Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby
Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby

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The last thing new parents can find time for is quiet reading, so many helpful books on infant care rely on bullet points and a "let's get to the point" writing style. Tracy Hogg, a neonatal nurse, teacher, and mother of two, uses these techniques to good effect in Secrets of the Baby Whisperer. Focusing on newborns and their parents, her simple programs are a blend of intelligent intuition and methods based on years of experience. The first half of the book is devoted to E.A.S.Y--her name for creating a structured daily routine for you and your baby that makes the most of your baby's awake times and also leaves time just for you. These concepts aren't designed to force your bundle of joy into not following her body's needs, but rather to create a feasible middle ground between total rigidity and on-demand food and sleep (and no time for mom to shower). If it still strikes you as too regimented, keep reading. The author makes room for differences in personal style and includes short quizzes to determine whether you're a "planner" or a "winger", and what level of daily structure you are likely to find helpful. In the same chapter, she identifies five general temperaments of infants, how to get an accurate feel for yours, and what methods of care are likely to be the most effective for his temperament. Her statement that babies prefer routine is backed up by research from the University of Denver. While most of the book relies on anecdotes to get the points across, Hogg does find room to back up some of her statements with quotes from various researchers and institutions. Included at the end of the book are assurances that E.A.S.Y. can be followed even with a colicky baby or one who's been ruling the roost for the first few months. Frustrated parents might like to read the last page first: "all the baby-whispering advice in the world is useless unless you're having a good time being a parent" is an excellent reminder to enjoy this time with all of its ups and downs. --Jill Lightner

“TRACY HOGG HAS GIVEN PARENTS A GREAT GIFT–the ability to develop early insight into their child’s temperament.”
–Los Angeles Family

When Tracy Hogg’s Secrets of the Baby Whisperer was first published, it soared onto bestseller lists across the country. Parents everywhere became “whisperers” to their newborns, amazed that they could actually communicate with their baby within weeks of their child’s birth. Tracy gave parents what for some amounted to a miracle: the ability to understand their baby’s every coo and cry so that they could tell immediately if the baby was hungry, tired, in real distress, or just in need of a little TLC. Tracy also dispelled the insidious myth that parents must go sleepless for the first year of a baby’s life–because a happy baby sleeps through the night. Now you too can benefit from Tracy’s more than twenty years’ experience. In this groundbreaking book, she shares simple, accessible programs in which you will learn:

• E.A.S.Y.–how to get baby to eat, play, and sleep on a schedule that will make every member of the household’s life easier and happier.
• S.L.O.W.–how to interpret what your baby is trying to tell you (so you don’t try to feed him when he really wants a nap).
• How to identify which type of baby yours is–Angel, Textbook, Touchy, Spirited, or Grumpy–and then learn the best way to interact with that type.
• Tracy’s Three Day Magic–how to change any and all bad habits (yours and the baby’s) in just three days.

At the heart of Tracy’s simple but profound message: treat the baby as you would like to be treated yourself. Reassuring, down-to-earth, and often flying in the face of conventional wisdom, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer promises parents not only a healthier, happier baby but a more relaxed and happy household as well.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

Customer Reviews:

  • Not Ideal for Newborns
    Reading this book in the months before my son's birth gave me what I later realized was a false sense of security. Hogg's EASY system sounds so practical and logical on paper: feed child (Eat), do an Activity with your baby, put the kid to bed while s/he's sleepy but not yet asleep (Sleep), get in some You time while the baby slumbers. By structuring your day around a series of EASY episodes you can then learn to differentiate hunger cries (which your baby should only make when s/he awakes) from other types of cries. The end result is a well-rested baby (and parent), clear communication between parent and child, and a moderately flexible routine that gives baby a sense of security. To someone completely new to parenting, this sounds absolutely foolproof and makes perfect sense.

    The day after I brought my son home from the hospital I realized how useless this system was for a newborn. A 6-8 week old infant's appetite isn't regulated into 3 hour cycles and shouldn't be - especially if breastfed. They often clusterfeed during certain parts of the day and then go for longer stretches during other periods. You WANT to feed your baby when he's hungry, instead of according to some rule that meals must always follow sleep. It's withholding and forcing feedings according to a schedule that leads to misunderstanding your baby's cries, not lack of structure. After a while we realized what it takes to "interpret your baby's cries": the baby cries and you offer milk, if he isn't interested in nursing then it's either the diaper or he's ready for sleep (which he will be if he's been awake for 1-2 hours). Honestly, this is so much more sensitive to a baby's needs than EASY. Yes, parenting requires some guesswork (especially early on), but taking the time to figure out what your baby requires at the moment is so much better than bulldozing over their needs in the name of a system.

    Postscript: Now that my son is 5 months old, I can say with confidence that "The Baby Whisperer" isn't that much more helpful for older babies than newborns. In fact, there is so much in this book I now know to be flat out wrong. Hogg understands little about how infant sleep patterns work and offers little advise on getting your baby to sleep beyond insisting you put your baby in his crib while still awake (Marc Weissbluth's "Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child" is a much better resource). The excellent "The Nursing Mother's Companion" rightly warns women away from books like "The Baby Whisperer," since so much of her advice actually hinders successful breastfeeding. The list of problems with this book goes on and on. In hindsight, "The Happiest Baby on the Block" would have prepared us so much better for the realities of life with a new baby....more info
  • Simply required reading for expectant parents
    Reading this book allows the writer to take you by the hand, tell you how to breathe calmly and approach a newborn with calm even if you feel like running out of the house screaming ;)

    T....more info
  • Great book!
    This book is great for new and expectant parents. It covers all the bases. I read it after my 4-month old had developed napping "issues" and wished I had read it much earlier in his little life! It would have saved me a lot of crying (both myself and the baby!) It is very informative, easy to read, and has lots of very specific info about baby care (eating, sleeping, caring for the baby, solving problems). I have read tons of baby books and this is one I highly recommend!...more info
  • some good advice, not appropriate for newborns
    This book has some good points/tips in it. The most notable are:
    1) Don't overstimulate your child
    2) Get your child on an eat/play/sleep rotation
    3) Respect babies
    4) Talk to babies and tell them what you're doing as you're doing it
    5) Give your baby cues before you do certain things
    6) Catch your baby's nap signs before he/she becomes overtired

