Before I knew anything about sleep training, I was a marketing executive. I was organized, polished, totally “together.” Then I found out I was having a baby. I was excited and confident. How hard could this motherhood thing be? After all, women had been having and raising babies for millennia!
Then baby came, bringing new highs for my life, and also some new and unfamiliar lows. I was feeling my way through the fog of postpartum anxiety without even realizing what it was or why it was turning my life on its ear. I might have been able to navigate that challenge better had I not been tired—soooo unspeakably tired. All of my abilities as a hard-charging executive were failing me now. I could control my output in the corporate world, but a baby who refused to sleep through the night was totally out of my control—and it was derailing me.
Fortunately, some very effective postpartum care arrived like a lifeboat and saved me from drowning. As I restored order to my life, I knew two things:
- I was not the only parent who had experienced these doldrums
- I wanted to help other people find their way out
That’s how my passion for sleep training began, and, having built one of the most successful pediatric sleep coaching businesses in the country, I’m eager to empower others to help more families deal with the challenges of sleeplessness and sleep regression.
If you are interested in becoming a pediatric sleep coach, you might be wondering how to do it. What training and certifications do you need? Which methods are most effective? How do you turn your passion into a bona fide business? And once you do, how do you get customers?
There’s no “golden archetype” for a baby or toddler sleep consultant. I’ve trained men and women, new parents and grandparents and seen them launch very successful sleep coaching businesses. The best of them, however, have several qualities in common.
1. Passion. The best sleep consultants have seen families transformed when an infant or toddler finally begins sleeping through the night. After all, research shows that those who sleep just five hours per night are as cognitively disadvantaged as an intoxicated person! With all of the great sleep training methods out there, there’s no reason for families to be stuck in the swamp of sleeplessness. If you get incredibly excited at the thought of showing families a better way, you have the most important quality for success in sleep coaching.
2. Love of learning. Once I decided that I wanted to pursue a career in sleep training, I was amazed at the full range of concerns that needed addressing. Should you swaddle a baby? How do you swaddle a baby? How do you help a mom calm her postpartum anxiety? What about pacifiers? What’s the interplay between naps and nighttime sleep? How does feeding affect sleep? How do you transition a baby from a crib to a bed? What do you do when teething derails a hard-earned sleep schedule? It set me on a fascinating and rewarding quest for knowledge.
There’s no end to all that you can learn to perfect your craft. Even as a seasoned coach and mentor for sleep consultants and contributor to major media on all-things-sleep, I’m still learning new things all the time. If you have a hungry brain, sleep training is for you!
3. Flexibility. While there are a number of rigid constructs (such as the cry it out method) for teaching sleep, they just don’t work for every child. The best sleep consultants get to know a family without passing judgment, consider their style, needs, and desires and craft a customized solution. It may be in line with one prescribed method or it may be a hodgepodge of different approaches. It may work immediately, or it may require some careful tweaking. Every child is different, and every family is different. If you can roll with those unique dynamics, you’ll be a step ahead in this industry.
4. Entrepreneuring spirit. There’s a time and place for the 9 to 5 job and for being told what to do and when to do it. But if you’re ready for something different, sleep training offers many benefits. As your own boss, you can design your schedule around your family’s needs and determine how heavy or light you want your workload to be. You can exercise your creativity to brand your business according to your own style and grow it in innovative ways. If you’re a self-starter and have the vision to create a business all your own, the sky’s the limit.
5. Business acumen. One reason why sleep consultants fail is that they don’t have the know-how to launch and grow their business. There are a lot of sleep consultant certification programs out there that hand you your diploma and say goodbye, but knowing how to sleep train is only part of the battle. The other part is knowing how to market your business through a website, social media, press release, and podcasting. It’s setting up an organized process for client management and dealing with insurance, pricing, and contracts.
But the most successful sleep consultants I know didn’t start as business experts. They were open to learning valuable business skills as they went along, and they had mentors to help them out along the way. When they paired their growing business sense with their knack and passion for sleep training, they were the complete package.
To fill the gap between sleep and business training, I recently launched the only program out there that pairs the two. Graduates of this 6-month sleep consultant certification course are jumpstarting their success by immersing themselves in our intensive business course, which includes ongoing live coaching and mentorship. In doing so, they are awakening the sleeping business pro within and scaling their businesses with great success.
If you have these qualities, you’re on the verge of something exciting. Contact us, and we’ll help you become the go-to sleep expert in your corner of the world.