My husband Jake and I are both are first time parents. During the pregnancy we were bombarded with comments from other parents such as "Make the most of your sleep now" and "Look out, you have a baby coming, so there goes your life". In some ways these off the cuff remarks can make the experience seem all the more frightening. I even remember wondering to myself whether I would be able handle it, or even if I was cut out to be a parent.
At a stage just before the birth of our son Noah we asked for and received advice from Rowena through her Baby Care Advice website. We had seen many of our friends experience problems with their baby’s sleep and we wanted to avoid similar problems if possible. So one particular area of interest to us was how we could encourage our baby to learn healthy sleep habits from the start, rather than wait for a problem to develop and then try to fix it. Rowena explained how to recognize infant tired signs and how we could encourage our baby’s sleep. We agreed to trial her recommendations as soon as Noah arrived. Within days we were confidently able to read his 'tired signs' and react accordingly. The settling techniques Rowena recommended worked so well that at one point I contacted her because I was worried Noah was sleeping too long. Noah was as relaxed and as happy a baby as I or my husband have ever seen. He soon eased into a routine where I could predict when he would need to eat or sleep almost to the minute!
My husband would often remark "really how easy is this?" Our first time parenting experience was nothing whatsoever like the hard work I imagined. In fact it was.a breeze. We enjoyed it so much. At about the 6-7 week mark however we moved house. The move was a big one, and time consuming. My husband Jake was working while the move was being completed. It was a tiring time. I am not sure how it happened but we just seemed to forget about some of the things we were doing. For those few days it just seemed easier to rock Noah to sleep or hold him to sleep. Within a flash our easy going baby’s sleep patterns had deteriorated noticeably. He would fight going to sleep and wake after 20 minute naps. It could take up to 3 hours to settle him to sleep. He was so cranky. I had never seen him cry so much before. After a week or so of this it became apparent that things weren't going to correct themselves. Realizing how much happier Noah was with better sleep we decided to encourage him to once again learn to settle to sleep independently. We contacted Rowena again and she provided advice. At this point I must admit for first time parents there were some rough patches. There were a couple moments (mostly within the first 10-11 hours) when we were very, very close to giving up. But with encouragement from Rowena we continued. We are so glad we did. Within 48 hours Noah was back to being a good sleeper. My husband and I often comment to each other how lucky we are to have such a good baby. He rarely cries unexplainably, he wakes up happy, he eats well, and he is alert, smiley and healthy. Friends comment to us on how easy going and good natured he is. We know the reason for this is because he knows how to sleep well. At this present time Noah is 16 weeks. We can honestly say that as first time parents we are finding it easy and enjoyable, and there is not one single thing we would do differently.
Belinda - Albury, Australia
My 4.5 month old was fussy the week after we brought her home. Being a first time mother I thought the only way to pacify her was to nurse her all the time. Soon enough, I was nursing her to sleep or my husband would walk around with her until she fell into a deep sleep, which would take almost an hour or more. The older Chloe got, the more she depended on nursing as her comfort and sleep aid. It got to a point that Chloe needed to continue to nurse as she slept. I was the human pacifier. Chloe only wanted her mommy. I knew this was not healthy. I was becoming sleep deprived and I became resentful about motherhood. I thought the only solution was to sleep train Chloe and have her cry-it-out in her crib. I did some research before I started, but I could never find a clear plan of action. I consulted with other mothers, but no one really understood Chloe’s issues. Once I started the process, I cried and became frustrated because I did not see results and Chloe was not sleeping. Chloe was only taking 20 min. naps. I had a nervous breakdown which resulted in giving in and nursing Chloe back to sleep. Enough was enough. I knew I needed more help. I started looking up infant sleep cycles. I could not understand why Chloe was only sleeping 20-30 min. each sleep. The information I found was general and not helpful.
I came across the Baby Care Advice site. This site alone offered me information that I could never find in a book or the countless websites I searched. The other advantage was this site offered a consultation service. I needed advice and a plan of action so desperately that I did not think twice about contacting Rowena. Rowena responded so promptly to my request and once we started the learning process of the sleep training, Rowena was right there, only a click away. Rowena offered me the tools I needed to succeed, the science behind Chloe’s issues and the guidance that empowered me with confidence and knowledge to continue through the process. It will take some time to have Chloe on a solid routine, but just having Chloe sleep in her own crib and not scream every time she is placed there, has changed my life. Rowena’s professional, compassionate and respectful approach got me through one of the toughest journeys thus far in motherhood. When I reach another road block, I will have no problem contacting Rowena again.