    However, the book also doles out a lot of bad advice and unrealistic expectations. For example, I tried the sleeping methods in this book and they did not work for my baby at all! Just go to the babywhisperer website (full of believers in Tracy Hogg) to see all of the people who are also having trouble with pick-up/put-down and shhh/pat methods. These poor parents are staying up with their babies all night to try to get them to sleep in their own rooms/cribs and consequently not getting any sleep! My son would and still will only sleep in our bed and in my arms (He can be put down for up to 30 minutes, but then will wake up). After trying Hogg's methods out for a week, I decided it was making it impossible for me to get anything done and I decided to hold him for most of his naps. Talking to other parents, it seems that many of them have the same issue as I do. Tracy Hogg is very anti-co-sleeping and yet that is the only way I have been able to get any sleep for the past 4 months! After consulting with a child developmental psychologist, I was told that my baby would eventually outgrow this need, but for the time being, he needed bodily contact to feel secure, not an uncommon phenomenon. I seriously wonder about the effects of letting your baby cry and cry to go to sleep, even if you are staying with them, patting them on the back, while they cry. While this is not as cruel as traditional cry-it-out (leaving the baby to cry alone), it sends the same message: I'm not going to meet your needs so don't bother crying.

    She also has this attitude that everything you decide to do, you should do from the moment your baby is born ("start out as you mean to go on"). Well I'm sorry, but a newborn and a 6-month-old are totally different creatures. The book does not address the types of changes that babies go through as they get older, such as not needing to nap in between every nursing, etc. It's ironic that she thinks consistency from birth onward is so important since she claims to be able to solve any problem in just 3 days.

    This book also has an abysmal section on breastfeeding, in which the health benefits of breastfeeding are completely played down (if I didn't know better, I would think she owned stock in Enfamil). She also advocates timing feedings, and only nursing on one side per feeding. While I agree that you should empty one breast completely before going to the next one, most women aren't able to nurse only on one side per feeding. My breasts are very uneven with the amount of milk they produce (which is fairly common) and I was starving my poor baby for half of his feedings until I figured this out. He also wanted to nurse for an hour at a time for the first 2 months and I'm glad that I let him nurse for as long as he wanted.

    Tracy Hogg justifies everything in her book by comparing babies to adults (you wouldn't want to sleep in the living room, neither does your baby, etc.) The notion that babies have the same wants and needs as adults is patently ridiculous. My son certainly didn't care what room he was sleeping in as long as I was in it, preferably holding him. She claims that when babies cry because you're putting them to sleep using her methods, it's only to tell you, "this isn't the way we normally do things." Well how does she know what the baby is trying to tell you when he cries? The bottom line is that this book was written by someone who has a lot of experience with babies but no expertise. It has some good advice, but a lot of bad advice too, so be careful what you choose to follow.

    Having ranted about the book for several paragraphs, I still think it was worth the read, but only to take from it what makes sense for your child. I recommend "No-Cry Sleep Solutions" by Elizabeth Pantley and "Your Child from birth to age five" by Penelope Leach. These two books give much more realistic expectations about baby behavior....more info
  • The Baby Whisperer
    Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby

    Hyped by Random House publishers as "this groundbreaking book,"
    readers are enticed by offers of "Tracy's Three Day Magic--how to
    change any and all bad habits (yours and the baby's) in just three
    days." Which mother would not be happy to "get baby to eat, play, and
    sleep on a schedule that will make every member of the household's
    life easier and happier?" The very unpredictability of babies is what
    makes new mothers' lives so chaotic. Mothers don't get coffee breaks,
    lunch breaks, or go off duty at 6pm. It is plain, hard work taking
    care of a baby.

    Look in any bookstore or library and you will see pregnant women and
    new mothers searching eagerly for advice on child raising. I remember
    doing this myself, devouring every morsel. Think how many editions of
    Dr. Spock's book have been sold over the years! Fashions change in
    child rearing as in all things. We have gone from strict scheduling to
    permissiveness and now we are back to scheduling again. Tracy Hogg's
    "Secrets of The Baby Whisperer" is the latest in a long line of books
    purporting to know "the right answer" to parents' concerns. As any
    experienced parent will tell you, there is no "right" answer. What
    works for one child will not necessarily work for another. Listening
    to your baby is the first step towards understanding him.

    So who is this wonderworker who can tell instantly whether a baby is
    hungry, tired, in real distress, or just in need of a little TLC?

    According to Newsweek magazine (...)(Feb 26, 2001 issue):
    "A registered nurse in England, Hogg left her two daughters, then 8
    and 11, with her mother and moved to L.A. in 1992. Unable to use her
    nursing license here, she began taking care of babies. She had, as
    they say in the movie industry "great word of mouth" and soon Hogg
    opened her own baby-equipment store in Encino, CA. Her book and her
    Web site claim that she got a Master's degree in hypnotherapy from the
    University of California, Irvine. But a University spokeswoman says
    they have no record of her. Earlier, according to her book and Web
    site, Hogg was "assigned" to the Great Orman Street Children's
    Hospital," an apparent reference to London's famed Great Orman Street
    Hospital, where she, in fact, attended a three-weekend-long training
    course. And a "stint with the World Health Organization in India"
    turns out to refer to a two-week trip she took there in 1989."

    This leads us to ask, how good is the advice she gives?
    Not very.

    Despite being endorsed by celebrities like Los Angeles stage actress
    Kate Mulligan who can afford $250.00 for "1 Hour Intense Consultation"
    or $350.00 for "Baby's First Feed," the information offered by Ms.
    Hogg is out of date and inaccurate. While she is entitled to her own
    personal opinions, they are not based on any scientific studies or
    research. Moreover, much of her advice conflicts with that given by
    the American Academy of Pediatrics who advocate feeding babies when
    they indicate hunger rather than on artificial schedules.

