Hello sleepy parents!
I am very excited to be writing my first blog post! For my first post I just wanted to get into what sleep consulting is exactly. It is still a pretty new field that some people are unaware even exists. I have a degree in early childhood development and have worked with babies for 10+ years as a nanny, in daycare and have a daughter of my own. I decided I wanted to became a pediatric sleep consultant and got certified through the institute of pediatric sleep-https://instituteofpediatricsleep.com. My main objective as a sleep consultant is this: to help your baby get more sleep (which in turn will help you and your family get more sleep). How to achieve this goal is up to you. The first step to a consult is selecting a package and filling out a detailed intake form letting me know what your baby's sleep troubles are, how they currently get to sleep, what their schedule is like, etc. I provide step by step sleep plans based on your goals, your baby's age, your baby's temperament and your parenting style. It can be as basic or as detailed as you would like. Along with that step by step plan I also provide you with information on setting up an ideal sleep environment, information on safe sleep based on research and the AAP's recommendations and an age appropriate daily schedule. I will then support you through the sleep training process through email for 1 or 2 weeks depending upon which package you choose. What separates sleep consultants from googling any sleep training is that I am going to choose a customized plan based on your baby's needs- it's not going to be a "one size fits all" plan. Also I am going to support you through the process and answer any questions that come up to your specific situation.
Other packages I offer (not sleep training):
Newborn 0-3 month package on how to create healthy sleep habits from the start.
A newborn class for expecting parents or those with babies 0-3 months with 5 chapters that goes into detail on the science of sleep, what to expect and how to set up healthy habits from the beginning.
Basic package with sleep tips and FAQS
Visit my services page for more info https://www.ashley-restfulnight.com/services
Misconceptions about sleep training:
My baby is going to be "crying it out." CIO is a form of sleep training but not one that I ever recommend. There are other gentler methods that I use. Your baby will never be left to cry themselves to sleep. Will there be some tears shed in the sleep training process? Yes. Crying is your baby's only way of communication. They will be upset that you are changing their routine but they will not be left to cry themselves to sleep all night.
Sleep training means I can't cuddle and hold my baby. Very untrue! You can love and snuggle your baby as much as you want at bedtime and during the day. To sleep train your baby we want them to be able to go to sleep independently. At the end of the bedtime routine your baby is put down awake but drowsy and not falling asleep in your arms. In the newborn stage your baby will most likely fall asleep on you from time to time and that is okay! Your baby is not going to think you love them any less if they learn how to fall asleep independently. Give them all the snuggles and love you want during that bedtime routine.
When my baby wakes up in the middle of the night they must need something. This may be true for young babies who still need to eat during the night (check with your pediatrician on when to stop night time feedings). A baby who no longer needs to eat during the night is most likely waking up because they do not know how to get back to sleep on their own and they are put to sleep with what we call a "sleep prop." Babies who rely on sleep props such as nursing, rocking, being held, a bottle, etc will also rely on that same thing to get them back to sleep throughout the night. Teaching your baby how to go to sleep independently will help them transition through sleep cycles and go back to sleep on their own.
I don't need to sleep train because my child will grow out of it. A baby who is not a great sleeper will most likely turn into a toddler who is not a great sleeper and then a child who is not a great sleeper. Habits that have been created for years are very hard to break as a child gets older. Sleep is a learned skill. The best thing you can do is start healthy habits early on by teaching your child how to go to sleep independently.
Signs your baby may benefit from sleep training:
Your baby is unable to get to sleep without you nursing, feeding, rocking, bouncing or using any other sleep prop
Frequent night wakings
Early morning wakings
Unable to nap for more than 30 minutes (over 6 months)
Your baby is often cranky and fights going to sleep
I hope that this gives you a better understanding on what exactly sleep consulting is and what services I provide. If you have any other questions feel free to message me!