Engaging a sleep trainer in Singapore


Anyone who tells you your baby will eventually sleep through the night on their own, is a liar and a half – at least in my book. The only way to do that is to wait till they’re 18 years old and you’re left with a shell of your former self. Or, be the “chosen one” with Lady Luck, Father Fortune, and King Kismet on your side. 

15 months into being a first-time mother and I had never slept more than 2-3 hours straight, not even through the night. My baby – bless her – was 102% reliant on the boob to sleep, and in turn, was quite literally sucking the life out of me. 

As being a human pacifier started to wear down on my mental, emotional, and physical health, I decided that it was high time we finally get some sleep. That’s why I engaged a sleep trainer – also known as a sleep consultant. Here’s how the roller-coaster of an experience went: 


“Sleeping like a baby” = lies 


Baby monitor with scary baby eyes
Wide awake at 11pm and staring into my soul via the baby monitor.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

Well, obviously you get where I’m going with this. Whoever coined the term “sleep like a baby” has never met Aria. While I love her to the moon, all the way to galaxy GN-z11 and back, my first and only child had clearly missed the memo. 

No problem, I thought. No one expects newborns to sleep for more than 1-3 hours at a time, especially since they chug milk and poop every so often. Despite that, I found myself constantly Googling, “when do babies sleep through the night?” even when the answer was always the same: 6 months old, the Internet said. 

So I waited… and then waited some more. 

Sleep trainer in Singapore
I had to pop Aria into her carrier for most of her naps.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

During the many times I was awake nursing, rocking, patting, and shushing Aria in the wee hours of the morning, I would also trawl parent groups on Facebook for advice. Some mums would humble-brag that their babies started sleeping through the night by the age of 1 – no intervention needed. 

This kept me hopeful; just a few more months and my baby would magically give me more than 3 hours of sleep at night… right?

Hahahahahah…haha….


No sleep = no life


You know what they say about sleep deprivation.? It messes up your body and mind so badly that it has actually led to death in chronic cases. 

Okay, so I’m getting a little bit dramatic here. But not many may realise that a lack of sleep is detrimental to new parents’ physical, mental, and emotional health. 

Sleep trainer in Singapore
WFH with a baby who fell asleep on the boob while I was carrying her. I became an expert at typing with one hand.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

Let me explain: fourth trimester postpartum blues? A cocktail of new responsibilities and kelam-kabut first-time experiences exacerbated by zero sleep. Marital problems? Who wouldn’t bicker with their spouse when both are only functioning on 3 hours of sleep each night?

Funnily enough, you wouldn’t have been able to tell any of this just by looking at Aria during the day. She was a joyful little lump who was hitting her milestones well.

Come sundown though, her Mr Hyde would emerge. My nights on average looked like this: I would put Aria to bed by 7.30pm, and then pat, sing, nurse, and then pacify her to sleep whenever she woke up, which was about every hour. That meant that dinner was often just a myth for me, and all my time was spent by her side.

On bad nights, which were rather common, I would have to carry and rock a screaming baby around the house for hours. This usually took place from around 8pm-11pm, and then again at 1.30am-4am, and again at 5am-6am. Then I’d have to clock in to work at 9am.

Sleep trainer in Singapore
My bed occupancy was at 150%.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

Eventually, I became a human pacifier as we settled into the unhealthy routine of nursing through the night. It was an easy fix for soothing her to sleep, but nursing for 6-7 hours straight was incredibly painful and draining.

As soon as I knew it, over a year had passed. What was sleep? Just a faraway dream, at this point. 


Trying every trick in the book


I look back and laugh about it now, but after not getting enough sleep for over a year, my sanity was hanging by a thread. Sheer exhaustion resulted in fairly regular breakdowns. Aria crying? More like Mum crying. 

At times, I had to leave the room to scream in frustration, calm down, and then start all over again.

I tried nearly everything in the book, including putting her on a strict schedule and following infant sleeping guides online. I even tried to DIY sleep training, which failed miserably because I legit thought my child would die from crying. Not the most logical, but no parent enjoys watching their child wail in desperation for Mum and Dad’s comforting touch. 

Now, I had been well aware of the existence of sleep consultants thanks to the countless nights of Googling baby how-tos. And to be very honest, I thought the idea of paying someone to get your baby to sleep was kind of absurd. 

For one, I was convinced that no one – not even the Sandman himself – could get Aria to sleep through the night. Plus, what if I spent all that money only for it not to work? 

Sleep trainer in Singapore
The few times I tried DIY sleep training Aria, I gave in to her cries after just 5 excruciating minutes. No wonder I failed miserably.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

Plus, as per the many testimonies on Facebook parenting groups, many had DIY-ed getting their child to sleep through the night without having to fork out a single cent. I tried to give it a shot too, but the mountain of sleep training material on these pages was simply overwhelming. It was difficult to pinpoint exactly how to start doing it, what to do to prepare, and what to expect. 

So, I pulled my head out of my arsenal of Googled info and booked a free introductory call with a sleep consultant that a friend recommended.


What the heck is a sleep consultant, though?


I got this question a lot when I told my friends and family that I was finally going to engage a paediatric sleep consultant. In simpler terms, they’re also known as baby sleep coaches or experts. 

