I called Rachael to help with my 11 month olds sleep at a point when I was exhausted, and on the edge of losing my sanity. If I had known the results we would get, I would have gladly paid triple and contacted her 2 months earlier.
Our daughter was a great sleeper until 9 months old. Then she started waking in the night more and more and wouldn’t settle back to sleep whatever we did. By 11 months it was out of control and I realised this was not just a phase. Every night was exhausting - walking her in the pram in the rain for an hour to get her to sleep, 4am drives, sitting in a rocking chair in the pitch dark, and when all else failed playing with her from 2-6am. I felt panic anytime she stirred in the night. I knew this couldn’t continue when I went back to work so I called Rachael and we decided on a two week plan.
Fast forward 2 weeks and our daughter now sleeps from 6pm - 6.45am with a 2 hour lunch nap. She rarely wakes in the night anymore but if she does she settles straight back to sleep by herself. My panic has gone (almost!). I lay her down to sleep in her cot and she doesn’t cry or scream just looks around for a couple of minutes and nods off.
Best of all, there was no judgment, we were not told to do anything we weren’t comfortable with and if we didn’t like something Rachael suggested she adapted it to suit us. It was great to have some support each day and someone to keep us on track. If you are having trouble with your baby’s sleep, my only advice would be to call sooner rather than later, nip it in the bud and don’t miss out on months of sleep!
Elsie, 11 months,
If you are not here for a long read on our sleep story, to cut a long story short, if you are having trouble with your baby or toddler sleeping or napping then get in touch with Rachael.
Now, for the long (hopefully not too long) story. I first contacted Rachael in May when Elsie was coming up to 6 months old. I needed advise on how to get her out of the swaddle (new post re swaddling coming soon). I actually messaged a few sleep consultants because you actually never know who is going to reply. Rachael got back to me via Instagram message in less than an hour and offered some advice and then asked if we wanted a FREE 15 minute consultation with her to see if any of the other sleep problems we were having, she could help with.
Rachael called me the next day and I spoke in depth (probably longer than the 15 minutes) about our routine and what our problems were. Rachael offered her advice and never once pushed her further services onto us. We managed to get Elsie out of the swaddle, a few weeks later I think and everything (to do with sleep) was more or less perfect.
We seemed to "sail" through the 8 month sleep regression, if you can actually sail through them and other than changing her wake up time from her afternoon nap from 1500 hours to 1400 hours again everything seemed perfect.
Just before Elsie was 11 months I reached out to Rachael again as we were having split nights. Elsie was waking for around 1.5-2.5 hours in the night and was having to be fed back to sleep. I was exhausted - it was like being back in the newborn stage.
During this time, my friend Laura had reached out to Rachael for help with her babies sleep, Olivia had hit the 4 month sleep regression and to be honest, never really came out of it. Laura had gotten Rachael’s name from me and decided, again after a FREE 15 minute consultation to go ahead and sleep train.
Every morning me and Laura send the same text "good night?" her reply would always be "yeah Olivia was as good as gold", mine would always be "awful". Or something along those lines.
When I contacted Rachael for the second time, she again gave FREE advice on what we could do to help stop these split nights. We tried what she suggested and within a few days Elsie was not waking for long periods in the night.
BUT, we were still cuddling Elsie to sleep for both day time naps and for bed time, if she did wake in the night, we had to cuddle her back to sleep. If she woke early from her nap, or if I felt that she hadn’t slept long enough I would have to cuddle her back to sleep. Most afternoons I would be sat in her room cuddling her back to sleep after one sleep cycle.
I was at my wits end, I had spoken to my other mum friends and my own mum who had their doubts about sleep training and sleep consultants, but I always had Laura and Olivia in my head and was obviously jealous of the sleep that they had!
I spoke to my partner and we decided to go with sleep training with Rachael. We filled in a questionnaire and arranged a time to have the consultation via Zoom. Rachael explained infant sleep to me, all about sleep pressure, sleep science and how we were going to help Elsie become a champion sleeper.
