We were thrilled with the assistance and support we received from Michelle and are happy to report that our 6 month old, who for months did not sleep longer than a couple of hours at a time in her own crib, is now a champion sleeper. She is able to fall asleep on her own for naps and bedtime and has learned to fall back to sleep without needing to be rocked or fed to sleep. I highly recommend this service to any parents who are struggling with sleep issues. Like many parents, I thought, “this won’t work with my baby”. Michelle encouraged us to believe that our baby also had the ability to learn to sleep well. She was so right. Thanks Michelle!
Louise & Graeme, Ottawa
"After the first night of sleep training on our own, we quickly decided that the books we'd read were not enough and that we needed the help of an expert! Michelle came highly recommended from a friend, and we are so glad that she was our sleep coach. Michelle was very patient and reliable, answering all of our questions. She gave us the skills and confidence that we needed to help our little one sleep. We also appreciated her flexibility - she understands that with a little baby it's impossible to stick to a rigid schedule. Our little one is six months old today and sleeping 12 hours a night with great naps. Last night, I recorded him singing himself to sleep :)"
Parents to now 4 month old baby E
"After I gave birth, everyone was telling me to "sleep when my baby slept" in order to get some rest. That seemed reasonable…if your baby sleeps. While I expected that my daughter would wake-up often at first, I was not anticipating that she would still do this at 3-month old, and that her daytime naps would average 30 minutes. When I would put her down for her nap, she would cry for 15 min regardless of the strategies used. She would then sleep for 30 to 40 minutes and wake-up irritable. Putting her down to bed at night was also a struggle. My husband and I were looking at each other in disbelief: what were we doing wrong? Our daughter seemed to hate her crib. I was exhausted and feared that if this continued it would start to have a detrimental impact on all of us.
I started reading multiple books and tried various strategies with limited benefits. I felt confused and helpless. I struggled with the idea of getting a sleep consultant so early in the game, but let me tell you it was worth every penny ! Michelle was honest in letting us know that progress would not be linear at this age, but that we would work collaboratively to help my daughter build her skills set for independent and restful sleep.
With Michelle's guidance and support, my daughter quickly began to maintain her sleep at night. She is now 4 months old and only wakes-up once a night. Her daytime naps have extended. The best part is that she now takes approximately 2 minutes to settle to sleep with minimal interventions from us (i.e., no swaddle, no pacifier no feedings, no extensive rocking). She now loves her crib. We were even able to travel with her without any setbacks in her sleep!
If you are currently reading this in the middle of the night and thinking that it is ridiculous to "sleep train" your child before 4 months, please reconsider. Michelle’s approach is gentle and based on your child’s developmental needs. While there were some difficult nights, I can guarantee you that my daughter is happier and well-rested. As for her father and I, we feel we can be more present for her and enjoy our time with her. Most importantly, we feel empowered to be able to navigate her sleep habits and any difficulties that can arise (i.e., sleep regressions, travel, social outings). We are extremely grateful for Michelle’s expertise and compassion!"
S.M & A.N.
"Our 5 month old was a cat napper from Day 1. We would have to bounce, rock, nurse, give a paci to sleep all day long and be awake to do it all over again every 1-2 hrs at night. Michelle was truly a miracle worker the minute she walked into our home. After assessing our son's room she created a detailed, customized plan outlining his entire 24 hr schedule. It would be fair to say that the first 3 nights were brutal hearing your baby cry. But Michelle was able to show us ways to comfort our baby and support him to learn to fall asleep without using any sleep props. The second night our baby slept over 10 hrs straight at night! The third night almost 12 hrs! She listened to all our concerns and was beyond understanding. We are so grateful for all her help and believe this was the best investment we could have made in our son's sleep journey. Today, our baby has gone from co-sleeping in our bed to falling asleep in his room in his own crib all by himself. Not only is he sleeping close to 15 hours everyday but his temperament and energy has improved dramatically. We highly recommend Michelle's help if you too are struggling with your baby's sleep!"
Baby P's mom and dad, Ottawa, ON
"We are SO thankful to have found Michelle. Even though we had already started the sleep training process on our own, we knew we needed some help with some of the issues we were having. Paying to have help with sleep seemed so ridiculous to us before we signed up, but after our first phone call we knew we had made the right choice. Michelle is so easy to talk to. She listens to your individual style and is open to making the program work for your family. We felt supported through the entire process and are amazed at how much improvement there was. We literally went from staying up in shifts all night to having a child who sleeps all night. It has changed our lives so drastically. Any family could benefit from working with Michelle."
Working with Michelle has been one of the best decisions we have made for our family!
Our daughter Adelyn struggled with sleep since the day she was born. As an infant she would only sleep if someone was holding her and would always wake up if you tried to put her down while she was asleep. When she was a little older, Addie slept in a co-sleeper between my husband and I so that someone was always available to comfort her or give her back her soother when she would wake. This was the only way that we could get enough sleep to be able to function during the day. Naps were no different, either my husband or I would lie down with her in our bed while she slept. We read a ton of different resources on transitioning her to her crib, but struggled with figuring out how to implement the many suggestions offered in sleep literature. After our failed attempt, we thought we were destined for years of exhaustion and poor sleep. By the time we called Michelle, Addie was almost 8 months old and still waking 4 or more times a night and feeding once. Our whole family was exhausted and I was struggling to find the energy to entertain Addie all day. I found Michelle totally by chance at 3:00am one morning, when I thought there has to be someone that can help us get some sleep!
From the first time I spoke to Michelle, I knew that she was the right fit for our family. She was so understanding and never judged us for the decisions we had made up until that point, her focus was on helping us move forward. I especially took great comfort in knowing that she had been through this before herself. When we met, she walked us through the plan and answered all our questions. Michelle's sleep plan was so detailed. We finally felt like we knew what to do, step-by-step. We were a little anxious about how it would go, but we trusted her advice and were keen to give it a try.
Our journey to becoming a well rested family again has been a little bumpy but totally worth it. The transformation in Addie's night time sleep was amazing! Within a few nights, she was sleeping 12 hours and has almost every night since. I can still hardly believe it! Naps were a bit of a different story, but with Michelle's help and guidance at every step, we have seen huge improvements with daytime sleep too!
It was apparent throughout the process that Michelle is totally committed to her families. She is so genuine in her desire to help families get the sleep they need. Her timely response to emails and comments in the sleep log, really helped us throughout the transition. We always felt that Michelle was available to help us through our struggles and to encourage us by celebrating Addie's successes. When she says that by wrap up you will feel confident in moving forward on your own, she means it - and we did! I can't say enough about how much this process has positively impacted our family. We now have the energy to enjoy our days with our well-rested, happy baby! Thanks Michelle!
Mom to Baby D, Ottawa
A road to recovery...
After giving birth to my second son and having to deal with feeds every 1-2 hour around the clock for 9 entire months, I had hit my rock bottom. 1 in 8 women are diagnosed with postpartum depression and I was one of them. The sleep deprivation was a major contributing factor and I was unable to recover without getting restorative sleep back. After consulting with our pediatrician, we decided that we would hire asleep consultant to help us. My husband and I didn't know who to turn to but after having our pediatrician and a friend recommend Michelle, we had a feeling that this would be exactly what we needed. Michelle is absolutely wonderful. From her tone of voice to her true compassion for this field of work, she is an incredible person to work with. She truly understands the family dynamics and considers that with every recommendations that she makes. Her depth of knowledge is so profound and combined that with real life practicality, there's a reason why she is so confident in bringing success to an individualized sleep program. Next thing we knew our little guy who slept no more than 2 hours at a time slept his first 12 hour night!!!! It was a great feeling and at the same time, felt too good to be true, but then the next 12 hour night came along and the next, etc. Seeing our little guy be so happy, eat so well and sleep all night has been truly amazing. Michelle has been our rock during this sleep training experience and it was so hard saying goodbye on the last day. She feels like part of the family! She is that comforting person you get to hear from on a daily basis whether it's on the phone, an email or commenting on your sleep log. Now that we have been successful with getting our sleep back as an entire family, I am now able to face my next challenge which is to focus on my road to recovery and get my life back. Michelle's gift of helping and changing young family's lives is miraculous!! A decision we will forever be grateful and thankful for. And to all the moms and dads struggling with little to no sleep, please consider hiring Michelle, you will be wishing you hired her sooner like we did.
My husband found Michelle online when our baby was seven months old, nursing to sleep, would only sleep on me or beside me in bed, and waking four to six times per night to feed. I knew after speaking with Michelle on the phone that she was a good fit for us: understanding, compassionate, not at all judgemental. And she had experienced it all herself! Once our sleep plan was put in place, our baby slept! In her crib! All night! It felt miraculous. The process ended up being about so much more than sleep. I had time to myself during the day to rest or catch up on chores. My husband and I had time together in the evenings. My baby was so much happier during awake times, and I could enjoy her more too. I had resigned myself to months or possibly years of poor sleep, but Michelle was confident that didn't have to be the case. Hiring her was one of the best decisions we've made.
M.T. Ottawa, ON
My nine month old was still waking at least twice at night. I could tell the broken sleep was not only beginning to effect baby but mom as well! I contacted Michelle after deciding I needed a professionals opinion about how to handle getting her to sleep through the night. The idea of getting an 11-12 hour stretch of sleep out of our daughter seemed very farfetched - I was skeptical! Within two nights of Michelle's personalized program she was sleeping 12 hours! (And has every night since we started.) Thank you Michelle for helping my family get the zzzz's we have been dreaming about!
Isabelle, Ottawa, ON
My baby sleeps through the night. I remember getting so annoyed, frustrated, angry when I heard other parents say this. Because getting my baby to fall asleep and stay asleep was a struggle - he would fall asleep in my arms but start wailing when I would put him in his crib. Or he would fall asleep with his soother, but wake up when it would fall out and I would have to hang out by the crib and pop it back in. He was also busting out of his swaddle and I didn’t know how to transition him to falling asleep without being all snug. And as a consequence, I struggled to get through my days, and when it was time for my head to hit the pillow, I struggled to fall asleep because I was anticipating multiple wake ups throughout the night. But wasn’t my baby too young for “sleep training” at 4.5 months? Shouldn’t I just be able to deal with it - all the other parents seem able to cope. Isn’t this part of having a baby? Those were my thoughts until a friend of mine worked with Michelle and I saw for myself what could be achieved when you have a sleep expert guiding you through teaching your child healthy sleep skills. I took the plunge and working with Michelle has been nothing short of transformative. Within the first few nights, my 4.5 month old was falling asleep without his soother, without being swaddled, without being breastfed. He was sleeping 10-12 consecutive hours, consistently. What made a huge difference and ensured our success were the detailed written plan and the support that Michelle provided. The phone call the very next morning after the first night, the timely follow-ups and the feedback on the sleep log (a fantastic tool) helped us stay the course.
