Raising an infant without Gina Ford

You know what they say about there being no hard and fast rules about child raising?

I don’t know, the further away I get from the beginning — or from when my little girl had just come into the world — the more unconvinced I am about that.

I have just read, and I must admit with some degree of envy, that a friend of a friend who has been blessed with twins has, with Gina Ford’s help, got the two little ones sleeping soundly at a stretch in the night by preventing the babies from nodding off whenever they please and also managing their feeds during the day.

I did hear of her when I was pregnant and I do remember flicking through her book briefly but I also remember feeling quite ill at ease with the very thought of imposing some arbitrary set of rules onto the infant who was yet to come. As though it was alright to assume control as parent and as though raising a child was about adhering to some other person’s, (no matter how famous and well-regarded), method.

But now when I’m reminded of those early days or actually the entire first year, I wonder if having introduced some amount of discipline in nap times and feeding would have helped me feel far less exhausted and given the little one a bit of a sense of structure.

I guess I’m still quite uncomfortable about viewing the parent-child dance as something that can be preempted or slotted into ready-made boxes, but what I do see very clearly now is that what a mother needs most as she is just recovering from the l o n g journey pregnancy is, and the hard, hard work deliveries end up being, is multiple sources of unconditional support and loving friendship. People and relationships that help her stay focussed on the crucial, intense and all-consuming experience as a mother — in whose having, a scepticism towards all methods — (no matter how certified) doesn’t feel foolish, foolhardy or overly optimistic.


6 thoughts on “Raising an infant without Gina Ford

  1. Im actually glad you said something because I felt the same way when I saw that, but didnt want to say anything and start a problem! The idea of ‘training’ or ‘scheduling’ a newborn just rubs me the wrong way. Can you imagine how annoyed you would be if someone told you when you can sleep or eat, instead of sleeping when your tired and eating when your hungry? I think as busy adults we so want babies to adjust to our lives and not the other way around. But in the end, it does come down to whatever gets everyone through the day, as happy and healthy as possible. Im happy to follow my little one’s schedule because I can fall asleep mostly at the drop of a hat, and I do sleep through most of her feedings at night.

  2. Didn’t finish my super long comment, opps!

    That said, I had to read up on a few different ‘expert’ opinions to feel comfortable with what felt natural. I think being a mom in this day and age can be so daunting with the overabundance of opinions and differing opinions!

  3. I was itching to respond but didnt want to of course directly — but am relieved and glad I wrote it out here — Its such a minefield isnt it C, have to be so careful to not hurt anyone’s good intentions — and yet as you say — all one can do as a mother is remain true to oneself and accept the consequences of one’s decisions related to infant care — of either acute fatigue or lucky restfulness — humbly : )

    • What a sweet little video and what happy children — of course — I think many of us from this part of the world find ourselves returning home at least partly for this reason when we become parents

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