The secret to Calm and Confident Parenting. An official Gina Ford website


Extracts from the New Contented Little Baby Book

The following quotes have been taken from the New Contented Little Baby Book, which reflect the CLB philosophy and Gina’s views on Sleeping, Feeding, Crying and bonding with your baby.

The CLB routines

  • Page 27 - 'I personally believe that the majority of babies thrive and are happier in a routine. But I certainly realise and respect that following a routine is not a choice for all parents. There is already so much advice out there for 'baby-led parenting'; therefore the advice I give in my books is for those parents who believe that they and their baby will be happier in a routine.'
  • Page 28 - 'Parents who have properly read the book, the routines and the advice I give, can testify that the CLB routines do really work. Unlike old-fashioned four-hourly feeding they do not involve leaving a baby to yell until a feed is due, or leaving him to cry himself to sleep for lengthy periods. While establishing a routine is often very hard work and requires a lot of sacrifices on the part of the parents, hundreds of thousands of parents around the world will testify that it is worth it because they quickly learn how to meet the needs of their babies so distress is kept to a minimum.'
  • Page 29 - 'The reason that the CLB routines are different from traditional four-hourly routines is that they are created to meet the natural sleep and feeding needs of all healthy normal babies. They also allow for the fact that some babies need more sleep than others, and that some may be able to go longer between feeds than others. The aim of the routines is not to push your baby through the night without a feed, but to ensure that by structuring the feeding and sleeping during the day, your baby's night-time waking will be kept to a minimum. He will wake and feed quickly before settling back to sleep. The routines also ensure that once your baby is capable of going one longer spell between feeds, this will happen in the middle of the night, not during the day. '
  • Page 32 - 'It is important that you understand the CLB routines are not about strict four-hourly feeding schedules. It could be many weeks before a four-hourly feeding pattern can emerge, and I would urge you not to be pressured into it, however keen you are to establish a routine.'
  • Page 34 - 'Because CLB routines are not like the old-fashioned four-hourly routines, it is not just a case of reading a routine in Chapter 6 and trying to fit your baby's feeding and sleeping into the times I suggest. The CLB routines change ten times during the first year. The times given for feeding and sleeping in each set of the routines are approximate guidelines for your baby's age, not rigid rules. You need to understand the principles behind the routines so that you can make slight adjustments to ensure that your baby's individual needs are being met.'
  • Page 78 - 'Contrary to what some people try to imply, the routines are not about denying the baby food, but about ensuring that they are fed enough. As I have already mentioned I have had personal experience of caring for babies who nearly lost their lives due to deyhdration, because they were not demanding to be fed enough. This further convinced me that demand-feeding puts a baby at much more risk than if the baby is woken at regular intervals and offered a feed.'
  • Page 88 - 'The times of feeding and sleeping change 10 times during the first year of the CLB routines to ensure that the individual needs of every baby can be properly met. It is very important that you read carefully the advice and information in the feeding and sleeping chapters before you even attempt to start the routines. They will help you understand how best to use the routines so that your baby is happy, content and feeds and sleeps well.'
  • Page 88 - 'After the birth follow the advice given in the routine for a newborn, until he has regained his birth weight, and shows signs of being able to go longer between feeds. Then you can move onto the first routine for a two- to four week baby. Gradually, when you baby shows signs of going longer between feeds and staying awake longer, you can move onto the next routine. Do not worry if your baby is not managing the routine for his age, just stick to the routine that he is happy in and continue to watch for the signs that he is content and able to go longer between feeds and stay awake longer, before moving onto the next routine.'
  • Page 89 - 'Small babies spend a great deal of their waking time feeding. To avoid excessive night feeding, it is important to structure and establish a good daytime feeding pattern. As I have explained, in order to establish a good milk supply I believe that your baby needs to be fed little and often after the birth. The success of the CLB routines depends on the baby being woken for feeds and not being left for long spells between feeds. I recommend that in the very early days a three-hourly feeding routine be established. This time is calculated from the beginning of one feed to the beginning of the next feed. Of course, if a baby is demanding food before the recommended time I have always advised that he should be fed.'