    Ms. Hogg's theories on infant sleep are also unfounded. They owe much
    to the teachings of Gary Ezzo, the discredited author of "Babywise"
    and "Preparation for Parenting," which have also been heavily
    criticized by the AAP.

    Do we really need another parenting book that tells us that our
    instincts are useless and if we would only follow this author's
    theories all of our problems would be solved?

    Rather, mothers - and fathers, too - are the real experts on their
    particular baby because they live with him 24 hours a day. What we
    really need are more books like "The Baby Bond: How to Raise an
    Emotionally Healthy Child" by Dianna Hine and " The Baby Book:
    Everything You Need to Know about Your Baby from Birth to Age Two, "
    by Dr. William Sears and Martha Sears. These books help new parents to
    meet their baby's basic needs through a loving, nurturing, attachment
    style of parenting.

    ...more info
  • A great 'middle ground' baby advice book
    I used this book with my first child, and it was incredibly helpful. I've found that so many baby advice books are either very strict 'ferber'-type books that advocate the 'cry-it-out' method, or the way too 'on-demand' or 'attachment' oriented and advocate that the baby rules the world. Neither end of the spectrum was right for me, and The Baby Whisperer is very well balanced. Her methods are both gentle and structured. When I had my second child I immediately referred to this book as a refresher, and again found it so helpful.

    On a personal note, the methods/ideas I found most useful from this book are E.A.S.Y (the daily pattern the author recommends - Eat, Active/Awake, Sleep, You), and learning to read the signals your baby so readily gives off. All you have to do is slow down long enough to listen to what your baby is telling you.

    Side note: I see that the recommended tags for this book include a lot of emphasis on sleeping and sleeping through the night. I agree that this book has some great advice in that area, but it is so much more! If you just slow down and "listen" to your baby, the sleeping part will come quite easily. That is where this author's true strength lies.

    I have referred to this book time and time again, and always recommend it to my friends with new babies - especially first-time parents....more info
  • Helped us through a rough patch
    This book was recommended to me by my sister when I was about to lose my mind from lack of sleep. My 7 month old was waking up multiple times during the night and always took short naps throughout the day. Being my second child, I assumed that I could do what I did with my first. Offer to breasfeed him whenever he woke up, needed to sleep, or was fussy. I guess that I took the "feeding on demand" to an extreme. I picked this book up and read through it in a day (I skipped a lot of the parts about newborns as I was well beyond that point). I tried her recommended techniques, specifically pick up/put down and her suggestions about establishing set routines, and to my absolute amazement my little toughie responded incredibly well. The first three nights were brutal, but by night four he was sleeping 11-12 hours straight. He has also drastically improved with his napping. I am now recommending this book to everyone. I breastfed my first child for 12 months and am planning on doing the same for this one. I did not feel once that the author was trying to talk me out of breastfeeding. I think that it is nice that she offers encouragement for both sides as I have a lot of friends who chose not to breastfeed and they receive a lot of negative comments from breastfeeding advocates. Neither of my kids took pacifiers either (why would they they had me), so I ignored any suggestions about them. The basic ideas make a lot of sense and unfortunately following my maternal instincts led my down a very sleep deprived path. This book saved me!...more info
  • Another Success Story...
    This book was SO helpful! I read it cover to cover and reread several sections whenever I had questions about sleep training, breast feeding, temperment tips, etc. I read this along with Suzy Giordan's 12 Hours Sleep in 12 Weeks and found both books together to be very helpful. I felt that Suzy's book helped tell you when to start sleep training and how to lengthen time between feedings best. Tracy's book really helps you zone in to the signs and symptoms of fatigue so that you can really get your baby off to bed before all hell breaks loose.

    What so many parents don't understand is that the baby WANTS you to help them figure it out. They don't understand that they are getting tired and that rest fixes it.

    Our now 6 month old has been sleeping through the night since 5 months old. She sleeps in her crib in her own room. We can put her down when she is sleepy but awake, turn on her music player, give her her binkie and bunny and leave the room. She settles down without fuss. She naps well, too.

    We are much better parents now that we are all getting our rest.

    I highly recommend this book in addition to Suzy Giordano's 12 Hours Sleep By 12 Weeks Old....more info
  • borrowed then bought
    Got this book from the library and then liked it so well, I bought it. Advice is middle of the road - a balance between letting baby rule your life and making sure baby needs are met while still meeting your needs. Haven't had the baby yet to apply the advice to, but the book is easy to follow and it's easy to find topics you need help with. I guess I won't know til later whether the advice really works....more info
  • Whispering to???
    I was so excited when my neighbor lent me this book, I read it in one night. I could not have been more disappointed! It did not avidly encourage breastfeeding suggesting that we should put ourselves before our wee ones (breastfeeding will make your breasts pancakes)! Hello, if we wanted perfect boobs and a perfect body, perhaps we wouldn't have had babies to begin with. We all want what is best for our lil ones, and this is where I hated this book. The Hitler approach may work for a select few (you should see how your baby should be scheduled BY DAY 3!!!), but not in this house. I like the EASY approach (eat, activity, sleep, you) and treating your baby like an actual person, but I didn't need this book to tell me that!! All in all, a let down of a book!!!...more info
  • Serenity Now!
    I bought this book on the suggestion of a friend. I had read one of the books by Dr. Sears, (which had brought me to tears.) I liked this book much better. Tracy advocates that happy parents make better parents. I could not agree more. I know that attachment parenting works for some, but not for me. I will agree with some of the other posters that, her British-isms get a little old after a few chapters. And I also think she was a bit harsh on those parents who said her techniques didn't work for them.(that's why I only gave 4 stars instead of 5) No technique works for everyone. My son was a grumpy, colicy baby. But he really responded well to the EASY routine. ...more info
  • Really helped me understand my baby and get some sleep for all the family
    I found Tracy Hogg's approach the best so far, it gives clear guidance while allowing flexibility as she acknowledges that every baby and every family are different and therefore any advice needs to be tailored to each specific case. I could not bring myself to follow any variation of the cry-out-method or Ferberizing but I really needed to get some sleep, so I tried the Pantley method (Elizabeth Pantley) which claims to be the opposite of the CIO but I felt it was a total flop and would take months to encourage a baby to fall asleep without the breast/rocking/patting. On the other hand by following Tracy Hogg's advice I was able to get my baby to fall asleep on his own within a week without inflicting lots of crying or anxiety on him.
    I am a breastfeeding mother and I feel Hogg respects and encourages breastfeeding but is also respectful of those who choose not to breastfeed, after all her book is not about advocating a particular feeding method but about understanding your baby and helping all the family have a good night sleep, a calm and happy time with the baby and for each (mother, father, baby) to thrive as individuals....more info
  • potentially hazardous to your marriage & mental health -- especially if your baby is over 8 months old
    such mixed feelings about this book! there are a few nuggets of brilliance in it -- stuff that makes you say, "WHY haven't i heard this before and WHY didn't i read this sooner? why don't all experts know this?" for example, her advice about single-side breastfeeding, and her explanation of why (so the baby gets all the way to the hindmilk, which doesn't kick in until 18 minutes into the feeding on a single breast. if you feed for less, which you probably do if you're trying to feed on both breasts at each feeding, according to hogg, the baby will only get the gas-producing "quencher," which i'd never heard of, and foremilk: see p. 106). this information was more in-depth than what i'd heard from even la leche league. (hogg is definitely NOT anti-breastfeeding, as some reviewers have claimed.)