Vanessa - Colorado, USA
I’m very happy that I’ve found Rowena. If it wasn’t for her advice & guidance we would still be suffering sleepless nights. My son woke up every hour at night even though he was 15 months old. Until Rowena, we tried everything and we just couldn’t succeed. Rowena was there at every step with us and she explained everything in detail. She was kind, responsive, and supportive. Most importantly we felt secure & comfortable with her. After we started her settling plan it took only 4 nights for my son to sleep thru the night. He now goes to bed without any protest, and sleeps thru the night. I can’t describe how our life had changed now that we get decent amount of sleep. Thank you so much Rowena!
Nese - New Jersey, USA
Rowena was referred to me through a family friend whose child had sleep issues. She said Rowena was a godsend and at that point, I was willing to try it. As a first time Mom, I was unsure of just about every thing and really needed guidance on my particular situation. My son was 12 months old and did not have any type of schedule. He was only sleeping about 3 to 4 hours at a shot and I knew I was going back to work in a few weeks and was desperate to get him to sleep through the night so the days would be better for all of us.
I scheduled the appointment and immediately felt better after, knowing Rowena took the time to ask me a lot of specific questions about my son – how the birth was, his eating and sleeping patterns, our home life, etc. It was definitely not a one size fits all routine. After the consultation, she sent pages of materials on a Settling Plan and other pertinent materials. We started right away and it was difficult to begin with, but I knew it was only because he was not used to settling himself to sleep and he would eventually get it. The first time I tried, it didn’t really work and I never knew why, but the second time I tried it worked perfectly within 4 days. During both first tries, I was emailing Rowena on the situation and she was emailing me back (quickly) to get more information. She really worked with me and made sure that we were successful.
Now, my son is like clock work – you could set your watch by him. The routine works extremely well for him and he is a very happy baby. Since then, I have relied on Rowena for advice on certain things and she has always had great advice. I have recommended her to many friends as I really feel she helped us all to adjust during a tough time.
Andrea - West Chester, Pennsylvania, USA
I am so glad I found Rowena. I was at my wits end with my 2.5 month old son's sleeping (or lack of it). He was refusing to sleep all day, from 6am until about 7pm. He did this for about 2 weeks straight, EVERYDAY. The only way I could get him to sleep was either rocking him in my arms or pushing him in the pram, only to have him wake up after 15-30 minutes each and every single time after I put him down. It was a real hassle the whole day through, and I was going crazy! I had been told by many other health professionals that it was 'normal' for babies his age not to sleep during the day, but I knew it was not true because my son wasn't happy while awake and I could see his tired signs were constantly there, but I just didn't know what to do to get him have proper rest. So I searched all over the Internet to find someone who could help me with my dilemma, and after days and days of searching, I found my ray of light!! Rowena will help any settling problem you may have. She changed our lives! My son now sleeps between 15 and 18 hours in a 24 hour period in total. I even have time to wear make up again! I cannot thank Rowena enough!
Brandi - Melbourne, Australia
I have a 9 week old baby daughter who is working herself towards a nice little routine for her days thanks to Rowena. Up until my daughter was 4 weeks old, we would rock or pat her to sleep in our arms and put her down. She would, however, either wake up as soon as we put her down or wake up after a short 10-15 minute nap. My husband and I realized that we were spending our entire day trying to get her to nap with little success.
I decided to look at the message boards on the Internet to take advice from parents struggling with similar situations. I came across one posting that sounded exactly like my baby’s situation. Eagerly, I read some of the responses and one of them was from Rowena. I decided to contact Rowena and solicit her help. She was wonderful!! She immediately emailed me back and followed up with a phone call to understand my baby’s daily routine. After the phone conversation, Rowena emailed me a “settling plan” for my baby. I followed the settling plan as outlined by Rowena and was able to teach my baby to settle and sleep for longer period in just four-five days.
During this time I emailed Rowena a few times each day with an update on the baby’s progress and for her advice during rough times. Once again, Rowena was just wonderful – she took the time to write detailed emails reassuring me that a few rough days would pay off in the end. And they have – My baby now takes a couple long naps (1 ½ -2 hours) and a couple short naps (30-45 minutes) during the day. She wakes up happy and ready to play. Because of her young age, she has days where she is unable to resettle herself for a longer nap, but even a short nap is a marked improvement over her not sleeping at all. Thank you Rowena!!
Paula - From Detroit, USA