“With all of the information that’s readily available online, and the resources you have at your disposal in the form of friends and family who have managed to get their kids to sleep, why would you want to invite a stranger into your private life just to get your child sleeping through the night?”
I don’t often hear this question phrased exactly that way, but I know it’s a concern that a lot of parents have when they’re thinking about getting some professional help with their little ones’ sleep habits.
And it’s a valid question! After all, your mother managed to get you to sleep at some point. Your friend might have four kids who are all champion sleepers, so she should have some answers for you, right?
Well, yes! At least they might. But then again, they might not.
And let me be the first to say, if you’ve got someone who can help you in this situation, I’m not the least bit offended if you want to ask them for help instead of calling a consultant. After all, we’re all trying to save our money where we can, so if you can remedy the problem without paying for it, I’m all for that option.
Most of the time though, my clients are parents who have already tried that route and found it wasn’t successful, and there are dozens of reasons why that might happen.
The biggest reason why the solutions that work for one parent don’t work for another is simple. They’re not dealing with the same baby. (Also, remember that the things people post about on social media usually only highlight the positives!)
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. This baby might have developed an association between feeding and falling asleep, whereas that 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.
Adding to the challenge is the fact that most solutions don’t work overnight, so parents might try a solution that could potentially help baby start sleeping through the night, but abandon it before it takes effect due to some heavy protesting on baby’s part.
In short, sleep is a complicated issue and there’s very rarely one single thing that can remedy the situation overnight.
A professional sleep consultant has the experience and training to recognize which problems result in specific symptoms, and can work with you to develop a personalized plan for your child that addresses those individual issues. They can also provide some much needed support when things don’t seem to be working, and give you the encouragement you need to follow through on that plan until it starts to work.
Consider the example of a personal trainer. You could just get some dumbbells and watch some YouTube videos in order to get in shape, so why pay someone to guide you along?
Well, because they’re able to give you solid advice based on education and experience, they can help to keep you motivated, and they know how to respond to the problems that might arise when it comes to your specific situation.
When you work with me, I don’t just give you an “instant download”, a standard sleep plan without listening to your family’s needs. Instead, I go through every detail and create a customized sleep plan according to your goals. Once we review the sleep plan, I am still with you for an additional couple of weeks, following up over the phone and through email, to ensure your plan is working as expected, and tweaking it if needed. The follow up support is why this works so well.
So when it comes to baby’s sleep, I hope for everyone to find success on their own, and with as few problems as possible.
But when sleep (or lack of) becomes a problem for you and your family, that’s when you should talk to me, a professional consultant who has the answers and support you need.