Gina Ford: queen of the baby gurus
THE guru of gurus must be Gina Ford. So ingrained is her 'Way' that all new mothers – well, the many I have come across anyway – at some stage debate the wisdom of 'doing' Gina Ford. And I can perfectly see why.
What Gina is promising is very beguiling to mothers mired in the chaos of the early months. Gina offers order and calm. A relentless routine that takes uncertainty right out of the equation.
It's like having your very own starchy Nanny, complete with white apron and no-nonsense authority, telling you exactly what to do at every second of the day.
The problem of course is that not all babies are willing to be routined. Some resist it furiously. And for those that do, the misery involved in forcing the issue is pretty acute, involving lots of crying and wailing (often mother and baby both).
And of course for those who believe in being baby-led – following rather than imposing – Gina's Way can feel uncomfortably like trying to squash themselves and their adorable infant into a small, rigid box with very sharp edges.
And even the converted can doubt; one mother I know who followed Gina religiously with her two sons said rather sadly recently: "I think I missed out on a lot of the wonder of those early months, because I was so busy reading Gina's instructions of what to do next . . ."