What Is A Child Sleep Consultant?
I know I have touched base on this in previous blogs but I thought I would reaffirm what a Sleep Consultant is.
A sleep consultant’s main role is to guide parents in how to help their child learn to fall asleep without assistance…In fact, a good sleep consultant should tell you in significant detail exactly what their sleep program is like before they allow you to hire them.
What confirmed my decision to become a Certified Sleep Consultant was going through the process of hiring a sleep consultant myself. Living through sleep deprivation and finally having our household get some sleep was the best decision we ever made.
At first I was hesitant on hiring a sleep consultant myself but after reading book after book and getting so much advice from friends I knew I needed some professional help. This weeks blog I wanted to write on some things that have not only come up in my mind before we hired a sleep consultant but some very good common questions I get on a daily basis. As well as some questions you should ask a sleep consultant if your considering hiring one for your family.
What is the difference between hiring a sleep consultant or just reading the books?…
I personally tried the books, articles, advice from friends and even our family doctor. The books do work for some families and that is wonderful. However as I always mention to families that no two children are the same. When I do a sleep consultation with a family I take a lot into consideration when deciding what methods and techniques I will be using.
Some of the considerations that are very important are: your child’s temperament, your lifestyle and schedules, your beliefs and values as well with previous methods and techniques that may have or not worked for you. Some babies will cry for a few minutes and some babies will cry for hours if we let them.
The difference in hiring a sleep consultant is that we can go over exactly what your comfortable with and take that into our sleep plan. Not every technique works for every child so I have even half way through the consultation changed things up. Unfortunately with some books it typically gives you a one size fits all technique and some of those common methods I find need a lot of adjusting to your little ones comfort level. Not to mention age appropriate techniques and methods but the ongoing constant one on one support a consultant provides for their clients.
When is the perfect time for sleep training?
This is a super common question I get. Unfortunately a lot of parents miss a perfect opportunity for sleep training because of this question going through their mind. To me honestly there are times it’s better to sleep train and there are times that I think it should be maybe held off for a bit.
So many circumstances can be a factor on the length, on how long the training will take, and even how smoothly it goes. Some factors could be age, milestones, health, environment, time of year, lifestyle and more.
I typically recommend starting the training process when your child is healthy, you have no travel plans and when your really ready to commit to the process. As far as age goes, different techniques and methods are used for different ages. Therefore age is not a huge factor however leaving it later when they are older can result in more protest and a longer process.
Did you know it can take up to 5 years for sleep problems to fix themselves? So defiantly starting out with healthy habits from day one can set the foundation for a great sleeper. And if your later on starting the training and concerned with the process its perfect time to hire a sleep consultant.
What is the cost of a Sleep Consultant and what does that include?
As most Sleep Consultants have their own home based companies, there are a variety of different packages and price differences with these packages. Typically a package will include a length of time the consultation will be, a fully customized sleep plan based on your detailed intake form, email support as well as a number of follow up calls.
In my sleep plans I like to do things a little differently than some. I typically like to have a couple of phone calls before the consultation even starts. I like to start with an initial phone consultation, and another call after the sleep plan is sent. This way I am able to answer any questions and address any concerns before the starting night. In my packages I also offer unlimited text message support. This is simply for the reason that if your struggling at bedtime, I am able to guide you during that moment, not in an email the next day going over what you should have done.
I also want your little one to succeed as much as you do which is why I like to keep in contact at each sleep time during the day. Whether it’s nap or bedtime.
Will my baby sleep through the night every night?
This is a common goal for a lot of parents. As it was for me and still is. As a Sleep Consultant I can’t unfortunately guarantee that your child is going to sleep through the night every night. And honestly that is not our main goal. As much as that would be the best thing in the world, no one has ever slept through the night, every night.
My goal with clients is to eliminate unnecessary waking’s. As well and help guide them to help teach their little ones to fall asleep independently and be able to self soothe themselves during a night waking.
As a sleep consultant everyone would think that our household gets the best sleep every night. But I have a little secret for you…. our kids wake in the night too. Not always and sometimes not always for a good reason. That being said I have the knowledge to help them back to sleep without needing too much help.
Having your child sleep trained will help you differentiate when in the night they do actually need you or if they are in the middle of a sleep cycle transition. So many bonuses of having a child with healthy sleep habits including your whole household getting a more peaceful sleep.
Do we have to live in the same town or city?
This question comes up a lot. The answer to this is absolutely not. In fact I have helped families in all different time zones and all over North America. Thanks to technology majority of my consultations are over email, skype, phone and text messages.
In fact I find working with families in different time zones very successful. Some families like to do a in home consultation. This is when I would come to your home for a couple of hours, usually at bedtime and walk you through the plan in that moment and be there to help with any issues that might arise.
Most Sleep Consultants have this option for a in home visit. Prices for this can vary and that is due to travel, time at the home and sometimes the age of the child. I find that families that do the in home visit are very happy they did, having that support the first night, however the same success rate over text messages, email and phone support.