I felt the author was very arrogant in her writing. She does a good job of broadly mentioning other approaches, but only to discredit or denounce them without ever actually offering a true comparison. I read this book because another mother recommended the author's sleeping approach. But even that failed to provide the info I wanted, which was on the "controlled crying" method. A mother just looking for an easy, one-stop-solution might find solace in this book. But a mother who takes the time to research a variety of approaches/perspectives/philosophies will find this book wanting.
Very informative and tons of good tips for a first time parent.
This is a wonderful book of guidelines! I loved it. I called this my "Baby Bible" as it made our parenting such a breeze. I have used this technique with all four of my children. She sounds strict, but she can't write to every individual. So you take what she writes, and then make it work for you. Some people don't like schedules and routines, then this isn't for you. Every mother has to do what works best for them and their baby. For me, this was an amazing tool.
A few things: by 12 weeks all four of my children were sleeping through the night. And by through the night I mean 7:00pm to 7:00am or thereabouts. The whole concept is that she gives you a guideline to follow, which encourages you to teach your baby to sleep at night, and encourage your baby to be awake for short spells during the day. The author gives great wisdom in how to do this, she lays out groundwork for you, explains the why's and the how's, and allows you to do the rest.
If the book recommends you feed your baby at 7:30am, and then at 10:00am, but your baby wakes early from a nap, say at 9:30am, then by all means feed your baby.
When others tell you that it is "normal" to have your baby cry for a few hours a day, this is not normal in our home. My babies have never cried for more than a few moments. I am not exhausted. I am not catering to their every whim. They are calm and content.
The cycle she explains is to SLEEP, wake up and FEED, then PLAY / AWAKE TIME, then SLEEP. This way, you may have to wake the baby, but if you feed the baby as soon as he/she wakes, you avoid your baby crying for food.
Following Ms. Ford's guidelines made it so incredibly easy for me to know what was wrong with my baby. I always knew if my baby was fussy because they were hungry, or if they were tired, or just needed a diaper change.
For instance, she says to keep the baby awake for up to 2 hours (in their first few weeks of life). My babies were only ever able to stay awake 45 minutes. I could notice when they were tired, I'd change their diaper and just put them to bed. As they grew, they would be able to stay awake longer, so if I put them down to bed and I'd hear them talk a bit, I knew that I could keep them up longer the next day.
The author also explains how everything has a "knock-on" effect. If they wake early in the morning, for instance, this is usually because of a too much sleep in the morning of the day before.
As I said, I have done this four times over, and while each time I have to flex for different reasons (some babies require more sleep than others at different ages) following Ms. Ford allowed me to tend to my babies needs in a way that allowed them to be calm and contented babies, while giving my husband and I the tools and confidence to love and nurture and enjoy our babies. We were rested and calm, ready to enjoy them during the day, and we all slept at night getting the rest a baby and especially a new mama needs.