In this era of economic uncertainty, many parents searching for sleep training help for their toddlers, babies and children are coming up with creative ways to help pay for all of that support and assistance to get their children sleeping all night. Working with an experienced, knowledgeable pediatric sleep coach can be a big financial commitment.
Hiring a sleep consultant or sleep trainer can be costly depending on the sleep consultant’s experience and services offered, so make sure you now exactly what you’re getting for your money.
Since I trained as a sleep consultant 8 years ago, it’s become much more common for parents to seek assistance with sleep training, yet insurance companies haven’t quite caught up and cover it along with other insurance benefits such as lactation consultants and chiropractors.
One avenue parents have researched is how to get their medical insurance to pay for it. Now it's not guaranteed that insurance will pay for sleep training but it’s possible you can use your flexible spending account (FSA) or health savings account (HSA) to pay for it. I’ve had a few clients come back to tell me they successfully had my services paid for by their insurance.
First, check with your individual insurance carrier to see if they cover Sleep Services, Newborn Care particularly out of network Sleep Consultants. make sure that you find out exactly what you'll need in order to be paid. Sleep Consultants are considered alternative, out of network therapies, thus requiring parents to pay upfront and be reimbursed by their insurance company. Make sure that you check with your carrier to see if they cover it.
Determine the Required Documents
Your insurance company should be able to tell you exactly what paperwork is required, such as a detailed invoice, dates of service, exactly what services are being utilized or diagnosis code.
How to Pay for a Sleep Consultant
You may need to pay upfront and be reimbursed, or use your HSA debit card to pay. Either way, you’ll get a detailed receipt that you can send back for reimbursement.
Finding a sleep consultant near you that fits your family both in personality, their services and support can be a big financial decision and families should explore alternative routes.
And if you are not able to get your health insurance to pay for a sleep coach or consultant, there are a few other alternative routes including crowdsourcing, gift certificates and buy now- pay later options as well. If you find a sleep consultant that you really want to work with and feel they believe the service they offer is worth it, look at different ways of paying for it so that you and your child can get to sleep that you need.
From Southeast to Northwest DC, moms across the city are juggling it all... work, homelife, their children and particularly, their sleep routines. And when their toddlers and babies aren't sleeping, neither are they. The toll sleep deprivation takes on a mother and her family is far reaching... everything from missed deadlines at work and trying to get a baby to nap when the virtual work-from-home meeting is starting, to having little to no time in the evening to spend with a spouse, work on house chores or just a little time alone.
So if you're dealing with a sleep regression, popping in a binkie/pacifier multiple times per night or trying to decide which sleep training method is right for you, contact us and set up a free introductory call to ask any questions you like.
I had no idea what a sleep consultant was 9 years ago. I was leaving my corporate job because I was tired of working 60 hours per week, carrying 2 cell phones and never seeing my daughter. I knew I wanted to keep working and be able to spend more time with my daughter. Once I got my daughter sleeping through the night, I fell in love with the idea of coaching tired parents to help their entire family sleep all night.
I absolutely love my job! Getting to help tired moms and dads to get their family sleeping well is so rewarding when all of our efforts pay off. Maybe you have an interest in pursuing this work as well! Here’s how to become a pediatric sleep consultant.
First, you need to take a pediatric sleep consultant course. There are a few different factors you need to consider when choosing a sleep consulting course. You’ll need to decide is if you’d like to take the course in-person or online/remotely. There has been a rapid rise in online courses over the past few years (thanks Covid!) that have made it incredibly easy to access sleep consultant training from virtually everywhere. However, if attending an in-person class is how you learn best, you’ll want to look for one near you. Costs vary from course to course and you’ll need to evaluate what you’re getting for your hard-earned money. Make sure you look at the curriculum of the course and the certification requirements.
The next thing you’ll need to decide is if the course you are looking at has all of the information you’ll need to learn. To be a professional sleep consultant you’ll need to know all about the different sleep training methods as well as the science of sleep, what's normal for newborn, infant and toddler sleep, and have an understanding of the challenges to a child's sleep at different ages. Sound like a lot? Don’t stress. A course will walk you through each of these points and guide you on the journey to becoming a pediatric sleep consultant. There are many, many options out there for courses. If you do your research using the tips I’ve given you, you’ll be able to find a course that is just right for you.
