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I’m not sure how long baby sleep consultants have been a thing, but they’ve for sure grown in popularity even since I became a mother almost 3 years ago.
I agree that they have their place and that they are a tremendous resource for many families. However, I also believe that most parents would not need to utilize them if they tried some of the things that I’m about to discuss.
So many times I have seen advice offered for a price that could honestly be found via a quick Google search.
I’m not saying that sleep consultants are scammers (not even close!) but generally speaking, if a parent is willing to go and seek out the information, then they’ll likely find it waiting for them free of charge.
*this post contains affiliate links
Before We Begin
Many parents end up turning to sleep consultants because they are desperate. Their babies have gone months without sleeping for longer than a couple of hours at a time.
I understand what sleep deprivation does. You do what you have to in order to get by. However, unless you’re willing to wait an indefinite amount of time, you will need to implement some kind of sleep training with your child.
Again, a lot of parents are turned off by the term ‘sleep training’ because of what it is so commonly associated with. However, I would urge you to do some research before writing it off completely. You can start with this post –> A Simple Explanation of What Sleep Training Actually Is
You’ll find that there are many ways in which to sleep train your baby, all of which can be successful! Take the linked posts below for example:
With that said, let’s get into the tips that you’re here for.
1) Do Some Reading
Before your sweet baby arrives, do some reading.
Research on baby sleep and how to foster and encourage it to be healthy.
You can find out more information on both in the posts below:
- What You Need to Know About Babywise
- What You Need to Know About Moms on Call
- Babywise vs Moms on Call: 5 Differences You Need to Know About
Take what suits your family and run with it! If you know even a little about baby sleep it’ll help set you all up for success.
Some general things to know about are appropriate wake times, knowing how to understand your baby’s cries, and what healthy sleep habits are.
2) Don’t Nurse To Sleep
This can be difficult to achieve at the beginning when your baby is super sleepy (Val has some awesome tips on how to do this), but it is so worth persevering with.
It’ll help avoid snacking and give your baby the opportunity to learn how to independently fall asleep.
It also helps when it comes to troubleshooting sleep issues. If you know that your baby is taking a full feed then you’re less likely to be concerned that they are waking out of hunger.
3) Avoid Sleep Props
This follows on from the above point.
Allowing your child to fall asleep independently and without any sleep props will go a long way in preventing sleep issues down the line.
While it completely fine to rock your baby to sleep on the odd occasion, making a habit of it will make things more challenging long-term. There is definitely a balance here, which you can read more about in Val’s newborn hierarchy.
Find out what tools are beneficial when sleep training in this post –> The 3 Things You Need to Be Successful with Sleep Training
4) Have A Routine
Babies thrive on routine.
Even those that claim to have no routine probably have some amount of it throughout their day. Having a routine doesn’t mean withholding food from your baby, it simply means that you do the same things around the same time every day.
For the record, it is never too soon to begin working on establishing a routine with your baby. As with anything, you need to keep it balanced.
During the first 3 months, babies go through several growth spurts. Being aware of that will help you to adjust the routine when necessary.
5) Be Consistent
And to piggyback off of routine is to have consistency. Being inconsistent is the enemy of good sleep habits.
It is confusing and unfair to your baby to expect one thing one day and another thing the next.
Having a solid routine that allows for good naps and full feeds will allow your baby to have security as they understand what to expect. It also helps to regulate their metabolism as well as help them to get into a ‘sleepy state’ when it is time for sleep.
An important thing to keep in mind is that whenever you implement any changes to the schedule, it is really important that you give those changes time to work. Trying something once isn’t enough.
Always allow 3-5 days before deciding if something is working or not.
No one has a child that never has any sleep issues, but by practising these above tips you can be assured that you will be off to a really good start with a solid foundation.
If being consistent with all of these things doesn’t work for you, then by all means, hire that sleep consultant. But, before you spend your precious dollars, give these a go.
You can find even more helpful information on this topic in these two posts:
- Before You Hire a Sleep Consultant Try These 5 Sleep Tips
- 3 Things To Try Before Hiring a Sleep Consultant
Until next time!
Hi! I’m Christine. I am a former registered nurse, turned stay-at-home mom, turned work-at-home mom!
Motherhood has always been my passion and blogging has only added to that and given me a creative outlet to share about the things I love.
As my blog has grown, my desire to share the knowledge of what makes my life less stressful, simplified, and more fulfilled has become one of my driving forces.
I have a heart for mothers that feel as though they are just existing from day to day and are longing for more. You can find out more about me and my family over on my ‘About Me‘ page.
As well as the abundance of posts you’ll find on my blog, you can also find me over at Today Parenting.