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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 (51-60):
by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 9:52 PM

If my kids weren't good sleepers, and I was a rich bitch, HELL YES. I'd have a nanny and a maid and an ass-wiper too.

by Ruby Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 9:54 PM
Sure. DD has ADHD and her therapist addressed sleep issues. She's much better now.
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by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 10:02 PM

I have been there. My son was, and still can be, a horrible sleeper. It was tolerable until I went back to work. I would have felt lucky to get 4 hours a night! If I had the money I would have done this. No question!

by Silver Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 10:06 PM

I was a single mom with 3 kids all 2 years apart and I never had a night time problem.  If you get a child on a schedule from the earliest time you can, in infancy...and have a regular nap schedule then the sleep patterns develope all on their own and there is no need for outside help.

by Blessed be on Apr. 2, 2013 at 10:07 PM

I took DD to a sleep specialist. They didn't help. If I had the money to hire one, yeah I would have with her. She was 5 yrs old before she would sleep all night long in her own bed.

by Emerald Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 10:09 PM

Um, no. Because i am the parent, and it is my job to foster healthy sleep habits.  I might outsource something like getting my kids a tutor for their science projects, but basic stuff is my job.

by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 10:11 PM

There are nights when I'm pulling my hair out because my youngest has been up 4 times(It takes him at least an hour to go back to sleep every time) and I just want sleep. But then there are other times when he doesn't wake up and I crave holding him in my arms.

These times are fleeting. What might you miss when you're older? 

by on Apr. 2, 2013 at 10:12 PM

No...but then I never had a problem getting my kids to sleep.

by Silver Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 10:24 PM

No, but if I ever have to potty train again definitely hiring someone for that. Something I learned from drivers ed, just because you pay someone to teach your child does not mean you get off scott free. You have to follow through with those lessons yourself too. 

by Sapphire Member on Apr. 2, 2013 at 10:30 PM
No but I wouldn't be above creating a fictional character that would give me someone to blame. That's how I got my son to sleep on his own bed LOL.
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