Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child
Community Sleep Consultants (Sleep Solutions #5)
May 17, 2021

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
A Step-by-Step Program for a Good Night's Sleep

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Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child

5th Edition: 
Chapter 1 (only 16 pages!) outlines everything you need to know about your child's sleep.

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A Healthy Child Needs a Healthy Brain, A Healthy Brain Needs Healthy Sleep

If you have not already done so, please read Blog Posts 1 through 5 that describe how sleep is important and beneficial. I will post specific information for parents and children based on my book, “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child.” Please do not be put off by my book’s length. This is a reference book. Read only the topic of interest to you

Blog 27Community Sleep Consultants (Sleep Solutions #5)


Sleep consultants, located online, are available in most cities and give personalized face-to-face advice to help children sleep better. Often, consultants also perform services online. Their website will give information regarding fees, services, professional training, and educational background. Request a free initial encounter to see if there appears to be a good fit between you and the consultant’s personality. Anyone can promote themself as a sleep consultant because there are no state or national professional standards. However, some sleep consultants have received certification from online training programs. Anyone can create a training program because here, too, there are no state or national professional standards. Investigating the training program founder’s background, along with the training program’s course content, assessment methods, and recertification requirements might help in choosing a “certified” sleep consultant. A training program will help you find a consultant in your area. Training programs are available in many countries.

When contacting a training program, ask if they have any actual data on the success rates of their graduates. Naturally, every community sleep consultant will publish parent testimonials but objective data collected by the training program might give you confidence that their graduates are effective. Perhaps, ask the community sleep consultant where she received her training and whether such data is available. Beware of claims not supported by any data. Here is a program that I am familiar with:

• Family Sleep Institute: (Full disclosure: I am an unpaid adviser to FSI with no financial interests or potential conflicts of interest)

Family Sleep Institute Survey

In 2020, the Family Sleep Institute conducted a survey of 94 consecutive sleep consultations performed by 37 different consultants in 15 countries (46 percent were in the US). The most common age of the child at the onset of the consultation was 5 months. Recommendations included safe sleep to prevent SIDS, putting the child to sleep independently, drowsy but awake, regular bedtimes, and age-appropriate sleep and night feeding schedules.

At twelve months of age or younger, parent’s concerns were night wakings (98 percent), napping (84 percent), nighttime eating at undesirable times (84 percent), and bedtime issues (71 percent). The success rate in resolving these concerns was 93, 82, 86, and 95 percent respectively. Similar concerns and success rate percents were observed among children thirteen months of age or older. Overall satisfaction rates with the consultation were high: Complete satisfaction, 89 percent; somewhat satisfied, 7 percent; neutral, 2 percent; and completely dissatisfied, 1 percent. Families that had a bedtime routine at initial contact were more likely to be satisfied. Increased parent satisfaction was associated with using extinction or graduated extinction at the end of the consultation.

 Most families maintained their initial choice for a sleep solution throughout the consultation (13 for extinction, 45 for graduated extinction, and 23 for fading or a version of check and console). For these families, “completely satisfied with the sleep training consultation” percentages were 100, 91, and 86 respectively. Other families changed from their initial choice for a sleep solution to a subsequent choice that involved attending to their child less at night.

Using extinction as an initial sleep solution was associated with increased likelihood that the child would be sleeping independently through the night, eating during the night at desirable times, and going to bed without bedtime issues at the end of the consultation. Again, using extinction, compared to other choices, at the end of the consultation was associated with increased satisfaction with the sleep training consultation. The more experienced consultants were more likely to recommend extinction as an initial or subsequent sleep solution. Recommending extinction as an initial or subsequent sleep solution occurred almost exclusively in the US and Canada.


  1. My 7.5 month old is having nap issues that we are working on still. Some nights she wakes for a midnightish feed and then again at 4 or 5am and feeds again and sleeps until 6-7am.
    Other nights she wakes at 4 hour intervals (9:30pm, 2am). I am trying not to go to her at the 2am time and she is crying for 20 minutes, stops for 10 then starts again. It is so hard and I don’t know whag

    1. Please read the first few chapters in my book and pick a sleep solution that comports with your values and specific family circumstances so that I can be more helpful going forward.

  2. Sorry…I don’t know what to do.
    Should I go feed her if it has been 4 hours even if that is 3 times a night?
    We are using a 5:30 bedtime because of poor napping right now. The early bedtime is going well with no or minimal crying.

  3. I have read the book and I frequently reference it and have marked pages. We chose to start extinction with her when she turned 7 months. It was late, but I’m 40, she’s my last baby and I just wasn’t ready before that and thought having her in my bed and feeding her always on demand would work. When her sleep became more and more fragmented though as she got older I realized I was doing her a disservice, based on everything I have learned from your book. This is my 3rd time around with your book, though in very different circumstances each time.

    So we started extinction at night. It broke my heart, I was sweating and almost crying myself, but I was determined to do it for her. She cried exactly 55 minutes.
    The next night was less and so on. Now the initial lay down to sleep is being done at 5:30pm and she is only crying minimally, if at all.

    But the naps and night wakings have still been an issue. At night if it has been less than 4 hours before the first waking I let her cry. She cries for about 20 minutes and goes back. But when the waking is at 4 hours I have been breastfeeding her per your book.

    I feel like the extinction at night is very doable to me if I believe I’m doing the right thing, but with her naps not seeming to be enough (she sleeps 30 minutes for the 9am and the midafternoon nap varies from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours) I am not sure the extinction for night wakings is right or going to work?
    I have tried both nap models and neither seems to make a difference in length of nap. Although yesterday after she had been crying for about 44 minutes her dad patted her back and she quickly fell asleep and stayed 1.5 hours, which is the longest.

    She frequently seems tired through the day. I see fatigue signs often with her pulling on her ears.

    I am ready to commit to anything. I am still at home with her full time until she is at least 1 and I just want her to have good sleep.

    1. Is it possible that recently your breast milk supply is low? One clue might be that you are thirsty more recently or maybe recently you have been extra busy or stressed?
      Blog post 138 might help organize your thoughts.
      On weekends or whenever available, try to get dad more involved in soothing to sleep. For example, you might nurse for 8-10 minutes and pass her to dad, leave the room, and he does a few minutes of soothing before putting her down drowsy but awake.
      How does this sound?

  4. It’s possible about my breast milk supply. I have been changing my eating habits and maybe I need more water. She has been eating food really well now too and never seems to be full. But she’s fat and healthy (23 lbs). I also think maybe she is so tired she is not feeding long enough before bed. I try to stop before she falls sound asleep.

    I will keep the light on and try to feed her for longer. Then let dad soothe and put down.

    I read once where you recommended to try to drop the mid morning nap and only have one a day for a specific case? I don’t think she would make it long, but I wonder about something like they for her?

    1. Please read the section in my book that describes going to a single nap and Blog Post 176 regarding hunger at night.

  5. Okay I will read those now, however I don’t see a post 176?
    Thank you so much for getting back to me! I have been so thankful for your book and have recommended it many times to friends and coworkers and in general on Instagram. I have bought it 3 times because I passed it on to others after the last 2 times.
    I call it our sleep Bible.

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