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Contented Little Baby or Gina Ford for twins

(31 Posts)
SwellyBelly Wed 29-Jun-11 13:44:55

Hi all

Our ID twins are due in a few weeks and just wondered what experiences / preferences you have regarding contented little baby or Gina Ford.

With our first, i was dead set against Gina Ford, but many have proclaimed her a life saver. On the other hand, we tried the CLB approach, which seemed better for us, which turned out to be an abject failure as we fell into a trap with no routines, feeding on demand, sleeping on the boob etc. - none of which I think I could possibly handle again with one, let alone twins!


LaLoose Wed 29-Jun-11 14:46:19


Um, for me, neither. Twins are complicated enough already and you have to sort out your own routine, IMHO. (With twins, you need a routine. A strict one. But I think you need to work it out yourself.) Plus, parenting books freak me out. They can make you do things that are not natural to your family, simply because the author feels strongly that they are positive things. I'd trust your own instincts and not waste your money. Good luck, though!

KnitterNotTwitter Wed 29-Jun-11 14:51:01

IMO these books are good for if you want to learn to become a Nanny. But not good for how to become a parent. Trust your instincts and listen to your children.

Again in my opinion you want to be aiming for a rhythm not a routine and if you listen to your instincts you can find that rhythm.

Sorry that is an answer to a different question but I feel really strongly about this.

Some of my favourite bits of parenting DS are letting him sleep on the boob, co-sleeping and demand feeding :-) For me the difficult bit was changing myself so that we could do those things safely rather than trying to change my child to fit in with some complete strangers idea of an optimum routine...

rattling Wed 29-Jun-11 21:17:53

Was just going to point you in the direction of the similar recent thread a bit further down the page "maybe-controversial-Any-one-done-the-GF-routine-with-twins", but Knitter has made me grumpy so I'll repeat myself here.

Her ideas are lovely (were similar to mine when considering having one baby at a time), but, in my opinion, totally unrealistic with 2. What if one is sleeping on the boob when the other demands to be fed? You could end up with them working to completely opposite timetables - which might suit them as they'd get you all to themselves, but will leave you no time to eat, sleep or spend time with DC1, which would leave you a bedraggled, cross and useless mother!!

I again refer you to the other thread where you will find a lot of twins raised the GF way (generally amending to suit our/DCs needs) who are happy, confident and very much loved.

Sorry for ranting a bit - but I feel really strongly about this.

LaVitaBellissima Wed 29-Jun-11 21:53:49

I read lots of books and found that Gina gave me a good idea on what to expect at what time, I always wake the 2nd twin if they are still asleep 15 mins after the 1st wakes up.

It's hard work, 100% worth it and always lots of help on MN grin

threefeethighandrising Wed 29-Jun-11 21:57:38

Gina Ford is not a mum. Nor is she qualified in any way. She is however good at selling books.

Her ideas work for some, but for others they are left feeling incredibly stressed trying to mould their babies into routines which simply don't work for them.

Treat with caution I'd say!

threefeethighandrising Wed 29-Jun-11 22:03:25

Have you read the books by the way?

What makes me very wary of them, is it all seems to be about a perceived right way to do things, with the constant reinforcement throughout the book of the message that it'll all go wrong if you deviate from her plan (but no scientific back up for this assertion).

If you follow her routines to the letter you'd never get out of the house! There's nothing in them about trusting your instincts, or encouraging you to get out and meet other mums / babies, or to have a life in any way. It's all about being in the home, tied to routines.

In one place she even suggests what you should eat for breakfast. (Toast IIRC) That was the final straw for me! I have been feeding myself for years.

Sorry I'm trying to be impartial as I know as you say some do swear by her. But I'm failing miserably as I really disagree with her approach (not the routines bit, but the way she implies it's the only way).

threefeethighandrising Wed 29-Jun-11 22:08:01

And, did you know that she sued mumsnet?!

And for something which was IMO a ridiculous statement and obviously meant as a joke! (Mumsnet settled out of court accepting no liability in the end, reportedly for a 5 figure sum)


So if you like mumsnet, perhaps it's not showing solidarity if you give that woman anymore money.

