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Secrets of the Baby Whisperer - Tracy Hogg

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Genre: Health / Family / Lifestyle / Author: Tracy Hogg, Melinda Blau / Edition: Reprint / Mass Market Paperback / 352 Pages / Book is published 2005-07-26 by Ballantine Books

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      11.11.2011 19:05
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      worth reading but not the best parenting book

      The baby Whisperer, by author Tracey Hogg is a parenting book which gives advice and suggestions about how to communicate with your baby and implement routines, from Newborn up to the early toddler years.


      ~ Why I purchased the book ~

      I gave birth to my daughter just 12 weeks ago. Being a first time mother, looking after a newborn came as a bit of a shock to say the least! After a difficult labour, I realised I was now literally left 'holding the baby!' Unfortunately my baby was and still is a bit colicky, which meant that she spent much of her time crying. Much as being a mother is a wonderful feeling, looking after a demanding, constantly crying baby is difficult at the best of times, and in desperation I searched online for a decent baby book that could help guide me to implement routines and to understand my baby's behaviour.

      After randomly searching Amazon for various choices of books, I decided to purchase two different books to start with to see if any could help me. One of these happened to be Tracey Hogg's the baby Whisperer.


      ~ A summary of the book ~

      Tracey Hogg's ethos is that you need to show respect to your baby. She suggests talking to and with your baby and telling them what you are going to do before you do it. Some people may find this a little odd, but I think it is a good idea as it promotes language skills and although your baby may not fully understand you, talking to them prepares them for what will happen next. For instance, telling your baby gently that you will be taking off their clothes and nappy engages them and makes this less of a shock for them!

      There are a selection of chapters, which enlighten the reader on a variety of issues:

      Chapter 1 ~ focuses on the first few days at home with your baby, what to expect and what to be aware of

      Chapter 2 ~ Discusses Tracey Hogg's suggested EASY routine, and the importance of structure in a baby's life

      Chapter 3 ~ Explains how to respect and understand your baby's feelings and language

      Chapter 4 ~ Examines feeding issues relating to breast and bottle

      Chapter 5 ~ Explores the baby's day - including changing nappies, dressing. playing, bath time and massage.

      Chapter 6 ~ Sleep Patterns and practices

      Chapter 7 ~ The importance of parents looking after themselves

      Chapter 8 ~ Special circumstances such as surrogacy, adoption and lengthy hospital stays.

      Chapter 9 ~ Changing bad parental habbits into better ones


      ~Key issues and points in the book ~

      Rather than repeat the entire book by going through each chapter, I think it would be more useful to emphasise the key points to the book which seperate it from other baby parenting books on the market.

      1.
      The first thing which is unique to Tracey Hogg's book, is the focus on her E.A.S.Y routine. This is a routine which she suggests all parents try to use with their baby, and it stands for E ~ Eat, A~ Activity, S~ Sleep, and Y - You time.

      In a nutshell therefore, over a period of approximately 3 hours, Tracey suggests that you should feed your baby, then have some activity time with them (which could also include things like bathing, dressing, nappy changing, outings, as well as playing), get them to go to sleep, and whilst they are asleep - have some you time.

      2.
      There is a chapter dedicated to understanding what type of baby you have. There are five types of baby -

      a) Angel Baby. This is basically a perfect baby who rarely cries, sleeps easily and without prompting, plays by themself and is no trouble at all!! If only...

      b) Textbook baby. Not as content as Angel baby, but still a relatively easy and predictable baby who reaches all his milestones on target

      c) Touchy Baby. This baby cries a lot and is a nervous and sensitive type who needs lots of comforting.

      d) Spirited baby. This baby is quite demanding and needs a lot of attention.

      e) Grumpy baby. A baby who cries constantly and is rarely happy!

      The book has a quiz which helps you decide which type of baby you have, and it suggests you and if applicable, your partner take the quiz in order to assertain exactly which type.

      3.

      There is a section which tells the reader how to interperet baby cries and body language.

      4.

      Tracey outlines a solution to helping you get your baby to sleep which she says is a better alternative to controlled crying - this is called the 'pick up put down method.'


      ~My opinion on the book~

      Whilst I like the ethos and ideas within the book, in practice I have not found much of it particuarly useful.

