Gina Ford routines with baby number2
Pupuce · 22/09/2001 09:00
I am starting this thread as I had promised I would share my experience of having 2 children (not just the first one) on Gina Ford routines.
A bit of background :
DS is 21 months old and has been on GF routine since he was 2 weeks old. I chose to put him on the routine for 3 reasons :
- The book sounded like common sense and did promise a contented baby
2. I am a very organised person and needed to know how what my life would be like after the birth
3. My ds was ÒhellÓ for the first 2 weeks - he cried non-stop (no matter what we did) for at least 3 hours in a row in the middle of the night. He fed well but breastfeeding was extremely painful (and I was doing it from hours on end)
Anyway for ds, the routine is a resounding success. He eats and sleeps very well. He still has a 2 hour nap (only 1 hour when at nursery). He goes to bed every night at 7PM and wakes up between 6:30 to 6:45...7 when we are lucky !
Because he is so well rested, I find him very easy to deal with, he hardly cries, laughs a lot and is generally doing quite well development wise. He is being raised in 3 languages (his dad and I have different mother tongues and nursery is in English).
Now dd was born 6 weeks ago - a completely different labour and a completely different child. From birth she hasnÕt cried much... she is MUCH easier, feeds very well and efficiently. So whilst I was convinced, before the birth, I would put her on GF - because of the good results for ds - I quickly realised that she didnÕt need a routine as much. That was my conclusion for the first 2 weeks. She was sleeping from 11 PM to 530 !
However when I realised that she wasnÕt napping at the same time as ds and therefore not allowing me to have a nap at all or that she would not go down in the evening very well (she would stay awake from 7 PM to 11 PM), I decided that I needed to make an effort and put her on GF.
At 6 weeks, I can say that she is on the routine (90% of the time), I am more flexible with her because she is easier and because it is my second child so I am generally a lot more relaxed.
She has been ÒseriouslyÓ on the routine for the past week only because I found it hard to get her into it, she would feed at the right time but during the day her sleeping time was all over the place. And while GF says to wake your baby at certain times, I would open her curtain and remove her sheet but if that did not wake her naturally then I would let her sleep. Doing this now, wakes her without any difficulty.
2 of my friends who did not use GF with baby one and had difficulty with their sleep patterns (i.e. baby would not go down easily) have decided to use GF for baby 2. One is already using it and is very pleased with it, the other one is expecting for November.
At this stage, I would say that dd is very content and if she had been baby number1 I would have seen less need to use GF. I am also noticing that I am using GF more flexibly this time as I know how it works but first time mothers (hopefully most of you will agree on this) are usually more tense/worried/.... so it isnÕt surprising that they are (and I was) using GF to the letter. As I have said in other boards, once your baby reaches 4 months old GF says that you can be a lot more flexible... and I was.
I will continue to add to this thread as I gain experience with baby number 2.
Emmagee · 22/09/2001 22:09
Just an aside - both GF threads talk about putting baby x 'on' GF, as if she is some sort of drug - I guess that's what makes those of us who aren't, shall we say, entirely pro her methods, even more alarmed. My babies aren't 'on' any program, they're just growing up.
Pupuce · 23/09/2001 08:42
My children are also growing up... happily - thank you very much - with a routine, it just happen to be the one described by GF.
Jolly · 23/09/2001 13:57
Thanks Pupuce, I'll be following your experiences with interest as I followed Gina (very successfully) with my first baby and expect I'll try with number 2 - due next year.
Jodee · 23/09/2001 16:35
Different strokes for different folks ... we all have different ways of bringing up our kids, I mean Mumsnet is all about sharing our different experiences and offering advice - the point is we don't have to take it if we don't want to.
Parenting is not an exact science and therefore what works for one baby may not work for another and GF is not infallible, but I found using her routines as a guideline most helpful, I didn't follow them exactly to the letter.
Emmagee, you make Fordies sound like the Stepford Wives!
