Like many babies, yours won’t sleep straight through the night. You’ve done everything your friends have told you to do and you’re constantly Googling “sleep tips.” Despite your best effort, your baby or toddler won’t get a good night’s sleep. It’s starting to affect your mood, and you’re feeling fatigued, affecting how you feel about motherhood and parenting in general. Does this sound familiar? If it does, it’s time to hire a sleep consultant.
There are many options when you search for the best sleep consultant for you and your needs.
Here are five tips you should consider when hiring a sleep consultant:
1. Ask around for referrals
Word-of-mouth referrals are always a good place to start. If your friend had a great experience with a sleep consultant, you might want to meet with her and see if there’s a good fit. While your experience won’t be exactly the same as your friend’s, at least you know someone who has worked with her personally.
2. Look for certifications and consider experience.
Aside from referrals, look for certifications. A sleep consultant can say they have years of experience, but an accreditation ensures that the methods they use meet industry standards and are evidence-based. Several associations and organizations certify sleep consultants. Do your research and see which methods resonate with you.
Of course, some experience is welcome, especially if your child has specific circumstances like reflux or tongue tie. While we have nothing against first-time sleep consultants, experience plays a role in knowing how to handle specific sleep-related situations.
3. Does their method align with your parenting values?
Do you prefer someone who has a more scientific approach or one who offers gentler suggestions you can easily implement? Find out what the consultant’s general philosophy on sleep is. You should be aligned in terms of approaches and expectations to ensure that you’re on the same page and to avoid clashing in the future.
Also, if you already have a specific sleep training method you want to use, look for a sleep consultant who uses this method. Be open with the sleep consultants you inquire with to avoid any miscommunication issues in the future.
4. How much does the service cost?
Like with anything in life, price does matter to a certain extent. While we all wish we could spend without looking at price tags, this is not the reality for most people. If you have a budget, you want to get what you pay for, so make sure you understand the service you will get.
You might find the initial service fee excessive, but when you find out it includes the initial consultation, a few nights at your home, text support, and phone consultations, you realize you’re actually getting great value for money. So, make sure you are comfortable with the cost and what you’re getting for the price.
5. Go with your heart
After considering everything above, go with the sleep consultant you feel fits you best. Sometimes it boils down to your gut feeling when meeting a person. You must trust your sleep consultant completely, so ensure you agree with their plan and get along with them.
Remember that all sleep consultants require parents also to do the work. Once you have a plan in place, it’s up to you to follow and implement it with your child. You are the one who lives with your child, not your sleep consultant. So, when you’re fully ready to commit to this process, please get the help you need, and be prepared to put in the time and effort to make it a success. Good luck!