      First of all, the EASY routine. When I initially read this in the book, I thought to myself 'what a cop out!' To me, this is not exactly brain science. Yes, it may be more flexible than a book that outlines a rigid routine, but to be honest, I dont think I needed to buy a book to tell me the basics of allowing my my baby to eat, play and sleep. In addition to this, as with all routines, I find that it is still not that easy. The issue I have, is that my baby does not always go to sleep in that order. I am sure that an 'angel baby' will drift off to sleep right after the 'activity' allowing for 'you time,' but sadly my baby is a cross between spirited, touchy and grumpy baby and fights sleep! Sometimes when I finally get my baby to sleep, she wakes up after half an hour and there is no time for 'me time!' Then my baby gets up and activity time starts which worries me as 'sleep' is supposed to come first, but feeds are every 3-4 hours! So basically, I find it hard to always stick to this and the book does not acknowledge these difficulties, it just expects babies to follow the order of the EASY routine.

      Secondly, I did not find the baby types and quiz particuarly helpful. The reason being is that my baby did not fall into just one type, I could not pick which type she is, as she was a strong cross of three types! My partner did the quiz and also said the book was unhelpful due to the same reason.

      And as for the baby language section, in theory it sounds useful, but in reality a lot of the pointers were quite obvious to me anyway - hardly a revelation.

      As for the sleep method...Tracey recommends that to get your baby to sleep, you should pick them up from their crib when they cry, and put them down when they stop. This should continue until they fall asleep and can take hundreds of times before it works, and can last a week or two in duration. I confess, I started to try it but have not fully perservered yet. Reason being that it is just not practable because when trying it at night it involves so much energy and time if your baby is fiesty and cries a lot (like mine) and it is keeping my partner awake when he needs to get up for work. I may try it again, but to be honest, I think that controlled crying, although harder on the parent may be a better and quicker option. I may therefore do this when my baby is a bit older. I feel that the pick up put down method may be confusing for the baby.

      ~ would I recommend? ~

      I was not overly impressed by this book. I would only really recommend it to first time mothers who have done no other reading as it covers the basics, and if you can, read it along with other books before the baby is born so you can make your own mind up.

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        27.08.2010 20:16
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        An interesting read, but don't get bogged down in the routines.

        This book is nicely structured into chapters about the usual parenting bugbears (sleep, crying, breastfeeding, etc). I had hoped to pick up some tips about how to structure my daughter's day, without the rigidity of Gina Ford. However, I found this book contained hugely conflicting advice to many NHS leaflets, particularly around breastfeeding, and I actually became quite upset. There is no way I can persuade my baby to be active for 45 minutes, as per the EASY routine in this book, and my baby feeds for 5 minutes, rather than the 25-40 minutes detailed here. Rather than trusting my own instincts I allowed myself to be stressed by a routine that just isn't for me.

        There is quite a cute section about identifying what sort of baby you have (Angel, Textbook, Spirited, and so on). To complete the quiz and realise you have a "grumpy" baby is a little disheartening so these labels should be taken with a pinch of salt.

        There are some genuinely useful sections to read, such as how to assess what babies crying means, and ideas for sleep routines, but for a hormonal and tired mother, this book just wasn't for me.

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          20.03.2010 12:30
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          A very useful method, well worth exploring.

          I was given this book among a whole pile of baby manuals and diligently plodded through it in the hope that my baby would be one of the few to sleep through the night from a young age and not cause me a nervous breakdown through lack of sleep and the inability to know what he wanted from me.

          It is quite a different approach from the usual 'one size fits all' baby manuals. In fact, you take a quiz to discover your baby's personality type (now be honest, we all tried to tick the options that would lead to our baby being crowned The Angel Baby, didn't we?) And from then on the advice is catered for that particular type.

          I found the advice in this book to be really well laid out and easy to remember. The acronym EASY was easy (sorry) to remember even when in a sleep deprived non functioning state; when you don't always have the energy to go and consult a book. I will be recommending this method of Eat, Activity, Sleep, You time to anyone with a newborn who will listen, as it was a winner for us. It basically means that you don't let the little one form associations between food and sleeping, letting them learn to fall asleep on their own.

          I found the claims about communicating with your baby a little less useful. The chapter about your baby's language- 'SLOW down', was a bit obvious, but I guess some people will find it useful to learn to stop and try and figure out why the baby is crying rather than immediately fill them up with more milk.

