GINA FORD - Contented Baby

Hi ladies,

My first baby is due in september - hubby works away a lot and i have no family who live locally so I've been reading various baby books and looking into the best way to try to get my baby (and me!) into a feeding/sleeping routine to try to make things a little easier.

I have a couple of friends who've successfully implemented the Gina Ford routine and have happy babies who sleep through the night fairly early on etc. It seems too good to be true! I've also read negative comments on the routine, saying it's too strict.

I obviously want whats best for my baby but I also want to make life as easy as I can as I'll be on my own so much. Has anyone tried the Gina Ford routines - did it work for you?? Good and bad opinions appreciated.....

thank you x


  • There are plenty of women on here who have had success with it, I would also recommend reading The Baby Whisperer by Tracey Hogg if you think you may prefer a less strict approach - I found it a godsend with my first and still refer to it now when I need to with my 2nd.
  • Gins Ford believes in controlled crying...if you want to teach your baby that his cries are futile and will not be responded to, go for it. The Baby Whisperer is a far gentler method and much more flexible and baby led. Babies cry for a reason...don't turn them into babies who stay silent even when they need something, please.

    It is true some people have used it without apparent I'll effect, but there are plenty of people out there who achieve the same results in a far more sensitive way.
  • Hi Becks
    I am in a slightly different position as I have twins and that was the reason I felt I really needed a routine.

    I do follow Gina Ford but I taks from it what works for us. I think that you need to adapt the routines to fit with you and lo. GF makes it sound as if babies are machines and will do exactly what the book says at the times it says..they wont!!! I was also say to wait until around 12 weeks to implement it as up until then they need to just feed and sleep.

    I know a lot of people are quite anti GF but it has worked for us. My two are very happy babies, now 6 months old, who eat and sleep well. It wont guarantee sleeping through from an early age though, mine were 11 and 19 weeks.

    Be interested to see the other comments x
  • can I also add that I have never left my babies to cry and never will..apart from when they both kick off and I can only deal with 1 at a time. As I say you need to take from it what works for you x
  • thank you for your replies, I have read Gina's book and some parts of it do seem quite strict but a lot of it makes sense.
    I'll defo have a look at the Baby Whisperer and see what it's like.
    Thanks again x
  • sorry, me again -

    is thi the baby whisperer book? there seem to be a few different ones on amazon.. x

    [Modified by: Becks01 on May 26, 2010 08:33 PM]

  • Hi ladies,

    I think the best thing to do is try it and see what works for you. All I can say that Gina saved our lives overnight quite literally.

    I would consider myself and my hubby to be very switched on people (both teachers) and we were keen to follow routines to help ourselves and our baby adapt to life as easily as possible. Our first 3 weeks were hell as all our son Toby did was cry. We tried EVERYTHING to stop this including the usual colic advice/drugs. Cranial osteopathy, doctor, etc etc. Getting him to sleep was horrendous and it was tearing my heart out seeing him so distressed. We would end up driving round in the car at 10pm to get him to sleep. We tried rocking/pushing/swinging/controlled the lot and he was just not a happy boy!

    One day, after tearing my hair out, I decided to try the routines. From that night onwards, he has been a very happy contented baby....I can not tell you what a difference that made to our lives.

    We followed the routines in terms of feeding/sleeping etc but not everything eg like when to express.

    For us, getting Toby to sleep was such a distressing time anyway, controlled crying wasn`t much difference but I tell you, he learnt how to sleep by himself fairly quickly and we have never looked back. He has slept through the night from a fairly early age and other mums I know who don`t really have routines have been gobsmacked at how Toby will sleep anywhere when he is left to sleep on his own. The crying is heartwrenching to start but I would recommend to persevere because your baby will be happier in the long run.

    I know others will disagree and I understand why but I just wanted to tell you how Gina transformed our baby (and us as willing parents who needed guidance). I have since used her weaning and now toddler book and so much of what she has written/advised has worked for us in lots of different ways.

    Good luck with whatever you decide. At the end of the day all of us Mums just want the best for our beautiful babies, and sometimes we achieve it in different ways.

  • Oh also, trying a million different ways to get your baby to sleep was the worst thing we did. Some nights in desperation we would rock/cradle/swing/comfort/put down/pick up/drive and all it did was over stimulate him and make it 100 times worse....this is why controlled crying worked so well for us. He would eventually go to sleep and he learnt to sleep really quickly that way. Trying different methods meant seeing him more distressed for longer and getting no result in terms of long term routine

    All babies are different but hope this helps at some point xx
  • just remember that a newborn NEEDS to feed very frequently as the tummys are too small to hold large quantities of food. expect to be feeding every 2 hours at first. dont expect to get blocks of sleep. maybe get baby used to going to sleep on their own, but thinking a newborn will fit into a routine is unrealistic. in fact, it could be a major problem. friends of ours baby fed every four hours, whereas i fed mine every 2-3, sometimes 1.5! my baby grew and grew. there's was readmitted to hospital having lost a great deal of weight. a scary amount!

    as you want whats best for your baby, i'd suggest you read everything you can on breastfeeding so you are aware of the realities and how to overcome issues. i had read everything i could, including a breastfeeding course booklet for health professinals, and i did feel prepapred. the more info, knowledge and a realistic view of the first few weeks, the more likely you will be to stick at it and give your baby the best start possible!

