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on 7 January 2005
I got this book when my son was 8 weeks old. He'd started sleeping through and then started waking up again once or twice during the night. As my daughter at 3 still isn't sleeping particularly well I was keen not to make the same mistakes again.
I was initially dismayed at the size of the book and wondered where on earth I was going to find the time to read it. But needs must etc and one good thing about this book is that it's very easy to find your problem and solution without having to read the whole book.
Another concern was that I hadn't read Tracy Hogg's first two books and wasn't sure if the "infancy to 3" would mean there wasn't enough information relevant to 8 weeks old. But it's fine and I'm now well on my way to success having implemented the EASY routine from 9 weeks.
I love the ethos of Tracy Hogg. She doesn't believe in leaving babies to cry, says dummies are ok and puts the baby's needs first. I highly recommend this book for any baby from birth to 3.
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on 5 December 2005
This book is an absolute god send to any parents, both new and those who have done it before. I was a little sceptical about a baby whisper, but my fears were soon dispatched as were my sleepless nights and my sense of failure in motherhood. This book does not wave a magic wand and make everything A OK, what it does is allow you to understand what your baby is trying to tell you. I can't recommend this book enough, it just makes having a baby a pleasure rather than a trial.
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on 4 April 2008
Like many other 1-3 star reviewers I felt that Tracy's constant referral to accidental parenting caused more problems because I started to constantly doubt myself.

Her avoidance of applying the advice to age made it difficult to understand and I ended up using techniques that were not appropriate to my baby's age. IE - as a newborn it is absolutely appropriate to rock, cuddle, pick up counter to Tracy's advice to start as you mean to go.

Tracy's basic structure/routine was helpful for a total novice but it took a lot of reading to get to the nuance & age appropriate bits of it. After many months of struggling I found that Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Paediatrician Mar Weissbluth to be far more helpful in terms of helping me to understand the science of sleep and child development - without all the judgement and knuckle-wrapping. I also liked The No Cry Sleep Solution which was far more empowering.

Good luck
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on 18 April 2013
My partner bought this book on the recommendation of his mother, who told me it would be a life saver. I began reading it when my son was a few weeks old, mostly paying attention to the E.A.S.Y routine, which I liked the idea of at the time and believed it to make sense. I remember attemtping to implement the routine to no avail and instead feeling frustrated and impatient that my baby wouldn't feed every two hours, or sleep without breastfeeding or being rocked. I fell into the idea that I must be a typical 'accidental parent' and was reinforcing bad habits in my son which would come back to bite me in the bum later on. I couldn't have been more wrong. Having finally read the book in its' entirety I realize one very important thing about Hogg's philosophy. It isn't breastfeeding friendly. There are so many flawed advices in this book that I don't know where to begin. To list some though, Hogg sees a baby wanting to feed more than every 2 hours within the first 6 weeks of life as a sign of a 'snacker' or a problem with the mother's supply. If a baby falls asleep while feeding, her supply is again brought up as the culprit. Hogg recommends introducing a bottle as early as 3 weeks to allow mum to have a break and allow other family members to feed and bond with the baby. Babies can all be categorized into five types, and depending on what type your baby is, you may have to give him a bottle feed if he is fussy at the breast till the 'milk really starts flowing'. Heaven forbid you demand feed your baby, feed them to sleep, exclusively breastfeed without the use of bottles or soothe a crying baby with the breast. If you ever do any of the above you are creating a needy, dependant and mum-centric child that will never bond with other family members, never give you a break or grow to be a happy, independant individual. The feeding advice in this book is very destructive to breastfeeding (or hopeful breastfeeding) mothers and can ruin a natural feeding relationship based on bogus observations and not biology. It is not normal for babies to sleep on their own, self-settle, play happily for half an hour on their own with toys, or simply have to shush-pat a baby back to sleep. Books like this remind me of how tainted the Western view of baby rearing is by modern problems that don't apply to infant humans. In so many other cultures it is considered normal (even expected) for a mother and baby to co-sleep, breastfeed on demand, wear their babies almost constantly which helps lull them to sleep during the day. Had it ever occured to people like Hogg that perhaps the practices advocated in her book are contributing to the low breastfeeding rates in this country? Babies are not a convenience. Anyone who expects to have a baby and maintain order and structure in their lives, so much so that mother will need 'a break' by having a full night's sleep or sharing feeding duties with others, has been fed the same distorted parenting philosophy that is prevelant in Western culture that would seem cruel and alien to any other person in a different continent. Babies need their mothers: her warmth, breastmilk and attention. They do not need bottles, dummies and shush pats. And trying to make parents out in a bad light by following their instincts being baby led and not living like Kings with good sleep in the first year or so of a baby's life is misinformed and downright ignorant of the natural relationship between infants and parents. If you want a convenient baby who lets you sleep all night and carry on with your life as normal, hire a wet nurse to do your job for you. Don't punish your baby for being born to parents who weren't ready to accept full responsibility for their choice to have children.
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on 9 March 2009
I found this book really helpful in establishing a routine for my daughter. A lot of what seems really obvious with hindsight really isn't when you're in the middle of it with a new baby as a first-time parent. Our little girl slept through the night after three days on EASY, and I've found the routine easy to adapt as she's got older, and wanted to drop naps/ have more solids, etc. She's now 16 months and still follows a routine loosely based on EASY. I really liked the flexibility, and the 'watch your baby, not the clock' aspect, and I found it really empowering to have the tools to work out what my baby needed.

