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on 28 February 2017
First, I want to be clear I totally disagree with the whole 'accidental parenting' narrative as a few other reviewers have mentioned. As a first time parent to a newborn, you do what it takes to make sure they are comfortable and happy - this isn't accidental it's good parenting. So
skip that bit and don't feel bad! That aside, the technique of pick up/ put down and shhh pat does work - though beware with the former it can overstimulate and you are left with a very distressed and awake baby - however this is where shhh pat comes in. Our daughter would not go down from day one, even now at 6 months we are rarely able to put her down drowsy, but shh pat is gradually getting easier and quicker and with help she can fall asleep in her cot. We're not keen on the idea of crying it out - that's just not something my husband and I felt comfortable with (and it isn't advised for babies younger than 6 months anyway), so this is a gentle approach to help her go down in her cot (and previously Moses basket). It took us a while to figure out how to really use it in a way that works for our daughter, but it really is a loud and long shhhh that works for us with a firm pat - starting of quick and slowing as she settles. When I feel her starting to settle I can reduce the volume of the shh, slow and lighten the pat. I honestly couldn't work out what she meant by patting whilst the baby was in the cot - yes we do have to turn her on her side. Once I worked this out it worked really well for us and consistently. If you have a baby that does not like to be put down and wants to nurse (no cry sleep solution book also helped us for this problem as our baby won't take a dummy) or be cuddled all night - this may work (we also invested in a sleepyhead and a Ewan dream sheep). I have literally read all the sleep books on the market and this is perhaps just one of two pieces of advice that has worked for us - the other being how to deal with a baby that would prefer to be latched on to your boob all night (in the no cry sleep solution book). Having said that, if you haven't already figured this out, all babies are different, and what works for my little one won't necessarily work for you. But I have found shhh pat the most effective way to calm her even when she is really hysterical, and eventually get her back to sleep again (assuming clean nappy, burped, not teething, not ill etc.)
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on 26 January 2016
Not very helpful, written in a very self promoting manner. Bought when child 4 months old, felt as though constantly reiterated I had bought it late. Made me less confident about parenting rather than more.
Technique tried for over a week made baby and myself more stressed, made his reflux worse and messed with my milk supply.
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on 4 January 2014
I would probably rate this more realistically as 3.5/4 star. If you are the kind of person who likes order and structure then you will probably like this book as it gives you an easy to follow routine without being a strict timetable. However given that all babies have their own little personalities I'm not sure that all babies can easily fall into this daily routine, especially in the early weeks when your getting to know your baby. ( I think the author would disagree with this though as she talks about babies knowing nothing and having to be taught). For me and my baby I didn't like the idea of cluster feeds and dream feeding at the end of day/night. Whilst I'm sure many babies can settle into this constant waking and feeding pattern, if you have a very windy/reflux/colicky baby I don't see how this can work. I don't think the author takes this into consideration. So while I have tried to adopt some of the principles of the EASY routine, I can't apply it all. Also, as a new parent and reading this when my baby was only 3 weeks old, it made me really doubt myself, fearing I would fall into the trap of 'accidental parenting' as the author calls it. I started really questioning everything from a simple cuddle with my baby to using a dummy....it all gets a bit confusing! Also I'm not sure how the shhh pat technique is any better than cuddling your baby to sleep....surely the baby becomes reliant on the shhh pat to go to sleep....which the author wants you to avoid by rocking/cuddling your baby to sleep?? I'm not quite ready to dismiss this book all together and I'm sure I will dip in and out of it, but I have found the Babycalm book much more useful and reassuring.
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on 21 April 2013
I was having a nightmare with putting my baby down for naps/at bedtime, I'd become reliant on rocking him to sleep but then even that stopped working and he would just cry for 40 mins while I desperately tried everything to get him to sleep and I was at my wits end! I would dread having to put him down for a nap/sleep as it always got him (and me) so upset.
Pick up put down was a miracle for me. I used it when my baby was 5 months old - I wish I'd read about it before then!
It took 45 mins to get him to sleep the first time and 25 pick ups (but he would usually cry for that long anyway so it was much less stressful than normal as I felt in control at last). Second time took around the same time, third time it took 25 mins (10 mins of crying and 4 pick ups), fourth time 10 mins with 5 pick ups, fifth time 1 min with 0 pick ups. From then on I usually didn't pick the baby up at all, just used hand on chest if he got a little upset.
My baby is now 7 months old and is usually really good at going to sleep. I don't pick him up, he normally goes to sleep within 2 - 10 mins of just lying there fairly quietly (obviously you have to put them down at the right time/level of sleepiness and after calming routine e.g. quietly reading a book).
I would imagine this technique is probably easier to use when the baby is < 6 months, so you can pick them up to calm them as part of the technique, as after this age you're meant to just pick them up and put down immediately, so it may be harder to soothe them.
I adapted the method a bit to what was right for me - e.g. my baby uses a dummy so I don't leave the room as he sometimes throws it away then wants it again, I just sit quietly in the room until he's asleep.
The book is not the easiest to read to get the method as the info seems split across different sections of the book, you have to read all the chapter first (for all the age groups) to get all the info, then formulate your plan. Some of the info also seems a bit contradictory - e.g. it says you're meant to leave the room straight away but also says somewhere else stay till they're asleep? (I always do the latter - I think when you first start you're meant to always stay, then once it's established you can leave before they fall asleep?).
I didn't want to use CIO and this method worked so well for me. A couple of my friends tried it after me and it worked well for them too.
This method also worked for my husband the first time when he tried it, once I'd got it sussed and the baby could go to sleep on his own in the cot (after about 5 goes) - whereas previously I was the only one who could get the baby to sleep.
The rest of the book has some interesting info but I bought it primarily for the PUPD method.
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on 8 May 2013
My daughter is now 17 months old and we've followed Tracy Hogg's advice from the beginning.