I was skeptical, I'll be honest Elsie had been cuddled to sleep for her life, how was someone who was on the other end of the phone going to stop this? If Elsie gets too worked up then she’s sick, so to be honest sleep training didn’t really seem like an option for us because we were going to have to pick her up anyway after she was sick.
Our main issues with sleep was that Elsie was waking throughout the night and needed cuddling back to sleep - she couldn’t seem to link the sleep cycles together. We were also still dream feeding, every night at 2200 hours Elsie would take 7oz of formula. She ALWAYS took it.
Elsie also has a dummy, she’s had one since she was a newborn suffering with reflux and its a comfort for her - she can find it in the night and put it back in, so I didn’t have to do many dummy runs.
Rachael advised that we get rid of the dummy (we didn’t, we thought it would be too much for Elsie in too short a time and we still have it now, so yes you can sleep train with a dummy, if the dummy isn’t your issue) and that we stop the dream feed and reduce the cuddling. We spoke about Elsie’s temperament and decided on a method.
After the first night, I felt optimistic, no 2200 hour feed and Elsie slept from 1830 hours until 0430 hours when I offered milk. I was like yes result!
Now, naps are hard. I won’t lie, and were still working on them, but they are 100% easier than before.
Elsie now sleeps through the night with no dream feed, after I give her her milk, I put her down in her cot and walk out. 99% of the time I don’t have to go back in until the morning, if I do have to go back in, its within 5 minutes of putting her down. It’s a world away from having to sit with her and wait for her to fall asleep for around 40 minutes.
Yesterday afternoon I watched Elsie on the monitor stand up in her cot twice and then she obviously thought to herself that she was still tired and settled herself back to sleep.
Basically, (if you’re still reading then thank you) sleep training with Rachael is the best money we have ever spent. No its not cheap (although she is cheaper than most of the others) and yes it is hard work and no she can’t offer any guarantees, but if you put the work in and you want your baby or toddler to sleep better than get in touch with her.
I’m forever thankful for Rachael for not only helping us all sleep better but for being so supportive throughout and for helping Elsie be a happier baby.
Baby A, 9 months,
We decided to get in contact with Rachael to finally address our 9 month old son's sleep. She came highly recommended by my husband's colleague who had recently used her sleep package with his daughter. I had previously used two other sleep consultants but neither had made any difference to our sleep situation.
After a thorough consultation Rachael recognised our son had a very strong feed to sleep association. She put together our personalised sleep plan but ensured we agreed on a method we were comfortable with, explaining the pro/cons. I was nervous about taking his dummy away immediately but Rachael was understanding and agreed we could wait a few days. With Rachaels support I actually decided to take it away on night 2. Allowing us to be flexible made such a difference.
Rachael was very encouraging throughout and answered my constant questions but if possible I'd always recommend to have support at home too as I definitely needed this to help me stay consistent.
By night 3 we saw some big changes and by night 5 our son slept through the night for the first time. A whole 12.5hrs. We had a few up and downs but Rachael was always on hand to suggest tweaks to our routine and help us back on track even after our 2 week phone support. We can't thank Rachael enough for helping us to teach our son the skills he needs to sleep well and now returning to work doesn't feel so daunting.
Baby R, 6 months,
Rachael was so fantastic from the very beginning. She made us feel completely comfortable about what we were about to embark on and reassured us that it would be a gentle method to follow our parenting style.
We had a little monkey who liked to feed most of the night and was rocked to sleep in the pram during the day. We also couldn’t figure out his last nap so he was often overtired, fought bedtime and could still be awake at 11pm!! Leaving us with very little time for ourselves.
Within 3/4 days we started to see changes. I couldn’t quite believe it. Rachael was there along the way, guiding and encouraging us. The comfort of the text support made it all so much easier.
We now have a happy boy who is sleeping before 7.30pm every night and only wakening once or twice for a quick feed. He can settle himself in the cot for naps and is well on the way to doing the same at night.
Having time to relax and wind down in the evenings is absolute bliss, I really didn’t think it was possible but Rachael proved us wrong.”
Lily, 5 months,
I don't even know where to start, I am so happy that my sister in law recommended Rachael. To say she's a life saver is an understatement.
