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The Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford

  1. #1
    sunrays is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Clear Water Bay

    The Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford

    I have been hearing a lot about this book and although the routines given are said to be very (maybe too) strict, it is said to work.

    Has anyone used this? Please share your experiences. I've a while to go until baby arrives but am eager to learn if there are any methods that help baby (and me!) to sleep through the night faster.

  2. #2
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Hong Kong

    If you want to breastfeed please be aware that many of the ideas in this book will hinder you rather than help you. Don’t be fooled by the lip service she pays to believing that breast is best. Many of the suggestions in the book go against getting breastfeeding off to a good start.

    Most new mothers begin to feel confident about their new role as a mother around the four to six week mark. I would wait until you know that breastfeeding is working and that you and baby both have no worries about it before even thinking about a routine.

    By four to six weeks you and your baby will be in a rhythm – dancing around together. And most mothers find that the style of their live becomes somewhat predictable (as much as anyone’s can).

    Mothers who use Gina Ford’s ideas give the credit to Gina Ford when in fact they should be giving the credit to themselves because they are the ones who achieved the happy rhythm they have with the their babies.

    Remember that night feeds are very important to maintain your milk supply when you are breastfeeding. It isn’t such a good idea to try and get rid of them. Rather to manage the night feeds by lying down so that you can still get rest while doing them.


  3. #3
    rani's Avatar
    rani is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Pokfulam, Hong Kong


    Did you read Yvonne's article on Baby Routines

    Founded GeoBaby in 2002

  4. #4
    terry is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Hong Kong

    Hi I used this routine and loved it. Must add that I am bottle feeding and did not adhere to the rules as strictly as Gina says (dictates :) however using the feeding and sleeping times have made our life so much easier. Our daughter is 7 months, eats well, very healthy and happy and sleeps from 7-7 solidly and has for a couple of months now. I highly recommend this routine, taken lightly though, don't let it stress you as it easily can. FYI: my daughter needed slightly longer nap times than Gina suggests for the first 5 months or so.
    PS It may seem hard to wake your baby during naps, but at the next nap time both of you will be glad you stuck to the routine and times as sleeping and settling is easier then

  5. #5
    Nuckle75 is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2005

    We used it and highly recommend it! A word of warning though ...

    Do not try it until your milk comes in and you are confident with the breast feeding. Breast feeding is not as easy as it looks and it's important you get this sorted first. If you're stressing about getting into a routine then your milk flow could suffer. Gina encourages a lot of pumping in the early months too - this is hard but well worth it.

    The routines are strict but you get used to it. The older your baby gets the easier it is to juggle the timings a bit. It's very important to realise that there will be days when it doesn't work and you shouldn't beat yourself up about it. A lot of Mum's fall into this trap and wind up feeling hopeless because the book kind of makes you feel that way. Just persist and you will be fine.

    I know a lot of people who use these routines and we all have happy contented babies who get plenty of food and plenty of sleep. It has been great for us in planning our day and our son slept through the night by 11 weeks (some babies manage even earlier). If you decide to do it then you should also try to track down other Mum's who follow it - it's a great way to get advice and support.

    Anyway, we think it's great! I had NO clue what I was doing when my baby arrived and this book guided me every step.

    Good luck with your pregnancy!


  6. #6
    joannek is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Hong Kong

    my baby is 14 1/2 mths now. i tired the gina ford thing when she's 1 mth old. TOTAL disaster. it was impossible to put her on the schedule. she had a mind of her own & knew when she needed a nap & when she didnt . re: feeding, i breastfed & that "20 min on each side" leave me with blocked up ducts all the way to my armpits; & baby only had front milk - hence lots of gas & crying when put down (cos the gas was hurting her). i finally got mrs chee (lactation consultant) who told me that not necessarily 20 mins on each breast for everyone. for me, my baby had one breast each feed.

    that said, my sis-in-law had a baby 3 months older than mine. she followed that book by the dot, & her baby followed it with no problems. she also breast-fed but gave formula at night & express at night instead of feeding directly. my best friend has 2 sons, tried it with her first, didn't work; tried it with her 2nd, worked wonderfully. my other friend had twins, she followed gina ford by the dot, her twins were sick a lot & not gaining weight much but she still followed strictly. i heard that in the beginning they would cry for the 15 mins (supposedly naptime), still pick them up although no nap just cry & still follow the book (also formula fed). and after several weeks, the babies went on the schedule.

    all in all, i think it depends on your baby's temperament. if you have an easy baby, then for sure. but if you have a touchy/spirited one, maybe not. i'd think it'd be easier for formula fed babies to follow it, cos u'd know for sure no blocked ducts, and full babies & all (in any case if you bf, u should feed on demand). but do read the book to the end, especially the case files. miss ford lets babies cry for a whole night, and she can tolerate starving them for 12 hrs so that they'd take the bottle. i can never do that to my OWN baby. i certainly doubt of she can do that to HER own, but then she never had any. i guess it makes it easier to be baby nazi when she doesn;t need to empathize w/ the mothers. i think u can probably tell that i am very against gina ford. cos i think she's too strict. for crying out loud, those are just babies & they need love & affection.

    in the meantime, maybe you can check out the baby whisperer who's more gentle & realistic.

    good luck!

  7. #7
    joannek is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Hong Kong

    re:nuckle75 comments

    nothing personal, nuckle 75. just wanted to let u guys know that npumping's not for everyone. i for one cannot. pumping somtimes only brings out the frontmilk, like i did & the hind milk get stuck in the breasts. that's why i ended up haveing blocked ducts all the way to the armpits.

    but i don't mean to scare u, pumping still work for a lot of people. just be careful & pay attention to whether you baby is crying or not sleeping well, or her/his poo poo & wee.:baby2:

  8. #8
    cinnamon is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    central, hong kong

    I agree that you should establish your breastfeeding first before you start thinking about a routine.
    You will have enough to deal with without having to worry about sticking to, and making your baby stick to, a routine.
    Just follow your babys lead in the beginning.
    feed him if he is hungry. The constant suckling brings on your milk and lets baby practice how to feed as well as nourishes him
    Remeber that the more the baby sucks the more your milk will come in, so limiting babys eating by forcing a routine onto him , especially in the early days could cause some problems.
    As you gain more confidence you should be able to observe and understand your baby's behaviour (is he hungry and really eating? Or is he fussing and needing to comfort suck)
    Then you could start thinking about routines.
    Maybe you will notice that your baby actually already has his own routine.
    The good piece of advise I received was to remember that this is not forever.
    (although it will probably feel that way when you are in the middle of it)

    I looked through the Gina ford book at the enthusiastic recommendations of a friend.
    It wasnt for me.
    BUt it worked for her.
    I think it depends on the kind of person you are.
    Are you into routines and schedules? Then it could be right for you.
    But all I could see was my friends life being restricted because she constantly had to rush back home for her daughters nap, or feeding etc.
    My baby was also sleeping through from about 6 weeks, so I think it really depends on the child and not necessarily the routine.
    I read in the Great Ormond st baby book that sleeping through is a developmental thing. So it will happen when they're ready.
    You could try exposing your child to more daylight during the daylight hours, to get his body rhythm adjusted.Open the curtains, take them outside.

    I also picked up the Baby Whisperer by Tracey Hogg.
    She also has a basic routine but her approach is much kinder.
    Again I didnt really follow it but I did use it for reference.
    But my favorite book is Baby Love by Robin Barker.
    Everything you could wonder or worry about is covered by the book and its, no nonsense, commonsense.
    Good luck with which ever route you decide to take!

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