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Anyone using the Gina Ford method?

(105 Posts)
MarchelineWhatNot Mon 01-Oct-12 04:59:20

Hi, I have just had a baby and am trying the Gina Ford method to get some routine into our lives. I work (freelance) so it would help for me to know when the baby is due a feed or a nap so I can schedule clients. My other kids were fed on demand so this is all new for me.

Is anybody else using this method? If so, how are you getting on?

MarchelineWhatNot Mon 01-Oct-12 10:53:58

... but I've taken note of your advice HandHolding, thanks.

HandHolding Mon 01-Oct-12 10:54:07

Does she feed all night? Does she have her day and nights mixed up by any chance?

matana Mon 01-Oct-12 10:54:35

Ok i'm sorry to hear that. Just goes to show you can't make assumptions based on a few written lines smile

I suppose what i'm saying (not very well!) is, if you find that it doesn't suit you, don't think you're failing by abandoning it, or that your DD won't be able to sleep without props etc. I sympathise with your situation, but GFs methods are not right for lots of babies. It very much depends on your baby though.

Good luck whatever, and i hope you find some of the other advice useful.

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 10:54:53

I'm sorry to hear you had a traumatic birth sad

I must admit I am a little worried about you returning to work so soon.

How many hours a week do you need to work?

CerseiLannister Mon 01-Oct-12 10:55:00

I think you have just made this thread that little bit more controversial by writing that Marcheline! I love routines and wanted to be able to plan when I could meet people etc, so tried my hardest to get both into routines asap.

However, I couldn't get GF to work for DD1 - she was too hard to settle and so she would just fall asleep when she was due for another feed etc. Plus I hated expressing. However, I did get her into her own routine after about 4 weeks - she fed every 3.5 hours from when she first woke and would sleep from whenever I could settle her until I woke her for the next feed - always after 3 hours or maximum 4 hours since the last feed. So if she woke at 6, we'd go 6am, 9am, 12pm, 3pm etc. If she woke at 7, we'd do 7am, 10am pm. You get the idea. If I wanted to go out at 10am, I'd wake her at 6am, so we could do 6am, 9am, 12pm and she could sleep on way to wherever we were off to.

She slept through the night from 9 weeks, which was great. From when she started solids, she could fit into the GF routines, which I do think are great for the point of view that she establishes a long lunchtime nap early on, which is the one that they keep until they are 3 or so.

However, I do think that for the first 4-6 weeks you just have to go with the flow, work or not. And not worry if not much else seems to be going on. They are just so small and haven't read any of the books smile

With DD2 - she was easy to settle, so easy to get into the GF routines. However, although she "behaved" perfectly according to the routines by day, she didn't sleep through the night until 6 months. What can you do? Babies work differently to each other.

MarchelineWhatNot Mon 01-Oct-12 10:55:48

aufaniae, we actually lost our home whilst I was pregnant. We missed 2 payments just over a year ago, then when I was put on bed rest and couldn't work, they repossessed us. Devastating sad

CerseiLannister Mon 01-Oct-12 10:56:49

Was referring to

"Unfortunately, this is a luxury enjoyed by mothers who do not have to work."

in saying controversial - sorry thread moved on while I went off to pour wine!

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 10:57:25

Oh MarchelineWhatNot I'm so sorry. sad
That must have been an absolute nightmare.

matana Mon 01-Oct-12 11:00:22

I fell pretty shitty now Marcheline that's awful and incredibly stressful sad

As someone else has said, your DD still sounds like her nighs and days are the wrong way around. There are things you can do to gently turn that around. You must be very tired too, so if there is any way you can sleep a little during the day and then take advantage of the other times your DD is asleep to do some work then that could be good. What other help do you have? It sounds like an awful situation for you.

Nottigermum Mon 01-Oct-12 11:11:45

I think I might write a book about schedules based on school runs. If you have a second or third baby, and you are stay at home or work from home, the baby has to follow the routines of the other children. It will be called 'The School Run Method'
6 15 - BF baby and switch TV on for two or three other kids
6 30 - Have a three minute shower whilst DH is burping/changing baby
6 33 - don't forget to get dressed
6:45 - shout at the kids to put on their uniforms that you have neetly put on the sofa the night before
6:50 - Shout again to put uniforms on
7:15 - Breakfast for everyone except Mum who has to shower the baby in the kitchen sink because of explosive poo
7:45 - Kids finish their homework on kitchen table Dh off to work after emptying dishwasher and filling it up again
7:50 - Mum puts in first load in the washing machine
8:30 - School run, in the rain, baby crying with hunger
9:00 - feed baby on a bench outside school gate. In the rain.
9:20 - Back home baby sleeping in pram and mum collapses on sofa with first cup of coffee.

Imagine the rest of the day. It's only Monday. GF is easy.

ZuleikaD Mon 01-Oct-12 11:29:38

MN are very unlikely to take this thread down. The ones that caused the ruckus were very personally abusive to GF and I think libellous. But it's not libellous to point out that she has no medical qualifications, has never been a nurse, has never been a mother and has no idea about breastfeeding. All of those things are true.

noviceoftheday Mon 01-Oct-12 11:32:56

I breastfed both dcs for over a year, but also returned back to work (part time initially) after 4 months, so I needed a routine for my children. Following the principles of GF helped. I really think how you get on depends on how you view it. If you follow it religiously and don't apply common sense e.g. only breastfeeding when she recommends, or, putting a baby that's not tired down to sleep, then yes, it's going to be a miserable existence. The book could do with making it very clear that it's a guide and that you don't have to follow it religiously, however, she is there to make money in a competitive book market so you can see why she isn't going to tone it down!

