Sleep school is something that is very common in Australia. Most capital cities have a sleep school that you can take your little one to, to help them improve their sleep.
There are two major differences. The first one is that when you work with a sleep consultant, we come to your home or speak to you on the phone or Skype, and your little one learns to sleep better in their own environment. They’re in their own bedroom, their own familiar environment, same smells, same sights, same sounds that they have all the time. That, in itself, is more reassuring for your little one.
I would imagine that a little one who is put into an extremely different environment … We all know that hospitals (because sleep schools are in hospitals) smell completely different. I can imagine that most little ones would be a little freaked out about that. The peer-reviewed research shows that cortisol levels stay high with babies when they are put through sleep training, all of those peer-reviewed, academic articles were done on children in sleep schools. I would put it to you that any child who’s trying to go to sleep in a completely unfamiliar environment is going to feel stressed about that. Therefore, there’s going to be raised cortisol levels.
When you work with a child sleep consultant, we come to your home and your child learns to sleep in their own environment. That is a huge difference. We look at the bedroom or we talk you through the bedroom. You can make the changes that you need, and as your little one is learning to sleep better, it’s in their own environment and you can just continue it, as opposed to learning for five days in a sleep school and then having to put those changes into place once you get home, which a lot of people find challenging.
That’s not to say sleep schools are bad. I think sleep schools are a fantastic resource for parents who are struggling. I’m just answering the question as to how they’re different. The second way that we’re very different is that certainly the sleep consultants who have done the same kind of study that I’ve done, we work with the family to find the solution that suits you, as opposed to, from what I hear, some sleep schools kind of have their way of doing it and make you do their way. We’re not about that.
The sleep consultants that have done the same kind of study that I have, we all try to find some way and we’ll mold and rejig the typical methods to try to suit you, so we can find a solution that suits you, so you end up doing something that you feel comfortable with, as opposed to going to an unfamiliar environment and having to do what they tell you to do.
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