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Customer Review

39 of 45 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some helpful tips but approach with caution, 11 May 2007
This review is from: The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems (By Teaching You How to Ask the Right Questions): Sleeping, feeding and behaviour - beyond the basics through infancy and toddlerdom (Paperback)
This book was lent to me soon after the birth of my daughter after having discarded another well known baby "bible" in disgust!! It appealed to me in that it advocacted a relationship of trust between the baby and parents (rather than one of control and abandonment) in that you help your baby with the things he or she may struggle with as a newborn by not leaving them to cry and providing a gentle routine with support and reassurance.

My daughter didn't fit into the EASY routine and after a few horrible days I gave up trying as it was causing both of us misery. I can see Tracy's point but the fact is newborns are total individuals and each ones sleep and feed needs differ according to the weather, rate of growth and other mysterious factors.

What I found unneccessary and demeaning is all the condecending and patronising references to "accidental parenting". Many sleep deprived and anxious new parents use age old ways of getting their baby to sleep (feeding, rocking) because they and the baby need some peace!! It's very negative and damaging to a new Mums self-esteem to say that if she resorts to these methods the child will NEVER be able to fall asleep on their own etc.!! This is nonsense! Having said that my husband and I employed the shush pat technique as we both vehemently disagree with controlled crying and it began to work really well, but after 2 months not 2 weeks as the book claims!! Eevntually through this method our daughter learnt to fall asleep and stay asleep on her own with no cruel methods such as "crying it out" alone in her cot. Now at 8 months old she goes down awake and drifts off to sleep peacefully for all her naps whereever we happen to be. I found tips such as these sensible, kind and helpful.

There is a hint of an anti-breastfeeding flavour to the book though although it's not spoken outright. Routines are very hard to implement with breastfed babies because of variations in supply/content of breastmilk at different times. There's a danger that new Mums, like I did will beat themselves up over "advice" like this and end up depressed and demoralised.

Also the book is contradictory, she advocates use of dummies then devotes a whole chapter to weaning them off them!?! My main criticism is the writing style, v patronising and critical and a horrible mix of English and American! She talks about doing a "yield" to check supply with a breastpump but any experienced mother/health professional will tell you a breast pump doesn't "yield" nearly as much as a baby (due to the presence of the baby triggering increased production of prolactin and oxytocin) so this is wholly inaccurate.

Overall I'd recommend it as a useful reference guide but be very wary of some of the more contentious advice, howver if choosing between this and GF go for this immediately, at least this author is passionate about the emotional well-being of babies!
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