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416 of 423 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To balance out more extreme views
I feel the need to balance out the rather extreme reviews this book has had. As a new mum myself I heard about the book, and came on and looked at the reviews, and felt a little overwhelmed. Some say treat it like a parenting bible and follow every word and others say you shouldn't even attempt it and accuse the book of being 'cruel'.
After having had my son (who is...
Published on 7 Feb 2008 by stephthestar

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm
I first read this when I was pregnant. I wanted a bit of structure to my day and had heard good things about Gina's routines. It sounded fantastic and just what I was looking for. Then baby arrived; I had already decided that we wouldn't start the routines until at least 2 weeks and so one Monday when she was 2 1/2 weeks old the routine started (I always like a fresh...
Published on 18 Jun 2010 by mummyindevon


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416 of 423 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars To balance out more extreme views, 7 Feb 2008
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This review is from: The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting (Paperback)
I feel the need to balance out the rather extreme reviews this book has had. As a new mum myself I heard about the book, and came on and looked at the reviews, and felt a little overwhelmed. Some say treat it like a parenting bible and follow every word and others say you shouldn't even attempt it and accuse the book of being 'cruel'.
After having had my son (who is now 7 months), I would say that this book is excellent as a starting place. If you, like me, have had advice crammed in every orifice from every person you know and need some good solid advice this book is very useful. It gives you a good sense of an 'ideal' and the confidence to put the suggestions into practice, and it's not as rigid as everyone makes out if you read it properly. On the other hand, the routines are planned down to every last detail and this can be a bit tricky considering what babies are like.

I feel the best way this book can be viewed is: read it, absorb it, then put it to one side and do what YOU feel is right. Refer to it if you get stuck, and for suggestions and guidance, but don't pressure yourself or your baby into strictly adhering to it, but don't completely disregard it. My son wouldn't wake 3 hourly despite everything I tried he would only wake after 4 and slept through the night from 5 weeks (which I am now finding isn't such a bad thing after all!!!)But I had the confidence that I knew a bit about what was going on thanks to Gina Ford.

In other words, just use your common sense and trust your instincts. Only you know what is right for you and your baby. Every baby is different.

I hope this review is helpful to you.
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428 of 454 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful but not a bible, 13 Oct 2007
By 
E. Purton "EllenMP" (London, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting (Paperback)
Bottom line: Are you a control freak? (be honest)If so, then this is the book for you. If not, then give it a miss.

I did not read this book with my first, who was a nightmare baby sleepwise, but was eager to avoid that fate with my second so I did buy and read it then. I found her general baby care advice very sound and helpful and wished I had read at least that first section with my first. As for the much discussed routines, I think that she has based them on what has worked with lots of babies and therefore they will work fine for lots of babies.

You have to take the book with a grain of salt and choose to use as much of the routine as works for you and your baby. I liked to dip into it every week or two and get an idea of how Gina thought things would be changing for my baby and then make up my own plan based on my baby's needs as well as the rest of the family's.

I have to say that I would often put him to bed thinking he wasn't tired, but give it a try because Gina said to and then find him out cold in seconds, so I do think she knows a thing or two about typical baby rhythms. However all babies are not typical, her routines are virtually impossible if you have an older toddler to manage as well, and if you are a go with the flow kind of mum you may find you don'e enjoy being a slave to a routine.

On the other hand, I think many new mums (especially type A ones) feel completely lost when they bring a new baby home. They have no experience with babies, and very high expectations of themselves. Finding themselves confronted with a whole new job, one which is far more important than anything they have done before and yet for which they are entirely unprepared, can bring on panic and depression (to say nothing of the effects of sleep deprivation and hormone upheaval.) This book can be a solid anchor for a new mum who feels out of control and overwhelmed. It tells you how to care for the baby, what to do with it all day, how to structure your new life, how to take care of yourself, and how to feel confident you are doing things more or less right. Once you feel like you have a grip on things, you can throw it away, or use whatever parts of it are working for you.

