The moment is different for every parent. Maybe it's when you put your curling iron in the fridge. Or perhaps it's when you poured formula into your coffee. For me, it was when I backed my car into a Toyota Camry named Doug that was parked in my own driveway.

That was it. That was the moment I knew my son needed sleep training, and that I couldn't do it alone.

Sleep deprivation is real, and it is hard. Lack of sleep can easily suck the joy out of anyone's day, but it can also rob you of your happiness in being a parent. It's difficult to be at your very best for your child when you are trapped in all consuming exhaustion. Trust me. I've been there.

Being a mom is hard, but sleep training doesn't have to be.

When my son was 9 months old, and our sleep routine was a dumpster fire, I was desperate. I Googled, I prayed, I talked with friends, I even begged our pediatrician for some magical method which would get my little guy to sleep and to sleep well. Everything I tried came up short, and I just came out even more exhausted.

I was a rookie mom and I was lost. Lucky for me, my cousin is a three time MVP sort of mom, she suggested it might be time that I speak to a sleep consultant for a solution. At that point, I'd never heard of a sleep consultant, let alone knew what they did or where to find one.

When I pictured a sleep consultant I envisioned a kindly woman who hid in the shadows and sang my son a lullaby whenever he stirred. In actuality, a sleep consultant is less a ninja songstress, and more head coach to your quarterback. She called the plays, I made the moves.

Like any good coach, she didn't get in the game, but she supported my play. She made me feel seen, heard, and understood. At the end of the day, connecting with the consultant was more about supporting me as I tried to support my son. That support was crucial, not only from the obvious sleep perspective, but from the bigger picture parenting outlook.

Sleep training is one of the first things as a parent where you put your foot down for your child's own good. It's not an easy thing to do emotionally or physically. You need a village, and you need someone who knows their stuff.

There are so many factors that can influence sleep; age, diet, wake windows, routine, temperature, position, comfort, lighting, and in some cases, the boundaries currently in place for parents and babies.It's a lot to take in and understand, especially when you can barely keep your eyes open.

My biggest regret was not connecting to my sleep consultant sooner.

To get the process started and to maximize your time with your consultant, start keeping a sleepy time journal. This will give you some concrete data to share on your call about sleep trends and might help you identify some sleep obstacles. Next set up your initial 30 minute video consultation with a Tot Squad sleep expert. This video chat will allow you to not only share your concerns and your experiences, but to also help identify existing challenges and long term goals.

The time it takes to sleep train varies from child to child. Some kids pick up on the routine over the course of a couple days, for some it takes a couple of weeks, others a smidge longer. I was lucky and noticed a difference after just one night. In speaking with my sleep consultant I learned what I was doing wasn't wrong, it just needed some tweaks. And hopefully that's all you need as well. A little push for you, and a little cuddle for baby, may make all the difference.

When it comes to thriving through motherhood, knowledge is power. Our women-centered, research-based classes and books will help empower you on this beautiful journey, mama.

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