From Contented Baby to Confident Child

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9780091875237: From Contented Baby to Confident Child

So, you followed "The Contented Little Baby Book" to the letter and your baby behaved like a dream - at least for the first few months. But as your baby grows, so his or her routines and patterns change. In her years as a maternity nurse, Gina has been able to learn valuable lessons from watching her charges' older siblings and in this new book she applies this knowledge to the many problems parents face in the first three years. From feeding and sleeping problems in the first year, including weaning and early-morning waking, to teething and potty training, Gina offers her own particular brand of down-to-earth advice. She takes a look at toddlerhood, showing how to deal with tantrums, sibling jealousy and food fights and reveals how to build your child's self-esteem, as well as to discipline and teach him or her good manners. She also shows you how to make teeth-cleaning fun and to put an end to annoying habits such as thumb-sucking, nail-biting and eating dirt. "From Contented Baby to Confident Child" is essential reading for all parents who have already benefitted from Gina's advice and would like to learn more.

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Review:

If you are looking for answers, they are here. The specific, firm, detailed structure Gina Ford offers to parents at sea in The Contented Little Baby Book is to be found in reassuring measure in her latest book, From Contented Baby to Confident Child, a veritable handbook of concrete suggestions, case studies and advice.

Without wasting time on peripherals and philosophies, she dives straight into her subject matter, giving the parent who has specific concerns down-to-earth directives. Her routines are carefully planned and inspire confidence. Based on her 20 years' experience as a maternity nurse, these are practical routines that work.

She addresses most, if not all, of the issues that confront parents in the early years and is definite in her advice. Her style is authoritative yet helpful: for example, "Your baby is not a toy. Do not feel guilty about restricting the handling in the early weeks, especially prior to sleep time"; or, on restoring routines after illness, "Once I was convinced he was totally recovered, I would get tough and leave him to settle himself". And yet, for all the firmness and discipline, one senses Gina's babies like knowing where they are--and frazzled parents won't say no to a good night's sleep either.

The section on toddlers deals with walking, talking, feeding, dressing, tantrums, sibling jealousy and aggressive behaviour and includes helpful scenarios, replaying them with suggestions of how a tantrum could have been averted. In one scenario she describes how Thomas, aged 15 months, is allowed to play a Sunday morning game in bed, throwing a ball very gently. Six months later, with a new baby also in the bed, Thomas throws better and harder, and despite many entreaties to be gentle the baby is hit, resulting in screams all round. Gina comments on the parents (who lose their temper with Thomas) "It was ridiculous ever to expect the child to be satisfied with throwing the ball gently--balls are not designed for gentle play, the parents' expectation of Thomas playing gently with the ball in the bedroom was unrealistic".

Other topics covered are: how to potty-train your child in less than one week; how to cope with second babies; building your child's self-esteem; separation anxiety; and teaching discipline and good manners. (For more on toddlers, see Steve Chalke's Parentalk: the Toddler Years.)

Gina Ford challenges the received wisdom concerning demand feeding with delicious irreverence. Whatever your own views on the subject, this alone makes it a fun read. --Rebecca Pickering

About the Author:

Gina Ford has over twenty years experience of looking after babies and young children. For twelve years she was one of the world’s most sought after maternity nurses, and specialised in caring for newborn babies with serious sleeping and feeding problems. During her time as a maternity nurse, Gina worked all over the world for all kinds of people, from lawyers and bankers to newspaper editors, pop stars and other high-profile media personalities. In 1999 she gave up maternity nursing and now runs a consultancy service for parents.

The extensive experience that Gina gained through caring for over 300 babies convinced her that the liberal trend towards demand feeding and sleeping which gained popularity in the 1980s often leads to problems, resulting in an unsettled, unhappy baby and exhausted, exasperated parents. Gina’s belief, which some areas of the media have found controversial, is that babies are much happier in a routine. She has devised her own unique care plan which clearly fits in with a baby’s own natural feeding and sleeping needs.

In 1999 Gina published her first bestselling book, The Contented Little Baby Book, with the aim of making her specialist knowledge and experience available to all parents and not just the few who could afford to hire her as their maternity nurse. It has since sold over 50,000 copies. Her second bestselling book, From Contented Baby to Confident Child was published last year.

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