Top critical review
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If only it were really this E.A.S.Y.!
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!