I started to worry about Naiya's weight during my pregnancy when she was diagnosed with IUGR. I was put on bed rest and had twice weekly ultrasounds to measure vitals to ensure Naiya was still surviving - I also had a scare and was admitted to hospital to be hooked up for 24 hour fetal monitoring about a month before I was due. The growth restriction turned out to be related to a poor placenta and Naiya was tiny but a precious 5lbs 5oz bundle that changed our lives forever. Given her low birth weight I always worried and stressed over making sure Naiya drank enough milk and ate enough solids and would do anything to ensure that she ate what I considered a good amount in hope that she would somehow hit those percentiles and become an average weight and height. Naiya was perhaps one of the most challenging infants I have ever come across - she seemed to cry constantly for the first 5-6 months and after that we struggled to feed her milk and solids - we resorted to showing her videos on our phones and recording her favorite tv shows and replaying them during meal times to distract her so we could stuff solids down her. After a rough 12 months, things were not getting any better, Naiya had now been conditioned to only eat when shown videos, she would not self feed at all, and she would arch her back, cry, and protest when placed in the high chair.
When Naiya was 15 months old my husband found out about Rowena's services online and suggested it to me as a long shot, not expecting I would agree to follow her advice or her program. However, things were desperate and I was willing to give anything a try. Rowena asked me to give her a dedicated week to follow her advice and program and I wouldn't take that week back for anything in the world. She helped me to see where I was going wrong in not allowing Naiya the freedom to make a mess and learn to self feed. She also taught me to create a schedule and allow Naiya to feel what it was to be hungry instead of constantly stuffing her with milk. I t was very tough for me to let go, but Rowena's support and advice was wonderful. I will admit I was skeptical at first as to whether she could help me via a virtual program, but she was very diligent and responsive over email - I actually felt like she was right there with me.
Naiya is now eating solids much better, we do not show her videos and she has rapidly mastered the art of self-feeding with finger foods. We are encouraging spoon feeding and hope within the next few months she will also pick this up well. Our lives are a lot less stressful thanks to Rowena. Our next challenge is getting Naiya to sleep better with self settling, I am currently reading Rowena's book [Your Sleepless Baby: The Rescue Guide] and hope we can start to sleep better soon. If you are thinking about using Rowena's services to help with your baby's feeding or sleeping problems I would certainly recommend you do because you will not regret it.
Ellie was born with a congenital heart defect. After complications from her first open heart surgery, she was left unable to swallow. As a result, she had to be tube fed from the time she was 2 1/2 weeks old. Ellie finally was allowed to start trying to eat orally when she was 6 months old. By then, she had developed an aversion to anything in her mouth. After months of speech and occupational therapy, Ellie had progressed enough to put food in her mouth, but she would spit out most of her meal. She would only drink around 2 ounces from a bottle. A friend suggested that I contact Rowena for help. Rowena took a detailed health history and then developed a program to help my baby eat orally. She contacted us daily via email and was very quick to respond to my questions. After approximately 2 weeks on this program, Ellie could swallow small amounts of a variety of foods and drink up to 20 ounces of milk from a cup per day! We still have room for improvement, but Ellie is developing the skills she needs to eventually get off her feeding tube. Thanks Rowena!
Rowena and her feeding programs WORK! My son Alexander was born with a heart defect and kidney problems that necessitated a 2 month hospital stay when he was a week old. While there, he was fed through an I.V. He never learned to eat like a normal baby. From there, he was put on an NG feeding tube, and eventually a G-tube ( a feeding tube directly into his tummy). Alexander has never eaten enough by mouth to even stay hydrated. We have always fed him through a tube. His doctors, (and he has a whole lot of specialized doctors) kept telling us to feed him more, but every time we fed him (through his feeding tube of course), he would throw up. We just got used to feeding him twice every time we fed him. In addition to the feeding tube, doctors had Alexander on medication for reflux and even considered a surgery to kind-of “tie” his stomach, to prevent him from throwing up.
We were at our wits end, as Alexander was almost 14 months old, and hadn’t been off a feeding tube since a week of age. This is when I met Rowena through her website. I was desperate to find something. Rowena asked me numerous questions about Alexander’s history and his feeding behavior. She said that based on my answers she suspected his feeding issues were behavioral rather than medical. She told me she thought it could be possible to get Alexander to eat and drink all his food orally within a couple of weeks. She explained what I would need to do. It made sense but my husband and I were skeptical because what she suggested sounded too simple to make a difference. Doctors had been working on his eating problems for over a year and they had not made these suggestions. We almost “walked away”.
My husband and I talked about Rowena’s ideas for a few days, and decided that because they would not harm Alexander we had nothing to lose… we were already at the bottom! Rowena provided us with written plan for Alexander detailing her recommendations and we started. I emailed her every day to let her know how his feeding had gone that day. Every time I e-mailed Rowena, she was quick to e-mail back with caring and appropriate responses. By day 4 there was not much progress as I had hoped and I got a bit skeptical thinking that this was NOT going to work. I started thinking that maybe we had indeed found some wild program and that helping my son to eat normally was only a dream. Rowena encouraged me to be patient and keep going. She said it will take time for Alexander to learn what he needs to do. We kept with the program, and then only a day or two later IT HAPPENED! My son suddenly figured it out. He started to eat.
We no longer needed to tube feed him! He started eating full bottles of milk…GONE. And he eats solids too! And he doesn’t throw up ever. I cannot tell you what a miracle it is. He is gaining weight, and we are finally getting a healthy baby with all his eating completely oral! Yeah!!
