Disclosure:: This post is sponsored by Bayou Slumber Sleep Consulting.
Why Hire a Sleep Consultant?
A common acceptance of parenthood is that you’re going to be tired possibly for a few months. Babies and kids don’t sleep much, and that’s just the way it is. Welcome to yournew normal. But maybe this isn’t the way it has to be. Could your baby’s sleep, your sleep and sleep for the whole family be improved? With some work, a little education, time and patience a well rested baby and family is achievable.
Sleep is something we all spend a lot of time doing, yet most of us don’t understand what sleep really is, or why we seem to need so much of it. As a result, we take sleep for granted, that is, until we start not getting enough of it!
Why is sleep important?
Sleep is the power source that keeps your mind alert and calm. Every night and at every nap, sleep recharges the brain’s battery. Sleeping and eating are both necessary for survival. If you eat an unhealthy diet, you may become malnourished. In the same way, if you have unhealthy sleep habits or lack of sleep you become mentally malnourished. Infants or toddlers who are not getting enough sleep may frequently rub their eyes or faces throughout the day, will have more difficulty dealing with pressures of the day, focusing on tasks and acquiring and retaining knowledge. Consolidated, uninterrupted sleep is the most restful kind of sleep for both infants and adults. Sleep that is interrupted by awakenings during the night can decrease mental awareness, attending and lead to mood impairments for both children and parents.
Now that you understand just how important sleep is for your child, it is time to look at reasons that could be keeping your little one and you from getting a restful night’s sleep.
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 the baby start sleeping through the night, but abandon it before it takes effect due to some heavy protesting on the baby’s part.
Many people hire a sleep consultant only as a last resort. You may try reading every book available or try various methods recommended by family and friends. The problem is a lot of this information can be conflicting and confusing. When you keep trying different methods such as nursing your child to sleep one night, letting her cry it out another night or rocking her to sleep, you create a pattern of inconsistency. Children thrive on structure and routine. When they are given conflicting messages about sleep they will not have a chance to learn which method is the one that works best for them, or delay the opportunity for your child to develop independent sleep skills to carry on throughout life.
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.
As you have read, solving all of your child’s sleep issues may take some looking into and time. Here are a few of the most important things you need to do to teach your child healthy sleep habits:
- Eliminate sleep props
- Establish a predictable bedtime routine
- Go to bed early
- Stay consistent with your child’s age appropriate schedule
No matter where you are in your sleep journey, keep in mind that it is never too early or too late to improve your sleep situation. If you are struggling with sleep, it doesn’t mean that you or your baby has failed, it may just mean that you need extra help to develop a good routine. If you are struggling with sleep with your child I would encourage you to reach out. I have the knowledge and can offer an individualized plan and full support to help change sleepless nights into peaceful nights. Take advantage of my free 15 minute assessment call to further discuss your sleep issues.
Learn more by contacting Margaret Guccione at Bayou Slumber Sleep Consulting.
Email [email protected] or call (337) 385-9265
About the Author
Newborn, Infant and Child Sleep Consultant Margaret Guccione has been working with parents and children since her days as a student in various settings during her physical therapy schooling. Her first career and still current career has been in the field of physical therapy. Margaret graduated from LSU Baton Rouge with a Bachelors in Kinesiology, then from LSU Shreveport with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. For the past 14 years, Margaret has concentrated her studies and clinic work in the area of treating patients with neurological diagnoses from children to adults. This experience has allowed her to educate herself to have the expertise to diagnose impairments impacting functional activity, work with patients, including both children and adults, to treat and improve these impairments, enhancing a patient’s functional mobility and everyday life.
After the birth of her son Leo, Margaret experienced firsthand the difficulties new parents face when trying to promote and develop positive sleep habits in their children. Drawing on her physical therapy training, including her ability to diagnose a patient with impairments and provide an individualized treatment plan, Margaret began comprehensive research into the subject of child sleep and was surprised to find the information that existed was conflicting and confusing. This led her to do extensive reading and research to develop the knowledge to work with and teach her son Leo the necessary skills to promote good sleep habits and achieve the daily sleep he needs for proper development.
Margaret has been personally trained by Dana Obleman, the creator of The SleepSenseTM Program, whose methods have been used worldwide by more than 57,000 families to quickly and easily solve their children’s sleep problems. Her program stresses the importance of letting children learn how to soothe themselves into a deep, restful sleep.Margaret is certified by Dana Obleman to teach the Sleep SenseTM Method to local parents.