Gina Ford Vs. Tizzie Hall
There are many different opinions as to the best method of sending a baby to sleep and both Gina Ford and Tizzie Hall have their own outlook on the correct way of achieving it, which makes for an interesting debate. There have always been varying opinions; yet does it really make a difference in the large scale of things? Some would argue that it does, whilst others may argue that it is simply the personal nature of the baby.
Gina Ford worked as a maternity nurse for 12 years; looking after no less than 300 babies during her lengthy career, therefore it could be said that she would have a significant amount of experience when it came to finding out what works and what doesn’t in terms of setting up the correct sleeping routine for newborns.
Ford states that the baby should be put to sleep in their own separate room very early on, to prevent the child becoming unsettled when it came to making the transition to their own room. However, others argue that at such a young age, the baby should be within arm’s length of the parent to limit any potential risks. According to research carried out by Dr. James McKenna, having the baby in close proximity to the parent means the likes of heartbeat, breathing and blood pressure are automatically regulated, which the infant cannot regulate themselves at such a young age.
Ford goes on to say that the baby should follow a strict routine from morning until night; which will aid the sleep pattern development over a period of time. Within the method, she depicts that the baby must be woken from sleep at 7am and the parents should have their breakfast at around 8am. The baby must then be fed every four hours – always within the nursery and should take naps throughout the day until the very last feed at 6.15pm.
During each feed and especially the very last one before bedtime, the parents should not make eye contact with the child to avoid exciting them before they are put down to sleep.
Ford states that the parents should leave their baby for up to an hour without attention, even if it happens to cry. The intention behind this, is to teach the infant to sleep through, rather than relying on the attention for a healthy sleep pattern. Those who have tried the method over a long spell have claimed that their baby has managed to sleep for up to a solid 12-hour periods.
On the other hand, Tizzie Hall has a completely different viewpoint on the sleep routine. Hall states poor sleep patterns are often found in triggers such as hunger, the use of a dummy and rocking the baby to sleep.
She affirms that aids should be avoided and especially babies that are less than 8 weeks old, as it will may be harder to break habits if they are taught to rely on one in the first few months. She also goes on to say that once they reach two months of age, their sleep patterns tend to change and parents may find that the infant is taking only very short naps during the day. While this may be beneficial initially, at the age of six months, the sleep pattern alters again and the child can constantly awaken during the night. This is even more likely if their sleeping aid has been taken away from them at this stage.
Hall states that one of the most common problems is the aid of a dummy; which she believes is the trigger of 90% of sleep problems for babies under the age of 18 months. Within her theory, Hall goes on to mention that a dummy encourages sporadic sucking, and should the dummy fall out of the mouth, the baby is likely to awaken and expect it to be put back into place. She also says that a dummy can trick the body into thinking that it is feeding time, which may cause them to become unsettled and expect to be fed.
Rocking a baby to sleep is also an aid that Hall believes should be avoided. In the first instance, the baby is likely to sleep well after rocking; but after falling in and out of sleep cycles, they will find it more difficult without due to building up a reliance on the movement. She adds that it would be unfair to introduce the aid of rocking to begin with as it will need to stop at some point - whether that be due to the baby being too heavy or having another child to look after.
In comparison to Ford’s method, Hall states that a baby shouldn’t be fed before bedtime, as they may already have started to fall asleep when the milk is offered. Over time, the baby may become accustomed to feeding before sleep and then require it at all hours – even during the night.
These methods stated, of course, are based on trial and error and is solely down to personal preference.