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It has been more than two years since I wrote my less-than-glowing critique of Tizzie Hall’s baby programming method.  Obviously it struck a nerve as it’s still the most widely viewed post on the blog.  I’ve long been uncomfortable letting it dangle there with its unalloyed intensity.  Parenting at night stinks.  If it didn’t, baby programming literature like Tizzie’s wouldn’t be so popular, and movies about sleepless newborn nights wouldn’t make us giggle-cringe so fiercely.  We’re allowed to protect ourselves from loss of sanity by trying to make changes to the way our nights go, but our babies deserve respect and compassion in every scenario.  Here are a few thoughts on what respectful night-time treatment should include and what it might look like.

1. Use what your baby is already giving you.

When I’m talking to expectant parents something I really stress is that their when new parents are fatigued it’s rarely because their baby isn’t sleeping enough.  It’s because the baby and parent aren’t sleeping at the same time. The clinical definition of sleeping through the night for a baby is SIX hours.  So if your baby goes to sleep at 7pm and sleeps until 1 am, then your baby has done exactly what he or she ‘should’ do.  Your baby does not have a sleep problem and does not need to be ‘trained’ to sleep longer.  But if YOU chose to stay awake until, say, 11 pm and are therefore tired for the 1 am wakeup, then that’s YOUR problem. Every parent, myself included, struggles with this.  Isn’t it important to have some grown up time to yourself while baby is sleeping?  Yes, it is, but it’s not a baby’s responsibility to meet the parent’s needs.  Your baby should not be expected to modify her behaviour if you haven’t modified your own first.

2. Make your job as easy as possible.

If you’re getting as much sleep as possible but you’re still feeling like a zombie during the wakeup the next thing you could do is see if your job can be made any easier during the wakeups.  This is the primary reason why I love co-sleeping.  By the time my kids were a couple of months old, night feedings basically consisted of baby wiggling silently, mom pointing chest at baby’s face, baby self-latching, zzzzzzz. But not everyone is as comfortable co-sleeping as we are and that’s fine.  So how about keeping baby next to your bed and feeding in bed even if baby doesn’t stay there?  If you go downstairs to the couch for each feeding, of course you’ll be tired in the morning.  Not to mention, if you’re so tired that you doze off during the feeding, then you’re unwittingly practising incredibly unsafe cosleeping anyway and it would be safer to feed on your flat mattress.

3. Understand the difference between needs and wants – for yourself.

Baby training manuals are all about delineating the baby’s needs from his wants.  He needs sleep and he only wants to be rocked or held.  Well, what if we applied the same thinking to our needs and wants as parents?  Yes we need sleep, but we don’t need it to be 7pm-7am every day of the week, we only want that. As adults we can be a lot more flexible about how and when our needs are met than a baby can.  Maybe we need a couple of solid naps every week.  Maybe we need to be able to hit the sack a bit earlier than baby or get up a bit later.  When we consider what our true needs are, we realize we probably don’t need to make such a drastic change in our baby’s behaviour in order to meet those needs.

4. “Help train” an adult.  

Following from number 3, meeting our own needs might mean help training another adult.  I’m specifically looking at you, partners!  One thing Mr. Fair did when Little Man was little was let me have Saturday mornings in bed.  As soon as the baby started fidgeting, Mr. Fair would whisk him away downstairs and entertain him while I slept (or at least just relaxed.)  Little Man would be brought up when he needed a feed and then whisked away again.  I got caught up enough on those mornings to get me a good half way through the week before feeling super tired again. I recently read a blog post about a woman who was discussing her serious fatigue with another new-mom friend who, needless to say was in the same boat.  So they both decided to pay a sleep Doula to teach them to let their babies cry.  I left a comment asking why they didn’t choose instead to team up and trade off naps?  It seems much more fair to me to seek assistance from another grown up before forcing assistance from a baby.

5. Make changes with respect.

Sometimes, once you’ve fulfilled all of your obligations as an adult, you might still need to exercise your right as the parent to guide how things go in your family.  That’s fine!!! And guess what, even I’ve done it – gasp!!

