Anyone tried Gina Ford?

(53 Posts)
VixiTrix Sun 09-Dec-12 23:26:47


Has anyone out there tried Gina Ford routines? They are quite rigid but I was thinking about adapting them a bit but still following the principles. Has anyone's else done that and how long did it take for your little ones to get used to it?


TheDailyWail Sun 09-Dec-12 23:37:14

Yes, I do believe that it is quite possible that someone, possibly quite a few people have tried her method before.

I hope that answers your question.

Tolly81 Mon 10-Dec-12 00:21:29

No - I just thought life is too short to spend time with a new baby clock watching. Also, there is now mounting medical evidence that rigid routines (especially feeding to a schedule) actually make babies cry more - the British Medical Journal published a review on excessive crying in infants and found that feeding to schedule rather than on demand (breast or formula fed) causes increased crying. If you are breast feeding then feeding to a schedule is an absolute no no as will affect your supply.
I think most of these routine type books give you unrealistic ideas about how early you can expect babies to be sleeping through - young babies should be waking up at night pretty often to feed. You'll find that if you don't feed to schedule the rest of the schedule goes out the window!

SaintNiChaolas Mon 10-Dec-12 00:23:55

Gosh, no!

I flicked through her book, but when I saw she wanted me to wake PFB after 3/4 hour sleep in the day, i think I said "Fuck that!" quite loudly in the middle of WAterstones, and skammed it back on the shelf, sharpish.

Never looked back.

lisad123 Mon 10-Dec-12 00:25:16

You aren't allowed to mention her name on here, she is known as "she who cannot be named". grin

Be prepared for this post to kick off or be quickly deleted shock

lisad123 Mon 10-Dec-12 00:28:30

For those that don't know, miss GF tried to sue MN due to comments made by posters which she didn't like.


SaintNiChaolas Mon 10-Dec-12 00:29:31

That photo never fails to raise a grin form me, lisad.


lisad123 Mon 10-Dec-12 00:32:46

For fear of getting sued I can't suggest what she looks like in that picture but will say she might get a job in criminal minds as an un sub wink

i tried with dc1 and spent a tearful week battling with him and sleep deprivation. all 3 dcs have survived without her routines. They just made for a very tired and stressed mum and baby delete me incase GF is lurking. I have nothing worth suing for grin

Narked Mon 10-Dec-12 01:14:48

You can mention her. No-one's going to go ballistic.

SaintNiChaolas Mon 10-Dec-12 01:33:06


Very good, Narked.

Narked Mon 10-Dec-12 01:35:16


HughFearnlyShittingFuck Mon 10-Dec-12 01:36:41

lol at the un sub grin

Startail Mon 10-Dec-12 01:36:46

One of my nct group got a GF type routine to work for her, but she is an organised routine liking sort of person.

l´m not. DD1 isn't either.

DD2 might be with a different Mother except for wanting to BF all day.

HughFearnlyShittingFuck Mon 10-Dec-12 01:38:00

MN is like a boat - don't rocket

OperaGirl Mon 10-Dec-12 02:22:34

Yes our DD is on an adapted GF routine and has been from very young. I don't let her cry without comforting her and we do use rocking and other sleep props, which she says she's against. I also don't agree with her view on doing everything to the exact minute. I found that that having the same routine for her every day helped us as well as her and I credit this to her sleeping through the night , 7.30pm to 7am every night bar 5 from 8 weeks old and she's 6 months next week. I think the key is to adapt the book to suit you and your family. Another key thing is that if she was hungry or needed a nap I let her and we broke the routine for that feed or nap but then went straight back onto it for the next part of the routine. Listen to your gut, if it feels right for you give it a try.

Tolly81 Mon 10-Dec-12 02:52:57

Remember GF never actually had any children of her own which was kind of the nail in the coffin for me - bad enough telling people what to do with their kids if you've had them, even worse if you haven't! She was a nanny for mums who went back to work with very young babies
I believe. There's nothing wrong with having a rout it of routine - day is for playtime, night is for sleeping etc. But it really is unrealistic to expect very young babies to sleep through and completely incompatible with breastfeeding. These books are basically shamelessly anti breastfeeding. Personally, I'd love to take GF on <rubs hands with glee>. I'd love to hear what she has to say about the British Medical Journal review. Gina - are you there love???

