The day after Carmel visited us I felt like standing outside every maternity hospital and handing out her business card to every new parent walking out with their baby and tell them to not hesitate to call Carmel the minute they had any sleep issues with their baby. That’s how impressed I was by the difference she made for us and our son Aiden. Calling Carmel was the best thing we have done for Aiden and for ourselves and I would have loved to have done it sooner.
Being a first time parent is bloody hard, and it’s ok to admit that. To add fuel to the baptism of fire you go through, the advice you are given by different people is conflicting and can make your confidence plummet like an emu flying off a cliff. You think to yourself how come other babies can sleep through the night and not cry constantly. I must be a really crap parent. You’re not, you just need someone with the expertise and genuine passion to make a difference – that’s Carmel.
Aiden suffered from colic and silent reflux for the first 3 months and needless to say this was difficult to deal with. But after that he seemed to get past it all and was crying less and had a sleep routine that included a number of short day naps, which required him to be rocked to sleep, and night sleeping of a 5-hour/3-hour block. One night-feed was manageable although my back was hurting from the rocking to sleep during the day. Then the nightmare fortnight happened at about 4-5 months. Aiden woke 3 times a night for 2 weeks in a row and then woke 4 times in the night and I had to tell my husband, Lorre, to stay home from work to look after both of us as I wasn’t in a fit state to look after Aiden safely. I was exhausted and could barely keep my eyes open. That’s when we said we can’t do this anymore and rang Carmel, who was referred to us by a mum in our mother’s group.
Carmel visited our house for 5-6 hours and by the time she left Aiden was able to fall asleep by himself. It was like magic and all it took was a few adjustments to how we put him to sleep. Of course Carmel knew exactly what Aiden needed. She also knew exactly what we needed. Carmel is an expert parent counsellor and distracter! She is also a very lovely person who is a natural and couldn’t be in a more suitable role.
It took 2-3 weeks to perfect, but Aiden now sleeps 11 hours through the night and has regular, longer day sleeps. He is a much happier baby who feeds better and cries much less. And for anyone worried about transitioning their baby to a new, independent way of sleeping, all I can say is Carmel makes it as easy as possible and you will realise in hindsight that your baby was worse off before having broken sleep and being reliant on you to fall asleep. And Carmel’s telephone support is fantastic and really helpful when you go solo.
Although I didn’t distribute her business cards at maternity hospitals, I raved and raved about what Carmel helped us achieve to everyone I knew who had a young baby. A couple of other babies in our mother’s group have since enjoyed the benefit of Carmel visiting and we laugh at our amazement at what Carmel does and say that we should get T-shirts for our babies that say “I’ve been Calm-elised”.