Picture me pregnant, hit by the Mack truck that is postpartum/prenatal depression, working from home all day and nursing Little Man every 1-2 hours all night.  I needed to night-wean.  It was hard, and there was crying.  Yes, you read that right.  Crying.

But here are some things to take into account when deciding how to proceed:

Calories – if baby is waking less at night, then baby is eating less at night.  There are all kinds of thoughts as to how long babies can safely go without eating at any age.  A decent guide is to use your baby’s self-directed longest interval.  If once in a while your babe will sleep for a long stretch of his own accord, then the length of that stretch is probably a safe and reasonable length to aim for.

It’s important to remember to allow for those calories to be made up.  If you’re breastfeeding, make sure that you feed on cue during the day.  If you’re bottle-feeding, then the bottles that would have been consumed at night need to be offered during the day.

Object Permanence – is a developmental milestone that babies achieve somewhere between 8 and 9 months that allows them to understand that an object (which includes a person) still exists – i.e. is permanent – when it is out of sight.  Until baby reaches this milestone they are cognitively unable to understand that you exist when they can’t see you.  In other words, if a baby is being left alone to cry before this age, he or she is completely unable to deduce that Mom and Dad are just in the next room.  In fact, as far as they are able to know, they are literally the only person left in the universe.  Actual horror movies have been made about being the only person left in the universe.  After this age they’ll at least know you’re out in the hall, even if they still don’t really understand why.  That distinction gets totally glossed over in baby programming literature but it is the difference between a baby who cries to sleep peeved at Mom and a baby who cries to sleep terrified.  If you can hold out for upset over terrified, it’s worth it.

Language – then once you know your baby can understand a good chunk of what you’re saying (for my kids that was about 15 months) then they can understand when you explain to them (simply) why it’s not time to eat or play.  They’ve also known you long enough to trust you.  By this point, a baby has virtually every skill necessary to understand what is happening, to specify his or her needs and to participate in meeting those needs.  That gives parents a lot of leeway to interject our needs back into the relationship.  A year, or maybe eighteen months is really not an outrageous amount of time when you think about it.

 

What approaches have you used to get a bit more rest while still treating your baby’s needs with respect?

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Viruses.  As a molecular biologist, viruses fascinated me to no end.  So tiny and so simple.  Often with such narrow, narrow habitats that you wonder how they can flourish while orangutans, who can live anywhere in the whole damn jungle are dying.  As a parent, viruses piss. me. off.

Case in point, my kids have the croup.  It’s my daughter’s first ever time having croup and it’s the worst croup we’ve ever seen in our house.  Almost ER visit level of croup.  Lady Fair has a beautiful, complex genome.  Her tens of thousands of genes make everything from intestines to eyelashes.  Gorgeous eyelashes, if I say it myself.  Her genes let her walk, talk and think.  Imagine that, we think because of the structures our genes build.  Someday her genes will let her build a whole different person right in her body.

And then she got croup and it kicked her ass.

A teeny tiny virus.  It has like six genes, did you know that?  It has a gene (or two) to make the tools to copy itself.  Basically a microscopic photocopier.  No, not even a photocopier, more like carbon paper!  Then it’s got a couple of genes to sew itself a coat with.  Poor virus doesn’t want to get cold, don’t you know.  And maybe, maybe it’s got a gene or two to help it get around in the world.  That’s it.

Then let’s consider the habitat.  Croup takes up residence in the upper airways of the itty-bittyest people on the planet.  Lady Fair’s whole neck is about 26cm in circumference and this little jerk of a virus has not only found its way in there, it has also found her even smaller larynx.  Think about that.  And think about those orangutans with all their own beautiful genome and all of that jungle.  And really, it’s the virus who wins this game?

Pretty much proof of Darwinian evolution.  If there were a supreme being up there (wherever ‘there’ is) putting all of this together, that being would have done a much better design job.  Then again, maybe the being is there, and he’s a giant jerky virus in the sky.

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So last week, I attended my first birth as a doula.  An incredible, difficult, tiring, miraculous, and wonderful birth that took a total of 32 hours, 22 of which I was there for.  This week, I’m back on call for my next client and next month – over the holidays, as a matter of fact – there will be yet another.

