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Mother and Baby

Routine: Gina Ford

If you’re all about sticking to a routine, Gina Ford’s method could be just what you need when it comes to your baby’s sleep

Gina. Ford. Two words that often split mum opinion. The parenting guru’s method can be thought of as overly no-nonsense  but it does promise to ultimately provide what most new parents dream off – a baby who sleeps through the night.

Fans of the method say it can help your baby sleep for a full 12 hours from just a few weeks old, but you’ll need a fair bit of will power and self-discipline. So, is it right for you?

What is the Gina Ford method?

By following nine different routines that match your baby’s natural rhythms, this method claims to avoid the issues that bring on endless tears such as hunger and tiredness.

Your day will be broken down into five-minute slots to help settle your baby into a routine quickly, with strict direction on naps, feeds and bedtime

Your day will be broken down into five-minute slots to help settle your baby into a routine quickly, with strict direction on naps, feeds and bedtime.

For example, your baby must be up and fed by 7am each day (gulp, early start). She’ll need a feed every four hours in her room, and her naps are just as strict.

At 6.15pm you’ll give your baby her last feed before bedtime and avoid eye contact with her in an effort to not over excite her before she sleeps.

Here’s the tough part. You can’t always respond to your baby when she cries. Ford’s method recommends that you leave her to cry for an hour each day, something which isn’t for all parents.

How does it work?

The idea is that your baby should be able to sleep through the night by eight to 10 weeks. Plus, this method allows you to plan your day around your baby’s feeds and naps, giving you time to do whatever you need to or catch up on sleep.

This method also helps with crying. After a few weeks, your baby should only be crying when she’s filled her nappy or isn’t well, so you know how to respond to her tears.

How to manage it

Keep in mind that the routines are strict. You’ll also need your partner on board with the idea – it’s a lot for one person to manage and you will need a break from time to time.

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