Gina Ford - Genius Or Baby Hitler?

Hi ladies, I was just wondering what your opinions on Gina Ford were? I have just finished her book, and whilst I love the idea of routine, I think waking a baby at 7am regardless of what time it last fed is ridiculous! Also, she says to wake baby if it has napped too long. Again, I couldn't imagine ever waking Hannah up!

Do her routines really work? Or is she too harsh? :\?



  • Baby Hitler!! That made me laugh!! I personally thought she was to strict. i wudn't wake my baby at 7am voluntarily, i'd enjoy the lie in whilst i could. however now i'm back at work i have to wake her to get us ready and out the house by 8, other than that i let her sleep. My lo seemed to fall into her all routine, we structured it a little bit, but i wanted to enjoy my baby whilst she was a baby, not worryin what time it was all the time and whether she shud b nappin etc x
  • Can I sit on the fence :lol: I think some of what she says is very sensible and works well, some of it is too strict for me (like the waking them at 7) but I can see the logic behind it. I didn't follow her routine but both my two were happier once I introduced a routine, Barney (my youngest) in particular is an absolute nightmare if his routine gets disrupted as he really likes to know what is going to happen next. I think sometimes that a lot of the critiscm that you hear of Gina Ford comes from people that haven't actually read her book, only seen selected highlights, so you don't get the true picture of what she recomends.
  • Ooooh controversial! ;\) We read Gina Ford before we had LO and aimed for a loose routine based on the one in the book. I found it helped us a lot as first time parents. We adapted the routine to suit our LO and it definitely made the first months easier. Lo has been a great sleeper especially at night which i'm sure is partly down to the routine. BUT we never followed it rigidly and I think that's the key! We just took the main ideas!! As with any routine you can't follow it rigidly as all babies are different. BUT you can take advice and try it out and see if works for your baby.
    And yes we always woke LO up after 1-2 hours max of sleep in the day in the first months. So that we could feed him regularly and so that he learned to sleep more at night. But obviously we made sure he slept enough in the day. So I think some of the ideas are really helpful, but you can't follow a very prescriptive routine rigidly as every baby is an individual. Plus it would drive you nuts image xxxx
  • I think one of the main reasons some people don't like Gina Ford is down to the tone in which she writes out the routine. In a bossy, school mistressy way and it can come across as patronising!
  • Verging on hitler!! I think its too strict when you have a life to lead as well, if you follow it to the letter I don't think you'll ever get out and meet new mums but it does make sense. We took little bits from it, like bedtime routine. Lo kind of fell into her own routine eventually, she was everywhere for the first few months but we finally got there. I think I got a bit too obsessed with trying to get her in a routine then stressed when it didn't happen!! Just enjoy every minute with your lo and you'll both get a routine when the time is right.
  • I think her book has some great advice, and I tried so hard to follow her routines but my lo would just not have it. He always seemed to want more sleep than she recommended so I don't think that her routines are right for every baby. Also, I found it pretty hard to get him to nap at certain times when we're out an about. I probably shouldn't have tried so hard for a routine at such a young age as now at 7months and finally sleeping through he's come into his own routine anyway which works around me too. x
  • Ive never read her book but ive struggled with routines so im imagining i'd find her to be a baby hitler!! I just can't get my lo to do anything he doesn't want to do. The weeks i spent trying to get him into a routine were totally miserable, for both of us, many tears were shed. Id love him to be in a routine, to sleep, eat and play by the clock but he does something different each day so going with the flow makes for a happy baby and mummy in our house.

    I've often thought that i'd love Gina Ford or Supernanny to come in a have a crack at Max-i think he'd run circles round them!xx
  • I think she has some good ideas (Abby has slept loads better since we took away her nightlight - thanks to GF!) but she is way too strict for me. I never wake Abby if I can help it, and although we have a rough routine - I very much follow Abby's lead - not some book.

    I am a big fan of reading all the "experts" advice though - and then doing your own thing, so I would recomend people do have a thub through her books if they have a spare few minutes, but then make it work for themselves and their babies.

