do i need a sleep consultant for my baby (3)

Do I Need A Sleep Consultant For My Baby?

As soon as you announce that you are expecting, you will undoubtedly be bombarded with advice on the best swaddles, the best strollers, high chairs, cribs, bassinets, nursing accessories, bottles and so on.

The topic of discussion that usually follows right after your birth announcement is your child’s sleep (or lack of it). We are sure we’ve all heard the line, “sleep now because you won’t sleep for the next 18 years!”.

You will encounter many thoughts, feelings, advice (solicited and unsolicited) and heated debates around the topic of children’s sleep. And it’s no wonder. Sleep is important for their health and development and the health and emotional well-being of the whole family.

So what if you’ve read EVERY book on sleep and tried EVERY recommended tip or method, yet nothing has worked. You might well ask, ‘what's asleep consultant doing?’ A good question. Sleep consultants are there to act as cheerleaders, supporters and educators.

They can work with you in a variety of ways, depending on your family’s needs: from a brief phone conversation or email, consultation to chat about minor transitions, to working in-person or remotely via phone/Skype/FaceTime for a one to two-week period as they guide and support your family while your child is learning their new sleep skill.

Asleep consultants’ main purpose, however, is to educate families on sleep hygiene, the biological needs of sleep, safe sleep practices to review the timing of night/day sleeps while offering support and guidance.

For example, did you know that there is very precise biological timing with sleep (aka circadian rhythms), and we want to make sure a child is sleeping within their optimal biological sleep rhythms, based on their age, so it’s easier for their brain to be able to fall asleep and stay asleep?

The asleep consultant will also assess the sleep environment of your child’s room and make recommendations to promote sleep. For melatonin production to be optimal, we want the room to be cool, between 68-72 degrees, and dark. Blackout shades are perfect for making a room as dark as possible.

Depending on the child’s age, they will have a separate sleep area such as a crib, bed, bassinet, side sleeper, etc. If your child is older and has a night light, you want to ensure that the light is red, yellow or orange, which helps in melatonin production.

We want to avoid blue or green night lights as they suppress melatonin. It’s also important to add a white noise machine to the child’s sleep routine and environment. For younger children, it reminds them of the womb and blocks out disruptive noises. There are so many variables to look at which will be unique to each family.

The method that a sleep consultant uses should also closely align with your family’s parenting philosophy and lifestyle. So it’s important to have an open discussion about any boundaries or requirements before they begin. As a sleep consultants, we support my families with multiple methods.

Parenting is not a one size fits all approach, and neither is sleep. We chat in-depth with my families on the various sleep methods available to them while answering any questions they may have. Before the consultation is complete, both parents should be comfortable and confident with their chosen method.

As in anything in life, things don’t always go as planned, so the two weeks of support after the consult is critical to sleep success. We need to be able to have flexibility, especially the first week, as your kiddo is learning their new skill, so that we allow them to do that.

If you are struggling with your child’s sleep, which we all do at one point in our little ones' early years, you will want to research the sleep consultants in your area.

Be sure they are Certified as a Sleep Consultant, research the program they were certified with and check out the reviews and testimonials on their business pages such as Facebook, their website, Google Reviews and Yelp.

Baby Nursery FAQs

There is no specific age to work with a sleep consultant, but the earlier you start, the easier it will be. Some parents — usually with their second baby — will even consult a sleep professional before their baby is born to be properly prepared.

Sleep coaches are no panacea. Training can fail thanks to inexperienced consultants, parents who don't follow through or kids teething, have a cold, have extra-challenging temperaments or are too young (most experts recommend waiting until the baby has reached at least four months old).

between $5,000 and $10,000 per month

For full-time sleep consultants, their potential earnings average between $5,000 and $10,000 per month. It is a lucrative business. It also will allow you to help parents like yourself. Your starting salary as a pediatric sleep consultant is not the same as your salary after a few years or even months!

They can work with you in a variety of ways, depending on your family's needs: from a brief phone conversation or email, consultation to chat about minor transitions, to working in-person or remotely via phone/Skype/FaceTime for a one to two-week period as they guide and support your family while your child is learning.

Certified sleep consultants are in high demand, with a growing number of busy parents willing to pay for expert help with their sleepless babies.

Should You Hire a Sleep Consultant? Everything You Need to Know

do i need a sleep consultant for my baby (2)

If you find yourself in a challenging sleep situation, you might be a good candidate to hire a sleep consultant. Babies come with many costs, and you’re probably wondering if it’s worth it to spend the money on a sleep consultant. Or maybe you can wing it and solve the problem on your own. It’s different for everyone, and for some, the cost is well worth it.

