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Gina Ford is either loved or hated and it seems any time I mention this book / author everyone has a strong opinion. When pregnant I read about ten parenting books as this was my first pregnancy and I wanted to be armed with knowledge. I always borrow books from the library and never buy them as I feel it's an extravagance when I only read them once. However with this particular book I read the library's copy first then I immediately went out and bought myself a copy to own as I wanted to make notes on most of the pages!
What is the Contented Little Baby book like?
It is written by Gina Ford, she states she has 30 years of experience with babies, in a no nonsense style. She advocates routines and strict guidelines which you must follow to the letter and with this she claims you will have a contented little baby.
It has various chapters on preparing for the baby, feeding issues, sleeping issues and then there are the famous routines for the various age and stages.
It is clearly written and easy to read. Her tone can be a little overbearing at times however I was desperate for knowledge so I finished the book cover to cover in just a few days. It isn't too thick or too scary either!
Who is the book best suited for?
I would say that people who like to be organised and enjoy routine and structure will probably get most from this book. First timers like me will definitely appreciate some of the more detailed advice - how to make up the blankets on a cot anyone?!
What are my personal experiences of the Gina Ford Contented Little Baby routine?
Being the typical teacher I love timetables and routines! So when I heard of Gina Ford I knew I had to look into her books.
I followed lots of the instructions on preparing for the baby and loved nesting around in the nursery whilst awaiting Little C's arrival. I did not follow everything to the letter of the Gina Ford law though, for example I didn't have blackout blinds fitted just curtains.
Although I set out with good intentions to follow the book from day one I actually didn't follow the routine for the first four weeks: it was my first baby, it was manic, lots of family were staying, I was traumatised after a 36 hour labour and forceps delivery, my flat flooded etc etc etc!! It was only after things began to quieten down that we realised we needed some kind of structure. Little C seemed to be crying A LOT I didn't know why, I never seemed to know when he would be hungry so made countless bottles and consequently poured many of them down the sink. One night I'd had enough I dug the book out and began to study!
I followed the routine from the 4 week suggestion. Again though I made a few changes here and there to suit my family life.
I now have a very contented Little C who is very content, well slept and fed. I build my day around the routines as much as possible and we happily get out and about every day. I am extremely happy with the routine we have and I feel this book gave me the knowledge and confidence to put it into action.
Here is a short list of my advantages and the points I didn't take on board.
Littlemommabear plus points
* Great for creating a base for a routine. Little C has a short morning and afternoon nap at the suggested times and a longer two hour nap at lunchtime and I have a little time for me.. and the cleaning.. and the cooking.. and the washing.. you get the idea!
*The guidelines on feeding and sleeping were very helpful
*Her explanations and frequent questions were informative and helped me a lot eg you shouldn't feel bad about waking a baby to feed
*I felt informed and had opinions I could share and discuss with all the mommas who were talking about it at my work.
Littlemommabear negative notes
*Some parts of her instructions I just can't bring myself to do - like close the nursery door when Little C is napping. I am sorry but I just like to be able to peek in and check on him!
*I joined her website paying £30 for an annual subscription - don't bother it really just seems to include most of the book rehashed and forums full of people asking questions that are answered in the book if you read it carefully enough - rant over.
Where did I get my copy and for around how much?
I bought mine from Amazon in March 2011 for around £9 but as I said earlier you can get it from nearly all public libraries.
The Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford is like marmite in the parenting world-you love it or hate it, and there is no middle ground. Often Referred to as the 'Gina Ford Routine' in discussions, it is the one thing that almost all parents have an opinion on. It's also something that health professionals have a strong opinion on-particularly the Health Visitors I have come across anyway!
I bought this book when I was 8 months pregnant after a friend of mine had just started using it with her little boy who was a few months old. I had heard of it before and I am ashamed to say that I was one of those people who developed a strong opinion on it before I read it. (I later found out how wrong my opinion was). I had heard all the talk about this book/routine-don't look your child in the eyes at night, don't speak to them at night, don't cudlle them too much, don't feed them when they are hungry etc. All of those things made me very anti this book in my first two trimesters. Anyone who mentioned it would get the full brunt of what a stupid idea I thought it was. How could any parent not feed their child when they were hungry?! So when my friend told me about how well her little boy was doing on this routine I thought it was about time I read it for myself.