Pupuce, you are right when you say first time mums being more tense, worried, etc. I was so happy to have a beautiful, healthy baby boy but although I was prepared in a material way and had read countless books on life with a newborn, NOTHING really prepares you for what life is like with the real thing. Perhaps I am particularly stupid (!) but I had never changed a nappy before and wasn't even really sure exactly when to change it - okay, yes when it was full, of course, but when ds newborn I really wasn't sure - when he woke up? before or after a feed? These things might be obvious to most people but you are on such a steep learning curve with your firstborn, there is just so much to take in at one time. Maybe I needed an Idiot's Guide but GF's book was full of useful advice that I hadn't read anywhere else.
Keeop us posted on developments!
Emmagee · 23/09/2001 18:56
I don't have a problem with anyone reading her books and implementing her advice, I too read various parenting books and am very open minded about which bits I take or leave and equally believe in 'each to their own', I was merely commenting on the language which accompanies the GF approach and also the strictness with which you have to adhere to her programme.
Jolly · 24/09/2001 08:53
You're right Emmagee, the language is quite fascistic and the strictness of the routine is quite mad ('8am - have a piece of toast and cereal' etc). I do agree and I'm still in two minds about it even though I followed it successfully with my first son. I can certainly understand why people don't take to it - however, it did 'work' with him and I'd certainly consider doing it again. But I have to admit I felt very unconfident with him and was grateful for a strict timetable to tell me what to do! Heresy I know but I think that's what appeals to people, especially first time mums about Gina Ford. Its like having a strict old aunt running your life for you, something that is really difficult first of all and then you gratefully succumb as you see it working! I think people have to remember that the routine only covers sleeping and eating, it doesnt cover how you interact with your baby, so that side of things will always be individual and instinctive.
Gracie · 24/09/2001 09:02
Jolly, you have summed up my views on GF perfectly!. I really have no views on the wisdom or otherwise of following her routines but its the language of the book and in particular, her overwhelming smugness that I couldn't stand.
Croc · 24/09/2001 11:30
Can I ask the Fordies - when the baby is semi-swaddled in a dark room etc. to sleep - what should you do if they don't sleep but scream instead. I've read the book umpteen times as my nine week old son doesn't nap during the day and I'll give anything a go; but am I meant to leave him crying??? (Don't think I could do that)BTW he sleeps fine at night.
Inky · 24/09/2001 11:30
I am trying to follow the routines for baby no. 2. I have a terrible memory so can't even rely on my own past experiences. So - 2 questions for those who do follow the routines/know a bit about it.
- At what age does the baby drop the morning nap and just need a long lunch time nap?
2. At what age does the toddler drop the lunch time nap and not need a day time sleep at all?
Pupuce · 24/09/2001 12:34
I think you need to see how long he would "scream" for. Are you talking about the lunchtime nap ? Can you let him cry for 10 minutes ? If so, do that and maybe go back in if he is still crying, re-swaddle him. Keep going but do not let him get up until 1400.
At 9 months old they definitely still need to nap during the day. BTW are you sure he is not crying from hunger ?
I think if you can crack it (it may take a few days) it is well worth it for the baby to be rested properly.
I don't have the book with me but I think they go for a morning nap until at least 7-8 months old. As for the lunchtime nap I remember reading until at least 2 (or even 3 I think) years old.
I will have a look in the book later and post something tonight. Keep reading !
Wornout · 24/09/2001 12:47
I have been reading both lines of discussion, and I did not know such a programme existed (other than Dr Chris Greens methods) I find it a little constricting by the pure nature of it, but I can assure you all that I am not in any one having a pop at you, just each to their own, I would never water down my eldest night feeds (these occured every hour, even when I went back to work when he was 6mths), I did it my way!(rock on Harry S).But
I think after reading all these discussions they could now do a fly on the wall about this site, and then we would not have to see trailers for awful shows like popstars/acting stars (or what ever the latest one is called).
I disgress, very interesting discussions and I am sure that some of you are no where near as aggresive as you sound (or type)
Alli · 24/09/2001 13:02
GF has a morning nap in the routine in the 9-12 months bit although she varies how long it is and you can drop it if your child doesn't seem to want it. My 17 month old still sleeps for 30 minutes in the a.m. and two hours after lunch. At nursery he sleeps for about an hour less each day and seems fine. At home, with less going on, he likes his sleep! In her second book she allows for a lunchtime nap until they're well into toddlerhood (I think).