They say you can’t put a price on good sleep (or at least that’s what I say as a new — and very tired — mom), so we spoke with a sleep consultant, MS, RN, CBC and founder of Bumble Baby to get all the details of what it’s like to work with a sleep consultant and why it might be the right move. Kicked it off by explaining, “Asleep consultant is not just for the baby. Sleep habits can last a lifetime and start in infancy. Good sleep habits are important for the entire family.”

Know If You Need A Sleep Consultant

Every parent has a different threshold. Commonly, babies don’t sleep well, especially during the early months. However, Aruqilla shares that if your baby is six months or older and wakes every two to three hours, it is not napping well. The sleep struggle is negatively impacting your ability to function. These are some signs that hiring a sleep consultant is a good idea.

If you are tired, overwhelmed, and frustrated with your sleep situation, think about how better sleep could positively impact you and your family. If you feel that lack of sleep and routine is making your life chaotic, a sleep consultant can help bring this into order.

The Ideal Age To Work With A Sleep Consultant

By the 6-month mark, you will probably have a pretty good handle on whether sleep is going well or not, though you can start working with a sleep consultant much earlier. 

There is no specific age to work with a sleep consultant, but the earlier you start, the easier it will be. Some parents — usually with their second baby — will even consult a sleep professional before their baby is born to be properly prepared.

Keep in mind that if you’re working with a sleep consultant that implements any form of crying-it-out, this shouldn’t begin until 12 weeks of age.

However, if you’re struggling with sleep after month one, it’s not too early or too late. Once babies are two weeks old and are properly gaining weight, you can begin to work on routines and sleep.

What Do Sleep Consultants Do

There are a few different methods that sleep consultants follow, as well as different processes. Arquilla is certified with Moms on Call, which institutes the self-soothe method (after 12 weeks).  

Taking Cara Babies is another popular method, which is focused on creating a healthy sleep foundation using developmentally appropriate strategies.

Depending on the certification and the consultant, the process will vary. With Arquilla and Moms on Call, the process will begin with an introduction call so she can learn about the baby and parents, what’s going on with sleep issues, and getting a feel for the situation. 

She can also do in-home consultants, which is helpful as she can see the baby face-to-face, learn the baby’s personality, and identify other potential issues (like flat-head syndrome, jaundice, or other things that might be impacting the baby). Arquilla will also assess the current sleep situation to ensure a safe environment.

From there, the next steps depend on the baby’s age. For younger babies, it might involve swaddling and sound machines, whereas for an older baby (older than four months), the work will revolve around the baby learning to self-soothe. Arquilla will work with the family on a custom care plan for the parents to follow and then will provide follow-ups via check-in calls and texts, allowing everyone to troubleshoot as they go.

With Moms on Call (and for many other sleep consultant programs), hiring a sleep consultant does not mean someone comes to your house and takes the lead on getting your baby to sleep through the night. 

Instead, they guide the parents to learn how to create good sleep habits and put the elements into practice.

Taking Cara Babies, on the other hand, is an online course that must be taken before phone consultations can be added on.

Find The Right Sleep Consultant For Your Family

When deciding on a sleep consultant, there are many elements to consider. Some programs are online with a phone element added on (like Taking Cara Babies), while other options are more hands-on and customised to you and your baby. 

As you review prices, also consider how long it covers and if it includes unlimited follow-ups and communication. For some parents, this may be important, while for others, the sleep situation might seem like an easier solution.

Some consultants offer quick 15 minute or hour-long calls. These might be a good place to start if you have a list of questions you’d like addressed without a fully customised program.

You should ask plenty of questions to get a good understanding of what type of method the consultant uses. 

If they are a full cry-it-out system and that doesn’t jive with your parenting style, then that might not be the right fit for you. Different approaches work better for different families, and this will depend on your parenting style and where you fall on the sleep spectrum.

Certifications Do Sleep Consultants Require

Again, this is different for each program, but make sure you ask and understand how the consultants are certified. 

For example, Moms on Call consultants must be nurses. This is beneficial as they can recognise various issues at play beyond standard sleep struggles. If you think there might be an issue like sleep apnea, airway issues, or reflux, this may be a good path.

Taking Cara Babies, consultants are certified through a sleep consultant program endorsed by the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants or the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants. Many consultants also have degrees in nursing, infant and childhood development, or child psychology.