Here’s the kicker – they’re not exactly affordable. You can find some advice- and consultation-based ones for a decent $100-$200. But should you need more hand-holding, those that come with customised sleep plans and personal support cost around $800-$1,000

Here’s a TL;DR of some of the options available in Singapore: 

Paediatric sleep consultant Rates Ages
Baby Planner $200 0 and up
Sleepy Bubba $150-$700 0-5 years old
Beloved Bumps $200-$950 3-18 months old
UpChild $500-$1,200 0-6 years old
Lullabub Sleepers $650-$795 0 and up
Our Little Chicks $800-$950 0 and up
Petite Dreamers $1,000 0 and up

There are more out there, so take the time to do your research before choosing one. Glowing reviews are one thing, but I found it helpful to do a deep-dive into parent Facebook groups for more honest feedback. A good cue to follow is when you see the same sleep consultants cropping up in recommendations.


How the sleep training process went


You can probably guess which sleep training package I went for. As clueless me needed a ton of hand-holding, I decided to fork out a pretty penny for a comprehensive programme.

The process was fairly straightforward: an introductory call and questionnaire, a detailed step-by-step on how to carry out the sleep training, and an in-depth video consult. My sleep consultant also provided 2 weeks of support, where I could text or set up a call with her to troubleshoot any hiccups along the way. 

It might sound easy on paper, but NGL, it was one of the toughest things I ever had to do. Plus, the consultant warned me that there’d probably be a lot of crying involved. And she hit the nail right on the head. 

Cats in front of a door
On the first night of sleep training, Aria hysterically cried non-stop for more than an hour. Here are my cats outside her room wondering what the heck torture was going on inside.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

Even as I followed the sleep plan to a T, Aria was violently resisting sleep. She would cry and scream during naps and bedtime, and periodically throughout the night. 

Sleep trainer in Singapore
Here’s Aria resisting sleep and dozing off while standing up.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

By day 3 it felt like Aria had been crying for over 48 very long hours. I couldn’t help but feel like the sleep training wasn’t working – even with words of affirmation from the consultant. Plus, I could tell Aria felt completely betrayed by me; she was cranky as heck during the day and would start crying as soon as I started her bedtime routine. 

Baby lying down on the floor
During the sleep training period, she would just lay down on the floor and stare into space miserably. Tell me that’s not alarming.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

But miraculously, that same night, Aria went right to sleep and slept through the night – for a solid 11 hours at that! 

Sorcery? Funky junky? Luck? Or just solid af sleep training? I don’t know how my consultant did it, but it worked. 


From a non-believer to a believer


The next couple of weeks of sleep training was mostly adjusting to Aria’s new routine. And as you can tell by now, I became 100% sold on the idea of sleep training and sleep consultants. 

What they say about babies being incredibly fast learners cannot be more true. And in a weird twist, it felt as if sleep training was more for parents rather than babies. After all, it involves the grown-ups learning and adapting to a new routine.

Baby at a park
We incorporated lots of outdoor time in her new routine for her to expel energy – plus have quality time with her.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

It was undoubtedly helpful to have a certified expert to debunk any misconceptions I had. It turns out many sleep training methods allow you to comfort your child in between bouts of crying. That means it’s not all about coldly letting your child cry it out. Plus, Google says that there’s no scientific evidence that sleep training causes trauma to the child. 

It might sound like I threw my empathy out the window. But sleep training basically involves a change of perspective and tons of discipline on the parents’ part. 

If I could give a tip for all parents going through it, it would be to resist the urge to follow your instincts. Stick to “the plan”, be consistent, and talk it out with your sleep consultant if you need to tweak any part of it. 

Sleep trainer in Singapore
Fast asleep alone in her cot, without needing me to nurse her!
Image credit: Jessica Fang

Aria now clocks a solid 11-12 hours of sleep each night and goes to bed without protest. She’s back to her happy self after getting used to her new sleep schedule. Her appetite even improved as she no longer needs to nurse throughout the night. 

As for previously enraged and hopeless me? I’ve managed to reclaim some of my life back. I get to enjoy simple things like being able to have an uninterrupted dinner and playing video games after a painful 15-month hiatus. My well-rested self is now agreeing that every single cent spent on that sleep consultant was worth it.

Sleep training in Singapore
Confession: I miss waking up to Aria smiling and rolling around my bed, hugging me and giving me sloppy baby kisses.
Image credit: Jessica Fang

The only downside is that I do miss having Aria in my bed. Contradicting, I know. But I sometimes feel a tinge of sadness knowing that, if I wanted her to continue having good sleep habits, I would never be able to wake up with her next to me. I’ve since started compensating for this by setting aside essential 1-on-1 cuddle time with her just before her bedtime.


Sleep training with a sleep consultant in Singapore


Sleep training has always been a touchy topic for many parents. But for the hopeless like myself, I’d say the pros far outweigh the cons. 

If you’re in the same boat as I was, I would recommend getting help for you and your baby’s sleep – whether it’s DIY-ing sleep training, forking out a little cash for resources, or splurging on a sleep consultant.

Some of my friends asked me if I wished I had just done this earlier, but I would say no. My husband and I “clocked” in over a year’s worth of hardship, and we did the best we could. So we see this as just another chapter in our lives – one that’s improving the dynamics of our little well-rested family. 

Read more first-time parent things here: