When someone has a baby, the first question they get asked is: how is the baby sleeping? Does she sleep through the night? But as the baby grows, the expectation is that they do begin to sleep through the night and sleep is no longer the biggest concern. While this is true for some people, others struggle with sleep well past the newborn days, and there are fewer resources for these sleep issues than others. That’s what makes sleep consulting such a versatile job- we support families with toddlers and older children as well!
If you’ve ever considered becoming a certified sleep consultant, but don’t feel most connected to the newborn or infant stage, this blog is for you!
Learn why sleep consulting for toddlers and older children is just as important as sleep consulting for infants.
There’s nothing quite like the early days when a baby is unsure of the difference between day and night. You’re in a constant cycle of eating and diaper changes. The struggles of toddler sleep are very different. They can tell you what’s wrong and get themselves up, but they also are coming into their independence and can engage parents in frustrating power struggles.
Common toddler struggles are usually a result of the fact that they are mobile and verbal, meaning they can get out of their bed. Sometimes they like to do this over and over! They also start to learn stalling tactics, like asking for water or using the bathroom. They can even climb into your bed on their own.
The principles of independent sleep can apply to a toddler just as easily as an infant, making parents who are stuck in these cycles a potential client base beyond what most sleep consultants assume.
It’s easy to assume that parents struggling with a toddler’s sleep habits never laid a good foundation in the first place- and this is often true. It’s harder to break bad habits the older a child gets, after all. But the truth is that some parents can follow a sleep consultant’s plan to the letter and still end up with a toddler who suddenly can’t go to sleep on their own. This isn’t a failure on anyone’s part! It’s normal for children entering new stages of life to experience sleep regressions.
As a sleep consultant, you may begin working with toddlers in a regression for the first time. But they may also be recurring clients- a family who you helped during the newborn stage is likely to put their trust in you again to seek new solutions.
In reality, sleep consulting across age ranges is largely similar. The parents are the people you are really working with on their habits and behavior and sleep plans will just look slightly different. This means that many sleep consultants offer services to toddlers in addition to newborns and infants, with different tiers or packages for different ages.
However, another option is to be a sleep consultant exclusively for toddlers and older children. Those who don’t enjoy newborns or feel they can better serve these parents can create entire business plans around only these offerings. The good news is that the Center for Pediatric Sleep Management will equip you for any choice you make!
If you’re interested in learning more about how sleep consultants work with various ages, join our Facebook group to talk with us!