          Overall, this method was very useful in the first few weeks where everything is up in the air and you have no real routine. After that, I found the Gina Ford method to be a lot easier for me to follow as it's more regimented. However, if you like to be adaptable and go with the flow, this is a great method to try out.

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          02.02.2010 18:53
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          The best baby book on the market to live camly and happliy with your new born

          If youre pregnant, thinking of becoming pregnant and about to give birth this is most possibly the best book you can purchase and read.It may just save your sanity in which save your life when the tasks of parenthood set in.

          I had an incredibly traumatic pregnany and was ill for the majority of the 9 months and therefore read many childcare, baby, birth books and out of each and every one this had to be the best, the most informative, realistic and influencially calming.

          The baby whisperer was recommended to me after I had read the contenteted baby book by gina ford and somewhat freaked out at the metaphors of what life would be like with a new born baby. The regimes, strictness to routine and overall stature of this book gave me no option to have a life of my own let alone even time for a coffee with freinds and worried me incredibly as to what to expect as a new mother. This book was a military regime for mothers and you could not put a foot or timing out of place otherwise the whole structure would fall to pieces. I was then given the baby whisperer which enlightened me, made me realise what motherhood is and should be and calmed me once more for the perils and chores of everyday life with a new born.

          The author of the book is tracey hogg, and the book is widely avaliable in all bookshops as well as online for very good prices. Ranging between £7 and £10 on the internet this is the best place to purchase it and I would recommend either purchasing from amazon or play.com, which has free delivery.

          The book will introduce you to the tasks needed for everyday life with a new born but not how to live in a regimented military operation with them but how to have them as part of you, your family and to fit into everyday life with you. It teaches you how to allow the child to settle into the rankings of the family, safely, securely and incredibly will teach you how to connect with your baby in the simplest of forms.

          Its the one thing that many parents forget when they have a baby is that the baby albiet, small, relatively incoherant to much of what you say to them and doesnt do very much but eat, sleep, and cry the baby is in fact a human being thats just a small one and therefore to treat it as such and talk to it normally and explain things is how to interact more humanly. It allows you to let the baby fall into your lifestyle and patterns and not allow the baby to dominate your life as the gina ford book describes. This is in fact essential for a healthy and managable parent baby relationship.

          There are basic regimes in place, but they are illusive, loose and guides rather than tasks. It explains the different baby types and personalities and how to accept each one and act accordingly with the messages that the baby is trying to tell us. It teaches techniques to stop crying, how to listen and learn your babys actions rather than instantly getting frustrated and annoyed as to why they are crying.

          This book saved my life as written by a maternity nurse and yet one which has an incredible interaction with children and has in fact turned many babies around with emotional problems and everyday issues. Within the book she allows routines to include you time, which is vital for sanity and therefore continual care and support for your baby, many other books will not even recognise you time as a parent.
          This book is sure to reassure any new parent or about to be parent and is the best read I had for 9 months.

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            31.10.2009 11:11
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            The Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

            How to calm, connect and communicate with your baby.

            As a new expectant mother I am trying to read a few books to help me with my impending arrival. That said, I am trying to not read too much and become bogged down by the vast array of information, both good and bad out there. I know from experience that everyone has a different way of approaching just about every situation and not every way will suit everyone.

            For example I think there are two schools of thought when it comes to setting a routine or a schedule for your baby. Some people believe a strict, same time, familiarity routine is the best way to go whereas others tend to think that it's best to "wing it" and just see how it goes. I am somewhere in the middle (I think, at least for now, maybe all that will change when Junior arrives), but I definitely feel that some sort of regular routine is the way to go otherwise you are faced with a little baby who has no idea what's going on from day to day and parents that don't have a clue either.

            The book that I have been reading that helps me to establish this school of thought and also gives a detailed way of putting that plan into action is Secrets of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg. I was actually given this by a neighbour and have really found it very useful.

            Tracy Hogg, the author obtained her nursing degree in England and then went on to forge a career for herself in America in baby care. According to the back of the book in 1997 she founded Baby Technique through which she consults parents individually, organises and teaches group classes and provides nanny training and referrals. She published this book in the year 2001 and unfortunately in 2004 passed away after an illness of cancer.

            The main theme of her book is the discussion of her acronym E.A.S.Y which is the structured routine she aims to put all her babies on, basically from birth.