I got in touch with her initially to help me teach my 5 month old how to self settle but it was so much more than that. She gave me a comprehensive plan including timings for bottles, food and naps and so many tips! Honestly, i would be lost without her. Being able to text her all the time was also fantastic, no question to big or too small... or too frequent!
I saw an instant result with the self settling technique and after a month my baby consistently slept through the night, we still have the odd bad night but it's so much better than before. I was initially worried about the training but Rachael really put me at ease and gave me options for each of the steps and stages. And when we mastered one step she would then suggest another. It was so gradual and no harsh methods.
I no longer dread the night time and my baby is so much happier and well rested. I really can't thank her enough.
Olivia, 5.5 months,
I initially come to Rachael for her free 15 min consultation for some advice to help our little one - she was waking frequently through the night needing her dummy replugging, it got far too much for us. I was initially so pleased that Rachael didn’t immediately and try and just “sell” to us, she gave us genuine advice to help us go forward and believed we didn’t need a full consultation to help our family.
Unfortunately, our little one had other ideas and decided her dummy now needed putting in 20 times a night. Rachael to the rescue! I cannot praise her enough, her detailed information gathering allowed her to create a plan that suited us so well, and within two weeks our baby now sleeps from 6/7pm through to 7am, she has no dummy, and has dropped her 11pm milk feed. She’s easier to wake up from naps, and happier when she is woken up; no longer grumpy near the end of the day. She also gets herself to sleep at nap & bed time, if she wakes briefly during the night she goes back to sleep herself without my intervention.
All this was done using gentle methods where I could comfort my baby and support her through this journey.
Getting help from Rachael was the best decision we have made, I would highly recommend! Any future issues with our little ones sleep and I will be right back to seek Rachael’s help Thank you so much ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Santino, 9 months,
For the 2 weeks we had Rachael, she was brilliant. Having created a personalised schedule for Santino, we were unsure how/how quickly he would react to it. The results were immediate. From the first evening he slept the whole night. And he’s slept 11-12 hours, without needing any assistance for us, ever since! When ever he gets unsettled at night, it’s now usually not for long and he is able to put himself back to sleep without much trouble. I can safely say it has changed our lives for the better, having taken on board her advice and techniques, we are now in a such a better place than we were. More rested, Santino has more energy and is developing faster as a result. Couldn’t recommend her enough! — Alex & Özlem
Alex, 5.5 months,
After the 4th month regression, my baby was waking up every hour at night, only sleeping in when holding or nursing, not sleeping more than half an hour for any nap. I read a lot of books, articles, took online trainings and tried to apply the strategies but nothing helped him to sleep better. I was worried about his development and very exhausted and sleep deprived.
Once we started working with Rachael, she spent much time and effort to understand our issues, expectations and parenting styles. She developed a personalized and very gentle sleep plan in which I felt very comfortable, because I was always there to comfort my little one when helping him to sleep. In some ways things improved so fast. I could put my baby awake into his bed and he started falling asleep there instead of in our arms or on breast. He mastered his naps, started connecting his sleep cycles, having long restorative naps based on an ideal schedule for his age.
I was able to drop the extra feeds at night as well. It’s a gentle method, so requires a lot of patience but I’m positive that we’ll see even more improvement in the night sleep. Results tell a lot but more importantly for me the process was very easy, thanks to Rachael. She was always helping me, guiding me on how to improve things. She didn’t only focus on sleep, she shared lots of useful strategies regarding childcare (reflux, breastfeeding, weaning, etc) It was great to have Rachael’s guidance on such an important journey of our lives. I’m so glad to have worked with her..
Sam, 14 months,
We got Rachael's contact through the baby group on Facebook and without having any idea how it would be, we got into a 2 weeks coaching.
The first days were (emotionally) tough but Rachael was incredible in guiding us while making sure we were comfortable and confident in what we were doing. The results are incredible, we finally rest! Rachael was there at any moment to give us advice how to deal with a particular situation incl. baby getting sick. From diet to playtime to sleep we got great advice & information. Thank you sooo much, its life changing!
Rian, 5 months,
Employing Rachael's services to form an established routine for better sleep for our little one (ourselves included!), was one of the best decisions we've made.