UPDATE: Now here we are almost 3 months later and Alexander continues to eat fine. From the day he started to eat orally, things have just continued to get better. He is eating so many different types of food and enjoying it. He rarely throws up and is off all of his “reflux” medication. We continue to be grateful that Rowena was so willing to help our son.
Our 4 month old daughter started to refuse her bottle when she was 10 weeks old and after struggling on for 2 months and having contradictory advice from our health visitors/doctors (none of which managed to fix the problem), my husband and I were at our wits end - with things degenerating so much that she screamed every time she saw the bottle and refused to feed in any position (walking, sitting, etc) so we resorted to dream feeding her during every nap and still not reaching the milk intake targets set for us. This had the knock on effect of upsetting all her nap times so any routine we had totally disappeared. Within 24 hours of contacting Rowena and completing her online interview, she came back to us with her assessment and clear and comprehensive advice on how to rectify Jemima's feeding adversion. Throughout the following week Rowena was always on hand to answer my every query and concern (her knowledge far exceeded our local healthcare professionals) and adjust Jemima's program accordingly. Within a week (with Rowena's advice, support and encouragement) Jemima was no longer screaming at the bottle and was willingly taking milk. By week 2 we had settled into a routine that had Jemima consuming all her required milk at times that set her up ready to be weaned onto solids.
It is a month since we contacted Rowena, and Jemima now takes a full feed roughly every 4 hours and is even willing to sit on my lap and drink milk, something I thought would never happen again. Our correspondence with Rowena coincided with mornings getting lighter and being a winter baby and used to sleeping when it was dark and waking when it got light, Jemima started to move from waking at 6am to waking at 4am ready to play. A gain Rowena sprung to the rescue and advised us on how to shift Jemima's body clock to encourage her to wake closer to 6am. Again within a week we were making great progress and sleep was restored in the Osgood household. I wholeheartly recommend Rowena to anyone struggling with feeding their child (or having sleeping issues) and just wish that we had known her when Jemima's feeding adversion started to show itself rather than struggling on alone for 2 months. I will certainly be recommending her to all my friends.
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.
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.
God bless Rowena! I'm writing this testimony in hopes that you will contact Rowena without hesitation. I searched all over the net for help with my baby's eating problems and stumbled upon Rowena's website. I was skeptical at first but she seemed to have so much good information on the site that I emailed her. I cannot begin to explain how wonderful, caring, and knowledgeable Rowena is. After the first email, I decided to get her help. My son's pediatrician was wanting to send us to a specialist to have all kinds of tests run because my son had "reflux". This was diagnosed without any testing mind you. A nyway, we were at our wits end not knowing what to do.
Our son was born 3 months premature weighing only 1 pound 5 oz. but was completely healthy. After going through 3 months in the NICU it was very difficult to even think of going against what the doctor was saying. At 9 months (corrected age 6 months) he developed an ear infection. The doctors suspected this was due to reflux. They wanted us to give him reflux medication which seemed to be making things worse but they wouldn't hear of that and kept insisting that he needed the meds. Soon after we started the medications he would scream and refuse to take his bottle -- he'd go an entire 24 hours only eating 5 oz. of formula. I was so worried.
Rowena was so great, she provided a tremendous amount of information and asked many, many specific questions about my son so much more than any of the doctors that we'd seen. She devised two separate plans which allowed ME to choose which one would work better for my son and our situation. And then she followed up -- truly concerned about how he was doing. I don't know what I would have done without her guidance. If you are reading this, you obviously are having some trouble that Rowena will be able to help you with. Take the leap of faith - you won't be disappointed!
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!
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.
For the first 4.5 months of my daughter’s life, I hated being a mother. My daughter cried between six and 12 hours a day, refused to sleep except for 15-minute catnaps in our arms and was the most miserable baby I had ever seen or heard of. I dreaded every day with her. I felt like a failure as a parent and cried just as much as my baby did.
At first, my husband and I desperately searched the medical community to find answers to our daughter’s problems. We saw nearly a dozen different doctors, went to a premier children’s hospital and visited every specialist we could find. Nothing helped. What made it worse was the doctors’ diagnosis of colic—even after the typical timeframe for colic had ended. One doctor suggested that my stress was causing my daughter’s problems and I should be evaluated for post-partum depression. That’s when I lost faith in traditional medicine.
We finally found an osteopath who seemed to be able to help our poor little girl. But she still wouldn’t sleep and spent most of the day fussing and crying. That’s when we found Rowena and our lives changed. After a thorough evaluation of my daughter’s behaviors and medical history, Rowena suggested a settling plan. I was skeptical that things would improve as quickly as Rowena said they would, but I dedicated myself to following the plan because I had nothing to lose. Miraculously, by the third day we saw significant improvement in our daughter’s sleeping and eating patterns—just as Rowena had promised. After a week, we had a new baby girl. She no longer cried for hours on end, she fussed only when she was tired or hungry and—best of all—she napped regularly, giving her the rest she needed to grow and develop.
Rowena was a wonderful support system for us. She always responded quickly to our questions and concerns, and she gave us the confidence we needed to be the best parents we could be. After months of struggling to merely survive every day with our daughter, my husband and I were finally able to enjoy time with her. She’s now a happy and healthy girl who loves to play peek-a-boo and smiles all the time. Thanks to Rowena, we finally have the happy baby girl we’d always wanted. I am so thankful that I found Rowena and decided to follow her advice. They say babies don’t come with manuals, but working with Rowena was the next best thing to having “operating instructions.” Thank you, Rowena!