This is a page of trusted resources and support for parents who are looking to support their baby’s sleep (0-3years), and want to learn why sleep training is not recommended. It is created by a caring group of local professionals who are knowledgeable about infant needs and normal infant sleep.
MISSION: To provide information about normal infant sleep in the first 0-3 years to our local Kootenay Boundary Region, using up to date, research based, developmentally appropriate infant sleep science that keeps infant/ lifelong mental health a priority.
We want parents and caregivers to know that nurture and responsive parenting has the biggest impact on brain and body health. We want parents to feel free to be present with their baby, meet their needs, have a community of support, and feel confident in their instincts guiding how they respond to their child. We envision a community of professionals that are on the same page when offering sleep support.
How Supporting Sleep Without Training is Optimal for a Baby’s Development and Parental Well-being:
- Caregiver instincts are strong and most often know how to meet their baby’s needs in an optimal way for development. Having access to up to date information on normal infant sleep patterns can help release inaccurate expectations
- With this correct information, parents will have more realistic sleep goals and be less anxious that there is something wrong with how their baby is sleeping
- By releasing unrealistic sleep goals, parents can worry less about sleep and use that time and energy to truly meet and learn their child in the important developmental years of 0-3. Meeting needs, connection and delighting in a child are key to healthy development
- Infants have shorter sleep cycles and spend more time than adults in lighter sleep, meaning they wake more easily and often. This is seen as a protective mechanism against SIDS. Recent studies show that pushing deeper, longer sleep before a child is ready, is dangerous
- By not sleep training, true sleep issues – such as low iron, breathing obstructions, allergies, body pain or discomfort – have the chance to be properly investigated and resolved rather than silenced
- Sleep support that honours the importance of the relationship between breastfeeding and sleep will ensure milk supply is maintained and baby’s weight gain continues
- Being with and holding your baby if they are crying will ensure they can release stress through tears without raising their cortisol levels and affecting their nervous system, as can happen when left to cry alone
- Responding to infant cues and meeting their needs supports life long mental health and reduces stress in the body. Secure connection promotes physical health and resilience and gives babies the best developmental start
The resources on this webpage are ones we back. The advice offered is based on decades of research on secure attachment and up to date research on infant mental health. It incorporates the research of James Mckenna on breastfed baby sleep norms. It accounts for safe sleep environments.
(Sleep support that uses methods we trust. These professionals can help adjust sleep patterns, explore medical red flags, and share what is normal)
If sleep is a challenge in your family, it does not mean you have to suffer and wait it out. There are people who can support healthy sleep pattern changes that are developmentally appropriate and keep your baby in a healthy state for optimal overall development.
- Directory of sleep and wellbeing specialists https://islagrace.ca/sleep-specialist-directory/
- Dr. Greer Kirshenbaum https://www.nurture-neuroscience.com/sleep-support
- Rocio Zunini https://www.newbornparents.net/infant-sleep-support/
- Jessica Guy https://www.infantsleepscientist.com/book-online
- Tracy Cassels https://evolutionaryparenting.com/sleep-support/
Online Infant Sleep Courses for parents
(these cost $)
Raised Good https://raisedgood.com/sleepy-baby-course
Social Media Resources
- @infantsleepscientist child development phd, infant sleep support without sleep training
- @nurture_neuroscience_parenting neuroscientist, infant mental health, brain development, infant sleep support
- @raisedgood parenting, attachment, infant sleep
- @islagracesleep infant sleep, attachment, and infant mental health
- @lyndsey_hookway sleep and breastfeeding, IBCLC and paediatric nurse
- @synergy.parenting responsive parenting
Safe Infant Sleep
Caring for your baby at night
Safer Sleep for babies
Unicef, Basis, England Public Health
Safer Sleep for my baby
BC Perinatal Services
A collection of great resources on various sleep topics
The Beyond Sleep Training Project How to safely bedshare and side-car https://thebeyondsleeptrainingproject.com/faqs/how-do-i-safely-bedshare
Safe Infant Sleep Books
Who We Are
Training: Infant Development Consultant, Infant Mental Health diploma (Hospital for Sick Children), Infant and Family Sleep Specialist (Bebo Mia), Circle of Security Facilitator, IslaGrace Sleep Course, Prenatal Educator
Training: Infant Development Consultant, Circle of Security Facilitator, Possums Sleep course, Tummy time method
“Meeting a child’s dependency needs is the key to helping that child achieve independence; and outgrow these needs according to their own unique timetable”.
Training: Circle of Security Parenting Facilitator, Infant Massage, Possum Sleep course, Tummy Time method
Angela has a Bachelor of Child and Youth Care (UVic). She has over 30 years of experience working with children and families in community and school settings. Angela has worked in Early Intervention for Kootenay Family Place for over 7 years, and has been with the Infant Development Program since 2019. She continue to have a lifelong passion in connecting with and supporting families with infants and children.
She is a mother of two wonderful sons- one adult, and one in high school. They continue to inspire her to make this world a better place, and work from an attachment centered approach, with compassion and understanding.
Training: Infant Development Consultant, Perinatal and Early Attachment diploma (Myrna Martin), Circle of Security facilitator, ECE, child focused psychology degree, 1yr training of somatic trauma resolution training, Infant massage
Training: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, Masters in early childhood education, La Leche League leader, early childhood educator and professor
Judy Banfield has been involved with babies, young children and families since she was 19 years old.
She has a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education and taught young children (2-8 year olds) for many years in a variety of Early childhood Settings (Daycare, Preschool, Parent Participation Preschool, and Headstart. She also ran the Demonstration Day Care at Vancouver Community College. She initiated the program, was the department head and taught in the Department of Early Childhood Education at the College of New Caledonia in Prince George, British Columbia, Canada for 8 years.
Judy has been a La Leche League Leader (breastfeeding counselor) for 37 years and was an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant for 15 years.
Judy was one of the coordinators of the government-funded postpartum support program, Life After Birth for five years. In that role she offered one on one postpartum counselling, breastfeeding support, led weekly moms’ group and a Post Partum Depression program..
She is the proud mother of two thriving grown children, and was also the founder of Mountain Baby which she ran for 25 years.
Training: International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, RN
“By supporting healthy growth and development for new babies we can create a healthier and happier world.”
I am grateful for a nursing career spanning 45 years + that has given me opportunities to work with and learn from so many people. My work has taken me from acute care hospital nursing in medical, surgical, maternity and operating rooms to community based clinics working in postpartum and breastfeeding support, teaching prenatal classes, sexual health clinic nursing and teaching sexual health in schools. I have worked in rural and remote clinics where I was the only health care provider in the area to large urban maternity hospitals. And I have taught nursing at the college level to nursing students. I have always been drawn back to mothers, babies, and new families. I love supporting new families in getting a good start to grow into the healthiest people they can be.
Training: BSC Human nutrition
“By meeting the needs of our children today in the healthiest way possible, we set ourselves up for healthy communities tomorrow.”
Sarah is currently the Canada Prenatal Nutrition Facilitator at Kootenay Family Place. She is a mother, professional, and passionate supporter of healthy parent-baby connections., as well as a developmental neuroscience nerd and devoted supporter of exhausted parents everywhere.