Gina Ford: happily awake during nap time (day)

(91 Posts)
Mettecation Fri 02-Apr-21 15:54:02

I have a 4 weeks old baby girl. My husband and I have been using the Gina Ford CLB routine since she was about 2 weeks old.
We are already getting plenty of sleep and most aspects of the routine are a great fit for her.
However, we have experienced a few days now (only during the day time, night works without any issues at all), that when she is supposed to be awake she is sleepy and when she is supposed to be napping she is happy and awake in her cot. No crying or drama, but it just seems wrong to keep waking up the baby and then afterwards to see her awake and smiling in her cot for 2.5 hours without any long stretches of good sleep.
Have you experienced anything similar - and how did you deal with it?
And do you think it is an issue for her to be left by herself in her cot, fully awake, during nap time - and although she has been resting for all that time, should it be "counted" as nap time?


OP’s posts: |
MeadowHay Fri 02-Apr-21 15:56:59

Your baby is not "supposed to be" anything at specific times of the day though. I wouldn't say it's working if she's showing you frequently that she is not tired at the time that you've decided should be nap time. I certainly wouldn't be waking a baby of that age up from a nap unless it's been say 4/5 hours since their last feed. It will do them no harm to be happily awake in a cot however you will then need to let them nap later when they are tired, of course.

Eminybob Fri 02-Apr-21 15:58:00

Just let her sleep when she is tired and get her up when she isn’t.

Nap time is when your baby naps. Not when Gina Ford tells you she should be napping.

birdglasspen Fri 02-Apr-21 21:15:41

There are GF FB pages where you will get lots of support and advice. Even there though 4 weeks will be a bit young to worry about the routine too much, maybe wait till a bit later on to establish routine. I did use it for 1st baby, for 2nd I followed a routine but one where you put baby for nap and don't wake them just adjust the next nap time to when they woke form 1st nap, Tizzie Hall and Tracey Hogg are worth looking at. Lots of people will say you can't put a baby in a routine and terrible things these books mention. I've always found having a baby that sleeps (most of the time!!) for the same naps each days and has a proper bedtime and nighttime sleep is a lot easier and baby is contented as not over tired or hungry! If she's not napping I wouldn't leave her and I don't think it would count as a rest, I'd honestly relax about it and try again at 8 weeks or more. Good luck!

doctorhamster Fri 02-Apr-21 21:23:24

Set fire to the book op. It's the only way.

Aria2015 Fri 02-Apr-21 21:34:26

I'm not professing to be an expert but I've had two children. Both great sleepers. Imo the first 10-12 weeks of having a baby are a free-for-all when it comes to sleep and routine. I just let mine sleep when they wanted for however long they wanted in those early weeks. I only ever woke for feeds if they were sleeping too long. Following their cues in those early weeks really helps you get to know your baby imo and so I was totally lead by them initially. They naturally came to know their day from nights and were soon sleeping quite well at night.

At around the 10-12 week stage, I started to follow the baby whisperer routine (loosely) to get more predictable naps. Basically making sure they napped after an age appropriate wake window. I was used to their little cues by then which helped fine tune the timings.

I'm not familiar with Gina Ford but I personally would let your baby show you the way in these early weeks and then maybe revisit a routine a bit later.

Auntycorruption Fri 02-Apr-21 21:37:15

The baby hasn't read the book

You need to read your baby. Bin the book.


idontlikealdi Fri 02-Apr-21 21:39:40

I've got twins. GF routines saved my sanity, from about 16 weeks, 4 weeks, in it and do what your baby wants!

idontlikealdi Fri 02-Apr-21 21:39:57


boxingdayagain Fri 02-Apr-21 21:42:22

Too early for GF. She's just a tiny infant. Bin the book, or look at it in a few months.
Ridiculous expecting a baby only a few weeks ok to fall into a rigid routine.

Seeline Fri 02-Apr-21 21:45:41

Your baby hasn't read the book.

Your baby shouldn't be left alone - babies should not sleep alone until 6 months old (SIDS)

candlemasbells Fri 02-Apr-21 21:47:48

I’d bin the book. Your baby will have a routine of its own and if you’re lucky you’ll be able to tweak it a bit. Mine sleeps well at night but often doesn’t nap at all.

