Anyone using the Gina Ford method?(105 Posts)
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?
OP I'm worried about you, do you really really have to go back to work this soon while you're still recovering? Are there any other options for you at all? I say this as someone who went back to work earlyish (when DD was 4 months). Sorry things are so tough for you right now
No advice about GF but one thing that was a lightbulb moment for me was googling nap patterns per my baby's age and making a note of them. I had been keeping her awake far too long between feeds rather than trying to guide her to sleep and she was turning into an overtired hellbeast. At 3 weeks I think baby needs to nap something like 45 minutes after first waking? Does that sound right?
Also: Do you have a sling?!
We used thr GF routine with DD and it worked really well for us. She was sleeping through by 7 weeks with a dream feed at 11pm. However as the posts indicate it isn't for everyone. I think you have to be flexible with it we adjusted alot of the timings to suit us, there was no way 'baby was up and dressed and bathed and having her feed by 7am'! The key is not to beat yourself up if your baby doesn't fall in with the timings, the first couple of weeks were a bit trying when starting the routine but after that it just clicked for us. Im now expecting again and intend to use the main principles for bubba number two but with adjustments! Good Luck!
How are you getting on marcheline? I never looked at GF so can't help there but I had a prem baby (-7.5 weeks) whom we took home aged just under 3 weeks and we had a routine from the start, including (horror) waking her in the night for 3 hourly feeds - as I'm sure you know prems risk sleeping through feeds they can't afford to miss due to being titchy. I think being in SCBu for a couple of weeks - in Spain, where they are much more old-fashioned - had helped her almost to fall into a routine before we took her home. She was tube fed initially, then tiny bottles (mostly expressed breast milk) then we got BF established just before bringing her home. Give or take some off days and of course the transition periods from one routine to the next phase, she has been a well-ordered baby. I am self-employed, in publishing, and had only statutory MA (£125 / week) so whilst we could probably have just about afforded me taking time off it would have made life harder and I'd have got SO BORED. I adore DD by the way. I guess all newborns but certainly prem ones sleep a lot (and feed a lot) and I found working right from the start was perfectly possible - as everything was totally thrown in the air by her early arrival it was also pretty necessary. The cluster feeding, once they wake up a bit (I guess around 3-4 weeks) is a reality, though, and can't be routined out. I found Baby Whisperer quite sane though not always practicable. DD slept through at 14 weeks (ie 6 weeks after her due date, basically almost as soon as we let her). Long rambling post. I just wanted to add some personal experience, from which no general principles can be drawn. I always thought routine would be the way I would go, but was lucky in that it just sort of happened - not much time for research what with prem birth whilst on last 'baby-free' holiday! - I have no more idea than anyone whether it can be made to happen if baby is totally unamenable. But I definitely nudged at times - holding off feeds a bit and of course waking to feed (God, it was tempting not to). Good luck and really hope your circs improve. Btw DD is now just under 16 mo, sleeps really well, still has a pretty good routine, though it's transitioned by itself to only one nap, making work time very limited. Slightly tangentially to what you asked, if you CAN work at the newborn stage that's good because it gets harder, in my experience, around 9-10 months.
Female celebrities wear it from time to time and people get all excited that it's code to tell us that they're a mumsnetter.
Goodness me, we're a sad bunch, aren't we?
You should be able to find the Pombears thread in classics.
No idea about gold. (Was it something to do with the Olympics perhaps? No clue, sorry!)
The mumsnet scarf is a large animal print thing IIRC? Or maybe brown with randoms spots. Not really my thing (sorry) I clicked the link once, though "oh, that's it then" and then didn't rush out to buy one.
Female celebrities wear it from time to time and people get all excited that it's code to tell us that they're a mumsnetter
Ping! <sound of lightbulb going on>
Ah, as a relative MN newcomer, I was wondering why GF didn't come up in discussion more! Now I just need someone to fill me on how the obsession with Pom bears started, why people have 'gold' in nns, what a mumsmet scarf is?
Thanks LadyInDisguise. Yeah, the night time feeds times are just a general guide. Although oddly enough, she has woken up within minutes of 12 am and 3 am for the past few days.
