Tracy Hogg easy method
EASY is simply an acronym to help you remember the basic structure of Hogg’s routine: Eat (whether milk or, later on, solids). Activity (play). Sleep (nap times). You (while they’re asleep do something for yourself).
How it works: Like Gina Ford’s methods, the idea is that a routine will ensure your baby is well fed and rested in time for a good sleep at night, though Hogg’s routines are much more general than Gina Ford’s and have more room to be moulded to your own lifestyle.
For problem sleepers, Tracy recommends her ‘pick up put down’ method. When your baby cries you go to her and try to settle her with just calm words and a hand on her tummy. If she’s still crying you pick her up to comfort her but the moment she stops, put her back in cot. You can then comfort with words or gentle stroking and pick her up again if you need to, but you don’t rock her to sleep. You can repeat this as many times as is necessary for her to fall asleep. The idea is your baby is secure in the knowledge that you are there and will come if she cries, but she should eventually learn to go to sleep by herself.
Might suit parents who: Like a very ‘sensible’ middle-of-the-road plan. If you’re not cut out for Controlled Crying but you do want a bit of routine and a baby that self settles, this is a good compromise.
Might not suit parents who: Want quick results with sleep issues. Pick Up Put Down is easy to do but it can take quite a few nights.
Best age to try it at: The EASY routines work on a three-hourly and then four-hourly pattern so once feeding is established and you’re down to a feed every three hours you can make a start.
Mums say: ‘I read Secrets of the Baby Whisperer and did find the EASY routine made sense and seemed to fit with my baby’s natural rhythms. I liked the way the approach aims for a middle ground: babies need you to connect with them and listen to them, but they also need the security of a routine. The emphasis on being mindful and tuned in means you learn to trust your instincts and I soon ditched the books and followed my gut, whereas some friends seemed locked in to a particular expert and ended up buying a series of books to cover every aspect of bringing up a baby.’ Rowena Wood, mum to Alastair, now three years old.