Gina Ford: Payback is a bitch….

For years I was known locally as the sleep guru, I was the irratating fresh faced mother of twins who had them sleeping through at nine weeks. Whilst other first time parents looked like they had done a super shop at Tescos in order to fill the bags under their eyes I had a sleep regime in place at home that Gina Ford would envy. More

In Defense of the Gina Ford Mum

I never got lucky with my babies sleeping habits, I don’t have natural sleepers, I don’t have angelic babies (well bb comes close) I don’t have quiet babies, I have contented little babies.

I never realised five years ago that by waddling into Waterstones and picking up a copy of ‘The Contented Little Baby’, that I would be immersing myself into a long running parenting war. Also I didn’t realise how much cheaper the book was on amazon, I could have saved myself £3 and my double bump could have rested with its favourite plate of pie and chips.

For anyone ignorant to who Mrs Ford is, she is a nanny turned childcare expert who wrote a book on how to get your baby to sleep through the night from an early age and develops routines that should make your baby a contented little sausage.

My midwife told a girlfriend that she should throw Mrs Ford’s book in the bin as it encouraged practises the NHS frowned upon. When she came to see how me and the twins were getting on she saw the well thumbed book on the coffee table and she told me how important it was with twins to get a routine and wasn’t I a clever mum for achieving it quickly!

I will concede that Gina’s book reads a little like an idiots guide to babies. Which worked fabulously for me as when the stork dropped two at once in my arms I was like a blind eejit. I needed something to tell me what I needed to do to have happy bambinos and some much needed sleep.

My kids all follow gina’s routines and all sleep well which means me and he who helped create them still manage to smile at each other occasionally with eight hours kip tucked under our belt.

For the record I have never left my child to get unnecessarily distressed that’s not really the aim of a contented baby mummy; clue is in title of book. I do dictate the times they wake and sleep, and I am greeted by a rather lovely toothless grin every time I give them a nudge awake!

However I read lots about what a harsh mother I am for having ‘gina’ babies. A minority of the mothers who don’t follow Gina get rather upset about her routines and don’t seem afraid to show it.

The way I see it is, some mums use the naughty corner and others take a toy away when their child is naughty. Some mums puree baby food whilst others happily hand their babies a whole apple to suck on. Some read, follow and love The Contented Baby routines, some co-sleep, some feed on demand, some have no sleep.

Each to your own, parenting skills and style are immensely personal and suit each individual families. However as my mum would say don’t knock someone else unless you have really tried it.

Right am climbing back on my fence now, got an hour to kill before wake up time….

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Copyright © Jane Blackmore and Northernmum, 2010-2011. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jane Blackmore and Northernmum with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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