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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Hogg recommends taking time to learn your baby's body language and understand what they want (I couldn't understand why anyone might need to be told to do this until I attended a post natal group and saw mothers plugging their baby's mouth with a tit every time they made a noise).
EASY is a good way of structuring your day when you're a first time mother without much of a clue. But, but, but - I have never cracked naps despite religiously following Tracy's advice and a blissful 3 weeks of baby sleeping through the night turned out to be the ONLY time she did this. Baby has developed a dependence on dummies through following Tracy's technique for getting her to sleep even though I have been very careful NOT to over-use them.
I didn't find the baby classification too helpful - seems to be a bit early to be labelling the poor little mites.
I've read a lot of baby books, from Gina Ford to Sears, which pretty much encompasses both extremes. Tracy's not as rigid as Gina and a lot more humane but there is still a emphasis on getting baby to fit with your life and if you don't manage to train them into whatever the recommended structure is, then you're culpable. What I like about Sears is that he acknowledges that babies turn your life upside down, you can't train them like a labrador, sometimes the techniques don't work and it's NOT YOUR FAULT. Sometimes you have to do what it takes (bring baby into bed, demand feed etc) and remember that it's not going to be forever and it's OK!
It can be summed up as follows: give your baby some activity after a feed, and they'll sleep longer.
But that, of course, isn't enough reason to buy a book, and so Hogg (or her cowriter) cleverly structures it into the 'E.A.S.Y.' system, with a chapter each devoted to eating, activity, sleeping and 'your time'. There are also Cosmo-style quizzes such as 'what type of baby do you have' (tip: skip to the descriptions and decide yourself), and other catchy acronyms.
This is all interspersed with brand-building stuff about her Yorkshire background and her Nan's wisdom, which I'm sure the Americans love but which grates very quickly.
But a quick scan-read will give you a number of helpful tips such as burping the baby *before* you feed as well as after; placing the new nappy underneath the old one when you're about to change it; and not trying too hard to stimulate your new baby with fancy toys (which actually overstimulate them and make them cry) when actually they're quite happy to stare at a piece of cardboard for half an hour, or, in my case it seems, gawp at my face while trying to keep their head from bumping into my chin.
I would definitely recommend that a new parent allocate a little of their precious spare time to reading this. It does help get things into perspective!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A good, diplomatic approach to baby soothing with great tips for understanding your babies needs. It can seem a little patronising at times but worth wading through for help with... Read morePublished 7 days ago by Sara
Good book, might not agree with everything, but surely helped me to understand my baby better. RecommendPublished 7 days ago by Yura
My 11 week old son very loosely was following the EASY schedule but I wanted to read more than what I had found online. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Summer A
Needs to be read from birth (rather than as a panicking parent 8 months in!!). Luckily daughter got back into her own rythmnPublished 1 month ago by dan wright
I've read this book before my first baby was born and then used it thereafter for all 3
It's a brilliant book , easy to understand and the tips provided work !! Read more
Useful, common sense strategies. Read along with other sleep books for a range of ideas.Published 1 month ago by EuroTraveller