If you’re after a sure fire way to turn a group of mother’s against each other all you need to do is ask what they think of Tizzie Hall.
Hall is the author of Save Our Sleep, the international best selling guide to help parents of babies, well as the name suggests, get some kip.
In the book, she lays out a series of daily routines, based on baby’s age, for feeding and sleeping.
In a facebook mum's group I'm in, one brave soul recently posted, "Hi mummies, just wondering if anyone has read 'Save our sleep' by Tizzie Hall and followed any of the routines. Just wanting people's thoughts. TIA."
Responses ranged from, "I swear by that book it works and still works for me," and "followed for both of mine from 3/4 months and swear by it. My lifesaver & both kids always happy as I was one step ahead of them for sleeping & eating times," to "that book was disastrous for us with our 3 kids," and "it certainly didn't work for my baby and made me feel terrible about myself."
There are organised efforts to hide Hall's book in book shops.
There are facebook groups set up to warn people against Hall.
Her book consistently comes up whenever people talk about the dangers of sleep training or so-called 'cry-it-out' methods, despite that, as far as I can tell, Save Our Sleep doesn't appear to advocate sleep training or cry it out.
On the other hand, when I asked my all-natural, water-birthing, exclusive breastfeeding and organic baby food oriented girlfriend what she thought of Hall I was very surprised by her incredibly positive response.
So, it was with a mix of curiousity and just outright fascination that I approached my interview with Hall. I start by asking her how she deals with the criticism, some of it deeply personal and offensive, of her on the internet.