It is important to realize with this book that it is for the MUM, not the baby. Most babies will be fine on this routine, on another routine, or on no routine at all as long as they are kept warm, dry, fed and loved. A happy mum (and dad) are a great plus for your baby, so if you think you are the type of person who will need some structure and guidance to keep you sane, then by all means buy this book and give it a try. If you think you want to use your instincts and be free to go with the flow, then this isn't for you.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hmmm, 18 Jun 2010
This review is from: The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting (Paperback)
I first read this when I was pregnant. I wanted a bit of structure to my day and had heard good things about Gina's routines. It sounded fantastic and just what I was looking for. Then baby arrived; I had already decided that we wouldn't start the routines until at least 2 weeks and so one Monday when she was 2 1/2 weeks old the routine started (I always like a fresh start to a new week!)

Fast forward a couple of weeks or so and I was miserable. I had tried hard to stick to the routines, avoiding going out or having visitors when we should be feeding or sleeping. I found it horrendously stressful when the baby woke up at the "wrong" time and found the whole palaver of pumping and storing expressed milk a few times a day ridiculously time consuming (we were - and still are - exclusively breastfeeding). I had no time to just enjoy my baby - my eyes were always on the clock and/ or running around getting ready for the next bit.

By the time she was six weeks old I couldn't cope with the stress of feeling like we'd failed each time we fell out of the routine. I took a step back and was shocked at how little time I'd let my daughter be herself in her short time. I spent my whole day trying to get her to sleep at the "right" time, keeping her up when she was tired, waking her up when she was happily sleeping and trying to mould her into a little person that just wasn't her. She wasn't particularly happy, I was utterly miserable and decided that we'd do things our way from now on.

Well, a new dawn began. We still took heed of some of the things in Gina's book and yes, I still started and ended my day at 7, but the in-between bits were a bit more relaxed. I stopped pumping milk - so what if baby needed to feed a bit more during a growth spurt, having made the decision to breastfeed I had already committed myself to being at her beck and call where feeding was concerned, so that was fine. If she woke up "early" from a nap then we just carried on with our day - feeding her when she was hungry and letting her sleep when she was tired.

Ironically, at around 10 - 12 weeks when I revisited the book out of interest, I noticed that her "natural" routine was actually rather like Gina's - although one more aimed a younger baby than she was at the time. She is now 5 months and is a really happy baby. She sleeps through the night most nights (7pm - 6am) and still naps well in the day. We have fun together and still have a good but "loose" routine going, without watching the clock all the time.

Do I regret reading this book? No I don't. Some of Gina's advise is very pertinent and worth a read and I still believe in some kind of structure to the day. My regret is that I allowed myself to believe that my baby could work to a timetable, exactly as it's printed on the page. As a nanny, I'm sure that Gina was well able to implement these routines but it is very different when you are the mother of the baby and trying to recover from childbirth, adjust to your new life as a mummy and get the hang of these rigid routines. I have since read through Tracy Hogg's "The Baby Whisperer" and wish I'd read it earlier as I think it would have been a better choice for us.
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179 of 194 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gina Ford v. Baby Whisperer, 12 Jun 2012
By 
Lorry M (London, Enlgand) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting (Paperback)
My baby is 3 months and, being a lawyer, I liked the idea that there was a text book out there that could tell me how to have a contented baby, or indeed how to whisper to her to get her to do what I wanted/needed her to do... I think both books have good points to them, but my views after having read both, and tried both approaches is as follows. There are some positive views at the end, but I want to start with the reality.

If you buy Gina's book you are clearly a person who likes routine, perhaps who is even a little bit of a control freak. That's why I bought it, I admit it. However, this book goes to extremes in that it even tells you when to have breakfast! The routines are very helpful to get an idea about when things could happen, but unless you have a baby who is extremely passive and completely 'common baby problem' free (e.g. colic, reflux), feeds perfectly and has no mind of her own, then sticking to the routines is nigh on impossible. For example, if your baby sleeps in the car/pram this means you can only drive/walk places at the times the naps are meant to take place. So if your NCT friends are meeting at a time that clashes, you and your baby miss out. Also, if you have a baby who refuses a late feed at 10pm as they are sleeping (and who won't dream feed) then you have to get all of the calories in during the day so the feed times Gina suggests are also out. Furthermore, not being able to stick strictly to the routines when you are tired and emotional during the first few weeks can just add to your problems. You feel more like a failure.

