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AIBU?

To ask if anyone used Gina Ford method

159 replies

newmum1611 · 26/11/2018 06:31

Posting here for traffic
Did anyone use this routine? Did it work? I have a few things I’m not finding clear answers to with it..

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cheshireagain · 26/11/2018 07:49

@Perfectpeony get that, but having your own child tests the practicalities of her methods somewhat and the bond/instinct you have with your child she has never experienced.

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HarveySchlumpfenburger · 26/11/2018 07:51

We are not allowed to talk about her methods on MN, she threatened to have the ENTIRE site shut down for discussing her methods.

Err yes we are. There have been plenty of threads about her methods since then. As long as you don’t start slagging her off or making personal attacks about her you’ll be fine.

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MonaLisaDoesntSmile · 26/11/2018 07:51

I started and it was horrendous.
It's a military style that did nothing for us and made me and baby unhappy.
I don;t know a health professional who would be in favour of it either. There are much gentle methods out there.

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StripyDeckchair · 26/11/2018 07:54

@newmum1611 - looking at your last comment is your baby a week old?
If so, this is such a tough, blurry, exhausting time I know but it is way, way, way too early to think about routines. You're teeny little one just needs you to be on call. If he wakes to feed every hour that's because he needs to feed every hour. Newborn stomachs are tiny. Plus feeding for comfort is not a bad thing at all at this stage (or at any stage in my view, but that's a whole other debate).
I would focus on other things like accepting help, lowering standards, getting fresh air and daylight when you can, sleeping whenever you can. Forget routines for now.

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wigglybeezer · 26/11/2018 07:57

She doesn't reccomend feeding every four hours for newborns as far as I can remember. I followed her routine with DS2, roughly, I did find it hard to remember the timings when I was tired but it suited him very well. With second and third babies you find they have to fit in with the family timetable and do end up trained to eat and sleep at set times naturally, at least during the day, the night is more random!
Mind you DS2 is at university now and still tends to go to bed and get up and eat at set times so it might have been his personality...

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newmum1611 · 26/11/2018 07:58

Stripydeckchair he is 10 days old. I did think it may be too early for routine but the book says you can start from week 1 if they have regained birthweight etc!
Thanks for all helpful comments so far. Sorry for posting about GF I’m new to Mumsnet didn’t realise the history...

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StripyDeckchair · 26/11/2018 08:02

I know you can find all different views out there and every baby is different but I would say you're adding to your stress in the very early days if you try to do a routine. I'd have a read of some stuff about the fourth trimester instead and just go with what baby needs.

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unlimiteddilutingjuice · 26/11/2018 08:02

I read it when I was pregnant just to get some idea of what my days might look like. The more baby-led books were hopelessly vague about how often a baby would feed sleep and poo. To the extent that I just couldn't imagine what life would be like at all. I was like: "OK, I get it. They're all different. But just at least give me an idea"
I read GF and I was like: "OK, everything happens roughly once every 4 hours. That's helpful"
Then DS was poorly and in special care for a week so he was handed to me already Gina Forded. Everything a 4 hour intervals.
It only took 3 days of breast feeding on demand to get completely out of the routine but it was nice while it lasted.
I read the porry training book as well. It promises dry kids within a week. We pulled it off after a year!
Reading over the thread-it looks like the posters that have done best with GF have treated it as a guide rather than a prescription. I'd suggest you do likewise. With whatever method you choose.

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PaulHollywoodsSexGut · 26/11/2018 08:03

We used it but here’s the advice we ignored:
-baby in own room to sleep every time. This is a bit contrary to safe sleeping guidelines for the UK.
-we did +/- 15 mins on the timings. You just can’t live to such an utterly regimented routine.

For us it worked. It started to make a difference when DD and DS were 8 weeks; they slept through from 10weeks 7pm - 6am.

The biggest reason for me is that both were CS babies whose weight crashed in hospital and I had trouble with breastfeeding. I had to know when I’d fed them and for how much. As scandalous as this sounds I couldn’t “trust my body to give them what they needed” as it hadn’t in the first week/fortnight of their lives.

So i followed the feeding schedule as closely as feasibly poss using expressed milk then when my supply crashed out formula.

It works for some, not for others. Our “softer” interpretation really did the job for us and I’d go as far to say as stopped me sliding into full blown PND with DD.

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Trampire · 26/11/2018 08:05

My eldest is nearly 14 now so it's very long ago.

I had the book and flirted with it for a bit, but to honest the strictness if the routine just stressed me out.
My baby never slept well in the day but was fairly good at night anyway.

My friend 3 doors down from me ha a baby the same age. She was NUTS about GF and would regularly come over and tell me what I was doing wrong Grin

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StepAwayFromGoogle · 26/11/2018 08:10

I did, OP, at about 10 weeks when I was on my knees with DD2. It really helped but was far too regimented for me so I relaxed it and just used it as a guide. I'd also say 10 days is too early to start really.

I eventually found another programme called 'Little Ones' which I found so much better. More relaxed and loads of useful advice about how to adapt it if DC are not playing ball! //www.littleones.com

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StepAwayFromGoogle · 26/11/2018 08:12

Damn autocorrect! That should be //www.littleones.co

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allthatmalarkey · 26/11/2018 08:17

Works for about one in seven babies IME. Good luck, OP.