OperaGirl Mon 10-Dec-12 03:33:52

Just wanted to add that DD is exclusively breastfed and that i've not only had no issues with milk supply whilst on the GF routines but my DD has stayed in the 75% for weight. We started a loose routine at 4 weeks. I recorded all her naps and feeds during this time and then adapted GF to fit the pattern that emerged from this. As I said, DD slept through from 8 weeks, with me having no supply issues at all and she's a happy, very health little girl.

notcitrus Mon 10-Dec-12 04:31:55

Some babies will roughly follow her routines from the start. Mine didn't, and where GF really falls down is it doesn't say what to do if you put your baby down for a nap say and they just cry - it's implied you let them scream a full hour or more which I wasn't doing. Also no tips on how to wake a fast asleep baby - ds was impossible to wake and even nursery still report at age 4 he's fallen asleep despite poking every 5 mins.

I chucked it across the room in tears when ds was 3 weeks, decided to just cart him where I went and feed and change as needed and never looked back. SIL found her v useful with her ds, but later her dd had other ideas. All the women I met at baby weighing or in breastfeeding rooms in tears were trying to follow it and felt like failures - I suggested not following it and all 6 over a year looked hugely relieved.

It's useful just for the sample routine charts for older babies and toddlers, but the rest of it needs huge disclaimers on it, explanation that it does mean leaving a baby to cry for hours which is against medical advice, and generally the tone taken that if your baby doesn't sleep etc it's your fault is just horrible.

Fairylea Mon 10-Dec-12 06:06:41

I followed it with dd now aged nine and thought it was amazing - she was sleeping 7-7 from about 9 weeks. I also had terrible pnd and didn't have a clue what to do with a baby in all honesty so I found the routine comforting.

But when I had ds 6 months ago he literally would not settle for the set naps at all.. he went a record 12 hours at 6 week's with NO daytime sleep despite me trying everything! I then realised it wasn't going to work.... ! I think it works for certain types of very easy going babies.

However, some of it I have taken onboard. I never let ds sleep more than 3 hours in total during the day and I have a very set bedtime.routine..bath, bottle by the bed ...bblacked out room, no talking at night etc.

Ds slept through 5-5 (he's decided 5 is bedtime... groan!) from about 9 weeks.

Never had sleep regressions etc.

Fairylea Mon 10-Dec-12 06:08:53

I'm also not too sure it matters that she doesn't have her own children... lots of midwives etc don't and we still trust them. Same with supernanny for example.

Rosa Mon 10-Dec-12 06:12:28

I was given it read it and binned it..Diddn't even offer to pass on. I liked the Baby whisperer better and although diddn't stick to it exactly I found it much more logical and adaptable. Tracey ????

JakeBullet Mon 10-Dec-12 06:16:06

HughFearnleySittingDuck "MN is like a boat, don't rocket" gringringringrin


To the OP, I was given a copy of this book in pregnancy and thought I'd try it (gives hollow laugh), I am the most disorganised person ever and just could not follow or even adapt it. Then again DS had huge feeding issues which made a difference.

I have been a HV and have heard mothers absolutely swear by it and say it saved their sanity. I have also seen mothers in the depths of despair; not from PND but because they could not get their baby to follow the routine.

I'd say if you are going to do it then adapt it to suit your baby and you. If it works for you both then great. If it doesn't work for you then remember it just doesn't suit your baby and move's not you or your baby that failed, the routine simply didn't suit you.

BellaOfTheBalls Mon 10-Dec-12 06:16:23

I was given it and after 4 days of tears (mine & DS1's) my DH made me throw it out.

Turns out I'm better at attachment parenting anyway.

toomuchchristmaspudding Mon 10-Dec-12 06:19:45

I have been following the advice of she who cannot be named and it has worked brilliantly. The trick is, to use the bits that apply to you, but ditch the rest. The best tip was to ensure that you empty the breast when you are feeding, rather than letting your baby graze all day. Also, to institute a good routine. We are a bit slack with this, but always ensure that DD is in bed for 9 pm. We don't do controlled crying as I think it's cruel, but when she used to cry we would put a dummy in her mouth, pat her, sing to her, play Classic FM... anything really, but we would not get her out of her cot.

She gradually dropped one night feed, then the other, and now sleeps from 9 pm to 8 am.

Oh, and one thing I did was to give her a big bottle of Hungry Baby formula before putting her to bed at night, and this helped her sleep, I believe. She is breastfed the rest of the time.