  • We read the book before having Lily. We did use the books ideas as a guide, but we were led by Lily really. Like others say some of her routine ideas were good, but we never did the waking them up at 7am! xx
  • like a lot of the others, I took in the main ideas, and as a few have said, my baby girl just seemed to fall into the routine (but I never woke her at 7!!) too. I think to a certain extent GF has made a lot of money by simply observing babies natural feeding and sleeping patterns! As a first time mum I felt it was helpful to have a bit of structure.x
  • I have to say that from 4 weeks onwards i did wake bub at 7am. This actually worked quite well as i felt every day was a new day and i was able to roughly work out feeds and sleeps etc. From 6 weeks ish he only woke once in the night and then from 12 weeks slept thru. Unfortunately now got teething troubles so now waking in night once Ibuprofen wears off! Once he started to sleep thru i stopped waking him up and he now wakes himself between 7.15 and 7.45.

    I understand it's each to their own but i was quite strict with a 7pm bedtime so i wanted to encourage a 12 hr overnight routine quite early on.
  • Baby Hitler! If I had followed her advice it would have made my early weeks with a newborn an absolute misery. I have 2 rules for newborns: never wake a sleeping baby and pick them up if they cry! These are completely opposite to her rules, so I'm pleased if her routines work for some people, but they never would've worked for me.

    Once mine had got to a few months old and started on solids I found that they went into a feeding/napping routine very easily and thrived on it. But imo a routine is not something which needs to be forced on a newborn.

  • hmmm id say parent hitler ... :lol: she tells u when u should have a poo!!!! :lol: i read it after ds was born because we had a nightmare time with him but i read about 10 pages and kindly gave it to a friend image xxx
  • Not a person I think should be telling parents what to do.
    Everyone who has dealt with me throughout both my pregnancies have all had children themselves - even the gp's we see now have all got kids too, because, in my opinion, you just have NO idea about certain aspects of parenting unless you have kids.
    I dont like Gina Ford, and her attitude with the 'thread' on mumsnet (?) a year or so ago just reinforces my opinions of her - she tried to stop people talking about her (in a bad way)! Such a hissy fit for someone who is apparently a 'professional'
    She is far too strict, and although both my two love a routine, I would never dream of taking anything she says and putting it into practice. I have let my kids find their own routines, and yeah sometimes its been difficult (CC with them both) but its what has made them the happiest - not what I /her thinks they *should* be doing!

  • It's not for me, it goes against all of my instincts as a Mother and having never been a Mother herself I really don't think she appreciates the emotional side effects of what she says.

    I did the complete opposite of what she says- cuddled him ALL the time including to sleep, breastfed him on demand for as long as he wanted, picked him up as soon as he cried, NEVER woke him (and still don't 8mth on!) and I have one incredibly happy, well rounded baby who is a dream!
  • i bought the book whilst pg read the 1st chapter and threw it away. babies are for loving, enjoying, cuddling cherishing. Not robotising and deindividualsing!
  • Thanks for all your responses ladies :\)

    We kind of have our own routine, and I was getting a bit worried that Hannah sleeps longer than Gina Ford says to, and that she eats more.

    I eat my meals at different times, and I go to bed at different times, so why should Hannah be any different? I just would like her to know what comes next i.e. bath before bed.

    Interesting read, but I shall stick to my own routines I think. Feel much better doing that after reading all these replies!

  • We call her the Baby Nazi, so very similiar!

    Have you read the Baby Whisperer - I love the way she works (worked, actually as she is dead) image

    May be worth a look if you are looking for some guidance...
    C xx
  • I have Gina's book and the Baby Whisperer book. I watched Tracy Hogg's programme on Sky and she's very kind and firm without being harsh,
    I guess the routine we have is probably closer to the BW than GF but it's our own, devised based on what works for the girls. I think the key is to read the books you're interested in, digest the info and work out something that works for you and your LO.
    I have to say though, I do get them up at 7-7.30am for a feed, even when they were feeding in the night. If they want to go back to sleep then that's fine but it means our feeds throughout the day are always on track and therefore bedtime always falls at the same time. Just what works for us but may not work for others xx
  • I read the book and the only bit I took from it is the part everyone seems to hate! We have always woken James up at 7am to start his feeds, its worked really well, most of the time he is only very lightly sleeping then anyway so ist not as if we have to wake him from a deep sleep.

    Its worked really well for us, he doesnt have a routine with daytime sleeps, just sleeps when he likes really but goes to bed at 8:30pm and sleeps through and has done since he was about 9 weeks old.

    The 7am start has worked for us and him but I couldnt be doing with the rest of Gina Fords sugestions though, its a bit too strict for me!

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