Baby Not Sleeping Through the Night?
You're not alone!
In fact, in study after study, "sleepless nights" or "sleep deprivation" tops the lists of the biggest struggles faced by new parents.
So it's probably not surprising that more and more parents are turning to professional "sleep consultants" to help them get their new bundles of joy sleeping through the night. Hiring a sleep consultant can be a great idea, because you'll be getting an experienced, compassionate coach who will:
* Help you understand why your little one is struggling to sleep well
* Explain how to change your child's sleep habits
* Put together a plan that will work for your child's personality
* Be available to answer any questions you may have along the way
* Have the expertise to make adjustments if things don't go as planned
But how do you know if a particular sleep consultant will be the right fit for YOUR family?
Easy! Just give them a call and ask them these THREE questions!
WHAT'S YOUR BACKROUND & WHERE DID YOU GET YOUR TRAINING?
Did you know ANYONE can put up a website and call themselves a sleep consultant?
It's true......but it doesn't necessarily mean they have any professional training or actual experience (even if they have some training, you may discover that it was obtained online for a few hundred dollars).
It's my opinion that training and education really DOES matter----especially for something as important for your child's sleep health.
A sleep consultant who has been properly educated will have attended an in-person, multi-day learning workshop and undergone a fairly significant training period, and there will have been actual requirements that were met in order to obtain their "certification" or "graduation".
In addition, you could ask what kind of "continuing education" is required to maintain their certification. Are they required to keep their knowledge current? If not, I would ask them how they stay "on top of" new research in the field of sleep.
HOW MUCH SUPPORT IS INCLUDED
The easiest part of a sleep consultant’s job is working with you in person or over the phone to come up with a "sleep plan" for your child.
The tricky part?
Is when things don't go according to plan! And, since your child is unique, you should definitely expect a few "road bumps" along the way.
In fact, the reason you've decided to hire a sleep consultant in the first place is because you have tried to fix this problem on your own.....and run into problems that you simply weren't sure how to fix!
Make sure you have a clear understanding of what kind of access you'll have to your sleep consultant as you work together to get your child sleeping through the night.
Will she be reachable by email? Phone? Text? Is there a limit to how often you can contact her?
These are all questions you'll want answered BEFORE you start working together. A good sleep consultant will be able to send you an e-mail with a clear outline of EXACTLY what is included in your package.
WHAT CAN YOU SUGGEST THAT I HAVEN'T TRIED ALREADY?
Hiring a sleep consultant usually isn't the first thing parents do when they're struggling with their child's sleep. Chances are you've read a few books, done some research online, and tried a few things already.
So I recommend asking this question word for word and then listen carefully to the response
"What can you suggest that I haven't already tried?"
A good sleep consultant will want to know exactly what strategies you've tried in the past AND how your baby reacted. She'll also ask how long you've tried those strategies for, and why you decided to stop using them.
The way a sleep consultant answers this question will give you an excellent idea of how well she is able to adapt if things get tricky. You'll also be able to get a sense of how flexible her approach is if you--as the parent-- decide that a change in strategy is necessary.
Most of all, though, the answer you receive to this question should give you a "gut feeling" about whether this sleep consultant would be a good fit for your family.
HOW TO GET A FREE 15-MINUTE SLEEP CONSULTATION FOR YOUR CHILD?
As a sleep consultant, I think it's important to "get to know" each family a little before we decide to work together. That's why I offer a FREE 15-minute consultation to anyone who's struggling with their child's sleep!
This gives you the opportunity to tell me a little bit about your child's sleep (or lack therof!) and to ask me any specific questions you might have about why your little one isn't sleeping through the night.
I'll give you my thoughts on which approach I would recommend, and even give you some specific strategies you can get started with immediately.
To set up your FREE 15-minute phone consultation just give me a call, (209) 813-0609, send me an email, firstname.lastname@example.org
NOW TELL ME....
What questions do you have about hiring a sleep consultant?
I can't wait to hear all about it in the comments below!
This week I am going to talk about a really important issue- the use of melatonin as a sleep aid for infants and children. As a sleep consultant I get asked over and over about my thoughts on the use of melatonin for babies and children.
For overtired parents who can’t seem to get their kids on a healthy sleep schedule, the promise of a magic pill can be pretty enticing.
But it seems to me that more and more doctors and parents are turning to melatonin as a Band-Aid for sleep issues with their children. I get emails every day from people telling me they are giving their babies melatonin to help them fall asleep at night, and I have serious concerns about this.
Here’s the deal: Melatonin is NOT a long-term solution to poor sleep habits. Healthy sleep habits need to be learned at a young age in order to set kids up for a lifetime of healthy sleep habits.
And while some studies have shown that melatonin can be helpful with autistic children or children with ADHD, most babies and children do not need melatonin; they need to be taught good, independent sleep skills.
Melatonin is a hormone that is secreted by your brain and is present in every person’s body. According to the National Sleep Foundation, “no other hormone is available in the United States without a prescription. Because melatonin is contained naturally in some foods, the U.S. Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 allows it to be sold as a dietary supplement. These do not need to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) or controlled in the same way as drugs.”
Dr. Johnson-Arbor, a Hartford Hospital toxicologist, says, “It’s (melatonin) possibly thought to affect growth, and to affect sexual development and puberty.” Other side-effects can include headaches, drowsiness and stomach ache.
According to the National Institutes of Health, “Melatonin should not be used in most children. It is possibly unsafe. Because of its effects on other hormones, melatonin might interfere with development.”
There’s no need to put your kids at risk just to get them down for the night. The plain truth is, children need to be taught to sleep properly — and it’s up to you, Mom and Dad, to show them how.
Now Tell Me.....
What are some of your thoughts on melatonin for use in children?
I can't wait to hear what you have to say in the comments below!
Jo Anna Inks
I help tired, frustrated parents get their babies sleeping through the night and napping well so everyone in the family can get the rest they so desperately need!