Croc · 24/09/2001 13:47
Pupuce - thanks for replying. My son is 9 weeks not months hence my reluctance to let him cry without comforting.
I've spoken to my Health visitor about his lack of sleeping (he'll happily spend 9.30am till 10pm awake except for one or two ten minute naps after a feed - and he's a really happy baby). She thought it was okay but I'm getting very tired with no time to nap myself!
He is also averaging 12 feeds a day at the moment (only one at night :-) ). Hence the GF book seemed to promise a happy baby but most of all a less tired mother (which must be better for him!)
Pupuce · 24/09/2001 18:55
I had a look at the book... here is the stuff.
She says that research has demonstrated that until 2 years of age, children benefit physically and psychologically from a proper structured nap in the middle of the day (p 58 from The contented little baby book).
As for the morning nap. GF says that children usually drop it between 15 and 18 months (I personally thought it was before that but DS was still having one at 1 years old).
If you are struggling, I would recommend that you have a look at the Q&A from GF on THIS site (look on homepage) and then buy the book if this sounds like what you want to do.
Several of us have followed her routine (a lot of us because we had "difficult" situations to deal with... baby not sleeping well or feeding too often, etc) and we found it excellent. From all the postings, I'd say that if your child is very easy than you probably don't need a routine. But from what you write, I'd look at what GF suggests and see if you want to follow it.
Jolly · 24/09/2001 19:57
Once your child is 1, you can also drop the morning nap but let them sleep in till 8am instead.
Pupuce · 24/09/2001 21:08
I wish my son (first born) would sleep until 8AM !
I am actually modifying the routine slightly so that number 2 does that !
Croc · 25/09/2001 16:00
Thanks Pupuce. I feel that it must be healthier for him to nap. I'll get the book out again.
Inky · 27/09/2001 21:18
Thanks Alli & Pupuce.
Re the morning nap, mine dd was having one, then stopped but would often nap en route to moring activity. Now she seems so very tired so I've gone back to formal nap. How do I know if she's ready to drop it? It is such a backward step - so much more restricting.
How do you know if the toddler is ready to drop their nap?
Mine recently is taking ages to drop off, but does have a long sleep when she eventually does. Her night time sleep is as usual. I don't want to force her to carry on going to nap, but then it's the only time I get to do any housework etc so I definitely don't want to rush into it.
Alli · 28/09/2001 12:56
I'm not at older toddler stage yet so I'm not basing this on experience but I would imagine you need to take the cue from your child - I am really doing that with my son. He gets cranky mid-morning so down he goes for 20 minutes/half an hour. I was re-reading bits of GF's second book last night (a criticism here - both her books jump all over the place, as well as the prescriptiveness etc etc)and she mentions the lunchtime nap being given up anywhere between 2 and 3 years old. I would say that is deliberately vague because I don't think she wants to commit herself! I would think, that if both are dropping off to sleep, maybe just go with the flow. I hope that helps a little bit.
Pupuce · 28/09/2001 18:11
You do not say how old your child is.
Ds is 21 months old and has dropped his morning nap a long time ago... having said that if we drive in the AM for too long he will fall asleep and one the odd occasion I will put him down for his nap at 11 AM because he is just too tired. If I do that or if he falls asleep in the car - forget the lunchtime nap - he won't fall asleep but I will (often not always) still put him in his cot for an hour or so and he will "play/talk" in his bed, in the dark. As GF (I say that because I agree), doing this makes him rest if not sleep.
My recommendation would be drop the morning nap unless she falls asleep accidentally in the car or really looks tired but then let her sleep for however long so that you have your time.
If she is less than 15 months old, she probably still needs her 2 naps but you just need to ensure that the first nap is short enough - 15 minutes or so.
Pupuce · 17/10/2001 13:25
As promised, here is an update on baby number 2 on GF.
DD is now 10 weeks old, she is doing great. She is very easy, smiling a lot, feeding well (and efficiently), sleeping very well, etc
The question I ask myself is if I can really say that I am following GFÕs routine...