            It stands for:

            E- Eat
            A - Activity
            S - Sleep
            Y - Yourself.

            She goes onto explain each letter in good detail. Basically if we take the first E to eat, she talks about feeding a child and the different feeding methods. With A, activity, she cites a bath, looking out of their car seat, etc as all examples of activity for a small baby and not actually playing with all the toys, listening to music etc that we might use to keep a baby entertained otherwise they risk being over-stimulated. S is for sleep and she writes about sensing when a baby is tired, ways to get them to sleep and healthy sleep patterns. The last letter Y concerns us as parents. If we aren't making time for ourselves then how can we hope to be good parents to our babies and I definitely think this is a very good point and one I hope to adhere to. It doesn't me we get to go out on the town every night but it shows us ways to make time with our partner, take time to heal and calm ourselves as well.

            What I like about her is that she makes her point very simply and to me it makes sense. Most of what she says I think is common sense but sometimes it might not be something you have actively thought about and by bringing it to your attention, Tracy makes it seem easy and possible. For example, she really values small babies as individuals right from day one, with feelings and concerns just like us but this is something perhaps we are guilty of not doing. She emphasises the importance of showing respect to your baby: "Just try to remember that this is a little human being in your arms, a person whose senses are alive, a tiny being who already knows your voice and even what you smell like." For example, she talks about how to pick up a baby either from it cots or seat. She says to firstly greet the baby and tell them that you are now going to pick them up rather than just swooping down and lifting them away from what was a comfortable position. If we did this to an adult with no warning they would be very distressed, so why is it any different for a baby. I totally see her point but this might perhaps not have been something I first thought of when going to pick up a baby.

            I can appreciate that this book is not for everyone but I have found it very useful and intend to put it into practice. I would definitely call it a very middle of the road book when it comes to baby care in terms of controversy but if you want some good bits of advice I think it's well worth a read.

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              17.10.2009 22:54
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              It did wonders for us, think its time to read the toddler book now!

              I love reading, and always like to do a bit of research before tackling something new and a baby was no different. I had a pregnancy and a first months book but after my baby was born decided I wanted something else and I'd seen a couple of the Baby Whisperer programmes on TV and she seemed very sensible so I thought I'd give Tracy Hogg's book a go.

              I bought the book when my son was about 3 months old and got on well with it straight away. Very near the beginning (I can't find it now to quote) Tracy warns that if you're planning on breastfeeding you'll probably find it quite difficult and painful in the first few weeks as you get used to it. I was well over this period by then but it was such a relief to hear that as all I'd heard before was that if your baby was latched on right there would be no pain. Well, my baby was latched on right and there was pain - until I got used to it, but I digress. It took me about a week to read the book from cover to cover, the only direct change I made after reading it was to feed my son before his bath at bedtime rather than after (separating the Eating from the Sleeping with an Activity), which was great as it meant he didn't fall asleep while feeding so it didn't take hours. However just by paying more attention to him and bearing in mind points from the book I went from chaos to having a loose routine over the course of a couple of weeks.

              I like the Baby Whisperer's style, that every baby is an individual and you won't find any 'Gina' style minute by minute schedules for you to live your life by (I don't take to being dictated to at that level). Tracy does identify 5 types of baby - Angel, Textbook, Touchy, Spirited and Grumpy and there is a quiz at the start of the book to determine your baby's type. I was pleased but not surprised to find out I had an Angel.

              The book is based on an E.A.S.Y routine (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You-time), this is simply an ordered way to do things and does not have timings, there are chapters on each section of this and ideas about how the five different types of baby will respond and behave in different situations. There is also a chapter telling you to S.L.O.W down (Stop, Listen, Observe, What's Up). This section includes the extremely handy guide to different body languages and what they might mean, and this was what helped me realise I was often feeding my baby when he was tired. By SLOWing down and paying more attention to him I could observe his natural EASY cycle and work with that to give us some order to our day.

              The Baby Whisperer worked for me as I like to be organised but not dictated to, I don't agree with everything she said in the book, but on the whole I found it non-preachy, non-dicatatorial, common-sense that encouraged me to work with my baby so we can both have some order to our life and this is a principle that has seen me though well so far (he's 14 months now).

