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Happy Baby!

I went to Diane for some help with my 8 months old and 3 year old. The 8 month old was breast feeding 2/3 times a night but waking about 5 times expecting me to settle him. The 3 year old kept coming into our bed and waking up the baby and us a few times as well. So in total I was getting no sleep… I was exhausted all the time!
I spoke to Diane and we chatted through the issues and how best to deal. We agreed a structure to try to follow. 1 week later I now have two children that sleep through! Go to sleep at 6.30/7pm until 6.30/7am. I’m ecstatically happy! And have had the most sleep this week than I have in 3 years! Most importantly the baby and toddler are happy too because they are getting better quality sleep. X thank you Diane!

I wish I had contacted Diane sooner

I contacted Diane when our 15 month old daughter was still getting up in the night for 3 bottle feeds and then waking at 5am for the day. I also couldn’t get her to nap in the day without taking her for a walk or a drive. This is my second child and I had similar problems with the first and I just couldn’t put up with it any more. I needed to sleep!
Diane came to our house and we talked through our daughters routine and agreed on some changes and a tactic to use during the night. By day 4 she was napping in the day straight into her cot and having no milk in the night. She barely cried and soothed herself back to sleep when she did wake.
It took less than a week for her to sleep through and she stays asleep until at least 6:30. Today I had to wake her up at 7:30!
I’m so happy with the result and only wish I had contacted Diane sooner!

Good nights sleep

I contacted Diane for help with my 8 month old … he had developed a severe sleep association with being breastfed to sleep, which had resulted in him waking every hour like clockwork all night every night and led to me having to co-sleep with him at night and for all his naps. He was permanently overtired from all the broken sleep. I was so miserable about being bedbound for so many hours every day, it was affecting my relationship with my partner and I had so little time to go anywhere or do any housework.
Diane stayed overnight and gave me the support I needed to break that feeding to sleep association.
That first night, and every night since, my baby has slept through whole night in his own room! A week later and he is SO much happier now that he is getting such a good restful sleep every night. And so am I! Thank you for your help Diane 🙂 x

Help your child adjust to the clock change

SPRING IS COMING

In two weeks the clocks go forward by an hour, if your child is an early waker, then losing an hour of the night may be a good thing for you as 5am suddenly becomes 6am this may be just temporary, as within a few days, most babies adapt to the new time.

If you are happy with your child’s current sleep routine and want to keep things as they are, here are some tips:

* A week before the time change, start to put your child to bed 10 minutes earlier than usual, increasing by 10 minutes every night until Saturday night when you put them to bed at 6pm. So they are ready for the change.

* You will need to adjust nap times too, 10mins per day. So your routine stays on track.

* Now is the time to put up some black out blinds, if you haven’t already. Each night before bath time go up stairs and close the curtains. So upstairs is quiet & sleepy zone.

* You may find your child wakes a little earlier, because you are putting them to bed earlier. Don’t worry this will balance out when the clocks go forward. If they are happy in their cot/bed in the mornings leave them be & try to increase this by 10mins each morning. Obliviously if they are upset get them up.

This can be a tricky time, if you need help please call me

Sanity Saver

Diane has been my sanity-saviour! After 2 years of many nightly wakings, long & difficult bedtimes and most of all sharing our bed with our son nearly every night…we now have a happy 2 year old who sleeps through in his own bed AND he even naps during the day!! Diane gave me the advice and help I needed, was very understanding and didn’t make me feel I was doing something wrong…she just told me how I could do it differently! She made me feel at ease on how to ‘tackle’ the situation and after 2 weeks of sleepless nights we have now made it and seen the end result!! It’s amazing!! Thank you so much Diane!! To all mummies out there struggling…don’t hesitate…just pick up the phone and give her a call, she’s brilliant! X
Mrs Tiley  Jan 2016

Does my baby have Reflux!?

If you feel your baby may have Reflux, speak to your health visitor or Doctor straight away. Sadly many parents feel they aren’t being listened to, here are a few tips.

keep a diary for a few days, take videos of your baby’s episodes.. and present them as visual evidence. Make them listen!!