    and she gives solid advice about how to get your new baby to sleep in her own bed WITHOUT crying it out. this is huge, because i am very against the whole baby-wise ferberization trauma.

    however, i came across this book 13 months into my own parenting adventure, with what hogg refers to as "accidental parenting" firmly entrenched. we live in a studio apartment and don't even have room for a crib, let alone a separate bedroom for our little guy. we have been doing the attachment parenting thing from birth: babywearing, co-sleeping, on-demand feeding, you name it. and the truth is, we were 95% happy before we read this book. our only real issue is that occasionally ben's naps are spent with me having to lie there with him while he suckles, or else he can't sleep. so i've learned to adapt and use that time for reading (that's how i managed to read hogg's entire book in 3 days, even with a very active little guy). fortunately it isn't every nap.

    what this book did for me was to help me become extremely unhappy with our current mode of parenthood (even though our son is a very happy, sociable, healthy boy). i felt ridiculously guilty for the ways i'd trained him to eat & sleep. i became anxious and in a hurry to fix the problem (using her 3 steps that are not really all that helpful -- don't be deceived). and THAT caused major tension with my son and husband.

    finally after a few days i decided to place everything i'd learned from the baby whisperer into a mental file to reconsider next time around, but to carry on with our first child as we were. and peace was restored to our family. it seems like if you don't begin at the beginning or in the first 6 months with hogg's m.o., you're somewhat screwed.

    so my advice to parents of older babies is: don't read this book unless you are truly miserable with your style of parenting. if your style is working for you, let it ride. read this book before you have a second child, perhaps, but don't try to start from scratch with your near-toddler. it will only end in tears. ;o)

    and if you ARE going to read this book as an expectant or new parent, i highly recommend that you also read "Attachment Parenting" by Katie Allison Granju (an excellent book; i liked it better than dr. sears' "the attachment parenting book," as granju seemed more objective) as well as one of the books by ferber or the ezzos (or whoever represents the opposite end of the spectrum). if you at least skim through one book from each of those 3 perspectives, you'll get a balance and safeguard yourself from hearing about a concept a year into your parenting adventure and wishing you could turn back time. not that i really do -- ben is so happy, i think my "accidental" attachment parenting happened for a good reason. :o)

    p.s. as i'm finishing up this review, ben is sleeping peacefully on our cal-king bed, 10 feet away from my breasts. :o)...more info
  • Some good ideas, but not for twins
    This book had some good tips for maybe first time parents. However, I have twins and I can tell quite obviously that the author never did. I would not recommend the twin advice, it will have you doing nothing but caring for your multiples all day and night on a staggered schedule. BAD IDEA, I would do the opposite and do everything at the same time. Anyway, It does give good general info for people who don't know much about babies. But I sold my copy on Ebay b/c I have no desire to use it for my next baby. A lot of things in it just weren't practical with my twins....more info
  • Best baby book
    This is the best baby book--and I read them all!! Why?
    1. All the books say "put baby in bed drowsy but awake"--she's the only person who actually describes what that means, and how to get there. AND THAT is invaluable insight.
    2. The dictionary of baby cries, and baby body language is so helpful and useful, especially for first time parents.

    My daughter has colic, and some of the advice here really helped reduce it, but mainly helped me deal with it. The advice on breastfeeding is excellent, and she's not presumptious or holier than thou about it. With time, and following the routine as much as possible, my baby has been sleeping through the night (ie 7 hours) from 8 weeks...

