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Sarra Hoy condemns “condescending” childcare author

SARRA Hoy and Edith Bowman have taken to Twitter to criticise a “condescending” childcare author.

Gina Ford is the bestselling author of childcare books in the UK, and a former maternity nurse who has cared for over 300 babies during her career.

Her 1999 novel The Contented Little Baby Book advocates a daily routine for both the baby and the parents, and was the first of nine published books on childcare.

However, over the years her methods have attracted some criticism – and now both Sarra Hoy and Edith Bowman have condemned her writing.

Sarra took to Twitter to express her views on the book
Sarra took to Twitter to express her views on the book

Yesterday morning, Sir Chris Hoy’s wife Sarra wrote: “Just read a bit of Gina Ford for 1st time. Apparently everything is my fault! Her critical tone makes me think she doesn’t have any kids?”

Scottish radio DJ Edith Bowman, who has two children of her own, echoed her views, commenting: “@SarraHoy I read a page and felt terrible about myself. Close it now. X”

Sarra, who gave birth to her only child Callum in 2014, then replied: “Let’s all be awful together! She’s so condescending, it’s like a parody.”

Other Twitter users joined in the criticism.

One woman said: “Do not read it; Chuck it in the bin; burn it! Get it out of your house now!!”

Sarra and her husband, Sir Chris Hoy
Sarra and her husband, Sir Chris Hoy

Sarra wrote in reply: “Now, that’s the best advice I’ve read. Thanks!”

Another user, Elspeth Hanson, said: “Terrible book, but the pages make great baby wipes!”

Past criticism of Ford’s approach liken her methods to “training animals”, and allude to the fact that she has never had children of her own.

Her approach to sleep training babies encourages parents to practice a form of ‘cry it out’ in which parents are told to allow their child to cry for a premeditated amount of time before comforting them.

Renowned critics of her methods include British psychologist Penelope Leach, doctor Miriam Stoppard and Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg.

However, some celebrities including Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow have praised her writing.

In the past, Ford has responded to criticism by pointing out that her novels make up 25% of the market share of parenting books.

Her first novel is still the bestselling parenting book in the UK to date, with over half a million copies bought.

It has also been published in the US and in several foreign language editions including Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

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