Becoming a parent is a significant step for any one to take, and of course it is also an enormous responsibility. Fortunately, new mothers and fathers, as well as expecting ones, can hire a variety of support experts who can guide them through the later stages of pregnancy, childbirth, and even training a baby to sleep a certain way. Pregnant woman may hire doulas, and a doula service may be found with an Internet search or through a doctor’s recommendation. What do doula services offer, exactly? Doulas are trained experts, typically women, who can provide non-medical support to pregnant women and even help their clients form a birth plan. Going back to work after birth may be a little easier of doulas are helping, and a postpartum doula may be hired, too. And what about after the baby is born? Baby sleep trainers can help a baby form a sleep schedule that better fits that of its parents.
What Doulas Do
It may first be noted that doulas are not nurses or doctors; they cannot diagnose health issues, or prescribe medication or perform surgery. Rather, doulas are a sort of pregnancy coach or emotional support, and many clients may appreciate this help. A woman who experiences health complications will see a doctor, while a stressed or overwhelmed pregnant woman may turn to a committed doula for support. High stress levels might even cause some actual medical complications, not to mention upset the pregnant woman and her partner.
This is where doulas may help. Often, these experts undergo one year of training and may receive a certification, and they typically get some hands-on experience and training early in their careers. Later in a client’s pregnancy, a doula may provide both physical and emotional support to the pregnant client in any shape or form needed, and in some cases, the doula may extend this support to the whole family if needed. What is more, the doula may be consulted about birth options, as women today have more than one viable option for where and how they will give birth. Similarly, after the child is born, a doula may continue to provide emotional support for the mother to help prevent postpartum depression, or the “baby blues.” Various causes may set off postpartum depression, including sudden feelings of incompetence of childcare (“I’m not fit to be a mother!”) or simple stress. Some doulas may specialize in the childbirth process or childcare phase of parenthood.
Babies and Sleep
Meanwhile, new parents may soon realize that their baby’s sleep schedule is very different from theirs. Babies and toddlers sleep for many hours per day, but not all at once. Typically, a baby may sleep for two to four hours at a time, then wake up for feeding or a diaper change. This means frequent interruptions to the parents’ sleep, which they will not like. Babies under a certain weight or age may require feeding every two to three hours, meaning they wake up quite often. To change this, parents may hire a baby sleep trainer.
Baby sleep training firms exist across the United States, and they are not federally regulated, so interested clients may want to carefully assess local firms before doing business with them. Assuming that a local baby sleep firm is reliable and competent, the parents may hire a coach, who will then visit them. That coach, most likely a woman, will interview the parents and ask them to fill out some questionnaire forms, so the coach can get a good idea of what the household is like.
With this information on hand, the sleep trainer may then start adjusting the baby or young toddler’s sleep schedule by altering its timing for feeding and being put to bed. Over the course of a few weeks, that baby or toddler will learn to stay asleep for several hours on end, often seven to eight, and sleep like this at night. In this way, the parents may enjoy a good night’s sleep without interruption, and the baby or toddler will be ready for its older childhood, when it will need a sleep schedule like that anyway. Toddlers will take longer to train than babies, but it can be done.