    Two thumbs up
    ...more info
  • the Bible
    we call this book the Bible. of course parenting ultimately comes from instinct and common sense, but this book helped direct us towards trusting our instincts, and helping us make a decision when we didn't have strong feelings one way or the other. like any other baby book, with this one you have to take what you want and leave what you don't want. we recommend this book over any other baby book, but we definitely didn't agree with everything she said or all of her very strong opinions. what we liked most was how Tracy taught us to implement a predictable routine. that way the baby knows what is coming next and is therefore at ease. we all do better when we know whats coming next, don't we? bottom line: best baby book, take what you want, leave what you don't want....more info
  • well-balanced
    This is a great book for parents who want a well-balanced, middle-of-the-road approach to parenting, without the extremes of BabyWise or Sears. I started my son on the EASY routine the day he came home from the hospital. It sometimes took 45 minutes to wake him awake after each daytime feeding, time I could've been napping myself, but the benefits quickly paid off. My son was sleeping five hours at night at one week, six hours at night at two weeks, eight hours at four weeks, and twelve hours at twelve weeks! He has a spirited, high-strung personality and the days we get off the routine he is irritable all day and won't sleep at night--he's definitely not naturally a "good sleeper" so I know our success is something he learned and wasn't born with. Tracy's other advice for preparing for baby, caring for a newborn, learning baby's cues, swaddling, diapering, feeding, respecting your baby, and everything in between make this book a must-have for every new parent!...more info
  • Baby Whisperer
    If you want to sleep, this is the way to go. Bought it for the wife but both reaping the benefits. ...more info
  • Wish I would've read this BEFORE she was born!
    Even though a friend of mine did not send me this book until my daughter was 2 weeks old, it still really helped me. Although, I think I would have been much less stressed in the beginning if I had read the book BEFORE I delivered. The first two weeks of our baby's life was more like being in "survival mode", but Tracy's advice on "Starting as you mean to go on" is definitely helpful. Every baby is different, but I couldn't get my daughter to let me put her in her crib to sleep until I used Tracy's techniques. It worked in one afternoon for us! I'm giving this book as a baby shower gift from now on. Even the moms who turn their nose up at a book about this will be reaching for it after the 25th night in a row of no sleep!...more info
  • The E.A.S.Y. plan WORKS!
    Her plan is not about rigidity. It is simple to keep a child on a pattern. To Eat, to have Activity, to sleep and then to find time for You! Plus, keeping my daughter on this pattern taught me her cues - what her noises meant. As a first time mom I needed this book to get me through the language barrier. I put my daughter on this pattern right away and by 2 months she was sleeping through the night and expecting her naps to come when they did. She is now 6 months and is a breeze to care for.

    The plan gives the baby guidelines to work with and I can see how my daughter responds positively to it.

    What I took away from this book was the EASY plan and the introducing food/weaning baby off boob plan. I wasn't sold on her breastfeeding ideologies. They just didn't work for me. But those other two lessons have made my life drama-free....more info
  • Another British Know-It-All
    I'm sorry. I heard all the reviews about this book and thought I'd give it a try. One question I have is, "Why do british women think American women are helpless twits?". Not to be harsh, as I'm not that type, i am very disappointed with this book. Seriously, do you really expect me to ask my 4 month old for her permission in order to pick her up? To me, her reaching her arms up to me is permission enough. I actually ran a dialogue like the author suggested when I was changing my daughter's diaper in a british accent "Oh is okay with you that I take your pants off? Are you sure? Is it alright that I undo your "nappy" now? Shall I do the right flap first, or the left? Oh please, you just let me know if I'm disrespecting you in anyway?" Needless to say, my daughter giggled throught the diaper change, and I realized I wasted my money. ...more info
  • ron_ron_dh
    I found this book to have a great deal of helpful information. It did give us a better understanding of infant sleeping habits and personalities....more info
  • A must for new and experienced moms
    I got this when my son was 5 months old and having problems sleeping. I can only say I wish I had gotten it sooner. In fact, I wish I had read it before he was born! I will definitely apply all the lessons learned from Tracey with my future babies from day one....more info
  • There is no middle of the road...
    Another not-great baby book. She doesn't advocate co-sleeping and she doesn't advocate crying it out (she says these are both "extremes" and outlines the disadvantages of each - all of which are true) - instead she suggests a "sensible middle ground" wherein the parent picks up the baby when it cries, makes sure its needs are met, then puts it back down in its crib and pats the tummy until the baby calms itself. Well, I think she is forgetting the emotional needs... I tried this with a baby that just wanted to be held. It equated to several hours of intense on-and-off crying, all the while with me picking her up, checking her diaper (she had already eaten), and putting her back down in the middle of the night - hours of it (I kept a log), with the most horrible crying I had heard from her to date, starting and stopping, then finally going on for 10 minutes, would have been more if I would have let it - when all she wanted was to be held... it was not hunger, diaper, or overexhaustion. When I picked her up and held and rocked her (something the author recommends NOT to do!) she calmed and went to sleep. I was only able to grab the 4 hours of sleep I finally did get that night by putting the baby in a swing (the author is adamantly against swings! Swing in this situation: crutch that prevented my newborn from learning independence, or tool that helped me calm her and get the 4 hours of sleep I did get?) So I found it impossible to implement this book's advice on sleep management. There is no middle ground between these two "extremes" of parenting styles. It is one or the other. You meet the baby's needs at the expense of your sleep, or you meet your needs perhaps at the expense of the baby's emotional well-being. There is NO compromise (not at 5 weeks old anyway). I guess I am choosing to meet her needs and sacrifice my sleep because that is what I feel is right for us. I'm sure that this will get old and I'll be in trouble again looking for advice... just not from this book. Perhaps it is simply too early to teach independence to a newborn, as Hogg advocates.

    The rest of the book is entertaining to read, but doesn't have a ton of useful advice, mostly because she really advocates treating your baby like an adult to a fault (e.g., "it's very important to start your newborn off with a nice tour of your house", and "ask permission before starting your baby massage" - I didn't find these to be useful pieces of advice)