The Contented Little Baby Book is a Bible for those who follow the routine in it. Gina Ford is a very smart woman who spent her career as a maternity nurse and nanny observing hundreads of children while she worked with over 300 families. This book is a number 1 bestseller and in short, is a book that teaches a routine that adapts as your child grows. The routine is strict and inflexable but the rewards (so the book says) are invaluable to parent and child. The book has 242 pages of advice, preparation and answers regarding this routine.
The routine itself is actually quite simple in theory. It's based on a babies natural feeding and sleeping patterns and is based on a four hourly day time routine. It's important to note that Gina Ford knows all babies are different but the routine doesn't need to be because no matter what all of your babies needs will be met with this routine. Thats the key with this book. Your baby will have his/her needs met if you do it properly. They won't be in agonising hunger and therefore that misconception that you leave your baby hungry with this routine is entirely incorrect and quite frankly obscene. Fair enough you will learn that they may want certain things that at certain times they can't have, but it's not a case of NEED it's a case of WANT and these are two very different things. Most importantly for the parent, it teaches you to be the one who controls these things. It's invaluable. Your babies needs will certainly be met with this routine, however their want's may not, but thats (in my opinion) an excellent lesson to teach them from the beginning.
The first part of this book is about prepartation for the birth of your baby. I had done all of these things before I bought the book-preparing the nursery, buying the correct clothes etc but it does give some good tips I would never have thought of. For example the mass of gifts we recieved after Joshua-Harry was born was huge and without this book I wouldn't have thought in advance to buy the thank-you cards that we sent out soon afterwards. In fact friends commented on how quickly they recieved their thank you cards! Other things I hadn't thought of included buying a black out blind for his bedroom-something I literally swear by! A lot in this section of the book is common sense-don't over decorate a babies room-one, they will have different taste by the time they can appreciate it and two don't over stimulate them as the only time they will really spend in their is sleep time! I would say this section of the book is a guide line, you don't need to follow it as if gospel!
The second section of this book is the actual routine structure, laid out in the mile stones in which it changes. For example in the early days it changes almost fourtnightly but as your baby grows it only changes every few months and by that time it's such a gentle change it's not noticeable for the child. The rough structure of this routine is based upon feeding your child so much during the day that they take the majority of their daily milk/food need within day time hours that they wont need so much through the night and therefore it freezes out night time feeds as your baby wont be hungry enough to wake up.
My personal experience with this book is something I can't rate highly enough. Being a first time mum, I'm not over strict about things other parents may well be. For example I'm careful with his food but that doesn't mean he wont be trying chocolate or sweet things. I just want to set the scene that I'm not one of those mothers who tries to control every element of their child. I'm quite easy going but we do have this routine which has been the making of the mummy-Joshua way of life. Within 4 evenings of this routine (we started when he was 7 weeks old) me and my partner had our first full evening together without a mass of crying from Josh. It was bliss. I missed my son but knowing he was tucked safely and snuggly in bed while my partner and I had some mummy and daddy time was the best feeling in the world after 7 weeks of sleep deprivation. And by the time my son was three and a half months old he was sleeping through the night 7pm until 7am! That first night was amazing for all of us, I was so proud and well rested that I knew every hard moment of a rigourous routine was worth it. This routine has been the making of my son. He knows when it's time to go to sleep, but that doesn't mean he never cries in his cot for a little while if he doesn't want to and he knows when it's time to eat but again that doesn't mean he's never hungry at other times. He's a little human and it's important to remember that, but as his mother I have taken responsibility for meeting his needs in this way. That means he stays in bed until the end of nap time whether he wants to or not, it also means that if it's not a time of day he's allowed food then he can't have any. I know that I feed him plenty at meal and snack times that if he's hungry it's more of a bored hunger than a tummy grumble hunger. I would never let my son go without what he needs and for those of you who know what a percentile line is-he's on the 95th so he's deffinately not left to go hungry!
