What is a sleep consultant and do I need one?
A pediatric sleep consultant is someone with extensive knowledge of infant and child sleep. As a sleep consultant, I share my information with you and help you achieve better quality sleep for your child. My daughter was not a great sleeper, and my entire family was sleep deprived for a very long time. It was not until I educated myself and became super consistent that we were all getting the sleep we needed.
It is absolutely possible to sleep train your child on your own. There are great online resources and books available to you, and many parents are able to do it on their own. For others, it is easy to get lost in the plethora of information out there and know where to start. It can also be hard to create a plan for your child when you are the parent. The best example of this is that most sleep consultants I know, including myself, have to consult others when it comes to their child! It can be hard to see things clearly, and if you are struggling, I encourage you to seek the guidance and support of a sleep consultant.
What sleep training method do you use?
Several! I have a lot of methods I use and have found success with. No one method is a one-size-fits-all. Every family and child is different, and I work with parents to develop a plan that is suited to their needs and the temperament of their child. The methods I use range from gradual to less gradual, and all of them will be discussed in detail during our consultation so that you can make an informed decision when choosing a method.
Will I have to hear my child cry?
This is probably the question I get asked the most. The answer is yes. You will have to hear your child cry regardless of what method you use. However, crying is not always a bad thing nor does it mean your baby is in pain! Crying is how they learn. They are communicating to you that they are frustrated or dissatisfied with the change in routine. Those are ok emotions for babies to feel. Your child is developing a new skill, which takes time and a few tears along the way. Think of it like riding a bike…they will fall and they will cry, but they are learning a new skill, and the result will be worth it. I always tell my parents that through the crying remember the value of sleep. We underestimate how valuable sleep is for babies and their cognitive development, as well as how important it is for us as parents to be well rested.
What age is best to start sleep training?
I help families with sleep training their babies who are at least 4 months of age.
What if I co-sleep?
For liability reasons, I am unable to work with families of children under the age of one who want to bed-share. If you are currently bed-sharing and would like for your child to sleep in his or her own space, I can happily help with this transition.
Do you guarantee success?
I guarantee that you will receive the best education and one-on-one support I can provide. I never take on more than four families at a time, as I want to give my families the attention and encouragement they need. Unfortunately, I cannot guarantee “success,” as you are the one in the home with your child. I encourage families to start sleep training only when they are truly ready, as success is entirely dependent on your consistency.
Which package is right for me?
For my families who have no previous experience sleep training or are doing a complete overhaul of sleep, I recommend at least a week. The three-day package is great for small adjustments that need to be made (such as a child who is already sleeping through the night and needs to eliminate the last night feed). You are welcome to start with a smaller package and add support time if you feel that you need it.
Some things to keep in mind…
I do not recommend sleep training if you will be traveling soon after.
Pick a time where you can be home and as consistent as possible. It is best if the child can be in their consistent sleep environment while sleep training.
I do not recommend sleep training if there are big changes in your child’s life happening at the same time (a move, a new baby, etc.).