Testimonials for Tracy Cassels, PhD

Tracy was a lifesaver when I absolutely needed one. I was a first-time mom who’d just returned to work while my exclusively breastfed 3-month-old Baby stayed home with Papa. She hated bottles, missed me dearly, and just wasn’t sleeping well without me so I’d get home to a crying, screaming, fussing, overtired, exhausted, beautiful child. It was such a difficult time.

I searched the web for weeks looking for help, guidance, anything to help us through this. Sadly, finding someone who I felt I could trust – someone who I felt would really listen and hear me and not just force their pre-packaged, one-size-fits-all baby sleep formula down my throat – seemed impossible. But the situation wouldn’t resolve itself and my baby’s sleep continued deteriorating so I kept searching…and searching…and searching.

Finding Tracy was a blessing, a miracle, and an answer to all my prayers, my meditations, and my heart-wrenching pleas as I sobbed new mom tears trying to figure out life and sleep and conscious, respectful parenting. My phone call with her was beyond illuminating. I felt buoyed by her knowledge. Her kindness and understanding were a balm for my sleep-deprived soul. The work she does, the insight she offers, is beyond invaluable. She was a friend when I needed one. She lifted me up and empowered me and helped me put our once-fracturing little family back together.

And she really, really cares.

Her website continues to be my go-to for parenting advice and information, and hers is the first website I recommend to every new mom I meet. If you were lucky enough to find her website, give yourself the gift of subscribing to her newsletter, liking her Facebook page, and consulting with her when you need a little guidance. We all need a tribe. She is a cherished member of mine.

~ Reese, USA

I can’t recommend Tracy enough. I came across the Evolutionary Parenting site on Facebook and contacted Tracy for some help with our 11 month old son. Prior to dealing with Tracy we had dealt with a sleep consultant who came to our house, didn’t ask to meet our son or request details of his sleeping pattern or personality, and safe to say her advice didn’t work and we were left very upset that we even considered attempting to follow her advice of using the controlled crying method. It seemed to be a one fit size fit all approach whereas in comparison Tracy was a breath of fresh air. She encouraged a gentle approach which was very much focused on what worked best for our entire family. Prior to our call she asked for detailed information on our son going all the way back to his birth re his sleeping habits and environment, his daily routine, even his diet.  During the call (which was easy to do via Google Hangout) it was obvious that Tracy had spent time preparing in advance using the information we had sent through. She tailored the call specifically to the problems we were having and basically tore up the rule book and gave us the confidence to do things in line with what our instincts were telling us rather than what society was pressuring us to do.

Tracy made it clear there wouldn’t necessarily be a quick fix but gradually over time we have seen our son go from waking up more than 5 times in the night (and often being awake for up to 2 hours at a time) and waking up crying and unhappy to him sleeping for much longer periods and sometimes even right the way through until 5am! Most importantly he now wakes up rested and happy and the bedtime routine is calm and no longer a battle. The bond we have with our son is stronger than ever as we’re listening to what he is telling us and better able to interpret his behaviour.

What impressed me most was that Tracy was able to foresee things we hadn’t even thought about based on the behaviours our son was displaying which meant we were able to plan ahead to my transition back to work and take immediate action when we saw that nursery wasn’t a good fit for our son. I’m not sure I would have had confidence to stand up and change the plan had Tracy not prepared me. It’s so easy to be swept along with ‘oh it’s fine, he’ll settle eventually, all babies go through this….’. But Tracy taught me the importance of listening to your maternal instincts which can be hard to do for a new mum lacking in confidence that she’s doing everything right when there is so much conflicting information all too readily available.

The follow up with Tracy via email has been wonderful. The immediate write-up is very detailed and then there is ongoing correspondence for two weeks which means you can go back with questions and tweak the approach as required.  I seriously can’t recommend Tracy enough. She was exactly what we needed at a very difficult time for our family after months of sleep deprivation and an over tired little boy!!

~ L.F., UK

When I first contacted EP I was so frustrated and sad. Something was bothering my sweet little girl (who had just turned four) and we couldn’t figure out what to do about it. Everyone around us was telling us that her separation anxiety was not normal – that four-year-olds should easily adjust to new care providers and that pre-school should not be the traumatizing ordeal it was for her. Although we were used to blazing our own parenting path these voices were loud and we were beginning to listen – what was *wrong* with out daughter that she could not (or would not) adjust to the outside, part time care I so desperately wanted for her?

Speaking to Tracy was like coming home within myself. Tracy reminded me of all the things I *knew* about children and about *my child* especially. My daughter needed communication, she needed predictability, she needed us to be open and honest with her, she needed to be a part of the decision making. Ultimately she still needed to be close to me – and that’s perfectly normal for a four-year-old!

Tracy gave me a number of tools and ideas to help my daughter but also to help me and my husband in coping with this trying phase. Within the first week of implementing many of them my happy, outgoing, sociable daughter was back! Now, just a few months later, we’ve finished our first week of Forest School where my daughter very happily and very independently marched off to camp for 3.5 hours each afternoon and had an absolute blast!