Selfishly this book has given me an element of my life back too and I needed that. I couldn't wait to be a mummy but like all new mums it's an adjustment when your baby arrives. This routine gives me my time in the day to shower and dress in peace, and I get a lunch time break to do what I need or want to get done and most importantly it's given me and my partner our whole evenings together as by 7pm Joshua is in bed and then it's grown up time to enjoy wine and a chat. That doesn't mean in Joshua's 11 months that I haven't had to defend my decesion to follow this routine. In fact I regularly have to do it and as I intend to follow this through his toddler years I'm sure I will continue to have to defend my motives for this routine. My health visitor physically recoiled when I told her I follow this!
As for those initial myth's I had such a strong opinion about in the beginning? Well No, I don't talk to my son if it's a sleep time and for what ever reason he wakes up (very rare I must point out) but I love to cuddle him-in fact he's the one who doesn't like cuddles with his mum already! We both love rocking him while he has a bottle when it's sleepy time and thats not something I would change. The one myth that turned out to be true is how strict this routine is. It's very tightly based on times of day and if you are not made of tough stuff it's very easy to say it doesn't work for your child. Those first few days and weeks of this routien were the toughest! There was a lot of crying from us both while we adjusted to having to do things only at certain times but it was well worth while. Yes I could have given up and taken the easy way out and said it didn't work for my son or I could say that I follow it loosely-well that doesn't work either because you either follow it or you don't. It's success is based upon the routine laid out in the book-not one you adjust yourself (not that there is anything wrong with this if that is what works for your child). I'm no expert but there is no reason this wont work for every baby out there. I think those parents who say they try it and it 'doesn't work' are really just taking the easy way out when the going gets tough. I believe in tough love and those first few weeks were exactly that but now my son is the happiest little boy you could wish to meet and I know that his future siblings will all be following this routine.
Not just five stars, but five whopping stars with bells on!
This book has lots of pros and cons to it.
I hadn't heard of Gina Ford before I became pregnant, but on reading up on Google about her I learned she used to be a maternity nurse and had cured families of their sleepless nights - well I was sold just on her reputation and the fact she had worked with so many babies with sleeping issues!
As for this book, it was my Mum that actually picked it up for me. I didn't read it until my son was four months old and still waking in the night (although this isn't uncommon, I just felt like I was cracking up!). I skipped a lot of the newborn stages of the book and moved onto the chapters that were relevant to me so I will start with that as we had implemented a lot of the stuff Ford advises for a bedtime routine; bath time, check. Wind down time, check. Feed before bed, check. No dream feeding, check. 7pm bed time, check. We had been doing this from 12 weeks, just as the book suggests, so I felt quite chuffed with myself that we'd managed to figure this out ourselves - although I will admit I had worked as a Nanny myself, so a lot of it was second nature to me by this point.
So we skipped a few pages and I began to read techniques I could use on my son for a better nights sleep for all concerned. By 5 months we moved him out of our room. We'd tried co-sleeping with him, but he hated it! We had him in a cot at the bottom of our bed, but he outgrew it very quickly and as we only have a limited space in our room we needed to set up the bigger cot in his room. Ford suggests having the baby in a separate room very early on which I am not a fan of; I like the Governments stance on this issue, of having them in the room until they're 6 months. However, my son seemed to actually sleep better once he was moved into his own space! So I felt confident to follow a few other Ford imposed strategies.
As I'm breastfeeding, I had been doing on demand feeding, which means feeding my son on no particular time schedule. I felt I could tune very well into when he needed fed and this worked all round, but then when I tied it up with his night feeds I realised he may not be getting enough during the day so I decided to follow the feeding schedule within this book for his age limit. Well, that was very fruitless and I ended up with mastitis! I was very, very ill for a long time with this horrible infection - I still managed to breastfeed but I soon chucked the book out.
The book also makes suggestions towards using Dr Ferber's method of "crying it out." Ford calls it "crying down" and although I do agree with her theory that mothers can tune into the different cries of their babies, such as; hungry, tired, wet nappy etc, I didn't feel good leaving my son to cry. So I never. And ever since then I have put him to bed with no quibbles or fights, no crying - he just goes straight to sleep. Maybe I am lucky that he doesn't cry himself to sleep or perhaps the crying down thing doesn't work for us, either way I wasn't happy to leave him "crying down."
