I just wanted to say a massive thank you. I have read your “Parenting by Heart” book and follow you on Facebook. I have been super encouraged by your gentleness and strength when it comes to parenting. I especially appreciate how you allow people to disagree with you without judgement but stick to your own convictions. It makes me feel comfortable to do the same.

My little girl has just gotten to 4 months and she has just started to sleep by herself during the day. She’s been able to sleep by herself at night for awhile but during the day, she has needed to be moved or held or rocked for all her naps. I kept getting told to just put her down and let her “work it out” which I imagine is code for “cry it out”. But it never felt right to me. So I’ve carried her, rocked her in the pram or walked for hours to help her sleep.

This week was the first time that she slept by herself for her day naps and the first time she did it, I cried because she did it herself and I didn’t need to cause her any discomfort by letting her cry.

So thank you for your support and your encouragement to just parent her instinctually without fear of creating “bad habits”.

Regards,

Roxy

Hi Pinky,

Just wanted to let you know Madeline had a lip and tongue tie and both were lasered yesterday morning. I breastfed her about 10 minutes later and it was a totally different experience not painful for me and we could see her mouth could open wide and she latched on without our normal struggle and me pretty much forcing her on and then hating it as it hurt like hell!

Despite her being uncomfortable at present from the procedure and just wanting cuddles (which we love giving to her) the feeding since yesterday and overnight feels like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders and she seems to feed better not for as long and we are able to settle her so quick and get her back into her bassinet for sleep so much easier.

Thank you so much we really appreciate your help. Madeline is our ivf miracle after 7 clomid cycles and then 5 years of IVF . . . I was wanting to give her the best start possible by breastfeeding and was so upset that we were having so many problems and not knowing why. I was ready to give up and move onto formula however from a brief encounter with you on Tuesday you have made such a difference and helped us so much and we really appreciate it.

Kind Regards,

Danielle, Paul and Madeline

Attended Pinky’s Toddler Tactics seminar in melbourne today, and I want to say how informative my husband and I found it. We have 3 girls (4yo, 2yo and 7week old) and what we heard and learnt today will benefit all our girls and ourselves in parenting gentler. Pinky’s tactics resonated with me as how i wish to parent and gave me ideas to change our current skills to more understanding skills. Thank you Pinky for the oportunity to attend.

Leia Barrett

Great TED talk Pinky!

As a total ‘Jane’ (you could have been describing me, except add in that I was also doing mummy and baby yoga, gymbaroo, baby massage and post natal pilates… no wonder I was exhausted all the time) I also had a lightbulb moment at a talk you gave at glen eira town hall 3 years or so ago. After a mchn told me ‘we have a special chapter in the handbook for lawyers and doctors turned mothers – it’s titled ‘lower the bar and go easy on yourself for a little while” and reading your book, everything changed for the better. Suddenly it all clicked.

Endured 2 bouts of mastitis and ongoing pnd but kept feeding and bonding with my little fella and listening to my heart, not my head, despite this being quite a strange thing for me to do. I will admit now that I still probably did way too much thinking and doing and ‘shoulding’ but the habits that served me so well to that point were really hard to break!

At those 3am feeds I used to think about all those other mums out there across Melbourne and Australia nurturing their babies too. What an empowering moment for women everywhere.

My baby is now a rambunctious, engaging and confident 3 year old and I’m juggling the demands of a super busy legal practice with being his mummy but we are doing it our way. Pyjama days rule at our place.

I’m going to be recommending your TED talk far and wide. I see many women struggling with the many changes of motherhood in my profession and I hope this will give them some insight into the reality that they are enough.

Please keep doing your amazing work. You really have made and continue to make a difference.

Cate x

image2Hi Pinky

I just wanted to touch base with you and thank you for your support when Harry was just a few weeks old. I thought you might like to know that we have been going great. We started co sleeping at about 4 weeks – and suddenly I felt human again! Last week we upgraded to a side car cot, and Harry spends most of the night and 1 or 2 naps each day in this! The rest of his naps are either in the car, stroller, carrier or on me.

After speaking to you it was like a weight had been lifted. I started to feel more confident in my decision making – knowing that I was always going to make the best choices for Harry and I!

You are a great support for so many parents and your gentle, instinctual approach to parenting makes so much sense! The people I have told about our phone chat cannot believe I actually got to speak to “the” Pinky McKay!!!

