You would like to talk to your child’s pediatrician about sleep, but every visit you have with the doctor or provider seems so full, rushed and busy already. Does that sound familiar? If so, I’m going to provide several suggestions for you on how to best talk to your child’s provider about sleep. Let’s jump into your guide to communicating with your pediatrician about sleep.
We know sleep is crucial to our child’s growth and development. When you run into challenges helping your child get the best sleep, it can be difficult to know who to turn to. You may wonder – is this sleep challenge caused by a medical problem or is this something I can tackle at home on my own? Either way, I recommend discussing with your child’s pediatrician as a good starting point.
Now I’m going to share my 7 best tips to help you have a productive conversation with your pediatrician about sleep.
I recommend scheduling a visit specifically to address sleep. As you know, well child checks and other appointments are full and often leave inadequate time to address your concerns around sleep. Your conversation around sleep deserves uninterrupted time. This will lead to the best outcome for you and your child. Your child’s pediatrician will also appreciate not cramming a complex topic into a short amount of time.
Before your appointment, take the time to prepare by gathering relevant information about your child’s sleep habits. Make note of your concerns, such as difficulty falling asleep, frequent night awakenings, or excessive daytime sleepiness. Keep track of their sleep schedule, duration, and any environmental factors that may affect their sleep, such as noise or light levels in their bedroom.
Clearly communicate your concerns to the doctor. Be specific about the sleep-related issues your child is experiencing and how they are affecting their daily life. Describe any changes you’ve noticed in their behavior, mood, or academic performance that could be linked to inadequate sleep. Sharing these details will help the provider understand the urgency and significance of the situation.
Be ready to provide a detailed account of your child’s sleep patterns, routines, and any factors that may influence their sleep quality. Include information about their bedtime routine, bedtime protests, sleep environment, and any sleep aids or remedies you have tried. This information will enable the doctor to identify potential triggers or underlying causes of your child’s sleep difficulties.
Don’t hesitate to seek clarification and ask questions regarding your child’s sleep concerns. Some questions to consider asking:
Based on the information you provide, your child’s provider may suggest various treatment options or behavioral changes to address the sleep issues. They may recommend adjusting sleep schedules, creating a calming bedtime routine, or implementing behavioral interventions. It’s a good idea to ask if your child needs to be evaluated by a sleep specialist or any other specialists. You may also consider asking if there are any additional resources your child’s provider could recommend such a sleep consultant or any books.
Work with the provider to develop a plan of action that addresses your child’s specific needs. I recommend asking for any necessary guidance or resources to implement the changes or treatments given successfully. Set a follow-up appointment to monitor progress and address any further concerns that may arise.
After talking with your child’s pediatrician you’ll have a better understanding of next steps in helping your little one sleep better. I hope this guide to communicating with your pediatrician about sleep was helpful. Once you know your child’s sleep issue isn’t caused by a medical problem, a sleep consultant can often help. If you’d like to learn more about how I can help you, please check out my services.