If you wish further details of how a personal one-to-one telephone consultation with Gina Ford works, we would request that in the first instance that you send a detailed feeding and sleeping diary for 48 hours, along with a concise summary of what you think your problem is, using this form. If Gina thinks she is able to help you we will contact you with details of the type of consultation Gina feels would be best for you, along with the cost of consultation.
Alex, 16 weeks - erratic sleep pattern
From about 8-12 weeks he was only waking once in the night at about 4/5 am for a full 20 minute feed, then would drop straight back to sleep. In the last four weeks he has been waking at least twice a night, sometimes three times and he is now waking up in the stretch of sleep from 6.45pm to 10.30pm, which he used to sleep soundly through. Up until the last week he slept through until 10.30pm when we would have to wake him for his feed. He has now started waking at 9.30/10pm. We give him a 210ml bottle of formula and he goes back to sleep by 11pm. This is when it gets totally unpredictable. The last two nights, and several nights last week, he has woken at 1am. I have been able to settle him quickly back to sleep but he wakes again at 2.30/3am. I feed him at this time and he takes a full 20 minute feed from one breast but usually falls asleep and I cannot rouse him to take the second breast so I can put him straight back in the cot. Usually, he would sleep through from here till 7am but the last week or so he has been waking at 5.30am and has been very difficult to settle. The day routine is pretty good and he knows when his feed and sleeps are coming but the night is getting more and more difficult to predict and he is certainly not getting any closer to sleeping through the night.
Ethan, aged 6 months, night time waking
I am currently weaning him off breast-feeding (he only has one breast-feed a day). We started the bedtime routine at four weeks (bath, feed, bed) and he has a dream feed at 10pm. 99% of the time, he settles straight away at 7 for bed, and after the dream feed, but when he wakes in the night, he doesn't settle for 1-3 hours unless has the dummy. We don't believe he can be hungry, because when he wakes in morning, he never screams for food and is quite happy to wait up to 1/2 hour from waking for food. We would really appreciate your help in getting Ethan sleeping from 10-7 and eventually 7-7 without the dream feed.
Freddie, eight months, feeding problems
I noticed similarities between him and one of the case studies (Daniel) as he was fussy over everything after having a sickness bug two weeks ago and it was getting worse and worse. So I started following the suggestions given for Daniel yesterday and stopped giving him breakfast, but unlike the case study, he didn't really want lunch (chicken casserole mashed) at 11:00am although he seemed really hungry. I tried again at 11:30 and he ate nearly everything, so I didn't give him anything else as he hadn't quite finished it. He would normally have a yoghurt. I'm now on the second day and trying to feed him lunch. He didn't get hungry until 11:50, he's eaten a few spoons of lentil savory (mashed consistency) and then didn't want any more (I would have normally mixed his food with yoghurt at this point in the past which may have added to problems). I think we've got the following issues: protein, wanting to feed himself, a sweet tooth and not liking mashed food. I need help urgently please.
Holly, 22 months, feeding problems
We have the same routine every day, and the food changes in that if she doesn't eat much protein or any protein at lunch I offer fish fingers at night with vegetables and/or soup, which she always eats. Her favourites are fish pie, fish fingers, green vegetables, my Gina soups like sweet potato and carrot to which I add red lentils into for protein, leek and potato soup and minestrone soup. I am not a confident cook, but I have 10 recipe books including all of Gina's books for guidance. But now I wonder whether there's any point in cooking all this food when it just gets refused anyhow...
Jack, 19 months, sleep problems due to being woken by baby
Lily, 16 weeks, feeding difficulties
I would like some advice on how to increase my milk supply, if it is possible at this stage. Once the supply improves I would like suggestions on how to structure a feeding routine in order to minimise silent reflux and overactive let-down reflex. I would like to carry on breastfeeding throughout the weaning process, however if it was not possible I would still like some advice on how to structure the day once I have weaned from the breast to the bottle. I would like to solve the feeding problems so that I can correct the sleeping problems due to wrong sleeping associations linked to reflux (holding up asleep after feeds) and low milk supply (feeding near sleep time).
Katie, five and a half months, night time waking
Lucy, aged four and a half months, daytime sleep problems
I have been trying for the past 5-6 weeks to get her to sleep in the cot, particularly for the lunchtime nap. She was sleeping in the cot as much as I could get her to from a very young age but she started only sleeping for 20 minutes then crying, and she got harder and harder to get down for a nap.
