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Would you ever hire a consultant to help get your kids to sleep?
April 2, 2013 at 2:55 PM

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?


  • kryptomom
    April 2, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    Codeine works just as well.  lol

  • mommadana
    April 2, 2013 at 4:38 PM

     This is very true and also I've noticed in myself that I sleep better after I have a daily workout.  Kids are less active than they were back then.  The video games and tv flashing lights overstimulate and hinders melatonin production and the relaxing of the mind to go to sleep. 

    Quoting Kmary:

    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. 


  • SunshineBird
    April 2, 2013 at 4:41 PM

    If everything I was trying wasn't working I would. Sleep help is what they do. Why would I not seek out tools to help my children sleep better? 

  • Not_A_Native
    April 2, 2013 at 4:44 PM

    I never knew such a thing existed.

    Honestly, my kids were sleeping through the night from a very young age - because I didn't make nighttime wakings "fun" - even as a newborn.  I'd feed them, change them - but no talking and cooing.  I kept the lights low, no tv or music.  During the day, we went out every day - even in winter.  Lots of stuff going on during the day.  They learned.  They slept through the night regularly from the ages of 5 weeks-8 weeks (I have 4 kids).  One did go through a phase of waking up FOR THE DAY at about 3 am, but that lasted a couple months.

  • elkmomma
    April 2, 2013 at 4:46 PM

    yes I did.  I bought a $20 portable radio with CD player and it works wonders.

  • pamelax3
    April 2, 2013 at 4:51 PM

    I would if nothing else had worked

  • Jessy76
    by Jessy76
    April 2, 2013 at 5:00 PM

    I am all for asking for help when you are overstressed and just can't do it anymore. It is much better then some of the things I have heard of parents doing in these types of situations. I don't know that I would pay anyone to do the job I would likely go to my mom or MIL for help but not everyone has those options.

  • ElizabethGracie
    April 2, 2013 at 5:02 PM

    If things got to a certain point with my son,I would definitely consult a sleep specialist. I never slept well as a child and I still don't sleep well as an adult. It's so bad that I've gone days without sleep.Maybe if I'd gotten early intervention with a sleep disorder,I wouldn't have such problems sleeping today.

    I think parents saying,'oh,if your child isn't sleeping,you're obviously doing something wrong,' have never dealt with a child who has a serious sleep disorder like I did/do.No matter what my mother did,I could not sleep.It's not as easy as pouring some Melatonin down your child's throat or popping a Benadryl...sometimes there's a serious reason why kids can't sleep.

  • paganmommy4
    April 2, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    No, its called consistency

  • bad_mama2011
    April 2, 2013 at 5:41 PM

    If we had the money and it was gaurunteed to work, HELL YES!!!

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