Updated: Sep 29
Hi everyone, and welcome to my first blog post! For those of you who don’t yet know me, my name is Charlsie, and in addition to being a mom of two, I’m a health psychologist, board certified behavior analyst, and most recently, a certified pediatric sleep consultant. If you’re like me, when my children were very young, I didn’t know sleep consultants were a thing, much less, what they actually do. So, I thought the best place to begin this blog is to break down what I do as a sleep consultant and help you determine if it’s something that you might be a good fit to help your family get the sleep you all need. Let’s dive in!
What is a sleep consultant, anyway? At the broadest level, a sleep consultant is someone who specializes in infant and child sleep and has obtained training and certification to help families to teach their children the skill of independent sleep.
What that assistance looks like varies between sleep consultants and the types of services they provide, but generally includes the following:
An assessment of the family’s sleep challenges and goals they would like to reach while working with the sleep consultant (often gathered through the initial phone call and/or a questionnaire)
A sleep plan that provides step-by-step instructions for implementing one or more sleep training methods (this usually involves bedtime routine, what to do at bedtime and middle of the night, as well as a daytime schedule and anything else relevant to the family’s goals)
One-on-one support for implementing the sleep plan and troubleshooting any specific issues during the contracted time together (this could be through phone calls, emails, and/or text or voice messaging)
You’ll notice that the parent(s) or caregiver(s) are the ones who are actually conducting the sleep training, not the sleep consultant. Sleep consultants are supporting parents/caregivers to meet their goals, much like a personal trainer helps individuals meet their fitness goals: the trainers don’t do the work for you, but instead, they guide you based on their expertise for what will help you reach your goals.
So, who needs a sleep consultant? This is a very specific question that only you can really answer for yourself! Can you help your little one learn to sleep on his or her own without hiring a professional? Most likely! Can you do so as quickly and with as few tears as possible without a professional? This is where it gets a little harder to answer here without knowing your specific challenges and goals. I’m not here to make that decision for you, but let me at least tell you a bit more about how having an individualized sleep plan for your family along with one-on-one support from a professional can ensure your success!
I like to think of myself as the objective outsider who can see the big picture and guide parents toward what will help them reach their goals. I have read nearly all of the existing pediatric sleep books and articles and use that knowledge to formulate a plan that helps that particular family, but I do so while taking into account their parenting style, baby’s temperament, and the overall goals we are working toward. I’m a family’s guide, cheerleader, and accountability partner for having a plan and sticking with it (and helping to modify the plan when we need to!).
And most importantly, I help busy, tired families to simplify the sleep training process, ensuring their success much quicker than they would be able to do on their own (just like if you were to start working out by yourself – you can absolutely reach your goals, but it might not be as quick as it would be if you have a personal trainer to pinpoint the exact things that will make a big difference in meeting those goals).
Are you a tired parent, worried about your little one and whether they are getting enough sleep? You feel like you’ve read the entire internet and scoured social media, blogs, and websites related to infant and toddler sleep, but still feel stuck and unsure what to do? I would love to simplify this process for you, just as I have for many other families. See the services we offer to help families with any budget to reach their goals.
If you’re interested in finding out how a sleep consultant can help you reach your family’s sleep goals in a way that fits your parenting style as well as your little one’s temperament and current stage of development, request a free sleep assessment call with me, where we can explore your family’s sleep challenges, goals, and how I can help your family get well rested soon!
If you don't need one-on-one support, but would like to know everything there is to know about the different sleep training methods and how to implement them, I also have an online sleep training course you can purchase through Welcome Home Baby, LLC.