Oliver James - Final Letter
Dear Oliver James,
We agree that you cannot help what the newspapers choose to print. But you can help by confirming what 'strict routines' you are referring to, when you claim the following, and what the 'good evidence' is:
"There is a great deal of evidence that very strict routines do not lead to so-called contented babies.... There is also good evidence that strict sleep routines do lead to more insecure, and to more irritable and fussy, babies.”
Put simply, are you suggesting that any of Gina Ford's routines cause damage to babies? If not, then please remove the unhelpful confusion by confirming unequivocally that your claims are not referring to Gina Ford's routines, nor to any of the advice contained within the Contented Little Baby books.
For the record, Gina Ford's advice has always centred around eight, flexible routines that can be easily adapted to meet the needs of individual babies. These routines have changed very little over the years, other than when government or health service recommendations have altered. From the beginning, Gina Ford has made it clear that controlled crying does not form part of the CLB routines. If serious sleep problems occur in older babies, sometimes linked to other health issues, then Gina Ford's recommendation is to seek advice from a health professional or specialist sleep clinic and, only in these circumstances, might controlled crying be tried as one of a series of approaches with professional support.
Since this is the third letter we have had to write on the subject of your pronouncements, perhaps you could now answer our simple questions more directly, in the hope of neither of us having to spend any more time on the matter.
The Contented Baby Team