How Much Does It Cost To Hire A Sleep Consultant

Prices will vary depending on where you live, what type of service/help you are looking for, and how hands-on an approach you want.

To give you an idea of ranges, the Taking Cara Babies online sleep course (not customised) ranges from $74 (newborn course) to $179 (5-24 months), then is an additional $75 for 40-minute personal consultation phone calls. 

Arquilla’s prices range from $2 a minute (or $20 for three questions) for FaceTime/phone chats for quick questions (if you do not feel that a full consultation is necessary) to $600 for virtual sleep consultation (with three months of support), up to $800 for in-home consulting (with three months of support).

 

Whether you are on your sleep journey, keep in mind that it is never too early or too late to improve your sleep situation. If you are struggling with sleep, it doesn’t mean that you or your baby has failed. It may just mean that you need extra help to get things into a good flow. Hiring a sleep consultant might be the first step to finding some much-needed peace at night.

7 Reasons Hiring a Baby Sleep Consultant Is a No-Brainer

do i need a sleep consultant for my baby

You may be considering hiring a baby sleep consultant, but you aren’t sure if you should or if it will be “worth” it. Here are seven reasons that hiring a baby sleep consultant is a no-brainer!

  • Minimise Lost Sleep for the Family – It is estimated that parents lose hundreds of hours of sleep the first year and that sleep deprivation can lead to physical and mental health problems. An asleep consultant can help you solve baby sleep issues now, limit lost sleep, and prevent issues from cropping up in the future.
  • Save time and Energy – There are hundreds of baby sleep books out there – but who has time to do all that reading only for one book to contradict the last? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all fix for your unique baby’s sleep problems. Our expert consultants can help you sleep coach effectively, saving you countless hours of wasted effort and frustration.
  • Save Money and Frustration – The cost of sleep consulting is on par with other professional services. It reflects the personalised attention you’ll receive from an expert consultant who analyses hundreds of factors that impact sleep. Just as you may pay your tax preparer to calculate your tax owed, investment brokers are managing your retirement portfolio, or you hire a mechanic to fix your transmission, you have your sleep consultant to create and aid you in implementing personalised sleep recommendations. The money you spend on sleep consulting can save you money in other ways: for instance, when you’re rested, you have more energy to cook meals, which means you can avoid buying take-out. You can also stop or avoid investing money into books, DVDs or sleep gadgets that often do not work.
  • Increase Your “Village” Size – Hiring a sleep consultant is like hiring any other baby care expert. Just as you’d hire a healthcare provider to safeguard your child’s health or a doula to help you through labour and delivery, you hire a sleep consultant to work specifically on building healthy sleep habits. Your sleep consultant is simply a part of the larger childcare team you and any other caretakers assemble.
  • Build Better Health and a Happier Family – Chronic sleep deprivation can take a real toll on your entire family. Lack of sleep has been linked to depression and obesity in adults, as well as behavioural problems in children. We can help you “find your family’s sleep” again, which will promote better overall health for all of you!
  • Create More “Couple” and “Me” TimeLess time spent worrying about sleep means more time and energy you can give to your loved ones or to yourself, which only makes you a happier person and a more effective parent! Our consultants can help you find your missing personal time again.
  • Access Experience – When you ask your family and friends for advice, they might have experience with a couple of babies. Hiring a professional will give you access to experience with thousands of families! Your baby is unique, and so is your family. Have a sleep consultant get to know you and make recommendations that fit.

It’s never too late to establish healthy sleep habits. Even if you haven’t seen success with sleep before now doesn’t mean you can’t solve your sleep problems. Start today by taking the first step!

The biggest reason why the solutions that work for one family won't work for another

It is simple. The reason the solutions that work for one family won't work for another is that they’re not dealing with the same baby!

Some babies are heavily reliant on sleep props. Others can’t sleep in a room that’s too warm. Some may not be getting enough daytime sleep, and others might be overtired from a bedtime that is too late. This baby might have developed an association between feeding and falling asleep, whereas one might be ready to drop their second daytime nap.

And, of course, it could be any combination of all of the above or the many other sleep challenges that babies might experience. The challenges you and your little one are struggling with are unique to your child and family.

Adding to the challenge is that most solutions don’t work overnight. So parents might try a solution that could help the baby start sleeping through the night but abandon it before they start to see progress and improvements due to some heavy protesting on the baby's part.

In short, sleep is a very complicated issue. There’s very rarely one thing that can remedy the situation, and it can rarely be remedied overnight.

 

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