PROS: It worked - all of it! Both mum and daughter are now very happy... I keep referring to the book when I am confused about what's wrong with my daughter... Or what's the best approach to new issues arising... And for this I offer this book to every pregnant friend I have! I call it 'the bible'. My daughter has been sleeping entire nights (7pm to 7am) since she was 8 weeks old, and grew into a confident little girl. I was clueless and happy for someone to tell me what to do... I like the fact that Tracy highlights the consequences of other approaches and to me it all made sense.

CONS: Lots of pages too many - couldn't care less about case studies that never had anything in common with us. And I do agree with other reviewers that this book is badly written, advice is all over the place! I went it with a highlighter to make the important bits stand out... That's how this book lost a star!

In conjunction with this book I can't recommend enough 'The Wonder Weeks: How to stimulate your baby's mental development and help him turn his 10 predictable, great, fussy phases into magical leaps forward' which tells you what your baby is into, what games to play at what stage, which toys they're interested in, and also what your baby is feeling like which might help you put yourself in his/her shoes...
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on 13 July 2013
I bought this by mistake thinking it was the very first one. This is the follow up. The first thing is that the book is big - in size and volume. It is written by two authors and I think that this is apparent when reading through it. One of the authors injects a very casual approach using expressions like 'well what do you expect, luv' and 'the thing to get to grips with, dear, is'. This style really didn't do it for me partly because it didn't commit to being a chummy guide. There wasn't enough of it to be charming so it came over as patronising when it was thrown in. There are some great tips in the books and a philosophy that I can relate to and has been helpful. I will implement the techniques and to that end am glad I have the book but for me the book could be much more focused. There are lots of references to steps and techniques early in the book that are not explained until much later (or are given cross reference pages), case studies that I found didn't really illuminate the point being made and the same advice is given as if it were two separate pieces of advice etc. Also this book covers right up until toddler years which could be good for some - I'll keep it for future reference. In short I am in two minds; there's much I like and I did learn alot but I found I had to work quite hard to make my way through the book.
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on 26 July 2013
Like other readers, I also found the language applied in this book to be patronising and just plain inappropriate at times. Building up a parent's confidence following the (often) most traumatic experience of their lives does not seem to be what Tracey is after in this book. In fact, my baby boy does not take to the 'dream feeds' mentioned in the book and I found that when I gave him a dream feed, he would wake up more often at night (possibly due to being disturbed before he was able to fall into deep sleep). I find myself constantly comparing his feeds/sleep patterns/development etc to whatever the book says, and this is surely due to my fear of being a bad parent or doing 'accidental parenting'.
I wish anyone who decides to buy this book good luck and advise them to also get a compass to help with navigation. I have lost precious hours trying to find the right advice for my son's age and found that I would often find it in places I would have least expected. I would have much rather spent the time doing something more rewarding.
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on 14 February 2012
This book has some good common sense ideas. I used the EASY method sucessfully however my little boy didn't always want to nap for the suggested amount of time. I feel all babies are different and therefore this book sometimes makes you doubt whether you're doing the right thing if your baby doesn't conform to the guidelines stated! On the other hand if I hadn't read this book I wouldn't have learned about the importance of self settling and I would still be rocking my baby to sleep every two hours through the night so that aspect was a godsend. I have a contented baby that can put himself back to sleep and who doesn't associate his bottle with going to sleep which has resulted in him sleeping through 7pm until 7.30am with a dream feed from 10 weeks. The only real problem I had was I sometimes felt patronised by the author, especially by being called ducky every few paragraphs! A good book to dip into and refer to but maybe not for everyone?
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on 22 April 2014
I bought this book for my daughter who has a new baby , their first. It has been invaluable and their little one has now settled into a lovely routine, much to the envy of several friends who also have small babies. Feeding on demand is difficult and very restrictive for all concerned but once regular times are established what a difference that can make. Also advice about what baby actually needs and how to understand this has been very helpful. All new mums would benefit from this book, would recommend highly.
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on 18 August 2007
It's very subjective, but we found Tracy Hoggs books superb. I think it depends what you take from baby advice books - as guiding principals or a strict presciption.

The reason I'm a fan of the Baby Whisperer books is that having read a number of alternative approaches, I felt it fitted best with what we wanted to achieve which is trust between parents and baby. I didn't want to teach my son that when he's upset, no one comes.

Although Tracy is ok with dummies I absolutely hate them and wouldn't buy one. You don't have to take any advice by the letter, but the overall gist of these books is appealing and based on building your childs esteem from day 1 - basically believing that they CAN self soothe, they CAN indicate needs and they CAN eat well if you go with the flow and don't make a big deal of small things.

We might have been lucky, baby's personality is such a big factor, but our spirited baby (now toddler) has been a superb sleeper, napper and eater from about 3 months - and we credit Tracy's approach.

We still rely on this book and the toddler book as essential reference material.
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