What is a Baby Sleep Consultant?
Getting a baby to sleep either for a nap or during the night is often a difficult task. Instead of trying to figure it out on their own, some parents rely on the help of a baby sleep consultant. It’s a great way to learn a lot about best practices for getting a baby to sleep without making common mistakes that might not be in the best interest of your baby.
The primary role of a baby sleep consultant is to help you figure out how to get your baby to fall asleep without any help. Unfortunately, there is a lot of inaccurate information about the needs of babies surrounding sleep. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of following a specific philosophy that aligns with how you want to raise your child. When it comes to sleep, a consultant can provide clarity when there are questions about what’s necessary to ensure your baby sleeps well.
A baby sleep consultant can provide helpful information that’s backed by research. They will also have hands-on experience that’s usually obtained by working with many other families. Below are numerous ways in which a consultant can help you.
1. Independent Sleeping
You’ve probably heard a lot of parents talk about wanting their baby to sleep through the night. This is actually something that’s a misunderstanding because babies don’t generally sleep all night long without waking up at some point. This happens to be a fact about all human beings. Even adults do not technically sleep through the night. We all wake up at some point, although we are not fully awake, but instead changing from one phase of sleep to another. The same applies to babies.
The goal is to teach your baby independent sleeping. That means you will teach your baby how to go back to sleep without your help. A baby sleep consultant can help you achieve this goal, which will basically seem like your baby is sleeping through the night.
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2. Nighttime Feeding Issues
It’s important to understand that the needs of your baby won’t necessarily be the needs of other babies. Every baby is unique and as a parent you will come to understand your baby’s feeding needs. A baby sleep consultant often helps parents understand that nighttime feeding is necessary. When you are receiving the help of a consultant, their goal isn’t to eliminate your baby’s need to eat during the night. Instead, they can help you understand how much your baby needs to eat. This will depend on different factors, such as the weight and health of your baby.
Although it’s sometimes necessary for your baby to eat at night, that doesn’t always mean your little one will actually wake up because of hunger. However, it does mean that sometimes it’s the reason why your baby doesn’t want to sleep. A consultant will provide an assessment of the situation to figure out what’s actually happening. Feeding throughout the day and night is necessary to maintain optimal health.
Generally speaking, many babies will want to feed a couple of times during the night, especially after they have reached four to five months of age. In the event that your bundle of joy is waking up frequently during the night and you can’t seem to figure out why, there’s a good chance that your baby has become reliant on night feeding. This is the exact type of situation that a baby sleep consultant can help you better understand and overcome.
3. Developing a Customized Plan
One of the biggest benefits of hiring a baby sleep consultant is they can provide guidance and direction based on the specific needs of your baby. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will have someone in your home throughout the night to make sure you baby is able to sleep – although that’s certainly a possibility. Instead, you can have a knowledgeable professional work with you to develop a plan that makes sense for your family.
A consultant that’s highly regarded will take the time to understand your family and your baby. They will listen to any concerns that you have and gather as much information as possible to develop a plan that will help to support your efforts of getting your baby to sleep.
Given the many advancements in technology these days, it’s so much easier to get the help you need using a method that works best for you. For example, sometimes a consultant will respond to text messages or provide guidance by video conference. The options are endless.
4. Less Crying
While there are some philosophies and strategies regarding how babies sleep that involve letting them cry it out, that isn’t necessarily a strategy that you should try. There are so many elements that must be considered before letting your baby cry until they fall asleep. Just because something is popular and used by a lot of parents doesn’t mean it’s best for your baby. A consultant can help you understand all of the different factors that must be considered.
In many cases, there’s a reason why a baby is crying and won’t go to sleep. A baby sleep consultant can help you pinpoint those reasons and find a solution that will work every night. This doesn’t mean you will have to rock your baby to sleep all of the time. In fact, that isn’t generally recommended. Instead, it means you will be able to figure out what your baby needs for comfort to fall asleep without your help. This isn’t something that you can always figure out immediately because every situation is different and often requires trial and error.
The reason why a baby sleep consultant is helpful is because they can provide you with the guidance you need to find the solution much sooner than you would on your own.
5. Understanding Sleep Needs
It’s important to understand that newborn babies do not have the cognitive development for sleep training. While it’s best to start around five to six months, you can still start the process later if you were previously unaware of sleep training. The value of sleep training if far reaching because it can alleviate a lot of frustration that often comes with not being able to get your baby to sleep and not understanding the problem.
If you plan early to work with a baby sleep consultant, you can bypass much of the frustration that new parents often feel. This doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll only need a baby sleep consultant for your first child. That’s because the strategy that’s developed for one baby might be entirely different than the plan developed for a second or third baby. The good news is that you won’t always need a consultant because some babies just sleep without any issues. It’s what many parents hope will happen. Fortunately, you can always get help if it doesn’t.
6. Expert Guidance
When figuring out the best sleep plan and technique for your baby, it isn’t necessary to implement rules that are strict because sometimes things will change. You’ll need to be flexible and patient, which is yet another benefit of a consultant. They can guide you through the process so that it isn’t as frustrating as it would be otherwise. They can walk you through the different strategies and techniques until the right one is discovered for your baby. You can also ask questions and have answers provided by a trusted resource. In fact, you should be prepared to ask plenty of questions so that you feel comfortable about the process and empowered down the road.
- It’s best to get a recommendation from someone that you trust. This way you won’t have to worry about whether or not they’re qualified.
- Once you’ve identified the person that you want to work with, you can ask for information about their methods and how they will go about helping your family.
- Meeting with the consultant will give you a chance to make a decision about whether they are the right choice for your family.
- Hiring a baby sleep consultant is a big deal because their success will have a significant impact on your family’s life for many months.
The bottom line is that a good baby sleep consultant will facilitate the process of helping your baby learn how to fall asleep without any help. The very idea of that is exciting for many parents, especially after being exhausted when you’re unable to get the sleep you need. Although there’s an expectation that you will not be fully rested as a parent, it doesn’t have to be as taxing as you think. There are sleep strategies that can lead to everyone feeling happy and rested.