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Would you ever hire a consultant to help get your kids to sleep?

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Parents Who Hire Sleep Consultants for Toddlers Take the Easy Way Out (VIDEO)

by Julie Ryan Evans

girl going to bedHands down, one of the most frustrating and exhausting (literally) parts of parenting small children is the lack of sleep. From middle-of-the-night feedings to nightmares and kids who just don't want to sleep, there are a number of issues that leave parents red-eyed and in need of copious amounts of caffeine. But should it get this bad?

Nightline recently interviewed parents Danielle and Marcello (who don't want their last name used) who were so desperate for sleep, they took extreme action. Between their two children -- a 2-year-old and a 9-month-old -- they say they were staying up virtually all night long. Danielle said she was lucky if she was getting fours of sleep a night -- and not in a row. 

Both parents work full-time, and when they simply couldn't function anymore, they hired sleep consultants.

The service runs about $2,000, and it includes an overnight visit and follow-up support. That's a lot of dough! And the consultants admit that most families could do what they do themselves -- using things like controlled crying, black-out shades, and sound machines. But if parents aren't able to -- for whatever reason -- then isn't getting someone else to do it worth it?

More from The Stir: 18-Month-Old Hasn't Slept a Single Night Since She Was Born

I suppose it depends on your budget, just how tired you are ... and the level of guilt you might have for farming out such a chore.

The fact these consultants even exist is worrisome to a degree. I mean, do children today really have more trouble sleeping than they did for hundreds of years before such a service existed? Are we really that bad at instilling good sleep habits at an early age? Or are parents today just more willing to throw up their hands and bring someone else in to do the job when they can't. 

I mean, you can hire people to do everything from potty train your kid to help them with their homework and remove lice from their head. Is it a good thing that parents are able to ask for and get help in areas that challenge them (or they don't want to deal with), or is it somehow cheating our children? Is taking the easy way out always a bad thing, or does it make sense sometimes?

I don't know. I suppose if parents have the cash and want to go this route, then that's their business. You just have to wonder if you start down that road of hiring experts when the parenting gets rough where else it may lead you and what message it sends your children.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

Would you ever hire a consultant to help get your kids to sleep?

by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 2:55 PM
Replies (11-20):
la_bella_vita
by Bella on Apr. 2, 2013 at 3:25 PM

 No but my kid's are all great sleepers

honeyrder
by Platinum Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 3:26 PM
2 moms liked this

 Nope. Benadryl is WAY cheaper.

JamesMom714
by Platinum Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 3:29 PM
3 moms liked this
That article is a load of crap written by someone who obviously never had a child with sleep issues.

We did work with a sleep consultant for 1 month (no overnight visits but two in-home visits). We hired her for advice as after 2-1/2 years we had tried every method we learned about and none worked for DS. He would regularly take hours to fall asleep but would always wake at 5am and wake several times theoughout the night. i had been diagnosed with severe chronic sleep deprevation.

We ended up only owing her half her $300 fee as even she couldn't help DS! She referred us to a sleep doctor who had us start a low dose of melatonin. It is literally the only thing that slows his mind and body down enough so he can fall asleep.

While he is too young to be diagnosed with anything (Aspergers / autism) the sleep doctor, sleep consultant and his regular physician all refer to him as being "wired differently". He is also speech delayed.

The sleep doctor did say the Ferber Method will work on 99% of kids. Ours is the 1%. And I do agree that most of the sleep consultants initial advice can be found online for free, but the support, follow up and "tweaking" is what the service is really about.
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stickyfingers
by Platinum Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM
No way.
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stickyfingers
by Platinum Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 3:49 PM
No way.
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Anonymous
by Anonymous 4 on Apr. 2, 2013 at 4:18 PM

exercise is key

Kmary
by Silver Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 4:20 PM
2 moms liked this

I don't think I'd hire a sleep consultant per se, but if things were really awful I would definitely consult a medical professional.  Human beings require sleep.  It is a basic necessity of life and the lack of it can have serious, devastating effects on the kids and adults involved.  That being said, I do think it's sort of silly that some parents haven't thought of things like white noise and dark shades, but who am I to judge? 

But on a related note, the article asks if kids really are harder to get to sleep these days than before and sort of insinuated that they're not.  But i disagree with this in general terms.  It has been proven that putting babies to sleep on their backs, per the current SIDS recommendation, absolutely results in less deep sleep and more wakings for babies.  Combine that with all the electronics that kids use from super young ages and how it interferes with our melatonin production (necessary for falling asleep) and I think it's entirely possible that children of the current generation are harder to get to sleep/stay asleep than those of previous generations. 

piratehooker
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 4:25 PM
Yes
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gabby416
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 4:29 PM

 wow. No way in hell would I do that.  If you cannot get your child to sleep at night, ever, then either you are doing something wrong, or there is something wrong with the child.  This just seems ridiculous to me.

Anonymous
by Anonymous 5 on Apr. 2, 2013 at 4:33 PM
2 moms liked this

Do people not parent anymore?  Yes it's hard, but you knew that going into it.  It's time for the grown ups to grow up and take care of their responsibilities.

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