Be prepared for some crying, which is tough, and sorting out naps has taken a bit more time, but Michelle’s honesty, experience and expertise allowed us to set, meet and surpass our sleep goals for our child. And now, my baby sleeps through the night.
Leslie and Dan, Ottawa, ON
We came to Michelle for help when our daughter Jane was just over three months old. We were having a hard time getting her down for naps, and when we did get her down, the naps would be short. As well, our bedtime routine was not very effective and Jane wasn't getting to sleep until 10pm most nights. We were getting a stretch of 5 to 6 hours of sleep each night, but we weren't confident that things would get any better as Jane got older. Jane was tired, we were tired, it was time for some help.
Michelle did an amazing job of assessing our needs and creating a sleep plan that would ensure long stretches of restorative sleep for Jane and a bedtime routine that really worked! After working with Michelle, getting Jane down for her naps and bedtime has become our favourite activity. Jane sleeps 12-13 hours every night, and has 2 consistent, restful naps during the day. She goes to sleep on her own, and wakes up happy and smiling and ready for the day. Jane's appetite has improved, as well. We feel so much more confident that our baby is getting the sleep she needs to take on the world. As an added bonus, we have a few hours for ourselves in the evenings! We have hobbies again! It's been a wonderful journey and we're still so pleased with our results. Thank you, Michelle!
Thanks again for all your help!
Michelle, mom to baby Noah
My son really struggled with sleep early on - as in not getting nearly enough for his age. Desperate, when my son was 4 weeks of age, a friend of mine referred me to Michelle. My friend had used Michelle's services about 6 months prior and only had great things to say about her experience. While Michelle typically doesn't provide sleep training services at such a young age, she was kind enough to provide me with some great guidance and support nonetheless. This brief conversation helped me so much and allowed me to understand what my son was needing at this age (I'm a first time mom). Fast forward three months and my son was still waking up every 2-3 hours at night. Being a single mom, this was quickly having its toll on me and I desperately needed Michelle's help again. Michelle devised a sleeping plan for my son, walked me though it and provided me with other useful information. I was shocked when a few days later my son had slept through the night!!! I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical that my son would be able to sleep through the night but alas he did it! And two weeks after sleep training has finished, he is still sleeping through the night! My son and I appreciate Michelle's help so much! We are both doing so much better now that we are getting great uninterrupted sleep. Michelle was truly amazing throughout the whole training process and provided me with great support. It was with her knowledge and support that my son (and me!) was able to sleep through the night. I cannot thank her enough!
Julia, Ottawa, ON
Our daughter suffered from pretty serious post-partum depression after her second baby was born. To add to the difficulties, the baby was a "failure-to-thrive" baby who required hospitalization on several occasions. Her two-and-a-half-year-old brother developed some insecurity issues due to his mom's illness and his parents' absence when the baby spent weeks in the hospital. The baby needed to be carried\held\walked most of the night and the toddler wanted to have a parent lay with him at bedtime...and most of the night. Fast forward to a 16 month-old baby, no longer "failure-to-thrive" but still struggling with acid re-flux and an almost 4 year-old who was still not sleeping reliably. The marriage was in bad shape and family survival relied upon the full-time service of grandparents. As the grandparents, we were exhausted too.
Enter Michelle. After only a few weeks, the baby (now a toddler!) and the four year old now go to bed between 6:30 and 7:00 WITHOUT A FUSS every night and they sleep through till at least 6 am the next morning. The parents have time together, to talk, to snuggle, to manage the house. Our daughter has time to sleep and to heal. And the grandparents get to live in their own house, sleep ALL NIGHT and marvel at the quiet in both houses at night!
This is without a doubt the best investment we have ever made and the best gift we have ever given. Thank you Michelle!
IvonnE and Carlos, OttawA
Michelle we would like to thank you very much for all the help and support given during all this process; from beginning to end it has been a complete adventure with a huge reward at the end.. a well rested baby who is now able to go consistently to sleep on time for 11 hours+ during the night. We must recognize we had many doubts and concerns before we start all this new adventure but all of those were completely addressed by Michelle with sincere advise and very helpful tips right from the beginning.
Right now our little Lucas is doing pretty good on the sleeping side, consistent routine, solid 11 hour to 12 hours of good sleep at night and 2 hours of nap time during the day, all following simple principles and tips given by Michelle. Having said all of that, mommy and daddy are the most happy ones here, no one can deny coming from waking up three times at night to none at all is a huge relief, the last few weeks of full sleep have been outstanding!!! Thanks Thanks Thanks again :)
Sarah, mom to 4 month old Jonah
Michelle is a miracle worker. We called her out of desperation. Our 4 month old son did not take any naps unless he fell asleep in the car or in a stroller. He had to be nursed or rocked to sleep during the night and woke up every 1-2 hours requiring a nurse back to sleep. We were exhausted and so was our son. Michelle quickly changed all that with her very gentle recommendations. Within a few short nights, our son was falling asleep in his crib on his own and only waking up 1-2 times per night. He was also having 3 naps per day, again falling asleep on his own. I would never have believed this was possible had we not experienced it. Michelle gave us the confidence to put our son on a schedule and make his sleep a priority. We are all now much more rested and happy.
Kristen, Ottawa, ON
I have 2 children – 3 years old and 10 months. My friend had told me about Michelle after one of her friend’s recommended her. Sleep has been an issue since our first child (who now sleeps through the night only after I weaned him at 2.5 years and he requires my husband to sleep beside him the whole night.) We called Michelle primarily for our daughter since she was heading towards the same patterns as my son who co-slept with me. She was 9 months old and waking every 2 hours and I co slept with her in another room. I could barely get anything done around the house, because I would have to go to sleep with her and would end of falling asleep. It was hard to plan anything during the day either because her sleep was so irregular. Also, I could not let anyone else put her to sleep. Basically, the sleep situation was creating misery in our lives.
After talking to Michelle during the free 15 minute consultation, I intuitively knew that she would be able to help us. She was just a mother who had the same situation and was able to relate to what we were going through. Her desire to help babies and families to sleep was sincere and I could sense that she had already helped many families achieve sleep.
I signed up for her sleep package and the same day we started. She asked us to answer a questionnaire so that she could prepare a customized sleep package for us. The sleep package had straightforward and easy instructions for the first 7 days of gradual help along the way. The package was only for 2 weeks. She sent us a very smart and simple excel sleep log that allowed us to log in how our daughter was sleeping and she left timely and useful feedback. The first week, we had 3 calls to help us along. The last week, the help was mostly by email or sleep log. I found the support was extremely helpful and timely. Oh, and the best part, was we saw result the SECOND night (first night was tough). I never felt that was daughter was being taught to sleep in a cold and cruel way. The tools were very supportive to our daughter. We started the sleep training on Feb 10th and now, my daughter is sleeping from 6 pm to 6 am in the morning. She is happy and well rested and I am able to plan my day better given that I know when her nap times are (9 am and 2 pm).
I am grateful to Michelle for her work and the heart that she puts into it. I highly recommend her as it is worth every penny. It will save you time from shuffling through the thousands of sleep advice and books. Also, another good thing is that Michelle sticks with you until you have results. We also plan to contact her regarding our 3 year old transitioning to his own bed once our daughter had reached 1 month of solid sleep.
Once, again, thank you Michelle for your kind guidance and expertise
Michelle was first introduced to our family in early 2015 after an extensive middle of the night search for help while our first born son was sleeping in 1 hour chunks around the clock. Michelle was kind, reassuring and assisted us in getting our then 6 month old to start sleeping thru the night within the first three days. We were absolutely amazed at how quickly he learned to put himself to sleep and sleep thru the night. He is now 2 years old and continues to be an excellent sleeper.
Fast forward to 2016, we welcomed our second son and armed with the knowledge we acquired from Michelle previously we were committed to not commit any of the "sleep fouls" we had previously done with our first born. Our new baby was sleeping relatively well, but both my husband and I thought there was room for improvement and we knew exactly where to turn. We reached out to Michelle when our youngest was about 10 weeks old. Michelle was eager to assist us and we began our sleep plan within the next few days and continued working with Michelle until he was 4 months old.
It was a great experience as Michelle became an extended member of our family and provided a tired, overwhelmed and anxious mama some reassurance. Michelle provided a helpful hand and listening ears and had some fantastic suggestions to assist us in getting our son on a daytime routine and his feeds spaced out throughout the night until he began sleeping thru the night at 3.5 months old... yes, I said it. Our second son stared sleeping thru the night, 11-13 hours CONSISTENTLY at 3.5 months old. This all happened with little to no cryinMichelle provided more than just sleep education for our family. She gave my husband his wife back, my oldest son his fun loving energetic mommy back and my youngest a nurturing well rested, patient mommy.
No words could ever accurately describe how wonderful it was working with Michelle. Her gentle approach to better sleep in the newborn period was an absolute game changer. It is a common misconception among new moms that sleep deprivation is a right of passage. I now tell all my closest mommy friends that there is help!
-Jessica and Adam, Perth, ON
Under Michelle’s guidance we have successfully taught both of our children to sleep long, restful nights. Our 3-year-old has quite literally slept through the night- every single night- since we worked Michelle 2.5 years ago. Our 7 month old, Baby E, has been sleeping peacefully for a the past month despite some major health concerns (a congenital heart defect and failure to thrive). Maybe we could have figured it out with a sleep training book. But honestly, Michelle took the guess work out of everything and tailored a plan to suit our family’s sleep needs and comfort level. Moreover, the daily email and/or phone contact and sleep logs kept us on track even when we wanted to slip back in to our old habits. Michelle was patient, understanding, and knowledgeable, and we recommend her services to all of our new-parent friends! Thanks again, Michelle.
Amanda & Meagan
We wanted to take a moment and thank you for your help with Sydney's sleep. We really like where Syd is at with her sleep - it helps make things feel a little more normal again :) Your expertise really shows, and the sleep log is a great tool for feedback. I had a chance to go through the resources you sent and they will definitely be referred to as we move forward.