I'll stop now grin grin

LaVitaBellissima Wed 29-Jun-11 22:08:11

3ft do you have multiples? I found that the books helped me in regards to who/what/when but I followed them loosely. You can never eat too much toast btw grin

threefeethighandrising Wed 29-Jun-11 22:09:46

link that works

threefeethighandrising Wed 29-Jun-11 22:12:23

No I don't have multiples.

I know the books do work for some. But I also know others who have been really stressed out trying to stick to them, and felt like they were failing.

If you can do as you did and just take what works for you (and not get annoyed at the way they're written!) then that's great.

threefeethighandrising Wed 29-Jun-11 22:13:51

Seriously though I won't even give away my copy of TCLB to the charity shop as I'm worried it might end up in the hands of someone with PND and make them feel like a failure.

threefeethighandrising Wed 29-Jun-11 22:15:01

Sorry I really will leave this subject alone now. There's a serious question here about how to deal with multiples, and I don't want to hijack it.

I hope someone with some good advice comes along soon.

LaVitaBellissima Wed 29-Jun-11 22:20:21

I know what you mean, but I think most mums feel like a failure anyway, books or not because it's much harder than people realise!

The twins book isn't as hardcore as the CLBB, I think that the 7am-7pm routine does work, but you have to trust your own intinct.

KnitterNotTwitter Thu 30-Jun-11 12:59:27

whoops - sorry to make people grumpy..... was attempting for inspiring and encouraging!

I don't have twins myself but have two friends who do:

One did GF for twins but only in terms of the timings for feeds... beyond that they did a lot of their naps (in fact all their daytime naps whether in or out of the house) in their buggy and mum followed her instinct the rest of the time. She also BF'ed these twins until about 4mo I think...

The other didn't do any 'book', BF'ed initially and then swapped over to FF.

KemgangKat Thu 30-Jun-11 14:03:58

I've got a 15 month gap between first DS and my twins and I found Gina Ford to be a useful guide. I needed to have the twins on some kind of routine (and the same one!) and fast so that my older son didn't spend his second year cooped up in the house. But that said, I think she works best as a guide, not something that you stress yourself out about when you deviate e.g. twin 1 sleeps approx 3 hours less in a 24 hour period than twin 2. That's just the way he is but they are both fed at the same time and both go down for their naps at the same time etc.

Sorry, I'm rambling! Good luck :-)

MamaChocoholic Thu 30-Jun-11 18:49:48

I have followed my babies, but I am not a routine-y type at all. It was very tough in the early months (around 4mo was the worst, I think), but has been getting better since then. perhaps not an issue with id twins, but mine were so different in terms of needs I don't think they could have followed the same routine (eg one was still having 7 naps a day when the other was on 3/4). the thing I did differently than with ds1 (who slept on boob etc) was to try and get them sleeping in lots of different ways (being rocked in armchair, in buggy, in sling, being fed although that only worked for one, in cot although that didn't kick in till 12 weeks or so). that gave me flexibility to get out and about while still constructing my days around their nap times. they have been bf on demand too.

DilysPrice Thu 30-Jun-11 18:58:25

I think that a lot of the problem with GF is that first time mothers have no nous and take her far too literally. GF herself would never follow her routines to the letter for an individual baby, but the tone of the books suggests that it's The Only Way.

So what I'm trying to say is that with the experience of having one baby, you are probably in a good position to read her books, take what will work for you and discard the rest.

Mandy21 Fri 01-Jul-11 08:42:07

As others have said, I think the principles (having a routine, giving you an idea of the levels of food / sleep the babies need) are useful, but you need to work them into your own routine. I haven't read the Gina Ford for twins book, only the CLB book, and the twin routines in that were IMO pretty useless - I've said on the other post that the idea of giving Twin 1 a part feed, then Twin 2 a part feed, then going back to Twin 1 to finish the feed and then Twin 2 would not have worked in my opinion but obviously for some people, it does.

