What is sleep consulting?
Sleep consulting is a partnership between parent, child, and a trained sleep consultant. A pediatric sleep consultant is a children's sleep specialist who provides families with solutions and support to correct their child's sleep difficulties. In essence, a pediatric sleep consultant teaches parents how to teach their child to sleep well.
What sleep issues do you address?
I am able to help parents work through virtually all sleep challenges that are not medical issues (such as sleep apnea). Some of the most common situations I help address include:
- Sleep education for new and expectant parents
- Establishing healthy sleep foundations
- Sleeping through the night
- Establishing age-appropriate night feedings
- Creating consistent sleep schedules
- Lengthening short naps
- Solving early morning wakings
- Addressing sleep regressions
- Preventing bedtime battles
- Working through nap transitions
- Transitioning from co-sleeping to independent sleeping
- Moving from a crib to a bed
- Helping toddlers stay in their crib or bed
- Coordinating schedules with multiples
- Assisting children with special needs to sleep well
What ages do you work with?
I work with newborns up to age 5 years. Between 0-4 months, we start establishing healthy sleep habits and routines to set your little one on the path to great sleep and prevent sleep challenges from developing. For these young infants, we do not implement a strict sleep schedule or formal sleep coaching, as babies at this age aren't developmentally ready for those things yet. After 4 months, we work towards age-appropriate schedules, independent sleep skills, and establishing all other components that constitute healthy sleep. See here for more information on the sleep services I offer for different age groups.
What is your training?
In addition to my personal experience with my own children, I am certified as a Pediatric Sleep Consultant with the Family Sleep Institute. My training in this evidence-based program included over 250 hours of study in the field of child sleep, which is 3x greater than any other sleep consulting program in the nation. The exceptionally comprehensive program included specialty courses on a variety of subjects, including: the science of sleep, latest research in the field, lactation, multiples, children with special needs, positive parenting, sleep disorders, and SIDS prevention. I also received extensive training on a variety of sleep coaching methods, allowing me to work with a broad range of parenting styles. Studying with the Family Sleep Institute provides me the privilege of continuing education as well as being connected with an amazing community of international consultants and industry experts, allowing me to stay at the forefront of the field.
What is your philosophy?
Sleep is a biological need, just as imperative to a healthy life as are food, shelter, and oxygen. When the body isn't getting the optimal amount and quality of sleep it needs, it cannot function properly. Sleep is not a luxury, a privilege, or something selfish to desire - it is a necessity. Insufficient sleep affects a child's behavior, attention, ability to learn, physical growth, and mental health.
While the need for sleep is biological, the ability to sleep is learned. All children can learn to sleep well, some just need a little more help than others. Teaching a child the skills to sleep well is a beautiful gift that will serve them well their entire lives.
There is no "one-size-fits-all" approach to teaching healthy sleep habits. Every child is unique, as is every family, parenting philosophy, and situation. Therefore, each child requires a personalized approach designed specifically for them. I take a non-judgemental, non-blaming, non-shaming approach to each and every family I work with and I never pressure families to use a sleep coaching method they aren't completely comfortable with. I support each family every step of the way and offer encouragement, advice, and education about their child's sleep needs.
It is important to remember that it takes longer to correct unhealthy sleep habits than it does to create them, so this process requires patience and absolute consistency in order to be successful. Every parent and every child can benefit from the gift of sleep. I'm here to help you give and receive that gift.
Can't we just read a sleep book and teach our child healthy sleep habits that way?
Certainly. If you feel confident choosing an approach on your own, go with it! The key to teaching children is consistency and patience, so be sure keep that in mind as you implement your own plan.