• Martha Lewis

5 Reasons You Don't Want to Hire Me

Your baby is waking up all night long. And you have to keep getting up to nurse or rock or whatever it takes to get him back to sleep.

You've read countless books, blog posts and articles. But you still don't know how to get your baby to sleep.

You're exhausted. You're barely holding it together. You're at your wits end.

You could hire a sleep consultant and get the help you need. You could pay someone the cost of an ipad and put an end to your sleep deprivation for good. In a week or so your baby could be sleeping through the night. And so could you.

But you don't want to. Why? I think I know the answer. Tell me if I'm wrong.

1. You feel like a failure.

You knew parenting would be hard. But you imagined yourself crushing it. Making baby food, pumping breastmilk, working full-time, doing it all. You've got this.

You've figured out breastfeeding. You've got your routine going. Even though maternity leave wasn't the vacation you thought it would be, you loved being able to be home with your baby. Most of the time.

Until...your baby isn't sleeping. Now you can barely get through the day. You're exhausted and grumpy and don't have time to shower. You definitely aren't having any fun. What happened to the old you? You don't even feel like yourself anymore.

You're smart, capable and resourceful. You didn't know parenting would be this hard. So why can't you figure out the sleep part? Asking for help makes you feel like a failure. I get it. I felt the same way.

But hiring a sleep consultant was the best decision I've made since having my son (and not just because it led me to become a sleep consultant!). I went from questioning if I'd made the right decision to have a baby to being stoked about being a mom. I went from barely being able to function to going back to work, seeing friends, and enjoying summer. I went from feeling like a failure to being confident about being a mom. I felt smart and capable because I asked for help.

As my recent client Lindzey Hollobaugh told me, "It took a lot for me to admit I didn't know what I was doing with getting my child to sleep, it hit my pride as a parent a little. But I've come to realize we don't have to know it ALL...and it's OKAY to ask for help!"

2. You have to admit to your husband/ parents/ friends that you need help. This point kinda goes along with the point above. But it's one thing to feel like a failure on the inside. It's even more of a leap to admit it to the world. And risk being judged. Or denied.

So I realize that it's hard to admit to your husband that you need help. And maybe you have to ask him for the money as well. Or at least get his agreement.

But what's the risk of doing nothing? Of not admitting that you need help? You keep suffering. Your baby keeps suffering. Your relationship with your husband keeps suffering. Until your baby grows out of it. Which could be 3-5 years.

Or you finally decide to get the help you need. And start sleeping in as little as a week! Can you imagine how you would feel if by next week your baby was sleeping through the night? And you were sleeping all night?

3. You don't want your baby to cry. It's hard to hear your baby cry. Especially if you subscribe to the attachment parenting theory. Which I did at first. So I get it.

But the truth is, babies cry. People would tell me that when my son was a newborn and I hated it. But now he's 2. And now I know. Babies cry. A lot. Some more than others, for sure.

And babies cry for different reasons. Sometimes they're hungry, they're uncomfortable, they're tired, or they want comfort. And babies cry when their routine changes. Which happens during sleep training.

Say your baby has been nursed/ rocked/ carried/ driven to sleep for his whole life. And then one day you finally decide that enough is enough. It's time to teach him to sleep on his own. He's going to cry. He doesn't like the change and he doesn't know what to do. So he's going to communicate his displeasure the only way he knows how. He's going to protest the changes by crying.

The good news is that you don't have to leave him alone to cry. And you know he's not crying because he's hungry or in pain. He's crying because things are changing and he doesn't like it.

Maybe you're worried that crying it out will cause psychological damage. I was truly worried about that with my son. Until I did a lot more research. Now I truly don't believe that crying during sleep training has any permanent negative effects. The Science of Mom website really reassured me. And you can find more links to studies and articles that show that sleep training isn't harmful on my website faqs.

4. You're too sleep deprived to do anything. It's hard to think straight when you haven't gotten enough sleep. Our neurons in our brain respond more slowly when we're sleep deprived. And when we're drunk. That's why some of the symptoms are similar, like memory lapses and an inability to concentrate after a night of no sleep or lots of drinking, according to a recent study.

I don't always sleep well or get enough sleep. Even though my son has been a great sleeper ever since I sleep trained him when he was 3 months old. Sometimes I go to bed late. Or I'm stressed. Or Parker is sick and wakes up in the night. So I still have days when I'm sleep deprived. And I don't function as well.

So I know that it's harder to make decisions. You have to be thinking clearly to evaluate your options and make a good decision. It's also harder to stick to your decision. I see this when I'm tired and trying to parent my toddler.

So I get it. But I know I always feel better once I've made a decision to solve a problem.

5. It's expensive. $400 may sound like a lot of money to spend at once. To hire someone for a one-time thing. But let's put things in perspective. You could spend $400 on a new ipad. Or 2 date nights. It could be the cost of daycare for 1 week.

Yet, you will reap the benefits forever. Your baby will be a good sleeper for his whole life because he's learned the skill of independent sleep. You all will get the sleep you need during his childhood.

I mean, sleep is priceless. There are times I would have paid $400 for 1 good night's sleep. $400 for good sleep 95% of the time sounds like a screaming deal now, doesn't it.

As my former client Jessica Borneman said, "Although I was hesitant about the price, when the program started to work it was worth every penny! Thank you from the bottom of our previously sleep deprived hearts!"

It's hard to admit you need help. It sucks to hear your baby cry. It's hard to make a decision when you're sleep deprived. And hiring a sleep consultant sounds expensive.

But paying to have someone help you get your baby sleeping and having your baby cry for a few nights may be the best decision you make as a parent. I've had many parents tell me it's the best money they've ever spent. And if you want to be inspired by some sleep training success stories, check 'em out here.

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Martha Lewis, MS

Jackson Hole, WY



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