Work With Me

Welcome to the 3D Parent Podcast!

My goal is to provide you with tools that help inform, empower and boost your confidence as a parent so you can make the best decisions possible for you and your family.  Parenting is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone. I am here to guide you through the 3D Parent approach to parenting, so you can stop struggling and start celebrating all of the time you have with your children.

Listen on Apple Podcasts
Listen on Spotify
Listen on Google Podcasts

Sustainable Healthy Sleep Habits For Kids With Sarah R. Moore

May 19, 2021

“Kids are born knowing how to sleep. Our job as adults is to create an environment where sleep feels like a safe and happy place.”

In this episode, I’m excited to welcome a special guest, Sarah R. Moore! She is the founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting. As a certified gentle parenting coach, she's a regular contributor to international parenting magazines, as well as frequent guest on podcasts and parenting summits. She offers a popular series of mini-courses, webinars, and expert interviews. She's currently writing two books that will be released this year. I’m excited to have her on the podcast to share her perspective on a more gentle approach to children’s sleeping habits. 

Some points we will discuss include:

  • The conventional wisdom around sleep training and the problems behind it
  • How the Cry it out (CIO) method affects your child
  • How parents can trust their intuition when it comes to making decisions for their children

Ultimately, you know what is best for your family, and you can feel confident trusting your instincts. We hope this episode has helped you feel less conflicted and confused about making decisions around children’s sleeping habits. 

 


 

Things You Will Learn

[00:00:06] In this episode, I’m excited to welcome a special guest, Sarah R. Moore! She is the founder of Dandelion Seeds Positive Parenting. As a certified gentle parenting coach, she's a regular contributor to international parenting magazines, as well as frequent guest on podcasts and parenting summits. She offers a popular series of mini-courses, webinars, and expert interviews. She's currently writing two books that will be released this year. When Sarah became a mother at nearly 40, she received a lot of unsolicited advice about parenting. So much of what she was being told didn’t sit well with her. She wanted to take a more gentle and intuitive approach to parenting, and she founded her company to help other parents do the same. I’m excited to have her on the podcast to share her perspective on a more gentle approach to children’s sleeping habits. 

[00:07:58] I first asked Sarah about the controversy around the Cry it out (CIO) sleep method. I wanted to know if there was any scientific evidence to support this method with both younger and older kids? Sarah said that most of us were raised to believe that using CIO is an effective way to train children to sleep on their own. However, there are some fallacies around this view. The first is that CIO is universal, which is not true. Many cultures use different methods to help children sleep. The second fallacy is that babies and children will not learn to sleep if this method isn’t used. But that is also not true because sleep is a biological necessity. Children don’t need to “learn” to sleep because they already have the innate ability to do it. 

[00:12:00] Scientifically, there is a lot of controversy over CIO. Many pediatricians recommend CIO and say it doesn’t have any long-term effects on the child and that sleep deprivation is a bigger problem. However, there is some evidence to the contrary. Crying raises the stress hormone cortisol. And higher cortisol levels are linked to some significant behavioral problems down the line. Another scientific perspective to consider is that of secure attachment. Attachment develops when children know that when they are sick, hurt, or upset, someone will look after them. If no one is looking after them when they are crying (which falls under upset), it forms the message that there is no one there to help them. Children don’t learn to be self-sufficient by being left to fend for themselves. They learn to be self-sufficient because someone was there to take care of them first. 

[00:17:03] There is a false idea that CIO is a technique that will only have to be used once in a child’s life. The general wisdom goes that you do this when they’re babies, and then you won’t have to worry about it again. But what many parents find happening is that they have to return to these methods again when children are older because they are waking up in the night again. Sarah pointed out that it is normal for all people to wake up in the night sometimes (adults included!), but it is especially common in children of preschool age. Children are dealing with separation anxiety, and it’s terrifying to them not to have a parent come to them when they want them. Sarah says that if we support our children, they will be less likely to wake up again and again because they know they will be helped.

[00:23:29] I asked Sarah about what kinds of problems are linked to using CIO methods. She says the first is separation anxiety. It creates a lot of confusion and cognitive dissonance in a child’s brain when sometimes parents are showing up for them and other times they are not. It’s incredibly distressing to a child when one minute a parent is having story time and snuggles with them and the next they are ignoring them when they are crying. The other major issue is the development of relationships later in life. We want our children to choose to be in relationships that are stable and secure. But if they have not had the foundation of a secure and stable relationship with caregivers, they might seek out a relationship with someone who is not emotionally available because that is what they are used to.