I left my house at 1 am last Wednesday morning, and didn’t get home until 11 pm, meaning I didn’t see my son from the time he went to bed Tuesday night until he woke up Thursday morning.  My daughter, meanwhile, had a dream feed about an hour before I left, and another right after I crawled back into bed with her.  The hours in between were spent having (more or less) the first bottled meals of her 7 month long life.

I was nervous, obviously, about how all of this would go down for her, but it worked well and I can sum up the reason why in just two simple words: Attachment Parenting.

Thanks to the attachment practice of cosleeping, I didn’t unnecessarily lengthen our separation.  As I said, I didn’t set eyes on my son for 36 hours, but he’s two and a half and not only sleeps in his own room (with Dad joining him as needed), he’s already spent several happy weekends with his grandparents.  But Lady Fair is only 7 months old.  Frankly, even 22 hours felt too long to be away.  Thirty-six hours is just inconceivable.  If we didn’t share sleep, it could have been 36 and the additional hours would have been completely unnecessary.  If we didn’t share sleep because we were trying to follow a book-prescribed sleep program, then an already difficult situation would have been rendered more difficult by a person who has never met me or my child, and who has no actual knowledge of our situation or needs.

Thanks to attachment parenting, I was able to leave at a moment’s notice without worrying that a messed up ‘routine’ would throw the kids into some kind of coping tailspin.  You see, aside from the major time markers of breakfast, lunch and dinner, our daily routine is this: child has need, child expresses need, caregiver meets need to best of caregiver’s ability.  That’s a pretty easy one to follow, and it depends only on a loving caregiver.  Mr Fair, as co-parent, certainly fits the description of loving caregiver and, when armed with a freezer full of booby juice, has every tool he needs to parent solo without trauma for anyone.  The kids obviously felt my absence, but not to the same degree as if a missed snack of 1/4 cup rice gruel at 10:17 am led them to a missed nap at 10:36 am which then made them too tired to focus on their Baby Einstein flashcards from 11:46:30 to 11:59:59.  Their day remained exactly the same as normal, just with a hairier chest to snuggle on.

As an extension to the above, taking an attachment-based approach with my kids meant it was much easier to come home again.  I’m not under the illusion that a human being will have the exact same needs at the exact same time of day, every single day, so when Lady Fair expressed a need to reconnect after my absence, it was no big deal.  She spent the next two days almost constantly in-arms (yay ring sling!), sleeping only at the breast.  And that was lucky for me because, guess what?  I was exhausted!  I couldn’t have spent the day trying to stay awake to reestablish a schedule even if I wanted to.  Instead, I just enjoyed the snuggles without worrying that it was the oft-feared ‘bad habit’, a harbinger of chronic dependence that is sure to persist into adulthood.  And of course, it wasn’t a habit at all, just a need.  One that passed away once it had been filled (she’s upstairs asleep in bed as I type this), and one which I was able to fill thanks to attachment parenting.

It’s not easy transitioning back to work when you have little ones.  The logistics and emotions can be complex and unpredictable.  But for the good of our family as a whole, and my mental health specifically, reestablishing a career is something I have to do.  I’m just grateful that we have so many tools on our parenting workbench that I can do it with few side-effects.

How does attachment parenting help you cope with life’s challenges?

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You’ve heard about why.  And you’ve heard about how.  Now do you wanna see what it looks like??  Well feast your eyes.

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Dropping the F-bomb

BLW Part I: The Whys

BLW Part II: The Hows

 

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This is part two of a 3-part series on baby-led solids/weaning (BLW) in honour of Lady Fair’s half-year birthday and consequent move away from exclusive breastfeeding.  In part 1 we talked about some of the great reasons to do it, and now we’ll go over some practical tips.  The thing about BLW is that it really doesn’t require instructions beyond “give food to the baby”, but people who are used to pureeing usually want some more details, so here they are.

Size & Shape

The main thing about BLW is that the kids are putting the food in their mouths themselves, and they’re starting well before they work out that little pincer grip.  In other words, dicing is no-dice.  It’s all about the long-skinny so that they can wrap their whole adorable little fist around it and still have an end poking out to get in their mouths.

