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baby whisperer?

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 
A friend of mine keeps bragging that her 3 mo is sleeping through the night thanks to Tracey Hogg's book The Baby Whisperer. Anyone else heard of this or tried her techniques? I read it when I was pregnant and thought it sounded reasonable, but every mom I mentioned it to me thought it was crazy (mostly because she says don't ever let your baby fall asleep at the breast). anyways, just wondering if anyone would recommend this book or not and why.

p.s. my friend is getting really annoying...
post #2 of 33
Sounded reasonable when I was pregnant, too. Then I read up on breastfeeding, and gave birth to a child who would not stand for being patted to sleep. Also, her insistence on starting as you mean to continue assumes the child has no internal upheavals between birth and school. And that's not the case

Some kids fall asleep easily without nursing. Some are comforted by being patted. Some can go two hours without eating. The baby whisperer would suit them.
post #3 of 33
i thought this book was GREAT... until i had a needy (read:normal) breastfed baby. now, i find it slightly ridiculous.
it's kind of like a watered down version of Babywise. Tracy has a nice chapter on respecting your baby as an individual, yet she still has you give your baby a label- angel, textbook, grumpy, etc... like Babywise it has the scheduling thing going on in the same order- Eat, Activity, Sleep. but, Baby Whisperer is a bit more gentle. however, if you're trying to EAS it doesn't take into account that nursing is a natural sleep inducer. i don't know of any breastfed baby who 1) eats on a schedule dictated by mama or 2) doesn't fall asleep at the breast.
this is my biggest issue w/ The Baby Whiperer (and BabyWise). it is completely unrealistic if you are hoping to establish a good solid nursing relationship- it doesn't really support breastfeeding and basically says that formula is a just as good an option as breast milk and merely a "personal choice".
(my experience with moms who swear by The Baby Whisperer and Babywise has also been highly annoying. the reality is they have had super mellow babies and/or they are "ok" with CIO which I am not. and interestingly, they all have been primarily formula fed.)
post #4 of 33
I think it is a big mistake to think breastfed babies and formula babies behave the same - and to prescribe the same routine for them. My 2 bf babies would never have thrived on a schedule like that, and nursed during the night for months. Yes, they fall asleep at the breast, which totally throws a wrench in any kind of eat, activity, sleep routine - our routine was more like eat, doze, activity, eat, sleep. My 3rd has had to be ff for reasons I won't go into (medical), and heaven help us, he magically started sleeping through the night at 6 weeks. He is NOT an easy baby by any definition, and I do not let him CIO. But he has kind of fallen into the pattern - eat, activity, sleep - and he is predictably hungry at set times in the day. Formula just takes alot longer to digest, and they take alot more of it in at a time. I guess some bottle babies get to using the bottle as comfort, but not mine - he's had too many colic issues. He's gone to sleep on the bottle like 1 time.
post #5 of 33
Amen to that! Also, just because this baby is sleeping so great at 3 months doesn't mean it will be at 6 months ... or 6 years for that matter.
post #6 of 33
The annoying "Britisishisms" in that book put me off so much I couldn't get very far through it. I thought I would throw up if I read another "ducky" "luv" or "codswallop". Besides the fact that I think her EASY plan is impractical I really couldn't stomach the wise British nanny routine. And I agree with a pp that labeling babies as Angels, Touchy, Grumpy etc. isn't necessarily respectful of the child's developing personality.
post #7 of 33
My DD was sleeping through the night by 8 weeks w/ no training or program of any kind. But guess what? At 4 months she started waking a lot! Now she's 14 months and wakes every 2-3 hours. So, just b/c your friend's baby is sleeping through the night doesn't mean it will stay that way. I don't know much about the Baby Whisperer, but I had 3 different lactation consultants tell me to stay away from that book.
post #8 of 33
HA! My friend had a baby 4 days after my DD was born, and we were all jealous of her because her DD slept right through from 10pm to 8am every single night from about 3 months. A nasty bout of teething at about 10 months, she started night waking and even at over 3 years old, her sleeping is incredibly erratic. It will take her until about midnight or 1 to finally settle down, then one night waking around 3, then up for the day at 6am!

