Tracy Hogg, RNMH – dubbed “The Baby Whisperer” by her grateful clients–devoted her career to developing a unique approach to baby and child care. A British-trained nurse, lactation educator, and newborn consultant, Tracy spent more than twenty-five years caring for infants and their families. Sharpened by her work with disabled children, who often lacked verbal communications skills, Tracy cultivated an uncanny ability to understand what babies need by listening to their cries and tuning in to their body language. She was the consummate teacher, able to share her gift with parents and other professionals.
Born and raised in the north of England, Tracy earned her RNMH (registered nurse mental handicap) after graduating from a three-year course at the Doncaster School of Nursing, (UKCC for Nursing, Midwifery and Home Visiting) where she specialized in children with severe mental and physical disabilities. Given Nurse of the Year Award for the excellence and compassion she displayed in her fieldwork, her continuing education training included courses at the Great Ormand Street Children’s Hospital in London; Children’s Hospital in Leeds; a stint with the World Health Organization in India; and St. Catherine’s Hospital for the Mentally Handicapped, where she first discovered her gift for understanding children’s cries, gestures, body language, and other nonverbal cues–a talent she would later apply to babies.
When she emigrated to the United States in 1992, Tracy began to work exclusively with parents and their new babies, helping them make the transition from delivery room to first diapers. Word of Tracy’s “magic” spread quickly among parents on both coasts, who praised her skills and sought her advice. Naturally, as “her” babies began to grow up, Tracy also found herself working with toddlers as well.
In 1995 Tracy launched “Baby Technique”; a consulting enterprise and retail store (which has since become an online shopping site). In addition to working with private clients, she organized and taught classes for babies of all ages and their parents, counseled breast feeding mums, and ran groups for fathers. Local pediatricians frequently referred mothers in distress to her. Often volunteering her time, she dispensed practical advice to mothers struggling with the most basic issues–for example, how to talk to and play with your children. Because she also wanted to spread her message of respect and empowerment at the professional level, Tracy offered training and placement to other childcare workers as well.
In 1997, perceiving a widespread need among her high-profile clients for relaxation, Tracy produced an audio tape for breast feeding mothers. Designed to reduce anxiety and thereby enhance the lactation process, thousands of copies of the audio tape were sold to private clients and over this web site.
Just one year later, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers was published and became a national bestseller as well. Starting with the simple but essential premise that there is no such thing as a “typical” child, the book guides readers through Tracy’s unique programmes designed for toddlers. Practical, reassuring, and written with wit, energy, and boundless enthusiasm for real children and their everyday behavior, Secrets of the Baby Whisperer for Toddlers is every parent’s constant companion during the magical, challenging toddler years.
In June 2002 Tracy teamed up with Discovery Health in Great Britain to produce a fifteen-part television series entitled The Baby Whisperer. The series, which is still being aired across Australia, Europe, and Central America, has garnered top ratings. In each episode, Tracy is called upon to “fix” what seems to the parents an insurmountable problem–a nineteen month old who sleeps in her parents’ room, still wakes up every hour to nurse, and won’t eat solids; a two year old tyrant who runs his household and when he doesn’t get his way bangs his head; a fifteen-week-old who is failing to put on weight like his twin brother and who doesn’t sleep more than fifteen minutes at a time. Each episode demonstrates not only Tracy’s incredible problem-solving skills, but also her compassion for children and parents.
In 2004, even as she was battling a life-threatening disease, Tracy and her co-author collaborated on The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems. Because Tracy knew that this might be her last book, she was determined to cover every conceivable problem so that even if she couldn’t help parents personally, her book would. Basing the contents on the problems that Tracy dealt with in her many consults since the publication of her first two books, both in person and on the phone, as well as questions that poured into her online mailbox, this third book in the Baby Whispering series is the most comprehensive and detailed to date. (Visitors to this website might recognize some of their stories in the examples!) In short, The Baby Whisperer Solves All Your Problems is Tracy’s last gift to parents everywhere. Containing over four hundred pages, it is a virtual encyclopedia of baby whispering techniques and philosophy, broken down according to developmental stages and spanning infancy through toddlerhood.
Sadly, Tracy lost her battle to melanoma on Thanksgiving Day, November 25, 2004. Still, her legacy lives on in her books, her tapes, her television programmes, and, mostly, the spirit of this website. Babywhisper.com has realized one of Tracy’s greatest dreams: to create a place where thousands of devoted parents can come to share their experiences and to support one another. What she possibly didn’t imagine, though, was that this virtual community would also make sure that her wit and wisdom could never die.