There are a lot of good suggestions in the book; putting baby down to nap in a dark room every time (which I agree with), breastfeeding exclusively until 6 months old, not introducing certain solid foods to the weaning babies diet because it disturbs their sleep as they're hard to digest and cause tummy upsets in the baby but I think like any expert books, there is also a "mother knows best" approach in which, as a mother, you have to pluck out the things you like and things you feel happy to use and reject the rest - I know I did.
I'm not sure if I'd recommend this book to a first time mother because for me it caused mastitis and perhaps if I had more experience with breast feeding I would know how damaging a feeding schedule can be.
Many people have scorned the Gina Ford series of books, but they are worth a read if you need some guidance in a stressful situation.
My wife and I bought the 'Contented Little Baby' book in paperback from Amazon for £5 before our daughter was born with all intentions of going by the letter and laying out a routine from the beginning. As mentioned, this was our intention, but soon found that babies are not the best at telling you what they want or following your plans! We decided in the end to use the book as a very rough guide, taking what we believed were relevant bits of information and incorporated it with what we believed to be the best for our daughter, as what may work with one child won't necessarily work with another.
We have found the book has come into it's more recently as we try to get our little one to sleep through the night. Gina Ford gives good advice on the best feeding times and help on how to cut out the midnight feeds, which Im glad to report have worked very well.
My recommendation is to read this book after your baby is born and use it merely as a reference guide rather than a bible or set of instructions on how to raise your child. We found that reading it before our daughter arrived proved to raise more questions on whether we would be able to cope with such a strict routine and wondering whether our child would have fun growing up, with us being able to enjoy it as it went along.
There has been so much controversy over this book, but until you've read it don't knock it!
I bought this when pregnant with my first child. I didn't know the 1st thing about babies. Never really known any, I had no younger siblings, so no idea where to begin with looking after one.
This book really does start with the basics, covering setting up your nursery and the equipment you will need. I found this really useful, especially the points about blackout blinds and blackout curtains.
The routines in the book are admittedly very strict - often to the minute. But like anything, you can follow the as much or as little as you wish. I personally followed the times for feeding and sleeping and can honestly say it worked like a dream. At 3 weeks old my baby slept 11p.m. til 5 a.m. and by 10 weeks was going 7p.m. til 7a.m.
There is quite a lot of advice in the book on breastfeeding and most of the routines are tailored for breastfeeding, although simple enough to adapt for bottlefeeding. There are lots of case studies in the book and you can often match your situation to one of them.
I am now on baby number three, but still often refer back to this book for tips and advice.
This book won't be for everyone, but as a new parent, who likes a structured routine, I found it a great help.
I bought this book on recommendation from other parents when my first child was three weeks old and I was really struggling. I found it an absolute life saver but have heard dreadful things about it from other people. It certainly seems to be a love it or hate it guide to babies! The main idea is: Routine is Key, so if you like routine, you'll like this.
I live far from family and had no close friends with babies when my daughter was born so I was very much at sea. I loved the structure this book gave to my day and the confidence it gave me when I had been having serious problems dealing with a new born.
I have recommended this book to friends, many of whom have discarded it at the rigidity so I have come to realise that it is a very personal choice. If you like routine and perfer to cotrol when your baby sleeps and feeds then this is the book for you.
To get the most from the book you must read it completely before you start to use it. Her manner can be very bossy and strict but as long as you don't take it personally it can be invaluable. She explains the resons behind every piece of advice she gives and has sections on preparation for the baby, feeding, sleep and routines. Her routines are very daunting when you read them first as they are laid out to the minute but once you follow them for a week you understand the pattern and rarely have to consult the book except when something goes wrong or when your baby progresses to the next stage.
She gives advice on breast and bottle feeding and though she recommends breast feeding she is very non-judgemental about bottle feeding, which I liked. I breast fed for the first three months and loved the fact that she limited the feeding times as I hated the idea of feeding on demand. Both my babies were good feeders and I was always confident that they were well fed. When I switched to bottle her advice on how much and when was very important.
Both babies followed the routines easily. My daughter is a wonderful sleeper and fell into the routine within days. My son is a much lighter sleeper and he took more pursuasion but I had confidence in the routine and persevered and he fell into it too.
