Are you thinking about hiring a sleep consultant but are not sure how they work to help you with your child’s sleep problems? I cannot speak for all sleep consultants, but I have trained with two different organizations and know how a large number of the consultants work from those organizations. I will give you some general information and some information from my own practice.
Appointment Set Up
Normally, we first set up a time to have an in person consultation at your home. If you are using my services and are not in the local Washington DC Metro area, we will set up a time to do a phone call or a Skype Consultation.
Many consultants, including myself, will have you fill out a form before meeting. This form is helpful so that we can create a plan before our meeting. I look at your child’s schedule, background information and your parenting philosophies to create a rough draft of the plan. This form can also give me information about possible medical conditions that I may have you go back to your pediatrician with. We do want to make sure there are no underlying medical conditions before we start sleep training.
At the consultation, the parents and consultant together finalize the plan. I do not just give the parents a plan and make them follow it. I find a plan is more likely to be followed through with if the parents have a say in creating it. The parents after all do know their child best and know what will work for their family best.
After the consultation, many sleep consultants offer follow up phone calls or Skype calls. These calls help the parents while they are doing the training. It helps if the parents have a really bad night and know they just have to get through to the next day and then they can call their consultant and tell them they need a new plan or more support.
How do you choose?
In choosing a sleep consultant, parents should find one that they trust and get along with. Many consultants offer a free introductory phone call so that parents can get a sense of their background and philosophies. I believe that there is no one plan that works for all children and so I encourage people to look for sleep consultants who have a variety of training.
To get more information on the training programs I’ve completed, check out The International Maternity Institute’s Maternity and Child Sleep Consultant and Kim West’s Gentle Sleep Coach. You can also look at the Association of Professional Sleep Consultants for more information.
Feel free to contact me or comment below with any questions or comments you have!
By Michelle Winters