Jo & Rob
From the bottom of our hearts Rob and I would like to thank Lisa for her invaluable expertise, calm demeanour and caring nature whilst helping us through one of the most difficult times with our beautiful baby girl.
We contacted Lisa when Eve was just 5 months old. She had never slept more than 45 minutes at a time and would not settle without being fed to sleep. Most nap times I would spend over an hour trying to put her down in her cot only to resort to feeding her to sleep after enduring extended periods of crying. Then the added task of placing her carefully in her cot without waking her was beyond stressful. All this struggle only to get maybe a 20 minute break. It felt like I was spending my entire day either feeding Eve or in her room listening to her cry. After her naps she would wake up screaming and we were all anxious and beyond tired.
With seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel we contacted Lisa. From the moment Lisa stepped into our home I knew we had made the right decision. Eve instantly warmed to her and so too did my dog which was a big bonus.
Lisa taught us how to read our daughter's tired signs and the difference between her annoyed versus distressed cries. She showed us the strategies of how to put an awake child into their cot happily and teach them to self settle. We are so thankful for her help.
Every challenge we came up against Lisa was there to support and reassure us. Her depth of knowledge about infant sleep settling and development is just amazing. Every question we had, Lisa was able to answer in a positive and supportive way.
It has been 3 months since Lisa first came to visit and 3 months since I last fed my daughter to sleep. Following the sleep routine Lisa individualised for our family we can now put Eve in her cot and walk away knowing that she can settle herself to sleep. For her day naps Eve now spends approximately 1 1/2 to 2 hours in her cot, even if she is awake Eve happily lays in her cot, playing with her sleep toy and resting. Overnight Eve has just dropped one of her dream feeds by herself, she no longer needs me to settle her back to sleep. It's just amazing.
The transformation has just been life changing. We now have a happy 7 month old little girl who knows the difference between playtime and rest time. I could never have imagined that things could be so different. Not just in Eve's behaviour but in my mindset. Even when Eve challenges us we now have the skills and confidence to tackle her resistance and that is the difference. We are eternally grateful for all of Lisa's help and advice. Just knowing we can email her at anytime is very comforting.
We would not hesitate to recommend Lisa to any mum or dad having sleep problems. The way she explains and communicates her vast knowledge is just invaluable, reassuring and worth every cent.
Eleanor & Jake
Before we met Lisa from Sleep Gems we were really struggling. Whilst Sophie had never slept through the night, she had been a manageable sleeper until about 4 months old. It was then that she started to wake more and more frequently at night, as well as being more and more difficult to get down during the day for naps. We were using the baby carrier to get her to sleep for every nap, and we often walked the house for hours at a time in the middle of the night. We were also still wrapping her which was a habit we needed to break. Sophie was often grumpy, and so were we!
When Sophie was 6 and a half months old we called Lisa. She explained the importance of babies needing to find their comfy spot in the cot (no more wrapping!) and she talked us through a few things we could start to implement before her visit. We really appreciated her gradual and gentle approach, we didn't have to make major changes straight away. When Lisa visited to help us with Sophie's first nap using her settling techniques, we had a very angry baby on our hands, a baby who was used to being picked up at any cry and who had almost never fallen asleep by herself. But things very quickly improved. The next day Sophie had two naps of over 2 hours each. Yes, there was crying, but we could always attend to Sophie and let her know we were there. Within a week she was settling by herself in the cot for almost every nap. Every nap was a decent length. We felt human again. Sophie was happier. We felt like we had started to be the parents we wanted to be - setting fair limits that Sophie had to adapt to, whilst still being there for her to help her get there.
Lisa's friendly, nurturing yet decisive attitude as well as her settling techniques and her help with our routine was a godsend!
The nights improved by themselves, almost immediately she went from waking 6 times a night to only waking 3 times. One of these wake ups is around the dream feed time, one is early morning, so really it's only once! We are happy with that but our next step is to drop that middle of the night feed. Lisa has given us the confidence to know that we can do it.
Thank you Lisa and Sleep Gems! Where would we be without you? All the best Lisa, and thanks again! Eleanor, Jake and Sophie
Alex & Miyuki
It's now 2 months since Lisa worked her magic and in retrospect it's hard to imagine just how challenging Ray's sleeplessness was. Ray was 10 months old when we finally needed to reach out for help - no book or website was able to provide the right recipe for "sleep" success so we called on Lisa. By that time both my wife and Ray had to share a bed from midnight every night and even then there was no guarantee that Ray would sleep. The result was a tired and cranky baby and mum with no end in sight. Ray just wouldn't settle without mum next to him.
