In my Facebook group, Becoming a Sleep Consultant, I’ll often host Q&A sessions for those who are interested in becoming certified through the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management (CPSM). Whenever a new person joins the group, they have the opportunity to ask questions they might have about the program and sleep consulting as a home-based business. I realized that many who joined the group had similar questions, so I thought it would be beneficial to share the answers with everyone who may be interested in obtaining their sleep consultant certification. In this post, I’ll go over three questions that are commonly asked by prospective students.
Nope! CPSM is a comprehensive program where you will learn all of the different sleep training techniques that are currently being taught today. You will learn the most hands-on, gradual or gentle sleep training techniques, all the way to the extinction method, which is at the furthest end of the spectrum, as well as everything in-between.
I firmly believe that anyone who will be educating parents on how to establish healthy sleep habits for their children and coaching them one-on-one through the process should have all of the options at their fingertips. I always let potential clients know that I use a client-led approach, and this is also what I teach my students in the CPSM certification course. I present several options to families and then we get on a phone call where they let me know how they’d like to proceed. Once they have landed on the right strategy, I coach them through that method so that they can achieve their goals.
There are other sleep consultant certification programs on the market that focus only on a specific technique. Within CPSM, I teach a variety of different methods. I want my students and graduates to fully understand all of the different options that are out there, meet families where they are, and utilize techniques that best align with the parenting style of the family that they are supporting.
Yes! I’ve been working as a certified sleep consultant for several years now, and working virtually has been extremely common in this field for quite some time, even before the pandemic. There are many postpartum professionals, such as postpartum doulas and newborn care specialists who support families in-home. While you can most certainly support parents through the sleep training process while you’re physically in the home with them, what is taught through CPSM is more of a virtual model.
There are a couple reasons why parents choose to hire a sleep consultant who works virtually. The first reason is because in-person services can be very costly. Some overnight postpartum doula or newborn care specialist packages start in the mid-four figure range, while a sleep consultant may charge around $400-$600 for a 2 week package.
Hiring a sleep consultant who works virtually allows parents to get the same education and support for a much more affordable price. As sleep consultants, being able to work virtually is much more convenient, and allows us to work with a higher volume of clients, so it is still possible to make a comparable salary from the comfort of home. From my experience, most parents do want virtual support, and even more so at this time due to the current climate we are living in. Some other families may want to work virtually due to not having enough space. They may live in a big city, in a tiny apartment, and simply not have enough room for a postpartum professional to stay the night comfortably.
Working virtually also allows you to work with clients from all over the country and even internationally. I’ve worked with clients from all over the United States, as well as with families in Canada, Europe and Israel! If you ask me, having the ability to work virtually is a win-win situation for both families and the sleep consultant.
This is a great question! When I work with younger babies, I call the process sleep shaping, which you can start as early as when the baby is six weeks old. Although some would argue that you can start even earlier, I personally choose to wait until six weeks because I feel as if the parents need to get adjusted to their new routine before I can effectively coach them. When we work with newborns, we’re going to be gently and gradually working on shaping the way they fall asleep, and fall back to sleep. It’s not going to be perfect, but progress will be made.
If you’re a postpartum doula who supports families with newborns, becoming certified as a sleep consultant is relevant for quite a few reasons. One, because you can establish healthy sleep hygiene in the home, and two, because it allows you to work with the family you are currently working with for longer.
Here’s an article that goes more in-depth into how you can incorporate sleep consulting services into your current doula business, including how you can guide families through the early days and continue to support those same families when they are ready for sleep training.
Thinking even more long-term, there’s also the possibility that the family you are working with may have a toddler, and CPSM teaches you how to coach families that have children ranging from zero to four years old. From continuing the work you do with your current clients, to expanding your services and working with new families in different ways, the possibilities are endless!
I hope that you found this Q&A article helpful. Remember, if you have any questions outside of the information you see here in my blog or the Facebook group, I’m here for you. I encourage you to book a call on my calendar where I’ll answer your specific questions. If you decide to move forward with becoming a certified sleep consultant, I’ll be there to support you through the entire process, and will personally welcome you into our close-knit and supportive community of students and graduates.