Frequently Asked Questions

Interested in working with us to solve your family's sleep issues but still unsure? Wondering how it all works? Expert sleep psychologist Dr. Sasha Carr answers your most frequent questions about sleep training and the sleep coaching process, and explains what sets her apart from most sleep consultants.
“I’ve read all the books on getting your child to sleep and been offered advice by everyone from my mother-in-law to the UPS delivery man. Everyone has different suggestions and nothing has worked. How would consulting with you be any different?”

The problem with books and other one-way sources of advice is that they simplify issues and offer a single solution for every problem without taking into account the unique situation and needs of your family. I’ll conduct a detailed assessment and discuss your options with you to come up with an individualized plan to fit your child. And why many people (including some “experts”) will tell you what to do and then be on their way, I’ll stick around to provide you with crucial follow-up support while you’re implementing my advice. If you have questions or doubts, I’ll be there to help you work through them. And when you start getting great results, we can celebrate together!

What sets you apart from other sleep coaches or consultants?

Many people market themselves as child sleep experts after reading some books and sleep training a few children. I use my extensive training and experience as a doctoral-level psychologist, certified sleep consultant, educator and real-life parent to get results for you and your family. As a faculty member and senior sleep consultant at the Family Sleep Institute, I’ve mentored over 100 sleep consultants and am often asked for help with their most challenging cases. Between my own clients and those I have helped through mentoring, I have worked with thousands of families.

Where do you provide consultations?

I do the majority of my work by phone and email so I consult with parents throughout the US and beyond. I’m also available for home visits in Fairfield County, CT, and Westchester County, NY. I occasionally travel outside of the area. If you are farther afield but want to try to arrange an in-home visit, please call (203)828-0079.

How exactly does the consultation process work, and what costs are involved?

You can find a detailed description of the consultation process and fees here.

How should I decide if we need a phone or in-person consultation?

It depends on what will work better for your situation. Some families feel strongly about meeting face-to-face and would like the benefit of having me evaluate your child’s sleeping environment to make sure it’s optimized for healthy sleep. However many families prefer the convenience of using the phone and/or live outside of the area, and phone consultation is the most popular method parents choose.

What if my child is simply different from most? What if she needs less sleep, or just isn’t a napper?

Most parents whose children encounter sleep problems wonder these same things, but children actually differ very little in how much sleep they need, and all children have the potential to become better sleepers.

Don’t babies and children naturally sleep when they’re tired?

Babies and children do have natural sleep rhythms, but as adults we may have trouble understanding them. When we don’t understand how much, how often, and under what conditions our children need to sleep, we unwittingly create an environment that makes it more difficult for them to do what comes naturally to them. Pressures such as work schedules, daycare, school, and family members who want to spend more time with your child can add to the difficulty. I will help you understand your child’s natural sleep rhythms so that you can work with them rather than against them.

Will I have to let my baby or child “cry it out”?

Rather than tell you that you have to use any one technique, I will help you understand the pros and cons of different strategies and come up with a plan that you feel comfortable with based on your family’s needs. There is always more than one option that will work. That said, babies are human beings and it’s impossible to guarantee that your baby won’t cry with any method you might use.

How can we correct our child’s sleep issues when as parents we can’t agree on how to address them?

It’s very common for parents to disagree on how to manage their children’s sleep. Sometimes other caregivers such as grandparents and nannies will have different opinions as well. That is why I recommend including all caregivers in the consultation process so that I can help get everyone on the same page. In cases where there is disagreement or difficulty in communication, I usually recommend a conference call or in-home consultation so that everyone involved can be in the same room to work out any issues before the real work starts.

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Sasha Carr, Ph.D.

About Dr. Carr

Psychologist, educator and certified child sleep coach

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