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125 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bin Gina Ford's book and buy this one instead!!
This is written with both love and common-sense by a former paediatric nurse and mother of two. It is packed with tips and advice on all aspects of caring for a baby, including excellent stuff on how to "read" your baby's signals. Like most first time mums I associated crying with hunger every time until I read this book - now I am much more adept at reading body...
Published on 10 Dec 2003

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244 of 253 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If only it were really this E.A.S.Y.!
At present, I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I made the mistake of reading it while pregnant and thought "Being a mum is going to be simple, what on earth do people complain about?" However I realised from day four (the day on which Hogg recommends starting your baby on E.A.S.Y.) that if motherhood were as easy as this book makes out, I would be...
Published on 29 Mar 2004


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244 of 253 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars If only it were really this E.A.S.Y.!, 29 Mar 2004
By A Customer
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This review is from: Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby (Paperback)
At present, I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I made the mistake of reading it while pregnant and thought "Being a mum is going to be simple, what on earth do people complain about?" However I realised from day four (the day on which Hogg recommends starting your baby on E.A.S.Y.) that if motherhood were as easy as this book makes out, I would be significantly less tired and harassed than i am now!
So Hogg recommends starting your baby on a routine from day four... well as far as Eating was concerned, my newborn just couldn't rest unless she was at the breast and actually this is not surprising given the trauma she had been through plus the fact she was probably starving and my milk supply needed a good week to rev up. i personally think putting a newborn on a feeding routine at such a tender age is ludicrous. Now my baby is nearly four weeks old and we are on the 2.5 - 3 hour feeding routine and i couldn't recommend it strongly enough but it is unrealistic and demoralising to a first-time mum to find her baby does not wish to dance to Tracey Hogg's tune from day one (or rather, day four). As for the Activity bit, it is recommended that from birth to three months your baby is given 45 minutes entertainment time. i quickly realised that a newborn does not have the capacity for 45 minutes entertainment, and even now my daughter cannot entertain herself that easily, and i can only do so much to keep her so. What the book fails to mention is that your young baby might wish to spend her time crying as a past time! As for the Sleep part, Hogg blithely talks about putting your baby down for the night and seems to imply that a little reassuring pat and a rub was is all it takes to quieten your infant. Sorry, but no matter how many times you say, "Goodnight Mr Moonpenny" while drawing he curtains at dusk, my experience of putting my baby to sleep is far harder than Hogg makes out, and she seems to discredit all the 'tried and tested' recommended routes to pave the way for sleep such as cuddling, feeding, rocking and singing. Try as i could to find some decent tips for pacifying a SCREAMING baby once put down in the cot all Hogg recommends is a pat and a few reassuring actions, NONE OF WHICH WORKED... AND AT FIVE IN THE MORNING I NEARLY THREW THIS BOOK OUT OF THE WINDOW!!!
Also, there is too much reliance in here on using a dummy. I am not against using one but my daughter refuses point blank to take one, something Hogg doesn't take into account on several occasions.
Anyway, I have given this book three stars. For a start, some excellent guidelines for why my baby is crying, although not easy to make out at first, i think i'm starting to make progress here. Secondly, the recommendation to get your baby on a bottle by three weeks (ours is given a half bottle at the end of the day in order that i might have some freedom during the six months i plan to breastfeed) plus while her writing style can be a little condescending, it is clear, easy to read and entertaining. On many occasions she offers impartial advice such as in the section on the breastfeeeding/formula dilema plus some good breastfeeding advice such as single-side feeding (although i have yet to meet a midwife in the UK who DOESN'T advocte this - beware the Americanisms in this book!).
Overall, i think you need to take some of this book with a pinch of salt. I recommend it for its many strengths but on several occasions it's just too idealistic and leaves you feeling demoralised when your baby doesn't seem to want to click in to the E.A.S.Y routine as quickly or simply as Hogg makes out. I will continue to read this book and hope that maybe by 3 months or so things are easier and more structured, after all it's early days yet!
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125 of 142 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bin Gina Ford's book and buy this one instead!!, 10 Dec 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby (Paperback)
This is written with both love and common-sense by a former paediatric nurse and mother of two. It is packed with tips and advice on all aspects of caring for a baby, including excellent stuff on how to "read" your baby's signals. Like most first time mums I associated crying with hunger every time until I read this book - now I am much more adept at reading body language and identifying when my daughter is tired/bored/hungry. Rather than put your baby in a regimented routine a la Gina Ford, Tracy Hogg suggests a flexible "eat-activity-sleep" pattern (the "EASY routine") which can vary in length and the cycles don't have to start or end at any particular time. It certainly works for me and my daughter, who is a very chilled-out baby indeed! The text is written in a non-patronising, and non-judgemental manner by someone who has had their own children and cared for many others. The only minor criticism I have is that some of the language is a little "Americanised" as Tracy worked in America for several years. However, don't let that put you off, this is an invaluable guide for first time mums so buy this and consign Gina and her draconian routine to the dustbin once and for all!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars ...but don't buy this one buy the next one instead!, 26 Mar 2009
This review is from: Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby (Paperback)
As with all these books there will be stuff that grates and stuff that's helpful. Personally I find her occasional brash tone and dismissal of others opinion very UNhelpful (parents particularly need a bit more grace in my estimation!) but on the whole I find her the best of the baby care authors.

