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Is a sleep consultant worth investing in for an almost four year old?

(11 Posts)
BrightandEarly Sat 14-May-16 22:09:14

I've posted before but we've not had any improvement.

DD (almost 4) will simply not go to sleep alone, and even with one of us staying it takes forever. We have very little evening left by the time she's asleep. And she's starting school in September and is getting too little sleep to cope, I fear.

Friends have recommended a sleep consultant, but it's expensive and I think they're generally used for younger children / babies.

Does anyone have any success stories of using a sleep consultant for a (nearly) school age child?

anotherdayanothersquabble Sat 14-May-16 22:14:03

Definetly worth it! I have a friend who worked on the sleep team for the NHS health visiting team for years and has helped friends with problem sleepers of this age. I have paid for sleep consultant time twice for younger children and it is the best money I have EVER spent. Speak to them first and make sure you have some sort of connection with them, you need to trust them, feel that they empathise, don't judge even if they will tell you that you have habits / behaviours that need to change and you need to feel that they like children.

Duckstar Sat 14-May-16 22:19:46

Best money I ever spent was on a sleep consultant. My child was a baby; however, my sleep consultant dealt with older childen. I know a lot of people will say just do x, y, z or read something, but sometimes you just need some personalised support and attention.

FATEdestiny Sat 14-May-16 22:28:17

Have you tried the NHS route?

It takes persistence but a friend of mine got a GP referral to a sleep clinic at our local hospital for her DD, who is now 5 but would have been 4 at the time. You then get a whole team of professionals helping with the sleep issue.

She didn't just rock up to her GP and say "my 4 year old wont sleep", but went consistently, made repeat appointments and followed advise. Her primary concern was that lack of sleep was affecting her DDs health and wellbeing. She was fobbed off first appointment but specifically asked to make a repeat appointment 2 weeks later to discuss progress with same doctor.

Second GP appointment lead to some HV referrals for 1-2-1 help and advise at for some home visits. Again friend asks at the time of the appointment to book in a follow up after 2 weeks to discuss progress.

Basically it followed like this, until the GP realised that she would continue coming fortnightly until the sleep issue was resolved - so GP referred to the hospital sleep clinic. Once that referral was made, the real help began. Proper, quality testing - blood tests, neurological tests, all manner of non-behavioural issues investigated and quality, practical advise given.

BrightandEarly Sat 14-May-16 22:38:23

That's encouraging, thanks all.

Fate, do you happen to know what the diagnosis and advice was for your friend's DD?

My lay 'diagnosis' for DD involves a combination of overactive imagination, sensitivity / anxiety, sibling rivalry and plain stubbornness. I've never really considered physical factors (although I suppose everything is linked).

FATEdestiny Sat 14-May-16 22:53:19

It was behavioural for my friends daughter. But reassuring for her to have all the tests and know there was no medical issues. The sleep clinic still offered her help with he behavioural issues. Mother and daughter got a week as in-patients to learn some techniques to teach better sleep habits.

They also got a sleep tracker (like a watch for the child to wear) so that very accurate sleep data could be tracked over time. Follow up appointments discussed the data from the sleep tracker and now the technique were working.

It was all approached in a very thorough, practical and clinical way. Rather than just "try this and be consistent" that you get from a private sleep consultant who may well have no professional training.

t1mum Sat 14-May-16 22:57:21

That's really interesting FATE. I have two (out of three) really poor sleepers - one I think it's behavioural (separation anxiety) but the other it is a real problem. Do you happen to know what medical issues they were looking for?

FATEdestiny Sun 15-May-16 11:58:38

I don't I'm afraid. This is just a school yard mum friend who I chat to as we wait for our children to come out of school.

t1mum Sun 15-May-16 16:48:50

Thanks anyway smile

BrightandEarly Sun 15-May-16 19:02:54

Hmm have just seen the actual prices for a lady who had been recommended to us - is £300 for a four hour session normal / reasonable? Thanks again

anotherdayanothersquabble Sun 15-May-16 21:08:54

We used this both Chireal Swallow (not one of her consultants, it was a long time ago) and Sarah Barnes

worth comparing prices... Yours seems in the same ball park.

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