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Tips/encouragement for starting Gina Ford

(35 Posts)
RebeccaJames Wed 05-Feb-14 12:50:14

DS2 is 8 weeks old and I think we are ready to start shaping things towards the Gina Ford routine.

I'm so sleep deprived that it currently looks scarily detailed and a blur of times and complications. Has anyone recently started it with a similarly-aged baby? Could you pass on a few tips about how you got started and what helped? And any words of encouragement?

I have decided to give it a go, so please no need here for anti-GF sentiments! smile

Thanks in advance!

MakesAMessWhenStressed Wed 05-Feb-14 13:03:22

Good luck, but do try to remember that your baby hasn't read the book x

Starballbunny Wed 05-Feb-14 13:09:06

I had a massively organised, live by the bell, teacher DF who managed it with DC1 (no idea about subsequent DCs) she got a new much more relaxed state teaching job before they were born.)

The rest of my NCT class and friends follow the muddle through method of parenting grin

RebeccaJames Wed 05-Feb-14 13:09:08

No, I know, and I am ready for it to fail, but I need to be headed towards something and I will be happy if it only gives a modicum I shape to the days and nights. I have free-falled for 8 weeks and can't go on like this. I can "force" the naps at the right times by going out walking, as I did with DS1 (GF worked well for him). But DS2 is younger and I am much more in an impenetrable fog this time.

theevilpenguin Wed 05-Feb-14 13:10:24

I know GF gets a rough deal on here!
But personally I found it very helpful,I read her book for twins and it really helped me shape a routine that worked.
Mine are 4 now so it does feel like a long time ago and things were a bit blurred!
I didn't follow it to the letter,but I used it as a guiding book,I had no idea about babies or routines let alone how to do it with 2 babies so it was handy to refer to it.
I did do a proper bedtime routine from 4 months,in preparation for going back to work at 8 months so it was never an issue.
Sorry can't give you specifics but it was helpful to us!

knottyhair Wed 05-Feb-14 14:38:16

Hi! I have a nearly 10 year old DS and a 13 month old DD and both were GF babies. I think I started at around 8 weeks with DS but did it earlier with DD. It works really well for us, but I know it can seem overwhelming at the beginning, but I have honestly had no regrets - both my DCs sleep well and are/were contented happy babies. I wish I could remember more details for you but I think just try to read just the chapter you need, try to read it when you have a minute to yourself (easier said than done I know!), and as a previous poster said, use the sleeping & feeding times/amounts as a guide - I didn't do the other stuff necessarily like "20 mins kicking under a play gym", mainly because I had to fit stuff in around the school run. In my opinion, if you stick with it and can get past the implementation bit, it pays dividends. They both slept through from a late feed until 7am from about 9 weeks, then both dropped the late feed at about 20 weeks, so slept 7pm-7am from then on. I also joined the Contented Baby forum for the first year (you do have to pay - think it's about £20-25?) but it was worth it for me when I had any questions - lots of experienced mums who had used GF before). Good luck!

Melonbreath Wed 05-Feb-14 14:55:50

Throw that dreadful woman's book away. I tried it and after a week and a very angry wee baby i gave up.

MakesAMessWhenStressed Wed 05-Feb-14 14:58:29

Also bear in mind that you may need to bend the 'rules' a bit (iirc) if you're bf as it's not really designed to suit the needs of bf babies, so you may need to feed more often than it recommends etc

NaturalBaby Wed 05-Feb-14 14:59:17

Use it as a rough guide, don't worry about following it to the minute.
Each day is a new start - if your day looks nothing like a GF routine then forget it and start again the next morning.
I ebf so had to ignore the feeding advise - it just didn't work and I ended up with a starving baby who was very upset that I was trying to make him sleep!
I also ignored a lot of the general baby care advise and just followed the timings for sleep.

DevonFolk Wed 05-Feb-14 14:59:28

In my own humble opinion, here's what you should do:
Step 1 - throw the book in the bin
Step 2 - listen to your baby

I know some people think she's wonderful, but I personally think it's the scariest thing you could put your very tiny baby through sad

Ragwort Wed 05-Feb-14 15:03:05

I also found it very useful (13 years ago grin) but it gets a very bad press on here !

I didn't follow it slavishly - but I got my DS into a bed time routine immediately we got back from hospital - quiet room to sleep in, 'set bedtime' rather than falling asleep as & when, that sort of thing, and it worked for us. I do appreciate it won't work for everyone though.

ScrambledSmegs Wed 05-Feb-14 15:14:02

Are you breastfeeding? Because if you are I would suggest that you take advice from someone else on that front. Breastfed babies need to be fed more frequently than ff babies. I had a GF-related meltdown thanks to the feeding advice.

Otherwise, you should be fine. Just be prepared to be flexible. 8 weeks can be a bit early for any sort of routine, but you may find it helps your sanity anyway.