Thank you again for your help and guidance.
Mom to Baby M
You know it's a good sign when two people from totally different spheres of life recommend the same person to help coach you through baby sleep issues. That's what happened to us, so we knew it was worth a shot.
Our baby boy was 4.5 months when we contacted Michelle. He was just getting a bit better at night sleep (after reading a few books we finally figured out that he needed to nap during the day in order to sleep at night). The thing is, he only napped in the stroller. No problem, I thought. I can just walk him three times a day, every day, until the end of my maternity leave. "And then what?" said a little voice in my head. "...And what about winter?..."
I called Michelle and she made equally compelling points, about how I could use nap time to eat, sleep, read, clean, exercise... all things I had sacrificed since my son was born.
Within a couple days of working with Michelle we saw dramatic improvements in our son's sleep - both at night and during the day. He started to sleep 12 and 13 hours straight at night. We were amazed.
We are no longer working with Michelle but we have learned so much. It has been about a month since we finished our time with her and I feel confident I've learned how to read our baby's cues and sleep preferences.
Our baby used to only nurse to sleep and nap in the stroller. I think that's normal for newborns and it was fine for us. But eventually we saw that our son's sleep needs and habits were no longer those of a newborn. Thanks to Michelle, whether bedtime or nap time, we now put our baby down awake, in his crib and we trust that he will sleep.
Mama to happy and rested Baby H
When my 2nd daughter was around 5 months, I was reaching a breaking point -- our amazing newborn sleeper has regressed to a point I had no idea how to start addressing our sleep problems. She would only nap in a carrier or on mama and she would fight the crib at night only to be up every 1-2 hours nurse/pacify. I found myself becoming snappy with everyone in my family and knew that something had to change. I found Michelle through a recommendation in online forum of mamas and calling her was by far the best decision we could have made!
We met with Michelle on a Friday ready to implement the customized plan she carefully prepared for us. Expecting a weekend of utter sleeplessness, we were shocked to find within 2 days of starting the plan, our daughter was sleeping for 12 hour stretches at night (with no tears!). It was such a game changer! Nearly immediately I found the balance I had been looking for - I was more rested and had more energy to devote to my toddler. Through Michelle's coaching and consistent encouragement we have achieved our sleep goals and more. Call today to get everyone in your family on a healthy sleep schedule.
JaimE & David, Ottawa, ON
Best thing that happened to our lives after our son was born. We had expected sleep deprivation but our son never slept! I was particularly exhausted, emotionally drained and an anxious ball of nerves. I spent so much time trying to get my son to nap but I was completely failing. I would often spend 45min rocking, feeding, shhhhh-ing to have him nap 40min. I had no time for myself to rest and rejuvenate or relax. Night sleep wasn’t much better – he’d wake every 40min until about 10 or 11pm and then we would maybe get a 2-3hour stretch of sleep followed by awake periods of 1-3hrs. By 14 weeks, we could not do it anymore.
Michelle came highly recommended from a friend. My husband insisted we needed to change the way we were doing things despite my apprehension to "sleep train" our son. Neither of us could function on the 4-5 hours of non-continuous sleep we were achieving in 24 hours. We were co-sleeping (when we never intended to) and mostly sleeping upright holding our son. If at some point all 3 of us managed to fall asleep, one of us would inevitably wake the others. It was a disaster.
Michelle was kind and understanding from the moment we met her – she could relate and she could see the other side. Our son desperately wanted to sleep but needed to be given the opportunity to learn how to sleep without the interference of myself and my husband. On the first night of the plan, our son slept 8 hours continuous, had a night feed and slept another 5 hours. By the third night, he slept 13 hours continuously and dropped the night feed all on his own. We thought this was too good to be true – but he has continued to sleep through the night essentially ever since he was 14 weeks old (barring a few occasions of illness, teething).
Our relationship with Michelle did not end there – we re-hired Michelle during each nap transition from 3 to 1 and before doing our first major travel with our son. Each time, her input and expertise was exceptional and we went through major transitions with very minimal blips in our son’s sleep.
Our son is now 15 months old; he sleeps 11 hours at night and naps once for about 2-2.5 hours during the day. He is rarely grumpy and I truly think that is because he is so well rested. Additionally, as parents, we consider our sleep to be of the utmost importance – if we ever have a "bad night" my husband and I wonder how all these parents function on minimal and/or interrupted sleep on a regular basis.
We know we are better parents now at 15 months then we were when we weren’t sleeping for the first 14 weeks – we can engage, we have patience, we want to teach and play. We truly have our lives back – we have our nights to ourselves. Our sincerest thanks to Michelle!
Mom to then 3 month old Nicholas
We can’t thank Michelle enough! Reaching out to her was seriously the best decision my husband and I could have made! Our little guy was dealing with some re-flux issues soon after he was born, so we had gotten into the habit of feeding him to sleep and keeping him upright in our arms for 30 minutes after each feed. After the 30 minutes he’d be sleeping, so we’d just place him in his bassinet or bouncer where he’d sleep for no more than 45 minutes. When this stopped working we started bouncing on an exercise ball to get him to fall asleep. We had basically gotten into bad habits of nursing, bottle-feeding or bouncing him to sleep. Around the 3.5 month mark all our “props” stopped working. Our son would barely sleep in the late afternoon and evenings, and it was taking my poor husband until midnight or later to get him to fall asleep. He was going to bed at 1 am and waking up for work at 6 am. And our son was only sleeping 3 or 4 hours in a row at night. Basically, we were in a desperate situation when we reached out to Michelle. We just knew we couldn’t go on like this, especially with two older kids in the house.
We lucked out that Michelle lived close to us and could meet us at our home. She was able to provide guidance on our son’s sleep environment and go through our plan with us in detail. After she was at our house for almost 3 hours, I knew we were in good hands! We started our plan on a Saturday night, and while the first couple of nights were a bit rough, by day 3 our little guy was napping 4 times a day and sleeping 12 hours at night! I loved that her plan was gentle and didn’t make me feel like I was abandoning my son. We stopped working with Michelle when our son was four months old, and he now sleeps like a champ! He sleeps for 12-13 hours at night (in a row!) and takes 3 naps a day (each of which is around 1 to 1.5 hours). He is healthy, happy and now, a well-rested little boy!
Michelle literally saved our family. The sleep deprivation was brutal for all of us, and I felt like I couldn’t give our older kids the attention they deserved. I was starting to feel like I was failing at parenting, but now, things are getting back to normal. There is laughter and family time in our house once again, and for that, we will be forever grateful to Michelle! It was the best decision we could have ever made!
Jessica Lamirande & Rafiq Rahemtulla
At three months of age we were feeding or rocking our little one to sleep and gently transferring her to her bassinet for a couple of hours of sleep at a time at night. She would only take day naps either sleeping on one of us or in a swing. We were concerned about her not getting enough sleep and the toll it was taking on her health and mood, not to mention the toll it was taking on us.
Michelle educated us on the normal sleep patterns and needs of babies and developed a plan to work towards achieving normal sleep patterns. She also identified that our little one had to learn to put herself to sleep without relying on extrinsic forces (feeding, rocking).
We were amazed with how quickly progress was made and the positive impact on her mood and behaviour. There were difficult moments, but Michelle’s knowledge and support helped get us through and we are delighted to have a well-rested baby with a good daily routine that is able to fall asleep on her own and sleep through the night. We don’t know where we would be without Michelle!
Mom to Baby "R", Ottawa
Before meeting Michelle, our 4-month old son was on a feed-to-sleep schedule waking every 2-3 hours during the night, sleeping often in our bed or in our arms. Naps were such a struggle and the tipping point that made us realize we needed help.
We hired Michelle with the hopes of our little guy learning to fall asleep on his own, and hopefully achieve 4-5 hour stretches at night. Apparently our expectations were too low! Michelle is a miracle worker and within a few days of the program our son dropped his night feedings completely! He was choosing on his own to sleep 11-12 hours at night alone in his crib in his own room!
Mom to Baby "M", Ottawa, ON
Many Mothers and families can relate to being up every hour in the night with a crying baby, literally not sleeping at all for weeks at a time and having an active toddler at home to care for. I had tried everything I could think of to help my baby girl sleep and would cross my fingers for at least 2 consecutive hours of sleep (which is insane). I was in pure survival mode until I met Michelle. She saved us!
Michelle has a true gift of understanding sleep and is able to share her wisdom in a kind, supportive and easy to understand program. Michelle was 100% dedicated to helping us achieve our goals and I am so happy we made the decision to work with her. My baby girl went from being up 6-7 times a night; to going down for naps and bedtime awake, sleeping 12 hours straight and a happy beautiful baby girl.
If you are hesitating whether or not you need help, I wouldn’t even think twice. Hire Michelle.
R's parents, Ontario
Our 14 month old was still being nursed to sleep for all naps and nighttime. She would only sleep with music on and was waking up way too early in the morning. It was getting close to starting daycare and we were nervous that she would have difficulty transitioning and sleeping for other people. We had tried a few approaches in the past, but nothing consistently worked. We were talking to another parent at the pool who highly recommended Michelle. We began emailing her and felt so comfortable right away. She went above and beyond our expectations. She modified the plan as needed and really understood our daughter’s needs. She helped us transition her to one nap and get rid of those pesky early mornings. Our daughter now does not nurse to sleep and enjoys her bedtime routine. She will go to sleep for other people aside from mama, which is truly amazing. We could not have done this without Michelle’s support and guidance. We highly recommend her to everyone we know with a baby and we will be contacting her again with baby #2 (much earlier than 14 months this time!).
Mom to baby "N", India
The best investment we have made so far for our daughter. Michelle offered generous and timely support to ensure our daughter fell into a routine of consistent quality sleep while learning a valuable development tool - the ability to sleep on her own. Michelle’s service takes each child and parent’s circumstances into consideration, providing personalized advice that is better than any book on the market. Not only is our daughter sleeping better and easier, we all are.
