Sarra Hoy and Edith Bowman criticise ‘condescending’ childcare author

Sarra Hoy - wife of Olympian Sir Chris Hoy - with her son Callum. Picture: Contributed
Sarra Hoy - wife of Olympian Sir Chris Hoy - with her son Callum. Picture: Contributed
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SIR Chris Hoy’s wife Sarra and radio presenter 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 more than 300 babies during her career.

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

However, over the years her methods have attracted some criticism – and now both Mrs Hoy – wife of the Olympic cycling legend – and Ms Bowman have condemned her writing.

Yesterday, Sarra Hoy 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?”

DJ Bowman, who is a mother of two, echoed Mrs Hoy’s views, commenting: “@SarraHoy I read a page and felt terrible about myself. Close it now. X”

Mrs Hoy, who gave birth to her first baby 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.

• READ MORE: Chris Hoy’s son ‘watches his dad win Le Mans’

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

Mrs Hoy 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 Ms Ford’s approach have likened her methods to “training animals”, and callously noted 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 pre-agreed 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 actresses Kate Winslet and Gwyneth Paltrow, have praised her writing.

In the past, Ms Ford has responded to criticism by pointing out that her guides make up 25 per cent of the market for parenting books.

Her first is still the bestselling parenting book in the UK to date, with more than half a million copies sold. It has also been published in the US and in several foreign language editions, including in Spanish, Russian and Chinese.

Ms Ford’s publishers, Vermilion, were unavailable for comment last night.