Who is the Baby Whisperer?
Tizzie Hall - the Baby Whisperer
From early childhood, all I ever wanted was a baby of my own so I could practice being a mummy. I was seven when my baby brother, Richard, was born. I was elated at his arrival but, after just nine weeks, Richard died suddenly of cot death (SIDS).
From this point I became the big sister to every baby I could find. When parents came to school to pick up their children, I would dash to those with a baby and ask if I could have a cuddle. On Sundays I was not beside my family in their church pew, but rather sitting in one with a baby I could hold. I believe that these parents allowed me to interact with their babies because they realised how deeply the loss of Richard had impacted upon me.
I was nine when it struck me that I could help parents understand the message in their baby's cry. I would regularly take baby Peter, the child of a family friend, out for a walk by myself, but one day his mummy decided she would accompany us. After strolling for about five minutes, Peter started to cry and his mother immediately stooped to pick him up. When I said "Don't pick him up, that's his going-to-sleep cry", she looked at me strangely. I explained that he always cried at this point during our walk but I never disturbed him because my mother had instructed me not to pick a baby up until I was on the green (a soft grassy field where we played as children). By the time I reached the green each day, Peter would be fast asleep. That day his mother agreed to leave him until we'd reached the green, possibly to prove me wrong. However, as predicted, baby Peter had fallen asleep.
It wasn't long before all the mothers in our neighbourhood called me when they couldn't calm or comfort their crying babies. Very quickly I learned to read their babies' body language and cries, and soon became known as the local baby whisperer. Over the years I've been given all sorts of names, including the baby coach, baby interpreter, miracle worker and even the baby witch! Despite this last tag, I insist there is no magic wand or witchery involved.
After finishing school in Ireland, I moved to England to continue studying. My reputation as a baby whisperer spread, and it wasn't long before I was again receiving calls at all hours of the day and night from desperate parents seeking help with their babies. Always, and often within hours, I resolved problems such as babies not sleeping through the night, not taking their bottles, or refusing to give up their dummies. In 2002 I moved to Australia and soon discovered that the need for help was equally as great on this side of the globe. In Australia I got some new names like Melbourne's super nanny and The Australian baby whisperer.
Over the years I've had hundreds of parents repeatedly telling me the same two things: "You should write a book" and "You should clone yourself so more parents can get help." So, I wrote the Save Our Sleep® book and figured the Save Our Sleep® website was the closest thing to cloning myself!
The main purpose of Save Our Sleep® book and website is to assist parents to understand and avoid sleep and behavioural problems in young babies, toddlers and children. Some parents only discover Save Our Sleep® when they're already experiencing sleepless nights, but don't worry; it's never too late for help.
My advice is not medical or scientific, but a collection of tried and tested solutions and tips based on many years of experience with babies and young children. You should extract the advice that best fits in with your lifestyle and beliefs.
I am hoping Save Our Sleep® will give parents the confidence to raise happy and contented babies and children.
I would like to say a big thank you to all the families who have shared their babies with me and Gerard Norsa who edited my work when I first started writing. Save Our Sleep® would not have been possible with out you all. For those parents who are new to Save Our Sleep®, welcome and I hope that we can help you get even more joy and happiness from your new baby.