OK, I am going to get personal and admit some things here… During the first 2 years of my child’s life I obsessively read every child sleep book out there. It worked to my advantage in nearly every sleep stage and developmental milestone until the summer of 2016, when my daughter got the dreaded Coxsackie virus from her school. We were on a family beach vacation in beautiful Watch Hill, Rhode Island when my daughter fell ill and learned on our first night of vacation how to jump out of her pack ’n play. There went our vacation! We tried everything imaginable to get our less than 2 year old to sleep in that pack ‘n play but it was not happening! When we came home it did not get any better. She jumped out of her crib the second we put her in there and we were at a loss of what to do. I began to once again, obsessively read the chapters in the sleep training books that specialized in “boundary setting” and “’problem behaviors in toddlers.” Needless to say, I found a lot of conflicting information and had no idea where to begin. We tried two different approaches and were seeing some slow progress but not enough for our sleep deprived brains. Finally after 2-3 weeks of complete bed time chaos we hired a certified child sleep consultant that had been recommended by a friend. The process was simple, clear, easy and worth every penny. The sleep coach actually confirmed everything we had been doing was correct but she gave me the confidence and peace of mind from her expert opinion, to stay the course. She guided us through until we met our goal which was only 3 days after hiring her. We were on the right track and nearly there on our own but being able to have an expert tweak our process, troubleshoot other options and then provide us with support while we implemented the plan, made it stress-free.
From my own personal experience as a parent and my professional experience as a certified child sleep coach, these are the reasons to hire a certified child sleep coach.
Internet and Books- You have found yourself googling certain sleep issues and are finding a mountain of information. Friends are giving advice on Facebook Moms groups or are referring you to a sleep training book that’s been their go-to book. The point is, there is too much information out there. For any one issue or question you may have, there will be 10 different answers if you look hard enough! When you have a certified sleep coach, that person will be able to synthesize everything you have read or heard and break it down to you in a structured, clear and concise way.
Individualized approach- As a certified child sleep coach, I approach working with clients in the same way I do as a therapist. I listen to my clients, ask important/guiding questions, provide a child and family sleep assessment and then work collaboratively with clients towards reaching their goals. I do not stop working with a client if the time has run out. I am committed to working with each family until they get the results they desire.
Sleep problems in children if not resolved can lead to long term problems for the child and parents. Research shows that poor sleep affects mental and emotional health in parents and children. Poor sleep over a long period of time can lead to poor academic performance, increased behavioral issues and ADHD.
Expert advice- When you hire a certified child sleep coach such as myself, you are working with a professional that has done an extensive amount of reading, research, experiential learning and is part of a network of other certified sleep experts in the field. I was trained at the Family Sleep Institute, where I completed over 250 hours’ worth of training. If you work with me, you will find that I don’t subscribe to one type of sleep training approach and instead will take the time to find a solution that is aligned with your family’s philosophy.
Coaching and consistency- The single most important reason to hire a certified child sleep coach is to have the support of a certified expert to guide you through the process every step of the way. Let’s face it… making a change to your already established sleep routine is hard on both the parents and child. It’s helpful to have a support system when you’re thinking about doing any kind of serious lifestyle change. Think about starting a new diet program or training for a triathlon. When you have a sleep expert coaching you through, holding you accountable and making sure you follow the plan with consistency, you will see the results you want. What could be better than that?
Teaching a child to sleep is an essential skill that will need to be learned in their life time. The long term benefits of healthy sleep are endless. The role of a professional sleep consultant is to teach your child the skills necessary to happily sleep through the night and to take long, restful naps during the day. If you are struggling on your own to get your child the sleep they desperately need, do not hesitate to reach out to me, Emily@peacefulsleepconsulting.com or call (203) 658-7967 for a free 15 minute consultation to see if hiring a certified child sleep coach is right for your family.