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Can a Sleep Consultant Specialize in Newborn Sleep?

If you’ve been around The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness for a while, you might know that one of the ways we teach our students to grow their business is by niching down to a specific area of knowledge or age group that you prefer working with. And, if you’re new to The Collective, today you’re going to hear more about one of those niches - focusing on newborn sleep!

So, yes! A sleep consultant can certainly specialize in newborn sleep and working with newborn families. In this post we’re going to go over exactly how to do this, doing work you love and enjoy!

Your sleep consultant certification program should cover newborn sleep thoroughly.

Firstly, your sleep consultant certification program should cover newborn sleep thoroughly.

At The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness, we make sure all our students have prerequisite knowledge about sleep - the science of sleep and other foundational knowledge - as well as knowledge of sleep distributors, different age considerations (newborn, infants, AND toddlers), skill building for working with families and business building.

Newborn specifications within our course include: sleep “training” a newborn (what is developmentally appropriate for this age and what is not?), newborn specific goals, newborn specific timing and routines, cues and crying, using “the pause”, swaddling, PURPLE Crying, safe babywearing, other “sleep” surfaces, common newborn sleep struggles, considerations for premies, and more!

Go go deep into each of these topics so you can feel confident in working with newborn families.

newborn sleeping sleep consultant

What if you’re already certified but don’t feel confident in your previous newborn sleep education?

We actually have many students who have come to us from other sleep consultant certification programs who felt inadequate serving newborn families with only their previous training.

So, what did they do??

They enrolled in our newborn-specific training to gain the knowledge they yearned to be able to help these families, and are now “dual certified” through their initial sleep consultant certification program and our newborn sleep consultant certification program.

Yasmin, one of our newborn graduates shares her experience: “I decided to take this course to further my knowledge on newborn sleep. I felt my original training through another certification was 'good', but it did not dive as deeply into newborn sleep as I would have liked. The Family Rest & Wellness Newborn Course was incredibly informative and well-thought out. I also really valued the expert trainings!”

Speaking of expert trainings, most of the modules in our course include expert trainings, but those in the newborn section cover both palgiocephally and torticollis, where we brought in DPTs Amanda Thompson and Kaitlin Rickard to teach on these topics, helping our students to expand their knowledge and potentially help families identify these issues with their babies.

Who should specialize in newborn sleep?

nice and neonatal nurses make great sleep consultants for newborns

Really, anyone who wants to know more about newborn sleep should consider taking the newborn course.

Here’s a quick list of some potentially strong candidates:

Postpartum doulas

  • Postpartum doulas are trained to provide comprehensive support to new mothers and families during the postpartum period, encompassing physical, emotional, and informational support. This holistic approach equips them with the skills to understand the nuances of newborn care, including sleep patterns, soothing techniques, and establishing healthy sleep routines. Postpartum doulas are also experienced in navigating the transition into parenthood and are adept at fostering a nurturing environment that promotes bonding and well-being for both the newborn and the parent. This expertise allows them to offer personalized guidance on creating a conducive sleep environment and addressing sleep-related challenges that arise during the early stages of parenthood.

Newborn care specialists

  • Newborn care specialists - Newborn care specialists are experts in newborn care, including feeding, diapering, and soothing techniques. This foundational knowledge allows them to have a deep understanding of a newborn's needs and behaviors, which is crucial when developing effective sleep strategies and routines. They can leverage their expertise in newborn care to tailor sleep recommendations that align with the overall well-being of the baby. Newborn care specialists often spend extensive time with newborns and their families, developing strong relationships and trust. This bond can be instrumental in supporting families through the challenges of newborn sleep. The familiarity and rapport that newborn care specialists have with the family allow for open communication and collaboration when addressing sleep concerns and implementing sleep solutions. Their hands-on experience and personalized approach make them well-suited to guide families through the process of establishing healthy sleep habits for their newborns.

Neonatal ICU nurses

  • NICU nurses possess in-depth knowledge and experience in caring for medically fragile and premature infants. They have a deep understanding of the unique challenges faced by newborns who have spent time in the NICU and the impact it can have on their sleep patterns and development. This specialized knowledge allows them to provide tailored and informed guidance to families who have gone through similar experiences, helping them navigate sleep challenges specific to NICU graduates. Secondly, NICU nurses are skilled at observing and assessing newborns' health and well-being. They are trained to monitor vital signs, evaluate signs of distress, and understand the importance of creating a nurturing and soothing environment for infants in their care. These assessment and observation skills can be instrumental in identifying factors that may be affecting a newborn's sleep quality, including discomfort, medical concerns, or environmental factors. NICU nurses can then guide parents in addressing these issues and implementing appropriate sleep strategies based on their clinical expertise. By leveraging their knowledge, experience, and ability to provide specialized care, NICU nurses can effectively support families in establishing healthy sleep habits and promoting optimal well-being for their newborns.

Labor and delivery nurses

  • L&D nurses are experienced in supporting families through the early stages of parenting, often providing education and guidance on infant care and infant feeding. This experience enables them to offer valuable advice on establishing consistent sleep routines, promoting healthy sleep habits, and implementing appropriate sleep strategies. L&D nurses can use their expertise in infant care and their understanding of newborn sleeping patterns to help parents create a nurturing sleep environment that promotes healthy sleep habits. L&D nurses are also skilled at providing emotional and practical support to families during a time of significant transition. As newborn sleep consultants, they can leverage these skills to provide compassionate and responsive support to parents who are experiencing sleep-related difficulties with their newborns. L&D nurses can help families understand normal sleeping patterns and behavior, recognize signs of sleep deprivation in parents and infants, and offer tailored solutions to address these concerns. Their expertise in parental support can also help families navigate sleep challenges while fostering positive parent-infant relationships.