The last things you will need to have is drive and motivation. Decide if you want to work on a team with another sleep consultant or want to start your own business. Each path has its pros and cons; if you want to start your own business, you’ll need to do things like create a website and social media presence, develop a marketing plan, handle bookkeeping and finances and work with clients. Working for another sleep consultant eliminates most of those administrative tasks and lets you focus on what you like doing, working with clients!
If you want to have a rewarding side-gig or replace a full-time income, sleep consulting can be a great way to do that. Ask me how! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let’s schedule a quick chat to answer any questions you might have.
As technology continues to progress, there is always some kind of new flashy new baby gear that claims to make your baby sleep. Registries grow and become more complicated. The choices are never ending! New parents find themselves torn over which items to buy that will give them the *most* success in the newborn and baby years. With all of the new, advanced sleep options for baby, it’s important to think long-term before rushing to purchase the newest baby gear.
Have you heard of the Snoo bassinet? The Snoo is a bassinet made by the company Happiest Baby that comes equipped with sound sensors, wifi, white noise speakers and a robotic motor that rocks your baby to sleep if your baby makes noise. Sounds incredibly fancy, right? All of that sleepy time magic comes with the price tag of $1,600. You also have the option now to rent a snoo near you at a cost of $500 per month!
Parents frequently ask me my opinion of the Snoo. I’ve worked with many clients that started out working with me when their baby was in the Snoo and we successfully transitioned to a crib. All the babies are sleeping well…now. Here are a few things you should consider before jumping in to buy or rent a Snoo.
How does the Snoo work?
The Snoo is an all-in-one bassinet and baby soother. It gives you the smaller space required to have your newborn sleep in your room without taking up much space, has white noise and rocks your baby to sleep. So, does it work…in short…yes! But only for a while. Online reviews rave about how well the Snoo rocks your baby back to sleep. Having the bassinet do all the work for you sounds amazing! The added sound machine and the included swaddle are both accessories of the Snoo, eliminating the need to get these separately. The biggest downside to the Snoo is the creation of a dependency on motion to get your child to sleep. When baby outgrows it or reaches the recommended age limit, you’ll need to transition to a full sized crib, mini-crib or portable crib and you’ll need to work on getting baby to sleep without motion or rocking.
What’s the cost of getting a newborn to sleep?
This first thing that jumps out at me when considering the Snoo is the price tag. $1,600 for a bassinet?! However, as a sleep consultant, I truly believe that good sleep is priceless! Consider this; a bassinet is not forever, it’s a good tool to use for a few months of life.
While a crib can be used for several years, a bassinet is typically used for about 6 months (and that’s if baby doesn’t outgrow it sooner!). All things considered, your baby will be using this bassinet for roughly 180 days. And once baby outgrows the Snoo, you’ll still need a full sized crib! For some, it’s a great tool, for others they might want to get more bang for their buck.
Will I still have to sleep train if I use the Snoo?
If you think of falling asleep like a skill that we have to learn, then yes, you will have to eventually teach baby to fall asleep without the motion of the Snoo. For instance, if a baby is constantly being rocked to sleep by a bassinet, they form a sleep habit. Once it comes time to transition from the Snoo to the crib, then this habit will need to be changed in order to teach baby how to fall asleep without the motion. The transition may prove to be harder than it would be with a standard bassinet or portable cri,b and parents should consider if this challenge is worth it.
For some babies, the change from the Snoo to a crib can be hard and will require some prior planning to manage the transition. Weaning and transitioning from the Snoo can be done cold turkey but parents should consider gentler methods to do it as well.
So what should you do?
No matter what bassinet you use, you and your baby CAN achieve good sleep. By doing a bit of research and weighing out the options, you and your partner can make the right decision for your family.
What about you? Have you ever used a Snoo? What are your honest reviews? I would love to hear your thoughts!
And if you’re not sure how to transition out of the Snoo, please reach out.
Twins! Twice the fun and double the love. With any baby, sleep training can be hard. As a parent of twins, it can seem downright impossible. But sleep training twins can be successful with a few tips to get you started.
The biggest thing to consider when getting ready to sleep train twins is their adjusted age. Chances are, when your babies were born, they were not full term. This means they have a bit of catching up to do developmentally before they’re ready to form the best sleep habits. If you’re calculating their age based on the day they were born, you may be attempting to sleep train before they are ready.
