Working with a Sleep Consultant: what can I expect?

Child and parent holding hands
Photo by Aditya Romansa on Unsplash

Asking for help with anything personal is a massive step. It can feel strange opening up to someone you don’t know well when it involves sharing parts of your family life. However, working with someone from outside the family can be helpful in being able to have a non-biased view of what is happening with your child’s sleeping habits.

Here are some things to think about if you feel you might need the services of a Sleep Consultant:

  1. Find someone who matches your own values, beliefs and parenting approaches. You should try to find a Consultant who will support and embrace your views and parenting styles.
  2. Have a chat with the Consultant first, before booking a consultation package. This can help you to ensure that you feel some kind of connection with them and also that you feel you can trust what they have to say.
  3. Be realistic in terms of timescales. If you are choosing to use a more gradual or gentle approach then it is going to take more time than some of the more ‘strict’ methods.
  4. Identify what kind of support will suit you best. Talk through the options with any potential Consultant. Some parents are happy to work remotely on Zoom or telephone whilst others need more hands-on support and choose a Home Visit approach, preferring day or overnight support. I am often asked which approach is better but, really, you should concentrate on options that feel right for your family and for your own needs. Some parents feel more anxious than others about implementing change and this is when a more hands-on approach can be beneficial, allowing a Consultant to guide you step-by-step in each given moment through the day and/or night.
  5. Be open with your Consultant. Share concerns and update them on your progress over the course of the time you are working together. This way, your Consultant can guide you appropriately and answer questions as they arise.
  6. I recommend working on a 1-1 basis with a Consultant rather than just buying a sleep plan online. An online sleep plan is likely to be cheaper, yes, but it is also likely to be much more general and not at all specific to your needs. For some children, a general approach works well but most babies/children need a more individual plan that reflects their personality, temperament and needs. As before, the plan should also reflect your parenting styles and beliefs, and this is more difficult to do when reading a generic guide. On a 1-1 basis you can also arrange a package which fits right for you in terms of follow-up support.

An old fashioned telephoneIn general, working with a Consultant on a 1-1 basis allows you to have a much more personalised experience, with a plan and with insights specifically catering to your needs and those of your child. With a Consultants help, you should end up no longer dreading bed-time, feeling less sleep-deprived and allow you more personal time in the evening with the rest of the family.

If you would like the opportunity to have a chat with me about your own personal situation and see how I might be able to help you, my contact details can be found on this webpage.