Does every parent need a sleep consultant to sleep train their baby? No. Some parents do fine, and some babies pick it up great without a sleep consultant! And also, sleep training isn't for everybody. Some babies sleep well on their own without sleep training, and some parents may be ok with helping their baby to sleep for every nighttime wakeup. So why would someone want to hire a sleep consultant, and what difference does a sleep consultant make? Great questions!
Why should someone hire a sleep consultant?
1. Hiring a sleep consultant means you have a baby and toddler sleep expert at your fingertips. This is especially important if you're tired and don't have the mental or physical energy to research sleep training methods, schedules, nap training, night weaning, best products, regressions, and more. A sleep consultant has gone through a training and certification process to learn the science behind baby sleep, understands all of the methods and how they fit with each baby's personality and sleep challenges, and have a big-picture understanding of sleep at different ages and stages. The sleep consultant can help you choose the technique that would be the best fit for your baby and your needs.
2. Support is key. You can read a book or an article about sleep training, or listen to what worked for a friend, or find info online about sleep training. For some people, that's enough. But others may need help figuring out how to troubleshoot when something isn't working, or how to apply the technique in your situation, or how to fix something that didn't work well. That's what a sleep consultant can do that your book or online article can't do. A sleep consultant can give tips and advice, problem solving and troubleshooting, advice, answers, and support throughout the process. When I work with clients, I am with them every day for two weeks, available to answer any question they may have or help fix any issue that comes up. In my opinion, the support is the key factor in success in sleep training.
3. Accountability and encouragement. Having a sleep consultant means you have someone there to make sure you're executing the sleep training technique and schedule correctly and cheer you on with every success. I do daily evaluations of sleep logs with my clients and celebrate wins with them every step of the way.
4. You can save time, money, and frustration. I've actually talked with parents who have spent over $1,000 on products to help their babies sleep: special basinets, swaddles, sound machines, pacifiers, swaddle transitions, sleep positioners, light projectors, swings, medications or supplements - these are all things parents buy out of desperation and frustration, with hopes of magically getting their baby to sleep. Many parents I've worked with have spent months trying different methods. Instead of trying 30 different things and wasting time and money, a sleep consultant can come in and do an assessment of your baby and your sleep challenges, write a personalized sleep plan, and have your baby sleeping all night in two weeks without the months of frustration and stress.
What does a sleep consultant do?
Assessment and Sleep Plan - I gather information from families in an in-depth intake form, then do an assessment of the baby, the baby's personality and sleep challenges, the parents, and their goals and needs. I collect sleep logs to evaluate and look for patterns and challenges in the baby's schedule. Then I put that information together to form a personalized sleep plan that includes a custom daily schedule, nap information and training methods, wake windows, a sleep training method, a FAQ sheet, a regression guide, a bedtime routine, and an easy step-by-step guide that tells parents what to do in every situation that may come up. I also include a section on the sleep environment and conduct a nursery tour and evaluation. I go over the sleep plan with parents and answer any questions they may have. I
Implementation - On the night of the implementation of sleep training, I offer bedtime support for all parents, giving in-the-moment virtual support as they execute the sleep training method.
Support - For the next two weeks, I collect daily sleep logs for evaluation and provide daily support as needed.
Is there crying involved?
My methods aren't cookie cutter, so it's not a one-size-fits-all approach. I choose the sleep training method I think would be the best fit for each baby or toddler. There will almost always be some crying involved in sleep training, because that's how babies protest change, but my goal as a sleep consultant is to help minimize the crying by putting all of the pieces together to help the baby succeed in learning independent sleep with the least amount of frustration. I help minimize crying by making sure each family has the right wake windows and daytime schedule, the right amount of naps, the right time for bedtime, the right bedtime routine, the right sleep environment, the right sleep training method, and I help make sure it's executed properly. So while yes, there is usually some crying involved, and I understand how hard it is to hear (I'm a mama too!!), many of my clients would say it went much better than they expected, and that it was all worth it!
I like to compare hiring a sleep consultant to hiring a personal trainer. Does everyone need a workout program or a personal trainer to get in shape? No! Some people can read a book about exercise, or an article online, and can choose the right workout to do for their body and their challenges and goals all on their own without personal help. Some people can troubleshoot when something isn't working or when they aren't doing an exercise correctly, and can correct themselves all on their own without an expert's advice. But other people benefit from a personal trainer to choose the right workout for their body and their goals, to hold them accountable and provide follow-up support and advice. I hired a personal trainer last summer and was in the best shape of my life! I couldn't have done it without the personal trainer. She helped ensure my success.
And as a sleep consultant, I'm here to help ensure the success of my clients, and help make the process enjoyable. My goal is to support and empower parents to get their kids sleeping all night, because I know getting enough sleep is life changing, and not just for the child, but for the whole family! When parents have an expert giving instructions, they can be confident they're doing the right thing during sleep training, and know that as long as they follow the sleep plan, their child will be sleeping all night in two weeks!
If you aren't sure if a sleep consultant is for you, or which package you should choose, I would love to talk with you and answer any questions you may have. All of my services are virtual and can be done from anywhere, and I offer free 15 minute phone consultations if you want more information. I would love to help you reach your sleep goals for your child!