We met Tizzie Hall, the international baby whisperer, while she was in Singapore in September. Author of the bestselling “Save Our Sleep” book, Tizzie’s feeding and sleeping routines have helped hundreds of new mothers around the world.
We wanted to know more about the woman behind the books and the business. And its a successful business indeed. Her books have sold more than a million copies in 5 languages.
It all started in a small town in Ireland where she’s from. At the age of 9, she was babysitting children in her neighbourhood when the mothers discovered that she could tell the difference in their babies’ cries. She was even woken up from her sleep one night with a call from a desperate mummy who held the phone to her baby and asking Tizzie if that was her son’s “going to sleep cry”!
While she clearly had a gift with babies, her teenage self was passionate about becoming a vet and she moved from Ireland to Nottingham in the UK to pursue her degree. Until she realised that she would have to work on the animals’ teeth. This was a deal breaker and fortunately her university was able to move her to the psychology department.
It was during her university years that she realised that she could create a business from her talents as a babysitter and nanny. The babies she cared for always slept through the night when she put them to bed. While thinking of a catchy title for her babysitting brochure, she saw a newspaper article about the protests against the building of Heathrow’s terminal 5 by people living on the flight path. The headline had read “Save our Sleep”. And so a business empire was born.
Tizzie is mother to two young boys, Cillian (age 3) and Darragh (age 5) and she now lives in Australia with her family. Darraugh was her 13th pregnancy and Cillian her 16th. She has a heartbreaking yet inspiring story to share about complex pregnancies and fertility issues. She would love a big family with 10 children but that is not likely for her. She talks openly about her battle and advises us to take the cue from the mother’s language when dealing with our family, friends or colleagues who may have suffered a miscarriage, stillbirth or early infant death.
One of the common criticisms of Tizzie is that she wasn’t a mother at the time she wrote the books, but she had been through 5 pregnancies and her method had worked with all the babies she had cared for. The other common criticism is her lack of qualifications but she refuses to be drawn on the subject. She feels that mothers who need the help might feel labeled as being helped by advice from a vet or psychologist or psychiatrist. However, the people who work with her know this criticism is invalid and thats enough for them.
Read the next page to find out what kind of reviews the International baby whisperer received as well as what her book is about.
What about the reviews on Amazon that label her method as inhumane & cry-it-out (CIO)?
Tizzie puts it down to people not having read the book, being confused by the method and not following the routines to the letter. She says her method is not about putting a child in a cot and leaving baby to cry.
So what is her method about?
She says her method is about using the correct bedding, about having the correct feeding schedule and at looking at the reasons why babies are not sleeping. She’s not offended when people label her method negatively, she says there are enough people following all the advice and getting fantastic results that she’s too busy to focus on the detractors. She does find it annoying though as she knows that babies would sleep if they followed all her advice.
When asked if she used her own advice on her children, she responded:
“Thats a really odd question. Here’s an example right. I know somebody who wrote a book on how to do a rubiks cube. So I asked him: When you do a rubik’s cube, do you open the book and follow it? No of course I don’t. I know how to do a rubik’s cube because I wrote the book….Yes I used my routine with my own children and yes I followed all my bedding and other advice with my own children but I didn’t have to go, quick my baby’s eight weeks old let me look in the book…why would I run and get the book when I wrote the book?”
One final word from Tizzie to mums struggling with babies not sleeping or feeding well – look at the whole picture. Is your baby cold or hungry? Babies need to be warm to sleep (check your aircon settings) and needs sleep for energy to feed, baby needs to feed to have energy to grow. If baby cannot feed because baby doesn’t have enough energy, then baby will cry. So its a cycle that needs to be dealt with holistically with feeding and sleeping at the core.
Tizzie Hall’s book “Save our Sleep” is available in Singapore through Amazon and from Kinokuniya.
Visit Tizzie Hall’s website for more details.