Monday, July 21, 2008

Secrets of the Baby Whisperer

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I finished reading Secrets of the Baby Whisperer: How to Calm, Connect, and Communicate with Your Baby over this past weekend. This book was written by Tracy Hogg. I must admit that when I started the book, I was highly skeptical that I would like it. I don't know what ever gave me the impression, but I thought I would find it absurd. My husband was really turned off by the title. He didn't tell me until I was done reading it, but he said his impression was that it would be kind of "hocus pocus."

As it turns out, I really enjoyed the book and would highly recommend it to you. I checked it out from the library, but do plan to purchase it after reading it. This is a book for mothers of newborns and meshes well with Babywise (BW). The book outlines Hogg's plan she has dubbed E.A.S.Y. Her routine is Eat, Activity, Sleep, You (you time while baby sleeps). Here is a summary of the books contents:
  • Introduction of Tracy Hogg and background on her. This chapter outlines the reasons she is "the baby whisperer"
  • Proper expectations for the baby you gave birth to and you. This chapter gives you a personality profile to get to know your child better. It also really lets you know what life is really like once you bring that baby home from the hospital. This is one reason I highly recommend this book to BW moms. Reading BW, you get all pumped up and ready to implement this simple plan. When baby comes and the work with it, you start to get discouraged. Hogg is very candid about life with a newborn. It is hard. It is a major adjustment. Any mom who is slightly OCD like myself will greatly benefit from reading this and learning to give proper priorities to life with a newborn.
  • Explanation of the E.A.S.Y plan. This goes through her structured routine plan and the importance of structure in a baby's life.
  • Explanation of S.L.O.W. Hogg is a proponent of babies as individuals who are very human. This chapter helps mom and dad learn to respect baby's feelings and understand how baby communicates with them.
  • Eating. This chapter goes over breast vs. bottle feeding and other eating issues. This is a chapter that really irritated me as I read it. I get the impression that she thinks breastfeeding is best for the baby, but she doesn't want to offend any bottle-feeding mothers out there. She really down-plays the benefits of breastfeeding in this chapter.
  • Activities with baby. Diapering, dressing, playing, bathing, massaging.
  • Sleep. This chapter goes over sleep patterns and practices. This is another chapter that brought me confusion. She says she never lets a baby cry, but also that you might have to let a baby cry...
  • You. The importance of rejuvenating yourself, sharing responsibilities, and getting support.
  • A chapter on adoption, surrogacy, multiple births, preemies, and babies born with health issues.
  • Three Day Magic. This chapter outlines the ways parents contribute to problems with their child's difficulties and how to change those patterns.
  • Final thoughts.
Although I don't agree with everything in the book, I found this book to be informative, interesting, candid, realistic, and beneficial. If you are pregnant, I definitely recommend this to you. If you have a baby 0-6 months in age, I also definitely recommend this to you. 6-9 months, you might get some benefit. 9-12 months...slight chance. 1 year or is interesting reading, but isn't likely going to do anything for you at this point. If you plan to have children in the future, though, I would recommend this book.
I will write more this week on individual facets of the book.

