Have you been instructed just to sleep when your baby sleeps? While said with good intentions, this advice is rarely helpful. What if your baby only sleeps in 15-minute snippets? What if your baby stays up all night and sleeps during the day…when you are working and can’t sleep.
If conventional wisdom has failed you, you may need to bring in the pros. Here are some telltale signs that you need to hire a sleep consultant:
1. Your Sleep Deprivation Is Negatively Impacting Your Life
If your baby’s sleep pattern negatively affects your family’s routine, relationships, or mental well-being, it’s time to seek professional help. Have you ever found yourself raising your voice to your partner or your little ones and then crying because of the guilt you felt for being unable to control your reaction? You are likely running off fumes and caffeine, and you cannot be the present and happy parent you want to be without adequate sleep. Your outlook and family will flourish with the right help.
2. If You Don’t Have A Handle On Your Baby’s Sleep
Between six months and the one-year mark, you should be able to tell if you’ve got a good grasp of your baby’s sleep preferences and schedule. If you have an increasingly fussy baby that will not sleep, are at a loss at what else to try, or are simply at your wit’s end, a sleep coach can save your sanity, keep you from spending hours reading less-than-effective sleep help books, and help your baby get their much-needed rest.
3. You Want Assistance Gently Changing Your Baby’s Sleep Habits
If you want to adjust your little one’s sleep routine more gently, you have to work at it consistently for a lot longer before seeing any rewards for your effort. If you are cosleeping and want to move away from that or to wean your overnight feeds, it can be nearly impossible to do this in a gentle manner by yourself. A sleep consultant will help you keep at it, avoid sleep crutches or backsliding, and guide the sleep plan at a comfortable pace for your chosen parenting style.
4. Sleep Training On Your Own Didn’t Take
Typically a sleep coach is not the first approach to fixing a sleep issue. If you’ve attempted Ferber or cry-it-out sleep training with no success, or you’ve hit a speed bump because of regression, or your little one got sick, a sleep consultant can reassure you, help troubleshoot, and get you all back on track.
5. You Need Pediatric Sleep Regression Solutions
Suppose you did successfully sleep train, or your little one is one of the few that’s always slept through the night, and now you’ve hit a regression where sleep for everyone goes out the window. Sleep specialists will have recommendations not only for nighttime but for things to implement during the day to help you get through this and future sleep regressions.
6. You’re A Single Parent
Plenty of parents with partners and family support still struggle with their baby’s sleep, so it’s even more challenging if you’re doing it alone. If your partner travels for work, is away on a military assignment, or it’s always been just you and your mini-me, a sleep coach can fill that gap to ensure you get the critical rest to be present for your baby during the day.
7. You Have Special Circumstances
- Medical Issues: If your child has a medical issue that affects their ability to feed, breathe, or digest properly, this is bound to impact their sleep. Most pediatricians will only recommend sleep training once the medical issue is under control, so you can get a professional to facilitate safe sleeping in the meantime.
- Alternative Work Routines: Perhaps you travel a lot for your job, so your baby frequently sleeps in different locations. Or maybe you work irregular hours, and you want to spend time with your baby before or after work. A sleep specialist can help when your circumstances don’t fit the mold for self-help sleep advice.
- Co-Parenting: If you and your partner are separated and sharing custody, changes in your little one’s environment can lead to bad sleep habits. Getting an unbiased third party to help navigate sleep troubles with both of you can be beneficial.
- Multiples: Having more than one baby at a time can increase your sleep problems exponentially. Hiring someone to help you synchronize your babies’ schedules will allow you to handle their night feeds and naps.
Remember, professionals can help at any point in your sleep journey from newborn to childhood, and it’s never too late to improve your sleep situation. Chances are if you are questioning if you need a sleep consultant, you need one pronto. Your sleep and family can only benefit from a specialist’s help, whether you are in dire straits or just struggling a bit.