Glittertwins Mon 10-Dec-12 06:31:11

Yes for ideas but no to strict following otherwise I would have lost my sanity and never got out the house ie just as toomuch has said above. When I read the bit about when I should have breakfast I just laughed and said "yeah right!"

3boys35 Mon 10-Dec-12 06:39:09

I have used the basic GF routine for all 3 of mine. I accept that it's not for everyone but I believe children are secure in a routine whatever that routine might be.DS3 is nearly 2 and still sleeps 2 hours after lunch at home or at his childminder and the bed between 6.30 and 7pm and he sleeps all night. There has hardly ever been any crying at nap time or bed time and if there was I would rock or feed to sleep. I think the key to any routine is making sure that DC don't get over tired and GF routine helps with this. Don't know how old your baby is but don't try to start it too early. I began at about 12 weeks and all 3 just fell into the routine easily . Knowing that ds3 will sleep everyday has meant that I know I get a break, older boys get some time in their own and breaks up what can be a long day.

FamiliesShareGerms Mon 10-Dec-12 07:02:15

Tried it for about one week but it turned my contented little baby into a very unhappy little boy, who still wouldn't sleep through the night. We ditched it pronto and almost immediately got our lovely boy back.

One of my friends followed it to the letter, but a) she had twins who she wanted to feed, sleep etc at the same time; and b) she was very anxious about what to do, so liked having a clear routine set out for her to follow. She's the only person I know who really rates GF.

Meglet Mon 10-Dec-12 07:19:35

Yes, from 6 weeks and to the book with DC1. I didn't have a clue what I was doing, no parenting instinct at all. He suited GF straight away, much better than mummy making a hash of things.

I wasn't so strict with DD as breastfeeding went so well with her. Even so she had a rough routine from 4 months old and I fine-tuned it over the following weeks.

ceeveebee Mon 10-Dec-12 07:25:49

I did read her book and roughly followed parts of her routines with my twins, but refused to stay in the house every day for the lunchtime nap, so got them used to sleeping in the pram from the start.
A lot of it seemed to make sense though, and they slept through 11-7 from 12 weeks and 7-7 from 5 months and have never had any sleep regressions (13 mo now).

QTPie Mon 10-Dec-12 07:54:49

I completely agree with opera girl and a few others: I read and digested Gina Ford and Baby whisperer and took books and pieces into a routine that I developed from observing DS's natural patterns. We started at 3 weeks and had a good routine in place by 5 weeks (although it with daytime naps - they weren't formal/regular until 6 months for us). DS slept through reliably by 12 weeks and didn't have sleep regressions.

Re "crying", DS very very rarely cried once on his routine: he was never over-hungry or over-tired - he didn't get to the point where he cried because of hunger. Also happy, rested mummy with time to do a few things for herself (like get to the gym occassionally). I breastfed exclusively (well one expressed bottle a day too).

A routine can work brilliantly, but I didn't follow her methods particularly.

3b1g Mon 10-Dec-12 08:05:16

Yes, we had to, or we never would have been able to get out of the house to get DS1 to school. If anyone has managed feeding twins on demand and co-sleeping when they also have a two year old and a four year old, then they have my admiration, but the only thing that was feasible for us was to be routine-based. I didn't follow her book to the letter, but I did adopt the feeding and nap times, also took her advice about swaddling and blackout blinds. It all works.

catwoman101 Mon 10-Dec-12 09:23:25

I thought about it, but decided against it as I have no idea how you are supposed to get a baby to nap if they are not tired or feed if they are not hungry. She advocates bf for 20 minutes plus and dd is usually done in 5 mins.

We have no daytime routine, and a gentle bedtime routine which works out just great. Dd doesn't sleep through, but wakes for one feed only and settles very quickly, and I am not stressed trying to keep to a routine. (not sure how you are ev supposed to leave the house with her routine)

silverangel Mon 10-Dec-12 13:18:03

I loosely followed the routines with my twins - I didnt bother until they were about 16 weeks (8 corrected) but it worked for us and they have slept through since they were about 20 weeks. I was strict about the napping times as it did directly affect their night time sleep and we fed on a rough 4 hourly schedule - if they were hungry earlier I fed them but would always woke to feed in the early days if need be.