At the time this started going wrong my older daughter was on six weeks holiday from school and I was spending an awful lot of time trying to get the baby down to sleep, or back to sleep and felt guilty for leaving my older daughter downstairs, alone for long periods of time. So I decided to wait until she was back at school (when we would have a new routine anyway) before trying to get the baby sleeping in the cot again. She would sleep in the Moses basket downstairs or in the pushchair for about the right amount of time so we got by for these six weeks this way.
When I started trying to get her sleeping in the cot during the day, it went better than I had anticipated in that she didn't get upset at going down in it, it's just that she won't sleep for anywhere near as long as she needs, particularly at the lunchtime nap. In the morning, if she has slept in the cot, she will wake after 30-40 minutes which is OK as she shouldn't need any more than that anyway. But at the lunchtime nap she just will not go back to sleep. I have scoured the Contented Baby forums and success threads looking for other members who have had the same problem and tried some of the things that have worked for them. I have tried topping her up before she goes down. Sometime she would take a little more milk, sometimes refuse it, but the result wasn't any better anyway. I have tried offering half of the 2.30 feed when she wakes, also to no avail. I have tried leaving her to resettle, but this does not work. She will cry for as long as I leave her (the longest I have been able to stand is an hour, by which time she is so upset that there is no way she is relaxed enough to go back to sleep). I thought maybe checking her at progressively longer periods might work, but that made matters worse. She just got more and more upset at me being in the room.
I honestly do not know what else to try. I have spoken with my health
Other things you will need to know about her are that her room is completely blacked out. She sleeps in a Grobag and is very firmly tucked in with a sheet.
Another thing is that she seems to get more hungry as the day goes on. She always takes 3-4 goes at her morning bottle before finishing it. The next bottle is normally always drunk in two goes, and the same for the rest of the bottles. With her being hungrier as the day progresses I found I couldn't drop the split feed before her bath. If I did she would not enjoy her bath and we would end up rushing as she was getting upset, which was not then a calm and relaxing end to the day. So when starting with the baby rice I thought I may as well give it at 5pm as at six months tea is at 5pm anyway. Perhaps this was the wrong thing to do, I don't know.
I desperately need help from someone with this. I have no one to turn to. My health visitor can't help with specific things such as this and friends and family don't seem to understand either. It is beginning to take its toll on my well being and ability to be the mother I want to be. At times I feel like such a failure and feel that I don't understand my own baby. The knock-on effect on the other people in my immediate family is also apparent. I dread lunchtime at home with her as I know what's coming. Please help.
Sacha, aged four weeks, sleeping problems
The first week we breast-fed every three hours and tried to follow a sleep, feed, wake pattern. Once we had seen the Health Visitor at 10 days and we knew she had gained weight, we moved on to the Gina pattern for 1 - 2 weeks which went well for the first couple of days. The main problem is what happens at her late night feed. During the day she eats and sleeps at the right times. The only main difference I can think of is that I have a very good milk supply, so generally only need to feed from one side at each feed. Sacha goes down well at 7pm and generally sleep soundly till either she is woken or wakes himself sometime between 10 and 11. As you suggest we have introduced a bottle at this feed. However she just will not settle after this feed. We tried this for six nights but had to try various things to settle her, then put her in her cot. She is often quiet for a few minutes before starting to cry again. We have tried giving expressed milk instead of formula milk, to make sure that she is not struggling with formula. I'm pretty certain that my milk supply is not an issue and that she is getting full feeds during the day as I had her weighed yesterday and she has continued to gain weight well - putting on over a 1lb in 10 days! We then tried two nights of just a breast-feed and she settled well both nights. Last night we tried half expressed milk in a bottle and topped off with a breast-feed. She took 3 oz in 25 minutes then another 15 minutes from the breast. She initially went down well, but 45 minutes later was awake and crying. The only thing that works is letting her lie on me but then I get no sleep. I can't ask my husband to help at this point in the evening. He really needs to get at least 7 hours sleep otherwise he will be in no fit state to have the operation that he needs.