Again thanks so much.

Jess & Harry Orman

Sleeping Like a Baby
I just finished ‘sleeping like a baby’. Thank you, thank you, thank you for making me realise that my baby and I are no exception to the rule – in terms of the fact that we don’t fit any pre-determined schedules or moulds. This is what many well-intentioned people have led me to believe over the last few months (or worse – essentially insinuated that it wasn’t that there was anything ‘wrong’ with my baby, but that she wasn’t a good sleeper because I wasn’t ‘persistent’ enough with sleep training). I was doing my own head in – anxious, not sleeping – pretty well a hot mess, because my baby wasn’t sleeping like she was ‘supposed to’. Well, I’m now giving my bub as many cuddles as she needs and doing everything gently with love… I should have listened to my inner voice and trusted in myself from the beginning. My drive to be doing it right was so misguided, when all I wanted was the best for our beautiful Alana. Well now, I am doing it right, and it feels right and it’s un large part because of you xxxxxxxxx
Caitlin Balle

Toddler Tactics
 
For a while I’ve been really struggling with my two year old son. I have just had a baby girl and out of nowhere my placid boy was throwing tantrums, hitting, kicking, screaming at the top of his lungs, the works. I honestly feared some days that I was going to lose control and had to put him in his cot while I was shaking and walk away. I was yelling at him when I got desperate and the more I yelled the worse he became. I finally realised I needed some direction dealing with him and was excited to find toddler tactics after loving your sleeping like a baby. Your book has changed me as a parent, it taught me so much about my son and I deal with him in a peaceful way now, no yelling but lots of cuddles and patience. Jack understands words but has limited language and your book taught me how to communicate with him despite our language barrier. From the bottom of my heart, thank you! You have saved this mums sanity and made the relationship with my son a much more positive one.
 
Laura Flanagan

“Reading Pinky’s books while pregnant with our first was a breath of fresh air- they gave us the confidence to follow our hearts (rather than well meaning advice that confused us and just didnt feel right). They have turned into well loved and dog eared reference tools. From sleep, to crying, to toddlers, Pinky has all the bases covered for successful parenting. Thank you Pinky!”

Dale & Katherine Beaumont, Sydney, Australia Parents & Creators of the "Secrets Exposed" series

Pinky empowered us with knowledge that helped us to be the best parents possible! Our baby is very happy because of what we have learnt and we are proud to refer our patients to her books and care

Dr Warren Sipser and Andi Lew authors of "7 Things your Doctor forgot to tell you"

I know you must get thousands of emails just like mine but I feel I have to let you know what a difference your book “sleeping like a baby” has made to me and my gorgeous little 4 month old boy Indi and I.

Indi had a traumatic birth (vac assisted) and as a result was quite unsettled during the daytime in the early weeks of his life. Being the organised girl that I am, and having read all the wrong routine books (CLB – Gina Ford… hideous!) prior to our little darling’s arrival I was lost as to what to do when my baby and I did not even come close to fitting into these rigid schedules. After many days of no daytime sleep I finally caved and got a so called “sleep expert” out to the house. After $550 I was told that my interference (trying to comfort him) was only going to lead to sleep association issues and I need to learn to “back off” and let him cry. Indi has always been a brilliant night time sleeper but I was told that this too would change if I didn’t get him sleeping more during the day. After many days of tears (both his and mine)10 days ago I decided to ditch all the advice I’d received, buy your book and start over and it is the best thing I have ever done!

Thank you for giving me the courage to be the Mum I always thought I could be, follow my heart and not the advice of so called experts. Now that I’m just going with his natural flow he is more relaxed and sometimes will just take a longer nap because he is relaxed and happy at bed times. A natural flow is emerging in our day instead of me forcing him to do something he doesn’t want to do. The fact of the matter is our babies need us and this includes at sleep time. They are only small for such a short time so I have decided rather then “training” him to have the sleep patterns of an adult (which he clearly isn’t!) I will go with the flow of what he needs for now. Most of my anxiety around sleep has been due to trying to fit into what I have read and advice from “professionals” who really don’t know my baby at all!

I have recommended your book, website and blog to all Mums I know. Thank you for making it feel OK to unashamedly and unconditionally love my darling baby and tune into his needs rather than tune out.