Lots of the reviews take issue with the phrase 'accidental parenting' - but I can't really see the problem with it. All it means is that you may, inadvertently, get your child into a habit that's hard to break, and so you find yourself having to keep doing something that you started as a quick fix. Surely it's not that controversial to say that babies learn to do what their parents teach them? I find it a bit odd that so many people object to this and say they feel that they're being told that 'it's their fault'. But if your baby has got into a habit or pattern that you've encouraged, then whose fault is it? The baby's? Really?

Tracy Hogg doesn't say that it's 'bad' parenting, and she acknowledges time and time again that it's an easy thing to fall into, tells you how to spot it, and how to deal with it. Personally, I find being able to spot and deal with my mistakes much more empowering than being told that I haven't made them.

I was bringing my baby into bed with me every morning at 5 am, because she'd wake and wouldn't settle herself back to sleep unless she was in bed with me. While this wasn't a problem when she was 3 months, I realised that before long, she'd come to expect it, wouldn't be able to go back to sleep and if I wasn't careful, I could have a two year old climbing into bed with me at 5 every morning. And that would have been accidental parenting.

OK, so much for the plus points and the diversion on accidental parenting... there are some drawbacks to this book.

It is a bit haphazard and you can sometimes spend a while looking for the bit you want. Fortunately, there's a good index.

I also found being addressed as 'luv' a bit grating, and there were a few too many cute acronyms for my taste, but the basic advice is sound, so it's worth pushing past it.

I agree with reviewers who say that it's not ideal for newborns - I introduced EASY at three and a half months, and I wouldn't want to do it any earlier.

I also agree that it's much more compatible with bottle or mixed feeding than with exclusive breastfeeding, and if you do breastfeed, take your HV's advice over Tracy's. That said, lots of the material in this book is still useful if you breastfeed, you just need to adapt it.

But in general, I'd say that this is one of the most sensible baby books and the one I've turned to again and again.
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on 22 February 2005
I found "The Baby Whisperer" invaluable when I had my first child, so was pleased to find this when I was looking for help with a sleeping issue that didn't seem to cover. It goes into more issues in much greater depth and really gets you more into thinking about what it is your child is trying to communicate. It does feel a little rushed in parts, but sadly this is due to Tracey Hogg suffering from a terminal illness. She is a childcare expert who will be sorely missed - not many have her balanced view of looking after both child *and* parent mixed with a huge dollop of common sense.
You may not agree 100% with all her recommendations, but you are bound to find something useful or thought provoking here.
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on 14 September 2008
I have found this book a godsend. I didn't get it until my son was 6 months old and wish I'd had it earlier. The best thing about this book is that it doesn't paint all children with the same brush. Babies are different and at least the late Tray Hogg knew this and identified the 6 main types of child knowing that some children were mixtures of types. I've had some Gina Ford books and found the advice rather unhelpful for my spirited child as her books tend to put all babies in the same box with no regard for personality.