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itshappened · 26/11/2018 08:17

I agree 10 days is too early. You can start working towards a routine, differentiating day from night and follow the guidance on basic sleep/ feed routine timings. But don't be disheartened if baby doesn't respond for a while! I found my baby mostly slept at this stage and I was still trying to recover from my labour and get the hang of breast feeding, so worrying about anything else was not a priority. However you definitely should avoid letting a baby cry for extended periods at this age as they inevitably want lots of cuddles and comfort when they are so little and need to know you are there when they need you.

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allthatmalarkey · 26/11/2018 08:18

Utter shite if you're breastfeeding. Her advice goes against the NHS advice and research.

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PaulHollywoodsSexGut · 26/11/2018 08:18

However you definitely should avoid letting a baby cry for extended periods at this age as they inevitably want lots of cuddles and comfort when they are so little and need to know you are there when they need you

^ megayes

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ethelfleda · 26/11/2018 08:27

Nope - I hate routines and would rather follow instinct.

Head down - turn clock around, feed on demand and just. Get. Through. It. Your baby needs you!

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LillianGish · 26/11/2018 08:31

10 days old is much too early - they literally don't even know they're born up until that point. Go with the flow, lots of bf to establish your milk supply (if you plan to bf), try and get some sleep when your baby sleeps during the day if you can to fortify you for the broken nights and really get to know your baby so you can eventually try to establish your own routine. One thing you can do at this stage is distinguish night from day - in the day be as cheery and playful as you like, but if the baby stirs at night for a feed or whatever keep everything very calm, dark and quiet.

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Dreamingofkfc · 26/11/2018 08:31

Your baby is 10 days old. Honestly just go with the flow and enjoy him..any book that advises staying in between 11-3 for new mums is not good advice!

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fabtasticmrpox · 26/11/2018 08:48

I used it with my eldest who is 15 now. Despite being a midwife I was pretty clueless about babies older than a few days . It taught me about sleep patterns . I wasn't regimented with it though .

I much preferred the book 'secrets of the baby whisperer' by Tracey Hogg - much more gentle approach and from what I remember helped me deal with colicky dd2. Advised too much fore-milk causes wind - so I changed the way I fed her.

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Mummyoflittledragon · 26/11/2018 09:28

I did it with dd but when she was about 8 weeks. I was on my knees as she was all over the place with sleeping. I have read that her method doesn’t allow women - or at least some women to build up their supply enough in the early weeks. As dd was a couple of months old, my milk was relatively established so I didn’t have any issues on that front.

It was very difficult to follow the regimen to the letter in the beginning. But dd absolutely thrived on it. I did have to feed more during growth spurts. If I was late by even 5 mins for sleep, dd became grouchy and difficult to settle so the incentive was there to follow it!

If I’m reading this clearly I think you’re bottle feeding but if you are going to breastfeed and follow it to the letter I would recommend seeing if you need to add more feeds. Definitely during growth spurts.

As pps have said I’m sure it doesn’t suit every baby. My neighbour recommended it as she used it very successfully for both her dcs but my friends didn’t and took several months to get them into a routine. However their babies never had such erratic patterns to begin with so they were happy to go with the flow.

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MemoryOfSleep · 26/11/2018 09:29

Hold the phone, he's ten days old? I think the GF book may be out of date with this advice, it's generally accepted nowadays that babies can't tell night from day until six to eight weeks so there's no point trying to get a baby that age to sleep through. Also CC risks emotional harm before 6 months.

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steppemum · 26/11/2018 10:56

I did it a bit with dc1. I found it helpful to give me pointers to a routine. When I hadn't a clue, it was a useful place to start.
One or two of the things she suggested were life savers.

BUT I have 3 dc, (all now 10+) and looking back at them and the method, I think dc1 naturally was a child who craved routine, and he also, right from birth fed like clockwork, every 3 hours on the dot.
It would not have worked with dc2 at all, and I never felt the need to try it, as she and I fell into our own routine, and her feeding was totally erratic.

Dc3 just gets to fit in around the rest of the family!

Things that helped me:
getting up at 7am to start the day, so you 'reset' the body clock every morning. This really worked because dc1 was very routine with his feeding, and a decent sleeper.
when dc1 at 5 weeks suddenly stopped falling asleep during the day, I read the bit where it says, 'a baby who has been awake for 2 hours, needs a sleep' and I tried it, and it worked. The longer I left it, the more hyper he became until he couldn't sleep and we had a screaming baby at 4 pm who was over tired.
This remained true all through his childhood - too late to bed = hyper and can't sleep!

But dc2 was different, if she was tired she didn't become hyper, she just went to sleep, so none of that was necessary for her.

I also found her feeding/ weaning schedule handy, later on.

What did NOT work for me was that she suggests top up feeds, can't remember the details, but my baby did not do top up feeds ever, if her wasn't 100% hungry, he was not going to eat.

As any book, take what works, and remember it was designed for ff babies, and GF is not a mother.

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sassypants72 · 26/11/2018 11:03

I read this book while pregnant with my first child as I had zero experience and was completely clueless!! I found it helpful with regards to tips and ideas for my daughters routine, but once she was born let her lead me on routine.

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steppemum · 26/11/2018 11:03

and I am pretty sure her feedig times were every 3 hours, not 4

I remember:
7am, 10am, 1pm, 4pm, 7pm - up for 12 hours = bedtime!

night feeds 10 pm, 1 am 4 am and back to 7 am.
She expects the 1 am feed to drop early on, and then the 4 am.
Mine did that, he had dropped both by 6 weeks, but then woke at 6.

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