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The Best Sleep Consultant Training

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness + All the Experts

You know the quote from Oprah, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher,” right??

In order to be the best, you must surround yourself with the best! That is one of our goals at The Collective for Family Rest and Wellness - to be the best sleep consultant training around.

I (Ashley) have often said that we know a lot about sleep and a little about everything else when it comes to starting and running a sleep consulting business. So, we share all our expertise within our courses, but we also bring in experts to share everything else that pertains to becoming the best certified sleep consultant you can be.

Curious about who is all involved in our sleep consultant certification program? All the experts we’ve brought on to help this be the best sleep consultant training program that’s out there?

Look no further - we’re going to do a deep dive, right here, right now.

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

In this section of the Sleep Consultant Academy, we lay out what you need to know about sleep science before you can learn about the actual strategies you’ll be using with families. This section includes the foundational knowledge that everything else is built upon.

Expert Training: Sensory Systems with pediatric occupational therapist Laura Petix

As you know, there are a lot of systems within the body that relate to sleep. In this expert training, pediatric occupational therapist, Laura Petix - who specializes in sensory integration - goes over sensory profiles. After watching her presentation, students will be able to define what each sensory threshold looks like as well as identify patterns of sensory triggers.

“I want to shift the mindset away debates like “is it sensory or is it behavior” because I believe that sensory responses are a form of behavior. I believe there is a huge misunderstanding of the implications of sensory processing and how it can impact our everyday lives, especially how little minds learn.”

If you find you have a client who has sensory needs, incorporating some of the strategies Laura teaches about can help you create the very best daily or bedtime routine for a client.

Safe Sleep

We all know the importance of safe sleep, but what about fire safety while sleeping??

Expert Training: Creating a Fire and Sleep Safety Plan with firefighter and paramedic Brea Olson

In this expert training, firefighter and paramedic Brea Olson helps students understand the importance of closing doors while we sleep, where smoke detectors and fire extinguishers should be located, and how to practice fire drills with kids.

Sleep Training Myths and Facts

This section of the Sleep Consultant Academy is a popular one! We break down all the myths and facts about sleep training so students know how to educate others about these topics.

Expert Training: Sleep and Attachment with Drs. and research scientists Jenna Elgin and Shanna Alvarez

A big question we hear as sleep consultants is, “Won’t this damage my child’s attachment?” or “Is sleep training psychologically damaging?” We brought in the big guns, Drs. Jenna Elgin and Shanna Alvarez from Helping Families Thrive, to help us teach about these topics. In this presentation, Dr. Alvarez goes over attachment science, attachment science vs. attachment parenting, what is and what’s not associated with a secure attachment, changes to attachment, why attachment matters, what we know and what we don’t know about sleep training and attachment, and how to respond to parent concerns when they ask questions like those few listed above.

“We have dedicated our careers as researchers and clinicians to improving families’ well-being. Through decades of this work, we have witnessed the powerful transformation that evidence-based intervention can bring to families.”

Expert Training: Co-Regulation with Drs. and research scientists Jenna Elgin and Shanna Alvarez

One of the bigger things that goes hand in hand with sleep training is the concept of self-regulation. In order for our children to learn to regulate themselves through this process we need to know how to support that, first through regulating ourselves as parents, then co-regulating with our children.

In this expert training, Dr. Alvarez teaches about self-regulation, what co-regulation is NOT, what co-regulation is, and shares some resources for families.

Considerations for Newborns

The newborn days are fast and furious and there is a lot going on at that time from a developmental perspective. As a sleep consultant, there are things you should be aware of so you can help families better during this time.

Expert Training: Plagiocephaly with pediatric physical therapist Dr. Amanda Thompson

Pediatric physical therapist Dr. Amanda Thompson wants to prevent plagiocephaly from becoming any more prevalent than it already is. Learn about what it is, how we can prevent it in younger babies, and treatment options for plagiocephaly and torticollis based on the baby’s age.

Expert Training: Torticollis and Head Shape with pediatric physical therapist Dr. Kaitlin Rickerd

We want you to hear this more than once and in a variety of ways, so Dr. Kaitlin Rickerd was also happy to share her expertise with the Sleep Consultant Academy students. In this expert training, she shares what torticollis and plagiocephaly are, quick tips for noting possible torticollis, signs that an infant may have torticollis, beneficial activities you might suggest when working with families, and how to approach and recommend that parents consider specialized assessment for torticollis or plagiocephaly.

Kaitin Rickerd is a pediatric doctor of physical therapy, wife and mom of three! She has spent her career working with children and young adults of all ability levels, and currently specializes in birth to three years.

Considerations for Toddlers

We know toddlers throw many parents for a loop, especially when it comes to bedtime or sleep, so we’ve covered them too!

