‘I was losing my mind’: can baby sleep gurus really help exhausted parents?

Growing numbers of frazzled parents are paying a fortune to people who claim they can help them get a good night’s rest. Are they being taken for a ride? Plus a doctor’s top tips for children of all ages

By the time her baby was four months old, Zara, a psychologist and executive coach from Surrey, was able to open a bottle of wine and have “a bit of an evening”. He was sleeping in four-hour stints, waking twice in the night. Then, at four and half months, his sleep pattern changed: “It was five wakes, then six, then eight,” Zara says. She was so exhausted she ended up Googling “can you die from sleep deprivation?”.

“I was broken, emotional, confused, sleep-deprived and catastrophising,” she says. “He wouldn’t be down for longer than 20 minutes, and I was losing my mind. Using a sleep consultant was the best money I’ve ever spent; £250 to give me the confidence to trust my child to get himself to sleep without me.”

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