A lot of parents just can’t figure out how to get their kids to go to sleep – and stay asleep. So, an increasing number of them are hiring sleep consultants to help them out!
It’s a fast-growing industry – and it’s not cheap. It costs about $2,000 and includes an overnight visit, and follow-up support.
One service is called “Dream Team Baby.” It’s run by a woman named Conner Herman, who says families call her when they’re at their wit’s end. But the truth is, most parents don’t need outside help. So, here are the tricks Dream Team Baby uses:
First off, experts say that by 4 months old, kids can self-soothe and put themselves to sleep. But if they’ve gotten used to falling asleep in your arms, or in your bed, that’s a learned behavior and you have to break the habit. Here’s how:
First, black out the windows, so their room’s completely dark, and turn on a sound machine to drown out any noise.
Then, try delaying their bedtime by 20 minutes to make them more tired.
When you do put them to bed, walk out of the room, and be prepared to let them cry. It may sound cruel, but a study in the journal Pediatrics showed that letting a baby cry themselves out causes no long-lasting harm. In fact, it’s the most effective way to teach a child how to fall asleep, and stay asleep. But be prepared – because it may take 4 or 5 nights.
If you child calls out to you in the middle of the night, sleep expert Herman says to play soft music. Then, pat and reassure them that they’re fine. And say something like: “Mommy’s going to sleep now, too” – and leave the room.
Make bedtime less of an “event.” If your toddler’s used to sleeping in your room, spend more time in their room. Sit in a recliner, dim the lights, and act as if you’re dozing off so they know it’s time to rest.
If you need extra help, Google “sleep consultant baby.” We found a huge list of services – because business is booming.