My favourites for novice eaters are bananas halved lengthwise, avocados cut into longitudinal wedges and broccoli trees.  Once they get older and more coordinated, brussels sprouts and scrambled egg yolks are pretty grabable.

Meat always seems to present a difficulty.  Some people cut it into really narrow long strips, but my kiddo couldn’t figure out how to flop it into his mouth.  He also had front teeth very early, so he’d bite a chunk off and then not be able to chew it and problems would ensue.  So I went Alicia Silverstone on it and pre-chewed, then propped it up in a little pile on his plate.  Gross, but effective.

Grip

As scary and weird as it seems, try to leave peels and rinds on when possible.  Bananas are a perfect example.  If you take the peel off, that nanner will fly out of baby’s hand like the escargot out of Julia Roberts’ in Pretty Woman.  Apples with a skinless landing strip around the equator and peel at each pole are easy to hold onto and run your gums over.  If you’re into grains you can also try dusting food with some sort of cereal crumb.

Out & About

First off, BLW makes travelling way easier, and being lazy, that makes me very happy.  But what you need to plan/bring changes more rapidly than with pureed food.

If baby is only a few days/weeks onto solids then the biggest question is really whether or not baby actually needs to eat (other than nursing, obviously) while you’re out.  Remember the rule of thumb “before 1 it’s just for fun.”  Kids really don’t need to be having three squares a day.  In fact, in the first couple of weeks they’re unlikely to swallow enough to make the endeavor calorically worthwhile anyway.  So there’s the nothing option.

But if your wee one is firmly into the eating world, avocados, bananas and brussels sprouts all travel well and make relatively little mess.  For more adventurous babies, order the soup and bread and share dipped bread with them.  Alternatively, bits from a garden salad or side baked potato do wonders.  And my all-time food court favourite? Sushi rolls.  They’re mouthful sized, nutritious and TIDY.

IKEA Antilop Highchair

Bibs = useless. Think ‘full coverage’.

Clean-up

And speaking of tidiness… you know all of those little wee bibbies you were given?  Forget them.  Truly.  So useless.  If you must use a cover, then the IKEA full-body smock is the only rational option, but I prefer to strip baby bare.  Much easier to swab a baby than wash and fold a stack of smocks.  And while we’re at it, the more elaborate your high-chair, the more crevices there are to stick food in.  IKEA comes in handy here again with their smooth plastic, single piece, TWENTY DOLLAR high chair.  Can’t be beat.

Safety

These really should go for all early experiments with food, no matter how you introduce it.  The first item on the safety list, is to know the difference between gagging and choking.  Both look horrible and can make you panic.  One – gagging – tends to be noisy, while the other – choking – is silent.  So don’t ever turn your back on baby and assume you’ll hear her choking because you won’t.  Ultimately, the qualifier is air.  If baby is gagging, he can still breathe in between gags, which makes noise.  If baby is making noise (and thus breathing) you should NOT go smacking her on the back because that could make the offending bit of food block the currently unobstructed airway and cause choking.

Item number two is to leave baby UNBUCKLED while feeding.  This probably seems a bit counter-intuitive, especially since highchairs these days come with enough snaps and harnesses to rival a carseat, but the reality is that if baby does happen to start choking, you can’t help without removing her from the chair.  The harder it is to get her out of the chair, the longer it will take to help her.  Here is where we loop back to the previous paragraph and remind you not to turn your back while baby is eating, lest she somersault over the tray.

The final item on the list is to master ye old finger swipe and it is a bit more BLW specific.  If a bad gagging fit does hit, or even if you foresee trouble clearing an item from the mouth, the easiest way to help is to reach into the mouth and clear it with your finger.  Don’t be alarmed if this actually triggers gagging – you would too if someone reached into your mouth.  Also don’t freak out if all of this gagging triggers puking.  That’s the body’s way of making sure stuck objects get pushed up and out.
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So there you have it.  Baby-led weaning in a nutshell.  What tricks did you use to make it even easier?

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Dropping the F-bomb

BLW Part I: The Whys

BLW Part III: The Cuteness

 

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Ok, so when we’re talking about Todd Akin’s disgusting comments that frankly, go beyond rape-apology, everything is wrong.  But there’s something about the reaction to his comments that’s also disturbing me.