elfyrespect Mon 10-Dec-12 13:28:06

I have a friend who does GF. She's thrown me out before - "sorry but it's nap time now"

matana Mon 10-Dec-12 13:30:29

I read it and tried it. It didn't work - DS got stressed, I got stressed. I ditched the book and enjoyed motherhood infinitely more after that. When DS was a bit older i did more of a Baby Whisperer thing, but by that stage it was probably because he was old enough to develop his own pattern of eating and sleeping, which naturally fell in line with the book, so it wasn't forced against his will. At 2yo DS will not do something against his will and is a wonderfully happy, yet ridiculously stubborn, little monkey. I guess it suits some babies and not others. I was off work for ten months so there was no hurry for me to get into a routine. The more relaxed approach worked well for us and we've been rewarded with an adaptable little boy who likes the familiarity of a loose routine, but does not erupt into meltdown if we want to do something a little differently than he's used to. For us it was the bedtime routine that was the most important - it meant we could still eat out with him fast asleep in his buggy at 18mo. Things have changed a bit now though...

FateLovesTheFearless Mon 10-Dec-12 13:35:30

Yes with my four children. Adapted to suit each of them however and I didn't bother with some bits like wind down times, no eye contact etc. I think the book can be useful if you want to get some sort of routine but not for a first time mum whom might try and follow it to the letter and get stressed by it. Way I see it, any books are no different to being given advice by well meaning relatives or health visitors etc. you take from it what you want and what works for you and baby. Or you ignore smile

FridgeBenefits Mon 10-Dec-12 13:35:37

This was the first, and probably last, book that I literally burned.
I didn't want to pass on the regimented claptrap to another poor unsuspecting new mother.

Was a lovely toasty fire that night grin

bugster Mon 10-Dec-12 13:49:58

I loosely followed the routines with my first DD, it worked for her. Not following the exact times we did everything a bit later, but roughly the same total sleep time in a day. I think that it is important to make sure babies don't sleep too much during the day or they won't learn that the night is for sleeping, if that means waking them from a nap so be it. I didn't follow her advice so rigidly for feeding thouh, but I did generally try to make sure my baby got a proper feed instead of grazing all day.

FunnysFuckingFreezing Mon 10-Dec-12 13:55:13

I did what loads of others have said, took bits from GF and the Baby Whisperer and adapted them to suit me and the DC. I followed the DC's natural routine, but I did like knowing what to expect next.

As it turns out I am not an attachment parenting type at all!

SandyChick Mon 10-Dec-12 16:33:54

I did the contented baby routine with my ds who is almost 6. He was pretty much doing the routine anyway. I don't find it stressful, he slept beautifully from 12 weeks. He was definitely a contented baby.

Ds2 who is 8 months isn't quite the same. I tried the routine with him but it was too stressful. I can count the abound if nights he has slept through the night on one hand. I have loosely started the contented baby routine for nap/feed times. It does work. The only nights ds has slept all night is when he has napped and fed as per gina's routine.

I personally like having a routing. I suppose if gives me a sense if control. I think my boys are happier for it but each to their own. If ds2 slept during the night and wasn't in a routine then that would be marvellous but that's not the case hmm

MillionPramMiles Mon 10-Dec-12 16:56:46

I wish I'd had one of those chilled out babies who just slept when they were tired and ate when they were hungry - apparently they exist smile
Instead I have a 6 month old who has struggled to sleep during the day since 3 weeks and through the night since 12 weeks. When the usual options (sling, co sleeping, pram etc) didn't work, I had to start following a routine. Anyone who has spent their days holding a crying baby that hasn't slept for 12 hours knows how hard it is...

Like others, I took bits form gina, bits from the baby whisperer. The best advice I had (echoed by a Hv and midwife) was to encourage proper feeds instead of constant grazing. It wasn't easy and there were days I'd be shush/patting for hours in tears but I didn't have a choice. I'm also one of those who is tied to the house in the afternoons but again, I have no choice. It's that or my dd just does not sleep.

I did though adapt the routine to suit when she was most tired etc rather than following the prescribed timings to the letter.

weegiemum Mon 10-Dec-12 17:01:09

I read it.
I tried it
I ended up in a mother&baby psychiatric unit for 3 weeks, because of it.

Find your baby's own routine.

Don't end up being found, by your dh, sitting on the floor weeping outside the room while your dd1 is screaming inside (he came home about 10am knowing I was struggling).

