An Open Letter to Gina Ford – Author of The Contented Little Baby Book

gina ford

I admit through gritted teeth while hiding behind my curtains, that I followed Gina Ford’s ‘Contented Little Baby Book’ almost to the letter and reaped the rewards.

My daughter was sleeping through 3 nights a week from 8 weeks old, and by ten weeks, she was sleeping through from 6pm to 7am every single day.

Sickening I know, and looking back, I think my husband and I were a bit smug when we heard countless tales of ‘up four times a night-ers’ and two year olds still unsettled.

But if I am honest, despite the selfish craving for sleep being fulfilled early, I do not think I would have attempted it again.

Yes Gina’s advice worked, but 9 nine years on, I still feel guilty.

Motherhood is about more than just getting your sleep back. The times my husband and I left our Sarah to cry, for sometimes more than 1/2 an hour, fills me with deep regret and I want to turn the clock back.

So I do sympathise with all the tearful mothers who couldn’t hack it and those but who were told by arrogant mums in the feeding room that their baby’s waking up because ‘they haven’t done Gina Ford’.

At those times, I’m surprised there were not several more single fathers created, as one mum ends up in the grave while the other spends her days in prison.

The lady who I have re-blogged below, has captured the heart of mothers everywhere as she very aptly explains why Gina Ford’s advice is not for everyone.

I certainly could not have followed her programme if I was a single mum or a wife who’s husband wasn’t on board. He was the one determined to stick to the rules but on my own, I would have buckled after three days.

As my precious little bundle let out her deafening cries, my tummy would tighten and send shooting pains all over my abdomen. My breathing became shallow and guilt flooded my entire core.

We were made to think we were doing the right thing, but I’m not so sure we did.

The conclusion that stands out clear in my head is that Gina’s fountain of knowledge and opinionated opinions, are certainly not for everyone, but for those who readily accept them, they need to keep quiet, humbly give thanks that it worked for them and pray for those for whom it did not.

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5 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Gina Ford – Author of The Contented Little Baby Book

  1. Sharon, do not focus on the negative, focus on the positive. Our first born was waking up every hour and a half for months and that was complete torture so in a way I can say that I “know I am full because I have been hungry”. You see, when you approach your personal experience you believe that if you didn’t “do Gina” there would be an alternative story in your life and you idealize that possibility when in fact there exists a far greater chance that you could have gone through a nightmare. We cherish and have more “loving moments” with our second baby ( a Gina Ford baby πŸ˜€ ) than we did with our baby boy who’s parenting the first several months was completely baby led.

    I wrote an article about Gina’s book called The New Contented Little Baby Book which details our experience, please check it out.

    p.s.

    You made the right call πŸ˜‰

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  2. Sharon – totally with you on the damage that anyone who preaches at parent about ‘what approach works best’ can do to another! Esp to a mum who is feeling all wobbly and confused and at her wit’s end due to lack of sleep and emotional upheaval.
    I didn’t do the Gina Ford thing. I gave birth in Africa a few years back …. but it was 1960s style. Flat on my back – told to be quiet.Baby whipped away from me immediately and told to get some sleep. Five hours later they brought her to me for the first breast feed.
    Parcelled home after a couple of days and surrounded by two extreme cultures – one ethnic group slept with their babies and fed them on demand (if they had the milk to be able to do this…) and the other put them in a crib in a corridor at the other end of the house and got them to cry themselves to sleep if they were being ‘fussy.’
    I had no mum – no family other than my hubby to advise me. No midwives or health visitors. It was hell! No internet access to look stuff up on re ‘how to be a new mum!’
    Having baby 2 here in the UK showed me just how lucky we are here! so much help, so much advice…
    I don’t think that you should feel guilty for a minute about following Gina Ford’s advice. The fact that you wanted to do the best for your girl already makes you a great mum! I don’t think that you would have done ANY damage to her…and further – the fact that you care enough to ‘wonder’ whether you did the right thing, again – makes you a terrific mum.
    There is nothing more proven to invite vitroil than someone who has a strong opinion about parenting (so I offer you none – as I am scared you will give me a good slapping – haha) But one book that I DID find helpful after giving birth was ‘A Life’s Work’ by Rachel Cusk. She was utterly pilliored for it because she dared to suggest that being a new mum was blimmin’ dreadful at times.
    Learning about Winnicott’s theory of being a ‘good enough mother’ has also been helpful to me.
    The thing that I do feel I have learned and would share with others (after having had 2 – in 2 incredibly different settings/cultures/lifestyles etc) has been that a) most important thing to do is to figure out the personality of your baby and adopt your parenting method accordingly – and it might well vary between the babies/kids and b) take what the more evangelical mothers with the extreme theories say – with a pinch of salt c) don’t fret about doing ‘wrong’ things with your baby. So long as you are not dropping it on it’s head or shutting it up with a regular measure of gin – they really are resiliant little things!!

    How old fashioned do I sound now??! πŸ˜‰
    xx

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  3. Pingback: How To Not Scream At Your Keyboard | Light-bites For Your Heart

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