Huffington Post did this great little slide show about (mostly) GOP reactions to his statement.  At first glance it’s great.  Lots of his fellow republicans publicly denouncing him.  But if you look closely, you’ll see that something is amiss in their priorities.

The best example is probably the statement by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell.  If that name sounds familiar, it should.  He garnered similar media attention for agreeing to pass a law that mandated that women seeking abortion must first be raped by a physician or technician with an ultrasound wand, although the law was amended to require only non-consensual abdominal probing, not vaginal probing, before it arrived on his desk.

He’s got to seriously decide what’s in the best interest of the party, what’s in the best interest of the state of Missouri, and frankly, at this point, given that flat wrong statement…

… are you expecting an end to that sentence that would denote some, even very small, amount of consideration for the rape victims who have been traumatized by Mr Akin’s comments?  Well don’t.

The grande finale on McDonnell’s list of priorities is this:

…whether he can win

He continues with this (emphasis mine):

To say things that seemed to be so flat wrong and out of touch with both science and the people, I think it makes it very difficult at this point for him to win.

and this (emphasis still mine):

But on the surface, these statements are so bad and so inflammatory and so inaccurate when it comes to science that it certainly calls into question his ability to win.

So to recap here, they’re upset that he’s probably going to lose.

There was no mention in there of Akin’s comments being offensive, immoral, atrocious or pernicious.  Inflammatory, yes, but that has more to do with the undesirable backlash than the substance of his words.  No, as far as his philosophy goes, the reprimand they’re giving him is for being ‘inaccurate when it comes to science.’

Guess what, saying that a tomato is a vegetable instead of a fruit is also ‘inaccurate when it comes to science’, but it’s not exactly the same fucking thing as saying that an imaginary intrauterine spermicidal forcefield determines the ‘legitimacy’ of a rape now is it?

And that seems to be a common theme with these Republican ‘denouncers’.  Why?  Because they don’t actually disagree with him.  As a matter of fact their national convention voted just days after those comments to make the crux of his beliefs their official party policy.  Maybe some of them got out of home school long enough to know there’s no Yoda in my womb waiting to light-saber the first rape-begotten embryo he sees, but they (almost) all firmly believe there’s a ‘legitimate’ kind of rape and an ‘illegitimate’ kind.  And they all firmly believe the victims of that rape should have no control over their bodies or lives after it takes place, just as they had no control over their bodies as it was being brutalized.

So let’s see these comments for what they are – nothing more than disappointment over a lost campaign –  and realize that this Akin guy is in no way an outlier.  He is the real deal: the legitimate GOP.

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I had a moment of weakness today.  I typically try to avoid things I know will get me worked up, but today I lapsed and, having come across a link to this Tizzie Hall “Baby Whisperer” person, I clicked it.  And sure enough, it ticked me off.  Enough to write about it.

Her book is called “Save our Sleep” but it should also have the subhead “by Endangering our Babies”.

I had a browse through her website and pretty much the first line is this: “Do you have to rock your baby to sleep every night?”  Oh, the horror.  Imagine, having to rock your precious, sweet baby to sleep day after day.  I knew I was in for it then.

"Love you Forever" by Robert Munsch

Another bestselling book… about a woman who understands that rocking your sleeping baby is a gift so precious that it’s worth driving across town to do.

I persevered a little further into her information and three things became immediately clear: 1) some of her advice is just plain bad parenting 2) whether her advice is good or bad, she has no right to be offering much of it 3) she cares more about selling you stuff than she does about your (or your child’s) well-being.

1) When you take parenting advice from a teenage babysitter, don’t expect it to always be good.

It turns out that Tizzie started giving parenting advice at the ripe old age of 9.  She tells us all about the thousands of families worldwide who have sought her parenting advice, and that’s great for her.  She also tells us that her credentials – her only credentials – are babysitting.  That is not a recipe for excellent parenting advice.

Let’s start with her take on why you shouldn’t assist your baby to go to sleep, ever.

