Saturday, 2 July 2011

G - Gina Ford

Gina Ford - the Nazi disguised as a nanny.

Gina Ford is a woman who has made a lot of money telling parents how to bring up baby. Not 'their' baby, not 'a' baby, not even 'the' baby. Just baby.

And right now my piss is boiling. Is there any way to patronise a mother more, or dehumanise a child, than a phrase like 'put baby down and wash and sterilise pump and bottles'? 

Not only does she tell you the best time you should feed your baby, what time they should sleep, but also when you should do the washing up!

Gina Ford is the author of 'The Contented Little Baby Book' and more. This book "saved my life" I was told. 

When I was pregnant with my first, and had a lot more time on my hands, I decided to read widely in advance. I was bored with people telling me "you should read this" or " you should follow this routine", so I did a bit of wide reading to get a full picture. Gina Ford was on my hit list.

To be fair, I did find some of it useful, just to get an idea of how often your child should be sleeping, how many feeds they are expected to take, but then I came across phrases like "when giving baby your last feed avoid any eye contact' and that was enough for me to give in to the desire to slam the book shut and toss it out of the bed.

People swear by Gina Ford's books, for some Mums they are the parenting Bible, her word is law. But I struggle to take advice from anyone who hasn't had children. Yes its objective. But is it realistic? Not for me.

I have no doubt the routine does work - and after a week 'baby' will stop screaming its lungs out when 'put down'. And if the amount of sleep you get is your number one priority after having a baby, by all means, go and buy the book. But, for me, bonding, attachment, pleasure and nourishment were all much higher on my list.

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