I would also have said that since you already have a child (you say with your !st one although you don't say how old s/he is now) the twins will have to fit around DC1 - if you do a nursery or school run, or even go to toddler groups etc, you won't be able to follow it to the letter and make sure you're always at home for sleeps / feeds. I also think (again just my IMO) that twins are incredibly hard and its really important to get out of the house to meet people, socilalise, just have a coffee (and my absolute saving grace - my local twins club) which isn't possible if you're following GF's routines to the letter.

We did have a routine from about 4/5 months which we stuck to but the babies' kind of fell into it themselves.

Good luck

londonlottie Fri 01-Jul-11 13:25:25

Message withdrawn

MamaChocoholic Fri 01-Jul-11 15:19:52

LL, I am not at all smug (honest!), have a singleton and twins, but for me co-sleeping, demand feeding etc is what I've done because it suits me. that doesn't mean I think everyone should - each parent has to pick what suits them - but following babies' cues was a more realistic option for me than any routine. admittedly my babies do still wake at night (9mo), but I'm co sleeping so ok with it. not trying to say that GF is right or wrong, just offer the OP that routine isn't essential for twins, unless that's the way you're inclined.

Mandy21 Fri 01-Jul-11 18:08:03

Londonlottie - really pleased it worked for you smile LIke I said, I definitely needed a routine, just that I didn't follow GF to the letter. I certainly wasn't baby led - if one twin woke for a feed, I'd drag the other one out of bed whether it was fast asleep or not wink.

I think people forget that its not just a question of what suits the baby or babies - thats obviously importnant but its what suits the mother too. Its no use having 2 perfect babies if the mother is on her knees with exhaustion and her marriage is going down the pan (or perhaps thats just my personal experience - if we hadn't have got into a routine, albeit not quite the GF one from about 4 or 5 months, I'd have been in hospital and / or a single mother by their 1st birthday!)

Fandangos Fri 01-Jul-11 23:58:52

I used Gina Ford for my DD, I had seen routines work really well for other children and knew, for me, I had to have some kind of routine to follow. I feel the same as others on here; if you try to stick to what Gina Ford recommends to the letter, you will go mad/feel like a failure. I feel the most important things to get right are feeding them enough to see them through 7 to 7 and making sure they know that bedtime is bedtime (this is where you must follow your baby's lead in terms of them perhaps needing more sleep/milk during the day than Gina Ford recommends).

I always reminded myself that Gina Ford has no children.

Also, I have lots of friends who do not believe in waking a sleeping baby, or getting up at 7am every morning to feed. But they invariably reach a point where they are at the end of their tether and just want some sleep/couple time! To be blunt, if a parent doesn't care about waking a lot in the night, or having a baby awake until late into the evening, then that's great, but when they start to despair about how little sleep they're getting, or the fact that baby is always attached to them, I just think, baby can't change this, you have to!

People always made comments when DD was a baby like, "ah well, you were lucky with her, she's such a good sleeper and she's so chilled" they also said, "you're lucky, you get your evenings and she goes to bed really well". 'Luck' didn't come into it, it was hard work! But so worth it.

I'm expecting twins in the next few weeks and will be following Gina Ford again, where it suits me and babies!

Good luck all you lovely mummies, enjoy xx

BarryShitpeas Sat 02-Jul-11 22:57:22


Mothering Multiples by Karen Kerkoff Gromada

HappyAsASandboy Sun 03-Jul-11 15:43:45

I bought the GF contented house with twins book when pregnant, and thought routine would be the way to go (mostly based on what I read on here).

In reality, I didn't aim for any routine and did everything on demand. The first 8 weeks were one long 24 hour cycle of feeding, changing, winding and cuddles, but since then (at 8 months now), life has been so much easier because every day we just go with the flow.

I've always managed to get out when I wanted to, and think I have a but more freedom because I'm not tied to a routine. Both babies do whatever they need to, whenever that need to, wherever we happen to be. From about 3 or 4 months they've been consistently going to bed sometime between 6.30 and 7.30, so I do get some peace in the evenings!

I'm sure routines work for some families, but wanted to say that it can work very well without. Neither of my babies really cry, and I don't struggle to get them to sleep (because I don't try to get them to sleep if they don't want to!). I find that I have a more relaxed day than some of my 'routine' friends because I don't have any expectations of how the day will pan out.

Good luck, and enjoy your babies!

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