Testimonials for Tracy Cassels, PhD

Tracy has been an invaluable part of our parenting team.  Her knowledge base runs deep and spans all aspects of child development, not just sleep.  I’ve found that in talking to her and understanding what is “normal” my perspective shifts so that what was once frustrating is now tolerance and even enjoyable.  It’s a gift to see my children as progressing through normal development and behavior patterns, instead of wondering “what’s wrong with them.”

Maggie B., USA

I honestly don’t know where I would be without Tracy. She has been the voice of reason I have come to depend on in this confusing world of parenting. I initially contacted Tracy when my daughter was almost one regarding sleep issues. Since then (two years on), Tracy has helped me with everything from schooling choices, separation anxiety, introduction of a sibling, fussy eating, behavioural issues (hitting) & potty training. I am so grateful to Tracy and I hope one day my children will want to thank her too for helping me to become the best parent possible for them. Tracy is a warm, bubbly and empathetic person. She has so much knowledge and wisdom to impart. You will always feel like you and your children are in the safest of hands. I implore you to seek her guidance if you need help in any area of parenting. I could not recommend her more highly. The only regret I have is that I didn’t discover her sooner, ie when I was pregnant!

Monica, Australia

Dr. Cassels’ no-nonsense, evidence-based approach to parenting is nothing short of a relief. She offers reasonable, practical tips that are easy for even the most exhausted parent (e.g., me) to put into place. It’s clear she really cares about the emotional health of both child and parent; she strikes a balance between validating the whole family’s needs while making sense of the complex, sometimes convoluted research.

Dr. Elizabeth Butler, USA
I first reached out to Tracy when my child was 20 months. It had been 20 months of poor sleep for him and near sleeplessness for me and I was desperate. Desperate doesn’t begin to describe all the ways my physical and mental health had suffered from such extreme, prolonged sleep deprivation. I had worked with other parenting coaches previously, but had to throw out most of their advice since it didn’t align with what I know about human need for attachment and basic respect. Reading Tracy’s website, I knew I’d come to the right place! I’ve had 5 phone calls with her over the past two years and all of the support and recommendations she’s given me have been perfect for our family. There was no quick fix for my child’s poor sleep (or my own), but Tracy helped me figure out how to survive in the meantime, all while ensuring that my child received responsiveness and compassion day and night.
When I talked with other parenting coaches (or friends) most of the advice was about how to “fix” my baby, to make him into a better sleeper. Not only did this sit poorly with me because the advice was usually about depriving my child of connection or support, but it also made me feel ashamed because of the implication that I’d done something wrong which I now needed to fix.  Tracy’s suggestions were about how to accommodate my baby’s needs and also be creative about getting my own sleep needs met. She reassured me that there was nothing wrong with him, and also validated – that compared to the average baby – I really did have an exceptionally challenging baby, in terms of sleep. I felt empowered rather than ashamed.
Gently, with thought for the needs of our entire family – not just parents and not just kids – we’ve made changes (tried different sleep locations, different routines, night weaned and then completely weaned) and I’m really proud to look back and see what our family accomplished!  We now have a 3.5-year-old and two parents who really do get enough sleep, and we stayed true to our parenting values the whole time.  Tracy’s help has been invaluable. We have a new baby on the way soon and, unless he’s one of those magical easy sleepers I’ve heard exist, I’m sure I’ll be reaching out to Tracy again.
Toni D, USA
Our 1 year old son was waking and crying 20 – 30 times a night every night since he was six months old. The pediatrician said: “Oh, just tap him on the back, he’ll be all right”. Our friends were giving us advice on leaving him to cry, swapping to formula, separating him because he could smell the milk, sending us books of baby whisperers and ‘experts’, and my husband, being sleep trained himself, was pushing for sleep training as well.
We found Tracy and… Oh, what a breath of fresh air! She saved us from Hell.
Everything she said made perfect sense and it worked. It appeared our son had food intolerance and he was in pain and discomfort struggling all night. So with carefully managing his diet and trying to look after ourselves better things massively improved for us. Within a couple of weeks he was waking twice a night and we all started having so much more sleep!  Dealing with food intolerance on top of everything else that disturbs toddlers sleep is not easy and we still have ups and downs, including some really difficult nights, but in our heart of hearts we know we are doing the right thing.
Just thinking how damaging it would have been for him if we would have listened to the whisperers and left him to cry alone makes me shiver!
And to all these experts, pediatricians and well-meaning friends I say: “Go f**k yourselves!”
Thank you Tracy for being a star!
Ellie (Bulgaria) & Matt (UK)

I feel a deep debt of gratitude to Tracy for helping my family navigate a challenging time of life and for transforming me as a parent. We came to her looking for evidence-based, compassionate sleep help that valued every member of our family. We found that and so much more. I cannot thank her enough.

Alison, USA

Working with Tracy gave me something I couldn’t find anywhere else. From our first phone call she was very thorough, very educated, and tactical when outlining how she was going to approach planning to get better sleep  for my babies (as well as my husband and I). She also approached me with incredible warmth and experience of her own that made  me feel like I was  talking with a wise friend. I was the most surprised that this wasn’t a typical sleep coaching plan, but an evolutionary  holistic approach to everyone in the family—addressing needs I had, needs of my husband, and needs of our children. Simply put, working with Tracy was fascinating, eye opening, and helped our family regain sleep and lifestyle with a peaceful, (scientifically backed 🙂  plan. Thank you so much Tracy!

Hannah, USA

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 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