Are you that person who’s always giving your friends and family baby sleep advice? Has a Sleep Consultant transformed your baby’s sleep? Or perhaps you have always gotten satisfaction from helping others.
These are all great reasons to get your Sleep Consultant Training and Certification. Sleep Consulting is an amazing career –– plus you get to make an income from home, doing what you love.
If you’re considering a career as a baby sleep consultant, you probably have questions. What does an infant sleep consultant do? What kind of education do you need? And why is baby sleep consulting so important to today’s parents?
We cover all that and more in the article below. Let’s get started!
What is a Baby Sleep Consultant?
You probably already have an idea of what an infant sleep consultant does. But in case you’re new to the idea, a baby sleep consultant usually does at least two of the following:
- Helps parents guide their baby to sleep using gentle, proven methods.
- Answers parents’ questions.
- May help with other important issues, such as giving breastfeeding advice.
Your Journey to Becoming a Sleep Consultant Starts Here!
Why Parents Hire Baby Sleep Consultants
In a nutshell: parents seek infant and child sleep consulting when despite the parents’ best efforts, their little one simply won’t fall (or stay) asleep.
Many parents-to-be are under the impression that parenting is supposed to “come naturally.”
And to an extent, they may be right. But what happens when moms or dads are doing it all “the right way” per the experts, but a baby still won’t fall –– or stay –– asleep?
Enter baby sleep consulting. An infant and child consultant can help where the advice of friends and family members (no matter how well-intentioned they may be) can fall short. Be aware that nearly every parent will want a consultant who has had professional sleep consultant training. (We’ll talk more about how you can achieve that in a bit.)
But first: why are parents choosing baby sleep training rather than, for instance, “crying it out,” sleeping with Baby in the bed or a similar solution?
Sleep is Critically Important for Babies and Toddlers
(And Today’s Parent Knows It)
Here’s the thing. Experts warn that sleep problems not resolved during infancy can result in actual sleep disorders by age 5. In the meantime, poor sleep can harm a baby’s development –– especially her brain.
As someone who obviously does her own research, and possibly as a parent yourself, you already know that today’s parents are better informed than ever. (And that is GREAT. As a sleep trained professional, I always appreciate when my clients know their stuff!)
Many parents looking for answers come across studies like the ones above. Obviously, this leads to even worse anxiety for the parents.
And that could transfer to the baby, who sleeps worse than ever.
This puts parents and their baby in an endless loop of anxiety at bed or naptime = trouble getting to sleep/staying asleep = overtiredness for both Baby and adult = trouble getting to sleep.
That’s when many parents call on a baby sleep consultant.
How Does a Sleep Consultant Help?
Of course, you’re probably wondering about the specifics involved in working as a baby sleep consultant. So, exactly how does a baby sleep consultant help infants and toddlers sleep better?
Here’s what I teach my students, and the process I use myself:
- Teach the parents first (it’s all about the parents’ interaction with Baby!)
- Have a Zoom call, phone call, email or text series to get to know the parents and their parenting and lifestyle
- Ask lots of questions (this is critical!) to find out what Mom has already tried
- Peruse the latest literature to make sure you’re not leaving anything critical out
- Come up with an actionable plan for the parents to help their baby sleep
- Follow-up with any questions or “bumps in the road” parents may encounter
- Give parents tools if they want them –– such as charts to track their baby’s progress
- Follow all laws regarding in-home parenting training (this is important –– we have a legal team at ISPS just for this aspect)
Staying current and following up are two very critical aspects to being a sleep consultant. So is individualizing your plan to account for the family’s lifestyle.
Remember: parents are worried, sleep deprived, and may feel like they’ve failed (they haven’t!) when they call for help. So it’s important to be calm and to really listen. That will be key to all the other actions you take with your client.
What Training and Certification Does a Sleep Consultant Need?
Now that you’ve decided sleep consulting may solidly be in your future, you’ll want to know what it takes to get there.
If you have the desire to help, you’re halfway there.
I know, I know. What’s the other half (and how long does it take and what does it cost)?
Great question! My recommendation: under no circumstances should you ever attempt to help with infant sleep for pay, or on a professional basis, without an infant sleep certification.
Get Your Baby Sleep Certification
Generally, this will involve choosing an education program that has a great reputation and includes classes on:
- The science behind infant sleep
- Current science-backed infant sleep techniques
- Types of infant sleep problems and how to address them
- How to create a plan for families seeking help with their baby’s sleep
- How to take your knowledge into a business setting and promote yourself
- What to do if clients encounter bumps in the road
- When to handle your client’s needs, v. when to refer out (to a medical professional, for example)
- Legalities of being a baby sleep training coach
Choose the Right School
There are many programs online to get your pediatrics sleep certification. That’s great, because often these are completed on your own time, and around your own schedule.
However, in our research we have found at least five “schools” (to date) that do not employ professional teachers, are brand-new without a reputation to track, are over-the-top expensive (or the reverse –– so inexpensive that their ability to really teach comes into question), or all of these. We also discovered two “schools” that were affiliated with websites entirely unrelated to infant sleep help.
Sounds like a lot to deal with, doesn’t it? To make things easier, choose a school that:
- Employs teachers with actual credentials in medical, infant sleep and/or legal fields
- Has a complete program, with all of the bullet points above covered
- Is reasonably priced (expect a cost between $3500 and $4500)
- Offers ongoing help, including after you get your certification
- Can show you to actual graduates, from whom you can get input
- BONUS: Allows you flexibility in class times and in the total time to complete the course
Don’t Overpay (or Underpay)
Yes, really…don’t underpay. (Not wanting to pay way too much is obvious!)
What we found during our extensive research was that the programs that offered a “certificate” for only a few hundred dollars did not offer legitimate certification. Most of the time, the program consisted of plagiarized content from other sites, only a few classes without teachers available for questions, and big holes in the curriculum –– for example, no legal advice for starting one’s business.
On the other hand, you might pay well over $4000 or so and receive only a few days of instruction from an uncertified individual.
While you’re choosing your school, also be sure to ask whether a payment plan is offered. It would be a great world if everyone could pay off a $3500 bill in cash, but you and I both know that isn’t always the case. It sure wasn’t when I started this amazing journey. So if you don’t have that degree of financial freedom, make sure to ask about different plans.
The Bottom Line
Now that you have all the information you need to choose your school and become certified, you’re well on your way to the best possible sleep consultant training. And that means you can become an amazing baby sleep consultant with a rewarding, flexible job.
Ready to Become a Certified Sleep Consultant?
Want to find out more about baby sleep consultant training? Grab our FREE brochure below.
Or perhaps you’re ready to start –– congratulations! Apply right now and get started on an education that will last you a lifetime…and help give families the harmonious environment they need.