The other thing to mention is that we suspect that Sacha has reflux (silent as she is not very sick, but is fretful when feeding and after feeds). The doctor has prescribed infant Gaviscon, which we have been using for a week now. It does seem to be helping during the day, but I'm not sure if this could be causing her pain at this point. It is difficult to get her to take the infant Gaviscon as she really hates the taste - and she won't suck on anything so I can't get her to suck and then squirt it in with a syringe as I did with my older son. It is just a case of squirting into the cheek and hoping that she swallows some of it. We have worked hard at making sure she is in the right position when being bottle fed as suggested by your web site from a similar FAQ, and we make sure she drinks slowly. She is not in distress straight after the feed. We have tilted the bed as often suggested.
I don't know what else to try and I'm really starting to lose all perspective on it. I'm desperate to get some more sleep because then I know I would be able to be more rational. Although I try to nap when I can and go to bed early, it's not sustainable as I have no help and no way to afford any.
Another problem I am becoming increasingly worried about is that because I spend most of the first part of the night (till 3ish) awake with her, when she does settle after that feed I fall into a sound sleep, often not hearing my alarm at 7 and then the day ends up starting late, sometimes not until 8 (my toddler stays asleep till then) and then I worry that the whole CLB routine goes out the window.
Toby, aged 12 months, eating and sleeping problems
I desperately need guidance and help to get him to eat a good amount and sleep through the night. We have followed the Gina Ford routines from birth until six months but things have fallen apart since then with his eating and thus his sleeping. I'm at the point now that I'm terrified that I am either starving him or giving him too much milk. He is very active and does not stop crawling around at a run. He has managed to sleep through less than 10 times.
When he was six months he refused repeatedly (for almost a couple of
I did not try to get him to sleep through from an early age as my husband
Ruby, 8 months, unsettled nights
I now also have an eight-month-old daughter and am really hoping you can help again. I have tried just about everything suggested in your books, forums and FAQ advice. At 12 weeks, my baby was following the routine with no problems but then she caught chickenpox, followed by a lung infection which resulted in dummy use and night feeding. After her lung infection, she started to have significant vomiting - 2/3 times a day - but after seeing a consultant, we have ruled out anything serious and through careful structuring of feeds (not overfeeding and not going too long between meals) and keeping upright, the vomiting is now only once every 2/3 days.
As a result of all of the above, we have very unsettled nights. I have removed the dummy but the night feeding continues. She is waking 2/3 times a night at no consistent time (sometimes as early as 9.30pm or as late as 5am) and each time, the only way to settle her is with milk (I've tried water/juice/less milk). After she's had a feed (at least 5oz), she will settle immediately and go straight back to sleep. On top of this, she wakes most mornings at 5.30/6 and even after a full feed, she will not settle back.
I have tried controlled crying/rocking/singing/sleeping in the same room and nothing is working. I'm worried that I've tried too many different things and not been consistent - we've seen countless doctors, nurses, consultants and health visitors over the last few months (due to the various health problems) and each has a different opinion on what needs to be done in helping her sleep through the night. I need help now from someone I trust (i.e. Gina) in knowing the right approach and then sticking to it. I do not accept that just because she is a big and active girl that she is unable to sleep through the night without food.
Everyone that sees my baby agrees that she is a happy natured, well
Polly, 3 weeks, problems establishing a routine
I have followed your book and advice with my daughter as I did with my son, but she doesn't seem to adapt to it. I can't for keep her awake during the day for more than two hours, which obviously results to her being awake for ever at night. The other problem is that we don't have a room for her - I tried putting her to sleep with her brother, but every time she cried her brother cried too and became very distressed as to why the baby was crying. My son goes to nursery four times a week in the afternoons and is back home at 6pm. By that time I give my daughter her split feed and bath and get her ready for bed - she is in bed by 6:45ish and goes down well only to wake up at around 7:30pm wanting more milk and being unsettled. The result is that she won't go back to sleep until almost 10pm. She is having milk all this time - a little at a time, dozing off only to wake up screaming for more 20 minutes later. The fact that she doesn't have a room means that I keep moving her around the house in order to find the quietest spot in the house until her brother's bath time and bed time is over. That can't be good for her but I do not know what to do.
As you can see it's all over the place - at the times that she feeds every one or two hours I have tried to either put her to sleep or take her for a walk so she can last longer but she is clearly hungry and won't settle without a feed. I also forgot to mention that she is bottle-fed.