The City That Never Sleeps
New York’s top infant sleep experts
We’ve all been there. Trying to get a baby to sleep—and stay asleep. Here are five of the city’s top experts . . . for those weeks when you need someone to talk you off the sleep-deprived ledge.
NYC Sleep Doctor
Background: Janet Kennedy is a licensed clinical psychologist with experience treating sleep disorders in tots and adults. She opened her private practice in 2008 and is working on a book series covering sleep issues from infancy through adulthood.
Philosophy: Kennedy believes families can get stuck in survival routines that don’t yield long-term solutions. Her approach is to look at sleep patterns over a 24-hour period, not just at night. She does a comprehensive evaluation to identify when and how each child is becoming overtired, and forms a plan to break that cycle.
Services: The standard package includes a 60-90 minute consultation, a written plan and five follow-up emails/conversations (20 minutes each); services are available for kids 0 to 5 years of age, in Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Fees: $465 for the standard package; siblings can be included in the same evaluation at a discount. Phone consultations start at $250.
Background: Seedlings Group is a team of published and hospital-affiliated child development experts and psychologists. Beyond their fancy degrees and impressive experience, the co-founders are also knee-deep in raising babies and toddlers themselves.
Philosophy: Seedlings Group offers parents practical, research-based advice that will help establish healthy sleep patterns, or resolve sleep challenges. They do not use one single approach and won’t convince you to let your baby cry it out, if that’s not your style.
Services: Phone sessions, home visits, semi-private group seminars.
Fees: $225 to $600
Dream Team Baby
Background: Two New York City moms started Dream Team Baby after reading countless sleep books, to no avail. They recruited a board of experts to create a step-by-step approach to teaching infants and tots to sleep. Their sleep advice has been featured on shows like the Today Show and Good Morning America, and their first book will be released in early 2012.
Philosophy: Dream Team says most sleep problems can be solved in one to four days. They don’t cite a general philosophy, per se, but customize their program for each family on a case-by-case basis.
Services: Half- and full-night home visits for families in the NYC metro area, small group workshops, phone consultations, and online webinars. All consultations include two weeks of follow-up sleep support. The services are for healthy tots aged between 4 months and 2 years.
Fees: At-home consultations range from $810-$1500; phone consultations are $150 per hour; webinars start at $35.
Background: Soho Parenting has been around for more than 20 years. Moms love it for its realistic and practical approach to raising kids. The founders wrote the popular book, A Mother’s Circle: An Intimate Dialogue on Becoming a Mother.
Philosophy: Soho Parenting believes parents should consider sleep to be kids’ primary fuel—as important as milk. They also believe it’s a parent’s responsibility to ensure a child gets the correct amount of sleep. Sessions are customized, factoring in the child’s age, living situation, parents’ work schedules, medical history and recent events such as the birth of a sibling or move.
Services: A basic plan includes a pre-visit sleep questionnaire, one 50-minute session with a trained sleep specialist, and a personalized sleep plan. A comprehensive plan also includes five ten-minute follow-up phone calls or email exchanges with your sleep consultant, while implementing the plan.
Fees: $250 to $400
Background: As a new mom, Natalie Nevares obsessively read about babies and sleep, but became more confused. And like all new parents, she didn’t want to hear her baby cry. So She started Mommywise in 2004, and as a self-taught “sleep expert” she’s currently writing two books: Teaching Your Children to Sleep: A Common Sense Guide for Exhausted Parents and The Twelve Pillars of Joyful Parenting.
Philosophy: Nevares doesn’t follow one method or system, instead customizing her programs according to the child’s age and temperament and the family’s beliefs. She proposes easily attainable goals that are achieved through step-by-step instructions and weekly coaching.
Services: Home visits, phone calls, and unlimited email support. An eight-week intensive program includes two 60-minute private coaching sessions at home, on the phone, or by Skype, plus two detailed feedback reports, an eight week baby routine log analysis, and six 15-minute progress calls.
Fees: The eight-week program is $980.