Happy Mom in Ottawa
Baby É was 5 months and after being what I though was a good sleeper, she started to wake up more and more often at night and needed more and more props to go back to sleep. So here I was, bouncing, swinging, rocking, feeding her every hour of the night, sometimes longer then the actual stretch of sleep she was doing. È being the third child, I was sometimes up all night between her and her sisters. I was so exhausted that I caught myself starting to ask my husband to go sleep in the basement so É could come in bed with me and MAYBE sleep. It was time to get help!! A friend of mine just has used a sleep trainer and so she referred me to Michelle. It was a big surprise to realize that Michelle was actually that lovely mom that I have been seeing all summer at the park with her own children. I liked her as a mom, and so was pretty confident I would like her as a coach. And I did. She really took the time to sit with us and answer all our questions. She was very professional and yet very realistic and down to earth. I did find the first three days of training frustrating and I appreciated that I could share my frustration with her. After the third day, we started to see a difference. We kept on working with Michelle and I have to say that to have my evening and nights back is wonderful. With Michelle encouragement and knowledge, I stick to the plan and can say that my now 6 months old baby sleeps through the night. I waited twelve months with my first one and 10 for my second. Thanks Michelle! I am sane again!!!!And so is the rest of my family!
Christina, Ottawa, ON
It would be hard to overstate the significance of Michelle's assistance in improving our quality of life. When we reached out to her, our then-4.5 month-old second daughter (E) had been waking up ever 30-60 minutes most nights (unless sleeping in my arms), and only napped on mama, for six weeks. In addition, she would only go to sleep at the breast, while being rocked/bounced, or in the stroller/car seat. We had essentially become two single parent families coexisting under a single roof, with E and I sleeping in one room, and Daddy in on the floor in our elder daughter's room. I was functioning, but just barely. Daddy was keeping the house running, but at a tremendous cost to his sleep and sanity.
We found Michelle through a friend who had likewise sought help with a second baby. After having successfully trained our elder daughter (A) at 7.5 months, we had planned to do the same with E, and initially baulked at the idea of hiring a consultant to help us do something we had already tackled once before. Our thinking changed when I realized that I was simply too exhausted and worn out to figure out where to start, let alone to have the mental discipline to stick with a plan, and explain it to our ever-so-curious 2.5-year-old.
So, on December 23rd, while holding E for yet another nap and in between contorting myself to keep her asleep for more than 30 minutes, I sent Michelle and email. She responded almost directly and offered a free phone consultation at noon the next day (Christmas Eve). I gratefully accepted. Following that discussion, we decided to hire Michelle and give it a go, starting the first week of January.
Michelle came to our house armed with a sleep plan that she had developed based on input that we had previously provided via a questionnaire. The plan was consistent with our general parenting approach (which is testament to the quality of the questionnaire - Michelle knew what to ask, and how to ask it). She was professional, knowledgeable, well-spoken, non-judgmental, personable and warm. After we started with her plan, her feedback and advice was concrete, timely, relevant, and - without exception - bang-on correct. In addition to helping us break E's various sleep associations, Michelle also helped us navigate E's transition from three to two naps -a process that I was dreading given how long it took with A. We were also impressed with her readiness to explain the 'why' behind what she was suggesting, and to answer our questions, no matter how arcane. This 'educate the parent' approach gave us a knowledge base and confidence to deal with subsequent sleep challenges.
E now consistently sleeps 12-13 hours a night, without requiring any intervention, in addition to two (typically) 1-1.5 hour naps. Since we've wrapped up with Michelle, we've been through one very nasty cold, and two significant developmental milestones (rolling over in bed, and getting up on all fours). In all three instances, we were able to apply the skills and approach that Michelle taught us to successfully manage the new sleep 'challenges', and get back to uninterrupted sleep within a matter of days.
We recommend Michelle without hesitation or reservation.
Baby s's parents, Ottawa, ON
I was referred to Michelle by someone I had just met waiting at the cash at Indigo. I was purchasing a book on how to teach your baby to sleep better. Ironically, I was thinking to hire a sleep coach but I wasn’t sure who to contact and also if it would be worth the try and the expense. As soon as I was referred to Michelle, I knew it was a sign. We had waited long enough to see if our son’s sleep patterns would get better with time. At 6 months, little "S" was still not sleeping through the night and he was never sleeping more than 20-45 min per nap. He could only sleep for longer period of time if we were driving him around in the car or in his stroller. But Mommy and Daddy could never rest. Also, little "S" wouldn’t fall asleep without being nursed and/or rocked. My husband, who works rotational shifts, and I, who is on maternity leave and 24/7 with baby, were so sleep deprived. In fact, the 3 of us needed some serious sleep!
Our goal was not to let our son down. We were determined to work with Michelle to make his sleep plan work. And it sure did! After only 3 days, little "S" was showing already ability to self-soothe to fall asleep and back to sleep. My husband and I were so amazed by this big change! We could never imagine the sleep plan would work so efficiently in such a short period of time. Michelle was so helpful and knowledgeable. We knew from the first time we met her on "Skype" that she would help our family. She was dedicated and showed interest. She was also so patient answering all our questions. We could tell she went through the same thing herself. It makes her much more compassionate and helpful. She knows how we feel and she wants to help us. We could feel how genuine she was.
Little "S" is now sleeping through the night and he finally transitioned to 2 naps a day as it is recommended for his age. He also sleeps more than 45 min each nap. Plus, we are so relieved knowing that we no longer need to wake up in the middle of the night and help little "S" fall back asleep. He does it well on his own. The 3 of us are now sleeping much better! We are enjoying better quality time with each other now that we are much more rested. We are a happier family!
Thanks to Michelle McAvoy again for all her support! She is great! We recommend her with no hesitation.
4 month old Baby M's parents, Ottawa, ON
We called Michelle when our daughter was 4 months old, as we were all exhausted and in serious need of sleep. Little 'M' had been co-sleeping with me since the day she came home from the hospital and while she started out as a great little sleeper, she started waking multiple times a night when she was about 3 months old and needed to be nursed back to sleep. Naps only happened in my arms or in the baby carrier, and never lasted much longer than 30 minutes. She was completely reliant on a pacifier or being nursed in order to fall asleep. 'M' was overtired and cranky, and so were my husband and I. We wanted our sanity (and our bed) back!
Michelle showed up right on time in OUR home to provide the consultation and I knew right away I had called the right person. She is so warm and welcoming and incredibly knowledgeable. She had an answer to all of my questions and I felt very comfortable with her methods and philosophies on sleep. I never felt rushed or that I was asking too many silly questions, and Michelle definitely went above and beyond to help us achieve great sleep.
By the second night of sleep training, our daughter fell asleep on her own and slept 12 hours straight in her own crib! I couldn't believe it. Over the two week period, she also started doing 3-4 daytime naps in her crib, without a pacifier or being nursed. She is a totally different baby now that she is well rested. Michelle provided excellent feedback and follow-up and, most importantly, made me feel that someone else sincerely cared about our daughter and our sleep!
If you are even remotely considering hiring a sleep coach to help your family get quality sleep, please don't look any further than Michelle McAvoy. It was the best decision I made :)
Mom to 5 month old Zac, Ottawa, ON
It's hard to believe that just a mere two weeks ago, my partner and I were functioning on less than 5 hours of sleep at night. Our son was waking up every 2 hours to feed and be rocked to sleep. Sleep deprivation was beginning to take a toll on our family. Over the past few weeks, our son learned the art of sleeping through the night, and is now soundly sleeping a full 12 hours. We are still working on his nap times, and will continue to do so until we master this new skill as well. I am not exaggerating when I say Michelle has truly given us the greatest gift this holiday season - the gift of a happier and healthier family. I am so thankful that our son is now well rested, and as a result, has a lot more energy and drive throughout the day to learn and explore everything about the world.
Satisfied family in Ottawa
We hired Michelle when our second baby was three months old. Our second baby was not sleeping nearly as well as our first one did at the same age. We were having trouble getting our baby to bed at a reasonable hour and she would not stay asleep for long. We were exhausted and looking forward to some routine in our lives again. Michelle was an excellent listener and gave us an extremely detailed sleep plan to follow. Within 3 nights our daughter was falling asleep at 6 pm and waking up 4 am to feed, then back to sleep until 6:30 or 7 am. She is now 4 months old and sleeping through the night. We felt completely supported throughout the whole process. All of our questions were answered along the way. My husband is a local pediatrician and plans to recommend her services to all of his patients who are in need of help. We are now a happy, well rested family!
Emily and Ben, Ottawa, ON
I'm thinking back to July when I was so exhausted, I even starting to become frustrated with my daughter because she just couldn't sleep more than 3 hours in a row. I was seriously questioning whether or not I would be able to cope going back to work, I was worried I wouldn't be functional at my (sometimes very demanding) job. However, baby girl always seemed in good spirits during the day so I thought that it was normal for her to be waking up so frequently and I thought that I needed to "toughen up" to the sleep deprivation that had been getting progressively worse for 8 months.
That first phone call I made to Michelle one afternoon actually did change our lives. It's amazing how much our lives have improved since our baby started sleeping through the night. The first few days and nights were really tough, with more resistance than I expected from our sleep-deprived little one. I would have given up after that first night if it weren't for Michelle's coaching. She was so supportive, even while I cried to her over the phone. Within that first week our baby was falling asleep on her own in her crib pretty much right away at bedtime and she had started sleeping 11 hours straight.
It wasn't just a matter of making bedtime easier and for mommy and daddy to get a few good night sleep. It also wasn't a matter of putting the baby to bed, closing her door and letting her cry herself to sleep all alone. We had a gradual gentle plan, and Michelle actually taught us so much about sleep that I am confident that we have taught our baby the skill of sleeping. We have hit a couple of rough patches with teething and colds, but once these issues were resolved she went right back to sleeping all night. Now I know that if she wakes up at night it's because something is wrong - so I can go give her midnight snuggles, and she still knows that if she needs me I will be there for her. As for me, I now sleep all night as well (I can't begin to tell you how much better I feel - I even have the energy to go to the gym in the evenings once the baby is sleeping), and I am ready to go back to work in a few weeks. I've spent the last few months enjoying my daughters company rather than struggling to stay awake all day and fighting over naps.
Geoff & Isabelle and 5 month old Mona
Michelle helped us go from multiple night-wakings and terrible napping to sleeping through the night and hour-long naps in a matter of days. She goes beyond just applying methods you read about in a book and provides customized plans and advice based on your child's needs and your own comfort level. Michelle helped restore our sanity!
Mom to Jasper, 15 months
Michelle came in with a plan that fit our goals for supportive parenting but to get better sleep for our son. In 5 days we went from 2 or more wakings a night to 11 hours straight. We'd definitely recommend getting Michelle's help to improve sleep.
Just wanted to let you know (9 months later) Francis is still going down and sleeping like a rock!