Tracy helps steer you away from the quick fixes which lead to "accidental parenting" and if you have made any quick fixes which are now an every day occurance, she doesn't scold, rather she helps you break it. Best thing is, she never pretends it's easy so you don't feel like a failure after trying something for 5 days and getting nowhere.
There are many case studies (emails from parents) with their problems and her suggestions on how to resolve them which I found really interesting (even if many of them didn't apply to my wee man, it helped my friends and their babies many times!)

Brilliant buy which has improved my confidence no end after being depressed for the first few months and now I glance at it every now and then but I really feel she has taught me some valuable skills and helped me to understand my son and how he is similar (and different to me!). Don't worry, the book isn't all psycho-babble, rather like having a really trusted and experienced friend help you when you need it and feel like tearing your hair out! I'm sure it won't solve all your problems, but it sure help me with mine!

If you're still unsure, try web searching her and seeing some of the advice she has given. I highly recommend this book!
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on 4 October 2010
I read this in pregnancy and it sounded great, just what I was looking for. After my baby was born and I was home from hospital and a couple of weeks in we decided to give it a go, after all Tracy says before 4 weeks is ideal. I tried it for about 2 hours and virtually threw the book across the room. A routine is totally inappropriate for a newborn, they are so sleepy it can be hard to keep them awake during a feed never mind for 10 mins after! Then the soul destroying Shh-pat technique supposed to be superior to feeding to sleep. You feed your baby into a blissful peaceful sleep, then wake it up so that you can spend half an hour patting its back and loudly shhing in its ear to get it back to sleep, I know which sleep association I would rather the baby had! I therefore fed my baby to sleep, often letting him sleep in my arms, kissing him and bonding with him. By 4 weeks he was sleeping 5 hour stretches, by 8 weeks 7 hour stretches which Hogg would have you believe is not possible when you feed to sleep. My baby will sleep anywhere (car seat, train, sling, cot, baby hammock) so is totally flexible, we go away all the time without worrying it will upset his routine. Most of this depends on the temperament of the baby. I wish I had never read this book. As I follow my wonderful mothering instincts it hangs like a spectre over my head. The phrase "accidental parenting" (aka loving your baby) is as bad as "rod for your own back" for making you feel like a bad mother for doing what comes SO naturally. Save yourself the lashing, don't read the book and embrace motherhood for the wonderful instinctive experience it is! P.S. the breastfeeding advice to "take a yield" to see if you are producing enough milk is nonsense, expressing is totally different to feeding and much harder to do, feeding on demand is the only way to get enough milk flowing, even if that means every 45 mins at times.
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on 27 April 2008
After the recent birth of my first child, I bought this book in the hope that it might give me a better idea of how to develop a routine for my son, as well as giving me some confidence in my ability to be a good parent. Unfortunately, although some of the things Tracey Hogg talks about in this book make sense, I could not see how I could make her routines work for me and my son. For example, Tracey aserts that babies should not feed any more frequently than 3 hourly. However, I am breast feeding my son and in the early weeks he sometimes wanted to feed every hour. Tracey suggests that in this situation your baby is either not getting enough milk, or is comfort sucking (and should therefore be given a dummy). I knew my son was getting enough milk as he was putting on weight very well, but despite trying to give him a dummy on several occasions he just would not take it. Tracey states that if your baby will not take a dummy, then you are giving up too easily and should keep trying. However, the whole premise of this book is that the parent needs to learn to listen to their child, and my son was clearly telling me that he did not want a dummy!
The author states that if her methods do not work for you, then you are at fault and either you are just not doing it right, or not trying hard enough. This approach left me feeling inadequate as a mother, at a time when I needed to feel understood and supported as a new parent. My negative feelings about this book are compounded by Tracey Hogg's insistence on calling the reader 'duckie' and 'luv' throughout, which I found incredibly patronising.
I have since realised that being a good enough parent means trusting your instincts and dipping in and out of various parenting texts, using the bits that work for you, and ignoring the bits that don't.
Oh, and my son is now able to go for 3 hours between feeds without me having to shove a dummy in his mouth!
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on 28 March 2005
What a great book - I cant get hold of it for my husband reading it now. It tears down the confusion around what to do when and why, and using it can stop bad habits forming for you and your baby. It is easy to read, very interesting and it has made a lot of things clearer for me. A great book which I will no doubt use for the next few years to come!
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