    All in all I think the author is secretly an advocate of CIO even for newborns but didn't want to sound heartless so presents a purportedly middle of the road approach that is pure fiction when the rubber meets the road and your baby has all her physical needs met but is crying for YOU. Picking up, putting down, and patting - it does not work and equates to CIO. Yes, you need to sleep, and if you meet your baby's emotional need for you fully, then you won't sleep, but I think that is just what being a parent of a newborn is about. I probably wouldn't sell as many books if I wrote that there is no magic solution or secret - parents have to either ferberize their baby or else meet their emotional needs and just patiently suck it up on the sleep deprivation thing....more info
  • Recommended
    This is the most comprehensive book I have seen on taking care of your new baby. There are tables with information like how to tell if your baby is tired, what to do when he/she is overtired, and other practical things. The book has great information on avoiding trouble spots, like the baby being dependant on being carried or driven around in the car to sleep.
    I used this book myself and bought it for several friends who are having their first or who had a hard time with their first and are on their second. ...more info
  • Helpful
    I feel the main focus of this cd is newborn babies. I think those who would benefit most would be those who listen to it before the new baby arrives home....more info
  • Very good advice
    This book got me on the fast track to getting my baby on a routine now she sleeps longer and I know when she is hungry...more info
  • Every new parent needs this book!!
    I love this book! I'm pregnant with my second child and upon reading this book can see how many things I could have done better. Tracy Hogg has been working with babies for a loooong time and seems to know what she's talking about. I'm very excited to try all these things out with my new baby!...more info
  • must have!
    This book saved my sanity! The author may seem a bit eccentric or extreme, but as long as you follow the basic principles and stick with it, you will see results! I love her gentle approach.. she completely disagrees with letting a baby cry it out, and in truth, I noticed a dramatic DECREASE in the amount of crying from my boy (he was 2 mths when I read the book). He's much more independent and happy overall. When I tried to follow the cry-it-out theories from other books (like Babywise), he only got more fussy and clingy, not to mention it will break your heart to listen!...more info
  • The only behavioral-type baby book I needed
    I skimmed a few other newborn advice books, and found them too extreme. Tracy Hogg's approach (if not voice, "luv") was the most in tune with my natural instincts about parenting - that babies prefer a routine (not a schedule) - and gives you practical advice on how to set a course for your baby. My experience is that when I get a little off-course with my now 6-month old twin boys, I skim the appropriate chapter in the book and we all get back on track. My twins both had different personalities - one is an Angel or a Textbook baby, and the other is more of a Touchy baby - and her techniques are working for both of the babies. Within eight weeks of bringing my premature sons home from NICU, they were sleeping for 6-hour stretches at night, and within 12 weeks they started sleeping 10-12 hours at night, all because of the tips that I gleaned from this book. Learning to distinguish my babies' cries and responding appropriately has critical to my success. I recommend this book to all my new mother friends....more info
    This book is great for the first time moms, it talks about different feelings and reactions to motherhood, most of people think that maternal instict flow by itself and all that stuff, but is not always like that, the circunstances are different as well, and most important the book does not really generalize, I mean it does not say "the babies are always like that" or something.
    Also describe some experiences of Tracy when she worked for several couples in US, and she talks about different ways that first time mothers faced the motherhood, this was very interesting cause is a big challenge combine motherhood and career.
    It has a great concept which is EASY: Eat, Act, Sleep, Yourself. It is not a rigid system that demand to be followed a rigid schedule, is just a guide that can be adapted to each particular child. And it teaches your children to follow routines. And also offer time for yourself, have a baby is demanding and exhaustive!
    About the breastfeeding, Tracy does not really talks agains breastfeeding, she just state that every woman has the right to choose and not to feel guilty about it, by the way my niece is 6 months old, he only received breastfeeding 1.5 months and so far he hasn't suffered any sickness. I still believe that breastfeeding is better, but if somebody because of a circunstance choose not to breastfeeding she shouldn't feel guilty.
    Regarding the issue of attachmental parenting, I see it in this way: I guess the nature says we have to keep the baby with us, I just watched in TV a program about gorillas and they bring the babies with them all the time, but the current life style many times does not allow to do that, because for example, I have to return to work 3 months later, so I can't carry on my baby all the time. But if somebody else likes this style and is able to do it is great, but there should be options, there is no only one an absolut truth.
    As always it's important to know that we need to know how to read, it means read, understand, use our common sense, question the issues, and compare. ...more info
  • great ideas
    This book gave us great ideas - the best being to wake baby for a feeding before you go to bed for the night. Our six month old is now sleeping through the night thanks to some of the tricks in this book. I don't agree with everything the book says, but it is nice to get many different ideas and use what works for you!...more info
  • Misleading
    This book discourages parents from reading their baby and following their instincts. I found the "do it this way" attitude quite off-putting.

    What I truly don't understand is why the well researched benefits to breastfeeding are down played. Of course one shouldn't feel guilty about one's feeding choice...but that does NOT mean that one should not have the information necessary to make an INFORMED choice...Informed decisions help prevent one from feeling guilt, after all! This book fails to give parents the basic information that they need...the details about why formula is less healthy than breastfeeding, as well as the details about when breastfeeding is easer and when breastfeeding is more difficult, and how to manage both, so that they can weigh those specific issues against their own family situation, to decide whether the risks involved with formula are worth it, for _their_ family. The book makes it sound like breastfeeding is never the best choice!

    The author refers to herself as an lactation consultant, but I have been unable to find _anything_ about her credentials. It does not appear that she is actually qualified as a certified lactation consultant (they are called IBCLC). So calling herself an LC is misleading....more info
  • A must-read for new parents!
    I read this book when my first born was 3 months old and wished I would have read it while pregnant instead of all those pregnancy books. Anyway, it's WONDERFUL advice, and I now buy it for every first time parents I know! (Ordering it for my cousin even 5 years later now.) Taking care of a newborn is tough! This book gives you some insight and definitely helps you enjoy your sweet new baby! Good luck....more info
  • Happy!
    Book in good condition Mailing time was efficient. Very happy with overall purchase. ...more info
  • First Time Mom - helped me feel like "I can do this"
    I loved this book! I read it before my son was born (first and only child). I was very scared about becoming a mom because of all the horror stories I heard. This book really helped me to feel like hard times were completely normal and to be expected but that I could handle them without being a failure.

    One of the most important things to know before reading ANY parenting book is that every child is different. No child will respond the same way and not everything will work for every child. The key is to find what works for you and your child. Be openminded. For that reason I think it is important to take parenting advice as an outline/template and not to expect to replicate it exactly. Tracy Hogg's suggestions worked great for us.

    Most of the book focuses on learning to discern the needs of your baby in order to make life easier for baby and mom and dad. I use many of Tracy's techniques and I feel like I am more capable of meeting my sons needs, which help him to feel loved and comfortable and also help me to feel like a more competent mother. It boosts my confidence and helps me to love being a mom.