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                23.08.2009 16:58
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                I couldn't have managed without this book

                When my first child was born I felt completely clueless and it didn't seem to matter what I did she just seemed to cry and cry. I would have to feed or cuddle her to sleep and then as soon as I would lay her in the cot she would scream. If I tried to go out she would lay in her pram screaming and screaming so I gave up and stayed in. I would take her for a drive but even if I just stopped at a traffic light she would be off again. She was a winter baby and so the weather was cold and it always seemed to be dark. At night it felt worse because it would take me about an hour to feed her and then another hour to settle her in her cot and then she'd wake again after about 45 minutes for another feed. I was totally exhausted and in a constant state of fear and panic because I felt that I had no idea what to do with this child and my dream of having four children had been locked away as a ridiculous pipe dream.

                After about three months of this I just felt that I couldn't go on any more so I turned to www.amazon.co.uk to try and find a book of some sort that would tell me what I was doing that was so wrong. I found two books that sounded like they were offering solutions and those books were the Gina Ford Contented Little Baby Book and Tracy Hogg Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. I didn't get on well with the Gina Ford book and after one day I put that straight on ebay. I had seen a TV programme on Discovery Home and Health called The Baby Whisperer and she seemed to know her stuff and I didn't remember her ever enforcing any military style routines so I had high hopes for my second book.

                The first time I read this book I didn't get it at all, I couldn't find any sort of routine to follow or any advice about what to do with my miserable little baby. Admittedly I was so tense and tired and just really exhausted by that point so my brain just probably hadn't taken it in at all. I tried again and only read the chapters that I felt sounded like the things I needed to know and somehow this time it all started to make sense.

                The book is basically a guide and not the structured routine I was expecting. There is no telling you to get the baby up at 6.30 am or only letting the baby have 10 minutes nap because it went to sleep late or any of that sort of thing. There is a routine there but it is very lose and you can tailor it to your baby and your needs.

                The book is broken down into chapters:
                Loving the Baby You Gave Birth To - This chapter talks about what to expect during the first few days at home, limiting visitors and how to be realistic about the demands of a newborn. There is also a little quiz based around the type of baby you have because Tracy believes that although all babies are obviously different they fit into one of five different types. These types are Angel Baby, Textbook baby, Touchy Baby, Spirited Baby and Grumpy Baby. And most babies will fall into one or maybe two of these categories. Once you have established the type of baby you have then understanding them becomes much easier.

                E.A.S.Y. Does It - This chapter talks about the importance of a routine for babies and young children and how they respond to knowing what is coming next and how much more manageable they are if you have one. It also explains about Tracy's system which she calls E.A.S.Y. Eat Activity Sleep You. She goes into depth about each aspect of the routine and how she feels it is beneficial.

                S.L.O.W. down (and appreciate your baby's language) - Here Tracy explains that regardless of how panicked or tense or upset you may feel you must take the time to listen to your baby. A tense mother will pass that onto her baby and thus create a tense crying baby. She uses the acronym S.L.O.W Stop Listen Observe What's up. In this section there two charts of translations that I found invaluable. The first one is called sharpening your powers of observation and it is laid out like a table. On one side you have the baby's body language and on the other the translation for example Body Language: Moves head from side to side Translation: Tired. The whole chart is written out in a very basic way just like that so it is easy to look at and you don't have to read pages and pages of theories or examples. This was the section of the book I used the most because once I had taken a deep breath and sat back and observed my daughter's behaviour I could flick to the chart and within seconds I had answers. The other chart is called Keeping yourself at baby seed and again it's set out in a very basic easy to read way. There is slightly more information on this chart but it is still quick and easy to read and follow. There are four headings Cause Listen Observe and Other ways to evaluate/comments. For example Cause: Over stimulated Listen: Long, hard cry. Observe: Arms and legs flail. Other ways to evaluate: Usually comes when baby has had enough playing. I have summarised this part but every issue is dealt with in the same basic language and easy to follow lay out.

                The E - Whose mouth is it anyway? - Obviously this section is all about feeding your baby and covers both breast and bottle feeding.

                The A - Wake Up and smell the Nappy - A lovely title for a chapter about what to do with your baby when they are awake, how not to over stimulate and what activities are best suited to babies.