A big misconception that I hear often is that sleep training requires letting your baby cry it out. This can make a twin parent cringe! How can you let one baby cry it out with the other one trying to sleep nearby? The cry-it-out method is not the only sleep training method you can use. Look into other methods such as the pick up/put down method or the chair method (which could potentially be used for both twins at once!). In addition, if one baby is sleeping better than the other, consider having them sleep in another room temporarily while you train their sibling. Twins tend to be on the same routine once it’s established, but getting there may take some work.
Listening to your baby's cues also helps immensely. As new parents, we often feel the need to document everything and feed on a schedule. During the night time, let your babies sleep and only feed them if they wake! This may seem pretty obvious, but if your baby is gaining weight as they should be, get the sleep while you can and let them tell you when they’re ready to eat again.
Lastly, as a twin parent, celebrate your successes no matter how small! You are working so hard and any steps you make towards better sleep should be recognized. Dropped a night feeding? Hooray! Got both babes to self-soothe? Boom! Give yourself a pat on the back.
I want to know, have you trained infant twins? What tips and tricks worked for you?
I want to take a minute today to unpack a question I get asked a lot as a sleep consultant; when is the best time to sleep train my baby/toddler?
The answer to this question varies for everyone, but it has to be when you’re ready! If your baby or toddler is sleeping well all night, you and your spouse/partner are sleeping 7-8 hours at night and you love your situation, then rock on!
If you’ve decided that your situation is no longer working for you, you’re not getting enough sleep, your child is up half the night and everyone is sleep deprived, it might be time to change what you’re doing to improve your child’s sleep.
Here are a few guidelines you need to consider before starting any sleep training method.
When your child is healthy
If your baby or toddler is having a hard time sleeping due to a cold or illness, it’s not a good time to start making changes. We want to give our child the best circumstances to succeed at sleep training, so wait until they are physically feeling their best. This applies to teething babies too or babies who have recently received vaccinations.
When you have a plan
A big mistake parents make is jumping into sleep training without having a solid plan of how they’re going to do it. Have you decided what method you’re using? Do you know what to do in different situations? What boundaries have you set surrounding sleep training? Are you and your partner on the same page? Make a plan together to make sure you are on the same page and can support one another through this transition.
Make sure that you and your partner/spouse are clear in your roles and how you’ll handle things such as getting your little one to fall asleep, night wakeups and naps.
When you are ready to commit
Babies and children learn through consistency and routine. Make sure you are ready to make changes to your current sleep routine and you can commit to a sleep training plan for at least a few days. If you’re not ready, no sweat! Wait until a time when both you and your partner can fully commit together.
Have you experienced failed attempts at sleep training? Did you try sleep training on your own and it didn’t work? What aspect of sleep training doesn’t seem to be working for you? Reflecting on past experiences using these guidelines can set you up for success in your sleep training journey.
And if you need any help answering your questions, set up a free call with me to help pinpoint the issue and determine the steps you need to get your kiddo sleeping all night long.
By Evie Ebert
Tired parents are desperate to get their kids to sleep. There’s a whole industry designed to help (for a fee).
I remember when I reached my breaking point with my son’s sleep. He had faced big changes to his little life over the previous year: an interstate move, a new house, a new preschool, and the arrival of his baby sister. His routines suffered for it, and his bedtime demands had become increasingly baroque and desperate.
If my husband or I didn’t stay in the room with him until he fell asleep, he would explode with panic. “I’m all alone and I’m only 3 years old!” he wailed through a sheet of tears and mucus. If we left the room, he hurled his body against the door like a moth thumping a porch light.
This particular night, my husband was out of town, leaving me solo with both kids. Hours since I’d gotten him in his jammies, my son was still awake and his protests were threatening to wake the baby. This risk was unacceptable.
I pulled him out of their shared bedroom and into “the big bed” with me. The lights were off but his little overtired body wouldn’t stop twitching and jerking with excitement. As his heels jabbed at my ribs (“I’m just stretching”), I directed my phone’s glow away from his face and fired off a deranged missive via online form. Christine emailed me back the next morning.
“One of the top times that I get emails from tired parents is somewhere between midnight and 2 am,” says Christine Stevens, who owns Sleep Solutions by Christine. Stevens is a certified child and infant sleep consultant, a professional who offers services to families struggling with behavioral childhood sleep problems. She is one of the growing league of such professionals around the globe, a cohort of providers who fill this need for exhausted families.