A pregnant friend of mine just posted to a mailing list we're both on asking about the Baby Whisperer and her "EASY" method. And cold chills just went up my spine because that EVIL BOOK was the
genesis of my worst post partum depression period ever. I know some people like it -- it is a very individual thing and I don't want to knock anything that helps any parent, ever.
BUT. Before I read that book, I was bumbling around knowing very little about parenting. Maybe Vi wasn't sleeping enough, but our lives were basically OK. When she acted sleepy I nursed her to sleep. When she acted hungry, I nursed her some more. When she cried, nursing. In between I held her a lot, or wore her in a sling, and slept with her in bed. I was following my instincts and things were going OK.
Then someone (an experienced mom) gave me that book, telling me that I was doing a disservice to Vi by not having her on a schedule/routine. The book sounded so sensible -- I mean, as a nanny and expert, the author knew so much more than me. And she sounded so certain that her way was THE WAY for every baby, and that if you didn't do her method you would totallly screw the baby up, forever.
So I started trying her methods. And within a week or two, my and Vi's relationship had absolutely deteriorated into madness. She cried all the time. I was constantly struggling with her trying to get her to sleep, or trying to hold her off from nursing. I spent every day with a sour acid stomach because I was listening to Violet crying all the time. Worse, when I decided to give it up, Violet no longer trusted me, and it took a long time before we got back to where we were before. At this point in my life I spent a portion of every single day imagining the best way to kill myself.
For me, reading Sears' books on attachment parenting was like a balm for my tortured soul. After I read those books I was no longer fearful and depressed. I started trusting myself instead. I know AP doesn't work for everyone, but it was what was right for me and Violet and how I regret letting a book come between the knowledge I instinctively had when Vi was first born. That fucking baby whisperer made our first year so much harder than it had to be.