Sleepless parents crying for help
CRYING it out, co-sleeping, rocking and nursing back to sleep – these are just some of the myriad methods employed by parents trying to get their baby to sleep through the night.
Now, exhausted parents in the UK have started turning to the growing industry of infant sleep consultants to teach them the best way to get a good nights’sleep, despite the high price.
The cost of employing a sleep consultant starts at under £100 (RM536.30), and can range to more than £600 (RM3,213) for the most dedicated services.
On average, parents commonly pay between £250 (RM1,341) and £380 (RM2,038) for help with their child’s sleep.
The services on offer include one-on-one consultations, support for parents for one of two weeks over email and Skype, overnight support and even 24-hour handson support.
The rise in these services is down to the lifestyles of modern families where both parents work and can’t afford to be sleep deprived, says Lucy Shrimpton, 35, who runs The Sleep Nanny.
Parents also may not necessarily have the same network of family members living close by to help with childcare that previous generations may have had access to.
In addition, the issue of babies not sleeping properly “doesn’t get covered at any stage of pregnancy, pre-birth or after-birth”, Shrimpton claims.
She adds that close relatives and friends are often an invaluable aid for new mothers, but have a limited knowledge on infant sleep issues, families.
Annie Simpson, 40, who co-runs Infant Sleep Consultants, has worked with children and babies for 24 years.
She said the parents who contact the consultancy are reentering the workplace and have reached the end of their ability to cope with their lack of sleep.
“Our typical client is a highlyeducated, going back-to-work mum, who can’t afford to be tired and who needs to sort it out,” she said.
“Tiredness affects their mood, their marriages … we hear the same thing over and over again: ‘I’ve had enough, I can’t cope, please help’.”
Shrimpton said she began training as a paediatric sleep practitioner and child sleep consultant after having sought help with her own children’s sleep problems. which also impacts
Both she and Simpson warned about the dangers of a lack of regulation in the industry and inexperienced practitioners.
Shrimpton said it is possible for anyone to set themselves up as an infant sleep consultant, and advised parents to do proper research before paying for a service.
“Parents should be aware of the fact that the industry isn’t regulated, so they need to do their homework and make sure [the sleep consultant] is qualified and experienced.”
These experts usually will advise parents experiencing sleep deprivation or problems with children crying and not sleeping to try to sleep when their baby sleeps, to ask friends and relatives for support, to be aware of the symptoms of post-natal depression or visit their doctors, among the list of suggestions. – The Independent