However, having said that, my baby is 13 weeks and has been in her own room from 7 weeks and has been sleeping around 10 - 11 hours at night from around 10 weeks. I really do attribute this to routine. Gina's book is useful if you follow it loosely and make the routine work within the parameters of your own baby's rhythms. For example, Gina's notion that a baby's day is from 7am - 7pm worked for us. I never get baby up before 7am and she goes to bed around 7pm. By sticking to this more or less all the time I know where I am, when my day begins, and when it ends. Baby feeds at different times to the times Gina suggests because she doesn't take a late feed. However, by having the 7am - 7pm frame within which to work, I know how much food she should take and at what hourly intervals. Sometimes baby's feeding is erratic during the day e.g. during growth spurt, but I always stick 7am - 7pm as Gina says and I think that has helped baby sleep well at night.

The Baby Whisperer has some great tips in it, in particular how to interpret your baby's body language and crying which Gina's book lacks. It is also more compassionate and in tune with the emotional side of parenting e.g. Gina says at one point to think about who needs a cuddle you or your baby. If it's you, don't pick her up if she is crying. Now, I challenge any Mum not to pick up their crying baby if they want a cuddle! The routine suggested by the Baby Whisperer is also less rigid than Gina, focusing on what the baby does rather than the clock - the idea of Eat, Activity, Sleep, You Time - the "EASY" Routine. I try to work this into the framework of Gina's 7am - 7pm day so at least there is some timing structure so I know where I am. However, the Baby Whisperer book is generally full of stories about how the Baby Whisperer saved the day with many families (as is Gina's book to a certain extent), but if you strip that out, I think the Baby Whisperer has the edge over Gina for being more practical, flexible and helpful, with more useful insights to how to interpret your baby's needs. It certainly is less likely to stress you out! So, Gina's 7am to 7pm day + Baby Whisperer's flexible routine = a plan.

Reading and having either or both books as a crutch for the first few weeks I think is a good if you're that sort of person (which I am). At least you have a point of reference if all else fails, and by reading the books you feel like you are doing something to prepare yourself for the arrival of your baby, or if the baby is here, doing something to help you fathom out what the heck you're meant to be doing! But take it all with a lot of salt, take from the books the info you want or need, and do what makes you and baby happy!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars some of us like holding our babies while they sleep-and find the thought ..., 3 Oct 2014
This review is from: The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting (Paperback)
Only read some of this book as I couldn't bear to read it all!!

Guess what Gina Ford, some of us like holding our babies while they sleep-and find the thought of leaving a small person who has no idea what is going on, in a scary dark room by themselves!

I am so pleased I didn't follow ANY of her recommendations...my now 2 year old is a confident, well developed, happy and secure little girl who sleeps just fine. I used to breastfeed her to sleep and do all the things Gina would disapprove of, but it has never been an issue in our house. Our 'routine' is flexible and day to day life is not governed by exactly when she has to nap/feed etc.she loves food and eating has never been an issue.

On the contrary-one of my friends followed Gina's advice-her child is the same age as mine. Her child is now very clingy, anxious and this makes my friend frustrated at times. He won't leave her side when we go to groups and playcentre (which we've both been going to since our little ones were babies).
He can't nap unless he is in his room, with a blackout curtain. So they never go anywhere in the afternoon. He is struggling with potty training and is a small child who is very fussy with food.

I'm not saying all these things are a result of having followed Gina's magical routines, but I find it interesting.in any case, we didn't follow any sort of routine or any of Gina's frankly awful advice, and we are more than happy with the way things have turned out for our family!

I find the book abhorrent...not to mention the fact that the author has never had children herself and cannot back up any of her claims with evidence other than what she 'thinks'.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Try it!!, 7 Jun 2003
By 
R. Chilcott - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting (Paperback)
I was given this book by a friend when my first son was two weeks old and I was absolutely exhausted from demand breast feeding. yes, I did find the whole experience of waking him when asleep etc.. difficult, but he slept through the night from 7.00pm till 7.00am at twelve weeks of age and he is now four years old.

Gina does say in her book that the routines are guidelines and not to feel as if you have failed if your baby is not following the routines. I can fully agree with this as my second son had his days and nights muddled at first, but with patience and the knowledge that it had worked with my first son, we have a twenty week old baby who is contented in every way.

I agree that ginas routines are not for everybody and it is hard work to establish the routines in the first few months, but if you can the results are fantastic!!!

