Babies are soooo cute, aren’t they? Even cuter when they’re sleeping.
But when they’re not sleeping, and sleep deprivation starts to set in, postnatal parenting can feel really HARD.
On those nights (or days) when your little one has been waking up early, or hardly sleeping, have you ever wondered if there was someone who could help you figure it all out?
While all children eventually learn to sleep (promise!), sleep consulting can help if you’re struggling to get good quality sleep with your baby, toddler or preschooler.
What is Sleep Consulting?
A sleep consultant is a sleep health professional who assesses your child’s sleep issues, your main concerns and your goals for your family’s sleep, then provides a recommend plan of action and helps you to implement that plan.
Sleep consulting can help you establish long-term, healthy and independent sleep habits with your little one, leading to better quality sleep for the entire family.
Most parents and caregivers seek out sleep consulting to address any of the following concerns:
- Frequent nighttime wakings
- Short naps
- Chronic early morning wakings
- Children (at any age) requiring a lot of parental/caregiver help to go to sleep and fall back asleep when they wake during the night
- Inconsistent sleep patterns from day-to-day
- Parents or children who are dealing with the effects of sleep deprivation, e.g. crankiness, inability to focus, inflexibility in the daytime routine
If you have concerns that your child’s sleep issues are due to a medical or health issue (including not getting adequate calories from feeding), please address this with a qualified professional such as your child’s Doctor or a Lactation Consultant.
How Sleep Consulting Works
In my practice, I work completely virtually over the phone, video chat, e-mail and a sleep tracking app. I begin with a full intake assessment which includes asking parents and caregivers a variety of questions that help me understand their main concerns and issues, as well as their overarching sleep goals. I typically examine up to 100 factors that relate to your child’s sleep.
The following is a sample of what those include:
- Your child’s current sleep environment, schedule, routines and feeding habits
- Your child’s temperament
- Your family’s lifestyle
- Your own individual personalities and your overall parenting approach and values
- Any specific sleep approaches that you have already tried on your own
- How you are currently helping your little one to get the sleep they need
- And more…
Once I have the information that I need, I create a personalized strategy that makes best sense for your family. It is important that the strategy for your family fits into your lifestyle, makes you feel confident and comfortable, and most of all is something that you can stick with over time. We know that children crave consistency and feel safer, more reassured and relaxed when they are clear about your expectations for their sleep. So, consistency is key.
Once you’re feeling clear about the plan, I help you implement it with daily email support. Because my approach is very much rooted in the science of sleep, I ask you to provide me with key data points each day. I want to know what time your little one is waking in the morning, what time their naps start and end, what time you are getting them into bed, what time they fall asleep, their behaviour upon waking, what their night looks like, how you’re feeling about all of it and more.
Each day, I assess and analyze your little one’s sleep data to provide you with the best next steps, and to ensure that you keep moving forward to achieving all of your sleep goals.
Can Your Family Benefit from Sleep Consulting?
The short answer is, if you feel you need it, then: yes!
Regardless of the many different charts and graphs you’ve been Googling that show you how much sleep your child “should” be getting or how your child “should” be sleeping, the only person that can tell you that something needs to change is you.
If sleep is working for you or you feel confident you can figure it out on your own, then there is no need to fix what’s not broken.
But if you’re feeling like you need to see changes happen (and/or you want to set yourself up for the best sleep possible in the future), that’s the time to reach out for some professional help.
I help little ones who are between 0-6 years old. It is never too early, nor too late, to establish long-term, healthy sleep habits for your child.
If you think your family would benefit from sleep consulting, to help you set up your child for a lifetime of good quality sleep, speak to our team for more information. You can also check out our online newborn sleep foundations class and online newborn care class.