My husband bought this book for us to read when I was expecting our daughter. From the beginning it scared me to death, I thought my life was going to have to be extremely regimented for my baby to be happy and contented. From the word go my daughter did not fit into the feeding and sleep times given for her age by Gina Ford and there was no way that i was going to leave my child screaming for food while i waited for it to be the correct time!
The plus points to this book is the overall idea of trying to get some kind of routine going from an early age. We started a bedtime routine from 8 Weeks and it worked really well.
My daughter got herself into her own daytime routine and was consistently sleeping through the night from about 12 weeks. She has never fit in to the routines and i doubt she ever will but she is a happy and contented baby (most of the time!!) I wonder how babies on the strict routine learn to communicate their needs to their parents if they are not given the chance.
This book may well work for some parents and babies who crave structure but it was far too rigid for me. I'm a strong believer that the baby needs to fit into your life, not dictate it.
My husband and I have giggled quite a lot about some of the advice in this book and its somewhat dictatorial style! Gina is very detailed in her advice and her routines can seem rigid and inflexible. However as a new mum (with no family to help day to day) I've found this book invaluable, the advice about how many hours a day a baby should sleep and at what times to feed are sensible and practical. Her suggestions about what time to eat and what time to sterilise are a little too dictatorial although I have to say that when you are suffering from sleep deprivation with a new baby it does make sense to do things at the same time everyday - at least you can be sure you've done them!! You can adapt the routines slightly to fit your lifestyle and half an hour here or there doesn't really cause any trauma. The book is so no nonsense that it is really reassuring. If your baby sleeps happily during the day and sleeps through the night from an early age, you and your baby are more contented and more relaxed.
I am an italian lonely mum, and I live quite far away from my family who could not support me during pregnancy and after the birth of my baby, so i reckoned reading about how to take care of my child would be the only thing for me to do in order to prepare myself.. This book was the best purchase ever, i followed it to the letter and my baby slept 9 hours since she was 12 weeks. Great author and great book indeed!
My son has just turned 1 and the Gina Ford book was simply the best thing i bought - as someone else wrote, it's like getting instructions for your child. Some people agree with routine and some don't but if you want baby to fit around you and your life, this book is the way to go. I can't praise it enough and am about to buy her Toddler follow on book right now.
I bought this book whilst pregnant and read it cover to cover. Whilst Gina Ford's routines sound good I found they they made me feel isolated and lonely. My little girl fit in perfectly to her routines at first, and everything was great. She slept through the night by 10 weeks. By the time she was 4 and a half months old i was starting to feel desperately lonely and was finding myself saying no to people who were asking me to go out for lunch etc as my baby should be sleeping 12-2. I now let my daughter sleep when she likes and she is much more content, no more screaming fits trying to get her to sleep and i don't feel depressed anymore. Gina's feeding times are great and we still use those. If you are going to try and follow her routines i would advise you to do it wisely and do not stick to it as rigidly as i did...