We were at breaking point when we contacted Amanda! A combination of our daughter starting nursery because I was going back to work, catching the bugs and getting lots of teeth at once had culminated in our (then) 1 year old daughter not being able to sleep in her cot. She would only sleep lying on us. For months we were trying to get by on 2 hours of broken sleep a night, struggling to function and getting ill ourselves. Our baby wasn’t that happy either because she was exhausted all the time.
We were getting lots of ‘advice’ to leave her to cry which went against our beliefs, the thought alone broke our hearts!! When someone told us our marriage would end in divorce unless we left her to cry (yes really!!!!), we spoke to Amanda and we are so glad we did.
Amanda is such a friendly, approachable, understanding and caring woman. With her incredible support, in 2 weeks we had a baby who would happily go into her cot and go to sleep. WE DIDN’T LEAVE HER TO CRY ONCE!! After a good 12 hours sleep, our daughter eats better, naps better and is so much happier. In turn we are happier too.
Amanda, words aren’t enough. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts and then some!!
Sarah & Adrian Polak
I met Amanda when our daughter was just 5 days old. I was breastfeeding her without any particular difficulty but I just didn’t feel I knew what I was doing, I was following the flow…
When I asked our family GP if she knew someone you knew a thing or two about babies and breastfeeding she just smiled and answered “Amanda Marks!”.
Meeting Amanda was a game changer.
First and foremost she gave me the confidence that what I was doing was right.
Amanda is very knowledgeable and she patiently explained the essence of BF, the technicalities, the positions and the tricks to make things easier and more practical.
There are so many days, especially in the first trimester, that you feel like you are constantly feeding your baby, or you are not feeding her enough. And so many times you are not sure if she is getting enough milk. You even question the quality of your milk when you read some article that suggests all mums should lab test their milk. Well so many mums are not lucky enough to have Amanda’s support in those days.
Amanda was ALWAYS there and I thank her, because I breastfed my daughter over a year and it felt it was the most natural thing I have ever done in my life.
A mum’s testimonial.
To date eight minutes to sleep is our personal record. Before we met Amanda our then eight month old daughter, Katie had not slept more than six hours at a stretch whereas her average is now eleven hours. She is genuinely sleeping through from 7pm to 6am – no bluffing!
When we met Amanda I think it is fair to say parenthood was taking its toll. I was exhausted, barely able to function and think coherently. I kept hoping naively that by a natural process of evolution, Katie would start sleeping through the night.
Within three weeks of meeting Amanda everything changed, as we developed a proper routine and stopped feeding on demand.
I began breast feeding exclusively which meant no more bottles to sterilise every night. I stopped giving Katie processed food as Amanda’s recipe tips helped me realise it was just as easy and much more healthy to prepare fresh food. Some of the ingredients now provide the basis for our meals too.
I am not going to kid you that at the start it is easy. The sleep training took commitment, time and patience as Amanda’s method is proven, but not an overnight fix. You have to be consistent. Katie responded initially very quickly, then we had a hiccup, but after three weeks everything settled down and she has now been sleeping contentedly for six weeks using Amanda’s approach. We were supported by Amanda the whole time.
What we have discovered is what we put down as ‘teething’ was in fact the lack of three square meals at set times. In particular I found carbohydrate for supper, usually mash, a great sleep aid. I had not intended to keep breast feeding our now eleven month old, but with Amanda’s encouragement and simple principles I have found it very easy to continue and I am sure this is helping create a strong immune system.
Best of all is seeing the improvement in Katie as she benefits from a proper night’s sleep allowing her to develop normally and become a more rested, calmer child that gives us so much happiness.
Amanda is a very special person. No problem or question is deemed too silly or basic. She is kind, completely understands parenting and her specialisms in breast feeding, weaning and sleep management means her approach is completely holistic.
If you are struggling don’t suffer in silence – take action and contact her. Now that I am well rested I am really able to savour the joys of motherhood. Thank you Amanda!