Many of these writers are either far too prescriptive and unrealistic or far too fluffy & frightened of offending and so are all nice theory and no practical help.

To find anyone other than Gina Ford who is willing to give an actual suggestion of timings for sleeps/feeds etc is a mission and a half and that's where Tracy Hogg comes in and this for me is the relief of this book.

Tracy hits the middle ground brilliantly, giving you a real idea of what to expect at each stage, giving you pointers with routine timings without being rigid and giving advice on how to establish routines without traumatising you or your baby by leaving them to 'cry it out' or starve.

HOWEVER, skip this book and go straight to 'The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems' (ridiculous title but...) because once you get past the first 3 months 'Secrets of...' becomes fairly redundant whereas '...solves all' goes right up to toddler with fantastic detail on every stage and it's just MUCH more helpful and practical - the only thing I can't find is the baby body language chart that I found really helpful in the first book but I imagine she covers it cos everything else is covered.

By the way, we co-slept with our daughter for most of the first 4 months and she and we survived so don't worry too much about some of her strong opinions. Habits, as she herself demonstrates, are very easily changed!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book, 25 Jun 2007
This review is from: Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby (Paperback)
I really valued this book as a new parent and it helped implement a routine that wasn't rigid yet, there was some structure to it, which is ideal for a baby that breast feeds on demand. By following the EASY routine I was able to plan time to be with friends as well as have time with my baby. By 12 weeks he was sleeping throughout the night and has continued to do so since then (he's just turned 1).

