It’s back to school time which seems to go hand in hand with endless parent nights and new introductions which means lots of opportunities for the constant question of, “What do you do?” For the last seven years, I have responded, “I am a Child and Infant Sleep Consultant,” and inevitably two things happen: I am either met with a completely bewildered look or the person says, “Why didn’t I know you a few years ago?” So, what is a sleep consultant and what do I actually do?
As a former therapist, I often joke that sleep consulting is really more of parent therapy. I work with families with little ones ranging in age from 8 weeks to 6 years old. Obviously, the real clients are the parents. Parents usually come to me for support, normalization, encouragement, accountability and objectivity. I have had many pediatricians as clients and some might think doctors specializing in children should just know how to do this whole sleep thing, right? But nope, when it comes to their own children, they are just like everyone else and they frequently need some love and troubleshooting too!
In this day and age it’s awfully rare that a family comes to me and knows absolutely nothing about infant or toddler sleep. It’s more that they often know or have read too much and are simply overwhelmed with the information. I try to be an efficient and real-world resource for you so you can stop further exhausting yourself reading and combing through every detail of each book or blog. Simply put, I give you a personalized plan and I support you as you implement it.
So, why hire a sleep consultant? Besides for the super obvious reasons above? Because sleep training is HARD. And yes, there are many folks who can absolutely make it look easy and there are many babies or toddlers who might just get it on their own but the large majority struggle. And I tend to think why wait on hope and a prayer when you can be proactive and likely just make a few tweaks to finally get more rest? We all know sleep feels so, so good. But beyond that it’s also pretty imperative for development as well.
Parenting is hard enough so why not at least have sleep on your side, right? Parenthood and martyrdom are not the same thing. So, if you are feeling stuck and just not sure what to do next, don’t just settle for being tired for your entire parenting journey. Find some help! And now you know to look for a sleep consultant.