“Sleep training” is a dirty word!
(and the 10 questions you NEED to ask!)
It’s our own fault really. Every industry has its cowboys and mine is no exception! Just do a simple google search and you will find literally 100’s of self-professed “Sleep specialists”.
The question I encourage you to ask is “What makes you a specialist?” Don’t be afraid to ask the question! You may just find out that the “Specialist” you are about to spend hundreds of dollars on has no professional qualifications in anything to do with children and for that matter, probably doesn’t even have children!
In most cases, a parent usually goes into this line of work following their own personal struggles but more often than not, have no knowledge on child growth, development or wellbeing other than what they’ve learned on google or learned through their own child! This is scary!!!!
What’s even scarier is that they usually teach a “one size fits all” approach and that’s usually the one they used on their own child. They have no experience in working with families that have different parenting styles or beliefs. You’re forced to have your child “cry it out” when you clearly said you can’t do that or you’re left to feel like a “horrible” parent because you are so desperate for help that you’ll just about do anything and you’ve been told that that’s “wrong” and this is the only “right” way!
So you see, our industry has done this to ourselves! Some are so quick to share out mediocre experience and knowledge for financial gain that they forget that they’re potentially doing more damage than good! So “sleep training” is a dirty word and rightly so!
Ok. Now you know what to ask. The next step is to know what you want.
It’s not MY choice how you’re going to help your child sleep better. That’s YOUR choice. It’s our job to make sure that your needs and those of your family are met with no judgement, no distress to you or your child and leave you with the confidence to do this without us after we’re long gone.
YOU choose how YOU want to do it (a good consultant will give you options if you don’t know) and we’ll teach you how!
The “Cowboys” will tell you how to do it and seldom show you how!
Are your needs and expectations realistic?
Do they feel real to you? Do you feel like if they don’t change, you’re going to lose your mind?
Look, it’s absolutely NOT realistic to expect your 4-month-old to sleep through the night. On the other hand, it’s probably not necessary for your 18month old to wake for a feed every 2 hours overnight. Sometimes I’ll advise parents to give their 2-year-old a day sleep and others I’ll advise to stop that sleep!
You see, there’s no 1 solution that fits everyone. Each family has its different needs. But at the end of the day, if you’re struggling, pick up the phone and ask for help!
Did you know that babies have no concept of sleep before 9 months old? No? Not many people do.
Not even some “Sleep Trainers”! So, if babies don’t know that sleep happens, how do we train them to sleep or even improve their sleep? The answer is, WE CAN’T! A good “Child sleep consultant” or “Parenting Consultant” educates YOU, not your baby! They teach you what to look for in YOUR child, how to manage that in YOUR family and they do it in a way that you feel you’ve been listened to and supported!
So, where to from here?
If you’re thinking of asking for professional help for your child’s sleep issues, here’s 10 questions you need to ask…
- What are your qualifications?
- What is your success rate?
- How long have you practiced for?
- Do you have a number of approaches or just 1?
- Do you have a variety of delivery options? (Are you just being offered the most expensive option e.g. home visit v phone consultation)
- Do you have any testimonials? (often found on their Facebook page)
- Do you have a website where I can find more information? (Is the website professional and state the prices openly?)
- Do you have Professional indemnity and Public Liability insurance? (often, unqualified and “Cheaper” services won’t have insurance)
- Do you work with other professional services to ensure the holistic care of each child? (in other words, do they have a chiropractor, psychologist, paediatrician etc that they can refer to?)
- If it doesn’t work, do I get my money back? (A consultant that is confident with their services will offer you a money back guarantee. They are willing to “put their money where their mouth is”. This speaks volumes!!!!)
Please, please do not suffer in silence!
If you just need to have a chat, check if “it” is normal, get it off your chest or get some help, please contact us either by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or give me a call on 0403 332 104.