Also her guide to weaning is fab too!.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Bit too harsh for me!, 27 Jan 2013
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Some useful information, breastfeeding information was incorrect though. Take a few ideas if you want to but follow your heart and love your baby.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent for mums who like to plan, 7 Sep 2009
By 
Laura Biggs (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting (Paperback)
I initially bought this book after failing to implement the teachniques of the Baby Whisperer by Tracy Hogg for 10 weeks. My little boy seemed grizzly all the time, and I always thought he was either overstimulated or overtired as he would never sleep as much in the day as Hogg recommended. I had countless battles trying to get him to sleep during the day with me leaning over his cot - shushing, patting, and sitting with him for hours.

When I initially read Contented Baby the routines semmed far too restrictive, and I thought they wouldn't work. When I tried bathing my boy at the time Gina suggested, changed him into his PJs and he was out like a light without an moment of fussing and I've never had to fight to get him to fall asleep since!

Some people don't like Gina's tone - thinking it patronising or prescriptive. I for one really like the tone, it's like having a nanny in the house explaining what to do with a baby and giving a new mum instructions on how to care for him or her. It's just what I needed because I (like most new mums) didn't have a clue what I was doing.

As a busy professional woman, I also think the book is a godsend for anyone who wants to continue breastfeeding and yet maintain structure to their day. I find the routines much less restrictive than "demand feeding" which results in a baby attached to your chest every other hour and no time to get on with your life. Take it with a pinch of salt - my little boy sometimes veers off the routine by half and hour here or there - but is still a very happy and contented baby.

I am thoroughly enjoying life with my "Gina baby" and he seems so much happier and contented since I put him on a routine, and I feel like I have my life back.

I appreciate it's not for everyone, but I would recommend you try it if you're having trouble getting your own life back after having a baby. :-)
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The most misunderstood book on the planet, 26 Jan 2009
This review is from: The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting (Paperback)
Having breastfed three babies with great success, minimal problems and for 13 months, 20 months and now 12 months and counting (no sign of stopping), and having gone back to work twice and continuing exclusive breastfeeding, I can only put the criticism of this book down to the fact that it is badly written. The good news is that it has been fully revised and the latest edition is far more clear and answers the critics properly. Don't buy the old edition - it is out of date and the source of much confusion.

I used the book for my first in 2002 and had to read it cover to cover and keep going back and analysing it each time I came across a difficulty. However I always found a solution that worked for my baby and never had to leave him to cry - the whole point of the book is to avoid that! (contrary to many inaccurate reviews that are extremely frustrating to read, especially from health professionals who use their status to make out that they know more than mums but actually aren't capable of reading the book properly!)

I recommend this book to friends and family on the basis that it has some very useful information and ideas especially around sleep cycles, associations and the interrelationship between feeding sleeping and habit forming. I do not advise anyone to follow the routines unless they feel they want to try them, and then to use them as far as it works for them for as long as they want to. It is not a one-way street, you can always change what you are doing.

One phenomenon that i and friends of mine have found is that by offering (not denying!) but offering feeds at certain times and establishing set feeding times, our breasts were always full ready for the feed, the baby was satisfied at the end of it's feed and even our breasts would let-down at the relevant time even if we weren't anywhere near our baby! More research into this is needed, but of course, because the of one-sided unbalanced advice currently given none is being done. So no-one really knows how GF routines work.

On a final note, GF does not advocate making your baby wait for a feed or letting it cry. The max you are allowed to delay a feed is about 15 mins and that is if your baby is HAPPY to sit in your arms quietly. As soon as he/she starts rooting again and BEFORE any crying, you feed. The whole point of these routines is that, unlike the 50s approach, you offer feeds and encourage a full feed by winding, changing nappy half way through etc - being proactive.

Good luck to whoever is reading this. Don't let anyone tell you what to do, whether they give 1 star or 5 stars.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A godsend!, 3 Jun 2008
By 
N. Mckeon (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The New Contented Little Baby Book: The Secret to Calm and Confident Parenting (Paperback)
I brought this nearly 3 years ago with my first - as a teacher, pre-baby, my days were clearly planned out then baby arrived and life became chaotic! This book helped restore some sort of order to life - and little one became much more settled and happy (who knows if it was because of the routine or because I was happier?)

It certainly is not to be taken without common sense - for example personally if my baby was sleeping at 7am there was no way I was waking him! But as long as you are sensible and do not let it rule your life completely I could not recommend this enough. Unfortunately the routines are not so easy to apply with a toddler in the house - but still taking the spirit of them.

A book for new parents that need to retain some order!
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