As a Certified Child Sleep Consultant I am often called upon to help correct behavior that occurs due to lack of knowledge and understanding about sleep. As Moms, while we are pregnant, people are handing out all kinds of advice. This advice ranges from nursing to diapering, tummy time, to vaccinations. Never in the nine months of my pregnancy did anyone tell me that I needed to teach my baby how to sleep, and that there was a right way to do so.
I entered into parenthood with what I thought was a valid understanding of infant sleep. After almost ten months, I had a baby who never slept for longer than two hours at a time. For the sake of my marriage, myself and my family’s health, I knew I needed to figure out a solution. I hired a sleep consultant and it changed my life. A little while later, certification and experience in hand, I am proud to be Montana’s Certified Child Sleep Consultant.
Babies thrive on predictability. This is a great reason to enter into parenthood thoroughly prepared with a plan of action in place. If you learn in advance what steps to take in order to help your baby get the best rest possible, your actions become predictable to them, and they learn what to expect next. Stay calm, stay confident, and stay consistent; your baby will follow your lead.
As expectant mothers, we try to prepare ourselves in every way we can; investing your time into learning how to create a healthy sleep environment for your child is one of the best preparations you can make. The deficits from lack of sleep are often undetectable among infants and toddlers. Therefore, the only tool we have as parents is the opportunity to educate ourselves. As a society we tend to put the importance of sleep on the backburner, and never give it the attention or credit it deserves. As a result, when we begin a child on this destructive path, we are setting them up for negative sleep associations down the road. Poor sleep habits and anxiousness surrounding bedtime not only affect a child but they carry it with them into adulthood.
Be the parent that puts sleep first; the one that smiles to themself when they realize they are setting their newborn up for sleep success. As with many other things in life, quality of sleep is more important than the quantity. Ensuring that your baby is getting the utmost quality of sleep is where the education and experience of working with a Certified Child Sleep Consultant comes into play.
When working with an expecting parent, I offer what I call a “New Parent Tutorial.” I find this to be the best way to teach parents how to be a step ahead of their child’s sleep patterns, and also what milestones to look for in order to know that change is on the horizon. In addition to the knowledge that I provide, I am also providing confidence to the otherwise terrified parent and placing the control back in their hands. Let’s face it, every new parent is scared, but going into it with sufficient knowledge and a strategy in place will take the edge off the fear and help you enjoy the miracle you are about to experience!
As seen in Montana Parent Magazine (March 2014)