In this post I talk about how I got started on Gina Ford Routines, what problems I had with my baby and toddler and how the routines helped me solve all those.
How I got started on Gina Ford Routines
Eleven years ago, I treated myself to three books. Baby Days by Barbara Rowley, Wonder Play (From the 92nd St.Y Parenting Center) by Fretta Reitzes and Beth Teitelman, with Lois Alter Mark and Gina Ford’s The Contented Toddler Years. I wanted fun ways to play with 3 year old and ways to fix my 9 month old baby’s routine.
The first two books are on games, crafts and creative activities for kids age birth-4 years. They were perfect for crafty play with my toddler but my dilemma was how to find time to play with the big kid while my little baby was crying all day and feeding al night!
Why moms need routines
You know any mum will tell you that her biggest dilemma is that once you have a baby, you really don’t know what to do with him/her!
Really! You feed her, change her, play with her in any way you can, and then you rock her or feed her to sleep. After a while it gets, boring – both for mum and the kid. When the kid starts to crawl or take solids, the problems excalate!
What do you feed him/her? And how much? How often?
Why doesn’t he sleep through the night? Why does he keep crying all day? There are so many things that go wrong!
Then there is housework. My daughter didn’t sleep through the nights, and most mornings were chaos because she would cry till her afternoon nap and not let me do anything. Making lunch was torture!
I have been searching for help on her habits online, from friends and family. I was on the look out for any sort of advice I could find, anywhere – until my luck shone and I bought Gina Ford’s The Contented Toddler Years. The book is literally, a miracle. I finished it out in a night and started on Gina Ford’s advice the next morning.
Realizing the solution lay in fixing our routine.
I was shocked how perfectly my little girl adapted to it! My daughter was so happy and content that I was amazed by her! She hadn’t cried at all. In fact she has been joking around and teasing me; laughing and playing all mornings.
She was eating again and she plays by herself. I had time to myself enough to try new recipes and work on my Tatting challenges … what more could I ask for?
Even my son, who was bored out and irritable by afternoon, was really pleasant. He had just turned three year old then but wasn’t potty trained. I was able to work on training him because I had the extra time.
In one night, he was not only potty trained to be dry but also clean. I am not sure if it is just that he decided to stop being stubborn, or if it is that it really pays to reward him with stars on his star chart! Whatever it is, it worked!
What is in routines that changed my kids so much?
In a sentence, The Toddler Years book helped me with all aspects of my Toddler’s life. You can read my full review of the book here.
The Gina Ford books and the Heidi Murkoff book that I read helped me with setting routines. In the past 14 years I have adapted these routines to be adapted to preschoolers, school aged children, summer and online schooling routines too. Get my older children’s routines here.
The routines book taught me how to take care of my children.
- what to feed them and when to feed them,
- when they should sleep, when they should wake up and how much they should sleep,
- what they should do when they are awake and
- what their mum can do to keep them out of the way and the bet part…
- how to manage two kids or more(and their routines) at a time.
There are so many other books like that, you say. True, and I have read many but the approach here, is unlike any other.
The examples of routines that are given are what makes it all work. I have been reading books on baby care and parenting, since even before I got pregnant with my first one but I must say, there is something about the Gina Ford books that really feels like ‘she knows exactly what I am going through!‘
Gina Ford’s approach is because she has dealt with kids of all sorts. She is like Supernanny-Jo Frost (She is another one of my favourites!), with a little different touch to the subject.
I LOVE the routines. They really, really work!