Ragwort Wed 05-Feb-14 15:14:55

I breast fed quite happily with a GF routine. smile

ScrambledSmegs Wed 05-Feb-14 15:18:07

Bloody hell Ragwort, you deserve some sort of award for that! You are the first person I've ever heard of have no problems with GF's bfing advice.

ShowMeTheCoffee Wed 05-Feb-14 15:29:50

I also breastfed on GF's routines. They worked very well for both of mine and I expect to follow them again with DC#3.

I used her book more as guidelines rather than hard and fast rules (so we were GF lite, I guess) but it was the only way to get everyone fed and rested throughout the day and tucked up in bed by 7ish. It's a good guide. Best of luck xx

Mum2Tigers Wed 05-Feb-14 15:34:27

I slavishly followed GF with my twins, who were mixed-fed. We might have made a first attempt at Gina around 8 or 9 weeks, didn't work for us (after a couple of days' attempt). Tried again closer to 12 weeks and it worked for us completely. As we only had twins, no other kiddies, it was easy to follow the routine; and babies completely and easily adapted to it after a few days. I would not have survived the first few years without Gina, I love that woman!!!

Granted, any routine is prob going to the same as Gina, the need is for regularity more than anything else whether the routine comes about naturally, from Gina or Baby whisperer etc.

My top tip would be black out curtains tucked around the window frame so that it is as black and dark in the bedroom during the day as it would be in the middle night. Helped my kiddies to sleep, it's far less stimulating. Give any routine a few days for you and baby to adjust to, persevere and good luck smile

RedPencils Wed 05-Feb-14 15:41:52

I bf twins with GF. Worked really well to get them both into the same routine.
Timings wise, you need be to think of a guideline rather than an exact timetable.

Swanbridge Wed 05-Feb-14 15:58:02

Make sure you've got an up to date version of the book, especially if you're breastfeeding, as I believe she changed some of her advice between editions. I had no problems EBF and following Gina but certainly in later editions it's full of "split feeds", which mean that you're not really feeding in three hourly (or similar) gaps. She also does say if your baby is hungry, feed them, which many people don't seem to take on board.

I echo what's said above about treat every day as a new day, and don't panic if it goes wrong or if you've gone out one day. Following GF kept me sane as I felt I didn't know what to do with a baby, but following that gave me a guide of what was ok.

saganoren Wed 05-Feb-14 16:01:57

I bf both dcs until they were about 14 months while doing GF - though I did express quite a lot. The feed times worked fine, the sleep was perfect with dd1 and a disaster with dd2. In hindsight, I beat myself up far too much about this and did stupid things like waking dd2 early from the morning nap and late afternoon nap so she'd sleep longer at lunchtime and at night (she never did and eventually I gave up and let her have her own routine and it was much easier). So if it doesn't work well my advice would be to go with the flow. Good luck, if you do get it work, it'll be fantastic for you.

knottyhair Wed 05-Feb-14 18:13:46

Mum2Tigers, I totally agree about the blackout stuff. We've got these and they are the best, as they don't let any light in.

AbouttoCrack Wed 05-Feb-14 18:21:58

I was also a bf gf-er with ds1. It suited him well although I think I must have been a total nightmare to know.
I fully intended to do gf with ds2. But nowhere in her book did she mention how to manage with another child in tow. It just didn't work for me with ds2. We stuck to rough nap times but they were much vaguer and I didn'tstress it. Wish I'd known about mn then.

FreeButtonBee Wed 05-Feb-14 18:30:07

One of my friend had a miserable time trying to get her dd to follow GF, so by all means try it but it might not suit your baby. I did everything you're not supposed to do with my twins (fed to sleep, let them sleep on me during the day, let them sleep for hours in the am, didn'take them self settle etc) - and they have pretty much fallen into a predictable pattern anyway at 1 yr and are, by themselves, starting to fall asleep without help and occasionally sleeping through.

Daykin Wed 05-Feb-14 18:37:27

I GF'ed all 4 of mine and all were bf, bar the youngest who was tube fed for a couple of weeks before being bf. DS1 didn't start it until he was about 6 weeks. She says for the first 2 weeks feed every 3 hours between 6am and midnight and I did this for longer than 2 weeks and I was always a few weeks behind the ages on the routines. I think the book is really badly written (or it was in my day) so it might be helpful to copy out the basic routine (without all the bossy orders to have a large glass of water)

fourlegstwolegs Wed 05-Feb-14 21:15:20

GF is amazeballs. I started DS when he was a week old and he was EBF.
He has been sleeping 7-7 from 6 months and now at 13 months (almost) still does plus has a lunchtime nap of exactly 2hrs at exactly 1pm. He's a very happy chappie.

KingscoteStaff Wed 05-Feb-14 21:40:19

I bf both of mine and the GF routine suited them (and me) down to the ground. Both slept through from about 10 weeks.

But it didn't work out for several of my friends.

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