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Reader Comments:
  • Jamie said...
    The title is a bit weird, isn't it? The book really does mesh well with BabyWise in a lot of ways though. These were the two main books I read before bringing my son home and I think they helped me a great deal. The routines and the structure really helped. :)
    July 21, 2008 2:29 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Thanks Jamie. It is good to get other opinions of BW moms on this book. I think this can be a great book for any mom who is prone to hyperschedule. It can help her chill out a bit :)
    July 23, 2008 3:21 PM
  • mmonfore said...
    This book and Babywise are the two books I recommend to friends (or give as gifts at baby showers). I love many parts of the book. It seems to offer more detailed advice but does really mesh with BW. It sort of fills in the gaps. One part that I particularly love is the section on baby's body language. It was so right on with my LO and helped me understand him better. And one difference with this book compared to BW is that it recommends the eat/awake/sleep routine but not on a set schedule. So for those who don't like to be looking at the clock all day, it's a good book. And I do love the discussion of personality types. I think both of my kids are "textbook". My LO is borderline "angel". Hogg has a book for toddlers but I didn't find it as helpful. This is definitely her claim to fame.
    July 21, 2008 10:39 PM
    Plowmanators said...
    Maureen,I also like the personality types. I have some thoughts I am going to discuss in an upcoming post. The body language part was very interesting also. I plan to try that out with the next baby.
    July 23, 2008 3:23 PM
  • Cristine said...
    I read "The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems" and BW when my baby was born, and both were essential for me! I also give them both to friends who are pregnant. This second book by Tracy gives a summary of E.A.S.Y and talks about every problem a mom might face (with routine, feeding, solids, sleep, etc). I think it's a better option for mom's of older babies too.I also got confused by the sleep thing...I didn't know if I should do CIO or use her method of tapping the baby's back saying shh. I did CIO, which worked, but now that my baby is 6 months, if I have to do something, I rather do her Pick Up, Put Down method (4 months and older) instead of CIO.
    July 22, 2008 4:56 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Cristine,Thanks! I will have to read that one next.
    July 23, 2008 3:24 PM
  • The Traveling Turtle said...
    I also read the Hogg book and used it as a wonderful referance tool. It was very informative in areas that BW was vague. Both are wonderful to have on hand. Although - the part about losing trust from your child if you let them CIO was a little odd. It scared me to death at first and I refused to let my daughter cry. Her outline for what you had to do to build the trust back was a little frightening. I ended up doing stricktly BW after 5 weeks and used her book as a back up tool. Thank you so much for this wonderful website! July 22, 2008 9:29 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Traveling Turtle, I also thought that part about losing trust weird. I found myself worrying about it, then telling myself to snap out of it. Both of my kids did CIO and both are perfectly fine :) You do bring up an excellent point that you need to pick one book to follow and use others as bonuses when they are in agreeance with each other. You can't serve two masters :)
    July 23, 2008 3:27 PM
  • Rachel Stellaaa said...
    I also liked "The Bsby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems" (the second book). It had some really good helpful tips and was similar to BW except for the CIO and "trust issues" (which made me nervous at first but no longer do because I have found them to not be true). I think reading multiple books can be really helpful as long as you are just pick and choose what works best for you.
    July 22, 2008 11:47 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Rachel, Thanks for your added benefit. I am all for reading lots of books :)
    July 23, 2008 9:47 PM
  • melissa said...
    I love the Hogg books too. I found the discussion on temperments of babies particularly interesting. I think many moms aren't 100% comfortable with the whole CIO thing, so Hogg's suggestions may be valuable, e.g. shushing, patting, etc.
    July 23, 2008 11:19 AM
    Plowmanators said...
    Melissa,mmmm-hmmmm. I agree--the temperment is one of the best things abotu the book. And her non-CIO solution is a good one for moms who don't want to do CIO.
    July 23, 2008 9:54 PM


Mrs. Sarah J. said...

The reason the baby whisperer (and many others) say that crying-it-out makes babies lose trust in their caretakers is because when a child cries, they are communicating a need (whether hunger, thirst, fear, too-cold, needing affection, etc.) and when that communication isn't responded to, they learn that they can trust that their needs will be met. In a lot of second and third world country's orphanages, hungry children cry for food at first and then eventually give up, knowing that they won't get their need met. They just go hungry.
I like the method she mentions about patting the back and "shhhhhh-ing" them. Also picking the child up and then putting them back down worked very well for us!

Plowmanators said...

You can read my rebuttal to sleep training breaking trust here:

If you truely believe that comparing orphans to a loving mom teaching her child to learn to sleep on their own, you defintily don't have an accurate picture of what that is like. Orphans are left with needs unmet. That is not what sleep training is about. You make sure ALL needs are met before baby is in bed. You meet needs before baby needs to cry about it...but that is all in my post I linked.

Baby strollers said...

What's a great book! Thanks for sharing this


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