In general, consulting is a field that is becoming more and more popular. You can hire a consultant for so many things now. The job of a consultant is to make your life easier. They use their expertise in the subject matter to teach you how to do what you need to do without having to spend hours researching and figuring it out on your own. This is exactly what I do as a sleep consultant. I wanted to answer some common questions about using a sleep consultant, or coach, and why it is helpful.
What Does a Sleep Consultant Do?
First of all, I bring to the table my certification training, years of research, and experience with a variety of clients. This allows me to take a look at your unique situation and be able to tell you exactly what to do and how to do it. I don't work with just one sleep training method. I individualize my sleep plans to each child and family that I work with.
Different consultants may offer different things. Personally, I offer individualized sleep plans and one-on-one support as the family works through the sleep plan. I have also created a few E-Courses that help families solve very specific sleep issues, like the toddler bed transition, early morning wakings, and toddler bedtime battles.
Can I Find Most of the Information Myself?
Of course. There's so much information out there on the world wide web today, and we also have a lot of books with great scientific information. You can find most of the information I use out there, but there are two key things to recognize with this approach:
It will take you not just hours, but months, to learn everything I know about sleep. And I don't even claim to know it all; I'm still learning more and more as I go. But I can bet I know a bit more than most parents, simply because I've gone through training and have spent the past 4.5 years researching and gaining experience by working with clients. Hiring a consultant saves you the hassle of having to find the information yourself.
The information out there isn't individualized to you and your child. This is actually what led me to become a sleep consultant. When my oldest was a baby, all of my late night searching resulted in having too much information. I couldn't figure out what to do because there was so much "noise information." I had no idea what was true or what would work for my baby. (Read more about my journey to becoming a sleep consultant here.) Hiring a consultant pinpoints what pieces pertain to you and your child and weeds out what doesn't!
So, can you figure this all out on your own? Probably! But it may take you a while and a few trial and errors to figure out what will work best for you and your child. Hiring a consultant takes the long hours and guesswork out of the process.
Why Does Hiring a Consultant Cost So Much?
First of all, this is my job. It's how I support my family. Do you expect your mechanic to fix your car for free? Of course not! Whenever you are using someone else's time and expertise, it costs you something. Hiring a consultant might not be feasible for everyone, and I completely respect that. But I am using my time and expertise to change your life, and I know that's worth a lot.
Also, a huge part of what I do is offer individualization and 1:1 support. You're not just getting a pre-made sleep plan and then have to figure out how to use it on your own. You're getting an individualized sleep plan and then my 1:1 support as you work through the process. I am available to answer your questions, tweak anything that isn't working, and encourage you through the tough parts of it. I've seen many different situations and can advise on how to handle them much better than a blog post or the experience of a "friend of a friend." I spend a lot of my time helping my clients successfully reach their goals!
With that said, I do try to offer affordable sleep packages as I definitely understand living on a budget!
Having a Solid Plan is Key
I have had many clients come to me telling me they've already "tried it all" and nothing worked. However, what they didn't have was a set plan. Having a good, confident plan and sticking to it is how you reach success. You can't read a post about sleep and just nonchalantly try it for a day or two, then when you don't see progress, try something else, etc. This just confuses your child and, in most cases, can make matters worse.
Also, a good sleep plan includes much more than just a sleep training method to use at bedtime. An individualized plan includes: science-based explanations, schedule help, nap help, tips and tricks, age-appropriate information, help with caregivers/daycare, and more! This type of sleep plan makes sure that all of the "ducks are in a row" for you and your child before you even begin any sleep training. This can set you up for better and quicker success!
"I can’t say enough good about Ashley and Little Bell Sleep Solutions. If you could see the difference it has made in our lives in such a short period of time, it is like night and day. I wish I could go back in time and tell myself to quit trying to figure it all out on my own, quit searching the internet for answers, waiting & hoping for things to get better, stop stressing about the sleep issues & having so much fear surrounding sleep training & just get help from Little Bell Sleep Solutions."
Hiring a sleep consultant may be the piece you need in order to finally see success with your child's sleep. If you have any questions about my services, feel free to comment below or submit an inquiry.
~Ashley Bell, pediatric sleep consultant