Jess Saenger

Empowered by Pinky’s book ‘Parenting By Heart’

I just had to send you an e-mail after reading your book ‘Parenting By Heart’. I am a mother of two amazing sons and 25 weeks pregnant with another son and I wish I had your book when I was pregnant with my first! As mothers, we experience so many wonderful emotions and just holding your beautiful baby for the first time is so surreal but when you get home, no one is there to help you so you panic! I had so many people telling me things like ‘Don’t let your baby fall asleep in your arms’ and ‘Let him cry, he’ll soon learn to self-soothe’. Because I was a first time mum, and these were experienced mothers & grandmothers I took it as gospel. I don’t want to think of how much time I wasted watching my baby from afar when I should have been cuddling him as my instincts as his mother were telling me to. With my second, I tended to relax a bit more and my husband and I had a nice routine of sharing the responsibilities but I still felt guilty when I held him until he fell asleep and then kept holding him.

After reading your book, I have been empowered to trust my instincts and believe that I know best. I am the one who is there when my baby wakes, I am the one who knows him better than anyone else and want him to trust and feel secure in my love. I am planning to ask the midwives at my baby’s birth to allow the baby to breath before the cord is cut so that my child can get every last inch of goodness and to make sure he is laid on his tummy on a warm towel when the time comes to weigh him (though not before I spend time cuddling and breastfeeding him!). I have realised, through your book, that these are my rights as his mother and no one can take them away from me.

So, from the bottom of my heart thank you. You are enabling a whole new generation of mothers to feel competent in their feelings and to trust that they know best.

Rebecca Gayther-Moore

A Home visit – breastfeeding, pressure to give formula

I wanted to pass on heartfelt thanks for the wonderful support you have provided to our family. You have given me the most amazing gift – the confidence to mother intuitively and to know what’s best for me and my baby. I had received lots of advice from hospital midwives and lactation consultants regarding breastfeeding. I had been unlucky, having two bouts of mastitis and then my baby failing to gain weight as quickly as expected. I was getting pressure from the hospital and later my maternal and child health nurse, to consider formula top-ups, which I only wanted to do as a last resort. I found that while there is lots of promoting ‘breast is best’, there are also many interactions new mums have in both health and social arenas that undermine confidence and make you doubt the ability to breastfeed exclusively.

Ever since you visited our family, my experience of breastfeeding and confidence as a mum has improved exponentially. I enjoy feeding now and have no discomfort. But more importantly, I now trust that my baby is receiving all the nourishment and comfort she needs from me

I am learning to relax, trust and cherish this special time. Thanks to your support, I now have a number of strategies to ensure that my baby thrives. So on behalf of the Alexander family, many thanks for your generosity, insight and practical advice. I was touched that you followed up with me on more than one occasion to see how we were going. You made a real difference for us and we will be forever grateful for the time and energy you invested in getting us to such a positive place.

Many thanks,

Catherine, Jason and baby Sasha.

Premmie baby

Pinky, you’re amazing. a true breath of fresh air and your writings should be available to all new mums before anything else. I bought your book parenting by heart when i truly needed real, soulful advice on a little, premmie daughter who was giving us a run for our money at the time, and now cannot recommend your book highly enough to new mums to be, as this really was a source of amazing inspiration.

For me, it was the bible! Just when I needed my sanity back, that’s exactly what you offered and I thank you for your tremendous, heartfelt advice which helped guide me through the tough few first months.

Kelly Trupkovic

Spreading the word!

I loaned my copy of your book to my pregnant yoga teacher. Today I walked into my mum’s and bubs yoga class just as my teacher (who takes a pre-natal class before my class) had a huddle of pregnant mums around her saying “oh, this book is the Bomb!! You’ve gotta get it – Parenting by Heart…By Pinky…oh Hi Sara, who wrote that book again?!! I love it!!” She went onto say how much more confident she felt that she didn’t have to ‘do this at 7am’ and’ that at 10.30 pm…’

I’m so excited to help in spreading your fantastic work, and that one more mum-to-be has confidence and positivity in her role as a mumma!

Sara Montague

A change of nurturing style

I really would like to thank you. I had my first baby 5 years ago and I did the Gina Ford Contented Baby routines with him. Amazingly, it worked well and he was a fabulous sleeper…BUT, I think he might have been regardless of a routine. He was just a very chilled out little man. I must admit, I didn’t follow it 100%. I still made eye contact at bedtime and I would chat to him and sing little songs and kiss him lots! Who can resist?!