    Breastfeeding: Contrary to other reviewers, I felt like Tracy Hogg favored breastfeeding, but made it a point to help bottle feeding mothers feel like they weren't ruining their child's life. My sister tried breastfeeding, but had troubles and wasn't able to continue and it was very hard for her. Tracy was just reassuring those mothers who choose formula that their child can still be happy and healthy. It is true that she does not believe in on-demand feeding. But I also don't think she would tell a mom not to feed her child if he/she is hungry. I feed my son whenever he is hungry, but when I am reading his cues correctly, his body NATURALLY conforms to a regular schedule (exceptions during growth spurts of course).

    EASY Program: Tracy suggests putting your child on a schedule, but I don't think she ever intended it to be strict. The purpose behind the EASY program is to make it easier for mom or dad to determine what baby needs. If the EASY program is implemented to fit YOUR family, it will help to establish a sense of routine and calmness, which will help your baby feel safe and comfortable as he settles into life.

    Many reviewers felt Tracy's ideas were rigid and cruel to babies. I don't agree. I think they can be if they are followed too strictly, ignoring the needs of your baby in order to follow a program. I don't believe that is the way Tracy intended her ideas to be implemented. Not every baby will adopt the kinds of problems that Tracy encountered in her career, but many babies may and her suggestions are intended to help prevent those problems if your child is prone to them. I don't think there is anything wrong with rocking your child to sleep, letting them sleep in your arms, nursing them to sleep, etc. as long as it doesn't become routine everyday/all day, because that is when the problems will begin to establish themselves.

    Another major idea behind Tracy's advice is that you must take care of yourself in order to properly take care of your child. Many reviewers see her ideas as selfish, but I see them as an important part of being a mom. I think it is increasingly more difficult to meet the needs of your baby if you don't meet the needs of yourself especially if you are breastfeeding. Tracy's ideas encourage mothers to find a happy medium between spending time with baby and spending time for yourself so that you can also be physically and emotionally healthy. I love my son more than anything, but I still need time to be me and enjoy things for myself and I don't think there is anything wrong with putting a little time aside for me. It keeps me sane so I can continue to enjoy being a mom without feeling like my son is taking away everything I used to enjoy.

    I would definitely recommend this book to others. I would also recommend reading additional books and not sticking to just one....more info
  • Good in theory, hard to implement
    I read this book back-to-back with Babywise, and both books recommend the same EASY approach. The basics are worth following, but I found some of the specifics in the Baby Whisperer laughably hard to implement. Specifically, there are not enough hours in the day to do everything she says to do.

    First, she recommends the mother nap from 2-5 every afternoon. If a breastfed baby eats every 2 1/2 to 3 hours, how is that possible? If a feeding takes 30-40 minutes, then active time takes another 30-45 minutes, and it takes 20 minutes to calm the baby for her nap (all her time estimates), the mother is simply not left with a three-hour block of time at any point in the day.

    Second, her evening schedule leaves virtually no time for a parent to prepare and eat dinner (or any other activity, for that matter). She advocates two evening feedings, two hours apart, along with a daily bath and massage routine, which takes another 60 minutes (30 minutes for each activity), and then a "dream feed" when the baby is asleep before the parents retire for the night. Following the time estimates she gives, don't expect to eat until after 9 pm, and good luck trying to squeeze anything else into your evening.

    If I had a dedicated maid, chef, and baby nurse, I could easily following the EASY plan. Without such a staff, however, I'm having to pick and choose what works with my six-week-old. Overall, I'm glad I read the book, but I could have done without the anxiety caused by trying to follow the full approach....more info
  • Book in great condition
    The book was in great condition. But the delivery time was not as prompt as I hoped....more info
  • Great resource for new parents
    We purchased this book when our twin daughters were 5 weeks old. My husband read the book cover to cover, while I focused on the portions dealing with sleeping through the night. It was the most I could due in my semi-comatose sleep deprived state. I found the book useful in providing comfort for my anxiousness while giving us great tools to consider implementing in the care of our twins. I don't believe any book is the end-all-be-all so I reviewed the suggestions and tried them and stuck with what worked. I found her insight to be practical and in line with my own philosophy. It was very useful as we prepared to train our babies to sleep through the night. It's good easy reading and provides loads of troubleshooting advice, but like any other advice use what works for you....more info
  • Amazing!
    This book is incredible! I've been trying to get my 3 month old to sleep and this was the only book that really helped me do it. Tracy is amazing and it makes me so sad that she's gone. I can't wait to read her other books and recommend this one to every mom I know....more info
  • Nothing To Review
    This product never arrived, even after reordering it. So there is nothing to review. I was told that my cost will be refunded....more info
  • This book helps me understand what my baby needs
    I just simply love this book. It gave me a very good idea what my baby needs from me. When I need to calm my baby, I mainly use techniques from "The Happiest Baby on the Block". But when I try to figure out what parenting style is the best for my baby, I always use ideas from this "Baby Whisperer" book.

    I read some negative comments from other reviewers. One thing I want to point out is, Tracy is NOT trying to list/compare all possible parenting methodS in the book. She is trying to tell us what she believes and how SHE handles babies from her experience, the ways that work for her. If you think other approaches work better for your kid, go ahead. After all, every baby is unique.

    But I'm telling you, I have a 20 days old baby in my arm now, and I think I understand my baby very well thanks to this Baby Whisperer book.

