How to choose a sleep consultant?

You’ve had a dreadful night wondering how to get your baby to sleep. You’ve tried everything – advice from friends, a sleep tracker app or a best-selling book promising better sleep. Nothing works or if it does it only lasts a few days only to revert to multiple wakes, nap refusal or early morning wake ups. Finally, you decide to hire a sleep consultant or sleep trainer, but unless you have a word-of-mouth recommendation how on earth do you choose a sleep consultant?

Baby or toddler sleep consulting is an unregulated industry; a lovely website does not mean a successful result and the wrong practitioner can be a waste of your time, hard earned cash and cause you even more stress. Careless or unsubstantiated work can leaved parents emotionally scarred, so it can be a stressful decision to make.

Using a decision making model is a popular way of making informed parenting decisions and is especially useful when you are sleep deprived or uncertain. You might have used the acronym BRAIN in your NCT class I like to use the decision making triangle with postnatal groups.

Imagine a triangle with three corners;

1. Folk

2. Facts

3. Feelings.

Think through your triangle;

  1. Folk – who are they? What are their qualifications? Do they have empathy or is this just a job? You’ll get their vibe on a free discovery call and warning bells should ring if they don’t have relevant qualifications or don’t offer a free discovery call (all good sleep consultants will offer this as a way for you to find out how they work  and if it would suit you and your family.
  2. Facts – do they use scientific evidence? I don’t mean to be disrespectful; I know and like many wonderful nannies but many think that nannying or maternity nurse experience is enough to become a sleep consultant! It takes many years of training, usually with multiple providers to gain enough knowledge to practice. A good sleep consultant will have trained with Lyndsay Hookway  and the Open College Network and the amazing Baby Em team, have studied with the Millpond Sleep clinic who offer fab CPD days, be a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants and have a related university degree. Price comes under facts too. Does their package fit your budget requirements, can you cancel if sleep gets better before your first meeting? Find out all the facts.
  3. Feelings. Vital to parents. You need to trust your gut here and each person will have a different opinion. It’s a bit like dating I guess. If you like the practitioner and feel that they have empathy for you and your sleep issue  and you come off the phone with a warm glow or feel better after speaking to them even though no sleep consulting has yet been done then you know that’s the one to book.

Good with your search, I hope to have a discovery call with some of you soon! To book please use this link

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