Sounds a really good routine to me
What I have found not helpful is to try and have a routine at night. Not looking at the click and how often I got up was better ie not feeling resentful if it didn't go to plan.
How does this look as a routine?
6 am: feed - kick around on mat - nap
9 am: feed - top & tail and dressed - nap
12 pm: feed - big nap in cot
3 pm: feed - go for a walk in pram
6 pm: feed - bath - family time
9 pm: feed - bed
12 am: feed
3 am: feed.
I should add that she does sleep a lot as she was premature. I would drop some of the naps as she gets a bit older.
I've always thought that the basis of the GF routine was a good meaty lunchtime nap in order for the baby to be chirpy
ish in the afternoon. I bf so always fed more than the book said but I took heed of the suggested nap times, adding a bit more daytime sleep as I think her times were optimistic for my two.
OP - was wondering then if you could do a morning nap on first school run, a midday-ish nap from 11.30-1.30ish with a feed before going on 2pm school run and then a later afternoon nap if necessary? I think even GF suggests a split feed to keep the baby topped-up in the evening too, ie at 5ish and then 6.30? I usually did that, especially for 2nd as it kept baby quiet when the toddler was eating!
I never really went for the dreamfeed idea though, mainly because I couldn't stay up that late (!) and DH was often working, and just couldn't bear the thought of disturbing her!!
Good luck OP
Neither have I, aufaniae. Are you suggesting that that is what GF requires?
Nature intends babies to fall asleep after feeding. That is why all those hormones are released when the baby is fed. It is just that what nature intends is not compatible with routine and 'getting back to normal'.
I never understood the no-BF-to-sleep stuff. It seemed to me that nature was crying out for DS to sleep after feeding! Why mess with it? It worked so well!
I have never had to sit beside a cot, desperately trying to get a young baby to sleep. Total waste of time if you ask me!
I don't know how they feed only every 3-4 hours either. I remember reading it, and trying to understand how a young baby can go for 4 hours (that's the midday one) without any feed! Mine was feeding every 2 hours or so at that age. And I can't get her to wake up, so it's the opposite problem of trying to get a baby to sleep at the wrong time. Both GF and the Baby Whisperer are big on no feed to sleep. I couldn't get mine to feed longer than 10min since a newborn and I even went to see the NCT bf consellor and asked if there was anything wrong with DD. She was always in a bf-induced coma within 10min!
I was a firm believer in gf until I had my second baby. Now I just think you are either lucky and they happen to fit in with it or you're not. Ds literally would not sleep. Imean record 8 wide awake at 6 weeks despite doing everything per the book.
Oh we'll . I didn't breast feed so I don't really know . Just the book is based around breast feeding and when I was ff I had to read between the lines .
Im going to bow out now as its become more of a general discussion but feel free to pm me, OP, if you have any questions you think I may be able to help with and good luck
Yes, DS used to feed three times per hour in the evenings, never mind once per three hours.
I don't think they are designed for maximum milk supply at 3 hourly feeds are fairly infrequent for most breastfed newborns and she doesn't allow for cluster feeding. A more typical breastfed newborn would feed 10-12+ times a day, more frequently in the evening.
I didn't breast feed but I think gf has designed the routines for maximum milk .
Obviously you would feed if baby was hungry in between but that didnt happen for us. Might have done for others I don't know
I don't think you can make them do it , more a case of steering them in the right direction . I agree it may have happened anyway but I wasn't prepared to take the risk .
Actually I found the early routines really helped with my supply as its got a fair few feeds during the day to build up your supply.
Just a question, out of genuine interest, how do you get your babies to go to sleep "when they should" ? Mine only sleep when they are tired and/or bf/rocked to sleep. I was loaned a copy of CLB when DD1 was very tiny, and I couldn't understand how she expected the baby to just go to sleep at xYZ time.
OP this is your 3rd child, what did you do with your others?
Many people do manage to work and have a more baby led routine.
GF style is not suited to breastfeeding, IMHO. The supply/demand is how bf works, and if you try to get babies to bf at exact intervals it doesn't stimulate the milk supply to correspond with the baby's development...
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