If you’re struggling to get your children to sleep, then you may turn to a family sleep consultant for advice and guidance. A sleep consultant's primary role is to educate families on all areas of sleeping, including the biological needs of the child, sleep hygiene and how to get day and night sleep timings right. If you work one to one with them, then a sleep consultant will be there to support you along each stage of the journey armed with experience and expert advice on how to solve your sleep issues.
Firstly, many parents do not realise that there is a science behind sleeping. Children need to sleep within their biological sleep rhythms to make it easier for their brain not only to fall asleep but stay asleep for as long as necessary. The prime time for sleeping will be dependent on the child’s age. For example, did you know that from 6 months, daytime naps are starting to mature and longer stretches at night are achievable?
Secondly, a sleep consultant will be able to review your child’s sleep environment and suggest improvements that can support your child’s overall sleep. Having a cool and dark room may seem like the obvious first steps to creating a peaceful, effective environment to help your child sleep but did you know certain nightlight colours can impede melatonin production, including white & blue?
Depending on the child’s age, a sleep consultant can recommend whether your child should be in a cot or a bed and whether they should have a pillow, sleeping bag or duvet. There may be additional requirements for your child’s room that you haven’t yet considered, for example from a young age, a white noise machine will remind babies of the womb and will help block outside noise.
To get all of the help you require from a sleep consultant, it’s worth compiling a list of all the questions you may have before your consultation. Check out their credentials. Where did they get their sleep certification? Make sure to check out the organisation and how established it is. The more comprehensive the certification and experience they better equipped they will be to comment on any sleep issues and suggest how to help your child sleep.
Although you may think your one and the only question is how to get your child to sleep, you may find a sleep consultant can help with much more than that. Sleep Consultants will be able to advise on setting up a safe sleep environment and also give advice on feeding schedules for your little one. Plus, advise on how to juggle getting out and about with your little one and balance the needs of older siblings.
As with most areas of parenting, the best answer or solution to any question will be unique to you as a family rather than a set in stone ‘right way’ to do things. A sleep consultant will take the time to understand the lifestyle of a family and make suggestions on a case by case basis. With this in mind, you must be open and honest about boundaries and requirements from the start.
A good sleep consultant will speak through all of the available options and answer any questions so that you are fully satisfied and confident with the sleep solution suggestions that they make. If you work one to one with a Sleep Consultant they will stay in touch over the weeks following the final meeting to be on hand for any further help and support.
If you’ve decided that it’s time to take the next step and request support from a sleep consultant, then first things first, you need to find one that you can trust. It’s critical that you look for a sleep consultant who is professionally certified. Additional areas to research could include their previous client testimonials, which will help you get a good understanding and feel for the consultant based on their previous work. Once you’ve narrowed down your research, initiate a conversation, and get the ball rolling.
Your good sleep solution could come in the form of a one to one session where a consultant will produce a sleep plan based on their recommendations. Alternatively, you could complete a series of sleep programs or courses where you look to educate yourself and learn how to get the best night’s sleep for your child at each age and, in fact, the whole family. If you think that a sleep consultant is a right for you, then reach out today and start looking forward to that good night's sleep.
Erica Hargaden is a certified Child Sleep Consultant with her private practice Babogue. She offers 1:1 consultancy and support services to parents who are struggling with their children's sleep and is the creator of The Sleep Series. The Sleep Series is a video-based online sleep program that helps parents get closer to their sleep goals through Erica's 7 Steps to Better Sleep. For more information check out www.babogue.com, @babogue_sleep, or email email@example.com.