Certainly not as I have with DS (to the letter 99% of the time). But I canÕt say that I am not following the routines either as DD eats when GF recommends it and sleep at around those times but she sleeps MORE than what GF would recommend and I let her. The thing is that I am familiar with what I call GinaÕs system/principles so I do not open the book more than once in a fortnight.
As I have found her routines very helpful with DS, I was expecting to be Òas strictÓ with DD but it has proven not to be the case, largely because she is so easy and by nature on the routine.
She has been sleeping through the night 2230 to 7AM since she was 6 weeks old - which is good for my energy level.
Things that i do differently : I will take her in the car (if I need to go out) during
her ÒawakeÓ time... if she sleeps, she sleeps ! I am much more relaxed and itÕs probably why it is easier. I wasnÕt like that with DS (I have to admit).
I can now better understand why some mums who have not used GF are so ÒamazedÓ at those of us who have because they donÕt understand why we would do such a thing.... well as most of us who have used GF routines will say : it really depends on your baby and in my case I would do it all over again for DS who really needed some routine but DD has found her own. Had I not read GF and had my DD first I probably would also have a hard time understanding the ÒGF mumsÓ.
All I can now say to those wondering whether they should follow the routine with baby number 2 is... depends on your baby !
For me, it certainly is easier (most of the time) when you already have 1 child to know when the new baby will nap and feed so that you can ÒtailorÓ your toddlerÕs activities to the babyÕs timing - for example, I will play with DS in the garden for 45 minutes in the morning while DD is napping inside. Both my children now nap at the same time at lunchtime but DD sleeps longer. They go to bed at the same time DD 15 minutes earlier and they both get up at roughly the same time.
Abbey · 10/08/2002 10:08
Does anyone have any tips for getting number two child who is 12 weeks into a GF routine when number one child who is 2 1/2 will not allow me to settle no 2 child without coming into his room and jumping all over me? Sorry am typing fast as NO2 child is screaming again!!!!
honeybunny · 10/08/2002 14:06
I found using a Tomy Dreamshow a life saver. I tuck ds2 up in his bag, pop him in bed, ds1 switches it on, I close the door, it plays for 10mins (Brahms Lullaby) with a light show on the ceiling and switches off automatically. There's a remote control if 1x10min slot doesnt work (rarely now). ds2 is usually asleep before its finished. I started using it around week6. I couldn't recommend it highly enough, even if it is a bit placcie!
Abbey · 10/08/2002 20:53
Thank you Honeybunny I will give it a try. I have managed to get no1 and no2 child off to sleep tonight after a lot of stress and if I could leave no2 to settle with a little placcie help, it will be a start.
Utka · 18/08/2002 22:05
For Inky (I think!)
My dd is 18 months old and still has both her morning and after lunch naps. We tried dropping the morning one a few weeks ago as she'd suddenly started waking at 5.30am (having always gone through to 6.45 ish). We were concerned that she was sleeping too much in the daytime (from 2.5 - 3 hours in total).
It has certainly knocked the early waking on the head, but we did find we needed to bring lunch and the lunchtime sleep forward (to 11.30ish and noon respectively.) Otherwise she got so tired she couldn't eat or sleep.
However, as ds has been really cranky during the am, we've decided to re-instate the am nap every other day, or every 3 days, depending on what activities are going on (ie if she's doing something that needs more energy, we pop her down for a quick am nap beforehand.) However, we do wake her after about 30 mins, as otherwise she won't sleep so well at lunchtime. If I'm out in the car, she quite often has a sleep in the am, which can be useful!
I think it will take some adjustment - she's not going to be able to instantly do without the am nap. I am finding it hard to do without it too!!
My SIL said that my neice still needed a lunchtime nap until she was 3 - but she's very active. Now she naps every other day, otherwise she starts waking early in the am. I personally think whether they start waking early in the am is a good indicator of when they might not need a particular nap any more - whether it's the am or pm one.
I would really echo many of the GF comments here. I am someone who needs routine, so found it useful (if a little lacking in appreciation of the emotions a new mum feels!). It's worked for us, but I would definitely say I've learned to relax, and see what works for my ds and me.
Maybe this should be another thread, but I'm keen to know how you fit a new baby into a toddler routine if toddler is off doing activities when the new one wants to sleep!!
To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.