Thursday, December 18, 2008

Controversy and the Contented Little Baby Book

I decided that if I borrowed it from the library, I would only be taking a peek - a mere skim read - and would not step into the controversy by spending 'good' money on The Contented Little Baby Book, by Gina Ford. I am now thrown into disarray!

Gina claims that, once trained ( or 'Gina-ed' ) her babies barely cry more than an hour a day. She thinks colic may be caused by breast feeding on demand - babies take too much and their stomachs and can't digest it in time.

Her remedy is a strict regime of naps and wakings and - here's the killer for me - only feeding ever four hours. I expect that for the first few days of any such regime, Hugh would be apoplectic with baby-faced rage if he had to wait four hours to latch on. The hypocrisy is this : I eat every 2 or 3 hours and have done all my life (I'm a normal weight). Lordy, I'd be tetchy without my snacks.

However, I can't deny that Hugh has no routine whatsoever at six weeks old. He will feed (or cry and fuss) for 30 minutes or an hour - or 2 to 3 hours any time of day or night. If it's a 2am to 5am stint, it's a tricky one. My energy levels are a lottery depending on his pattern.

Then I try to analyse other parts of Gina's theories - if you let an adult sleep and eat (from an overflowing food table) as much as they wanted, they might get over-tired, bloated and grouchy. Maybe a baby does need structure - even if it protests by screaming? Oh, ma heid is confused... There is so much conflicting advice in the big ol' baby care world.

I know I just couldn't wait while our baby cried his wee heart out for any length of time. I don't have the stiff upper lip gene.



Catherine Black said...

Yes Gina sounds rather scary. I've been warned off her by various people already (and I'm barely 3 months pregnant!!). I know people who swear by the Baby Whisperer - I've bought it and quite like the book in theory but I have not got my little bundle o'joy in my arms yet, it remains to be seen if Baby Whispering will work....

Mary Anne said...

My nephew had a bad case of colic when he was a baby and it seemed to go on forever. My sister received all kinds of well-meaning advice from friends, strangers and books, but she continued to breast feed him on demand because it felt right to her. He's 32 years old now and a healthy young man with children of his own.

I think you should listen to your heart and your baby and do what feels right for you and the little one.

Ciara said...

Thanks for the supportive commemts, laydees.

Yup, I'm trying to follow my instincts, while also trying to move towards a routine - as gently as possible.


ianshepherd said...

Hi Ciara,

I've emailed you but just wanted to say here - Gina Ford ended up down the back of our sofa, whereas Tracy Hogg's Baby Whisperer became something of a bible - much better for people with ME/CFS, in our opinion.


Rachel Fox said...

No advice to add/offer...I had different problems (let baby sleep too much, she didn't feed very well and she ended up underweight! Guilt? Guilt!!).

Thinking of you all though. You get so tired it's hard to think straight...and all the conflicting advice drives you crazy...even when it's well meant!