A dad adds: “Best investment we’ve ever made – Amanda has restored our baby/life balance!”
Susan and Steven Samuels
I feel that the best way to show how much Amanda has helped with my second baby is to show the difference to my first.
With my first I went all out with Jars, he had the veg jars, fruit jars and when I wanted to give him something really nutritious, it was an oatmeal and applesauce jar! As he got older we occasionally added a cheese sandwich or some vegetables from the soup.
With my Second, from six months old Amanda kept on suggesting all kinds of foods for him to eat. At first I thought it would be harder to prepare for him than to use the jars but with Amanda’s encouragement my baby was eating most of the foods that I prepared for the rest of my family! NO extra preparation time for me, NO guilty feelings of giving him jarred food that I wouldn’t eat myself and the pleasure of watching him sit at the table with the family and devour a healthy and varied diet from a four course breakfast in the morning to a filling dinner at night!
With Amanda’s method, the sleep training goes hand-in- hand with baby Led weaning. When I saw how much food he was eating by day as well as a few good Breastfeeds, I was confident enough to teach him to sleep at night and not wake up to feed.
Amanda walked us through four stages of gradually giving him to understand that he can self soothe to sleep without being fed to sleep. We begin with picking him up when he cried and calming him down, a few days later we only calmed without holding and then gradually moved towards the door, showing him we were there for him but not helping him to fall asleep. With Amandas method, he quickly learnt to fall asleep himself and we did not have to go through any stages of him crying uncontrollably without being comforted.
Amazingly and contrary to what is usually believed, my baby learnt to fall asleep himself without my having to do drastic methods of leaving him to scream or leaving the house!
Amanda walked us through this in two weeks and continued to be available after to remind us of the sleep stages and reassure us that he was not hungry and was getting everything he needed.
As a mum who is luckily able to exclusively breastfeed on demand, I appreciated Amanda’s natural and easygoing approach. Without forcing a rigid schedule over the course of a few weeks my baby was encouraged to sleep and feed regularly and consistently. He now sleeps a minimum of 12 hours at night with two naps during the day and during his waking hours he is happy and well rested.
I highly recommend Amanda’s warm, caring and knowledgeable approach. With Amanda you are in the right hands as you know that your lifestyle and preferences will be recognised and she will work with you to ensure your baby is getting enough sleep, nutrition and comfort that he/she needs.
I also recommend Amanda for busy Mums because it is guaranteed that she will be following up with you and will be available for you at your convenience.
Roizy and Mechal Gantz
We came to Amanda after our son Lawrence was born and literally the day he was born, our 3 year old daughter Sophia stopped sleeping. She had always been a great sleeper. Minor blips with illness but slept through from 5 months old, we were blessed – or so we thought. We had prepared her well for the sibling arrival, she was excited. I believe initially it was a bit of jealousy, then hatred of sharing us although all along she was amazing with Lawrence. However the sleep went from bad to worse. Initially waking up at 5, then at 4, then 3 and so on without any chance of getting her back to sleep – so she came and slept with us. The we couldn’t get her to sleep – every excuse under the sun, I need a poo, a wee, too dark, too light etc. This progressed to one of us having to go to sleep at 7 pm with her in our bed to ensure she got sleep. Her daytime behaviour was impossible and we were literally at our wits end. Overnight she had also stopped her afternoon 2 hour nap – she was a child that needed her sleep and always loved it. We were desperate. No matter what we tried it made the situation 10x worse.
