Sheyne Rowley - The Australian Baby Whisperer - Positive Routine Management

{ 41 }
BOY, ALEXANDER -9 MONTHS
Package 'A'


{ 40 }
GIRL -12 MONTHS
Package 'A'


{ 39 }
GIRL -14 MONTHS
Package 'A'


{ 38 }
BOY -10 MONTHS
Package 'A'


{ 37 }
BOY -15 MONTHS
'DREAM BABY GUIDE'


{ 36 }
Girl, ISABELLA - 6 MONTHS
Package 'A'


{ 35 }
BOY, Jesse - 2 Years
Package 'A'


{ 34 }
Boy, Nicholas - 20 months
Package 'A'


{ 33 }
Boy, David - 12 months
'Workshops'


{ 32 }
Boy, David - 12 months
'Workshops'


{ 31 }
Girl, Imogen - 6 months
Package 'E'


{ 30 }
Girl, Olivia - 11 months
'Workshops'


{ 29 }
Girl, Asha - 5 1/2 months
'Workshops'


{ 28 }
BOY, Lachlan - 6 months
Package 'B'


{ 27 }
Girl, MILLA - 6 months

{ 26 }
Boy, Finnegan - 14 months
Package 'E'


{ 25 }
Girl, Ruby - 16 months
Package 'A'


{ 24 }
Boy, Alessandro - 12 months
Package 'A'


{ 23 }
Boy, Jack - 11 months
Package 'B'


{ 22 }
Letter  From
Forum  Member


{ 21 }
Boy, William - 6 months
Package 'B'


{ 20 }
Boy, Alexander - 16 months
Package 'A'


{ 19 }
Girl, Siobhan - 2 ½ years
Package 'C'


{ 18 }
Boy, J - 7 months
Package 'A'


{ 17 }
Girl, Isabella - 9 months
Package 'C'


{ 16 }
Boy, Eli - 10 months
Package 'A'


{ 15 }
Boy, Alex - 14 months
sleep management
Package 'A'
&
Girls - 13 and 15 years
behaviour management


{ 14 }
Girl, Hanna - 8 months
Package 'A'


{ 13 }
Boy, Callum - 10 ½ months
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{ 12 }
Girl, Emma - 9 months
Package 'A'


{ 11 }
Boy, Jasper - 2 years
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{ 10 }
Boy, Max - 13 months
Package 'A'
&
Boy, Alex - 6 months
Package 'C'


{ 9 }
FATHER'S PERSPECTIVE
Girl - 5 months
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{ 8 }
DOCTOR'S AND
FATHER'S PERSPECTIVE
Boy - 9 months
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{ 7 }
Boy, Joseph - 9 months
Package 'A'


{ 6 }
Girl, Ava - 5 months
Package 'A'
&
Boy, Marlin - 6 months
Package 'C'


{ 5 }
Girl, Morgana - 9 months
Package 'A'


{ 4 }
Girl - 15 months,
sleep management
&
Boy - 3 years
behaviour management
Package 'C'


{ 3 }
Boy, Elijah - 9 months
Package 'B'


{ 2 }
Boy, Riley - 9 months
Package 'A'


{ 1 }
Boy, PJ - 7 months
Package 'A'

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Testimonials

"Our nine month baby boy, Riley, was quite happy on little or no sleep during the day - I was proud that he was so calm and intelligent and just wanted to be up. Already, an individual, I thought. He was up maybe twice during the night for a feed - until one day, at ten months, he decided no more happy to be awake - or asleep - night or day, he was unhappy, suddenly, all the time, and couldn't sleep. I had friends in mothers group whose babies had more or less fallen into a pattern of sleeping, for maybe two or thee hours at a time during the day, stories which, up until now, seemed irrelevant to our lives. One day my husband returned home from working overseas for a month, took one look at me and said, "We need help" and by then, all pride aside, I knew he was right.

Another friend of mine from mothers group had had this 'sleep lady' come and settle her little boy, and when I rang her that night to get the number I was on my knees, desperate, past trying to appear in control, still incredibly proud of my special little boy. She urged me to ring Sheyne, and warned me there would be a wait until she could come. I called, she answered and though we had to wait a few weeks, which seemed an eternity and I almost burst into tears when she told me, it was a date. Cursing that stupid cliché, "slept like a baby", I knew, somehow, that I had to get more sleep.

I had spent a day a Tresillian and learnt the signs of sleep, (except Riley didn't seem to display them), how to wrap - (except he was getting too big for that, so they suggested the wrap was annoying him, stop using it). I couldn't really hear the different cries, (they sounded very loud, very similar). Karitane told me to cut out one night feed and do control crying the next time he woke. In between the "control crying" visits I'd be in our bedroom next door with pillows over my ears, crying, telling my husband I couldn't stand it - it simply wasn't working. Also, I had real doubts that Riley knew the difference between the first night feed, which was allowed, and the second, which was now not allowed and which he was supposed to just drop, when I didn't know half the time myself whether it was the first, second or tenth time I had got up to him.

Day time sleeping was one forty-five minute maximum sleep at lunchtime, on a good day.

The baby health centre suggested to me that maybe he just was one of those babies who didn't need much sleep ~ forty-five minutes was fairly acceptable for some babies, especially boys.

Within five minutes of Sheyne arriving to meet us, she suggested that Riley might be cold, and that I put more clothes on him. He quietened down, (please don't think I had him dressed in a singlet and shorts in winter - I'm talking about fine tuning), then she watched me put him to bed (I was trying to give him a nap at the time) and again, gently suggested that he wear more layers for his nap, commenting on how cold his bedroom was. I remember worrying he'd be way too overdressed, but was willing to give it a try. Anything! He immediately settled and had a better sleep. She told me she thought that getting once up during the night was unacceptable, as was his wakeup time of 5:00 a.m., and that was getting earlier every day. She told me it was all incredibly fixable, not to despair, stop 'control crying' and keep going as we were until she started.