[00:26:42] I then asked what parents can do to help their children develop healthy sleep habits if they do not want to use CIO. Sarah says that it’s our job as parents to provide the environment. The American Association of Pediatrics recommends room-sharing with infants through the first year of their lives. She also says that the final couple of hours before bed are critical. During these couple hours, we can help children ease into sleep. What works best will vary depending on the child. Some children need a final burst of energy before bed while others will respond better to calming, soothing activities. 

[00:33:14] Sarah also says that it’s important to recognize that children’s need for attachment is still a legitimate need. It’s not just about their physical needs like food or a diaper change. The emotional connection they feel with their caregiver is vital for their development. There are lots of different activities parents can implement at bedtime, but the overall goal is to reduce the cortisol stress hormone. Whether it’s through play or something soothing, having a routine children go through before bed will train their bodies and brains so they know it’s time for sleep. A consistent bedtime can make a huge difference. 

[00:43:50] I asked what parents should do if they have decided not to use CIO with their children but they are getting pushback from relatives, doctors, their own partners, or other concerned individuals. Sarah says that unless the person is actually personally responsible for the nighttime parenting of your children, it’s none of their business. No one can understand what your child needs better than you. You need to trust your own intuition and make the best decision for your child and your family. 

[00:47:34] When it’s a spouse or co-parent who is disagreeing with you, that’s harder. Sarah has dealt with that in her own marriage. Her husband was concerned about how the decision not to sleep train their daughter would affect their relationship. She and her husband managed by trying to make compromises. They intentionally spent more time together during the day. She says that usually when a partner has a concern about a decision that affects the child, it has more to do with the relationship than with the child. So partners can work together to try to find the deeper issue. 

[00:53:55] I finally asked Sarah what she would tell parents who might regret some of the decisions they’ve made with their children. She said the first thing to recognize is that you are not alone in it. However you feel, there are so many people out there that feel the exact same way. The second thing is to focus on the whole relationship, not individual moments. You have your whole relationship with your child in front of you. And you can make proactive decisions today to cultivate the kind of relationship you want.

[00:56:53] We hope this episode has helped you feel less conflicted and confused about making decisions around children’s sleeping habits. Ultimately, you know what is best for your family, and you can feel confident trusting your instincts. Sarah has many wonderful resources for helping parents, including her mini-courses where she’s currently offering one for free! You can choose from more than 30 topics. You can also check out some expert interviews with some of the best parenting and child development leaders in the industry here. Connect with Sarah on her Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, and Youtube. She’s also available for speaking engagements and coaching sessions.

 

  


  

Quotes From Episode 72

“If we can show them in those early days, months, and years that we're going to show up for them at times that are both convenient and inconvenient for us, we help them develop the brain wiring that is conducive to secure attachment, and that is a bond that will be the foundation for all of their future relationships in life.”

“Kids are born knowing how to sleep. Our job as adults is to create an environment where sleep feels like a safe and happy place.”

“Needing comfort, needing attachment, and needing that reminder that you're there and responsive-- that is a legitimate need.”

“Unless that person is sleeping with your baby, unless that person is personally responsible for the nighttime parenting of your child, no matter the child's age, it is not their business.”

 


 

Let's work together! I provide 1:1 support for parents motivated to make positive changing in their parenting and gain confidence and increase fulfillment in their role as parents. If this sounds like it might be what you've been looking for, book a free consultation today.

Book a call

 

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from The 3D Parent.

Want more of The 3D Parent Podcast?

Be sure to leave us a review on iTunes!

Leave a Review

Download my FREE Homework Survival Kit!

Download Now

About Your Host

I’m Beaven Walters, your host and guide on this crazy and fulfilling journey as a parent.

As a certified parent coach, parent educator and mom of 4 children, I am passionate about helping parents navigate the tough stuff while maintaining dignity, direction and deep connection in your family relationships.  I have spent over 10 years teaching in a variety of educational settings with multiple age groups, and now I am delighted to bring those experiences to you at home. Throughout this podcast, we will cover topics such as tantrums, sibling conflict, screen time overload and transitioning into the teenage years.

My goal is to provide you with tools that help inform, empower and boost your confidence as a parent so you can make the best decisions possible for you and your family.  Parenting is challenging, but you don’t have to do it alone.

I am here to guide you through the 3D Parent approach to parenting, so you can stop struggling and start celebrating all of the time you have with your children.