What I found wonderful about the routines was knowing when they would sleep. If I woke in the morning close to tears at the thought of getting out of bed to look after a baby I always knew that if I did it well for two hours I would be rewarded with a break as I was always certain that they would sleep.
Personally I cannot recommend this book highly enough and I speak very passionately about it but I do accept that approaches to rearing a baby are as individual as the mother and baby themselves.
I got given this book when I was pregnant with my first child, and I must admit I was a bit reluctant to start reading. I was already concerned about reading too much in advance of giving birth since I did not want to read lots of conflicting information. It's bad enough being pregnant and the advice on what you and cannot eat changes on a daily basis. So having a multitude of books on child rearing was not on my agenda.
However I was given this book, and I must admit it's quite good. Easy to read and split into nice chapters depending on the age or stage your baby is at. As my son was going to be breastfed and I was not going back to work for 12 months, getting him into a set routine was not something I was bothered about. Therefore I felt that some of the chapters where not relevant to me or my baby.
This book did become useful when I started to change over to bottle feeding especially on the how much and when I should be feeding him, as I was concerned about giving him too much or too little. It was also useful when getting ready to wean him and prepare for solids.
Overall, a handy book for a new mom to have around, but by no means should be treated as law. If you want or need to get your baby into a routine quickly you might find it more useful than I did, but in the end your baby is as individual as you are, and a strict routine may not be for them or you.
Best advice I was given about the first year, relax and go with the flow. I certainly did and my baby did too.
I have since passed this book onto my cousin, but with the advice, use as reference material!
A few friends who also had babies/toddlers introduced me too this book when i had my first child. I was finding it very hard too get my daughter into a routine in every single aspect due too living in a very crowded house at the start when she was first born.
I didnt read and use this book untill my daughter was 6 months old. The Book is basically about how too get your baby into a good routine which suits both yours and babys normal regime.
The first few chapters explain too you different routines for the different age of your baby. Including times, What you should do at certain times & how you should do it. It sounds like a very strict and rigid routine which seems very daughting and it comes accross like if your baby isnt doing 'A' at time 'B' then your not doing your job properly.
It gives you information of wind and reflux and how to combat this problem which is a big major thing which troubles parents with babies this old. It also Helps on how to establish breastfeeding and how too breastfeed into a routine and around the other children that you may have.
This really did help my daughter though, It helped me settle her, feed her, wean her, wean off her bottle at night and get her sleeping through finally! All of this was with advice and help from this book.
This is guide line based really and shouldnt be took rigidly as it is ment to be adapted too your baby and yourself.
The routines are also built around having other children and doing the school runs whichi s very useful as lots of mums struggle to juggle routine with all there different children. I would definatly recommended this too every mother who is new or is struggling with different areas with there newborn or baby.
A friend told me about this book and I bought it along with another Gina Ford title from Amazon when I was pregnant. My MIL who ran a nursery always says that babies thrive on routine so I thought this was the answer to everything!
It's split into 9 sections: Preparing for the birth, why follow a routine, milk feeding in first year, understanding baby's sleep, establishing the routine, routines for the first year, introducing solid food, common problems in the first year (i.e sleeping and feeding mostly).
I religiously read the preparing for the birth and why follow a routine and was 100% convinced I was going to do that to the letter. It just shows my naiveity and that I had no idea about being a parent lol. Unless of course you give birth to a baby that can read ;-D
To be fair the preparation bit is very useful and helped me get my head around the equipment I might need and how on earth I'd use it. And I also understand why a routine is important, but that's as far as I read!! I started the routine bit but it was far too structured and confusing for my hormone addled brain.
Now anyone who's given birth knows that afterwards you are recovering and getting used to a new baby and dealing with the house/husband/visitors etc... So to then try and compartmentalise all your jobs into set times is impossible and leaves you feeling rubbish. I never once managed to have had my breakfast by 8am at the latest and when I put my son for a nap I let him sleep not wake him up at 9.45 exactly.
Her ideas are spot on, yes a routine is important but flexibility is more important. If you are going to read this book and use the ideas in it to work around your life then you will be using it in the right way. If you are going to read it and worry when your baby doesn't like eating at the right time or won't sleep when its supposed then leave this book on the shelf.