Ask a friend to come to the appointment with you, someone who is sleep deprived. You may be exhausted & emotionally charged, this won’t help get your point across.

Do not feel embarrassed, keep going back time after time. Don’t be fobbed off!

If you still have no enjoy, and finances will allow go private to a specialist.

Support is essential, visit forums and chat to mums online. Have a look at www.livingwithreflux.org

Finally trust your instincts

Family Portrait Photographer in Northampton

In my line of work I meet lots of lovely people that work with children. Andy Nickerson is a family portrait photographer in Northampton and he’s given me some advice to share on choosing a family portrait photographer…

family portrait 1

How to choose a family portrait photographer?

Choosing someone to shoot your children’s portraits sounds straightforward enough, but it’s an investment and a shared family experience so its worth your time and research. Here’s a quick guide to help you find the right family photographer for your needs.

Specialism

Does your chosen photographer have the credentials? This may sound pretty obvious, but take a moment to look at their training, experience and specialism. Most photographers favour a specific interest eg, school photography, family portraiture, commercial or weddings, although some may cover many other so it’s worth looking at their portfolio to check out which genre they really shine at, not just jack of all trades.

Timing

Children are amazing through all their ages and stages, but timing is an important consideration. For instance, if your 7 year old has lost several teeth you might want to wait a couple of months for photos when they feel less self conscious and goofy! Equally, if your baby is not yet smiling, it’s worth waiting till they smile around 6 weeks old as this is a smile you’re going to fall in love with. If they’re ill on the day of the shoot, postponing is likely to be the better option to get the best out of them at a later date.

Safety

Is your family photographer someone you feel is trustworthy? Are they qualified or hold lots of experience? When choosing a family photographer, ask questions about safety. Eg, there are particular industry considerations for posing newborn babies that should be observed. You could also ask about safety in the studio if you have an energetic 2 year old as there will be lots of heavy equipment around. During the shoot, don’t be afraid to ask questions and ensure that the photographer puts your children’s safety as priority.

Style and Quality

Are you thinking classically posed shots, or are you looking for informality to capture the purity and natural expression of childhood? There’s no right or wrong and it really is down to personal taste, but do think ahead and consider fashion. The photographs are an investment you’ll want to last the test of time so it’s important to consider quality too, especially if you opt for bespoke artwork. After all, if you could capture the same quality and expertise at home you wouldn’t be seeking professional photography, so make your session count.

Three quick questions to ask yourself when short-listing your family photographer based on style and quality include:

  • Does their portfolio show children looking comfortable capturing a variety of expressions and aspects of their real character?
  • Will the image stand the test of time or is it a current fad?
  • Has it been professionally edited/retouched? ie, has flaky skin been retouched or any temporary marks and scratches been removed?

Location

Practically, are you within travelling distance of your favourite family photographer or would it be best for you to commission a home service? Studio photography is a specialism in it’s own right, while location photography means you have the photographer come to you, space allowing. There are pros and cons t to both, and again it’s down to preference.

Cost

Great portrait photography is an art form and suffice to say prices will often vary to reflect both the experience and talent of the professional photographer. Often if something seems priced as too good to be true, then it probably is. Be sure to ask your photographer about any hidden costs and expect clarity. Any business worth their salt will offer honesty and transparency. The web is full of stories where this isn’t the case so research pays off rather than meeting hard sell head on.

Reviews

The web is a great place to do your homework. Netmums is a great website to find honest customer reviews to make an informed choice as are the photographer’s business Facebook pages. Friends and family are perhaps even better sources for honest reviews.

Purchasing

The trend of receiving digital images remains popular, but a disk of images unprinted and unappreciated is often not the best option. Most photographers sell professionally presented bespoke artwork, helping to ensure your beautiful images get seen everyday, ensuring commissioning a photographer is worth your while.

Family-portrait

These pointers should help you make a good investment. Perhaps most important is to enjoy your shoot, as every time you view your images you can treasure the lasting memory of a memorable family outing together.

