The Baby Whisperer

I’ve just finished reading a fantastic book called "Secrets of the Baby Whisperer".  Tracy Hogg was an RNMH (registered nurse mental handicap) who was dubbed "The Baby Whisperer" for her uncanny ability to read babies’ needs by their cries and body language. She has a website here, kept by her devoted followers. She died in 2004 but she taught many people her philosophy and shared her experiences so many can understand how she learned "baby talk".

So after reading the book, and realizing some of the "bad" habits we’ve taught Emma – she needs to be rocked or nursed to sleep, sleeping in our bed – we’re starting Tracy’s E.A.S.Y system, and using her ABC’s of changing those habits. She often worked with parents before the baby was even born, but also spent a great deal of time working with babies of all ages, and I was floored by some of her examples of breaking habits in babies as old as 8 or 9 months in only 3 days! So as hard as it is to change our habits, we’re going to give it a go.

And just now, Emma showed her signs of being tired (yawning, starting to pull at her face) and I ignored her. So when she actually started to fuss and cry, I’d missed the "window" to start getting her down in her "I’m tired" phase, because by this point, she was overtired. I swaddled her up, walked into our room (her bassinet is still in our room, another habit we’re going to try and change…) and closed the drapes. She started really crying, so I stood in the closet with her, patting her back and singing softly. She finally cried herself out, so I gently lay her down. Even before her back hit the bassinet, she started again, so I picked her back up, walked back into the closet, started patting her back and going sh-sh-sh-sh rhythmically. She calmed again, and so I lay her down. She started to fuss, so I patted her in her crib and she eventually closed her eyes. It was hard to have her screaming in my ear, but I know that she’s has to learn how to go to sleep on her own and soothe herself. She’s been out for 1/2 an hour now (amazing!) so hopefully it’s the start of a beautiful routine.

This book really put things in perspective for me, like on-demand nursing, co-sleeping, rocking, stimulation etc. It’s such an easy read, and logical. It really made sense to me. And since Emma’s only 1 1/2 months, our routine shouldn’t be that hard to change. It might take a few days, it might take a weeks, it might take more. But she’s young and so her memory isn’t as great as it would be in a few more weeks or months. I kind of wish I had read this book while I was pregnant, but I’m glad I found it now! I recommend it for anyone who has a baby of any age, in the womb or in the room . I think some valuable insights can be gained. Even if you don’t agree with everything she says, at least something is going to make sense to you.

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