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3.6 out of 5 stars99
3.6 out of 5 stars
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on 6 March 2016
This is the worst parenting manual ever written. I bought this book after the birth of my second baby. It was recommended to me by a friend as I was having some difficulty breastfeeding and just generally adapting to life with two children under two. I thought it might offer some useful advice. WRONG! There is one small chapter about caring for a toddler and baby, but it was no help to me at all. At no point do these routines give you time to properly care for yourself, your relationship or your other children. I almost went insane trying to stick to the routines because they in no way suited OUR life. My husband started to resent me and my 2 year old acted out because I wasn't paying her much attention, and I don't blame them. This book turned me into an angry, sleep deprived monster and it also allowed the baby to rule the house because everyone else had to fit in with a schedule devised by a complete stranger. With my first baby I was so much more relaxed because we just took each day as it came, and for the most part I made the baby fit in with what WE were doing. Not the other way around! And FYI she slept through the night from 8 weeks. However after reading this book I constantly questioned my judgement and I became completely strung out, stressed and anxious. Also what the author says about breastfeeding and how the cows produce more when milked at the same time every day blah blah blah is utter BS. I had difficulty from day 1 with breastfeeding and being on a routine did not help in any way. If anything it just heightened my stress and anxiety because I was constantly watching the clock instead of listening to my baby's cues. No wonder my milk depleted and the baby wouldn't settle! And again FYI my baby slept through the night from 12 weeks after I quit this cursed book and did it my way!! My friend who recommended this book to me also had difficulty with settling her baby, although she would never admit it because she treated this book like the Bible! By 12 months her baby was still not sleeping through the night even though she stuck to the routine like clock work, but she wouldn't give up following the book because she blamed herself. This book is dangerous for first time mothers like my friend who don't realise that there is more than one way with a baby, because the author leads you to believe that if her method is not working then it is YOU who is the problem! This book should be BURNED. There is always more than one way to do things with a baby and there is no right or wrong way, so if you do insist on reading this horrible book please keep an open mind. Just do what works for you and your family.
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on 26 July 2012
"I absolutely believe that it would do no emotional or psychological damage to a baby to protest for six or seven hours if that's what it takes" pg.200

If this direct quote does not put you off this book then I can't imagine what will.

If you view your baby as an opponent and want to 'win' (winning is mentioned many times in the book) then this is the book for you. Helpful top tips such as making yourself a 'score chart' allocating a point to your baby if you can't stand the screaming and give in and one to you if you can tough it out, apparently if you do this 'after a few days you will be winning every time' seriously??

A section called 'Baby Payback' is just terrifying.... 'I often come across a baby who has learned to vomit at bedtime during failed attempts at controlled crying. If you have one of these babies you will need to teach your child that vomiting will not get your attention.'
My heart breaks for the poor little babies ignored and left to scream until they are so distressed they are sick and then do not even get held, soothed and loved after that. This goes against all of my instincts as a mother, instincts that are there for a good reason.

If I could give this book less than one star I would, if you are a sleep deprived parent frantically searching for a way to get more sleep but want to gently teach the child to feel secure and relax into sleeping, please keep searching and do not buy this book. (Different things work for different babies but mine started sleeping through with a heavily modified version of the sleeping chapters in 'Baby Secrets' + common sense)

This book is really very odd in so many ways (custard apparently causes sleep problems... who knew?!) and I cannot adequately express how much I hate it. Your baby is helpless and loves you unconditionally, please love them back and don't try to score points against them.
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on 7 July 2011
This woman calls herself the baby whisperer, she has no qualifications or credentials. She advocates leaving babies to cry for long periods of time which current research shows is detrimental to babies development and to their emotional well being. She encourages parents to pile on blankets that go against SIDS expert advice, she teaches that babies are manipulative little demons that will vomit and dirty their nappies purely for attention. Some of the advice is just staggeringly bad For example:

When your baby has dirtied their nappy to manipulate you into spending extra time with them. She suggests changing the baby after he/she has gone to sleep. "Don't worry if you don't get the bottom of your sleeping baby perfectly clean, says Tizzie, "a little bit of poo will not do any harm between then and the morning"

and also
"I often come across a baby who has learnt to vomit at bedtime during failed attempts at controlled crying. If you have one of these babies you will need to teach your child that vomiting will not get your attention or buy any extra time. This is hard, but it has to be done to stop the vomiting. The way you achieve this is to make the bed vomit-proof. Layer the towels in the bed and on the floor so it is easy for you to remove the vomit. When your baby vomits take the top towels away, leaving a second layer in case of a second vomit. If the vomit has gone on her clothing, undress her and put clean clothes on without taking her out of the cot by moving her to the other end. Do not make eye contact or talk to her while you do all this and be calm and confident through out, so you can fool your baby into thinking you don't care about vomit."

