Parents Who Hire Sleep Consultants for Toddlers Take the Easy Way Out (VIDEO)

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?


Image via ABC

a mom's life, toddler sleep


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

nonmember avatar Farmers Wife

This article lost me at 'controlled crying'. Sorry but ill never understand CIO or any other method of leaving a child to cry alone when it isn't their own choice. Might work for some, but my instincts won't let me. My kid needs me- I'm there.

Coles... Coles_mom

I have three kids and don't have many sleep problems. The youngest is 8 months old. For the most part I co sleep. And we breastfeed, so it'd not that difficult.

corri... corrinacs

Sometimes people need help.  I think the artilcle lost me at the title :/.  Like the mom the story was about said, she just coudln't take the lack of sleep anymore.  Sometimes parents need help and they don't have people around them to give them the answers.  I wonder how things turned out after the consultants visited and such and if it were better for them.

I, personally, have never had to deal with those type of sleep problems.  Ours were related to allergies, which are now controlled with medicines.  But I never co-slept a day in my life, so I wonder if that has anything to do with it.  I also have pretty calm-tempered kids who didn't care where they slept as long as it was warm LOL.

nonmember avatar TeacherMama

Wow... I normally don't comment on internet articles, but I feel like I need to speak up on this. This article is unbelievably judgmental and written from the very privileged position of a parent whose child slept easily. I tried everything from controlled crying to strict routines to co-sleeping. My child did not sleep. She took 20 minute (if that) naps, fought bedtime for 2-3 hours every night, and woke sometimes 4-5 times in a night. After her first birthday, we called in a sleep consultant, and it was the BEST money we could have spent. Within two weeks, my child was calmly and happily putting herself to sleep in her own crib and sleeping through the night. Sometimes parents need outside help and support, especially when their child's lack of sleep is affecting the lives of all members of the family, and to imply that we are lazy is unfair. Every child is different, every family is different, and we need to do what we have to do to take care of those needs. You touched a nerve with this story, TheStir, and I'm really turned off right now.

femal... femaleMIKE

Sometimes people need help. Sleep can be very frustrating.

Véronique Houde

Wow, you're basically saying that when you're struggling with an issue that has to do with your child, you basically have to suck it up and not ask for help *hands clap*. bravo. Way to set an example. If I had problems putting my child to sleep and ran out of solutions, I would FOR SURE pay someone to help me deal with it. Sleep is the most important need - you can't really go without it

Kelly Sutton Wehner

Why look down on someone for asking for help with their family? Who cares if they had to pay for it or not. It's a tough situation when you need to function in a work environment and no one's getting any sleep.

Alex Remon

Really? You're judging the fact that there are experts in this field and some people hire them for help? I haven't met a parent yet who hasn't had some sort of sleep issue with their child/ren. How is this different from hiring a nutritionist? What, people haven't been managing to feed themselves for thousands of years?

When my girls were 4 months old, a sleep consultant spoke at one of my moms meetings. I learned that motion sleep (in the swing, in the car) was only light sleep and that I was completely sabotaging my girls ability to get any deep sleep during the day which in turn made sleeping at night very difficult. That one little nugget of information changed our household! I started turning the swing off once they fell asleep so they could nap properly and suddenly I had very easy sleepers. Without that conversation with an expert, I never would have gotten that info nugget.

Not to mention that when you are completely sleep deprived yourself, you physically can't think properly so the answers to your problems may be obvious to a well-rested person and yet it's completely eluding you.

Sleep consultants are awesome.

nonmember avatar Page

The author has it ALL wrong! There isn't anything bad about asking for help when you need it. You wouldn't expect someone to know how to drive just because you gave them a car. Almost everything in life has to be taught to someone by someone. Get real.

1-10 of 15 comments 12 Last