Fast forward to 9 weeks ago when I had my second baby, Fergus. Lucky for Fergs, I was too lazy to start any kind of routine early on. In the meantime, I downloaded your talks to my ipod and listened to them while folding washing, mopping the floors etc.

OH MY GOSH! My whole approach to parenting has changed SO much. I feed him to sleep, and love his little smile as I gently pop him into bed without waking him up. I can’t stand to let him cry! Funny thing is, at 9 weeks old he goes to bed after his bath and a little massage at 7-7.30pm and he sleeps until 5am! For now, I am happy to get up with him at 5am because I have missed him so much all night!

So, thank you! You have changed our lives.

Shauna Wilson

Helpful and non-judgemental advice

Jessica Walker here from Jenny Macklin’s office. You very kindly gave me your three books prior to the birth of my beautiful eight week old son, Solomon.

I have been meaning to drop you a line to thank you so much for this. I leave the books scattered around the house and read a few pages of Pinky whenever I need a pick me up! It instantly makes me feel better about myself and little Sol.

I have recommended your books to a number of friends who have also found them very helpful and non-judgemental – a rare thing in the world of baby books.

Jessica W

Awesome seminar!

<3 Awesome seminar in Warrnambool last night Pinky McKay! I have a toddler almost 2.5 and it was so great to hear the gentle parenting techniques I practice you recommend! I hope lots of Mums walked away last night with a greater belief in themselves! thank you!

Lana Irvine

A tiny ‘fan’

“Someone hears Pinky’s name too often methinks… Miss Just-Turned-3 walks past with her hands carefully cupped in front of her. I say “what’ve you got there?”. She: “baby”. I: “oo lovely, what’s her name?”. She: “Pindy Uh-tay”. Guffaw. Since then Pindy Uh-tay’s had some boosie milk, a nappy change and, sadly, drowned(?!) in a drawer.

Julianne Rice (via Facebook)

Confidence restored – settling naturally, without tears

I’ve just finished reading your “Sleeping like a baby” book and I wanted to tell you how much it meant to me. While I was pregnant I was sure that a natural approach to raising my little girl was right. I didn’t do a lot of reading as I wanted to read my baby and give her what she needed, so apart from watching some brilliant ABA videos to set me up for breastfeeding and reading a couple of basic baby care books, I spent my pregnancy nurturing my baby and myself and not worrying. So far so good … and then she was born, and I was sitting up holding her the first night being told by the nurses that I SHOULD put her in her bassinet (and did I want her to go to the nursery?). And then a week later, when we were home and she still hadn’t started all the crying she SHOULD do, my mum told me I SHOULD put her in her cot “with a firm pat on the nappy” and make her sleep, instead of carrying her in the sling for most of the day. And then the in-laws all told us that we SHOULD stop giving in to this child and “letting her control our lives”. And ever since it has been a cascade of criticism about how much I am spoiling this baby and what I SHOULD be doing. My husband and I were the only ones who seemed to notice that our 2, 4, and 6 week old baby was calm, content, rarely cried, and settled herself over several sleep cycles by the time she was 8 weeks old. Now she’s twelve weeks old, and she doesn’t even need her Music for Dreaming playing to get a blissful 6 hour sleep most nights, from which she awakes in her bassinet next to my bed smiling, having had only to murmur in order to wake me because we have become so attuned to one another. She decides when her last feed of the night will be, pulls off the breast, rolls onto her back with a grunt of pleasure, and promptly falls asleep. I just pick her up and put her to bed! And yet when I shared this positive with people, they only said I was setting her up for a lifetime of sleep problems and she SHOULD fall asleep without the breast.

And so despite all the evidence that we were all right (and the emphatic reassurance of my lovely hubby), only a week ago, after some particularly harsh criticism combined with a tough couple of growth-spurt days, I was in tears, full of self doubt, sure that everyone else was right and that I was wrecking my baby’s life for her. I felt like I was doing the exact right thing, but how can you be sure of yourself when everyone around you disagrees? And then, while looking through the ABA online shop the next day (to buy hubby an ergo because he loves carrying her so much too!) I saw your book. I read it from cover to cover the day it arrived with my baby sleeping on my chest and I have stopped worrying. I tune out at the word SHOULD. I am feeling strong and confident in my ability to raise my daughter, and I have found the strength to politely listen to the advice and the criticism, kiss my daughter on the head in her sling, and smile as I ignore everything that’s been said. I will make sure I read your toddler book before too long so that I am armed in advance this time.