Before we had even begun, I felt a shift towards peace occurring in the house. We still had to wait a week or so before our routine management was to begin.

On day one, Sheyne got to see me and Riley over the whole day, giving advice, but mostly watching us. To my relief, it didn't feel at all intrusive to have her in the room. If anything, she was supportive and encouraging of what I was doing. She was also keen that I be the one to solve it, with her help, so that at the end of it all, when she left, I would not feel adrift. So from day one I felt a sense of validation, even empowerment, and of course, hope.

On day two, I thought it was all going to be a big failure. Riley was more tired than ever and had not yet learned to sleep. There was a lot of crying.

He wasn't allowed his little naps, and the routine scared me a lot because routines do. I work freelance, because I like the spontaneous nature of it and I'm a creative person, comfortable with fewer restrictions. So I had serious doubts about being confined by some kind of regime. I didn't know that it was right for Riley, either, being as unique and special as he is.

Also, Sheyne was tired having been up half the night with Riley (I was to sleep the first couple of nights and leave the settling to her, the expert, yippee, except I had forgotten how). Sheyne identified Riley's sleep cycles (or lack of) and acknowledged how determined he is. I could sense her doubt as to whether she was going to be able to really help him sleep. Her enthusiasm wavered. Maybe we would be the first case she couldn't help?

Sheyne even admitted thinking this too, later. Having someone else around all the time was getting tiring. There was heaps of information I was trying to absorb. I went to bed feeling a bit flat.

Day three. Sheyne got Riley to sleep better last night, she tells me.
Tonight it's going to be my turn. The morning and afternoon sleeps were pretty tough, but NOTHING like trying to do control crying in the middle of the night Before Sheyne. (BS). I learned the cat cry, and several others, and when not to attend, how to time it, what exactly to do when I went in, the difference between his clever and charming attempts to communicate and his all out "I need you now, get in here!" cries. Most importantly I learnt to hear the "I'm going to sleep, you'd be nuts to disturb me right now" cry.

The process was incredibly painless for Riley and me, because I was being guided in the art of giving my baby clear signals. And he was responding, before my red and tired eyes.

Sheyne also taught me some cool household management stuff, which for a domestic goddess like me (NOT!) was fantastic. Like, for example, to sterilize and fill all his bottles once a day, and then fill them all so the next day's milk is ready, measured and on hand in the fridge.) I can't believe I needed someone to tell me that but there you have it, I did. When to do my phone calls, (ha! I was going to have time to call people!)

Day four, our days are being shaped into a very predicable pattern, and I like it! I know when to do things, when Rips will be asleep, and I'm no longer at the mercy of waiting till he falls apart, to go home or whatever.

The routine is not just about sleep, it's actually about great time when you're awake, because everyone has had a good sleep. It's all making so much sense.

On day five Riley finally learned to sleep for an hour and a half in the Morning) and an hour and a half in the afternoon), and all night. Also, all day he was happy. Our life had changed. Our beautiful, extra ordinary little boy was back, and better! Riley loves going to bed now. He's so pleased that I know its bedtime too. And it doesn't matter that we live next door to a huge building site with excavation machines out the window.

I think this was the day I told Sheyne we were going to Italy for three weeks in six weeks time for a long planned family get together holiday... her reaction was restrained.

I stuck religiously to the routine before we left so the routine in Italy would feel familiar to Riley, even if nothing else did. We worked out a plan for when to let him sleep and when to switch to Italian time on the plane, so he'd get mucked around as little as possible, booked seats with a bassinet on the most direct possible flight to Rome. Riley stayed awake for twenty-two hours - the whole trip. We arrived in the height of European summer in the morning (midnight in Australia) and immediately implemented the routine.

The first night in Rome was hell. Riley didn't sleep and neither did we and neither did anyone else in the hotel, I suspect. We crept out the next morning and drove to Florence. That day, knowing how tired Riley was, I felt confident he'd take sleep when it was on offer and I adhered to his normal sleep times - no extra naps! It was an exhausting last hour in the car. Even though he hadn't slept well yet, I understood why and had a plan. I had actually learned how to manage him. That night he slept all night. And the next night? Magic!

In Italy, the only disappointment was for my in laws who thought we'd be going on day long bus excursions and didn't understand how reluctant I was to "relax it" for the holiday, especially seeing he was obviously such a good sleeper! I mean he slept all night, every night! Not to mention two siestas during the day. I didn't care what they thought. That first night in Rome was a close reminder of how Riley coped (or not) without his routine. I was so proud of us both that we had got the sleeping thing happening again so quickly. And I was more than happy to hang out at the villa, by the pool, with a few trips into Florence here and there, a couple of local walks every day with the pram. We had a chef! We were in Italy!

Our beautiful cook, a grandmother, couldn't believe the way she'd never heard Riley cry at bedtime, or that I was always so predictably ready to sit down to her (fantastic) dinner at 7:05pm. "What is your secret?" she asked me one day. "Italian babies, they cry all night. So do their mothers". On the trip home, Riley again stayed up the whole time on the plane, active, active, and busy as ever. When we got home it was night time in Sydney and we put him to bed in his own bed where he slept all night.

Our babysitters think it's boring and two years later sleep is simply not an issue.

We'll be forever grateful that we came across Sheyne and her special blend of talent, experience and skill. If this story can help just one other mother or father create some peace in their family's life, then I'm happy, because the information is too valuable to keep to myself!"


Sheyne Rowley - channel 7 Sunrise. Read transcripts from her appearances.
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