                The S - To Sleep perchance to Cry - The page that most parents will probably turn straight to. This section is all about sleep and sleep routines and how much sleep you should expect your baby to have. There is also information on how to get babies to settle on their own including a routine that is a little like controlled crying but not so severe.

                The Y - It's Your Turn. - I think this chapter of the book is a good one because a lot of women forget that they need to look after themselves when they've had a baby. There is information about the baby blues and Post natal depression and making time for yourself and your relationship with your partner without putting too much pressure on yourself.

                Great Expectations: Special Circumstances and Unforeseen Events - This chapter covers things like Adoption, surrogacy, multiple births, premature babies and babies who have to stay in hospital.

                Three-Day Magic: The ABC Cure for Accidental Parenting. - I found this chapter really helpful with my first baby because it covers things like how you unwittingly teach your child to go to sleep on the boob and then moan because they won't go to sleep any other way. Or you carry them around all the time but then have trouble with them becoming clingy when they are eventually too heavy to have on your hip all the time. She suggests that it takes three days to undo most problems but in my experience it took a little longer to get my daughter to settle to sleep by herself.

                I have used this book for all three of my children and no doubt I will use it again when the next one is born. At first I felt that I was going slowly mad because I couldn't cope with the constant demands of my baby but once I had read and understood this book everything slowly clicked into place and I started listening to my baby and steering her into a routine that suited me. I found the book was vital during those early days with my third child after a horrible pregnancy and a nightmare birth I was left exhausted and drained after a blood transfusion so to have a nightmare baby too was just too much. In the hospital I had been terrified to let him cry and so practically had him feeding the whole time we were there. When we finally got home he took offence to being put down and not fed all the time and just cried and cried. After having a little Angel baby the second time this came as a big shock and so out came the Baby Whisperer book to get me through those first few weeks.

                I really liked the book because although Tracy believes her routine is structured I felt that it was quite relaxed and just fitted in with everyday life. After trying the Gina Ford routine this is just a nice relaxed routine that allows for you to go out and can be tweaked to fit in the school run and just fitted with my life and felt right. I would say that I did feel that Tracy sounded like a bit of a hippy at times but I think that you are never going to find something that suits you completely. The bits that I felt were ridiculous I just didn't do for example she suggests that before you do anything with your baby you have to tell them first out of respect. The wording she suggests just made me feel a bit silly and it's not as if I don't talk to my children anyway. To me it is just natural to chat away to babies and talk about what you are doing so I just carried on doing my thing. I think that because this routine can be fitted into your lifestyle so easily it is fine to just take aspects from it that suits you.

                I would recommend this book to anyone struggling with a new baby or who is awaiting the birth of a baby, it is worth the money for the S.L.O.W Down section alone.

                Currently available from www.amazon.co.uk for £8.44

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                  02.08.2009 15:17
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                  Read it before babay arrives for an easier transition to motherhood (hopefully)

                  I wish I had read this book BEFORE I had my baby! I cant even remember how I came about this book but I'm sooo glad I did! After reading other baby and parenting manuals like Gina Ford's Contended Baby book (that's a whole other review in itself!) I have to admit I was a little sceptical but after the first few pages my fears were allayed and I knew that this book would prove useful to my family and I really enjoyed it. I admit a lot of what Tracey says is common sense but when you've just had a baby, your hormones and raging and your sleep deprived you sometimes just need a gentle reminder! There are new concepts introduced through the book aswell that we managed to implement successfully in our daily routine and I think it worked wonders!

                  Tracey Hogg was born and raised in the north of England and after training as a nurse undertook many roles such as breast feeding counsellor, newborn consultant and goodness knows what else! She has cared for infants and their families for over 20 years and I think her credentials and experience really shine through in this book.

                  After the usual introductions and acknowledgments the book is broken down into 9 chapters, each of which introduce and discuss a different idea or concept. I shall briefly summarise them below but if you'd rather read them for yourself I hope they work as well for you as they did for me! Not once reading this book did I feel like the writer was being judgmental or accusing in their tone and even touchy subjects such as breastfeeding, dummies and controlled crying are handled well with both sides being presented and you being allowed to make your own mind up.