I used the ideas and created a kind of routine when my son was 5 months old when I'd got the hang of this parenting thing. This book did help me do that by providing ideas. And it was helpful for weaning as well. I tried before but to be honest until he started on solid food he was guzzling milk too often for any kind of hope of a routine.
I actually found the contented baby's first year book more helpful because there's less writing and more pictures.
Personally I think whether a baby sleeps and is relaxed is more about a calm, relaxed parent than a regimented routine!
On the surface, this looks like the ideal book for someone like me. As a teacher, I'm used to strict routines, and even outside of work I like to do things in a certain way. The structure of this book appealed to me in the months leading up to my baby's birth.
And it makes it seem so simple! If you do certain things at certain times, your baby will be happy and content, and you will be a happy mummy! The only problem is ... my wonderful newborn son, though obviously intelligent beyond belief, is unable to read the book for himself so that HE knows what to do as well!
The routines are VERY regimented. Times need to be stuck to religiously if they are to work. Whilst this seems a great idea in principle, what are you to do if your newborn does not want to feed every 3 hours, but instead is more of a 'snacker' during the day, as my son tended to be for the first few weeks. Leaving him for 3 hours would have been cruel to both of us, he just couldn't go that long. What do you do if your baby won't go to sleep at the prescribed times? Again, my son is a good night sleeper, which means he naps less during the day, so I find it difficult to get him to sleep at the recommended times.
I have to admit here, I didn't ever try the whole routines, as it was a non-starter from the feeding point of view. The book just seems to assume that all babies are exactly the same, without their own little personalities. My son is not a fussy baby, he is content and doesn't cry an excessive amount. He has slept well at night pretty much from the start, and this is all as a demand fed baby who has plenty of cuddles and no strict routine yet.
Having said this, I can see the routines being useful for older babies. We are starting to get into a very vague pattern of sorts with feeding and sleeping, and it may be that we start to get in sync with the routines as my son gets older. However, it will very much be led by him to begin with, and will be coincidence rather than me forcing a routine upon him.
There is plenty of good advice in the book, and the routines give a good idea of what you should be doing for your baby throughout the day - useful for first time parents with no previous experience of babies! Sections on weaning and sleeping are full of good advice, but I think the best thing to do is to take the advice and mould it to your own routine - or lack of!
I would still love to be in a routine with my son, and can honestly say I wanted the advice in the book to work. It is just too prescriptive for me and doesn't consider individual babies, which to be fair would be impossible. I know a friend of mine swears by the routines, it just wasn't for me in the end.
I generally didn't have a clue about babies, which became more apparent when I gave birth to one! I knew the basics, how to feed and change etc. but as to how to get things into some sort of order so that life could continue in a semi-normal fashion, was beyond me.
My life before my baby was strictly run, although I didn't realise it at the time. Suddenly everything had changed and there was no organisation or order and I seemed to be running around in circles.
After finding a few precious minutes to browse the internet I purchased Gina Ford's Contented Little Baby Book which I had heard mentioned by various celebrity mums, aswell as some of my friends.
From the moment that my book arrived, I finally felt in some sort of control. Babies don't come with instruction manuals, but this is about as close as you could get!
I certainly didn't follow the book to the letter, but the guidelines in it were enough to show me what I was trying to achieve as an end result, and I tailored them to suit my needs and lifestyle. The section on weening is also helpful, giving examples of when to feed certain types of food and various recipes for you to try.
My baby was happy and contented and has continued this way into toddlerhood. I was also a happy and contented mum
I read this book when I was pregnant with my first, and terrified of becoming a mother! This book will appeal to those whom like to be in control and need some sort of structure in the day.
The author of this book has looked after hundreds of babies in her career as a maternity midwife. From what I have read, she wrote the routines in this book based on studying babies and following their natural sleep cycle.
The first few chapters are dedicated to explaining the routines, bottle and breast feeding, things you will need for your baby, and an invaluable section on silent reflux, something my eldest daughter suffered from, though I only became aware that was the cause through reading this book. She went on to be diagnosed and treated.
The middle of the book is dedicated to the routines, from newborn through to one year of age. There are timings, what to do's and what not to do's. The final section is dedicated to babies and how to begin weaning.
