Being a parent and asking for outside help is always hard. You sometimes feel slightly defeated, disappointed that you weren’t able to just do it on you own, regardless of the situation. When it comes to sleep, we all have the impression that its something that should naturally happen with children. If they sleep, they sleep, if they don’t than they obviously don’t need too. This is simply untrue. Yes, babies and children shouldn’t be “trained” to sleep, they’re not animals and sleep is something that our brains are hardwired to do. What they need to be is taught how to sleep and, sleep well. Some children “learn’ how to sleep quickly and these parents have never had to struggle to put them to bed and keep them there. These are the parents who, if you’re experiencing sleep troubles, you envy and hate all at the same time. There’s a reason why people like me exist. Not everyone knows how to help their babies sleep better. When looking for help, there are a few things I suggest you look for in a Sleep Consultant
Certification – This is very important. I know all parents are experts at parenting…THEIR OWN CHILDREN! When talking to Sleep Consultants and figuring out which one will work best with you and your family, make sure they’re certified. There are a number of certification programs. Ask them which one they took and ask them to send you a link to the programs website. For example, I’ve been certified through Family Sleep Institute.
This is important for a number of reasons. One main reason is that we don’t call ourselves experts just because we helped our own children but we have also studied the science of sleep, learned extensively the aspect of children’s sleep and its importance.
Make sure you know what kind of support that is being offered. You want to have someone who meets your requirements. Some families need a bit more guidance and support than others. Make sure before going forward with a sleep plan, you and your consultant have discussed the expectations you have of one another. You also want to make sure that your Sleep Consultant has REALISTIC expectations. Every child is different. You may come across Sleep Consultants that claims they can have your child sleeping in 3 days. That could most defiantly be the case, but its not always reality.
Price – Depending on your budget, make sure you’re getting what you pay for! Yes, you’re paying for your consultants time, support and expertise but keep in mind, if a consultants pricing is significantly higher, or lower, than another consultants, it doesn’t mean you’ll be getting better, or worse support.
Experience – You want to make sure that your consultant has experience working with families other than their own. Obviously, a newer Sleep Consultant won’t have as many families under their belt as one that has been practicing for years, but you do want to make sure they have some sort experience in the field. Family Sleep Institute requires their students to work with 3 volunteer families, under supervision, before becoming certified.
We’re called many things, Sleep Consultants, Sleep Trainers, Sleep Coaches…the list can go on. Many of us are mothers, parents who have experienced our own sleep troubles at one point or another. Our job is not only to create a plan to get your child sleeping better but we’re there every step of the way to support, teach and guide you through the whole process, every step of the way.