Just this past week my mom was babysitting for us and had to put Francis to bed -- her first time. He went down perfectly for her. The routine is still such a comfort. She commented how getting you in all those months ago was one of the smartest decisions we've made!! I totally agree Thanks again!
I contacted Michelle this past June (2015) to help create a schedule for my son who was 7 months old. He was colicky when he was born and had not developed any kind of regular nap schedule. At night, he had started to sleep better but things were still really unpredictable.
I was really happy with Michelle and the whole process we used to get my son on track. She not only told my what to do, but also why to do it - which is really helpful because as moms we are always second guessing our decisions. I really appreciated that we were able to stay in contact daily, be it by phone or email. Because the why had been so well explained in our initial consult, I felt very prepared to tackle the day to day decisions. But, just knowing that I would be in touch with Michelle, helped keep me going.
My son is now on a set schedule and sleeping really well. He takes two naps a day and goes down all by himself with no sleep props. We took him on vacation shortly after we ended the process and to my surprise, the skills he learned transferred almost seemlessly. We went to different people's homes, different cribs and he kept sleeping well.
Most importantly, I really appreciated how when I called Michelle initially to find out about her packages, I called to ask her to set something up both for my son and my older daughter. After describing the situation with my daughter (a toddler), Michelle said that the solutions for my daughter weren't complicated and so she did not feel comfortable charging me extra for her. Michelle just gave me her two cents and best advice for free on the spot. I hadn't even confirmed that I would pay or use her services for my son at that point. This really impressed me! I think Michelle's prices are fair. She doesn't nickle and dime and on top of that she goes the extra mile. I really believes she cares about the families she works with.
Pam, Ottawa, ON
A link caught my eye on a friends facebook post for Michelle's business when my daughter was 10 1/2 months old. For all of her 10.5 months of life we had not slept more than a few hours at any given time. I am also unable to nap so I was starting to see the ill effects of insomnia myself. My daughter was consistently moody and obviously not rested. We had tried everything I had read about sleep training (except for full on cry it out, I just couldn't do it.) and nothing really worked. We could get her to sleep but she would always wake in the night...and then what?! I never knew what to do then. She was breast fed and that was also her comfort. She wouldn't take a soother or a bottle, so I would nurse her to back to sleep, for all of our sake.
I messaged the friend with the post and asked how traumatic the training was for her and her daughter and I asked how long it took for change. She told me 4 nights and her daughter was sleeping a consistent 10-12 hours per night (from about 1-3 wakings per night) and the first night was tough but improvement was quick! Really!?
So we met with Michelle at a coffee shop (I drank a lot more coffee at that point!) and she gave us hope immediately, but most importantly for me, she gave us a solid plan. We stuck to the plan completely, anally you might say. The first night our daughter cried for about an hour to fall asleep and woke once and got up at 4am (normally she was up 2-3 times per night and couldn't put herself back to sleep), the second night it took 30 minutes for her to fall asleep and then again she woke once, the third night it took her 10 minutes to fall asleep and she didn't wake at all in the night.... naps took a little longer to regulate but by the end of our time with Michelle our daughter was sleeping about 10 hours per night most nights and without a wake up! If she did she was learning to put herself to sleep or we would just have to go in and reassure her and she would cry a few minutes and fall asleep again. Also by the end of our time with Michelle our daughter was taking 2 naps per day of at least 1-2 hours! Most importantly, she was so much happier! She was learning more, she was sleeping better, it was amazing!
Now about 4 months later she sleeps so well. If she wakes in the night she puts herself back to sleep. She naps 1.5 hours in the morning and up to 2.5hrs in the afternoon. We still keep a pretty strict schedule most of the time but on occasion things happen and it throws her off a bit but as long as we are back at it the following day she is great. Daycare is going well too. She sleeps even better there. And I sleep! My health issues due to lack of sleep are gone. It really is amazing.
I am a fitness trainer and I explain it to people like this. We all think we should be able to be fit all on our own, but we can't, that's why we hire a personal trainer. We also all think we should be able to teach out baby to sleep on our own, but we can't, that's why we hired a sleep consultant, because sometimes you just need help, and in the end to see the positive results of the training, a happy healthy sleeping baby, is so worth it.
Mom, Dad & Annabelle (newborn client, now 4 months)
My husband and I brought home a wonderful one day old, healthy, sleepy baby girl home on April 9, 2015. Immediately we began a routine and wanted Annabelle to become accustomed to sleeping in her own bed (just like she did in the hospital). We live in a bungalow, and also didn't want to walk on eggshells every time she would be sleeping so we wanted Annabelle to learn how to sleep despite some noises during daytime. I had read too many books and solicited too much advice for my own good. Too much information was a downfall and very detrimental for me as a new time Mom because I don't know where to start and which method is "best" for Annabelle.
Everything was going very well for us. Since Annabelle's birth, she always slept best at night. Somehow, she knew the difference between day and night and it was normal for her to sleep about 4-5 hours at a time from 11pm to 5am range. Everyone told us how lucky we were. Annabelle reached three weeks old and slowly but surely, she became more aware of her surroundings and was crying a lot. Everyone kept saying that we will learn what her "cries" mean. And by learning her cries she will start to calm down... just give it time they said. But the more time past, the less I understood my daughter and he more I started doubting my ability of being a good mother. Annabelle now slept about 8-10 hours a day (including nighttime) if we were lucky. Those hours of sleep came a great cost for everyone involved. Annabelle would scream for hours regardless of the time of day/night, didn't matter what we did and how we tried to soothe her. Most of the time, we couldn't even soothe her. She would scream so much that she was unable to catch her breath, face changing colours, scratching everything she could get her little hands on, etc. When we would finally get her to fall asleep after hours of rocking/pacing/bouncing/nursing (whatever had worked that time) and she would wake up every time we would transfer her into her crib. Things became so difficult that I had to nurse Annabelle to sleep but the moment I managed to wiggle out of my own bed, she would awake and scream. I would offer a pacifier but she would scream even louder. I would then try rocking, etc but nothing worked. I would sigh, hold my tears back and crawled back into my bed and started to nurse again. I even went to see a lactation consultant because I thought it was due to my milk supply. The lactation consultant gave me an "A+" for nursing. Even my birth doula came to my rescue and confirmed nothing was wrong. Annabelle just needed to sleep. Yet Annabelle would still resist falling asleep and barely slept when she did manage to fall asleep. Things remained status quo. When I was tired of endless nursing session then I would try her stroller or driving. The stroller worked sometimes but she would scream herself to sleep. There was a time where I drove from 11pm until 2am (nonstop) hoping she would sleep... ummm, she only slept 15 minutes! I felt defeated.
I held back my tears every time she was with me... the lack of sleep started to take a serious toll on Annabelle. I started doubting myself. Family came over whenever they could to try and help but it didn't always work. I would ask my husband to take over once he came home from work. I started resenting him specially when he left the house and that is when I decided that Annabelle deserves a better quality of life. I was so determined to find a solution before things kept spiraling further downward, although I think we had already dug such a deep hole that we may never see the light again. Or at least, not anytime soon. I must of googled everything possible in regards to infant sleep problems/solutions. I believed that co-sleeping was a great short term solution but personally, it was not a long term solution for our family.
I then proceeded to call several sleep consultants before I contacted Michelle from Love. I started off every conservation with hope and faith that they can help my sleep deprived 6 weeks old baby. The other sleep consultants would say: You just have to do whatever works for Annabelle and once she is about 3 or 4 months old, then give us a call and we can help". My urge was to yell: WHAT??! WE HAVE TRIED EVERYTHING ALREADY...I IT'S BEEN WEEKS... YOU HAVE TO HELP ANNABELLE NOW! But instead, I politely thanked them for their suggestions and support then hang up. I never made a call without kleenex by my side because the second I hung up, I would feel tears streaming down my face! Then I thought to myself... OK I am going to call this one last sleep consultant and if Michelle cannot help me then I will truly have to wait until my daughter is 3 or 4 months old.
Michelle returned my call the next business day and gave me hope. She said those magical words: Yes, I CAN help you. She came over as soon as she was available to meet my husband and I, which was a few days after we initially spoke, and met our daughter. That very same night, we commenced Annabelle's sleep plan. We had constant support from Michelle! It took about a week to see an improvement. Michelle kept reassuring me that she saw progress happening even if I didn't see it. How could I? I was sleep deprived too and was becoming a pessimist with my new mom role. But Michelle was right. Annabelle did start to improve her quality of sleep. Michelle taught us how to read Annabelle's body language. Michelle even came over to our home one night while my husband was gone out, and assist me with her night time struggle of falling asleep. By also witnessing the bedtime routine she was able to have a better understanding of how Annabelle reacts and how to adjust her sleep plan. I finally felt like someone truly cared about my daughter’s well-being.
There were times were I was not able to follow the sleep plan entirely. I would be honest and tell Michelle about my set back. I never felt judged by Michelle even after I had self-declared to having had co-slept with Annabelle even if I was not supposed to. As parents, we know very well how unforeseen circumstances can change the rules very quickly. But nonetheless, every week that went by, there was less crying and more sleep and Annabelle finally started to have different cries. It then dawned on me... Oh, this is what everyone was talking about. Since Annabelle was now better rested, she was able to communicate other needs. Annabelle suddenly started sleeping 10-12 hours on her own by the age 3 months. Annabelle also mastered the art of nap time too. After about 5-6 weeks of Michelle's help, I had an independent sleeper happy household. Everyone was catching up on sleep.
I am proud to say that my daughter will be 4 months old on August 8th and she has been sleeping 12 hours EACH NIGHT for several weeks and has 3 naps per day for a total of 5-6 hours. Yes, that means that my daughter is sleeping about 17-18 hours a day!! She is happy when she falls asleep INDEPENDENTLY and wakes up with a gorgeous smile regardless if she is sleeping in her crib or on the go in the play yard. In fact, she sleeps so well that we had our ducts cleaned in our house today and she slept through most of the cleaning! She did wake up a few times from the excessive noise -- I don't blame her... I wanted to use earplugs myself -- but she was able to soothe herself to sleep without having to be comforted by mommy or daddy. Nap time and bed time has become such a cherished moment in our household. We enjoy the routine so much that my husband and I almost fight over who gets to put her to sleep.