Last night we changed from bassinet and blankets to the cot and a sleeping bag for the first time – and no dramas! She was smiling at me through the bars of the cot when we woke this morning – awwwww that’s what matters!

There is a big, bright note near our phone : DON’T LET ANYONE SHOULD ON YOU.

So I just wanted to say thank you! for your wonderful book, a great website, and for making me feel that I’m in no way alone in what I am doing.

Katie Bale

Home visit – encouraged and reassured

Thanks so much for your visit yesterday. It was really good to receive the reassurance that I am on the right track to managing the feeding/sleeping challenges a newborn brings and that all my insecurities are normal for a “new” Mum. I feel like such a rookie after an almost 6 year gap between my sons! You’d never think that I’d already had one child!! Your tips and advice were really encouraging and I especially liked your attitude that whatever worked for our household was the “right” way to do things – so refreshing after reading/hearing so many “dos and don’ts” from various sources that my head was spinning.

Lia Henry Melbourne

On the phone!

Thank you for all the resources & warm, encouraging advice. It was wonderful to talk with you.

Denny Maclaine Phone consultation

Life changing call

I’ve intended to send you this note since immediately after our call. THANK YOU so much for the chat – it was life changing. I am conscious that as I do not have a support network I get stuck in the mundane and not trusting or honouring my truth. You reminded me that all that I do is ok and that my love for my son is what matters most.

Thank you for your truth, honesty and being a girl and mom.

Donna Flockhart

Toddler Tactics

Hi Pinky, I have finally got round to having a read of ‘Toddler Tactics’ and may I say a huge thank you on behalf of my toddler and I for helping me find my way again. This Christmas one friend said, with regards to the ‘terrible twos’ that “…if you win the battle, you’ve won the war…”. I think we prefer to hang ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ posters. Not that I consider it a war at all! Thanks Pinky for making me feel positive and motivated again x

Lynne Varney

Mum’s group Baby massage session

Thank you so much for (the baby massage session) yesterday – everyone really enjoyed it. I did some belly massage with Mackinley last night and had a fantastic result!

Georgina Chandler

Teleseminar – sense without a guilt trip!

Aw, Pinky, I love you! You make so much sense and without the guilt trip. I hope lots of lovely mama’s got to take a ‘load off’ with listening to your teleseminar today. I know I got to fold the washing and cut out a pattern for a present for Tenneille’s upcoming birthday, all the while listening to sound parenting information!

Jacinta Munn

Parenting by Heart – reassures mum to be

Thank you so much for writing your book parenting by heart-I’ve been so overwhelmed by conflicting advice through my pregnancy, and when I picked up your book I felt better about my new upcoming role as a first time mum! It was a godsend

Suze Abbott

Sleep seminar – started sleeping through

Thanks for the sleep seminar. It was both reassuring and affirming as well as providing a few new tips. My little man (13months) must have heard my cry for more sleep as he has started sleeping through the night of his own accord! Not sure why – I have been making sure he has a full tummy and ending the day with a banana and as you suggested, he had teeth coming through – but not sure what else! So glad I have stuck to my gentle techniques though. A mum told me today that she used controlled crying for her 1 year old. It sort of puzzled me as her version of controlled crying was to let him cry it out. And you guessed it, he stopped after 45 mins. The next time he cried a bit less and after that was quiet (or gave up!). I felt pangs of pain for the little darling and know I couldn’t let Myles cry like that without coming to his aid. Best wishes and thanks for being a loving, kind and respectful voice amongst all the parenting experts!

Felicity Thomas

Seminar – informative and confidence enhancing

Thank you for the talk today, Pinky, we really found it reassuring, informative, and confidence-enhancing!

Liz Melgard

Teleseminar – praise from a professional

It was good to listen to your teleseminar yesterday and hear your (and other expert advice on controlled crying) I work as a Mothercraft nurse and so am always looking to keep up with current thought in this area. It is always encouraging to hear of others with similar ideas and views, and the research backing it all up, to how I am practicing. It’s such an important and exciting area to be working in. Thank you for all your work in this area

Kathy Stirrup

Online Chat – great advice!

