1. Begley, Jessica BS, MPH
  2. Bowden, Kelley MS, RN

Article Content

Dear Editor:


Although the evidence for addressing sleep problems is growing, particularly on behavioral approaches for sleep problems, there are gaps and conflicts in the scientific literature (Price, Wake, Ukoumunne, & Hiscock, 2012). Parenting at night is an art, not a science. When some parents experience difficulties in helping their child sleep at night, they turn to sleep consultants. Sleep consultants play an important role in helping parents understand and navigate gaps in the scientific literature. One way sleep consultants navigate this gap is by using an evidence-informed approach. An evidence-informed approach casts a wider net of reference, providing more strategies than the scientific evidence alone. It does not ignore evidence about things like safe sleep, circadian rhythm, and sleep training. It instead combines it with exploration of many other unique facets influencing parenting choices such as cultural beliefs, worries, parenting style, family demands, and individual goals. These preferences are shaped by the clients' wishes, values, and beliefs around parenting and sleep. An evidence-informed approach allows application of the consultant's professional experience. Acknowledging that nighttime parenting is as much an art as a science, allows parents and consultants to work collaboratively in a shared decision making fashion.




Price A. M., Wake M., Ukoumunne O. C., Hiscock H. (2012). Five-year follow-up of harms and benefits of behavioral infant sleep intervention: Randomized trial. Pediatrics, 130(4), 643-651. doi:10.1542/peds.2011-3467 [Context Link]