So yeah, things can change, try to ride your friend's smugness with a "this too shall pass" attitude if you can.

I found little parts of the Baby Whisperer book to be useful, like the shushing sounds, and routine (which my DD seems to thrive on) but most of it I discarded. It's worth a read if you can read it with a grain of salt and not feel like you have to use 100% of the information.
post #9 of 33
Kellymom (a website run by a board certified lactation consultant) lists that as a book that may jeopardize your milk supply.
http://www.kellymom.com/store/review...whisperer.html
post #10 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momtwice View Post
Kellymom (a website run by a board certified lactation consultant) lists that as a book that may jeopardize your milk supply.
http://www.kellymom.com/store/review...whisperer.html
: I was just going to post this link too!
post #11 of 33
I also thought it sounded great...when I was pregnant. Of course, I was also in a dead panic that I had no idea how to be a parent and any plan at all seemed better than nothing.

Enter baby, exit Baby Whisperer. WHAT newborn does not fall asleep at the breast or bottle? You'd have to work SO hard to keep the baby awake and anything that goes that much against a baby's natural tendencies just does not make sense to me. Most babies fall asleep while eating, I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's that way for a reason.

She's also very smug and condescending and frankly, I don't need that. Not even from a book.
post #12 of 33
i also read this book when pregnant and even then alarm bells rang at the suggestion for e.g. that 'demand feeding' is 'just that - leads to a demanding baby'... but the EASY routine sounded plausible and i thought i might use it.

soon as my baby was born i realised how ridiculous and impractical it was. i just can't see how my baby who nurses 1-2 hourly and usually to sleep, could be made 2 wait 3 hours btwn feeds without completely ignoring his signals (as of course no AP parent would want 2 do) and prob CIO...

funny but i saw the book as more american rather than 'britush nanny' , prob bc i live in britain, and associate the 'lets fit baby into our lives with no inconvenience 2 us' with a primarily American mainstream view. im always heartened by finding so many US moms on this site who are the very opposite!

just read the article on kellymom - its right on!
post #13 of 33
Umm... I'm British. Am I allowed to post here or will I be annoying too?

Tracy Hogg is (or rather was as she's now passed) unrealistic in her assertion you should avoid nursing to sleep, says some pretty bizarre things about breastfeeding.

HOWEVER she places a high emphasis on respecting your child and 'listening' to them and moulding a 'routine' around them. She is very anti-CIO (her website contains a bunch of anti-CIO resources). She is also anti-spanking and traditional 'time-out'.

A quick look at the site/ message board section again does show an extended nursing thread on a pretty active breastfeeding board so presumably some manage to combine this book with breastfeeding.

Like a lot of things not all bad but not all good.

Perhaps like the British then?
post #14 of 33
Thread Starter 
thanks for all of the responses. it's funny how many of us read this when we were pregnant
I definitely find dd needs a bit of a routine, but I just found the EASY thing impossible to manage.
post #15 of 33
Quote:
Originally Posted by NW6Londonmum View Post
Umm... I'm British. Am I allowed to post here or will I be annoying too?

I agree with most of the points made so far. Tracy Hogg is (or rather was as she's now passed) unrealistic in her assertion you should avoid nursing to sleep, says some pretty bizarre things about breastfeeding including that we should be washing our nipples with washcloths after every feed and 4 month olds should be going 4 hours between feeds and places WAY too much emphasis on independent sleep. She is extremely pro-formula and bottles.

HOWEVER she places a high emphasis on respecting your child and 'listening' to them and moulding a 'routine' around them. She is very anti-CIO (her website contains a bunch of anti-CIO resources) although some might argue some of sleep methods are not a million miles away. She is also anti-spanking and traditional 'time-out'.

A quick look at the site/ message board section again does show an extended nursing thread on a pretty active breastfeeding board so presumably some manage to combine this book with breastfeeding.

