I love my job as a Paediatric Sleep Specialist. It is an honour to meet new families and be able to support them in maximising sleep for the whole family. Before coming to me, many of my clients have previously had an unsuccessful experience with a Sleep Consultant. For one reason or another things didn’t work out and it made me want to help parents know what to look for when choosing the right sleep consultant for them.
Hiring a sleep consultant is a milestone event and you want to make sure you choose the right person who is right for you and your family. The thing is there are so many sleep specialists, sleep consultants, and sleep coaches all specialising in infant or paediatric sleep. Where do you even start?! It’s an area that is not regulated in any way so there are many good and not so good ‘sleep experts’ out there. How do you find a good one? Spending a little time asking the right questions and doing a bit of research can make all the difference.
Here are 5 things to do before hiring a sleep consultant
1. Ask to see their Sleep Qualifications
Qualifications; The highest level of training for specialised paediatric sleep consulting is a Level 6 OCN accredited course. For this, participants have to prove they have completed the entry-level requirements before they sign up! This is a guide to knowing exactly how much training they have completed. They should also have other child-related qualifications, Childcare Level 3 being a basic one.
2. Enquire about their Professional Experience
I would expect a good Paediatric Sleep Consultant to have other professional child-related work experience. This could be as a Private Maternity Nurse, Paediatric Nurse, Health Visitor, or Daycare Manager to name but a few.
3. Request references
Check out their references and see what their clients have to say. They should happily share already written references as a bare minimum!
4. Find out the cost
Find out exactly what they offer and how much that will cost you. They should offer a free informal chat to explain what they offer before you hand over any money and make any commitment.
5. Look out for a holistic approach
By holistic, I mean do they look at the whole picture? Do they make efforts to take into account your daily routine, family support, feeding, baby’s health etc? Only by doing this will they be able to offer you options on how they can support you in sleep training your child effectively.
Beware of the pitfalls
There are some sleep consultants claiming a holistic approach but only offering one option to sleep training. And this may not suit you or be compatible with your family and their needs. Be wary of the sleep consultants that offer a budget 30-minute consultation. It might sound appealing but think about it, how can they possibly get all the information they require in this time to be able to offer appropriate options? Plus, it is this approach that usually results in you being sent lists of research and information to do yourself. Instead, make sure the sleep consultant you choose has done all the research and is able to share relevant information with you.