Nah, that’s not for moms
“Get used to not sleeping”, they say. Our bombardment with this phrase, and others like it, starts when we announce our pregnancies, and it continues the entire time our bellies (and hearts) grow. And then, we bring home our bundles of joy and begin to watch the clock throughout the night as our sanity and well-restedness slip away, minute by minute and night after night.
It is no secret that when newborns are introduced to life outside the womb, they have a hard time adjusting. As parents, we feel obligated to respond to their every need, so we swaddle them, we rock them, we feed them day and night, we bounce them, we “shush” loudly walking circles around our house, we drive around aimlessly with them in the car, and we comfort them to keep them from crying. We give no regard to any habits that we might be forming because when push comes to shove, we are coping, trying to get through each day and night without going crazy. We know they are only little once, and we want (and need) to soak it all in!
As the weeks pass on, our newborns enter infancy and then, quickly, become active 9 month olds with strong personalities. We don’t dare mess with them now. Coping at this phase becomes bringing them to bed with us because it is just easier, and since we’ve gone 9 months without rest, we are getting desperate.
Before long our bundles of joy are three years old and “sleeping” in their own big kid beds. We don’t care just how long it takes to get them to sleep, nor how long we have to lay in their bed with them to get to that point. As long as they make it a few hours before coming to join Mom and Dad, we will count it as a win. Everyone is exhausted, and we all deserve to sleep.
Parenting is hard. Parenting on minimal sleep is even harder. Whether you identify with the newborn, baby or toddler parent above, your parenting experience doesn’t have to completed on an empty tank. Sleep can be your reality!
“With all of the information that’s readily available online, and the resources I have at my disposal in the form of friends and family who have managed to get their kids to sleep, why would I want to invite a stranger into my home to get my child sleeping through the night?”
I don’t often hear this question phrased exactly like that, but I know it’s a concern that a lot of parents have when they’re thinking about getting some professional help with their little ones’ sleep habits. And it’s a valid question! After all, your mother managed to get you to sleep at some point and your friend might have four kids who are all champion sleepers, so they should have some answers for you, right?
Well, yes! At least they might. But then again, they might not.
And let me be the first to say, if you’ve got someone who can help you in this situation, I’m not the least bit offended if you want to ask them for help instead of calling a certified consultant. After all, we’re all trying to save our money where we can, so if you can remedy the problem without paying for it, I’m all for that option.
Then why should I hire a sleep consultant?
Most of the time, however, my clients are parents who have already tried that route and found it wasn’t successful, and there are dozens of reasons why that might happen. The biggest reason why the solutions that work for one parent don’t work for another is simple… They’re not dealing with the same baby!
Some babies are heavily reliant on sleep props. Others can’t sleep in a room that’s too warm. Some may not be getting enough daytime sleep, and others might be overtired. This baby might have developed an association between feeding and falling asleep, whereas that one might be ready to drop their second daytime nap. And, of course, it could be any combination of all of the above, or the many other sleep challenges that babies might experience.
Adding to the challenge is the fact that most solutions don’t work overnight, so parents might try a solution that could potentially help baby start sleeping through the night, but abandon it before it takes effect due to some heavy protesting on baby’s part.
In short, sleep is a complicated issue and there’s very rarely one single thing that can remedy the situation overnight. A professional sleep consultant has the experience and training to recognize which problems result in specific symptoms, and can work with you to develop a personalized plan for your child that addresses those individual issues. They can also provide some much needed support when things don’t seem to be working, and give you the encouragement you need to follow through on that plan until it starts to work.
We hire professionals for other areas of need – why not sleep?
Consider the example of a personal trainer. You could just buy some dumbbells and watch some YouTube videos in order to get in shape, so why pay someone to guide you along? Well, because they’re able to give you solid advice based on education and experience, they can help to keep you motivated, and they know how to respond to the problems that might arise when it comes to your specific situation.
We pay professionals for their services because they provide us with skills and amenities that are worth investing in. Very few things in life seem to carry the importance of sleeping well (and enough). Investing in sleep can help prevent illness, allow spouses to enjoy one-on-one time with each other once the little ones are in bed, give parents a chance to catch up on other duties around the house, and boost the overall mood and attitude of the entire family! If you want to read examples of how sleep is benefitting my past clients, check out their sleep success stories.
So when it comes to your little ones and sleep, I hope you find success on their own and with as few problems as possible. But if that doesn’t happen for you, just know that a professional, certified consultant has the answers and customized support you need to bring healthy sleep back into your home.
Certified Sleep Sense ™ Consultant