Women everywhere are starting the career of their dreams. Read on to find out how –– and why.
As an infant development specialist and director of Institute of Pediatric Sleep and Parenting, I’m asked almost every single day why I became a sleep consultant.
Sometimes I’m also asked, “How can I do the same thing?”
That’s not surprising. If you’re like me, you’ve always believed in gentle, caring, effective parenting. And you want to make a difference. Here’s what I’ve found out through the years about why women become baby sleep professionals, plus how to get your own certification. Glad to see you here!
Once upon a time, I was a wife, a registered nurse, and the proud mom of a beautiful baby girl.
Like so many new moms, I knew I had to go back to work soon. I had always loved nursing, so I surprised myself when I realized, “I don’t want to do this. I want to stay at home with my baby.”
Then something happened that I’ll always think of as serendipity. My bestie asked me for advice on how to get her four-month-old baby to sleep through the night.
I had researched this problem and had great success with my sweet daughter. So I told her what I’d found out, plus what I already knew about sleep from nursing school. That was a success, too.
Of course, when you have a great group of friends, word gets around. And suddenly, my other friends were asking me to help them with their children’s sleep issues.
A lightbulb turned on. What if I could do this for a living?
That’s when I decided to develop the most amazing, gentle, effective sleep training that my nursing. I knew this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
It took time, and it took work. But I’m here to tell you that the benefits are worth it a hundred times over.
Wondering what I do all day? Here’s the scoop on what most people in this career do.
What a Baby Sleep Consultant Does
Your mileage may vary; you’re an individual and so are your clients. But most sleep specialists:
Meet with clients over Zoom, the phone or in person
- Find out the client’s concerns about their child’s sleep
- Develop a sleep plan
- Support the mother’s emotional health
- Refer parents to a specialist if there are medical concerns
- Work and collaborate with popular baby brands
Why is This Such a Popular Career?
First of all, the idea is relatively new. Until the past decade or so, most parents went to the pediatrician or registered nurse for advice on their babies’ sleep. (And of course, a few started out our parenting by asking advice from family and friends. Guilty as charged.)
But parents are becoming more interested in their children’s emotional health than any other time in history. We don’t just want to “get our kids to go to sleep.” Parents and caregivers want sleep to be healthy and secure for the child.
I’ve developed my career for more than a decade now and I’ve seen this evolution. And it means more parents are seeking experts in infant sleep.
So now is the perfect time to get going on your new career. Here’s how.
How to Get Certified
So here’s the tough love: yes, it takes work to become a certified sleep specialist.
However, many people seeking this career are already working or have other responsibilities.
We’ve all seen the ads where adults say, “I can’t find the time to go back to school.” IPSP covers that with a very flexible schedule that you decide on.
I developed the IPSP program to make it as convenient as possible for you to earn your certification. But whichever school you choose, you will need classes in all the following:
- Infancy and Early Childhood Sleep Basics
- The Science of Sleep
- Sleep Training Techniques
- Handling Bumps in the Road
- Creating Sleep Plans
- When to Refer the Client Out
- Legal Issues Pertaining to Your Business
Make Sure Your Teachers are Professionals
That may sound obvious. But so many sleep certification “schools” online can turn out to be entirely self-taught in the form of videos and studies. Others offer an incomplete roster of classes. Make sure all of the professors are credentialed (MD, RN, LVN, Certified Sleep Coach, Attorney at Law, etc.) Otherwise, your teachers are not up to date on what you need to know.
You’re On Your Way
I have had so many wonderful graduates. I welcome new students because I know they have the heart for the job. Plus, they want all the things I do: flexibility; a satisfying career; and a lucrative income so they can do the things they want to do in life.
Your choice of school is up to you. I always advise anyone interested in becoming a certified sleep consultant to beware of scams or fly-by-night schools. They’re popping up everywhere, so just be aware.
In the meantime, check out the certifications you can receive through IPSP’s student-geared, comprehensive programs. Looking forward to seeing you in class!
For more information on becoming a sleep consultant visit the Institute of Pediatric Sleep and Parenting website.
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