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Customer Review

471 of 508 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very useful but not a bible, 13 Oct. 2007
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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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Showing 1-10 of 12 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 20 Oct 2008 10:11:47 BDT
Avid Reader says:
Ha! Ha! That says it all: "It is important to realize with this book that it is for the MUM, not the baby." God forbid that you should ever put your helpless baby's needs for comfort and love above your own! Sadly, there appear to be a lot of "control freak" mums out there that this book seems to appeal to. Please reconsider your point of view before buying this book - babies are not machines and, whilst they obviously have an innate need for "regular" feeding and sleep, THEY communicate this to YOU, not the other way around! Would you, as an adult, want to have a regimented routine imposed on you, only being given food / sleep when the clock said, and not when you were hungry / tired? A baby is programmed to tell you when it is hungry / tired / overstimulated / needs attention / a clean nappy, it is your job as mother to learn to interpret those signals, not impose a clock-watching routine written by someone who is not a mother herself! These things don't always function from day one, you need to get to know your baby, who is a unique human being and doesn't fit into a "one size fits all" mould. If you want your baby to sleep through, try "the no cry sleep solution" by Elizabeth Pantley or "nighttime parenting - how to get your baby to sleep" by William Sears.

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Feb 2009 21:21:56 GMT
happymum says:
If you want to discuss your views on how to be a mum and what babies (all?) need can I suggest mumsnet as a good place. as far as insulting the many many mothers who have found this book more than helpful and branding them all as 'control freak mums' I do not think comments like that belong here, or anywhere online frankly. You may not appreciate that babies generally thrive on routine, however it is established, and that is fine as long your baby is quite happy and not exhausted and miserable without one. tous chez regarding 'one size fits all' and how guilty must a mother then feel if she hasn't managed to work out exactly what her baby needs by interpreting each 'signal' correctly?! I know some people who have found "the no cry sleep solution" useless. horses for courses and some respect for others if you contribute to book reviews I think.

In reply to an earlier post on 23 Apr 2009 15:14:43 BDT
My daughter is suffering from giving all the love and attention her new baby needs as and when he needs it, in three weeks he had trained my daughter to become a walking dummy, pandering to his every need. I am on my break at work at the moment and I am very tired, I wonder what my boss would say if I told him that at 3.20 when my break ends I am going to pop out a get a sarnie because I am hungry and then take a nap as I am tired as I dont think it is right that I should be expected to adhere to the working days regimental attitude to life. All this attention and pandering to kids has produced a generation of computer twitching, flacid children who will only eat addictive junk food because Mommy and Daddy were trained from an early age not to expect them to do anything they did not like. It is a pity we put such high priorities on baby's sensitivity and not enough on his real well being as a future adult.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Jun 2009 22:07:34 BDT
I have read and used CLB Book. I used it for guidance as I was a new mummy and didnt know about ounces of milk, when to wean, even winding and how much linen i would need for the cot. I found her factual advise so helpful and read her book in additon to others that i also learned alot from .The main reason I am writing this comment is that I think to make such ignorant assumptions about anyone who uses this book is awful. Whatever helps a new baby and mummy is good in my book. Anybody who reads it can use as much as they want or none at all. I mostly used the feeding routines and let my baby sort her own sleep out, i just wanted to know I was definately giving her enough.It obviously wasnt for you which is fine but I think the ' not a mother herself ' comment was only meant to be hurtful. I think there are plenty of mothers out there who are not any good at being mummys and lots of none mothers who would be wonderful or who are amazing childcare providers, so i just think that was a bit of nasty thing to say.

Posted on 1 Sep 2009 15:21:11 BDT
J. G. Biggs says:
I think this review is 100% acutare. It is not a bible! But if you follow the methods and ideas and they suit you and your baby then you can't go wrong. If they don't then throw it in the bin or pass it on to a library! Don't blame the book for making your life hell, no one is forcing you to follow it and if it takes you a year (like in one review) to realise that the book is not for you then I'm sorry but I have no sympathy for you! My little girl is nearly 3 now and I still follow the routines. I am now expecting my second child and will continue with the routines with this one too. Not all babies are the same and yes the routines are quite strict, but use your common sense. Friends of ours have a 4 year boy who goes to bed when he wants and not even into his own bed. he often sleeps in until 11am and generally rules the roost. I could not live like that and I don't think my little girl would like it either. She knows what is going on and when and it suits us just fine.

Posted on 14 Jan 2010 16:47:51 GMT
Claire Whyte says:
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

In reply to an earlier post on 25 Jan 2010 18:04:52 GMT
Go Go Dancer says:
The trick is, Avid Reader, that many people do like routine. So do babies. The point about CLB's routines is that they are designed specifically to ensure that the baby is provided with food and sleep in a routine that experience has shown in many cases ensures that the baby is NOT allowed to suffer from hunger or fatigue.

What is frightening about your post is the absolute-ism of it all. You have a reduced appreciation of shades of grey or nuances, in that the author of the original post expressly states that the book might not be for everyone and that some people may wish to just adopt some of the lessons from it. Your rather blunt view of the book's philosophy actually suggests the type of rigidity of personality that might be described as being a control freak!

The suggestion that baby's have an inherent ability to know completely what is good for them is not what reality shows. Any parent of young children will know that sometimes babies or toddlers simply get themselves into a state and they literally don't know what they want. At these times, a firm but loving parent is able to step in and set the agenda, which is what so often produces happy young kids who know where they stand. CLB is really just an early manifestation of this approach. And it's worth repeating - the entire book is devoted to ensuring babies are properly fed and get enough sleep. How evil can such an intention be?

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 23:00:03 GMT
Avid Reader says:
I'm not branding people "control freak mums", I'm quoting the original reviewer, who starts her review with the phrase "are you a control freak?". Not my choice of phrase (hence the quotation marks). Almost every review on this book - as well as the comments - discusses babies' and mums' needs - because this is the central subject of the book. It would therefore be strange not to discuss them in the review. I don't want a "discussion" - I want to discourage people from buying this book. I personally found it shockingly patronising and the advice verging on harmful to unsure new mothers. This is my personal opinion and I do not think it is "disrespectful" to other mothers to voice this opinion. You evidently have an opinion that differs to mine and I would defend your right to recommend this book with a glowing review - if that is your experience and opinion, fine by me. There is a difference between having an opinion (and giving justification for an opinion) and disrespecting someone. I find the comments on books are often enlightening and think that different and even opposing viewpoints can help other people gain an insight into books / products. I stand by my opinion that a clock-governed routine can actually cause greater stress to a new mum than learning to tune in to her baby and trust her instincts (which doesn't happen overnight, granted). Women need empowering to trust their own abilites rather than slavishly following the questionable advice of someone who has never had any children herself and takes a very clinical view in her book. IMHO.

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 23:06:11 GMT
[Deleted by the author on 10 Nov 2012 13:48:56 GMT]

In reply to an earlier post on 5 Nov 2012 23:13:39 GMT
Avid Reader says:
I don't think it is "nasty" to say that the author isn't a mother herself. It's a fact, and she states it herself. Having had two children myself I don't believe she understands a mother's instincts and the heartbreak it can cause to be told it is best to let a baby cry. I personally find her "golden rule" of not picking up a crying baby barbaric and regret having tried out her routines before realising that they merely upsetting both me and my baby. Of course there will be people who love this book but there will also be people who will, like me, find the author's views abhorrent. Some people will feel encouraged to buy this book by comments like yours and the original reviewers, others will be put off. That is the point of a review. BTW, if you are breastfeeding, you can't know you are giving your baby enough milk by measurement in fl oz - you have to use common sense and observe your child's development.
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