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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.


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

by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 2:55 PM
Replies (201-210):
by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 8:11 AM
If I could afford it and I have tried everything I can think of, yes. I don't see it as something to feel guilty about. We are human. We NEED sleep to function.
by Silver Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 8:18 AM

Where we they when my first one came along?  (He's 22 now, but wouldn't sleep at all when he was an infant).  I think it's a GREAT idea!

by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 8:54 AM

I wouldn't hire anyone, either. But my kids were always great sleepers, too! My 2 older daughters are now teenagers, and they are even better sleepers, lol ;)

by Bronze Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:02 AM
1 mom liked this
I think this article is very judgemental. Someone isn't coming in to your home and putting your kids to bed every night, they are coming in to help you figure out a better way. I have a daughter who has night terrors. Having an expert come in to help us figure out ways to help her would have been great. I would welcome the advice, it would still be my job to put her down at night and the way we did it would still be my decision in the end, but it could help bring in some new ideas. No one seems to have a problem with a lactation consultant visiting your home to help with breast feeding.
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by Bronze Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:07 AM
I did things the same way since day one. No swaddling, no swings, no rocking, no paci or bottle at bedtime. I let her learn to fall asleep without aids, but at five months many daughter started having night terrors. Sometimes you do everything right and still end up with a child who isn't a great sleeper.

Quoting CmC1307:

no but ive worked with kids for years so i knew how to NOT do things from day one ! No swaddling no even at the hospital, no rocking to sleep, no sleeping while eating etc by 5 weeks i could feed her a 4 oz bottle of breastmilk lay her in her bassinet awake and she would go to sleep and sleep for 6 straight hours. Now at 12 months she goes to sleep the same way and sleeps for 12 hours every night. We do the same thing for naps too and she is still taking 2 two hour naps most days.

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by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:08 AM

Negative.. that is just lazy.

by Bronze Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:12 AM
Exactly. The article is making it sound as though someone comes in your home every night and puts your kids to bed while you have a bubble bath, yet it states they come in once once night and maybe a couple more times for consultations. I also think it's interesting that all of the people who seem appalled by the idea have kids who are great sleepers. Of course this would seem unnecessary for them.

Quoting clae82:

It sounds like they are just giving (costly) ideas. I understand the desperation a person can feel when their child is having sleep issues. Frankly I find the tone of the article very judgy. It is not like these people came in every night and put their kids to bed. People get help in different ways.  

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by on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:17 AM


by Sapphire Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:27 AM

No, I wouldnt because im the parent, im the one who had my son so im the one who takes care of him. If hes not sleeping then Im not sleeping, thats what I signed up for when I decided to have a baby. Some parents these days tsk tsk

by Ruby Member on Apr. 4, 2013 at 9:51 AM
My kids haven't been the best sleepers. They have gone through stages and have always been early risers. But I'be never expected kids to sleep through the night, either. At least, the first couple years there is def back and forth.
What the couple in the article were going through may be on the extreme side of sleepless nights, but consistency is truly key when it comes to sleep!! Noise machines certainly helped us....we use a big box fan in the hallway.

I used to think schedules were silly and laughed. But, they are not!! Nap time and bedtime schedules are what we keep. Also, plenty of activity during the day results in a smoother bedtime, at least for us. I have also started doing some yoga stretches with my five yr old before bed. I have noticed the nights we do that--she (and I!) both fall asleep faster and stay asleep!!

I have to wonder if mom and dad used any of the advice they were given. Surely, they sought advice before hand. I also wonder what their expectations were? And a small
Part of me wonders if they are against CIO.
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