I just wanted to say a huge Thankyou for being such a wonderful support person for mums and providing such accurate and realistic advice. Ive just been reading your online question session with huggies and it’s such a relief to know there are some professionals out there giving such great advice. Its so disheartening to see so much misinformation out there to do with all things breastfeeding and parenting and especially when such things are advocated by other ‘health professionals’ and ‘parenting experts’ and parents think they are getting great information and really they aren’t :(. Really truly thankyou for being such an inspiring woman and all the amazing work you do.

Emma Hitchens

Parenting by Heart – praise from a 3rd time mother

I’m just reading though Parenting by Heart and I just had to message you to let you know how wonderful it is. Toby is our 3rd and I find that we are still learning and so far, your book has been so validating. I was reading it in the car at school pick up and I had to put it down because I was getting so teary, seeing the validation of all of our work.

I’m also nodding along to the importance of the birth section, I can’t agree more with it. I had a home birth with Toby after pulling out of the hospital system due to their lack of flexibility with care (pushing the one-size-fits-all approach). I had such a beautiful pregnancy after that and such a serene and beautiful home water birth, I have bonded with this baby like I have never known before. He is such a perfect, serene baby (he does wake through the night but who cares!) I think my pregnancy and birth had a huge part to play.

It’s also great to read that these hormones are still raging up to 6 months. I have found it really difficult to return to study as I just want to be with baby and do nothing else! I did not find this with my firs two boys so this is all new to me.

Thank you for your beautiful, brilliant book. I am buying copies for my pregnant friends!

Much love, Andrea Bennet

Sleep teleseminar – baby now sleeping after food elimination

Thanks for organising the teleseminar on sleep. After and year and a half of my son waking up every hour, followed hot on the heels of my daughter doing exactly the same (a two hour sleep was bliss) within the week my daughter is now sleeping 3 to 4 hours at a stretch. What made the difference? Certainly not sleeping training, which we tried with my son to no avail, one hour sleeping, one hour crying, one hour sleeping, one hour crying and on it went. The difference is that at the beginning of this week we both stopped eating oranges, tomatoes and drinking grape juice after I listened to your pre seminar talk. Far Out!!! That’s all it took!!!

I don’t know how many times I’ve been told to try control crying, which after the experience with our son knew instinctively wasn’t the answer. I’ve been to our sleep training centre. I have followed Elizabeth Pantley’s recommendations since my daughter’s birth (so many of which have worked wonderfully in so many ways but never had the desired effect of longer stretches of sleep), I have read so many books (unfortunately not yours), and have spoken to paediatricians, GP’s and child health nurses. I am utterly amazed that no one ever suggested eliminating oranges, grapes and tomatoes from my diet.

The prospect now seems a lot less daunting. I know I’ll be cutting out these foods from the beginning and perhaps they will make a difference to reflux (another battle which I finally had diagnosed and treated in my daughter at 4 months, which made a huge difference), and sleep generally. As much as I enjoy breastfeeding, and tandem feeding, every hour during the night is far to frequent. So thank you ABA for promoting your seminar and thank you Pinky for your commitment to helping mothers enjoy their children and find gentle solutions to sleep issues.

