I need some time alone! Tested baby routines

You’ve just given birth and baby is screaming every hour. Below are three popular schedule plans, which one will work?


Gina Ford

In the distant mists of 1913, childcare specialist Dr Truby King advocated a strict routine. “The normal baby should only be fed five times in 24 hours,” he said.

            Today, we’ve got Gina Ford, a former maternity nurse, who claims that by following her strict routines, your newborn will sleep through the night by the time he is 8 to 12 weeks old.


“At first, I was put off by the detail in Gina Ford’s The Contented Little Baby Book. But by the time Laurie was two weeks old, it was exactly what I wanted. Mothering is a skill and something I needed to learn, and books provide you with accumulated wisdom. Making parenting up as you go along seemed a bit mad to me. I wanted concrete instructions and was grateful someone had worked it out for me.

            “I don’t believe a baby can know what’s best for her. Likewise, I am a person and I’m entitled to some quality of life and a decent night’s sleep. By 10 weeks, Laurie was sleeping from 7pm till 7am. I’ve got friends who said Gina Ford made them feel like a complete loser, but I think her book is like any tool: If it’s not helping, then it’s not right for you.

            “People seem to think you’ve sacrificed your child to the devil when you say you’re following Ford’s strict routine and assume you leave your baby to scream. That’s because they misunderstand her instructions. I’ve never left my baby to scream.

            “I breastfed Laurie, but it would have been easier to get her into a routine if she had been on a bottle. It was tempting to feed on demand, but instead I just let Laurie feed for longer than Ford suggested. Rather than demand-feeding, Ford says you should wake your baby at regular intervals to ensure they are being fed enough, which I did. Gina’s routine is limiting, but life with a baby is limiting. I don’t meet friends for lunch because that’s when Laurie sleeps, but they can visit me. It’s a sacrifice well worth making because I have nearly two hours to myself every day. Following Ford’s routine gave me confidence and helped me to relax.”


7am Wake Laurie up

7.15am Milk

8.30am Breakfast

9.30am to 10am Nap. Vicky wakes Laurie at 10am if she’s still asleep

11.30/11.45am Lunch

12.30 to 2.15pm Nap

2.30/2.45pm Milk

5pm Dinner

5.30pm Playtime

6pm Bath

6.30pm Bottle

7.15pm Bed