We came across Amanda through a friend. Our first consultation was a relief. Someone who understood reassured us she wasn’t mad and that it was simply separation anxiety. A lot had changed for Sophia in the previous few months, change of school, me being off so no childminder, then a change of teacher at the school and Lawrence was the last straw for her to cope with. Amanda listened and gave a brilliant 3rd party opinion, a support initially when with sleep deprivation we were both emotional wrecks! I loved the fact she looked at the whole day, the food – which made a massive impact upon us. We finally felt she had helped us to gain control, than our 3 year old controlling us! The routine was a relief and we stuck to it to the letter, everyone knew where we stood, including Sophia. The training did not come without challenges, to the extent we tried some novel techniques or I don’t think we could have stuck it out. But slowly, gradually, with time, she gave in. Ours certainly wasn’t the fastest recovery, but it was with peace and calmness – I couldn’t have any more tears from either of us. Her confidence started to grow, her sleep improved and her daytime behaviour subsequently changed.
After 6 weeks we had gone from hell to heaven. Sophia was excited with her rewards and the ‘sleep fairy’ was a very much respected person in our household. We have a strategy, we are in charge and finally we have a toddler who sleeps with occasional minor blips, but we are equipped to deal with the situation and can sort it quickly and with minimal stress compared to the nightmare it was before. We can’t thank Amanda enough for her kind, resilient, caring, compassionate, patience of a saint ways.
Now to sort out Lawrence…Amanda!!
Simon and Emma Warbrick Smith
Amanda is a kind, caring and truly hands-on sleep consultant. She helped transform my nights from having my three year old wake me at least twice to him sleeping through twelve hours a night again, as he had done up until the age of two. Her method doesn’t involve crying it out, rather nurturing, which I feel is much kinder and gets great results. She was there for me at all hours by text, phone and whatsapp literally talking me through the routine until it stuck so I never felt lost or alone. I would highly recommend her. She changed our lives.
The Great Family Makeover
The family: two tired parents, two grumpy preschoolers, one happy baby (the innocent catalyst).
The miracle worker: Amanda Marks, aka ‘The Sleep Lady’ – experienced, passionate, dedicated and tirelessly supportive.
Supper at 6/6:30, rushed bedtime, often 8pm before kids are asleep. Kids need parents to help them fall asleep.
Kids’ supper before 5, peaceful bedtime routine, kids asleep well before 7pm without fail. No parental input required after lights out.
Mum and baby sleeping on a single mattress in the corridor outside children’s rooms. Multiple night wakings for everyone, with
Mum happy in her own bed! Children sleep 12 hours and play sweetly in their rooms until 7am. Occasional night wakings:
Very fussy 4 year old, picked at meals, snacked constantly, complained frequently of being hungry and “my tummy hurts”. 3 year old starting to do the same.
3 large, healthy meals, no snacks, no whingeing! Treats enjoyed straight after
Older two children competing for parents’ attention, squabbling, tears and shouting. Everyone in the family volatile and low resilience.
“Special time” with each parent for each child every day. Children visibly grown in confidence in all aspects of life, showing greater independence and pride in their achievements. Peace and harmony… well, mostly!
Amanda’s methods are gentle but effective. There is no ‘controlled crying’, or ‘cry-it-out’ used. It’s not a quick fix, but a holistic approach to family life that works on the principle that a happy, secure, well rested child doesn’t need a lot of parental input to fall asleep or to go back to sleep if they wake in the night. Amanda is extremely knowledgeable, kind, supportive and passionate about gentle parenting – and it works! Thank you, Sleep Lady!
Zettie and Adam Taylor
It took me until my son was well over two years old to realise that it wasn’t normal that he didn’t sleep through the night! In fact he barely slept a few hours before the rigmarole of asking for ‘milky’ ‘cuddles’ or ‘I’m awake’ began. My husband and I were at our wits end, and with another baby on the way realised we needed help.
I turned to FB and was inundated with sleep consultant recommendations, however it was Amanda’s name that kept coming up.
Within hours, a fully booked Amanda was on the end of the phone listening to me sobbing and in return promised to find time in her busy schedule to fit us in, but more importantly promised she could help.
To say I left our initial Skype chat somewhat sceptical would be an understatement. Amanda listened to our schedule and our sons behaviour patterns and told us we would begin to solve the problem using techniques I immediately questioned. My little boy would never go down early, he certainly couldn’t give up his bottles overnight, let alone settle and sleep soundly. How wrong was I!
