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Secrets of the Baby Whisperer
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271 of 282 people found the following review helpful
on 29 March 2004
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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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 5 January 2015
Brilliant, straight forward and simple. She explains her strategies clearly and gives loads of examples & IT WORKS! Within a week my 9 wk old was going to bed at 7.30 awake & self settling with no help from us! this after 2 months of fighting to get him to sleep before 11pm most nights!! Well worth the investment!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 7 July 2005
What can I say?? This is an absolutley fabulous book, especially for new mums and dads. I bought it whilst pregnnant and vowed to use the methods as soon as my baby was here! Sadly, I didnt start straight away and after 6 weeks of screaming baby/mummy heartache, I fished this book back out!
I used all the techniques for getting into a sensible flexible routine, helped my baby settle to sleep for naps and bedtime, and changed her regular snacking into a decent feeding times..
The result?? An extremely happy baby who has slept 12 hours at night from the age of 8 weeks, has 3 naps a day and eats well.... Its hard work, and you think its not going to work.. but give it time and the results are wonderful...
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19 of 22 people found the following review helpful
on 18 December 2011
A friend recommended this book when I was pregnant with my son (now 2). At first I found it surprisingly counter-intuitive (such as all the advice about not rocking your baby, etc. - totally disregards the fact that the baby has been moving with you for the past 9 months inside), and thought the E.A.S.Y routine would be....well, easy. Although I found her charts on baby body language useful for the first few weeks, I have to say I grew to despise the rest of the book, from her condescending tone to the clearly unscientific advice (which is really just opinion). I've no doubt that she was good at her job, but her job was taking care of other people's babies. Why would a mother want to approach her role as though it's a job (which is clearly how Tracy Hogg is approaching it - this is just a management book)? Yes, motherhood is difficult, especially for the first few months (to be honest I found it really difficult for the first 8 months, then slightly easier after the first year, and now mostly a joy). If you have a baby that seems to take to the E.A.S.Y routine, then great, but if not, please don't try to make it, suppressing all your natural instincts. It will only make you and your baby miserable. Motherhood is a long journey, and the goal is not to produce a baby who sleeps through the night (alone, in its own bed), but to produce a happy and well adjusted human being who will fit in to society with a clear understanding of who he or she is.

It makes me sad to read all the rave reviews for this book that seem to suggest there are only 2 options for parenting one's children - following Gina Ford's advice or following Tracy Hogg's. I wish people would actually start thinking about how what they do to their babies and how they treat them will have a massive effect on the rest of their lives. For all her talk about 'respecting' the baby, it's clear that she's not really listening. If we lived in a world where everyone was truly happy and we lived in harmony with eachother and the environment, then maybe we should just keep on doing what we've been doing. But I think we need to have a re-think and the best place to start is at the beginning...I totally agree with all the other 1 star reviews of this book. I recommend for expectant mothers The Continuum Concept (Jean Liedloff) and What Mothers Do by Naomi Stadlen. Neither are 'how to' or management books, but both will give you a better understanding of what it means to be a parent.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 September 2007
If only I'd found this book before my baby was born! I've been trying to follow Tracy's EASY plan since my son was 5 weeks old and so wish that I'd read it before he arrived! It's been invaluable and I suspect we would've just been pottering along not really knowing what we were doing if I hadn't bought a copy of the book!

I'm starting to think now about buying one of the others as my little one gets older!

There's also a Baby Whisperer internet support forum where you can get advice and support from other 'BWs' when things aren't going as you'd hope they might be which is just amazing!

I would totally recommend getting a copy of this book (whether this edition or any of the subsequent ones).
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 26 February 2004
I can't recommend this book enough. This made the difference to parenting being a lot of anxiety and worry interspersed with breif moments of joy into a lot of joy, with only occasional worry and anxiety!
I found once I could "read" my baby's signals that I was confusing tiredness with hunger. No wonder I used to tell people my little one was always hungry and would not sleep!
After 3 days of watching for signals she is now dropping off to sleep 3 times a day on her own and her meals are more spaced out so I can actually go out without being convinced she needs more food!!!
I wish I had had this book when she was born. Try it to believe it.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 19 September 2013
I only have one child and I honestly think that the advises from friends and family would have been better.
This book totally ruined the first year I spent with my spirited child.
My child is a difficult sleeper and very active and trying to following the advises of this book made me stressed out.
If I could go back in time, I would have never bought it!
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46 of 54 people found the following review helpful
on 2 May 2002
I have to disagree with the reviewer who said that this book recommends you go against your baby's nature, when the truth is quite different. Tracy Hogg's stance comes from love and respect for babies and gives parents (especially first-time parents like me!) a great start in understanding what wee ones want and need from their carers. She advocates giving children love, listening to what they say (even if that just means interpreting their cries) and suggests ways to make your baby feel secure and content. True, she doesn't recommend the 'three in a bed' approach, but neither does she suggest that you leave your baby to cry.
I bought this book when my daughter was three weeks old, my mother had gone home and my husband was back at work. Tracy gave me the kind reassurance I needed when I was feeling unsure and vulnerable, and lots of practical help and useful advice that I'm still following, months later. I recommend this book highly to any parent or care-giver!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 10 June 2005
There are so many baby books out there and so much advice, it can be really confusing. Tracy Hogg gives a 'middle-of-the-road' approach. I.e., neither strict schedules, nor letting the baby lead. You can't know what to do 100% of the time, but many of the tips Tracy gives are really working for us. We're using the E.A.S.Y. guide and although I'm not treating it like a 'baby bible', it seems to be working really well. I'd definitely recommend it to anyone expecting a baby. But try and read it before the baby's due, as you might find it hard to find the time to read afterwards.
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34 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 16 August 2004
This book is wonderful, being a first time mum I was nervous with the responsibility of a new baby. Tracey has a lot of empathy for new mums with a lot of emphasis on looking after yourself and giving yourself time out as well as looking after your new baby.
A lot of this book is straight forward common sense, but Tracey teaches you to take a step back and to relax when dealing with your newborn. (Not so easy when the baby is crying!). The part of understanding different crying was great as there are some not so obvious ones i.e. when they are bored or over stimulated. The section on reading body language was good as well because
its a hidden language which is easy to read after a while.
Everyone says what a "good" baby I have but I put her calmness and happyness down to reading this book and learning the secrets
to communicate with my baby.
Although this book says have a calm, confident baby I think this will apply to you as a Mum after you read it. Great for first time Mums. Best to read it before the arrival though!
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