Thankfully Lisa quickly made herself available and within a day she was at our place giving us some schooling. Lisa was always very patient and accommodating with our thousands of questions both in person and via email. That night we already began to see some positive signs from Ray and within a few weeks everyone knew what the routine was.
Huge thanks to you Lisa!
From a blog-post on www.dads.co available here
I had never been so tired, and never been so worried about my wife. Adding to the stress of struggling to cope with massive sleep deprivation, I was emotionally guilt ridden that I was not bonding with my baby.
The first weeks home with our second baby nearly broke us. He cried and cried, and was so hard to settle to sleep. I was spending hours through the nights pacing the house with this baby, sleeping in the armchair, tag teaming with my wife. She was having a nightmare run of breastfeeding. A low milk supply meant a relentless timetable of feeding and expressing milk, and a huge list of supplements, pills and dietary requirements to try and boost the supply.
Making life even harder, our two year old went haywire. He stopped sleeping through the night. He was waking up with screaming tantrums in the night that would sometimes last for hours. At times I had to resort to driving him around in the car for hours. More than once I was reduced to tears.
And through all of this, I had this nagging guilt that I was not bonding with my newborn son.
Soon enough it came time for me to go back to work. How was I supposed to function professionally? Would my wife cope at home on her own? The next couple of weeks brought the roughest ride yet. I was a zombie, sleeping through my lunch breaks, just keeping my nose above water getting my work done. My beautiful wife was finding her days even tougher.
The little bugger would only catnap through the day, and build up his exhaustion into long bouts of crying. My wife toiled so hard to get the baby into a sleeping routine, but the relentless demands on her attention by our two year old made this virtually impossible. She was calling me desperate and in tears, and I'd never felt so useless and unable to help. I was so frightened that I called her mother and sisters for advice, praying that it was just exhaustion and frustration, not post natal depression my wife was suffering.
It was time to reach out for professional help. We needed sleep. Two months of 3-4 hours of broken sleep a night was taking a massive physical and emotional toll on all of us. I had heard about a Sleep School, and the wonders they had performed for other families, so I gave them a call. (Not Lisa, from Sleep Gems).
What a joke. The phone call went like this: Sleep School: "I'm sorry, it is a 3-5 week waiting period before a consultant will be available to speak with you on the phone." Me: "Really? We are pretty desperate. Is there any other help I can access?" Sleep School: "How about you give me your wife's number and we can call her back. We usually deal with the mothers." (Again, not Sleep Gems).
I was furious, and dumbstruck. Locked out of help for what seemed an eternity, and belittled as a father. Luckily, our lactation consultant put us in contact with a private sleep expert (Lisa, from Sleep Gems) who could help us.
It was the best move we ever made.
She came to our house within days, and while her techniques were not revolutionary, she was calm, reassuring and authoritative. In our desperation we had been grabbing solutions and advice about getting our babies to sleep from all over the place. What we needed were clear, simple instructions. The first night our sleep consultant came, our 2 year old went straight to bed and slept all night. Within a week or 2 he happily moved from the cot into a big bed of his own accord. The baby took a few more days to get into the routine, but the key was that we had a simple, consistent routine now. We didn't let him cry to sleep, but we learnt to know his different cries, positions to move him too, ways to gently soothe him while allowing him to learn to fall asleep by himself.
It was life changing.
As we all got more sleep, the frustration eased. I slowly moved from survival mode into enjoying my new son. Six months down the track and my worries about bonding with the baby have disappeared. It has happened differently than with my first son, but I guess that is to be expected. I'm smitten in love now.
Spencer and Finn
Our son Louis started off as a great little sleeper - pretty much as soon as we got him home from the hospital he was blessing us with 4-6 hour stints, quick feeds, and straight-back-to-sleep awesomeness. And then - everything changed. I don't know whether it was the dreaded '4 month sleep regression', or the fact we went to Perth for a month and he was sleeping in a portacot in different places every night, but by five months, our little perfect sleeper was now waking every hour.
We were playing a nightly game of jack-in-the-box as we leapt up and down, putting the dummy back in, shooshing, patting, feeding, and generally cajoling our little one back to sleep. Needless to say, by the time we contacted Lisa we were at our wit's end and my anxiety and wakefulness was at an all-time high.
