When to Consider Sleep Training

Infant Sleep

It may surprise you to hear that I am the first to say that sleep training isn’t for every family. If and when to consider sleep training is different for every family and dependent upon personalized goals. However, if you are in the throes of sleeplessness, you might be wondering if sleep training can help. This blog is for you if you asking yourself questions like:

  1. What is sleep consulting?
  2. What can sleep training help with?
  3. What will a sleep consultant do to help my baby sleep?
  4.  When is sleep training not a good fit?

What is sleep consulting?

Sleep consulting is a service that supports, educates, and guides parents through the process of resolving their children’s sleep disturbances. Consultants are highly educated on pediatric sleep with both prior experience and backgrounds that qualify them well for consulting. Consultants will support families, in-home or virtually, through calls, texts, and emails to address behavioral aspects of sleep. This includes routine, environment, and nutrition, which are key contributors to healthy sleep habits.

By addressing all aspects of sleep hygiene, sleep consultants are able to identify and resolve factors that often have a negative impact on sleep. While sleep consultants do not provide medical services, the team at Sleep Wise has been able to uncover medical issues. Many of these issues also impact sleep, such as lip and tongue ties, ear infections, food allergies, specific deficiencies, and refer them to appropriate specialists. At Sleep Wise, we have also worked with many families who have children with known medical issues, successfully improving sleep for many with special needs.

What can sleep training help with?

If your child struggles to fall asleep, has difficulty staying asleep through the night, wakes up too early, takes short naps, better sleep is possible! Or if you have a toddler or older child that is struggling with anxiety, consider talking to a sleep expert who works in pediatric sleep. Find an expert familiar with a wide variety of sleep disturbances. Parents of multiples also turn to sleep consultants to manage twins and triplets‘ sleep in a loving, sustainable way. A sleep consultant identifies many factors that contribute to sleep (or lack there of). Consultants desire to help you find a solution that works for your child, ensuring that they can sleep more peacefully.

Parents may also choose to work with a sleep consultant in the newborn phase of life. Newborn plans are not based on traditional sleep training, but rather a thorough step by step process of sleep education. Establishing healthy sleep habits from the get-go sets a child up for healthy sleep from the start. Newborn plans offer a longevity of support to encourage long-term success!

Additionally, a parent may decide to sleep train because their child’s sleeplessness is negatively impacting their own mental health. If a parent/caregiver is feeling lost, confused, or frustrated about their child’s sleep struggles, seeking an expert can help. A sleep consultant will also be able to ensure your child is sleeping in safe sleep environments.

What will a sleep consultant do to help my baby sleep?

It’s important to consider each child, their sleep circumstances, and the family goals, uniquely. While there is no one size fits all approach to sleep training, a sleep consultant will most often make recommendations for changes to a child’s routine. For example, if a baby is used to being rocked each time they fall asleep, that is the routine that they know. If rocking the baby to sleep is no longer working for the child and/or the parents, a new routine will be implemented.

At Sleep Wise, we offer real-time support to watch and coach a family through a child’s response to any changes. By staying in frequent communication with families, we adjust a sleep plan to meet a child exactly where they are.

When is sleep training not a fit?

Some reasons why sleep training may not be a fit are:

  • You are happy with your child’s sleep as is
  • Parenting style/choose to co-sleep
  • Unable to maintain consistency with sleep habits
  • Cost (Sleep training can be covered by HSA/FSA, but sometimes, it is an out of pocket expense that covers a consultant’s time and expertise.)
  • Certain medical conditions

The best way to learn if sleep training is a good fit for your family is by taking advantage of a free evaluation call. Those that have not had direct experience with sleep consultants may have misconceptions about how sleep training works. That misinformation can persist and make it even harder to decide if sleep training might be a fit for your family. Let me assure you… If you are someone who is struggling with your child’s sleeplessness, there are experts that can help!

By Katie Pitts, Founder & CEO of Sleep Wise Consulting

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