Initially sceptical with; 'what we couldn't learn online', with Rachael, we quickly learned that her approach gave excellent results due it being customised to our baby boy.
In less than three weeks we came from co-sleeping ONLY with a dummy and nursing every hour and half, to be in his own room, only waking once during his 12 hours night sleep. He is a much happier baby (and we definitely are too!) Thank you Rachael
Alfie, 6.5 months,
Rachael was absolutely brilliant . We reached out to her because of a recommendation from a friend , when our son was 6 months old . I was feeding and pushing the buggy ALOT to get our son to sleep , but Rachel taught us how to get him to sleep in his cot for daytime naps which has been a real game changer . Rachael really took the time to get to know us on our skype consultation so she could taylor the plan to our needs . Having her there during the implementation phase on whatsap was great , I felt supported and it gave me the motivation to make changes I needed for the longer term good ( although hard at the time ) ! Thanks Rachael . Charlotte , Alex and Alfie
Nathaniel, 10.5 months,
Rachael helped us get back on track with our 10 month old who had gone from being a great sleeper to a bit of a disaster! She recommended gentle methods which worked for our family and provided ongoing support to make sure we were getting to grips with the plan and helping with any bumps along the way!
Oliver, 5.5 months,
This was without doubt the best money I ever spent. Rachael was absolutely fantastic, she listened carefully at the start and came up with a tailored plan and method that felt right for us. Having gone from constant rocking / feeding to sleep and thousands of night time wake ups 🤪, our 6 month old boy Oliver now does 8 hour stretches at night and happily drifts off to sleep Independently both at night and all nap times and it only took 3 nights! The support and daily WhatsApp’s from Rachael were exactly what we needed and I couldn’t recommend her more. Don’t hesitate if you have even the slightest sleep troubles, it will be worth every penny!!
Catalina, 11 months,
Being a first time Mum I was initially a bit dubious of sleep routines! Then I found myself desperate after being back at work full time for 2 months and my daughter was waking up, up to 5/6 times a night and some nights fully waking for 2 hour periods! I couldn’t function at work let alone be a good Mum or wife! I’m so lucky I had Rachael's contact! She has been amazing! Guiding me each step of the way. So much nicer to have someone patient on the other end of the phone who you can check everything with instead of just following a book. The first few nights especially are emotionally tough and you need the encouragement!! We’re all so much happier being well rested and the nursery teacher wants all the details! I don’t think I’m alone! Thanks Rachael! You’re a legend! X
Zach, 8 months,
Thank you so much for all your help Rachael! You made the whole sleep thing so much less daunting and are so easy to talk to! We had tried so many differed swaddles and techniques with little success. With the swaddle and your advice our 8 week old will sleep for 5-6 hour stretches at night! Highly recommend you!
Annabelle, 10 months,
Rachael is wonderful, so knowledgeable, kind and supportive. She gave me the confidence to make the changes I knew we needed and was there to hold our hand every step of the way. I would highly recommend Rachael (writing from my sofa with a cup of tea while my baby does a perfect long lunchtime nap 😍) We also broke co-sleeping by teaching our baby to self settle and now only have one quick nighttime feed 👍
Sophie, 4.5 months,
Rachael came recommended very highly through a friend of a friend, and we are so pleased we sought help from her. She came up with a go forward plan that suited us and was incredibly supportive throughout, the change and improvement to our little girl’s sleep has been fantastic! Thank you Rachael!
Rivi, 4.5 months,
Rachael has been a great support through our process of gently teaching our five month old to self settle, after nights of waking up 7-9 times, our baby has become a lot better at sleeping, he self settles for every nap and at bed time. Our nights have started to improve. Her help was what we needed in a time of desperation and lack of sleep.
Meredith, 13 months,
Rachael is fantastic. She gave us thoughtful and practical advice that catered for our child and our lifestyle. She also broke her advice down into achievable chunks which made the whole experience much more manageable. Also, Rachael suggested ways that we could rearrange my child’s room so that it was the perfect environment for story time and bed, and it is such a soothing room to be in now. I can’t recommend Rachael highly enough.