    [Modified by: ***Calleigh*** on May 26, 2010 08:33 PM]

  • I just looked on Amazon, there are quite a few on there. I would suggest 'the secrets of the baby whisperer'. Happy reading xx
  • Oh also, trying a million different ways to get your baby to sleep was the worst thing we did. Some nights in desperation we would rock/cradle/swing/comfort/put down/pick up/drive and all it did was over stimulate him and make it 100 times worse....this is why controlled crying worked so well for us. He would eventually go to sleep and he learnt to sleep really quickly that way. Trying different methods meant seeing him more distressed for longer and getting no result in terms of long term routine

    All babies are different but hope this helps at some point xx

    Soooo... don't bother trying to work put what your tiny baby needs. or try to fill that need - just ignore them until, exhausted, they realise that nobody is going to help them no matter how long they cry, and go to sleep unfulfilled. Cracking. I despair.
  • I have the Solves all your problems book as it covers feeding, sleep and behaviour across a range of ages, very good and transformed my bubba very quickly. At 5 weeks old he still does not sleep through, but he lasts 3-5 hours and settles again very quickly after feeding.
  • i really dont think a baby is meant to sleep though at 5 weeks! when does the baby eat?!?!
  • hey - ive always been big in the idea of routine and firmly believe that helps the baby feel secure and contented. I always intended to implement a routine from day one. However, having had my baby 3 weeks ago I now realise how naive I was. I made myself very anxious and stressed because I didnt feel my baby was getting the best from me as we weent in a routine, i'd worry when she didnt feed in neat three hourly slots or wasnt interested in activity. As I am exclusively breastfeeding, i have read and researched as much as I can in the last couple of weeks (i didnt think id be able to BF so didnt look into it before the birth), i realised that being baby led at present is the best way forward. Ive stopped clock watching and feed when my baby wants it, let her sleep when she wants and have activity time when she wants instead of in any set routine. I do still believe that routine has its place but would urge you not to be too regimented to begin with xx
  • I think it;s each to their own, as you do get to know your little one. I read the GF book and the Baby Whisperer book when pregnant amongst others. I am someone who likes routines but I soon learned that babies don't follow the book!!! However, I found some elements of both books, very helpful. For instance, the advice on bedtime routines. Not so much timings, but very early on we implemented giving the last feed in his room (to get him used to it) with the lights dimmed and soft music etc playing. For ages it didn't seem to be doing anything, We would be up and down the stairs to his moses basket, re-settling him. DH was all for bringing him back downstairs and we almost gave up, but then all of a sudden, LO started realising that it was bedtime and he was there to stay til the morning, and we meant business and from about 3 months, he stopped grumbling and yelling and just settled down to sleep and slept through the night from 3.5 months. The feeding routines didn't really work for us, as I decided that, if LO was hungry, then he needed to eat!

    I loosely followed the EASY routines (baby whisperer) too and again, just picked out elements that worked for us. LO is 7 months old now, sleeps for 12-13 hours at night and is a happy healthy little man.

  • Becks 01. Good luck in your pregnancy and your baby. Really not the kind of person to get into arguments so won`t post on this topic again...


  • I don't expect him to sleep through Calleigh, however he was high birth weight and therefore is theoretically capable of it. He eats when he's hungry and is gaining weight really well, so I guess I'm getting something right! Not really sure what you're trying to imply there...
  • We didn't use a book at all, but just wanted to add a word of warning. A friend of mine started using Gina Ford and by three months was feeling completely paranoid that her daughter wouldn't nap in her cot. Our mother and baby group ended up supporting her through what was for her a very tough time (her husband works very long, irregular hours so she, like you, was handling a lot on her own). In fact, for about a month our mantra was 'Bin Gina'. She didn't entirely, as I know her daughter very quickly fell into a routine (without any controlled crying as far as I am aware) and is one of the happiest, most intelligent little girls I have ever met - who sleeps happily in her cot at nap times. So my advice would be to take advantage of any mother and baby groups in your area. At minimum they will get you out of the house. At their best, you will get a lot of advice and support for when things don't go to plan.
  • what do you call a high birth weight? i would expect a 5 week old baby to go through the night for 12 hours without ating as their tummys are so small and they need food more freequently than that. has the hv told you he is capable of sleeping for 12 hours at 5 weeks? as ik dont think thats a helpful comment at all.
  • Wow, some very strong opinions here. I personally think it is completely out of order to criticise other mothers who choose to do something that someone else may not agree with (as long as the baby isn't coming to any harm of course) but that's just me. It is one thing to express an opinion on Gina Ford but quite another to flat out criticise another mother who clearly only has her child's best interests at heart. Cruel and unhelpful.

    I have a friend whose baby just can't seem to sleep on her own. The baby gets exhausted and cries with frustration - all her needs have been met, she just needs to sleep but hasn't worked out how yet. To suggest that a parent who tries CC isn't bothering to work out what their baby's needs are is as ridiculous as it is offensive. Sometimes sleep is the need!!

    Anyhoo, back to the OP - I read the Gina Ford books and the Baby Whisperer (the Solves All Your Problems one) and took bits from both. Controlled crying wasn't for me personally but I would never criticise someone else for trying it if other methods of settling have been unsuccessful, their baby is old enough and has all their other needs have been met.

    The most important thing is that you do what feels right for you and your family - the GF routines are quite strict and I BF on demand which just isn't compatible as babies can feed constantly for those first few weeks.

    Finally, don't set your expectations of getting into a routine too high as you might be setting yourself up for failure. Try to relax and enjoy those early days - they are hard work but also a lovely time and you don't want to be too obsessive about following a strict schedule. Your LO may well fit right in to a routine from the start but many don't!

    Good luck with everything, your life is about to change in a wonderful way!

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