Expert Training: Rewards with Toddlers with psychologist and applied behavior analyst Marlene Spence

If done the right way, toddlers can totally buy into a reward system, something that you would use when working with toddler families. In this expert training, applied behavior analyst and psychologist Marlene Spence debunks some myths about using rewards systems with toddlers, why these systems are an essential tool to help young children develop routines and positive behavior, and how to create an effective reward system that encourages intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.

Marlene’s mission is to show you positive, practical, proven ways to manage problem behaviors and teach your child the skills they need so you can have more proud parent moments.

Expert Training: Melatonin Use in Kids with board certified pediatric pulmonologist Dr. Funke Afolabi-Brown

We know it’s probably been recommended to you, or you have seen it recommended to someone else to help their child sleep better: melatonin. In her presentation, Dr. Funke Afolabi-Brown helps us understand the role of melatonin in the sleep-wake cycle, be familiar with the indications of melatonin, recognize appropriate dosing of melatonin, and determine the side effects of melatonin in children.

“I am on a mission to help parents and their children prioritize sleep to achieve their optimal health and live to their fullest potential.” We couldn’t agree more, Dr. Afolabi-Brown!

Expert Training: Potty Training and Sleep with broad certified applied behavior analyst and certified sleep consultant Sarah Mechling

Another toddler curveball that may get thrown your way when working with families is potty training! In this expert training, applied behavior analyst and sleep and potty training consultant Sarah Mechling helps our students identify considerations for potty training, why sleep should be a priority during potty training, sleep regressions and interruptions during potty training, how to handle sleep struggles during potty training, potty training at nights, and how to handle potty struggles affecting nighttime sleep.

Non-Behavioral Sleep Disruptions

In this section, we recognize that sometimes, there are disruptors to sleep that are not behavioral and need to be addressed in a different way before behavioral modifications may also be needed.

Expert Training: Sleep Apnea with speech and language pathologist and infant feeding specialist Mallory Millet

Mallory Millet, speech and language pathologist and infant feeding specialist, shares her knowledge of oral structure and functioning, nasal vs. mouth breathing, what to look for, and when to refer a baby or child out for further assessment.

“I work with families in finding the root cause vs bandaid solutions.” Same here, Mallory!

Expert Training: Autism with board certified behavior analyst Madison Gaffney

ABA specialist Madison Gaffney brings tons of experience to the Sleep Consultant Academy. In her presentation, she shares about behavior and conditioning, finding the functioning of behavior, what autism spectrum disorder is, autism and sleep, and when to refer a case out.

Working with Families

This. THIS. This section of the Sleep Consultant Academy is the bread and butter of becoming a certified sleep consultant. And, we’ve included tons of expertise in this area too, because, let’s be honest…no two families are the same!

Expert Training: Temperaments with Drs. and research scientists Jenna Elgin and Shanna Alvarez

First up, we’ve got Drs. Jenna Elgin and Shanna Alvarez again, but this time, they’re teaching about temperaments. They go over what it is, how it’s measured, what it’s associated with, parent temperament, parent temperament match/mismatch, how temperament affects sleep, and cultural considerations.

Expert Training: Postpartum Moods with licensed professional counselor Chasity Holcomb

Another common family issue you may come across in your sleep consulting practice are Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders since lack of sleep plays a huge factor in maternal mental health. Expert and licensed professional counselor Chasity Holcomb shares her knowledge of PMADs, identifies key components of preventative and reparative support for families with PMADs, and teaches appropriate advocacy and resourcing for when working with these families.

Expert Training: Parenting in Different Cultures with licensed social worker and conscious parenting coach Edita Maloku

In her presentation, social worker and conscious parenting coach Edita Maloku shares how culture has the ability to impact parenting (and the decision whether or not to sleep train) through stigma, shame, family relationships, and generational trauma.

“My mission is to help parents heal and understand their trauma so they can live a life they love and not pass the trauma onto their child.”

Expert Training: Lactation with certified sleep consultant and breastfeeding counselor Ashley Olson

Surprise! Not only am I (Ashley Olson) a sleep expert, but I’m also a certified breastfeeding counselor and have well over 60 months(!) of experience breastfeeding my own four children.

In this training, I go over how to support families who are breastfeeding by knowing the physiologic basis of lactation and breastfeeding, understanding your role in the education of the breastfeeding dyad as it relates to sleep, being knowledgeable of common breastfeeding problems, and how to confidently make a referral to the appropriate professional as needed.

Expert Training: Bottle Feeding and Reflux with speech and language pathologist and infant feeding specialist Mallory Millet

Expert Mallory Millet is back in this expert training to go over bottle feeding and reflux and how that can affect sleep, what you can do about it on the interim, and what parents are looking for long-term with correcting the issues.

Business Building

So, not only do we want you to be successful with sleep knowledge and strategies and for working with families, but we want you to know how to run a successful business as well. We know your passion is in sleep, and not necessarily in the day-to-day, month-to-month, and year-to-year events that come along with being a sleep consultant.