Like a lot of things not all bad but not all good.

Perhaps like the British then?
Sorry, I wasn't taking a shot at the British- just at the author who filled the book with so many cutesy terms that seemed designed to play on American's facination with British nannies. Kind of like if an American hawked a book abroad filled with "Aw, shucks!" "By golly!" and "As we Yanks say...." etc.
post #16 of 33
If you look at the negative reviews of this book on Amazon- one woman talks about how she tried to follow the EASY schedule with her new baby and ended up with no milk and had to start supplementing with formula. It's sad! I know how much my little one ate in the beginning- following no routine whatsoever and nursing for hours (Hogg advises against allowing this in her book)- If I hadn't let me baby nurse at will I never would have had enough milk...
And yes- she's against CIT for sleep but her suggestion for how to "train" a baby is laughable IMHO- she advises that you put the baby in their crib- and when they cry pick them up. HOld them and settle them down so that they stop crying, then put them back down into the crib. And so on and so forth- until they "get" that they are supposed to stay in the crib and not cry. If I did this it would be like a pop up toy- my daughter settles the second I pick her up- screams the second I put her down- I'm not sure how she would learn anything if I kept putting her right back after I picked her up- I think I would get a sore back and a very sad and confused baby.
I think it's one of those books where everything would sound wonderful to you if you were reading it as a new mom before you gave birth...but it's not really realistic in my opinion. Maybe for formula fed babies...
post #17 of 33
I think maybe some of her techniques may work for an older baby, or a formula-fed baby, but when my baby was very small, he would ALWAYS fall asleep at the breast (that's why my username is Milk Trance!).

Quote:
And yes- she's against CIT for sleep but her suggestion for how to "train" a baby is laughable IMHO- she advises that you put the baby in their crib- and when they cry pick them up. HOld them and settle them down so that they stop crying, then put them back down into the crib. And so on and so forth- until they "get" that they are supposed to stay in the crib and not cry.
Yeah, I have a friend whose baby would be like that, too... he would either find it an amusing game, or he'd get VERY irritated, very quickly.
post #18 of 33
I read it when I was a new desperate mom with a non-stop nursing baby who would only sleep in my arms or on my chest. I tried PU/PD once -- what a total disaster. I PU/PD a total of 4 times (in a row that is) and ended up with a baby who cried straight for an hour in my arms. It was absolutely terrible. I wouldn't recommend the book to anyone ever.

Emily
post #19 of 33
The book really helped me! I already knew about AP techniques so I didn't take any of the Whisperer's advice that ran counter to what I considered AP. I will say that a couple nights I went onto the Whisperer on-line discussion forums and it was disturbing that people were applying some of the rigid scheduling to newborns. I never recommend the book to moms who aren't already ardent AP'ers because I do think it's possible to go the wrong way with it.

That being said, before I read the book I had a 7 week old who would cry from 3pm to 11pm every day. It was horrible. I had read a zillion books on calming babies. Memorized the Happiest Baby DVD. Didn't work!

Within one day of trying some Whisperer techniques, crying went down to 2 hours, then 15 min, then 5 min. I never did any CIO and she is very against it. I didn't hold off feedings and I didn't keep her to a strict schedule. I tracked her own schedule, learned to read her cues better, and figured out that she needed more naps.

I used the suggestions to develop a routine that actually got my baby to nap (not an easy task). BTW, PU/PD (pick up/put down) did work for my dd. She would get sleepier everytime I put her down, until she drifted off. I had a friend tell me that I was training her to cry in order to get picked up, but that was totally untrue.

I didn't use the techniques for long, but boy they made a difference in the first few months.
post #20 of 33
Quote:
Sorry, I wasn't taking a shot at the British- just at the author who filled the book with so many cutesy terms that seemed designed to play on American's facination with British nannies. Kind of like if an American hawked a book abroad filled with "Aw, shucks!" "By golly!" and "As we Yanks say...." etc.
Makes sense. Thanks for the clarification.
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