Midlifelady Fri 02-Apr-21 21:47:55

I followed Gina Ford for nighttime routine and my babies went down well (my daughter took about three months to get it but perseverance is key). The result was child free evenings with my husband and babies that slept well through the night.
Daytimes though I did not enforce an actual time (and did not put them in their rooms with blackout blinds!). But there was generally a point they would be tired and down they went, and I did wake them so it did not go on too long, and I also tried to keep them awake if they wanted to nap too close to bed time.
If your baby tends to nap between 10-11.30, say, instead of Gina's prescribed 9-11 (or whenever), then go with your baby. Keeping to the principals while tweeking for your baby makes a lot of sense.

jessstan2 Fri 02-Apr-21 21:56:43


Just let her sleep when she is tired and get her up when she isn’t.

Nap time is when your baby naps. Not when Gina Ford tells you she should be napping.

Absolutely! I am horrified at the thought of waking a baby from her sleep. Can you imagine how you would feel if someone woke you unnecessarily?

I've never heard of Gina Ford. Throw her book away.

converseandjeans Fri 02-Apr-21 22:15:38

You won't get many fans on here. But I found it worked well for both mine & they slept through with dream feed at 10pm from 6 weeks & napped 2 hrs at lunch.

DD did routine with no problem. DS was born widen DD was still 18 months so it was harder work. I did used to wake him up from naps & he didn't cry when I did so. He used to try to nap all afternoon & go to bed late evening. He was probably 6 weeks when it suddenly worked. Then he stayed happily in that routine for ages. Dropped lunch nap early tho - just gone 2.

Pros: sleep at set times so you can plan the day, you know why they're crying due to routine & so you can sort quickly, they don't actually cry that much as they're not ever really over tired or hungry. I used to nap at lunchtime if it was weekend or day off work, or at least sit down for an hour.

Cons: you're tied down by nap times

It's not popular on MN though & for some reason following a routine is seen as wrong.

converseandjeans Fri 02-Apr-21 22:17:24

Like midlife day time naps tended to be more flexible - just used to stick to amount so say 12-2 one day or 1-3 following day depending on what we were doing.

YukoandHiro Fri 02-Apr-21 22:30:32

At four weeks they don't know the difference between day or night, where their hands or head are, they can't even see you fully in colour yet. They will sleep when they're tired and be awake when they're not. Bin routines and follow your baby - that way contentment lies x

Ritasueandbobtoo9 Fri 02-Apr-21 22:32:22

You realise that Gina Ford has never had a child? Toss the book in the fire!

Tatum1234 Fri 02-Apr-21 22:34:07

Gina Ford is awful. Babies should be with you for all naps and sleeps until 6 months to prevent SIDS. Just enjoy your baby and stop trying to turn them into a robot.

ThatOtherPoster Fri 02-Apr-21 22:38:11

Please ignore people who are telling you to bin a book they’ve never read!

I followed it with both mine - as did most of my friends once they’d seen how well it worked for me - and I loved it.

I think, if your baby seems contented (which is the point of the book), carry on as you are. You’ll know if they’re upset.

Have you checked the case studies at the end if the book? Or on the website (if there still is one)? I found those hateful for hearing her tips on different scenarios.

LittleBearPad Fri 02-Apr-21 22:39:03

OP Gina Ford isn’t a popular subject on MN - she sued it a number of years ago.

If it’s working for you then that’s one thing. But your baby hasn’t read the book so don’t expect her to follow GF’s routine. As long as you don’t force her to you’re good

ThatOtherPoster Fri 02-Apr-21 22:39:27

You realise that Gina Ford has never had a child?

She was a maternity nurse. She didn’t just wander in off the street and start typing.

MzHz Fri 02-Apr-21 22:43:31

I followed GF and it worked for me, but From 16weeks I think

You baby isn’t old enough to follow routines as yet, you the only thing that’s key here is their demeanour

If the baby is happy, that is what you want

Eventually there will be a rhythm that you learn from the baby and that’s all that matters

LittleBearPad Fri 02-Apr-21 22:44:49


*You realise that Gina Ford has never had a child?*

She was a maternity nurse. She didn’t just wander in off the street and start typing.

A hugely different role and let’s face it by the time the potential shit hit the fan she’d be long gone

rainbowthoughts Fri 02-Apr-21 22:45:47

Please don't let a book overtake your natural mothering instinct.

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