Expert Training: How to Run Your Business Legally with lawyer Keren de Zwart

You’re probably not a lawyer. If you are, great! But if you’re not, this expert training is for you. Keren de Zwart, lawyer and founder of Not Your Father’s Lawyer is here to help you run your business legally. In her presentation, she goes over the initial setup of your business and forming an entity, protecting your brand, operating online, disclaimers, collecting payments, and working with others.

Keren was born into a family of entrepreneurs and grew up enthralled with the excitement, risk, and success that comes with building your own business. Her Type-A personality and love of research and analysis landed her in law school, and today she gets the most fulfillment by working with entrepreneurs, startups, small and mid-sized businesses, and others who are genuinely passionate about what they do.

Expert Training: Accounting and Taxes with small business accountant Ashley Waychoff

Yes, you’ll need to keep books as a small business owner. We know - this is not anyone’s favorite part of running a business, unless in another life you were a bookkeeper or accountant. Ashley Waychoff, a small business accountant from Pretty Penny LLC, shares bookkeeping best practices, lessons on paying taxes and paying yourself, planning for taxes, write-offs, how to choose an accountant/bookkeeper, and money mindset themes.

We love what Ashley shares on her website: “I've been empowering small businesses with clear financials for almost 10 years. Here's what I've learned: When you become an entrepreneur, you trade stability for possibility. YOU get to define your version of success and build a life you love. How beautiful is that?”

It’s SO beautiful!

Expert Training: Getting Your First Client with Sleep Consultant Business Coach Becca Campbell

Let us introduce you to our business coach, Becca Campbell, a sleep consultant who “helps other sleep consultants like you grow their businesses so you can help MORE people live healthier, happier, more well-rested lives.”

The point of having a sleep consulting business (besides helping people sleep) is to make money! In this expert training, sleep consultant business coach Becca Campbell goes over what to do once you’re certified, how to get the word out about your business, how to price yourself, being a brand (not just a business), and setting your expectations for your business.

Expert Training: Your Ideal Client with brand activation strategist Makayla Ervin

It’s time to start talking to your people…but who are your people?? In her presentation, expert brand activation strategist Makayla Ervin teaches what an “ideal client” is, why it’s important, how to identify your ideal client, and how to apply this marketing strategy in your business.

Expert Training: Content Creation with brand activation strategist Makayla Ervin

As a marketing coach for creatives, Makayla is back teaching all about content creation for your sleep consulting business. In this expert training, she goes over the role that content plays in your business, what your “part” is in building a relationship with your audience, and how to create your content strategy.

Expert Training: Social Media Marketing with brand activation strategist Makayla Ervin

Because there are so many different ways to market your business, we brought Makayla back for another expert training…this time social media marketing! In this presentation, she goes over the importance of a marketing strategy (and elements with which one is made), and how to set yours up for success!

Expert Training: Writing for Your Business with virtual assistant Joanna May

Yes, you’ll have to write and use words in your business. In a variety of formats - emails, blogs, freebies, on your website, sleep plans, etc. In this expert training, virtual assistant and copywriter Joanna May talks about why you need to write for your business, the different types of writing you’ll need, what you need to know before you write, general writing tips, the basic pages you need on your website, the specifics for the three main pages of your website, and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Expert Training: Dubsado for Sleep Coaches with business tech expert Meg Goodman

Eventually, there will come a time in your business when you’ll want to invest in some Client Relationship Management software. Tech guru Meg Goodman knows anything and everything there is to know about Dubsado, a popular choice for a CRM system among many sleep consultants. In this expert training, she goes over how to map out your processes, the key functionality of the software, and a few examples of sleep coach setups that may be helpful as you think about what you want your client flow to look like within your business.

Wise words from Meg: “Creating systems in your business, embracing tech to automate, and getting a helping hand to take action faster is a game changer! Allowing you to streamline, cut out that ‘busy mode’ and take effective action in less time!” We’re here for it, Meg!

Expert Training: Having a Productive Day with time management and life organizing expert Lynn Winter

You probably are considering starting your own business so that you can work from home and have more time with your family, am I right?? Well, running a business is a lot of hard work, and it takes time. Lynn Winter, a time management and life organization expert, teaches about how to be effective at time management, life management, procrastination, and work-life alignment in this expert training.

Lynn wants you to live your best life, and so do we!

As you can see from all of these areas of expertise, not all of them are related to sleep.

That’s because running a successful sleep consulting business is about a lot more than just sleep.

Just as there are a lot of pieces to a child’s sleep, there are a lot of pieces to running a successful business. And if you aren’t going to make money doing this, then you’ve just got a somewhat expensive hobby on your hands.

We want you to do this, but we want you to do this right. That’s why we give you all the tools you need - the sleep knowledge and our expertise - but also the expertise of all these other amazing professionals that can help you become a successful sleep consultant!

Interested in jumping into the Sleep Consultant Academy? Click here to learn more.


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