|Born||c. 1960 (age 56–57)|
|Occupation||Author, former maternity nurse|
|Notable works||The Contented Little Baby Book|
Gina Ford (born c. 1960) is the bestselling author of childcare books in the United Kingdom and a former maternity nurse who has cared for over 300 babies during her career. Ford's 1999 book The Contented Little Baby Book advocates a daily routine for both the baby and the parents, with the day divided up into very precise slots. Ford has written nine books on childcare.
Praise and criticism
Criticism of Ford's approach has included that her methods are like "training animals". Some criticism centres around the fact that she herself has no children and however much she learns about and cares for the children of others, having never experienced this as a parent means she lacks some fundamental first-hand experience of maternal brain chemistry changes. The maternal brain chemistry changes involve hormones that allow the mother to be more sensitive to her own infant's needs.
Ford’s approach towards sleep training babies encourages parents to practice a form of cry it out.
In response to criticism levied against her, Ford suggests that the 25% market share of parenting books that her publications enjoy is proof that her methods do not harm children.
In 2004, the BBC commissioned a series from Outline Productions called Gina Ford's Baby School, using Big Brother-style methods to oversee the progress of newborn babies. In January 2005, Ford had a meeting with BBC and Outline Productions, and refused to agree to certain reality-style aspects of the format. With only a few weeks before filming, Ford pulled out and was replaced by Dr Tanya Byron.
Ford has threatened legal action against online child and parenting forum mumsnet.com, claiming that users have made "defamatory" comments about her, and has demanded that the whole site be taken down. In May 2007, this dispute was resolved with Mumsnet paying some of Ford's legal costs, but Mumsnet remaining open.
In 2007, she wrote to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children and accused fellow child-care expert Claire Verity of “child abuse” for methods used in a Channel 4 series called Bringing Up Baby.
- Mother knows best — but does Gina Ford know better?, The Times, June 29, 2009
- Asthana, Anushka (4 March 2007). "Baby guru's method 'like dog training'". The Guardian. London.
- Kim, Pilyoung; Leckman, James F.; Mayes, Linda C.; Newman, Michal-Ann; Feldman, Ruth; Swain, James E. (30 September 2009). "Perceived quality of maternal care in childhood and structure and function of mothers' brain". Developmental Science. 13 (4): 662–673. PMID 20590729. doi:10.1111/j.1467-7687.2009.00923.x.
- Daddy knows best, Nick Clegg tells Gina Ford, The Sunday Times, January 10, 2010
- Queen of Routine lashes out at her liberal childcare critics, The Guardian, February 26, 2007
- BBC's "Big Brother" show for babies ends in tears, Independent on Sunday, February 13, 2005
- Five Life Commissions Gina Ford Documentary Easier.com
- Babycare guru demands closure of 'defamatory' site, The Register, 9 August 2006
- Mumsnet settles with Gina Ford over defamation claims
- TV nanny Claire Verity criticised by rival, The Daily Telegraph, 08 Oct 2007