Narelle Young

Sleeping like a Baby – thanks from Mum of twins

Im 28 years old and I have 12 week old twins, born at 35 weeks, a boy and a girl- Tayte and Breea. I just wanted to send you an email saying thank you.When I was pregnant my sister bought me a book on baby sleeping, it is a book with very strict routines. She heard from one of her friends how great it was. I did try to follow the routine suited to their age, from about 7 weeks old, but it just was not working. They seemed to get extra hungry in the afternoons and I did try to hold them out til the desired time for a feed in the routine, I thought it might be their witching hour. The book also suggests a ‘dreamfeed’, I personally didn’t try that….I dont believe that it is the right thing to do. I would put my babies down to have a sleep, but they weren’t tired when the book stated they should be put down to sleep, in saying that, im finding they have little naps and a good sleep during the day. My mother and mother-in-law are a great help, but they would hold the babies til they slept and I was so scard of them being so dependant on being cuddled to fall asleep, I would make them put the kids down in their cots. So, after about 3 weeks on this ‘routine’, I just thought….this isn’t for my babies. I did some research on the internet and came across forums about your book Sleeping Like a Baby, it got great reviews. I bought your book and I can not put it down. It is fantastic. The kids (my husband and I don’t call them ‘the twins’, they are each their own little person) are waking once through the night, usually between 1-3am, I feed them and they go back to bed really easily, but come 4-5am, they are unsettled and upset. We put them in bed with us and they just sleep so well for a few more hours, sometimes they are hungry and I feed them again. Your book doesn’t make me feel guilty for co sleeping with my babies or giving them plenty of love and attention. I now let my kids decide when they are hungry and tired and lucky for me, both of them are pretty much at the same time. I now always put myself in their shoes and think what it would feel like to be them. And I think, adults don’t always eat lunch at the same time or have tea at the exact same time everyday, and we do get hungry more sometimes. My husband and I agree on a bedtime ritual, we bath them, feed them and if they aren’t sleepy, read them a book. They both are pretty easy to settle….for now. I feel much more relaxed now with my babies and am enjoying them so much more, all thanks to your book. I don’t feel like I am doing the wrong them by them or me. Strict routines might work for some babies, but not mine.

Thank you Pinky for a loving and caring book that not only understands babies, but parents to. I will be recommending your book to all mothers.

Carly R.

High needs baby – you helped us hang in there

I really want to thank you for all the support your books have given me over the last 13 months. 100 ways to calm the crying and Parenting by Heart were a welcome change to all the negative things I was hearing from ECN’s, GP’s, and good intentioned friends when my son was born. You encouraged me to tune them out and listen to my own instinct, which can be a really hard thing to do when you’re so tired, you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. The majority of my mothers group thought I was an idiot for not wanting to settle my son by patting him in the cot as a newborn. I was soft for not doing it, despite the fact that it just made him cry harder. I knew in my heart it wasn’t for us, but sometimes you do question yourself. We had a period of sleeping through, but it stopped with spectacular style.. waking up to 8 times overnight and the only thing that would resettle was a breastfeed. So I did. And we co-slept because it was easier, and we all got sleep. Plus, who can resist all those snuggles in the morning?

Then it got to the point where rocking and feeding to sleep stopped working. Rowan resisted, it was taking so long, it turned into something I resented, so I set out to change it. I used your ideas, but also read Pantley’s NCSS. Over months, we saw improvement gradually. I have been able to get him from feeding and rocking to sleep to self settling in his cot. There is none of this so called “protest cry” at all, he’s happy to be there and drifts off on his own. During this time we also discovered he had an egg and dairy allergy that he was ingesting via my breastmilk. Imagine if I’d left him to cry when he was genuinely hurting from tummy pains or itching! I’d be lying if I said he didn’t cry, but he never cried alone. It makes me so proud that I have made bedtime such a comfortable thing for him, and haven’t made him feel afraid.

I’m writing because there have been many points along the way where I’ve felt so frustrated because it was a case of “two steps forward, one step back”, but you made it easier to keep going and believe I was doing the right thing, so thank you.

Claire Hookham

Working full time (in a high stress job) – breastfeeding and a strong attachment

I just wanted to write to you and say THANK YOU! Your books and regular magazine articles helped me to survive babyhood with both my now 4 year old and now 2 year old.

I went back to work full time when DS was 3 months and then when DD was 6 months. Thanks to you and your support in print I BF both successfully – DS to 10 months and then DD to 24 months! YOU made me confident YOU made me realise I needed to trust my instincts and YOU helped me implement gentle strategies into my life which meant that I could continue to work FULLTIME (in a high stress job too) and successfully breastfeed, often co-sleeping and developing strong attachment with both my kids.

Although I still have pangs of “mummy-guilt” every now and again, its not constant. I can trust my instincts.

So basically, a HUGE thank you. I love your stuff.

Leah Smileski

Sleepless baby with a medical condition

I just wanted to write and say thank you. I have a nearly three year old daughter who has never slept all night. When she was a baby I read Robin Grille’s book ‘Parenting for a Peaceful World’. When she was 11 months old she was rarely sleeping for more than an hour at a time, day and night. We’d tried a day sleep school, but I hated their methods. Most people were telling us to let her cry it out. I emailed Robin asking for suggestions. He recommended your book ‘Sleeping Like a Baby’ which I’ve read many times now. When my daughter was 18 months I had a phone appointment with you. You were wonderful, you made me feel so good about myself and how I was doing as a parent. You made me feel proud and confident. You’d suggested I try many things, which I did, but nothing helped. One thing you asked was what was waking her so frequently. I started thinking about this and it occurred to me that she snored, her nose constantly ran, she sometimes appeared to stop breathing in her sleep and sometimes choked on her own mucus and vomited- and all this was getting worse.

