There are so many choices – especially about everything baby related – these days. Parenting pressure is real, and decisions can seem never-ending. One important choice is whether or not you want to sleep train your baby.

If you choose to sleep train your baby, there are a lot of questions to figure out. 

  • Who will guide you along the way so you know you’re doing things right? 
  • Who can you trust to help your little one sleep better? 
  • How do you hire a sleep consultant?

You’re exhausted, and therefore you need help with these answers. Your tired brain can only handle so much right now.

Doing your research before starting a sleep program is one of the smartest things you can do. Props to you, Mama, for wanting the absolute best for your baby, and preparing before hiring someone to guide you on the journey of improving sleep in your home.

What Does a Sleep Consultant Do?

Hiring a sleep consultant, sometimes called a sleep coach, is an investment in your health and your baby’s health, similar to getting a personal trainer. You’re looking to improve an area of your life. You know it should be better than it is right now. But you’re just not quite sure how to get there. 

So, what do sleep consultants do, anyway?

They train a different set of skills than personal trainers. The main focus is on helping your baby learn the skill of falling asleep independently – a skill that you already have, and probably took for granted before you had a baby.

Some programs focus just on sleep. Others, like ours here at Live Love Sleep, take a more holistic look at your personal situation and make recommendations about everything – from nutrition, to daily routines, physical activity, parenting styles, and more. You are probably going to be surprised at how many factors affect sleep. We want to make sure you’re not confused about whether something you do (or don’t do) is causing sleep issues for your baby.

Hiring a sleep coach means you’re ready for a change. Whenever you make a change in your life, there can be some short-term discomfort until you get used to the change. How much discomfort can you expect when implementing a sleep program in your home? That’s where hiring the right sleep consultant comes in. Mitigating your stress is one of our main goals – it’s what sleep consultants do!

How to Hire a Sleep Consultant in Three Steps

Make a List of Sleep Consultants

If you’re thinking about hiring a sleep consultant, first make a list of consultants you feel connected to based on their website or other online presence. If anything stands out to you, good or bad, write it down next to their name.

Most consultants offer introductory phone calls to get to know your sleep situation better and determine whether or not their program is a good fit for you (hint: a trustworthy sleep consultant will offer this call for free). 

Schedule a Few Calls

Second, remember you’re the boss here, Mama. You get to call as many consultants as you’d like before you select who you hire. When you speak to them, ask as many questions as you need to feel comfortable moving forward. 

Take this call as an opportunity to share your struggles, but also to gather information. You should never feel pressured during your call, or like your consultant is trying to upsell you. 

When scheduling your call, ask if Zoom or FaceTime are options. Over 90% of communication is non-verbal, which means we communicate in a lot of ways besides just with our voices! Facial expressions, gestures, posture, and body language are all critical elements of communication.

Of course, you may be more comfortable on the phone and that’s totally fine. But when you’re trying to decide which sleep consultant to hire, sometimes putting a live face to a name can be extremely helpful!

Know that you don’t have to say “yes” while you’re on the phone, either. If you need some time to think, or talk to your partner, that’s okay. Once you’ve determined which sleep consultant to hire, you’ll be able to get on their schedule and plan for some restful sleep in the very near future!

Starting a sleep training program is a huge decision. You should hire a sleep consultant who honors the opportunity to help you. If you get any bad feelings during a call, listen to your Mama intuition and move on to the next person on your list!

Finalize Your Question List

Third, prepare your list of questions to keep handy when you speak to your chosen consultants. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • How much does your sleep training program cost?
  • What sleep training methods do you use?
  • Does your program involve a lot of crying?
  • Is there any guarantee that your program will work?
  • How much experience do you have as a sleep consultant?
  • How long is the program?

Hiring a sleep consultant can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be! You’re in total control, and will definitely make the best decision. 

Questions to Ask a Sleep Consultant

Is a Sleep Consultant Worth it?

One thing to consider when choosing a sleep consultant is how much money you will have to spend. Some methods of sleep training are actually free – like the “Cry-it-Out”, or CIO method. Although this method doesn’t cost you money, it may cost you your sanity. For many moms, it’s simply not worth it.

A reputable company will likely have the prices for their services right on their website where it’s easy to find. You’re tired enough, and shouldn’t have to go hunting to figure out if their services will fit into your budget.

Hiring a sleep consultant can range from $250 to over $2,000. Make sure you understand exactly what the price includes, so you can determine whether or not the sleep consultant is worth it for you. Some questions to consider:

  • Is it just a standard sleep plan, or one that’s customized to your situation? 
  • Is it a virtual program or in-home? 
  • How much follow-up support is included in your packages?

All of these factors and more play a role in how much you will pay for sleep consulting services. Make sure you know what you’re getting for the money.

This brings up the next, and probably equally important question – what type of methods does the consultant use?

All of these factors and more play a role in how much you will pay for sleep consulting services. Make sure you know what you’re getting for the money.

This brings up the next, and probably equally important question – what type of methods does the consultant use?

How to Hire a Sleep Consultant

Different Sleep Training Methods

Believe it or not, there are consultants out there who do advocate for and use the CIO method. Here at Live Love Sleep, we all understand the agony of listening to your baby cry alone in the next room and not going to be with them. We don’t believe that this method is best for everyone, and we know that there are other, more gentle ways to help your baby learn the skill of falling asleep independently. Read more about Alternatives to the Cry It Out Method.

You should be able to gauge whether or not a sleep coach advocates for CIO based on their website. If you aren’t clear about it, definitely ask this question when you talk to them on the phone.