I cannot thank Michelle enough for having been by our side for this remarkable journey. Your dedication to us was impressive. Because of your help, support and encouragement Annabelle is sleeping every single nap and nighttime independently since she is 15 weeks old. Michelle always ensures that family is first and foremost as well as respected our personal beliefs as parents. My husband and I were always 100% comfortable talking with Michelle and applying the sleep plan each step of the way. Michelle goes above and beyond for her families and their babies!! Again, THANK YOU for your help and wonderful knowledge. We loved your service so much that we have referred you to other parents facing sleep challenges with their babies.
Joanna & Vince, Ottawa, ON
My husband and I learned of Michelle's sleep consulting services through friends and we couldn't be more appreciative of the difference it has made in our lives and our daughter's life! Prior to contacting Michelle, our baby girl had her days and nights somewhat reversed and I would spend sometimes up to 4 hours in her room at night trying to get her to fall asleep and stay asleep. She also didn't really have a nap schedule; we would just do whatever we could to get her to sleep after a certain amount of awake time. The best she ever slept was in our arms or on our chest, which wasn't a sustainable solution. When we met with Michelle, she assured us that we weren't alone and that she could help. She developed a sleep plan for us and within days we were able to put our daughter in her crib (awake) for naps and bedtime and she would fall asleep on her own. We were finally able to have some downtime to ourselves where we could relax, spend time together or with friends ,or actually accomplish something other than being a new parent. I highly encourage anyone struggling with their child's sleep issues to contact Michelle. She was so patient and helpful and willing to answer the thousands of questions I had every step of the way.
Adjusting to parenthood is so difficult, and sleep issues can add even more stress the equation. So often we just accept that lack of sleep is simply a part of having a baby and we just have to live with it, however, that's just not the case. Although teaching a baby how to sleep isn't always easy and takes dedication, the end result is worth it. I truly believe my family's quality of life has improved because we are all getting the rest we need. Thank you Michelle!
Our little guy was never a fabulous sleeper. He was a chronic cat napper from the day he was born and by eight months I was still getting up to nurse him a few times a night. In preparation to go back to work my husband and I heard about sleep consultants so we decided to conduct some research. I came across Michelle's website and contacted her immediately. Michelle was a wealth of knowledge, caring, flexible and very supportive. After two days of following our customized sleep plan, our little guy slept his first twelve hours. I'm happy to report that today our little guy now takes a long nap in the morning and afternoon and still sleeps ten hours each night! We are very thankful to Michelle and often refer her services to other parents.
Emily, Keaton and Weston, Wisconsin, USA
The subject line of my first email to Michelle was, "I haven't slept for 949 days"... This may seem a little dramatic; however, our second son was a little over five months old and waking up almost every 45 minutes, and our two and half year old son was still getting up at least 1 or 2 times each night. I did the math, I hadn't had a full night of sleep in literally 949 days and that made want to cry (more than I already was!). The older our baby got the worse his sleep was getting, and I knew if I didn't find help it could easily be another 949 days before I got more than four hours of straight sleep! Sleep deprivation was taking over my life and in a bad way.
I would read articles online, bought countless books and got all sorts of conflicting advice from other moms, but none of that helped, it only left me more overwhelmed and hopeless. I stumbled across an online conversation about sleep trainers, and Michelle (in the middle of the night) and this was one of the greatest things to happen to me. I was ready to sign up after just looking at her website, but I knew I'd have to get all the facts before I could convince my husband that this would be money well spent. After we had our consultation with Michelle he was on board and I can easily say (and he'd agree) - it was worth every penny. Having someone guide us through every step sleep training was amazing. We are actually considering having a third child now (which during our sleep troubles I would have said 110% NO WAY too) ;)
Unfortunately, we ran into some medical issues during our sons sleep training (which I should add, had worked after only 3 nights!) and we had to re-train him. Michelle patiently, supportively and lovingly stuck with us and helped us get back on track when he was ready. My only two complaints... I wish I was able to give her a hug and I WISH we would have found her when our first son was a baby!
If you are reading this, I'm guessing you too are suffering from sleep deprivation. Don't wait a minute longer! You could be sleeping more than you have in months - in a matter of few tough nights (which you already probably having now!)
Katie, Jamie, and Kennedy
As I write this, I am SITTING on the couch enjoying a HOT cup of tea, knowing that I have at least an hour before my 5-month-old gets up from her second nap of the day. Knowing that I can sit here and stare at the wall for the next hour, or do something more productive if I wanted to, is an amazing feeling that I knew, up to now, only prior to giving birth five months ago. And this is entirely thanks to the help of Michelle.
Kennedy was never a good, independent sleeper. Getting home from the hospital, we tried the bedside bassinet, but she would only cry and end up in our bed, in my arms. We tried one of those co-sleeping units placed in our bed, again, she cried. Nothing seemed to work until we tried a swing – finally, a solution! But then the colic started, and every night, she would scream for hours until finally falling asleep in my arms, along with every other sleep prop imaginable: pacifier, feeding, rocking/bouncing/stroller/car rides, and of course, her swing. Every night was the same, but while the colic eventually stopped around 3 ½ months, the sleep props continued because that was how Kennedy had learned how to fall sleep. The night wakings seemed to intensify. Sleeping on a mattress on the floor of her room, I would wake up to her most nights as often as every hour or two, at which time I would have to feed her or put her pacifier back in her mouth in order for her to fall back asleep. It was awful. A three hour run of sleep was a huge victory that I seldom got. I was exhausted. I really was not myself – frustrated and quick to anger all the time, I was a mess. I kept expecting my husband to present me with divorce papers. But what I did not understand was that Kennedy was also exhausted. She seemed to cry and be in a bad mood all day, but I thought this was just the way she was. Her naps were completely unstructured – random 20 minutes here and there, most of the time while on the road in car or stroller because those were the only places she would nap. My first experience as a mom was not shaping up well, and while I knew it would be hard, I was not prepared for this.
At last, someone recommended Michelle to us and that was when life began to change. Michelle met with us, devised a sleep plan for Kennedy, and coached us on how to teach her proper sleep skills. What a gift this was. I am thrilled to report that Kennedy now sleeps through the entire night – from about 630pm to 630am – and is napping 3 times a day anywhere from one to three hours at a time. I still cannot believe it. And in her crib, to boot! Michelle taught us so much about infant sleep that I felt very confident beginning the process with Kennedy. And it didn’t take long at all for Kennedy to catch on! The second night in her crib, she fell asleep within minutes, and really didn’t wake up too often through the night. Every single night got better and better. By the seventh night, she slept through the entire night without waking to feed or cry. Naps got better every day as Kennedy continued to learn how to independently put herself back to sleep. I’d say she is a sleep star now and I don’t know where we would have been without the help of Michelle. I think the best part of all of this is that Kennedy is such a happier baby now. When she is awake, she is no longer a zombie who seems to spontaneously cry without reason. She seems so much more curious and is happy to play independently. We are so grateful for that. It also takes so much of the guesswork out of being a mom now – knowing when she is tired and should be napping now makes it so much easier to determine what she wants and needs. It’s made my job so much easier and I am a better mom for it.
I would recommend Michelle to anyone with a child who is not sleeping well, without hesitation. She is so knowledgeable and we felt very safe in her hands. Her service is wonderful – she was always available to answer questions and alleviate concerns. Prior to starting this endeavour, I was scared and nervous. I had no idea how it was going to go, how long it would take to see results, and I feared mostly that it would not be successful. Michelle made us feel confident in what we were doing which meant that we could effectively foster Kennedy’s learning of these new skills. It’s really cool to see how fast she learned!
Thank you so much Michelle!
Michelle, Shaun and Logan (5months)
Once upon a time all I did was eat, breath, and dream sleep, or lack of sleep more like. By the time Logan had reach 5 months he had gone from a baby that slept in 2-3 hour chunks to a baby that very rarely slept in 2-3 hour chunks and was barely capable of getting passed 45 minute chunks some nights. He went from a baby that needed a few minutes of rocking or bouncing to a baby that needed hours upon hours of bouncing/rocking/nursing/walking/co-sleeping to get to sleep, and the heartbreaking moment when we went to put him in the crib asleep only for him to wake up immediately or after a few minutes was altogether too common in our house. I was loosing my sanity and my ability to remain calm in any situation. I was becoming obsessed with reading about how to help Logan sleep better. We tried some sleep training ourselves but when Logan managed to roll over on to his stomach while fully swaddled we abandoned the training as quickly as we abandoned the swaddle. Sleep got worse. And then we hired Michelle and in true fairytale style things got better. Not just better but like "Disney movie, pinching myself, I can’t believe I am writing one of these testimonials" better. Logan now sleeps 11 to 11.5 hours overnight and if he wakes up at all (rare these days) it’s a few moans out and he puts himself back to sleep in under 10 minutes. He goes to sleep without much fuss, at night and for both naps, which nowadays are quite often 2 hour naps. Yup, I just reread that and had to pinch myself again!
Michelle has helped our family so much, and we have come so far in only a matter of weeks. My advice is if you are reading testimonials with a view to hiring a sleep consultant, then do it, and you need not look any further than Michelle. I was so impressed with how much she was invested in helping us. From the very first consultation where Michelle stayed 3 hours instead of the allocated 90 minutes, Michelle proved she really wanted the best for us. This gave me confidence that we were doing the right thing and Michelle showed time and again how much experience she has in helping babies sleep. This experience should not be underestimated because when you are in the midst of sleep torture it is easy to think that you are the only one with these specific issues and that no one else could understand or know what to do. But Michelle did understand and she did know exactly what Logan needed. Even in the early days when it was hard for us to spot what was happening (why did Logan sleep 2 hours this day but only just over an hour that day), Michelle knew exactly what was going on and helped us tweak our timings for naps until we were regularly getting 2 hour naps. Her support and advice throughout the process was invaluable and as I said gave us confidence, which in turn allowed us to be consistent with the routine. When we were doing the happy dance after Logan’s first time sleeping through the night (on night 5 of the training), I felt that Michelle was right there dancing and fist pumping with us, as our success was her success. And for that reason, as well as many others, I cannot recommend Michelle highly enough.