Bin the book, really I mean it!

pylonic Mon 10-Dec-12 19:49:50

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SquidgersMummy Mon 10-Dec-12 20:28:37

I would just like to say that in RL I am a paid professional working with children and their families.....I have just had my first baby - I have always been an advocate of attachment - it just makes sense and builds well developed brains - even so when I go back to work my outlook and advice will be soooooo different. My experience makes me question someone who hasn't had their own baby. Attachment - basically following your instincts - all the way. x

Bananapickle Mon 10-Dec-12 20:38:25

I have a friend who has used it religiously with her DC and it's worked brilliantly for her. I read it and found some of it useful as I am a routine person. My biggest sticking point was that my DD fed at a rate of knots so keeping her awake for a specified period of time was impossible!
I would suggest maybe reading it but with a BIG pinch of salt and if you find some it useful, great, if you don't, great.

lola88 Mon 10-Dec-12 21:53:07

I read it didn't like it and there no way DS would have gone along with it at all anyway i swear Gina Ford herself could not make that boy sleep

amothersplaceisinthewrong Mon 10-Dec-12 21:59:21

I had like routines for my two which sound rather like like Gina long before Gina existed - both slept from 7-7 at 10 weeks and were very content babies. And I was a content Mother to have my evenings to myself.

Pyrrah Mon 10-Dec-12 23:19:56

If you are a mother who likes routines and schedules and have a DC who likes routines and schedules then I'm sure you will like this book.

If your DC decides that sleeping is for sissies and breasts should be attacked as if you were a shark and all feeds finished in 5 minutes flat, and you are a not a particularly routine person then I guess you will end up thinking it's one of the worst books you wasted time reading that year.

Personally I couldn't bring myself to do some of her suggestions. I went out and bought Dr Sears Baby Book, moved DD into our bed, fed on demand, stuck her in a sling in the daytime and was a gazillion times happier for it.

That said, I have a child who hasn't taken a day-time nap since she was 6 months, doesn't go to bed till 9.30pm and is happy, confident and incredibly energetic and busy the entire time they are awake (unlike their exhausted mother).

MizK Mon 10-Dec-12 23:30:50

I used GF routines on DS and DD2 and they were both good sleepers. DD2 is a little minx and on the go all day at 21 months but still has a 2 hour nap every afternoon and sleeps 7 til 7. I used the blackout blinds and put her to bed when she was tired but not awake. This means I've never had issues with having to feed her to sleep or rock her etc.
However I ignored advice about when to feed because I don't like the idea of making babies wait for milk. This may be why my otherwise perfect sleeper still got a middle of the night feed til she was 15 months! Just take what works for you but PLEASE don't stress about following it to the letter or it will make you crazy. The routines are far too military and detailed but if you use them as a general guide you'll be grand.

bbface Tue 11-Dec-12 08:05:35

Yep, we did, very early. Adapted I.e. no crying out, but as GF writes, if you follow from really early on, having a routine will be all that your baby wil veer know, so needing to cry it out is highly unlikely.

Anyway, I digress. We did it, and LOVED it. DS is now 2.4 and I kid you not, after going to bed last night at 7.15, he is still in bed fast asleep. He loves routine. Having an afternoon nap in his cot all he has ever know, from day 1 and he still has a 2 hour one. We re a lot more flexible now, but as a new number, I was happy with the fairly restrictive nature if the routine.

Following gins ford lite gives you so much confidence as a new mum, because it hand holds you. I did not have any support network at all as both parents passed away, in laws abroad and closest friends all childless. So it was me, dh and gf and we had a very easy time of it if I am honest. DS hardly ever cried, at all, andninthink that was because he was genuinely so content. All his needs were met before he even came to a point of realising that he needed something!

Number 2 in feb, and plan to do the same,

themaltesecat Thu 13-Dec-12 10:14:00

Revolting books.

Read part of one in a bookshop when my daughter (exclusively breastfed and a terrible sleeper) was about seven weeks old. I'd have tried almost anything, but...

Even in my addled state, I could scarcely believe the advice that one should not make eye contact with the baby after 6pm. How fucking scary and cold and weird is that?!

Can well believe that nannies, detached and desperate to get to the pub, could follow this sort of schedule. That a mother could defies belief.

WayneDeer Thu 13-Dec-12 10:25:00

We used Gina Ford for my eldest as we had no clue
I was too wimpy to do all of it.
it gave me much more idea about not keeping her up for hours and hours as a new born
I didn't realise they needed so much sleep
Some idea that a routine was a good idea

It helped until my instincts felt strong enough for me to rely on them
Once I felt I had a handle on it all it pretty much went out the window

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