They likely won’t be able to go into great detail on your very first call, but more specifically you can ask questions like, “will I be able to be in the room with my baby?” or “will I be able to help soothe my baby as they learn?” to gauge what types of methods are involved.

Sleep Training and Crying

When hiring a sleep consultant, it’s important to know your sleep consultant’s philosophy concerning crying. In a perfect world, your baby would never have to experience discomfort. You know that discomfort is part of life, though. Your baby will likely protest any change that you implement – including a change to their sleep habits. This protest will be due to the fact that they’re not 100% comfortable with the changes, and they don’t have another way to let you know.

In contrast to simply reading a blog or a book and trying to figure things out on your own, you will know exactly which decision to make next when working with a sleep consultant because you’ll have an expert in your back pocket! Crying is minimized when you make specific adjustments as needed to tailor the plan to your baby’s specific needs.

That’s why all of our packages include follow-up support, which you can read more about in just a minute. First, how do you even know sleep training will work for your baby?

Does This Sleep Training Work?

It’s great to know how confident your sleep consultant is in their own program. Ask this question when hiring a sleep consultant, it gets right to it. Can they guarantee their program works?

Experienced consultants have more data to draw on (they’ve worked with more families) to be able to make claims as to how effective their programs are.

Here at Live Love Sleep, we tell parents there is a 100% success rate with those who practice consistency! The most sure-fire way to ensure a sleep plan doesn’t work is to be inconsistent.

We help you every step of the way so you know exactly what steps to take next to ensure your baby learns these new skills efficiently, and can really master them to become a good sleeper for life!

Sleep Training Success

Check Out Reviews to Estimate Experience

Another great question to ask when hiring a sleep consultant is how long they’ve been doing this work. You can get a pretty good idea about how long they’ve been around based on Google or Yelp reviews. This doesn’t mean that new consultants are bad, though.

All new consultants here at Live Love Sleep are mentored for a minimum of 6 months after completing their training. So, if you’re interviewing someone and they don’t have as much experience, you can ask about any mentorship available to them and how much experience their mentor has.

Speaking of certifications, one thing to know about sleep consultants is that there is no governing body – meaning anyone can call themselves a “sleep consultant”. Although this may make you feel uneasy, rest assured knowing there ARE certifications and there are companies committed to best practice and your baby’s safety.

Consultants at Live Love Sleep are Certified Sleep SenseTM consultants who have undergone three months of extensive training and complete several continuing education events each year to maintain certification. We stay up-to-date on the latest sleep research, and always follow updated AAP guidelines concerning safe sleep.

Ask How Long The Process Takes

Different sleep training methods take different amounts of time, based on how much intervention you’re providing for your baby during the learning process. And of course, every baby is different – but when hiring a sleep consultant it’s still appropriate to ask something like, “what is the average amount of time I can expect to see results with your sleep training methods”?

Here at Live Love Sleep, we have several different sleep packages depending on how much support you’re looking for. Some things to consider include, will you be given a sleep plan and expected to implement it all by yourself? Or will someone be with you along the way to help? What if things don’t go as planned? What if your baby has a rough night? How will you know if you’re doing something wrong?

Within each age group, we offer a range of options, from virtual-only packages up to full night in-home consultations. In-home consultations are most popular because you have us with you the first night that you’re implementing your sleep plan. With us being there, we can see how your baby is responding to the methods. We coach you on exactly what to do and help you adjust what you’re doing based on their responses in real time, which usually shortens the time it takes your baby to fall asleep on that first night.

All of our packages include the same amount of follow-up communication after that first night, so you can rest assured that you’re making the right decisions as you go. This support is key and something to make sure you’re clear on before hiring someone.

Here at Live Love Sleep, when our time together is up, we hop on a graduation call to go over everything you’ve learned, talk about what’s on the horizon, and how to handle the next big “thing” like a vacation, teething, or regressions down the road. 

We want to make sure you’re set up for sleep success moving forward. We also offer free troubleshooting calls to our past clients, so you’ll never feel like you’re in the dark.

You’re probably still wondering how long the process usually takes!

Our newborn packages are up to 4 months long. Newborns are not technically able to be “sleep trained”, because they haven’t developed the ability to self-soothe yet. Read about 5 Newborn Sleep Tips Every Mom Should Know for more information about your newborn’s sleep. This package is for you if you’re looking to support your baby’s sleep development in a way that promotes safe and healthy sleep habits down the road.

Our baby packages are designed for you if your baby is between 3 and 21 months old. These packages are two weeks long and include methods to assist your baby in learning to fall asleep independently, among other things. 

And if your little one is 22 months or older, our packages are 3 weeks long. It typically takes older kids a little bit longer to really integrate their new skills. This package is for you if you’re struggling with tantrums and screen time frustrations as well – these are directly related to sleep and we love helping you understand why!

As you can see, there is a lot to consider when thinking about how to hire a sleep consultant. There are a lot of questions you can ask, and many considerations. Choosing the right sleep consultant for your family shouldn’t be hard or stressful. You’ve already got enough on your plate and are probably not sleeping very well! 

Our team of consultants have all been in your exact shoes! Each of us started our journey to sleep consulting by first being that exhausted mom at her wits end. We learned the hard way that sleep is a human need – not a luxury! 

After experiencing the transformational changes of our program, we each decided to help other moms just like you navigate this sleep journey and begin sleeping peacefully at night once again. 

Are you ready to get some sleep, Mama? Send me a text at (703) 598-3414, or book a call today to begin your journey to restful nights and remembering the joy in motherhood!

Alternatives to Cry It Out

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