Marie-France & Caleb (7 months), Ottawa, ON
We decided to give Michelle a call when our son, who had been sleeping great since he was 2 months old was now starting to wake in the evening and was impossible to put down to sleep for naps and at bedtime. When we did manage to put him down for naps, he only napped for 30 min. This started when he was around 5 and a half months old and just got worse until we weren’t sure what to do. We contacted Michelle when our son was about 7 months old and she put him on a sleep plan to get him back on track. We stuck to the plan and he went from being rocked to sleep and crying hysterically as soon as it was bedtime to going to sleep unassisted in under 10 minutes, usually without crying for both naps and bedtime. Actually, he usually falls asleep on his own after only about 2 minutes of being put down. He also no longer wakes in the evening. He is now on a regular schedule. His morning nap is now usually 1h to 1h30. We still struggle with the afternoon nap being too short, but overall, I feel he is now getting the sleep he needs on most days. It was a delight working with Michelle. Not only did she help us resolve some sleep issues with our son, but her service in general was great. She answered all of our sleep questions thoroughly and promptly as well as provided us with loads of documentation to use as a reference down the road. I’m certain all of this will come in handy. I now feel better equipped to handle sleep problems that we encounter on our own. Best of all, it was extremely comforting to have Michelle’s support and expertise while going through this stressful time.
Christine, Jason and 7 month Maddy, Virginia, USA
Maddy's sleep is going great. She is sleeping 11-11.5 hours straight through EVERY night (even with colds and teething) and taking two 1.5 hour naps during the day! We feel so rested!
Thank you Michelle for helping our daughter get the sleep she needs! Before we contacted Michelle, our 7 month old daughter was only taking thirty minute cat naps during the day and waking up between 2-4 times a night. After 7 months of waking up numerous times a night and having no rest during the day, my husband and I were exhausted and we knew something needed to change.
We decide to consult with a sleep coach and we are so glad we found Michelle online! She was extremely knowledgeable and knew right away how to make the sleep changes we needed. She helped us get a schedule that better suited our daughter and worked with us on a new routine for naps and bedtime. She was always available to answer any questions or concerns we had and was so encouraging. From the second night of working with Michelle, our daughter slept through the night for the first time ever!
Today, our daughter is sleeping 11 hours straight through the night (or more) and taking two long naps a day. She made a complete turn around! This family is finally getting the sleep we need again! I highly recommend Michelle McAvoy for anyone who has a baby struggling to sleep. She was truly our lifesaver!Thanks again Michelle!
Misa, Tony and Mateo (4.5 months)
I contacted Michelle on a particularly bad day after a terrible, heart-wrenching three week period. I had previously been nursing and rocking my 3 month old son to sleep and it was working well for us – he was a middle of the pack sleeper (not the best, not the worst), but more importantly bedtime was almost always a peaceful affair. Then he turned 3 months, and suddenly the nursing and rocking weren’t working anymore – he seemed to be stuck between needing and wanting my help to get to sleep (which wasn’t working, he would nod off then jerk awake and scream, or cry furiously when he woke upon transfer to the crib) and being able to put himself to sleep (which I’d seen him do a couple times in the crib). What once took 30-40 minutes at night was now taking hours and hours and my son was growing more exhausted and distraught because he couldn’t fall asleep or stay asleep. Naps had also gone off the rails, so he wasn’t making up sleep during the day either.
I became obsessive about reading everything I could about babies’ sleep but was at a loss for how to implement these changes – I was so overwhelmed and didn’t know how to proceed and how I’d know if what I was doing was right for our son and for us. I had seen a post by Michelle on Facebook and when I looked up her website her philosophy about sleep and babies and her story about her own daughter really resonated with me, as well as the testimonials from other parents. After calling Michelle for the free 15 minute consult, we set up an appointment to meet at our home. Michelle met with my husband and I for 2 hours and then made a detailed, step-by-step plan that was tailored to us and our son. I didn’t want my son to cry himself to sleep, but none of the "gentle" methods I was trying were working. Michelle’s plan made the transition as smooth as possible. It was still hard, and there were tears (from both my son and me as we adapted to our new system), but we were at the point where our son was either crying fruitlessly in my arms and not falling asleep, or crying productively in the crib as he learned how to self-soothe. Change, even when it’s the right thing to do, is never easy. The first night under the new system our son cried with us in the room for 40 minutes (reasonable, compared to where we’d been), but then he slept 8 hours straight, followed by another 2-3! This wasn’t a fluke either, after this first day he regularly started to sleep long stretches.
We’ve currently been under the new system for 3-4 weeks and our son usually falls asleep in 3-30 minutes (varying levels of fussing/crying, though this is getting better each week) and regularly sleeps 10 hours in the first stretch, followed by another 1-2 (he just slept his first 12 hours straight last night!). Naps were still hit or miss, but with a couple tweaks Michelle suggested recently, we’ve started to see our cat-napper hit 1+ hour naps usually once or twice a day for the past few days (in fact, my son is currently hitting the 2 hour mark in his nap as I write this). It’s still a work in progress, but we’ve seen such an amazing improvement in such a short time. More importantly, the feeling of dread I had developed surrounding nap time/bedtime is gone (like Michelle promised). We have new routines now that are different than the ones we had before, but they’re equally as positive, and can be done by both my husband and me. Hiring a sleep consultant is expensive, but given the changes we’ve seen in our son, who is now well rested and happier, it is well worth the money. Within days of him starting to get better night sleep, we began to notice a bunch of new social/physical developments (eg. Engaging with toys and his playmat more, showing more of an interest in rolling, being more engaged with the world overall). With all the positive changes we’ve seen, we know that hiring Michelle was the best investment we could have made for our son and for us.
Deirdre, John and Francis (10 months
Michelle is awesome. I’m a mother of 4, never had sleep issues until baby #4. I am a bit of a skeptic when it comes to a lot of “new wave” baby theories and techniques. Honestly, probably even the title “baby sleep consultant” or “sleep coach” is something I would have dismissed. And my husband certainly is someone would would roll his eyes about stuff like that. However, I was at the end of my rope (and can be unpleasant to be around when I’m tired) so to placate me, he went along when I suggested we try Michelle.
Initially, when we came home from the hospital, our little angel Francis was a perfect sleeper. I even bragged about his sleeping. I would nurse him and he would sleep. Repeat. Super easy. As time went on, I needed to nurse him, hold him for 30 min or so, then ever so carefully deposit him in the crib and tip toe out of the room. Then he would sleep for around 2-3 hours before waking again to be nursed. Eventually even those 2-3 hours got to be less and less and as soon as I would put him in the crib he would start to cry. I became the human soother. I finally gave up trying to put him down in his crib and after nursing, instead of putting him in his crib, I’d lie him beside me in my bed and stay with him the whole night, reading on my iPad. It was pretty lousy. In the night, when I would turn over to my other side, he would cry. I was so uncomfortable, not to mention had horrible feelings of imminent danger to him because he was sleeping in our bed and I kept thinking about SIDS and him getting smothered by one of us. Never mind that I never got to watch TV, didn’t get to spend much time with our other children. I was resentful of my husband. Daytime naps also didn’t happen unless I nursed him and these would be very short naps too. The only time he would have a nap longer than 45 min would be in the car. Horrible. Horrible.
Then one night while I was surfing on my iPad and Francis was lying beside me, out of desperation, I googled “Ottawa sleep consultant”. BAM. There was Michelle! I read the testimonials. The whole time I thought ‘well - that might work for those babies, but Francis is stubborn’ and ‘they must have let their babies cry a lot’.
Skip to the chase, we emailed Michelle, she came over, gave us a plan that worked for our family (our 3 other kids are very busy with activities). She is kind, understanding, knowledgeable and doesn’t over-promise. We did EXACTLY what she said. EXACTLY. The first night Francis slept for 12 hours straight. Next day, 2 GOOD naps. Very very little crying! He has slept like that since Day 1 of The Plan. It was a miracle! We still can’t believe it. He is so, so much happier during the day, you can see it. We also feel ready to join the human race again! Just wish I hadn’t waited till Francis was 9 and a half months old to google Michelle!!
Jeff Spears, Los Angeles, USA
Life for Kayley (and mom & dad!) got a WHOLE lot better once we sleep trained with Michelle McAvoy. 2 nights of partial crying = 12 hour sleep nights + consistent napping. It was a life-changer for us and our daughter as she transitioned from co-sleeping, to sleeping comfortably and exclusively in her crib. She is happier, noticeably well-rested, and her general crying has all but stopped. We met Michelle just before Kayley’s 3-month birthday, and Michelle’s training made it much easier for us to hand over the reins to her Grandma when my wife returned to work. I highly recommend Michelle’s method.
J&S and baby D (9 months), Ottawa, ON
I was completely against sleep training of any kind which is probably why I let my son get to the point where he was waking every hour to eat in order to get back to sleep. I had a feeling it wasn't just going to magically get better with time as I had previously hoped which is why I called Michelle. She was very kind and understanding that it was a difficult choice to make as a parent because of the bad press around sleep training as well as concerns over stressing out your child. I had a million fears and concerns but Michelle never made me feel that my concerns were crazy or ridiculous. She also reassured me that not only was it a good decision for my sleep but also for my son and gave me articles that made me feel more comfortable with my decision. She continuously gave me the confidence and reassurance that I needed to keep going with our plan when I didn't know if I could. My son can now put himself to sleep for naps and night time which I never thought I would see but most importantly he has caught up on the sleep that he was missing so he is less cranky between naps and we can enjoy our quality time together so much more! Thank you Michelle.
Mandy and Brian, Ottawa, ON
I am afraid to jinx it, but after more than 2 years, Kye has FINALLY slept through the night from 7 PM to 6 AM for almost 2 weeks now. It is hard to believe we have gone this long surviving on only a few hours sleep every night. If anyone has a baby or toddler with sleep issues, I highly recommend Michelle McAvoy. She is a miracle worker!
Jodi, Dave and Henry (11 months), Toronto, ON
I am so excited that I get to be writing a testimonial! Before hiring Michelle's services I read through the other testimonials from happy parents with newly sleeping babies and I hoped and hoped that I would get to write one myself one day. But to be honest, it seemed unlikely. Well, I can happily say that it has only been 2.5 weeks since hiring Michelle and our life has completely changed.
To give a brief summary of our situation - sleep started to become an issue when our son turned 4 months old. From there we kept introducing new sleep props just to get through the night (a swing, nursing to sleep, co-sleeping, etc) We had some good weeks but over time sleep continued to get worse and worse. Eventually our son was sleeping in our bed for the first time at 8 months old which seemed to help for a month or so but then even that didn't work. I had to nurse him to sleep then put him in our bed only to have him wake up screaming and we would repeat this several times a night. It was beginning to feel like all of my time was spent trying to get him to sleep and the poor little guy was exhausted. He was up 3-6 times per night depending and sleep was getting more and more scarce for everyone.