These babies are so distressed they are throwing up. That is abusive and neglectful.

Babies are helpless dependent little bundles that rely on their parents to comfort and care for them. Tizzie Hall is teaching parents to create little robots that will sleep at night purely because they have learned that no one will come if they cry. :(
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on 20 November 2015
Some useful tips but didn't agree with the strict regimens which remove all room for parental instinct and just make you feel guilty or inadequate if you're not achieving them. There is a lot more useful science based advice out there that I'd prefer to follow
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on 28 March 2016
I am yet another parent hoping for a good nights sleep! I was recommended this book by my sister, and subsequently purchased it. To say I was disappointed is a huge understatement.
As an exhausted first time parent exclusively breastfeeding, I was desperate for some help. I naively assumed this book would provide tips and advice on settling our new baby. This is not the case, I read about a strict militaristic routine of eating and sleeping for babies starting from 2 weeks old if you wish. This included regimental breastfeeding routines likened to milking a cow, as this book states that human milk production is equivalent to cows. The author advocates "controlled crying" stating that she is against the "cry it out method". Assuming baby is fed and changed, when putting baby to sleep she should be allowed to protest cry for a set time depending on her age. The older the baby the longer you leave them to protest. In the hope that the baby will "protest cry" themselves to sleep.
However when looking at this method objectively it is just a modified cry it out method. The author who is so vehemently against letting babies cry it out, is instead creating her own low fat version. This book is contradictory form beginning to end.
The most upsetting part is the use of anecdotal "evidence" of the effectiveness of this method! One such anecdote involved a toddler boy who cried until he vomited and 'deliberately defecated' in order to avoid going to bed. Her advice to the parents was to let him cry himself to sleep, then change his dirty nappy while he was asleep. Not to worry if his bottom isn't fully cleaned, to leave him until morning. And another of a baby who vomited from crying and she advises parents to ignore this as it's the baby is merely looking for attention. The author reassures readers that you will win in this battle against your little baby and advises you can put up a chart that the baby gets a point every time you cave in and you get a point when you win and get them to sleep.
It appears the author honestly believes these methods are ‘different’ and ‘better’ and won't cause as much distress to babies in comparison to "crying it out". Modified versions of ‘cry it out’ may sound nicer, but in reality, they are the exact same principles at work. Babies aren't born to manipulate or cause distress to their parents. The come from a warm environment where there is no cold, loneliness or fear. They seek comfort in their parents for feelings of security and love. Using a method that causes repeated consistent distress is not, in my opinion, beneficial in the long run for parent or child. There is no comfort in a baby being left to cry even for a controlled period this leaves only loneliness, fear, sadness, and repeated feelings abandonment. Using your own common sense is a much more effective method.
I do not wish to make my baby cry unnecessarily, I would prefer to raise a baby who knows security and love, even if it means I am sleep deprived for a while.
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on 28 April 2016
This video is really scary to watch. She says the baby needs 4 layers of blankets? I have never in my life seen a sleep chart that advocates that many PLUS she seems to have totally forgotten she had the baby in a sleeping bag - which is NOT allowed to be used with other layers on top, plus a swaddle blanket, plus a sheet! This is a massive SIDS risk and I can not believe Amazon have not taken this down.
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on 6 August 2011
First, I looked for sources, footnotes, author credentials. There weren't any.

Each page boasts another unproven claim, or inaccurate, outdated and thoroughly debunked theories posed as "fact". I oscillated between shock that such collywobble would go to print, and sadness that people read this and use it as a guide for their own parenting.

The breastfeeding advice was especially terrible. I would honestly worry that if I were to follow this advice, that I would experience severe problems (low supply, engorgement, mastitis) and probably stop breastfeeding prematurely.