One mums experience

Slowly, I backed out of the room and closed the door as gently as I could. I didn’t realise I’d been holding my breath until I’d crept half way down the stairs on tip toes and once I was back in the lounge I let it out, thankful that he was still asleep then just as I collapsed into an exhausted heap on the sofa, I heard the all too familiar sound of crying that made my heart drop and tears of frustration and tiredness fill my eyes and threaten to fall… he was awake again.

You see, my 7.5 month old son didn’t sleep… ever.

Night after night, I’d sit on the sofa with him on my chest falling asleep. I’d think, ‘yes okay this is it, he’s going…’ but ten minutes later he’d start tossing and turning. This carried on for hours until my husband and I brought him upstairs into our bed where he would sleep for a few hours and then wake up again.

With a 2 year old to also look after, life was becoming incredibly hard. I spent all day holding/tending to him and then he’d sleep for ten minutes or an easily disturbed hour and it HAD TO BE IN MY ARMS! I was down, easily upset and fed up.

I craved to have an evening where I could just sit down and have a moment to myself. I wanted to just read or watch a film with my husband and just have my hands free to do whatever I wanted and the more I needed that, the more desperate I became until, faced with another dreadful night of no sleep and a restless baby, my husband Wesley came home to find me crying in despair.

We knew I needed to get help. Not the kind of help a shrink or therapist could offer but someone to train my son. I needed someone to help me bring back my life and create some balance.

Introducing Diane. Her colleague recommended I contact her and I did… a long garbled outpouring of desperation in an email and she understood fitting me in as soon as possible. I was so relieved. The next few nights whilst we waited were some of the hardest and one night standing in the kitchen so tired I could barely see in front of me with an awake baby in my arms, my husband told me ‘help is on the way’. I knew it was, but I couldn’t see beyond that night… I couldn’t imagine my life being any different than it was now. My son didn’t sleep. Surely I was mad to think that someone was going to come in and change the way my son had been for 7.5 months of his life. It was just wishful thinking, wasn’t it?

But I was completely wrong.

Lovely Diane came to stay with us for 36hours… a breath of bubbly fresh air and my children loved her. She asked me questions, listened and then we went to work implementing the plan she constructed for Alexander. She knew and understood his needs and the fact that he was a tough cookie to crack. My son’s stubbornness didn’t faze her at all and she was right there, every step of the way guiding me.

The first night he was put to sleep in his cot and he slept!! A miracle!! He woke up once and that feeling of solid sleep was bliss. I felt energized and renewed. My husband commented how happy I seemed. That day, he actually went down for his naps and I sat at lunchtime with nothing to do for the first time in months. That night he slept in his cot again and I was shocked that this was the same boy who only days before had been so restless and unsettled.

Diane had changed my life overnight.

I went from an over tired, weepy, fed up mother in despair to one who had time to do all my household chores, play with my two year old and enjoy every second of my son. Both of my children now go to bed at 7pm thanks to Diane and I have my evenings back. I can watch a film with my husband and read a book, write and just RELAX AND BREATHE!

To any mums out there who right now feel how I felt, who are sitting up in the early hours of the morning with a baby who won’t sleep and every part of your body aches with tiredness and desperation, contact Diane.

I would recommend you to have her come into your home and for just one night, let her change your life and help you to start being YOU again. You deserve it. I’m writing this in bed, my husband is next to me reading and it’s 8.30pm. My house is silent and my two children (thanks to Diane) are in bed fast asleep. My marriage is thriving and I’m at such a happy point in my life again after months of hardship.

I just wish everyone struggling could read this and understand that you’re not alone. Help is on it’s way… if you want it.

Thank you Diane!

“Our 18 months old girl kept waking up a few times at night for a feed. It also took us at least an hour to put her to sleep. Diane recommended just a phone consultation. Our daughter sleeps through the night now and her bed plus nap times aren’t struggle any more! Thank you Diane!”
Magdalena Dry, July 2015