    ...more info
  • great for new and old moms
    Great really helped me understand my baby's cues and loved the fact that its principles are common sense.Also it saves you from guessing what your baby needs with all the detailed descriptions of baby's signals.
    I definitely recommend it. It's an eye-opener even for a second-time mom like me...more info
  • Love this book!
    I wish I had read this book before bringing home my baby from the hospital. The authors tips on feeding, sleeping and communicating with the baby were right on for me and my baby. I was quickly able to get to "know" my baby and learn how to read her cues before she has a meltdown. My baby is six weeks old now. This is supposed to be the time where a baby cries the most, but she cries maybe 10 minutes a day. I love this book and I've bought it for other pregnant friends. I will continue to do so also!...more info
  • Parenting 101 Book
    Preparing for our first newborn, I read many many books, and had made this book to be one of my favorite reference baby books. I read the book since I was 4 months pregnant, and had been using it for months until my baby is one year old. Thanks to this book, that I was able to differentiate my son's cries - whether he was hungry, wanted to be cuddled or in pain. I also learnt his feeding schedule and made the daily journal, which was very helpful for his Nanny when I was back to work....more info
  • Excellent book for first and second borns
    My wife asked me to buy her this book when she was 7 month pregnant with our second baby, she is greatly enjoying it.
    She was only halfway through and already getting so much out of the book. Great tips for comforting and caring for a new born. The book did not just give her good advice, it gave her comfort and confidence which are much needed when you are expecting a new baby....more info
  • The gems are worth the fluff
    This book was sent to me by a friend who had used the technique for getting your baby to sleep on her own successfully. Although I found the tone of the book written to be rather annoying, there were three things in it which I cannot be thankful enough for having read:

    -How to read your baby's signs and understand him or her as an individual and not just a big crying blob.
    -How to get your baby to be laid down awake in the crib and have him/her fall asleep on their own, without having to resort to the "cry it out" method. So that they feel safe and secure in their crib, with no phobias, so that you don't have to be pacing around with them to get them to fall asleep, or feed her every time she wakes up because it is the only way they know how to sleep.
    -How to avoid setting your baby up for bad habits which you will regret down the line, and how to change ones you have inadvertedly created in a manner that will ease your baby into it, so they don't withdraw or feel shocked by the change.

    Absolutely indispensable for me those first few months of life. ...more info
  • Great book for 1st time moms
    This is a good book to get to know your baby and learn about their cries and how they communicate. I have been using her theories and it's great to anticipate what she will need and able to plan our day. Highly recommended!...more info
  • First time parent recommended
    First of all if you are considering purchasing this book for yourself or someone else, ignore the whole breastfeeding issue that some reviewers seem to have. It is such a small part of the overall book that it seems insignificant to me. I could share my own long story of breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding, but I won't. It is a choice every parent has to make and should be based on each individuals personal situation and should NOT affect your decision to purchase this book.

    Beyond that, I more highly recommend the second book,The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems: Sleeping, Feeding, and Behavior--Beyond the Basics from Infancy Through Toddlerhood which gives more insight and helps you to better know what is going wrong when her advice doesn't seem to work.

    Then read this book. And, if you can, read them both before the baby arrives - would've saved me many a sleepless night.

    If you want to do attachment parenting (i.e. share your bed, feed on demand, and be at the beck and call of your child) then don't bother getting this book - go buy Dr. Sears. If you want to have some free time, have your child sleep in their own bed and through the night almost every night and (I cannot emphasize this enough) are committed to making something work, then this book is great. The advice is very middle of the road: not letting babies cry it out, but also not advocating you to give them constant attention. (she does not recommend crying it out nor ferberizing)

    Tracy's advice and E.A.S.Y routine -( routine is NOT a schedule!!!!) have been immensely helpful for me. It does take work though, there are no quick fixes or solutions. Some things take over a week or more of trying, troubleshooting, and tweaking before you resolve issues - like sleeping through the night, napping alone, etc. But if you are committed this advice works.

    Maybe in 18 years I'll write another review to let you know how my kid turned out. But so far with her methods - my husband and I are so happy to have our lives back and more importantly our sleep! Plus our baby is so much happier and even-tempered. We can finally enjoy him.

    ...more info
  • Brought back my sanity
    Like most parents today, we were overwhelmed by the amount of advice given to us by family, friends, and other books about good sleep habits for our little guy. Basically we kept feeding him on demand which was okay in the beginning but he didn't need it after a while. Plus I kept interpreting every cry as a cry for food. Finally after two and a half months of getting short stretches of sleep totaling maybe 3 hours a night and dealing with postpartum issues, we had to make a change.

    This book gave us a plan to follow and made us realize that routine is not all that bad. We have been using the plan for a week and it has made a difference and brought back some sanity. My baby is now waking once or twice a night to feed as opposed to every two hours! It's not a perfect book but it is working for us right now. ...more info
  • Yawn
    Rather boring. She says alot of what is common sense to most moms and there are no "secrets" to what mother nature gave us. I would not recommend it to friends or family. The one positive - its a really cheap book!...more info
  • Some good advice & common sense approaches
    I enjoyed this book and some of the main themes, such as treating your infant like the little person that he/she is and beginning things as you mean to finish them. The EASY routine is a pretty good base schedule and I have found it (altered a bit) to be helpful for us. I also think that her suggestions for correcting learned behaviors are helpful, although I haven't had to use any of them. That being said, you cannot learn to be a parent from reading a book. You also should not expect to agree with or be able to apply everything the author says. I have been reading books like these to get many different views on childcare, so that I can form my own opinions and/or routines that will work best for my baby. I do think that most parents could benefit from this book, even if you only use one or two of the many tips/suggestions. ...more info
  • Excellent Book for 1st Time Mommy!
    If you are a first time mom, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS BOOK! It unlocked so many baby secrets for me, and made being a parent easier. I have given this book to all my girlfriends at their showers. ...more info
  • High level book that's plenty good
    High level book that's plenty good in terms of managing expectations for newborn care. For the details/theories on why/how/physiology, you'll need much more time to read the many specialized books that abound. In retrospect, it might have been nice to read this book *before* I read some of the others so that I could more easily pick and choose the topics of interest and have some basic clue as to the different philosophies available (e.g. Ferber vs Sears) without having to read a ton of Amazon reviews. :) It's available in many libraries and while I made some notes out of the book, the messages are straightforward and easy to remember; so it probably won't qualify as a must-have reference book....more info
  • A MUST HAVE for new moms!
    As a first time mother this book offered great direction on starting and keeping your baby on a schedule. My husband and I love it and so does our son! Its also an easy read :-)...more info


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