The problem with this book, is that it is written poorly in some places. It stands to reason that no baby is a robot and so the routines in the book should be guideline basis only. Take what suits you and your baby. Unfortunately it is full of you MUST and you MUSTN'T. This can make a first time mum feel inadequate or a failure if her baby isn't 'complying' with what is set out in the book. It really needs to be rewritten in a much more flexible tone.
Personally I used bits and pieces that suited my children and I, rather than word for word. When used in that sense, I believe it can be very helpful.
I wanted to share with people the huge value that this book gives (both on dooyoo and ciao). I can't begin to describe in words the immense gratitude I give to Gina Ford for her knowledge, experience and advice she gives in this book. I have two children and have used it in the explicit sense with my first child and more loosely with my second and both times I have had very 'contented' babies.
The chapters cover the following topics:
1) Preparation for the birth (equipment, nursery, clothes)
2) After the birth
3) Feeding in the first year (milk production, expressing, breast and bottle feeding)
4) Understanding your baby's sleep (sleep and demand feeding, early-morning waking etc)
5) Common problems in the first few months (e.g. burping, colic, dummies etc)
6) Establishing a routine
7) Routines for the first year
8) Introducing solid food (weaning, first, second and third stages with feeding plans for each month from 4 to 12 months)
Her advice may to some people seem quite 'full-on' however I found it so helpful. I was a first time mum with no experience of babies and just didn't know where to start or how to cope with a newborn. I read this book from cover to cover and everything made sense and fitted in with how I envisaged coping with my newborn. Once my baby came along we started following the advice of the health visitors: demand feeding, not worrying about establishing a routine or stressing over times etc and we were beyond ourselves. We thought, that's it, lets follow the Contented baby plan and from the very first day she slept well, ate well and we both had time to ourselves again. I could plan to go out for a couple of hours without feeling trapped in the house and also get some decent sleep during the day if I was tired.
I can understand some people's views with regards to it being very regimented but for me I needed the organisation and once you are doing it practically the routine just slotted in and it felt completely natural.
I would really recommend this book in an instant and all my friends who have followed it have all come back to say they have found in invaluable.
This book has appeared in our house. Not sure if someone lent it to me, bought it for me or whether I have accidentally shoplifted (I'm sure it isn't the latter - not been in a book shop for a while! But my pregnancy brain is starting to get to me!)
I find some of the hints and tips in here to be good. We are still getting ready for our baby so it is all just ideas. I will update the review and let you know if we managed to put any into practice and whether they actually worked!
There are plans for helping your baby sleep through the night and feed when is convenient for you. I can't help but feel that in the very early days, the baby is going to feel lost and scared and needs you to be there for them when they need it, rather than trying to train them into your pattern of living from the moment they are born.
The downside of the book for me is that it isn't presented as tips and hints that you can use if you want. It is a regimented regime that must be followed to the letter in order to work. This just isn't feasible. I have enough friends with children to know that unless you are extremely hard, strict regimes are virtually impossible.
It was an easy book to read and did give me some ideas but I wouldn't recommend buying it unless you are determined to stick to a very strict regime.
I was lent this book by a friend to read, so I decided to read it as I had nothing to lose.
I was amazed at the strict routines Gina Ford expects you to put your babies into from birth, to me it seemed very regimented, in fact too regimented for a tiny baby. She does claim that if you follow her routine your baby will be sleeping through the night from an early age and will be very contented. My thoughts were that maybe the baby will be contented but the mother will be at her wits end trying to keep up to the routine and not having a minute to herself!!!
It also baffled me how she only allowed a few hours sleep a day so that the baby would sleep well at night. How on earth you are supposed to keep a tiny baby awake when all they want to do is sleep is beyond me?!!
I decided not to follow the Gina Ford method and instead just do my own bedtime routine from 4 weeks of bath, feed in nursery and then bed and I am pleased to say that my son now sleeps through the night and has done since he was 9 weeks old!!! He managed to do this all by himself, without being forced into it!!
Personally, I wouldn't recommend this book. Each to their own though, this book may work for some people but it just wasn't for me.
If you are still struggling to get your newborn to sleep through the night, still getting up throughout the night to feed the little one, or perhaps you are feeling as if no end is in sight, you need to read Gina Ford's The Contented Little Baby Book.