Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby Paperback – 1 Feb 2001
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Overjoyed but exhausted? Perplexed but purring? Then you may just be a new parent. And if you're looking for practical reassurance and advice then Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect and Communicate with your Baby is for you.
Clearly a remarkable person, Tracy Hogg (the "baby whisperer") has an impressive ability to understand and relate to babies. Herself a mother, she is an experienced maternity nurse and has derived her approach from her dealings with countless babies and their families. Forgiving and sympathetic in style, her book is well written, immensely readable and is full of gems and shrewd observations that even the seasoned parent may not have worked out. She emphasises the importance of showing respect to your baby: "Just try to remember that this is a little human being in your arms, a person whose senses are alive, a tiny being who already knows your voice and even what you smell like." And so the parent is instructed to give the newly returned-home baby an explanatory commentary and friendly guided tour of his or her new home.
Those who enjoy personality quizzes will love the Know-Your-Baby Quiz in which you can "zero in" on your baby's type which, according to Ms Hogg could be "Angel", "Textbook", "Touchy", "Spirited" or "Grumpy". She then provides tips on the best way to handle each type of baby. Advocating a structured routine with the acronym EASY (Eat, Activity, Sleep, You) she then demonstrates how it works for the benefit of all the family. The book covers most topics from sex to weaning, but possibly the most helpful, even beautiful, section is where the Baby Whisperer divulges her secrets for interpreting your baby's body language, signals and cries.
If you find The Baby Whisperer helpful, you may well also be interested in Gina Ford's The Contented Little Baby Book, What to Expect: the First Year and the slightly higher brow Babyhood by Penelope Leach. --Rebecca Pickering
"Miracles are her business" (Jodie Foster)
"The honest truth is that Tracy Hogg has provided me with more insight into the things that matter than anyone else." (Alain de Botton Observer Review)
"She achieves what, to hard-pressed parents, seem like miracles." (Mail on Sunday)
"...in a different league than all other 'how to manage as a parent' books." (Daily Mail)
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I really like her philosophy of treating your baby with respect and recognising (s)he is an individual little person, but at the same time recognising that the baby also has to fit in with the family it's born into.
The EASY (eat/active/sleep) routine is really helpful for the first 3-4 months. However, she advises switching to a 4-hour routine when the baby is 4 months old, and at this point starts to sound more like Gina Ford (not a criticism, just an observation). A 4-hour cycle isn't realistic for every baby - they may need to feed more frequently than this, and their nap times may well still be 30-45 minutes, which would make them struggle to stay awake for a 4-hourly cycle. Hopefully by this stage though, you'll have the confidence to do what's right for you and your baby. I would still recommend this book.
Now that I am well past the baby stage ( My children are 8 and 10) I wanted to help my friend a she faces motherhood for the first time.
I read lots and LOTS of book when I was pregnant and had a new baby. This one and Why love matters are the only two that I found helped me and my little bundles of joy.
Looking back, it is a bewildering and vulnerable time and everyone is full of advice that worked for their kids. But they are all different.
I never made it through the entire book however - it's long and very wordy, and not usable on a day to day basis when you're a sleep deprived mum! There are condensed versions of the "EASY" routine to be found on countless blogs, and on the Baby Whisperer website. If you're feeling exhausted, fraught and desperate to help the baby get to sleep, this isn't a quick read to turn to for a few quick tips. And although some of the techniques work quite well, I haven't seen a correlation between the way my daughter is put to sleep and the length of time she then sleeps for.
All in all, some fairly decent ideas, but not a one stop solution for tired parents.
One thing I did learn from the Baby Whisperer, however, is that it is possible to lose your voice repeating the sound "shh shh shh" if you do it for long enough.
If you're only going to buy one book make it this one. My daughter responded brilliantly to an EASY routine & it helped us all find a pattern / rythym in those early newborn days.
She is 11mths old now & we still follow an EASY routine albeit a very loose one.
I was sad to read that Tracey Hogg passed away not so long ago. Through this book I felt like I almost knew here. A brilliant book where you can learn how to understand body language and baby needs. Also good for alien communication.
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