What's it Like to Work With a Sleep Consultant?
Leave it to me to pick two careers that literally nobody knows about. First up! Respiratory Therapy. Well, at least until the pandemic hit nobody knew who we were, then everyone cared about us. Yayyy! And now, nobody cares about us anymore. Booooo.
For real though Respiratory Therapist's are kind of important so find one and thank em'. Or at least educate yourself on the important things we do so we don't get paid basically minimum wage. But, I'm not here to talk about Respiratory Care. Not today anyways.
I'm here to talk about the second career that leaves people looking like a deer in the headlights when I tell them what I do. Yep! You guessed it. Sleep Consulting. So what do I actually do?
Well, first I do bookkeeping, accounting, virtual assistance-ing, scheduling, blogging, social media-ing, emailing, reading, and when all that stuff is finally done -- I help people get their kids back to sleep. Or, in some cases sleeping in the first place.
I actually do a lot with sleep. Including newborn consults, overnight care, safe sleep education, and sleep consulting. Today I'll lay out the steps for a consult from beginning to end. I hope this helps some people understand what we do and more importantly why.
Step 1 - Get on a Call With Me (preferably)
The first thing most sleep consultants will do is offer you a free 15 minute call. Contrary to popular belief, this is not a call to get free advice for 15 minutes. Trust me most of us will give you a ton of freebies on our website to try to solve your problems without a 1:1 consult. But if your super serious about needing help this is where you need to be. The idea is for you to get to know us and for us to get to know you. Explain your problem so we can both decide if we're a good fit or not. I know this may seem scary. Almost like a "your car warranty is running out" kind of phone call. But, I promise it's not.
We all want to see success. Believe me, we get enough crap from people without having a bad review only because we weren't a good match. So hop on a few calls (at least 3) and see who is right for you.
Good questions to ask on your discovery call are ...
What method do you use?
How many families have you helped?
Is this a typical age that you work with?
Bad questions to ask on your discovery call are ...
How do I sleep train my baby?
How do I drop a feed at night?
Why do you cost so much when I can find this on the internet? Ummmmmmm.
Ready to book a call? Click here.
Step 2 - Decide Who Your Fit Is
Do you need extra TLC?
You might want to go with the consultant that has a more gentle method.
Do you have 6 kids and just freaking need everyone to sleep?
Find a consultant that can do cry it out with you.
Maybe your kid has a medical background, or a diagnoses that the general public may not be so educated about. I bet if you look hard you will find a sleep consultant that has a similar situation. Because, 99 percent of us are moms, and we get it. We really do.
On that note, it's worth mentioning these things on your discovery call because even if the person you contacted might not be the right fit. She almost certainly knows someone that is and would be willing to refer out.
Step 3 - Sign Some Things and Pay
This step is easy. Once you decide who you actually want to work with reach out to them and let them know! Or wait a couple days, I can guarantee they will reach out to you. And if they don't, well you might want to rethink that.
Once you're locked in you'll sign a contract to say that you cleared with your pediatrician and to please not share our stuff. Please.
Here's a common question we all get. Why do I have to pay up front can't we see if it works first? As lovely as that would be for everyone, we still have to put in the work to talk, get the plan together and support you.
Here's the thing - this will work. If you're consistent, communicate, and are 100 percent on board.
Okay, but what if it doesn't? If I truly believe you have put 100 percent in and you've communicated and filled out the logs and have done all the things. I'll stick around until we figure this out together.
Step 4 - Fill Out an Intake Form
This is your chance to get it all out. You can bitch, moan, and cry if you have to. The idea of the intake form is to get a feel for your parenting style, nap schedule, routine, bedtime schedule, basically all things sleep and not sleep related for that matter.
The intake form helps us see what the whole picture is when it comes to your family's sleep. So the more thorough you are the better we can understand how to help you. Trust me you can never have too much information.
Step 5 - The Consultation
This is where we actually talk. A lot. We can either get on a virtual zoom meeting or I can come to your house as long as you live in the Pittsburgh area and we will talk all things sleep. We will go over your intake form together. I will point out what's going right (trust me I will find something) and what needs work.
We will talk about sleep environment, routine, age appropriate schedules, circadian rhythms, and anything else that may come up.
And last but not least we will talk about the elephant in the room, sleep training.
Why do I talk about it last? Because it's the last piece of the puzzle. Sleep training will never work if all the other pieces aren't in place. This is why when your pediatrician told you to just "cry it out" it didn't work. There are too many working pieces to sleep and they all have to be like a well oiled machine.
I'll talk about the 4 different methods I use and the pros and cons of them for your family. After that, you'll decide on the actual method within a day so I can write you a plan.
Step 6 - The Plan
Super easy. You sit back and relax. Within 24 hours, I'll write you a plan to follow for the next 1-2 weeks to get your family sleeping.
Step 7 - The Support
Yes! My favorite part. The part where I get to support you through the whole process. I love this part so much because it's finally where the magic happens. And it's kind of clockwork.
Night 1 - This is awful this is never going to work
Night 2 - This is awf..... wait I think they just fell asleep
Night 3 - Oh my god I think she just fell asleep on her own
Night 4 - Me and my husband don't know what to do with ourselves.
Now, don't hold me to this. But I'd say on average this is pretty much how it goes. The first two nights are not fun, typically. Which is exactly why you have me here to support you and hold you accountable to follow through with the plan.
Is it easy? No. But I can make it easier. Something I offer that some other sleep consultants don't is text support on your first few nights. I'm typically at a client's house or at the hospital anyways, so I figure if I'm up I might as well be available to you.
Before you know it your week or two will be up with me and you will more than likely have a sleeping child. A beautiful thing all around.
Step 8 - Follow Up and Say Goodbye (kind of)
After our week is up we will schedule a call to talk about how things went, make sure you are happy, and answer any questions you may have. I do say goodbye but it isn't forever. When you book a package you have 2 follow up calls for when things go off the rails. Just reach out to me any time and we'll hop on a call to see where things went wrong and get back to basics to get you back on track.
I'm looking forward to working with you, trust me it's not as scary as it sounds.
Peace, love, and sleep.