During the day my daughter is a happy, clever, wonderful kid. She rarely appears ill, although her nose constantly runs. I realised she was breathing through her mouth all day, but when she went to sleep she tried to breath through her nose- and that really didn’t work for her.

Over the next 6 months I took her to numerous GPs, but their response was usually the same. Her frequent waking was behavioral, use controlled crying, go back to sleep school and so on. I’m a single parent and I was left with the distinct impression on several occasions that I’d been written off as a single mum who wasn’t coping. By the time my daughter turned 2 I was seriously sleep deprived, and I was concerned that she was also becoming very overtired.

She had her first sleep over with my Mum, who was horrified by the noises she made during her sleep, and how difficult her breathing was. Back we went to the GP, this time with Mum along as a witness. This time we were given a referral to a peadiatrician. It took several months to get in to see the peadiatrician, however when we saw the pead he quickly identified that she had a problem. He’s tried a few things, and we are now waiting for an appointment to see an ENT as the paed is certain her adenoids will need to be removed.

She’s still waking fairly frequently overnight, but she’s improving, and I’m no longer being told to leave her to cry it out.
Since that appointment over a year ago now I’ve received your email newsletters, and I’ve also got you as a friend on facebook. The information you provide has been so helpful in affirming my commitment not to use any CIO methods with her. Plus I’ve never forgotten how you made me feel I could trust myself as her parent to know what is best for her.

She’s a wonderful kid, she’s happy, compassionate (for a toddler anyway), confident and clever.
So thank you so much for your support, and for providing so much information.

Best wishes,

Melanie M.

Sibling Empathy

Watching our 14mth old son as he tries to comfort our unwell 29mth old daughter with cuddles, kisses & stroking her back & hair reaffirms just how ‘right’ parenting by heart & instinct is…they have the most beautiful natures & relationship & whilst they have their ups & downs, the love & gentleness they show each other must surely be a reflection on this loving & gentle parenting ‘style’. Thanks Pinky :-)”

Liz Paganoni

Praise from a professional

Thank-you so much Pinky for a great informative seminar today, I loved every minute, and will continue to give and recommend your advice, and latest books, to the many new parents I offer support and education, on settling their new babies. Continue your great work,

Eileen McDonald Postnatal Support Unit, Frances Perry House

Home visit – perceived low weight gain

Last night I snuggled with my daughter and slept soundly for the first time since visiting the maternal and child health nurse. You have returned my peace of mind and confidence that my daughter is doing as well as I thought she was, as opposed to “suffering in silence”. Within the first 10 minutes of your visit you alleviated ALL of my concerns through explaining “normal” growth patterns and showing me the WHO chart. I can’t thank you enough for returning me to a place where I can simply enjoy my beautiful daughter and marvel at her developments without hearing the health nurse’s concerns echoing in my mind. It was crazy really that I even considered Zara would be “suffering in silence” when she’s always communicated her needs to me so clearly!

It was wonderful meeting you and I apologise if I was vague towards the end of your visit. I have found the last 5 days tiring as I’ve battled with what I felt was happening versus the health nurse’s views. It’s such a shame that there are so many draconian views out there towards our precious little ones. I am beyond pleased that people like you are around to help us mums with caring, logical and respectful knowledge to help us along the wonderful and tumultuous journey of parenthood. This experience has reinforced how important it is to not take other people’s views on board without question when they don’t sit right with me.

Thank you again!!

Sharon B. mother of a 7 month old

Feeling heard – and helped!

The last few weeks have seen me have more breakdowns than I had when suffering from PND, I felt stressed, trapped, lost, overtired, confused, anxious and almost resentful towards my number one son. I was getting very worried that with dealing with a newborn at night plus my son getting up at night that it would lead me straight back down the path to PND; something I am determined never to experience again. (That’s a different story) To me, there was no way out of what seemed to lay ahead. Finally someone has stopped, heard me and listened to me about my concerns.

Vicky M. mother of a 19 month old and a newborn