                  Chapter one - Loving the baby you gave birth to! Sounds stupid but any parent will relate to this chapter, one of the headings is fantasy V reality and helps adjust expectations when yove got the real thing there in your arms! This was particularly where I wish Id had the book before giving birth as its got a lovely section called 'coming home' and gives a few tips on how to introduce baby to his new home. It also gives a little quiz where you can ascertain what type of baby you have to help establish a routine that will work best for you

                  Chapter two - E.A.S.Y does it! This chapter introduces a structured routine (but nowhere near as structured as Gina Ford so please don't be put off!) that follows the pattern of eat, activity, sleep, you time but it also asks what your baby needs so you can adapt the routine if you need to. T was easy to follow and more importantly it works!

                  Chapter three - S.L.O.W down and appreciate your baby's body language! We're here advised to stop, listen, observe and ask what's up? An absolutely brilliant chapter that gave me a sentence that I still remember to this day, 'a crying baby does not equal a bad parent!' Baby's cry because they're trying to tell us something and this chapter has tips on body language etc to try and help you understand what your child needs.

                  Chapter four - The E, who's mouth is it anyway! This ones all about eating and starts with the age old debate of breast V bottle, also discussing the controversial matter of dummies and finishes with weaning which includes a useful timetable to help you along

                  Chapter Five - The A, wake up and smell the nappy! This gives advice on how to provide stimulation for your newborn which is good as when they're tiny (especially if they're your first) its difficult to know what to do with them at times but it works in reverse because knowing what baby's find stimulating also means you can take these away when it comes to bedtime! It finishes with 10 steps to a more relaxed baby
                  Chapter Six - The S, to sleep, perchance to cry! The chapter I bet all new moms turn to first, the sleep chapter! It talks about the process of sleep and the signs we need to look out for so we don't 'miss the window of sleep' and finally, the elusive issue of sleeping through the night! The tips offered in this chapter work, I started applying them and a few weeks of consistent application later my daughter was (and still is) going 12 hours through the night

                  Chapter Seven - The Y, its your turn! To be honest I think I skimmed this chapter of the book, isn't that so typical of moms that when its something for us it gets pushed aside! It sensitively covers baby blues and post natal depression along with difficulties new parents can experience in their relationships aswell as going back to work

                  Chapter Eight - Special circumstances and unforeseen events. This chapter didn't really apply to me but it covers areas such as adoption and surrogacy, babies born in a high risk birth and twins (so glad I didn't have to read that bit)

                  Chapter nine - 3 day magic, the cure for accidental parenting! Another really useful chapter I found as I had inadvertently got my little one in to some bad habits (such as not liking to be put down etc!) but there is a trouble shooting guide which gives you tips on how to solve the issue in 3 days.

                  This book is available on line at places like Amazon etc for around £8 but you can also buy used issues (still in good condition) from e-bay a little cheaper. Also available is the contended toddler book which I found just as beneficial but I'll save that review for another day!

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                    18.11.2008 16:56
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                    A good book to get you going

                    I use a baby forum for lots of help and advice and a lot of mummies on there suggested I read this particular book.

                    Now I am not a reading type person, but I needed to get some help with my newborn baby. I was fine with most things, but learning what she was crying for, how to get her into a sleep routine, and knowing what is day and what is night was important for me, with going back to work when she was 10 weeks.

                    I read the book from the very beginning to the end and found it quite confusing in parts, so I had to re-read it again, and make sure it wasn't just me being silly. I had also asked other mummies about the book and some agreed with me that it can be a bit farfetched. I thought, 'i have just wasted money on another book'.

                    I then decided to give it another go and also speak to a friend of mine who swore by it. I read it in smaller sections and started to understand it with the help of my friend.

                    Now I am not saying that Tracey Hogg doesn't know what she is talking about - far from it, it just takes a while to work out which baby your baby is and how to work the EASY routine into your own day to day living.

                    The book starts with the usual introductions, with the first chapter being about understanding your baby.
                    The quiz gets you to think about your own babies behavior and analysis which type of baby you have, which is a lot easier as the baby gets older and develops their little personality, but not when they are a couple of weeks old.

                    Chapter two then talks about the EASY routine and this is where I probable got a little stuck. The EASY routine is Eats, Activity, Sleep and You. The routine is quite flexible - that I did like. We had more of a SEAY thing going on at first. In the evenings I preferred to bath my daughter (activity) before feeding (AESY), but that's why its flexible.
                    I think she does need to give a bit more detail about activity though, as it resulted in us chatting on the forum about what you class as an activity.
                    The book does try to encourage you to find your own routine.