The low points of the book for me: her misleading statements about jaundice and her laughable ideas about milk production. We know A LOT about how milk production in humans works - there has been a lot of research on it and there is a lot of info available. Tizzie does not turn to this information, she asks a dairy farmer about how he milks his COWS! Cows are built very differently to human beings and our young grow at extremely different rates. But according to Tizzie, "cow's milk is similar to human milk, that is why we drink it and feed it to our children". I was honestly shocked that this tripe had gone to print.

I couldn't actually finish the book. It was too dreadful. I spent half my time laughing at her ideas, and the other half picking my jaw up off the floor at her outrageous claims (I mean, SIXTEEN blankets?) none of which are substantiated. Don't waste your money.
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on 27 September 2013
I bought this book when my baby was a few weeks old as I was wondering if and how to put my baby on some kind of routine. I read the chapters that were interesting for me in that phase and it really gave me some helpful tips and useful information. The routines in the book are quite 'strict' and 'rigid' and I never got my baby into one of these strict routines but still it gave me support. E.g. I put my baby on a dream feed, something I hadn't heard about before, but the book explains why and how to do it.
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on 14 August 2011
This is quite honestly one of the worse baby sleep books I have ever read.

Hall has not researched properly before writing this book, in fact, she admits that all the content of her book is based on her own experience.

The advice in the book conflicts with WHO (World Health Organisation) Guidlines on Breastfeeding and introducing solids, FSIDS (Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths) Guidlines on preventing cot death and NHS (National Health Service) Guidlines on Breastfeeding, introducing solids and Cot Death (to mention a few!)

Hall's dodgy advice regarding breastfeeding conflicts with nearly all research that has been carried out in the past 20 years and scheduled feeding has been proven to be detrimental to supply, puts the mother at risk of engorgement (and thus mastitus) and will often end in early cessation of breastfeeding. Hall's basic knowledge of the anatomy of the breast and how breast milk production works is poor, she seems to believe that less frequent feeding produces better quality milk when in fact there is much research to disprove that theory.

Throughout the book there is references to items you can buy on her website to compliment her advice but to be honest, it's obvious that this is just a con, some items are more than 300% of the manufacturers RRP - I feel this is taking advantage of parents who really need help with sleep and may be vunerable. To buy all you would 'need' (according to Hall) you could easily spend £1000 on bedding, clothes, comforters, sippy cups, feeding spoons and the 'right' travel cot - this makes sure you have enough spares etc - in comparison you could buy similar products elsewhere for around £250-£300. I did feel the book was written to compliment her website sales, there was an awful lot of references to the products she sells, including the 'Safe Bedding Guide' which is not detailed in her book.

I am curious to know whether Hall is linked to Dairy Farming and/or the Infant Feeding Industry as she mentions dairy farming, recommends early introduction of solids and even denies that Formula Feeding increases the risk of Cot Death.

The routines are complex, hard to follow and could have a new mother very confused.

Hall talks about babies as if they are manipulative beings able to vomit and poo on demand just to try and 'win' the bedtime battle over their parents. She also recommends at one point having a score chart against your baby, I found this distrurbing, babies rarely have the cognitive ability to manipulate their parents. At one point she recommends leaving a newborn baby to cry and to go and make a cup of tea, wait for it to cool and then drink it before going back to baby. This is just awful advice and could even be detrimental to babies brain development.

Reading this book made me feel physically sick in places, I am sure Hall did not mean for the book to be so full of misinformation, I would think when writing the book she really did think her advice was correct, however, I do think her publishers (Vermillion) should not have let this book be published before certain elements were at least re-written and at best removed altogether.

I would seriously recommend not buying this book for the sake of your baby's safety.
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on 24 June 2014
This book was recommended to me by a friend. I was looking for information about how to prevent overtiredness in my newborn, and to get an idea about their intrinsic rhythms. In contrast what the book offered was a load of rigid and prescriptive adult imposed routines, which completely lack evidence. I am sure they must 'work' to get a baby to sleep, but the long term emotional and mental costs are too much to pay in my opinion. She uses the word 'self soothe' incorrectly - babies don't learn to self soothe by not being responded to, they instead learn to behaviourally extinguish communicating their distress, so they become a 'good baby' in adult eyes. Learning to self soothe first requires many experiences of being responded to and soothed first, before we build the neural pathways to do it our selves.

Her routines go completely against breastfeeding advice for young babies (she advocates only demand feeding for two weeks) and she negates SIDS guidelines also.

If you are considering using cry it out, there are other books and websites that use more evidence and have more compassion than this one.
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