From the get-go we were impressed with Lisa's calm approach. She literally talked me off the ledge during our first phone consultation, and gave me some practical advice and strategies for helping little Louis to get back on track. We saw the effects almost immediately, and noticed, particularly in the day, he was much easier to resettle. Lisa then came around and put into place some new strategies to further help us. Unfortunately, things got worse in the short term as Louis got used to the changes, but Lisa's constant support, both over the phone and via our daily email exchanges, helped ease us through the worst of it. Her well-written and easy-to-follow strategy for Louis was also great. Two months later, the change in Louis was remarkable. He was now going much longer in the days, and only waking once over night. Which for this 12-times-a-night owl, is somewhat miraculous! And he's continuing to improve.
I would recommend Lisa for those at their wit's end - like us. Thanks Lisa, for saving our sanity, and giving Louis the best gift of all - the ability to soothe himself, and get a great night's sleep.
When I called Lisa I was very sleep deprived and feeling hopeless. My 8 month old baby boy, Graeme, had been waking 5-10 times every night for weeks and my husband and I were exhausted getting up so often. We usually resorted to bringing him to bed with us where we all slept fitfully until morning.
Up until he was 4 months old, Graeme was a good sleeper, and I only had to get up once or twice for a quick feed. I thought we were just lucky. Then, from four months on, things changed. He was harder to put to sleep – I needed to rock and sing to him for up to half an hour to send him off – and he was harder to resettle too. Sleeping became a battle which we were losing.
At first, we wrote it off as a ‘four month sleep regression’, then we blamed it on a holiday, then we thought it was teething. Gradually, the bad nights outnumbered the good and suddenly we were stuck in an exhausting sleep deprivation spiral with no energy left to break it.
After a recommendation from a friend, I contacted Lisa and immediately felt at ease. She listened to my story without judgment and calmly assured me this was very common and that her strategies could help Graeme to sleep a whole night every night. This sounded like a miracle!
When Lisa came to our house, she watched our normal evening routine and immediately made several constructive changes. Using her responsive settling strategy, she then put Grae to sleep (after only 10 minutes of crying) and he only woke once that night. After only a few days he was sleeping for 11-12 hours straight and I was having unbroken sleep for the first time in 8 months! He was also having two 1.5 hour no fuss daytime naps. Lisa followed up with a detailed personal sleep plan for Grae and maintained close email support throughout the next few weeks. We haven’t looked back since then.
With Lisa’s help, naptime and bedtime are now simple, quick and stress free, and she has given us confidence as new parents. I thoroughly recommend contacting her if this all sounds familiar, as the sooner sleep problems are resolved the better the whole family functions.
We'd always had problems settling her for naps but Lidia had started sleeping through the night at around six weeks - so I felt I didn't really have anything to complain about.
However around the four month mark the sleeping through the night stopped, but the naps were still no better. From that point on things got progressively worse. By the six month mark we were at the point where all day sleeps were either on my shoulder or in my lap, and nighttime settling would usually end up with either me sleeping in her room or else just taking her into our bed. I was absolutely exhausted and becoming increasingly stressed.
Thankfully I was referred to Lisa and we decided to try the 4 week program. That first day we got three proper sleeps in her cot, she was settled down for the night by 7pm and asleep by 7.15. I could not believe it. It was just such a massive turnaround. After such a day there was no turning back.
I'd had a taste of the good life! It's been three months now and since that first visit there has not been a single sleep on my shoulder or in our bed.
Sleep is so important, for everyone. If you think you need help I strongly encourage you to get it. The settling techniques are easy to learn, the program provides you with heaps of support, the routine is easy to follow and in my experience it's one that baby will thrive on.
We had really positive changes in Lidia just during the first few week of the program, her appetite increased, her skin was glowing, she was so much more alert and playful and basically a much happier baby thanks to the lovely sleep she was now getting.
When I had my third baby, I thought it was a no brainer. My first two were challenging sleep wise to say the least, so I thought I knew it all! Matilda slept soundly until we left the hospital.
Once we were home I realised I'd either forgotten everything, or, this baby knew something I didn't! She couldn't settle no matter what I tried and I was feeling desperate that she and I have some rest.
Lisa from Sleep Gems literally saved my sanity. Her calm and motherly nature put us both at ease which flowed onto the rest of the family! She put in place gentle settling methods which involved no crying it out or otherwise and more importantly restored my faith in myself that I could do it!
She also helped me decipher through all the sleep associations and what to let go, and what to keep! Matilda still loves her dummy, as have her two sisters, and I'm so glad I didnt force her to wean off it.