                    Chapter three is about SLOW, trying to get you to slow down and thing about your baby and what he or she is doing. SLOW is stop, listen, observe and what's up. It tries to encourage you to really work out why your baby may be crying based on the different movements and sounds when he or she is crying. I found some of this useful, but not all of it, I imagine it would be more useful as baby gets older, but I feel I know why she is crying now.

                    Chapter four covers eating, weaning, breast, bottle. I read it but I have never really followed it, as this wasn't the reason I brought the book.

                    Chapter five is about when baby is awake, how to stimulate them, what a baby is doing, why they are doing it. This was another chapter I didn't really use.

                    Chapter six - sleep! This section was important for me, as this was where my problem lay. There are techniques to help get your baby to sleep and lots of advice, some of it you can use, some of it you can disregard. It helped to get me through the first couple of weeks when I was breastfeeding and she wasn't sleeping too well.

                    There are some other useful chapters in the book, but I didn't really use them, and I haven't had to get the book out since my baby was 10 weeks old.

                    I found the book helped me out when my baby was 3-1- weeks, and I feel it really helped me to get her in a good sleep routine and try and understand what she wanted.

                    At 6 weeks she slept from 11pm-7am, at 10 weeks she slept from 7pm - 7am. It was hard work following some of the guides, but I now feel it was fully worth it.

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                      20.07.2008 21:05
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                      Every expectant mum should read

                      This book was given as a gift to me during my baby shower (it did come in a big red box, marked "mummy's emergency box" and came along with a bar of chocolate, ear plugs and Nitol - so that should immediately give an idea of what the book is about).

                      I didn't read the book until after my daughter was born and really wish I had taken the time to read it beforehand. The book is fabulous! The book offers hints and tips on how to calm your baby, from sleeping to eating and everything inbetween. Tracey Hogg, the author, specialises in maternity and neonatal care and has, since 1997, been consulting parents individually on her Baby Technique. Her experience shows in the book.

                      Now don't get me wrong some of it is simply common sense, but there are many alternatives to "hand me down" practises that were an absolute godsend to me.

                      The book starts with an introduction about Tracey Hogg and by the end of it you will be convinced of her credentials. Chapter 1 is about understanding the baby you have (instead of the "dream of a baby" most expectant mums have). I found this chapter particularly useful as there is a quiz which gets you to stop and think about your baby's behaviour and gives an "analysis" of type. The quiz itself is more beneficial once a baby is doing more, I found it hard to categorise a newborn's actions, but the physical action of stopping and thinking about it was really beneficial.

                      Chapter 2 talks about the EASY routine - this is basically a routine whereby baby Eats, is Active, Sleeps and then you have You time. It's a flexible routine and gives an idea of how things can be ordered without the strictness of someone like Gina Ford. The book encourages you to fins what is right for you and I ended up with a ESYA routine instead.

                      Chapter 3 is about the SLOW concept, this is about how to slow down and think about your baby rather than knee jerk reacting. For me, this chapter was the best part of the book and I still refer back to it now my daughter is 9 months old. It

                      Chapter 4 covers eating - breast versus bottle, weaning and everything related. I used the weaning guide when I started weaning my daughter and found it to be a good steer in the right direction. I did however, find some parts of this chapter a little patronising.

                      Chapter 5 is all about awake time and what a baby is doing / what they need doing. I found this helpful as there were things regarding stimulation of a newborn that I didn't know and once I did I was able to remove the stimulation when I was trying to get my daughter to sleep and as a result actually get her to sleep!

                      Chapter 6 is all about sleep - this is the MUST read chapter of the whole book. There are so many helpful techniques and advice for getting your little one to sleep. This is definitely the chapter I wish I had read before having my daughter. My daughter didn't sleep well at all, but once I put some of the techniques in place she started to sleep for 12 hours a night.

                      There are 3 other chapters, which according to the contents page cover "you time", "special circumstances" and "The ABC cure for accidental parenting". I can not write about these chapters as I never read them.

                      This book is one of those "pick up when needed" books - you experience a problem and go to the index to find the page no with the solution, but the first 6 chapters are worth reading page to page, although you will need to refer back to them.

                      Since reading this book I have recommended it to every one of my pregnant friends and it still sits in my lounge for quick reference if I need it.

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