Sarah Charlton

My journey with Hand in Hand Parenting began when my son was around ten months old and I now bring Parenting by Connection into educational settings, especially supporting teachers with the very challenging and demanding job they do. I see the potential of Listening Partnerships in particular to bring positive change. To me this is bringing politics to the personal, with the potential to bring about huge social benefit with compassionate connection.


When my son was a baby (he is a hulking 14 year old now!) I learned about a way of being with him that has not only given me tools to make our connection strong, fun and loving but has also provided me with a way to heal from early traumas in my own life and find a network of parents who want to parent in the same way and support each other.  It fills me with hope to see this way of parenting spreading round the globe as I truly see the deep potential it has for creating a more peaceful world for our children to thrive in.

Hand in Hand Parenting was developed by Patty Wipfler over forty years ago in the US and now has over 110 Instructors worldwide teaching 5 simple listening tools to parents all over the world.

These tools can be used from the very beginning of our child’s life and for the rest of our lives.

The first time I tried Stay Listening to my son he was just 10 months old.  It was life changing for me and the reason I trained to be an Instructor myself.  

I was with a trusted friend when my son began to cry.  I knew that all his physical needs had been met and he was in good health so when my friend gently suggested that I listen to my son’s tears rather than move to distract him or feed as I had been doing up till now, I decided give it a try.  I held Jack in my arms and did my best to listen to his tears despite how uncomfortable I felt.  My own Mum who had four young children had not been able to listen to my tears as a child and I had been frequently left alone to cry in my cot, so hearing my son’s tears felt very difficult to do at first.  

I kept hold of him though and after a while I felt something change within me and the discomfort melted away. My own tears of joy joined my son’s as for the first time, I could really hear what he was trying to tell me – that it was hard work to be born and he had some feelings he needed to get off his chest and he was glad to finally have the chance to be heard.  I felt our connection deepen as my son smiled and rested contently in my arms having the good attention and listening from me that he needed to fully relax.

Hand in Hand provides support and helpful information for new Moms and Dads on everything from Responding Well to Crying to Helping Baby Sleep to Handling the “Baby Blues”

A New Beginning

1. Parenting is an Emotional Project
2. Responding Well to Crying
3. Talk to Your Baby
4. Your Baby Thrives on Eye Contact
5. Creating a Baby-Friendly Environment
6. A Mother Talks About Listening to Baby Cry
7. Helping Your Baby Recover from a Difficult Birth

For Dads

8. What to Do When Your Baby Cries
9. What Your Baby Needs from You
10. Building a Special Relationship with Your Baby
11. Building Support: Ideas for Dads

For Moms

12. Recovering from a Difficult Birth
13. Handling the “Baby Blues”
14. Building Support: Ideas for Moms

For Both

15. “I Used to Have Patience.”

Practical Matters

16. Helping Baby Sleep
17. “I Helped My Baby Sleep,” One Mother’s Experience
18. When Your Baby is Afraid
19. Helping Your Baby with Colic
20. Helping Your Baby with Separation
21. Helping an Older Child Accept Your Baby
22. Please Don’t Tickle Your Baby
23. Helping Baby at the Doctor’s

6 Tips to Ease the Transition to Toddlerhood are here when you need them.


I am a Development and Learning Advisor on the A Better Start programme. A Better

Amanda Edwards, B.Ac. M.B.Ac.C. Rev, is an Acupuncturist, Happiness Counsellor, Doula & Author. It has

I provide public health advice and support on health and health inequalities. I am the