I will be forever grateful to Lisa and Sleep Gems for helping me and more importantly Matilda to find comfort in sleep. She is now 12 months and loves going to bed and snuggling in!
"Lisa from Sleep Gems came into our lives at the perfect time and transformed the sleep situation for our daughter Louisa beyond our wildest hopes.
We were in a desperate and stressful state with our beautiful eight month old, who just wouldn't sleep. We had been through six long months with hideous reflux and by eight months the reflux had settled but the sleep situation was only getting worse.
Lisa was understanding of our situation, and without pressure or judgement gave us the strategies we needed to teach our little one how to sleep. Lisa's approach of 'responsive settling' was exactly what we wanted. We felt Louisa had cried enough for a lifetime when suffering with reflux and we weren't comfortable with controlled crying, so responding to our child's needs was ideal for us.
During Lisa's first visit, Louisa actually fell asleep in her cot, on her own, and with some consistency and hard work on our part, things continued to improve over the next few days. On Day 4, Louisa napped for two hours and twenty minutes, the longest day time nap she ever had in her life! The changes we made were very simple and manageable, and yet made the world of difference for our family and we haven't looked back.
Since Lisa's last visit, we have managed a family holiday, the arrival of first teeth, the transition from breast milk to bottles and a first cold - with good sleep maintained through all of it thanks to Lisa's sleep strategies. Louisa now sleeps twelve hours overnight and has two good sleeps per day, which I never thought was going to happen. It really has been a miracle! Thank-you so much Lisa!"
We are so happy Lisa came to help us with our 7 month old, Olivia. Her approach was both gentle and very effective in helping Olivia sleep much better both in the day and night. In just a few weeks, Olivia went from waking several times a night to sleeping through.
What a happy baby!
Lisa's patience, good humour and generosity with time and knowledge made us feel very comfortable from the beginning. We were very keen to take a gentle approach to helping our little girl learn healthy sleep habits and we found that Lisas approach achieved exactly this.
The hands on support and practical advice relevant to our baby made all the difference. Lisa addressed issues relating to sleep but to feeding, play and development which enabled us to understand how our baby was changing and how to address changes both now and into the future.
This has given us confidence to help Olivia maintain the healthy sleep habits she as she grows from a baby into a toddler. We highly recommended Lisa as she has a wonderful, gentle approach to helping babies achieve improve their sleep.
"I was really struggling...after Lachie turned 6 months it was like he had worked out that he could get me to comfort him to sleep rather than fall asleep himself. When I would put him in the cot for a sleep, almost instantly he would start crying and before long was histerical, at which point I would pick him up as I couldn't bear to hear him so upset.
Eventually I got to the point where he refused all day sleeps in his cot, and would only sometimes fall asleep in the car or pram after driving or walking around for over an hour. And then is was just a 45 minutes nap. I was exhausted and my life had become a blur of just trying to get Lachie to sleep and was not sustainable.
At night the only way I could get him to sleep was to feed him, and I ended up feeding him 4+ times a night just to re-settle him. Anyway I was at breaking point, which is why we got Lisa to come in. Lisa was so reassuring and helped explain where we had gone off track and explained all the research that supports how much sleep a baby of Lachie's age needs for his development.
Lisa provided lots of information but in a easy to digest manner and provided us with a clear logical plan for how to get Lachie's sleep back on track.
What I liked most is it had some flexibility was personalised to our needs, rather than being a strict time based regime like I'd read about in many books that is a one size fits all approach. After 2 days Lachie had learnt to self settle!! I couldn't believe it! I put him down in the cot, he contntedly played around for a little bit and then fell asleep. After 2 weeks, he was consistently self settling for 2 sleeps a day and going straight down at night with no problems and only 1 feed overnight.
After 4 weeks Lachie was sleeping longer too, anywhere from 1 hour to 2hours per sleep, and he dropped his overnight feed. Yay!! Once of the best things about the re-training that we'd done with Lachie was that he now had these skills and when we went away for Christmas (for 3 weeks in 3 different places) he adapted straight away and slept exactly how he was at home.
Finally it meant I could relax and enjoy the break, rather than walking all day trying to get him to sleep! It wasn't easy at the beginning, but it didn't take long and every day I saw progress. I was always reassured by Lisa about the importance of teaching this skill to Lachie and the importance for his development of getting enough sleep. It was the best thing I've done and Lachie and I are both much happier as a result.
Lisa was a great support through out the process, coming to visit and keeping in touch on the phone and email responding to my questions! Thankyou so much Lisa for helping Lachie and I get back on track and be a happy healthy family again!"