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Customer Review

3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tin-opening and Controlled Crying, 14 May 2012
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This review is from: Babies: A Parent's Guide To Enjoying Baby's First Year (Paperback)
I had trouble with the tone of this book and found I couldn't connect with the voice of the author. Some of the ideas and comments seemed old-fashioned or just plain odd like,

'If you are married to a non-cooking male, you had better run a crash course in tin-opening, egg-boiling and bacon-frying, or leave a few frozen offerings in the freezer.' Who knows, perhaps if I leave a saucer of milk on the back step I'll also be able to tempt him into the house too... what is this - the 1950s?!

Or, harmless enough, but odd:
'It may seem a little premature at this stage [pregnancy], but it does help to consider a few children's names before the event' i.e. the birth. Hmm. You reckon?

And then there's the Controlled Crying bit. This is a technique the author developed and has promoted since 1975. The basic idea being that a baby who is left to cry for a pre-determined length of time will settle itself sooner, develop a better sleep pattern and be generally more independent and confident... and who knows, maybe this is true, but it just doesn't ring true for me and it was that made me put the book aside. Surely a newborn baby cries because that is the only means it has to communicate some kind of discomfort - and that could simply be to do with adjusting to being 'on the outside'. I can't imagine that it has the ability to rationalise to itself, 'I may as well not cry because no-one's going to come'. It all feels a bit like trying to impose an order on something that is naturally chaotic and, often irrational.

However, the book does contain a lot of information that might be really useful to other parents-to-be - it depends what you're after. I much preferred the Kaz Cooke Rough Guide to Pregnancy in terms of tone and structure, but I can imagine that some people might find the humour side of that doesn't work for them and they'd prefer something a bit more traditional. If that's the case, then maybe you would find this book more useful than I have.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 25 Apr 2013, 23:21:06 BST
Last edited by the author on 25 Apr 2013, 23:23:13 BST
mcah says:
Molly. I read your comments with interest. Yes Mr Green is no teenager and it may seem outmoded even to me as a 56yr old mum with a 10 year old. However, I still find most women are aghast that my husband cooks (in fact all family meals) despite working....and these comments from come from the majority of other mums.... and all of them much younger than me.

As for controlled crying. I agree at first sight, it seemed counter intuitive....but it has become the golden standard to put a stop to endlessly crying babies who wont settle. Tiredness leaves the child even more fractious, the parents in pieces and often so tired they can't work, think or get on together. An exhausted parent also gets ill more easily. Dr Green doesn't advise leaving the baby to cry endlessly. He recommends regular, timed visits to soothe and reassure but NOT to pick-up or engage. I put it off and put it off thinking it would take weeks. I could never see a clear 3 weeks when I could work it through. Then a neighbour laughed at me and said " weeks? it takes a few days". Filled with doubt, I gave it a go, following the advice to time according to my ability to listen to the crying, and to move on from there. It took 2 nights! 5 recalls the frist night, 2 the second, the third was quiet. Baby was happier for sleeping and so were we.

Babies, like anyone else need structure and order to feel secure. Letting them entirely run your life is setting yourself up for some difficult times and confusing to children who require routine and boundaries to feel secure. They are never too young to learn as long as it is done the right way.

In reply to an earlier post on 26 Apr 2013, 09:34:13 BST
I'm glad you posted this - my previous review has been bothering me but this has given me the impetus to post again. I have a confession to make... After eight months of our little boy waking up a minimum of three times a night, and often upto six, we bit the bullet and tried the controlled crying.

I had been expecting hours of anguished crying, but you get to know your baby's cries and he was just... Well... Cheesed off. I could almost hear him saying 'come on you two, this is what we do, I have to let you know I've woken up and I can't go back to sleep until then.' I realised we'd trained him to notify us everytime he completed a sleep cycle rather than learning to self settle.

By the third night he slept through and although that's not the norm at the moment, he is teething and things are much better for everyone.

I think I was a little harsh in my previous post. I was very pregnant. I blame the hormones... ;)
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