It took hard work, determination and time. Our efforts to sleep train our son had in the past included letting him cry it out and as a result we had an anxious little boy on our hands. However, as the nights and then weeks rolled on, using Amanda’s loving and gentle techniques we saw him change into a well rested and happier little boy who relished his new found independence and most surprisingly began to enjoy bedtime and the prospect of sleep! Oh and as for the early mornings, well Amanda helped us achieve the lie ins we so desperately needed too…We finally had that kid that slept 12hrs!
To this day, some 6 months on we listen to him sing himself happily to sleep. We can’t thank Amanda enough or recommend her more highly. I now question why it took so so long for us to realise things could and should be different. We now have a 9 week old, and in a few months time it will be Amanda we turn to for advice on how to get her through the night!
Katie and James Lester
We called upon Amanda to help with our 18 month old son who still wasn’t sleeping through the night.
Not only did she provide us with invaluable advice and techniques which made bedtimes and night times much easier for us, but she also helped his chronic constipation but suggesting dietary changes. Within weeks he was no longer on movicol- which he had been taking since about 8 months of age.
Amanda’s customer service and attention to detail is incredible. She cares so much about the children and families she works with and definitely went the extra mile with us.
Lauren and Robert Shadhi
Amanda worked miracles for our little baby boy, Arthur, not to mention for us! We started working with Amanda when he was 8 months old – he was struggling to sleep for more than 3-4 hour stretches, was using a dummy and was comfort eating at night. With Amanda’s help, we established very healthy solid food eating habits in the day and we gradually, gently removed his dummy and night feeds. After only 4-5 nights with Amanda’s guidance, he started sleeping 12 hour nights. This has transformed our lives. Amanda hand held us through the whole process. We really loved working with her.
It’s been four weeks since I met Amanda at the 999 clinic. At that time I was exhausted, emotional and desperate for help and guidance. My daughter at that time was 7 months. She was fairly content and happy, however I was feeding her every 2 hours day and night! I just did not know how to break the cycle. I was told when she starts solids she will feed less and sleep more, but a baby who is feeding so much is never going to hungry or sleep if she is getting comforted.
Amanda literally has been my Mary Poppins. We started by cutting out one afternoon feed before dinner and the 5 am feed so that she would eat breakfast. It worked! She started eating breakfast, a good lunch and a good dinner. As Radha was responding well we started working on sleep and cutting out more night time feeds. Amanda took me through the stages gently and with lots of reassurance and cuddles, my baby was sleeping 5 hours without waking up. We moved on to each stage of encouraging Radha to sleep and feel reassured at her own pace. Through consistency and being confident that this would work, there was a natural progression to each stage of stepping back and moving my baby on to feel reassured and be able to sleep through. During this time we moved her into her own room and with in 11 days of starting, Radha slept through the night for the first time. It wasn’t easy and my daughter responded quite quickly.
From starting with half a weetabix in the morning she’s now eating two! Or sometimes one and then half an avacado and some fruit. Now she’s been sleeping through the night for 9 days! Eating, sleeping, an even happier and contented baby!
I’m feeling like ME again and feel confident to be the best mum I can be for my baby girl. I have some ME time when she naps and is asleep early evening. My husband and I are managing to eat together and have conversations. We’re now looking forward to our first date night…. Hopefully soon. Oh, I can’t forget the NIGHT out with NCT girls that’s being planned.
Have faith in the gentle methods, be consistent and hang in there. If you put in the hard work, you’ll all be smiling at the end of it.
We just wanted to update you and let you know that Hugo has slept through 11 out of the past 14 nights until at least 5am sometimes even until 7am 🎉🎉🎉. We’ve just been carrying on with what we’d been doing. It’s so great and everyone’s allowed a night or two when they can’t sleep! All my fingers and toes are crossed that it continues 😊
Thank you for all your help.