Sleep consultants

  • Sleep consultants who want to specialize in newborn sleep

  • Sleep consultants who feel their previous training did not cover newborn sleep well and want a deeper and more complete understanding of newborn sleep.

  • Sleep consultants who want to create a sleep course or guide for the newborn stage by providing the most thorough information available.

If any of these are you, keep reading!

Ready to become an expert in newborn sleep?

Regardless of if you’re already certified or not, you should definitely check out these free resources to learn more about The Collective, our teaching styles, the layout of the courses, and the field of sleep consulting.

  • Test drive a module of the Sleep Consultant Academy Course!

  • Watch our webinar where we dive deep into who we are and what we teach within the Sleep Consultant Academy.

  • Take the quiz and find out…what kind of sleep consultant would you be?

  • Learn more about the field of sleep consulting with data we’ve collected from yearly surveys from our colleagues.

  • Ready to become a sleep consultant? Learn more about our full couse here.

Now, if you’re already certified through another program and want to dive into our newborn course to gain dual certification, you can learn more about the Certified Newborn Sleep Consultant Course here.

How to Niche to Newborn Sleep

Let’s say you’ve decided this is the route you’re going to take your business. Here’s what you need to do in five simple steps:

  1. Plan or update your marketing materials. Revise your website copy, social media profiles, business cards, and other marketing materials to reflect your new niche. Make sure to highlight your expertise in newborn sleep patterns and the unique challenges that families of newborns face when it comes to getting enough rest. Paint the picture of how you can help them navigate this challenging time.

  1. Develop specialized offerings. Create new packages or consultation services specifically geared toward newborn sleep. Examples could include preparing for baby's arrival, sleep coaching during the first few months, or trouble-shooting sleep issues as they arise. You could have a newborn specific guide or course or work with families one on one.

  1. Network with pediatricians, midwives, and doulas. Build relationships with healthcare professionals and birth workers who work with new families. Offer to provide educational materials or insight into your area of expertise, or ask if you can leave business cards or brochures in their offices.

  1. Build a referral network. Reach out to past clients and colleagues to let them know about your new focus. Ask if they know anyone who could benefit from your services, or if they can introduce you to relevant communities or organizations. Clients you’ve already worked with are always your biggest fans and are usually more than happy to support you!

  1. Stay up-to-date on industry research. Continually educate yourself on newborn sleep issues and current research to stay at the forefront of your field. This will help you provide the best support and advice to the families you work with. Hint, hint: We provide quarterly continuing education in The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness AND keep all of our courses up to date with the latest and greatest research.

Position Yourself As A Newborn Sleep Expert

Even before you make the switch to your newborn niche, you can be building your authority in the field by creating content that fully relates to your newborn expertise. 

Steal these ideas for your upcoming social media, blog, Youtube, or podcast content:

Understanding newborn sleep patterns: Discuss the typical sleep patterns of newborns, including sleep durations, frequent awakenings, and the difference between day and night sleep.

  1. Creating a safe sleep environment: Educate parents on creating a safe sleep environment for their newborn, covering topics like crib safety, proper bedding, and room temperature.

  1. Establishing healthy sleep habits: Provide tips and techniques for establishing healthy sleep habits from the beginning, such as consistent bedtime routines and soothing techniques.

  1. Managing nighttime feedings: Offer strategies for managing nighttime feedings while encouraging healthy sleep for both parents and baby.

  1. Transitioning from swaddling to sleep sacks: Guide parents through the process of transitioning from swaddling to sleep sacks as the baby grows, ensuring a safe and comfortable sleep environment.

  1. Dealing with colic and reflux: Share advice on helping parents manage colic and reflux, which can be common challenges for newborns that can disrupt sleep.

  1. Nap schedules and routines: Explain the importance of nap schedules and routines for newborns and provide guidance on establishing a consistent nap routine.

  1. Recognizing and addressing sleep-related challenges: Discuss common sleep challenges like frequent night waking, short naps, and difficulty self-soothing, providing guidance on how to address these issues.

  1. Helping siblings adjust: Offer strategies for helping older siblings adjust to the arrival of a new baby and manage their own sleep routines during this transition.

  1. Share a list of products you recommend for the newborn days: Share what you use and love either with your own children or your clients’ babies during the newborn stage. Use a catchy title like, “5 Must-Haves for Your Baby Registry” to catch their attention.

  2. Managing sleep during growth spurts: Provide tips on managing sleep disruptions that can occur during newborn growth spurts, including strategies for soothing and helping babies get back into a consistent sleep routine.

  1. Promoting healthy sleep associations: Educate parents on promoting healthy sleep associations, such as encouraging self-soothing techniques and the appropriate use of sleep aids like pacifiers or loveys.

  1. Educating about safe sleep practices: Go into detail about safe sleep practices, including information on back sleeping, avoiding soft bedding, and reducing the risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).

  1. Addressing sleep challenges related to breastfeeding: Discuss specific sleep challenges that breastfeeding mothers may face, such as frequent nighttime nursing, cluster feeding, and maintaining a balance between breastfeeding and sleep routines.

  2. Navigating sleep transitions: Guide parents through the different sleep transitions that newborns experience, such as moving from a bassinet to a crib, transitioning to a sleep schedule, or adjusting sleep habits during developmental milestones like rolling over or teething.

By covering these topics and sharing your knowledge and expertise, you will establish yourself as an expert in newborn sleep and gain the trust and confidence of new parents seeking guidance.

Over time, you’ll be able to build a nice library of resources that establishes you as the go-to expert in newborn sleep!


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