What Does A Pediatric Sleep Consultant Do?
Updated: Sep 25, 2018
There are a variety of issues that can come up in regards to children and sleep. Sleep consultants are experts at looking at the whole picture and addressing these concerns so that children (and therefore parents) can get better sleep. Night feedings, pacifiers, transitioning from a crib to a bed, or from two naps to one are all things that can bring up questions and families often need some help bringing it all together. That’s where we come in. If your child’s sleep is ok but could be better or if it is downright terrible then a sleep consultant can help educate you so you can get your child back on track.
What kind of sleep challenges can come up?
At 4 months of age babies have developed their circadian rhythms. These wake and sleep cycles tell our bodies when we should be sleeping and when we should be awake. When we follow our circadian rhythms, it is easy to fall asleep and stay asleep. For a variety of reasons, some babies and children are either not sleeping when their body needs to sleep and/or they have not learned self-soothing skills. When either of these are happening, then a host of sleep challenges will manifest.
Babies or children who are sleeping at the wrong times and not hitting their sleep waves correctly can have very short naps or can wake up from naps cranky and still tired. They can wake up too early in the morning or have trouble falling asleep for nap or at bedtime.
Babies and children who don’t have self-soothing skills can wake many times at night or can also wake too early and take short naps because they don’t know how to put themselves back to sleep.
What do we actually do?
What is the process when you work with me? First, we will have a short (15 minute) phone call to chat with each other to see if we are a good fit to work together. In this call we will talk about the sleep challenges you are having and what your goals are. If we are a good fit and you would like to work with me we will set up a consultation.
Next, you will fill out an intake form that has questions about your child’s history and sleep challenges. This is where you can provide me with background so I have a better picture of what is going on.
Then, we will have either an in person or phone consultation, which takes about 1 hour. We will go over the intake form and I will ask follow up questions and get more information. We will talk about the sleep training methods and you will pick one you are comfortable with and you will decide on a day to start sleep training. There are 4 sleep training methods I use ranging from the most direct to very gradual. It is up to you which method you choose based on which you think will work well for your family.
Next, I will summarize everything we talked about in the consultation in a formal sleep plan that is unique to your family’s goals and needs. This is your guidebook for how to proceed when you start sleep training.
Finally, the hard work begins and within a couple days you will start sleep training your child. I will be available for follow up support, questions and encouragement for 2 weeks after you start sleep training. Most families see big improvement in a week or two as long as they are following the plan and are being consistent. The more gentle sleep training methods take a little bit longer, about 3 weeks.
Sleep training is a difficult process but once you put in the hard work and follow my guidance you will see you child’s (and your) sleep improve. I have yet to meet someone who doesn’t love when both their child and themselves are well rested. Sleep is worth it!!
What a sleep consultant is not.
I am not a doctor. I cannot advise on anything medical related, that is for you to work out with your pediatrician. I cannot diagnose anything and you will make the ultimate decision about what is right for your family. You are the expert on your child. Any concerns you have should be addressed in our consultation so that we can work through them to find a solution. I am not working directly with a child or baby, I work with you (the parents) and educate you so that you can implement healthy sleep habits for your child. If you have any more questions please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sleep Baby, LLC
Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant
©July, 2018 by Erin Myrmel at Sleep Baby, LLC