Wondering what it would be like to work with a sleep consultant? This is the episode for you! Prefer to just read it? No worries!
I don’t think I need to tell you that sleep can be life-changing. I think you probably know that, either because you have experienced a lack of sleep, or you have experienced the gift of sleep. But sleep doesn’t always just come. Especially when we have children.
Working with a sleep consultant can literally change your life. Whether you’re spending hours each night laying next to your child waiting for them to fall asleep so you can sneak out of the room, or you’re rocking your child to sleep and your back is killing you, or your child wakes up multiple times throughout the night — all of these challenges can make it hard to get a good night’s sleep, and you may not even remember the last time you slept through the night.
A sleep consultant can partner with your family to create a plan for how to end those sleepless habits so that everyone in your house can get some rest. But you may be wondering what exactly it looks like to work with a sleep consultant, what you should expect, and how the whole process works.
So in this post, I’m going to share what you generally can expect when you make the decision to hire a sleep consultant. Of course, all sleep consultants are unique, so booking a discovery call to learn more about their philosophies and practices is an important first step.
Sleep Consultants Will Understand Where You Are With Your Child’s Sleep Struggles
The absolute first thing all sleep consultants will do is get a picture of where you are with your child’s sleep struggles. Before a sleep consultant can make a plan for your family, they need to know where you’re starting. And ideally, before they even agree to work with you, they should get an idea of what you’re struggling with.
I love helping families, but there are some situations that I don’t genuinely believe need a full support package. Getting on a discovery call helps me see if you would benefit from a support package or if you actually would benefit from a consultation instead.
Now, not every sleep consultant offers different services, but in order to serve you best, they’ll want to know where you’re starting.
They may ask for a sleep log that documents the last few nights to see trends or they may ask that you complete a questionnaire that provides a fuller insight into your child’s sleep and habits.
There is so much that impacts sleep, so be prepared to answer questions. And don’t feel bad during this process. One of the questions I ask moms is about their child’s eating habits, as certain food can impact sleep. This question isn’t meant to make you feel bad if your child doesn’t eat an array of vegetables and healthy protein every day. I’m a mom so I understand. I will never shame you or judge you during this process.
My only goal is to educate.
And that begins with knowing where we’re starting.
Sleep Consultants Will Know Where You Want to Go
After getting a full picture of where you’re starting, your sleep consultant will ask for your goals. What would you like to see change in your child’s sleep?
For some families, they may want to work on ending all night wakings, while other families are okay with a few night wakings each night. Some families want to work on lengthening naps, while others want to work on making bedtime less of a battle.
In order to know how to get you to your goals, your sleep consultant will ask you where you want to go! Now, often when I ask this question, parents will laugh. Because it’s such a dream to them that their child could ever sleep through the night, so they find it funny to even think about.
Your sleep consultant will tell you what’s possible and what’s not, so be open with them and share what your desire is. If what you want is outside of their scope of support, they should let you know up front. Most of the time, though, I find that families have very modest goals, because even if just one thing changes for them, they will be happy with the progress.
Sleep Consultants Will Support You As You Make Changes
After you share where you are starting with your child’s sleep and where you would like to go, your sleep consultant will make a plan for how to get there. And from there, the delivery of that plan varies based on your sleep consultant.
Here at Rockabye Mama, after a personalized plan is made for the family, I get on a video call with mom and dad and deliver the plan. We go through page-by-page so that they know what they need to do starting on night 1. Then we discuss scenarios and answer questions.
And depending on the package you book with your sleep consultant, they will then support you as you implement changes. That’s the key here. You will be making the changes, and your consultant will support you and guide you.
That support may be in the format of phone calls, emails, or text messages, and the frequency is dependent on your package. But your sleep consultant wants to see success with your family, so they will be there as you work hard on making those changes.
During this process, your sleep consultant is your guide, but you’re the one on the ground floor doing the hard work. It’s important to be open and communicative so that your sleep consultant can support you. If they ask you to send them an email each day or to update the sleep log, it’s vital that you do so — how else will they know what’s going on in order to support you?
Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed if you have off days or you didn’t stick to the plan completely. Explain to your sleep consultant what happened so they can help you re-adjust. We’re not in the business of shaming parents or making them feel bad. Our hearts are truly in it to help you, so being honest and open allows us to do so.
Your sleep consultant will be many things for you: a teacher, a cheerleader, a support system. But it’s a two-way relationship, and it requires you to show up and do the work and then communicate your questions, concerns, or celebrations!
I encourage you to ask any question you have before working with a sleep consultant so that you know you’re partnering with someone who has the same philosophy as you and someone who will give you the support you need.
If you’d like to learn what it’s like to work with us at Rockabye Mama, we invite you to book a call with us to see if we are a good fit for each other!