  • Page 2 - 'Like most parents, you will probably have your baby sleeping in your room with you during the night.'
  • Page 75 - 'The majority of babies that I helped care for personally usually started to sleep to 6-7am somewhere between eight and twelve weeks. A few slept through before that age and some still needed to be fed in the night for much longer. As I do not know your baby personally, I can not give you a specific answer as to when he will sleep through, as many factors will dictate that. For example if your baby was born prematurely or you did not start following the routines until he was several weeks old, then obviously he may take longer to sleep through the night.
    The important thing to remember is that what you are trying to achieve in the early days is a regular sleeping pattern, where your baby settles well in the evening, feeds and settles at 10.30pm, and then only wakes once in the night for a feed and goes back to sleep quickly until 6-7am.'
  • Page 75 - 'The aim of the routines is to achieve this without causing distress to you or your baby; they are not about pushing your baby through the night at the earliest possible age without feeding him. By following the guidelines I have laid out in this book, and adjusting the routines if need be to suit your baby's own particular needs, he will sleep the longest spell at night as soon as he is physically and mentally capable of doing so.'
  • Page 84 - 'Do not try to push your baby through the night by cutting down on his middle-of-the-night feed. Continue to give him as much as he wants in the middle of the night to ensure that he sleeps soundly to 7am. It is only when he has been sleeping through regularly to 7am for a period of time, and wakes up refusing to feed well at 7am, that you should consider cutting down the amount he is taking in the middle of the night.'


  • Page 38 - 'I have always stressed the importance of physical contact and affection with your baby.'
  • Page 43 - 'Please don't deprive your baby of cuddles! Nowhere do I suggest that you should not cuddle your baby. On the contrary, a baby who is being held close to his mother, whether breast-fed or bottle-fed, will enjoy his feed more and be ready to return to a contented sleep after he has been winded and settled down quietly. I suggest avoiding eye contact at the 10.30pm feed and during night feeds to help you show your baby gently that this in not play time.'
  • Page 91 - 'All babies love to be cuddled, and talked and sung to. Research also shows that even very small babies like to look at simple books and interesting toys. For your baby to enjoy these things, it is important that you do them at the right time. The best time is usually approximately one hour after he is awake and has been fed. He should never be played with or overstimulated 20 minutes prior to his nap. Try to imagine how you would feel if were just drifting off to sleep and someone came into the room and wanted to laugh and joke with you. I doubt you would be too happy about it, so try to respect that your baby needs the same quiet time before he goes off to sleep.'
  • Page 92 - 'Babies need lots of cuddling, but it should always be done when your baby needs it, not when you need it. A baby needs energy to grow, so it is important that you do not overhandle his small body and exhaust him. While all babies need to be nurtured, they are not toys.'


  • Page 30 - 'One of the most stressful things any parent has to endure is to listen to their baby crying, particularly if the crying goes on for any length of time and all attempts to calm the baby fail. By following the CLB routines you will soon learn the signs of hunger, tiredness, boredom or indeed many of the other reasons that cause young babies to get upset. The fact that you are able to understand his needs and meet them quickly and confidently will leave both you and your baby calm and reassured and avoid unnecessary crying.'
  • Page 38 - 'I would never advise that young babies should be left to cry for lengthy periods to get themselves to sleep.'
  • Page 34 - 'Of course, all babies must be fed if they are hungry; no baby should be left to cry for a feed or kept to a strict timetable if he is genuinely hungry.'


  • Page 35 - 'The CLB routines are not about denying babies a feed when they are really hungry. Quite the opposite. My main concern about demand feeding with very young babies is that a great many babies do not demand to be fed in the very early days. This can lead to many serious problems, the main one being that a baby who is not feeding from the breast will not stimulate the breast to produce enough milk.'
  • Page 39 - 'Some babies, particularly breast-fed babies, may need to be fed once in the middle of the night until they are five or six months old.'
  • Page 39 - 'Each baby, of course, is an individual, but if your baby does not sleep through the night until he is seven month old, neither you nor I nor your baby has 'failed'. My routines are there to help you begin to structure your days and nights, and perserverance will pay off when your baby is ready.'
  • Page 40 - 'How quickly a baby sleeps though the night is very much determined by his weight and the amount of milk he is capable of drinking at each feed during the day.'
  • Page 93 - 'During the first few weeks, regardless of whether babies are breast- or formula-fed, very few can manage a strict four-hourly feeding pattern, and the aim of the CLB feeding routines is to ensure that the individual needs of all babies can be met.'
  • Page 93 - 'Remember that the three-hour stretch between feeds is timed from the beginning of one feed to the beginning of the next; a baby starting to feed at 7am would then need to start his next feed at 10am. However, if you feel your baby is genuinely hungry before his next feed is due, as I have mentioned earlier, he must be fed.'

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