********** 10 Stars!
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Amazon.com's Best of 2001
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 --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Library Journal
Hogg, an English nurse and founder of Baby Technique, a Los Angeles-based newborn and lactation consulting firm, has a way of calming and caring for babies that led one of her clients to dub her "the baby whisperer." In this, her first book, she teaches parents how to decipher "infants' language"Dtheir cries, gestures, and facial expressions. Her E.A.S.Y. (eat, activity, sleep, your time) method offers a relaxed, commonsense approach. Every aspect of care for mom and baby is covered, with interesting charts and clear references. There are many good books on baby care, such as Arlene Eisenberg and others' What To Expect the First Year (LJ 6/1/89), Jodi A Mindell's Sleeping Through the Night (LJ 6/1/97), and, of course, Dr. Spock's oeuvre, but this book possesses unusual tenderness and heart, and it respects babies as people, albeit little ones. For all public libraries and any parenting shelf, this is the perfect gift for a new mom and family.DAnnette V. Janes, Hamilton P.L., MA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
The author is a midwife and nanny who's connected in a most unique and intimate way with many babies and their parents. She seems to know firsthand what babies need and what moms worry about. The basic message is to slow down, respect the baby's own pace and dignity, and provide enough stability and structure for the baby to organize its emerging world. The advice is intuitive, nothing revolutionary, but that's probably the point--to help moms get back to the basics of helping little people into the world with love and without making everyone else crazy. The abridgment flows, and the bubbly reading by the author herself is engaging. T.W. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.
Inside Flap Copy
?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.
“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.
A Breath of Fresh Air, February 14, 2002
Reviewer: NotBobVila (see more about me) from Ontario, Canada
As first time parents, my wife and I were both frustrated and overwhelmed by the conflicting advice that we received even before our daughter was released from the hospital.
In between the feedings and diaper changes during the first few days at home, I read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer, which was given to us by a family friend. Finally, there was a sane voice of experience that helped us to find our own way.
Some of the important points of this book:
1. It is normal to feel overwhelmed.
2. Every baby has a unique personality. While Tracy Hogg's categories may be somewhat oversimplified, she does offer a means of identifying your baby's personality so that you may better handle certain situations. No single approach will work with every baby, because they are all different.
3. You are not evil if you choose not to breast feed. This seems to be the subject of most of the negative reviews on this site, which is unfortunate. However, the author does not advocate either breast or formula feeding, she merely presents the pros and cons of each in a balanced manner, and provides reassurance that whatever method you choose, it is your choice to make, and there is no wrong decision.
4. One of the best pieces of advice: follow a structured routine. "EASY": Eat, Activity, Sleep, time for Yourself. This is another area that seems to have drawn criticism from fellow ... reviewers. "EASY" is presented as an alternative to feeding on demand and scheduled feeding. Actually, it is not as much an alternative as it is a combination of the two.
--> Following a set schedule is often impractical, as we found out ourselves while our daughter was still in the hospital. There, feeding took place every three hours, and at the same times. Most of the feedings went well, but at times, it seemed as though we were were force-feeding the poor kid, and it was implied that we were somehow bad parents if she did not finish the prescribed amount. Once we got home, we were able to be more flexible with the feeding times, which is exactly what EASY suggests.
--> What EASY suggests is following a prescribed routine. Eating is followed by activity, and the activity is followed by sleep. And while the baby sleeps, you have time for yourself. The structure is etched in stone, but the times are not. Who will not agree that flexibility is good? And having the structure will help you interpret your baby's cries and decrease the miscues (for example, trying to feed the baby when the baby is actually overstimulated, or over-tired).
5. The author provides guidelines for interpreting your baby's crying.
6. The author also explains how bad habits start and suggests methods for undoing bad habits. For example: allowing the baby to fall asleep on your chest may lead to the baby needing your chest to fall asleep....
7. Babies need to become independent. This means not rushing to the crib everytime they start to fuss. Babies need to learn to self-soothe and often will go back to sleep.
As with any book of this type, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer is not perfect, and there is some content that I do not necessarily agree with. But that's okay. The author is writing from personal experience, of which she has a lot. You will not find a whole lot of her advice to be in the vein of "studies have shown..." but rather "what I have learned...."
The style in which the book is written is also refreshingly down-to-earth. She speaks to the reader in a friendly voice that is neither condescending nor inaccessible.
Is this book worthy of addition to your bookshelf? Absolutely. I highly recommend it. Read it once, and you'll refer to it again and again.
The best advice that I can personally give anyone who is a new parent is this: TRUST YOUR OWN INSTINCTS. You will hear and read a lot of conflicting advice, none of which is perfect. You will have to find out what works best for you and your baby. No book can do that for you. Where Secrets of the Baby Whisperer succeeded the most for me was giving me the level of confidence to trust my own instincts, while providing some useful guidelines and advice.
Worth every penny- saved my sanity and helped many friends, April 5, 2004
Reviewer: Michelle Garnett from Dublin, CA
I have reccommended this book to all my new mom friends. This book saved me and my baby from insanity. I have a "Touchy" baby who was not easy the first 3 months, but after following Tracy's techniques my son has been and continues to be an excellent sleeper. All advice in this book was uselful from breastfeeding to taking care of the caregiver, or MOM. This was my bible and I have heard nothing but praise about it from each person who I have been able to pass it on to.
Use it as a guide. I had this and many books, but this one helped me the most. Everyone is different and every baby is different. Trust in your instinct and this book will give you the knowledge to go along with that.