Many, many thanks!

~ Meghan, Canada
Tracy took the the time the look at my family’s unique situation when it came to our sleep challenges with our daughter.  She helped me focus on the big picture and understand what is normal sleep for babies and toddlers.  She offered a range of helpful tips to help us get our daughter sleeping better. And best of all she help me to feel not so alone in my parenting journey.  Tracy reassured me that following my gut and parenting at night by helping my daughter sleep by cosleeping and nursing would not in fact create a child that cannot sleep on her own (as plenty of my relative keep earning me) but rather I will be helping my daughters brain lay the path that night time is a safe and secure leading her to enjoy going to sleep and staying asleep.

~ Camilla, USA

I contacted Tracy to get help with my 5 month old girl’s sleep. As a first time mum I’ve had a lot of anxiety and confusion over what’s normal and appropriate for sleep patterns in babies. There’s so much conflicting – and false – information on the web that I felt like I was failing my daughter every day because I couldn’t get her to nap well, and it was causing a lot of frustration and stress for me. I wish I had contacted Tracy sooner because her help was awesome. She gathered as much information as possible about me, my baby and baby’s birth and put together a really detailed report that included information about infant sleep and suggestions for improving our situation. Her kind, gentle and science-based approach was exactly what I was looking for. She helped me reshape my expectations around infant sleep and I’ve been so relaxed about it since! On top of that she helped me see that my little girl isn’t as difficult as I thought she was, but that she has particular needs, and I feel more confident in meeting those needs now. As a family we’re much happier and I’m enjoying motherhood more now too.

~ Chelsea, New Zealand

I contacted Tracy when I was very anxious about returning to work and wasn’t sure how to help my child transition to his new caregivers. Tracy was professional and knowledgeable, but talked to me in a very friendly and personal manner. I felt like she acknowledged and understood my emotions, when most people were dismissing them. She worked hard to learn as much as she could about my baby, and offered me tailored suggestions that took into account our individual circumstances, needs and personalities. Her approach was responsive to my baby’s needs and I felt like his wellbeing was put first and foremost when she offered her suggestions.

In addition to the comprehensive chat, Tracy provided me with a written report that outlined her main points. This was great to refer back to later and helpful when talking to my son’s new caregivers. Tracy provided outstanding follow-up support and genuinely cared about our situation. Talking over the phone was very convenient; it didn’t feel like I was on the other side of the world! We wouldn’t have managed this challenging time without Tracy’s support and assistance, and I still refer to Evolutionary Parenting whenever I need some guidance.

Thanks again Tracy, for everything you did for us, and everything you continue to do by providing the wealth of information on your site.

~ Melissa, Australia

The journey through the first year of sleep with an infant is tough to navigate, especially with all of the misinformation out there and most people pushing “cry it out” sleep training as the only solution. We knew pretty quickly that wasn’t the route we were going to follow but still needed guidance on gentle methods to help improve sleep. We found Tracy through the Evolutionary Parenting website, which has also become a great resource for us as we figure out our baby’s sleep. Tracy was super sweet and helpful.  And she really knows her stuff! We talked to her on the phone about what we were currently doing to get our little girl to sleep and the areas we were seeking improvement in. She helped us fine-tune our routine with very clear and easy to follow individualized instructions and gave extremely thorough explanations of infant sleep. She also went above and beyond in answering our follow-up questions via email. She even checked in on us to see how things were going.  Her passion for this work really shines through. So grateful for her help!

~ Marisa and Noah, United States

I had a sleep consultation with Tracy in the fall of 2015. My son was about 2.5 years old at the time and was in a really bad cycle of sleep deprivation. He was a poor sleeper from birth and it was getting progressively worse. Tracy gave me lots of great advice and practical changes that were really simple to implement. Literally the first night we started the changes our son laid down on the couch and went to sleep after reading a book. He never did that in his entire life up to that point. It was a complete shock and made us into instant believers. His sleep didn’t change instantly like that but steadily got better and better. He went from about 9 hours total sleep in a 24 hour period with 3-­4 wake ups overnight to 11-­12.5 hours of sleep with usually only 1 wake up. He’s a completely different boy. No more crazy hyper kiddo! He’s eating and he’s sleeping and we’re so happy. I recommend Tracy.

~ Mindy, Canada

Tracy saved our lives! We were committed to not using any cry it out methods and my husband and I were severely sleep deprived after 10 months of no sleep. When we contacted Tracy, our daughter was waking up about every 30 minutes. Now, 2 months later, her sleep (and ours) has greatly improved! What a change! She has never slept this well (especially this consistently) in her life. Other sleep trainers and coaches have a one-size-fits-all method to force a baby to sleep on our terms, even the “gentle” sleep coaches. Instead, Tracy teaches us how to work with a baby’s natural rhythm to help her sleep better. Tracy also taught us how to identify our baby’s specific needs, which has also helped her to sleep better. Tracy utilizes the science of infant sleep, which is why her methods are so successful. I was very surprised by the transformation, especially by how quickly her sleep improved. I only wish I had found Tracy sooner!

~ Amy, USA