In today’s culture and world of technology, we can pretty much find information on anything we want to know by going to Google. So why do so many parents still have such trouble solving their child’s sleep issues? The answer is every child is different! Sure, you can Google information on sleep training, but it may be hard to choose which method is right for your family (and yes, there is more than just one approach). Then, once you choose a method...what about all of the other stuff that comes next? Do you know the appropriate time your child should be waking in the morning, the correct timing for naps, and when to have your child in bed at night? Not to mention, the support and encouragement it takes to help your child learn the skills to fall asleep and stay asleep on their own.
This is where a trained Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant like myself comes into the picture. Through my training with the Family Sleep Institute I have learned a variety of sleep training methods, which is key...because as I already shared every child is different. Not only is every child different, but so is every parent. Some parents may be on board with a direct method that requires less contact with their child. Whereas others may prefer a more gradual, hands on approach. Deciding which method to use is so important, because you need to be sure it’s something you are comfortable with, and something you can be consistent with. Having a sleep consultant be there to talk through the different methods with you, and offer suggestions as well as encouragement gets things started off on the right foot.
While deciding on a sleep training method is a big piece of the process, having the knowledge of what time you should expect your child to wake in the morning, when they should be napping, and what is an appropriate bedtime is another piece of the puzzle. This is an area that a sleep consultant, such as myself has extensive training in. In working with families, I explain to them the science behind child sleep. We talk about age appropriate schedules, which is a key component in building a foundation for healthy sleep.
While all of what I shared above is important in creating healthy sleep habits, if someone were to ask me the number one reason why they should hire a sleep consultant I would tell them “the follow up support!” Sleep consultants not only help parents decide on a method, and put a plan together for them which includes an age appropriate sleep schedule...they also are there working with families while they implement the plan. The follow up support and guidance is so important to a successful sleep plan. Being able to have an expert to ask questions to, and get reassurance from is invaluable…. and something that you can’t get from Google! :)