The week's best parenting advice: February 18, 2020

The problem with sleep coaches, the 10-minute homework rule, and more

A sleeping baby.
(Image credit: Illustrated | JungleOutThere/iStock, gonin/iStock)

1. The unregulated world of baby sleep consultants

There comes a point in a sleep-deprived parent's life when they will take any and all advice on offer if it will help their child sleep through the night. Thus, the rise of the sleep coaching industry. As The Wall Street Journal has reported, "these advisers help parents get babies to sleep on their own," and they charge anywhere "from about $300 for two weeks of consultations by phone and text to $7,500 for 72 hours of in-home coaching." Some parents absolutely swear by sleep coaches. But as Angela Hatem, neonatal nurse, sleep consultant, and founder of Taking Cara Babies, writes at Parents, "there are no governing bodies which monitor them," so you'll want to do some serious research before hiring. Check their qualifications and ask for references. If you're literally too tired to do any of this, Hatem suggests parents at least hire "a consultant whose mission and heart aligns with theirs."

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Jessica Hullinger

Jessica Hullinger is a writer and former deputy editor of The Week Digital. Originally from the American Midwest, she completed a degree in journalism at Indiana University Bloomington before relocating to New York City, where she pursued a career in media. After joining The Week as an intern in 2010, she served as the title’s audience development manager, senior editor and deputy editor, as well as a regular guest on “The Week Unwrapped” podcast. Her writing has featured in other publications including Popular Science, Fast Company, Fortune, and Self magazine, and she loves covering science and climate-related issues.