CerseiLannister Mon 01-Oct-12 11:52:24

I think never having been a mother is not really that relevant. I had never been a mother before I had my first child, but unfortunately, unlike GF, I had never spent day in day out with babies, with baby and childcare being my fulltime job.

aufaniae Mon 01-Oct-12 12:01:27

It may be her job, but she has no formal childcare qualifications. She's basing her routines solely on her experience of being a nanny.

Having worked as a childminder for many years (in the days before OFSTED registration) and now being a mum, I know there's a world of difference in looking after someone else's baby and being a mum yourself. (Going home to get sleep at night when childcare is a job being one difference for a start!)

Her experience as a nanny gives her a privileged viewpoint of course. But the opinons and experience of one nanny are no substitute for scientific study (on which qualifications are based, one would hope) nor for the many insight which being a parent brings you, IMO.

I would have much more respect for her ideas if they were backed up with some scientific evidence, or if she was more honest about her routines being just one of many methods, which may or may not suit people, or if she had some understanding of how isolating being a new mum can be. (Her routines encourage mums to stay at home, and this is not great I think).

ZuleikaD Mon 01-Oct-12 12:14:35

GF WAS a maternity nurse (not an actual nurse, note) in the dim and distant past before she started writing books. She certainly doesn't work in childcare these days which is why her advice can sound so out of date. And Cersei your experience with your own child immediately makes you more of an expert on your own child than she could ever be.

nellyjelly Mon 01-Oct-12 12:20:14

Doesn't work with feed on demand IME.

NK2b1f2 Mon 01-Oct-12 12:59:58

I used a 'light' version of GF with dd1 and it saved my sanity (what was left of it at that point). I picked the best bits and made them fit my baby (eg. dd1 always needed much more sleep than GF suggests). dd2 put herself into a GF routine at a few days old, so who was I to question her? Both girls slept through the night at 9 and 6 weeks respectively which went some way to making me a more relaxed parent...

I think there are many people who try GF or some elements of it but don't go around shouting about it beccause of the ridiculously negative backlash by people who haven't read the book and just spurt the usual 'but she leaves babies to cry'

OP, there is a GF book on having a new baby alongside older children/toddlers and it is less prescriptive due to the need to allow for school runs etc.

bishboschone Mon 01-Oct-12 13:28:03

Yes , both my babies slept from 7-7 with no feeds from 12 weeks . Love gf

MarchelineWhatNot Mon 01-Oct-12 13:57:53

So, can any of you GF experts help me come up with a routine that works for us? I would like it to incorporate the following:

7-8 am: School Run
2-3 pm: School Run
7-9 pm: Awake time
Feeds: 6 am, 9 am, 12 pm, 3 pm, 6 pm, 9 pm, 12 am & 3 am.

Thanks. Am not being lazy, but genuinely struggling with this. It's the nap times that I can't quite fathom.

Rubirosa Mon 01-Oct-12 14:03:51

Sorry if I missed it earlier but how old?

lljkk Mon 01-Oct-12 14:05:41

Friends who found GF too rigid for their DC2 turned to Baby Whisperer instead (Tracey Hogg), said that it gave them that bit of flexibility.

bishboschone Mon 01-Oct-12 14:07:02

When ds was a baby I left the house at 8.15 walking with buggy . He slept for an hour or so . Then he had his lunchtime sleep in his bed mostly or in his pram if out . Then left for school run at 2.30 . He slept on the way back and I either left him outside ( v safe ) or wheeled him inside while he slept . Onviously at the beginning they are asleep a lot . My best bit I gf advice is from day one put them in their bedroom / cot from the hours of 7-7 regardless of what they are doing . They are mostly asleep at this time anyway walking for feeds . My ds was prem , tiny and poorly with reflux . I still managed to get him to drop all night feeds by 12 weeks .

Rubirosa Mon 01-Oct-12 14:11:14

Does she feed to sleep? Could you let her nap for an hour or two after each feed, feed before the second school run so she sleeps during it, and then keep her up for a couple of hours before the bedtime feed at 9pm?

MarchelineWhatNot Mon 01-Oct-12 14:12:57

Rubirosa, she is 3 weeks old. Obviously too young for a strict routine, but I want something to work towards.

At the moment, she is sleeping most of the time, although she seems to be awake a little bit more each day.

Rubirosa Mon 01-Oct-12 14:16:58

Not GF, but personally I would try
Feed at 6.30am-ish so she naps on school run 7am-8am
Feed at 9am-ish and let her have a long nap 9.30am-11.30am
Feed around midday
Bit of awake time and then feed back to sleep at 2pm-ish for school run
Nap 2pm-3pm
Feed at 3pm
bit of awake time (other kids at home to entertain her?) and then a nap 5pm-6pm
feed at 6pm
bit of awake time and then start bedtime routine at 8pm to be fed and asleep at 9pm.

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