I also found that by combining some of the techniques and advice by another 'maternity nurse', as well as those in this book, helped me to produce a routine that suited me and my child. It took time, but things won't happen instantly. You need to invest time into allowing things to work.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Whispering speaks volumes, 1 Sep 2002
By 
This review is from: Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby (Paperback)
This book is a must have. I only discovered it with baby no.2, but I wish I'd had it first time around. The book is well written and importantly, easy to dip in and out of, in between sleeps and feeds. It prescribes structure and routine in a flexible and loving environment. Its a must have. I am buying it today for a friend whose just had her first child! Highly recommended.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wish I'd read it earlier, 6 July 2006
This review is from: Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby (Paperback)
I loved this book - after being terrified early in my baby's life by Gina Ford's dictatorial tone and complicated routines, I found that Tracy's advice fitted how my baby behaved and allowed me to work out a way to make his day calmer, by knowing when he needed to sleep. I returned to it again a few weeks later when no amount of controlled crying was making it any easier to settle him, and found she knew the solution to that as well - swaddling and darkness. Unlike many books, she combines a recognition that babies are all different and need their parents to observe and learn about them with a belief in structure and routine that came as a relief after endless wishy washy 'your baby will sleep when he needs it/feed when he seems hungry' advice. Yes, her voice can be a bit irritating, and yes, it is prescriptive to a degree - but why buy a book if you're not looking for an expert to help you? She doesn't prescribe exact times like Gina, or exact behaviour, and I love her more relaxed routine. I wish I'd read this while pregnant or sooner after my baby's arrival. She's very good.
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32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Down-to-earth and above all realistic., 23 Jan 2002
By A Customer
I read a number of different books in the early weeks of my daughter's life. Nothing seemed to satisfy her. She cried, wouldn't settle and refused to be put down. She even wouldn't sleep on her back (the biggest sin in current baby care thinking). All the books seemed to recommend specific routines that simply did not match what I experienced on a daily basis - until I read the Baby Whisperer.
What I liked most about this book was that there was no dictation of schedule or style of care for your child. Tracey Hogg presents a common sense way to make your child happier and more contented (and hence you happier and more contented). There are a few basic rules like EASY (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) but how you apply them is up to you.
I now have a five month old who has slept through the night since three months old, has at least two naps in the day and who eats and plays happily and independently. I have my life back and a baby who everybody comments on as being very contented. A book can't change your life completely but I really could have thrown all my other books away and just read this one to help me through the last few months. Even my husband read it and follows the suggestions - now if that isn't highly recommended I don't know what is!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Some good advice, 28 April 2009
This review is from: Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby (Paperback)
This book was useful for me in terms of trying to understand why my baby was crying. It also helped me distinguish between over-tired crying which I mis-read quite often for hunger.
However, I agree with other reviewers in that Tracy's tone is patronising and I cannot believe that her strategies would work with all babies (many of her tips didn't work for mine).
I would also agree that this probably isn't the best book if you're breastfeeding, as feeding on demand makes it a lot harder to keep to a consistent regime.
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69 of 80 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forget Gina Ford..., 17 July 2005
By 
This is a great book for new mums - very positive, reassuring and helpful, but also compulsive reading! Tracy Hogg's compassionate approach to crying babies and their concerned mums is a breath of fresh air after all the rhetoric of controlled crying. I didn't believe it was right to leave my baby to cry - even for a short time - and this book gave me the confidence to parent the way I wanted to without feeling neurotic and, importantly, whilst knowing I was in fact creating a bond of trust.
By detailing the various baby types (my first was an Angel but my second was definitely Spirited!) and how best to handle them, Tracy Hogg restores a feeling of control to frazzled parents.
The E.A.S.Y. parenting schedule gives baby the routine she requires whilst not imposing an inflexible system on the mother... you watch the baby, not the clock! But it's not all about the structure, it's about 'tuning in' to your individual baby's needs and identifying the signs of hunger, boredom, tiredness et al before the crying starts. Forget Gina Ford... this lady loves babies and it shows.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic! Have bought all her books. Well worth the money., 22 Nov 2007
By 
Mrs. Helen Long "Heavensbug" (Swindon, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby (Paperback)
I bought this book after having read Gina Fords 'Contented Baby' books and losing the will to live. I didn't expect much from this but was desperate for some guidance having had another sleepless night looking after twin girls.

This book is fantastic. It helped me understand the girls cries and read their cues as to when they are tired/bored/hungry etc. It has turned this house around from a chambolic mess into a truly contented house.

Tracy's routines are very manageable and leave you with time for yourself. The best part is that they aren't regimented like the Gina Ford routines and helps you fit your baby around them.

It certainly proved to be a god send to us and we also bought the "The Baby Whisperer solves your problems" which is a fantastic companion and offers lots of advice and tips. It was invaluable with regard to issues like 'snacking', over tiredness and over stimulation. It also helps you understand what to expect from your baby at certain age ranges (ie a baby up to 4 months will not be active for long periods of time). This was so helpful especially when you get talking to other mums who's babies are apparently awake for hours and hours!!

These books also help you out when things aren't going as they should (which I found Gina Fords books don't).

We dont stick religiously to her routine times as we let the girls govern when they need feeding.

The books are also very good as you can just pic them up and use as a reference guide.

So good I have bought the Toddler book ready for when I need that!
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