions about what’s normal or how to approach a new sleep situation, a Sleepy Chat might be helpful. This 45 minute conversation is for the family who is generally coping well with sleep but wants a trustworthy ear to help them with a specific situation.
Sleepy Chats include:
- Brief email exchange for the context of the concern
- 45 minute phone call
- My sleep resource page emailed after the consult
Sleep Support Package
Tired parents need a safe space to learn, vent, and embrace new ideas. Over the course of one month, I provide information, empathetic listening, and new strategies to help the whole family thrive.
Sleep Support Packages include:
- A review of your client history form so that I can understand your family, values, and current concerns
- 3 hours of phone support split into either three 1 hour calls or four 45 minute calls scheduled throughout the one month period
- Sessions focus on normal infant sleep and development, optimal sleep conditions, parental wellness, and strategies and tools for balancing everyone’s needs
- Summaries of each call with action steps emailed after the session
- Email support throughout the month, and at least one week after the last call
- My Sleep Reference Guide emailed to you after our first session. This document is filled with brief summaries of many pressing topics with links for further reading.
- Referrals and further resources as needed
Sleep Support Package Extensions
For some families one month is not enough time. I offer the below extension options so that families can continue getting the support they need. These options are only available to clients who have scheduled a Sleep Support Package.
a 30 minute call to check in for some quick support.
a month of email support
Don’t see a package that fits your needs? Not sure which package to choose?
Contact me and we can figure out how best to address your needs.
Classes and consults are held in my home in Capitol Hill, Washington DC less than 2 blocks from Stadium Armory Metro.
Exact address will be given after class registration.
Infant Sleep Educator FAQ
What is an infant sleep educator?
Infant sleep educators support the normal sleep patterns of babies and toddlers. We look at sleep in the context of the whole family. We help parents understand normal sleep and how responding to your baby helps build strong attachment and optimal brain development. Realistic expectations go a long way towards reducing stress. There are many factors that can help families get more sleep without overriding a baby’s normal and healthy sleep behavior.
How is this different than sleep training?
Sleep trainers’ goals are to get your baby sleeping through the night. In reality, they are training your baby to stop crying for you, not necessarily to get more sleep. Sleep training is stressful and goes against most parents’ instincts.
Sleep education recognizes that wakening in the night is both normal and healthy. Even with this understanding, there are ways to ensure better sleep for the whole family. A sleep educator will help you find areas to change that work for your family, resulting in more rest.
Why is it so hard to sort through all the conflicting information on sleep?
The increase in sleep experts in person, in books, and on the internet
has not led to parents feeling better about their baby’s sleep. Instead, parents often feel confused, torn, and stressed by so many suggestions that conflict with each other. If you are wondering why this is so, there are many reasons.
A few are listed below:
- Because so much of sleep advice is cultural opinion, and not based on biological norms or research.
- Because parents often have no idea what is biologically normal and often feel that they are doing something wrong, when they aren’t.
- Because our modern lifestyle and what babies have evolved to expect just don’t mesh well.
- Because sleep is one area of development that can only be understood in the context of the family as a whole.
- Because there is so much else we can do to improve sleep without ignoring our baby’s needs.
But shouldn’t my baby be sleeping through the night?
Sleeping through the night is the holy grail of parenting. But here is the thing, even adults don’t sleep through the night. Some night waking is normal for all humans. Sleeping for longer stretches is a developmental milestone that your baby will reach when baby is ready. In the mean time, you can support a healthy relationship with sleep. This will help everyone be more rested through these early years.
But don’t I need to teach my baby to sleep?
Babies are born knowing how to sleep. In fact, they spend a lot of the time during pregnancy sleeping. We don’t need to teach them to sleep. What babies need is a family environment that encourages them to respect their circadian rhythms for optimal health.
How do I know if sleep education is a good fit?
Sleep education is for people who want to respect their baby’s normal and healthy sleep patterns while still managing to sleep as well. It is for people who want to have realistic expectations for their baby so that they know what is normal at their baby’s age. It is for people who do not want to use cry it out or other types of sleep training. People who practice attachment parenting, or other types of responsive parenting, will find this type of sleep support very helpful.
Can you help us make changes to our current sleep set up?
Yes! I help parents make developmentally appropriate changes in ways that are gentle and respectful. I can help you first identify if your desired change is developmentally appropriate, and then provide gentle, respectful ways to progress through the change.
Note, I do not try and control your baby’s sleep through behavior modification techniques used in sleep training. Sometimes, however, we do need to change how we parent around sleep whether it’s night weaning, moving baby from our bed or bedroom, or better sharing nighttime parenting duties. I can guide you through gentle ways to make such changes.
I also help you make changes in your own life so that you can sleep better and feel better regardless of how often baby is waking.