As you can imagine, I read as much as I could to try and find solutions. There is so much information available and I felt like I was always experimenting with some new idea convinced that THIS time it would work. After so much trial and error I was ready to ask someone for help. I decided to call Michelle for the free consultation. During the call I felt very comfortable and agreed with everything Michelle had to say. I realized that not only is it wonderful to have someone create a personalized sleep plan for our situation and son specifically, it's also amazing to have someone to follow up with. You never know what sort of situation is going to arise in the night and it's so much less scary to know in a few short hours you can speak to Michelle and ask her your questions. Not only that, you have someone keeping you accountable to the plan. A plan that is difficult to follow sometimes because it is very tough to hear your baby cry.
The first night was the hardest as you never know what you're in for. It ended up going so much better than I thought! Our son cried for an hour before falling asleep (which was hard of course) and woke up a few more times for a couple of minutes but then slept for 9 hours straight! The second night he slept for 12 hours straight (except for one wake up where he cried for a minute!). Since then we are seeing 11-12 hours of uninterrupted sleep every night! It's crazy to even be writing these words. It has changed all of our lives!
Our son even started daycare while we were working with Michelle and although his naps have been a struggle, he is still sleeping through the night.
Looking back, I honestly wish I had put Sleep Consulting on our Baby Shower Wishlist. I hope that testimonials like this help change our ideas of the discipline from being uncommon and sort of odd sounding to the norm for new parents. I can't tell you how much of a difference it has made in our lives. I'm sure there are a ton of great ones out there as well, but I have to say that Michelle is wonderful to work with! She is very well suited for this profession. She is very knowledgeable, well spoken (and written); comforting, reassuring and most of all supportive. I can't think of one thing I would have changed in working with Michelle and I want to share my experience with as many people as I can as again, I can honestly say that Michelle changed our life.
I used to be a sleep deprived parent (less than 3 weeks ago!) and couldn't imagine what it was like to have a night where our family could sleep uninterrupted. I used to be afraid to go out while our son was sleeping for fear that he'd wake up crying and be inconsolable until he was nursed. Now it is completely different, and we even had our first babysitter this week! After all is said and done, the most important thing is that our 11 month old is now well rested. Sleep is so important and always will be so it feels great to know he's learning such an important part of life. Thank you Michelle!
Dominique, Dave and Amélie (6 months), Florida, USA
It’s 8:30 am and Amélie is still sleeping comfortably in her crib. She’s been asleep since 7:30 last night, with not a single wake-up during the night. What a change sleep training has made to our lives! Less than a month ago, our six month old needed to be nursed to sleep (a process that took about two hours every evening) and would wake 2-3 times a night (needing to be nursed to sleep every time). I was sleep-deprived and extremely frustrated. My husband and I had read books on sleep training, but we had so many questions that pertained to our specific situation with our baby that the books didn’t address. As desperate as we were for change, we were confused with all the information we had read (and heard from well-meaning friends and family) and knew we needed some guidance. I felt major mommy guilt at the prospect of letting my child cry it out and didn’t have the confidence that she was ready to be sleep trained.
Not only did you address all of our (many many) questions and concerns, you designed a personalized sleep plan that was not only effective, but gentle, alleviating all of the worries we had about sleep training.
Dave and I keep saying that hiring you as our sleep consultant was the best decision we’ve made as parents so far! Had we known it would be this easy and we would see such significant improvements so quickly, we would have contacted you much earlier. Since the second night of following our sleep plan, Amélie sleeps 11.5-13 hours every night without waking until morning. She goes down easily for naps too. She is a rested, happy and healthy baby- with rested, happy and healthy parents!
On top of that, I no longer have to nurse her to sleep. This has given me my evenings back. I have so much free time now! I can go to the gym, run errands, see friends! And tonight, for the first time since before Amélie was born, Dave and I have hired a babysitter and are going out on a date! Yay!
Thanks so much for helping us through this! I will definitely recommend you to any and all my friends who need help getting their little ones to sleep.
Restful Mom in Newfoundland (Adele, Adam, Sam, and Fiona), Newfoundland
I'm happy to report that the only fog this mom sees is the fog outside the window and not the sleep deprived fog I was living! It is hard to believe that 33 nights ago I was a sleep deprived mom of two who was co-sleeping (nights and naps) with my 6 month old daughter out of desperation for sleep. At night our little girl slept at most 2 hours at a time, however, most often she was up every hour to breastfeed, because of gas, because of dirty diaper, or a combination of these. Sometimes she would only sleep on my shoulder which meant I spent a lot of time in the rocking chair getting very little sleep.
Both my husband and I knew that it was going to be a challenge to have her sleep in her own room and in her own bed. Turning to you for help and guidance was the best decision we have ever made.
The night that we Skyped and discussed the sleep plan you had for our little girl was amazing. It was wonderful talking with someone who knew what it was like to have a breastfed baby,who had co-slept, and had sleep trained their own child. Your plan for our daughter was gentle and provided us with a glimmer of hope that she would be sleeping in her own room, in her own bed and that we would have our bedroom back to just us.
I'm not going to lie, that first night was a challenge but with your reassurance we got through that first difficult night and our daughter actually slept in her own room and we actually slept in our bed together. When I put her down for her first nap the next day she went to sleep - I WAS SHOCKED!!! I had expected a fight but she just went to sleep.
Tonight is night 32 of our sleeping lifestyle. Michelle with your support, encouragement, and detailed custom sleep plan for us our lives changed. I am happier, I have more patience with our 2 year old son, and our daughter is happier. She gets no less than ten hours of sleep a night (oh the joy of teething), most often gets eleven hours, and has two regular naps (9:15 and 1:15).Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!
Mika and Yvan
I just wanted to thank you for your amazing guidance...... my son enjoyed a 12 hour uninterrupted sleep.... :-)
Nissa, Adam and 6 month Piper, Ottawa
Why I Hired A Sleep Consultant
Who does that? Hire a "sleep consultant" to get your baby to sleep. Two weeks ago I was asking myself that question. And why? I mean, read some books. Talk to friends and family. Google it. But HIRE someone to make my baby sleep? Ridiculous. I'll save my money thanks.
Then...like clockwork...karma knocked on my door. After 6 months of not sleeping, I started thinking more and more about this whole sleep training thing. It was in fact a good friend who had posted her positive experience with this sleep consultant. Someone I knew and loved. Fantastic mom. I actually referred this woman to another friend after she told me she was having trouble. And she had success with her 10 month old in two days. I had never even knew these sleep trainers existed. And here my trusted friends were raving about the results. But I still didn't think I would need her. No I would figure it out. Ahem..hello karma you sexy thing.
I think every mom has an image of who she wants to be, how she sees herself, her most perfect self raising her minis. The one who makes continuous sacrifices. Even at 2am. 3am. 4am. Ugh. 5am. My baby wants and needs me. So here I am. Even if I'm really not there. I believed I was providing comfort to my girls throughout the long nights and the cranky days. But what about the mom who swears at her infant? The one who is overwhelmed just thinking about having to make dinner. It was in a moment when my almost 3 year old looked up at me after I yelled at her for something menial and said, "Mommy, don't worry, I will keep you." Melt. When I saw her wanting to please me and looking nervously for my approval. No my sweet child...it is I who should be pleasing you. And that was it. I knew that I needed help. And this is how I was getting it.
For all the moms who have the babies who sleep..you are lucky. Sleep deprivation is a whole different ball game. It is a form of torture. Changes who you are. Takes your soul and sells it to the devil. And then the devil takes over your body and the next thing you know you are telling your 5 month old baby to fu@& off and huffing and puffing when you can't find the words to help direct your toddler learn to ride her bike and she thinks you are just frustrated with her. Or worse. Wanting to punch her in the face when she does the yes and no dance. Those of you with toddlers know what I'm talking about. Or snapping at your husband so often it's just how you have a conversation with him now.
Hearts broken everyday. Thankfully everyone is forgiving. Your kids don't hold onto this stuff like your guilt does. And your hubby says "your just tired. I love you" when you say you are sorry for the millionth time.
So who does that? Who hires a sleep trainer? Me. I did. And I will shout it from the rooftops because number one I have the energy to do so and number two because I truly believe moms need to share their hard times and tell other moms how they got help so that we can push stigma and judgment aside and learn how to know how to ask for help when we need it. I spent months convincing myself that I knew what my baby needed (me) when in two days a stranger showed me that I was holding my baby back from the rest she needed. When I showed concern for the stress my baby would suffer from "crying it out" she sent me a link to awesome scientific studies that gave me the security I needed to get through that first night. And because my hubby was away, and my toddler was in the next room, and I was a total emotional basket case..it was exactly what I needed.
The result? A few tears off and on the first night. And four straight nights since..12 hour sleeps. Best. Decision. Ever. Hello me..it's nice to see you again :)
Thankful in Ottawa
When we met with Michelle we were relieved to hear that the suggestions she had to improve our baby boy's sleep were simple and practical. But we were thrilled when we saw results so quickly. In just three days our little guy went from waking up every 1-2 hours to sleeping for 3-4 hour stretches at a time, and by three weeks he was doing 5-7 hour stretches at night. Sanity has returned to our household and we owe Michelle a huge thanks for her support and guidance.
Parents to 2 boys, Ottawa
We're parents to two boys aged 5 and 2. Their sleep was never ideal. Sleep is so fragile that every little thing seems to disturb it: a cold, teething, grandparents visits, beginning of school. We always hoped that it'd get better. We felt very frustrated because nothing we tried seemed to work in the long term. Our main problem was many night wakings and trouble going back to bed once they were up in the middle of the night. We had been considering hiring a sleep consultant and when it got really bad, I found out about a workshop on child sleep so I attended it and a few days later I was calling Michelle to ask for her help. The first week was rough. A few and important changes were implemented, it was hard on the kids and it was hard on us. Some nights we thought we were dealing with newborn twins as they were waking up every two hours and not at the same time. We were exhausted and even more frustrated. Michelle kept saying that we were doing it right, that sometimes it gets worse in order to get better. And it did! Not a month later as she had sincerely said even if it's not what sleep deprived parents would like to hear, but a week later! We are all sleeping better. We also know that things can change. But now we have more knowledge on what we can do to help everybody sleep well again. We thank Michelle for her help and support.