Let’s say you find rocking your new baby to sleep an easy option. What happens when your baby gets too heavy for you to rock?… What happens if you have a second baby before your first starts to self-settle?… At some point you will have to stop the rocking. But at what age will your new baby understand why you have stopped rocking her to sleep?

So if you follow the babysitter’s logic, you also shouldn’t breastfeed because at some point you’ll stop.  You shouldn’t permit your child to take dance lessons this year because next year or the year after you may not be able to afford them.  At some point you undoubtedly will lose your patience and yell at your kids, so it’s important to start yelling routinely now to make sure they aren’t surprised by it later.

Tizzie isn’t unique in this view, of course.  This kind of “you might not always be able to do things well so it’s best to just to do them badly in the first place” mentality is common throughout baby programming literature.  It’s also fear-mongering.  Did you notice how the last sentence of that paragraph tugged on your heartstrings?  No one wants to hurt their new baby’s feelings.  But that sentence misses the point completely: your baby is a new baby today, not 2 or 12 or 20 months from now.  If withholding comfort will upset her after she has those 2 or 12 or 20 months of life experience (and trust in you) under her belt, how on earth do you think it will make her feel today when she actually is your new baby?  If something that works today doesn’t work next month, then you can change it next month.  Parenting is not a prison.

Another bit of bad parenting advice that we get from Save our Sleep is to give food as a reward for behaviour that pleases you:

I get a lot of clients contacting me when their baby is sleeping until 6am. I always tell them don’t make your baby wait until 7am for the feed. They have done so well over night, and should be rewarded with their feed.

This actually goes beyond bad parenting to bad humanity.  Food is a basic human right.  Prisoners get fed even though they are literally living in the government’s naughty corner.  Babies should get fed because they’re human and they deserve it, not because they’ve performed their parent-pleasing circus act correctly.

2) Opinion-sellers have no business giving medical advice.

As we mentioned above, Tizzie’s credentials are as follows: babysitting, recently parenting 2 children and almost 2 decades of selling her opinion.  It does not appear, or at least she doesn’t mention, that she has ever sought any sort of training or education to back up the opinions she sells.  No intro psych class, no ECE certificate and certainly no medical degree of any sort.  That should, by any moral or ethical standard prevent her from giving medical advice.  But it doesn’t.

I recommend that breastfed babies should go no longer than three hours in the day and five hours at night without a feed.

That right up there ^^, that’s medical advice.  And what’s more, it’s bad (read: dangerous) medical advice.  The American Academy of Pediatrics, the Canadian Paediatric Society, the CDC, Health Canada and just about every other group of people who are actually qualified to give infant feeding advice recommend a minimum of 8-12 feedings per day, on demand, with no more than a 4 hour interval.

Restricting the frequency and duration of feeds (which she also recommends) is not how you feed a baby, it’s how you wean a baby.  If you take that initial bad medical advice, you’ll put your baby at risk for hypoglycemia and poor weight gain and yourself at risk for low milk supply (not surprising, since that’s kind of the point of weaning).  If that last one happens then you may also end up having to follow her next piece of bad medical advice: starting solids prematurely.

Not only does she recommend starting solids at 4 months, she recommends you make that decision based on your baby’s sleep pattern rather than developmental cues that actually have to do with feeding.  (In other words, she’s once again telling you to use food as a way to manipulate your baby into an approved behaviour.)  But it gets better – she says that the World Health Organization agrees with the 4 month recommendation.  That’s a flat out lie.  Since 2001, the WHO has recommended exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months.  They recommend it so strongly that they even recommend it for HIV positive mothers.

3) Make no mistake, she wants to sell to you, not save you

Point number three may sound harsh*, but a 5-minute browse of her website makes it undeniable.  But let’s first talk about the fact that she makes her living selling books, just like thousands of other authors.  Fine.  She has a right to make her living in any lawful way she chooses and I won’t criticize her for that, but most of her website has nothing to do with sleep advice, including many aspects of her own advice.

In addition to selling you sleep advice, she also sells instruction for (diagnosing and treating) allergies and eczema, GERD, pool safety, plagiocephaly, Down Syndrome, dermatology and decorating.  All of this with only the previously discussed babysitting background, remember.  And she also endorses/recommends/sells you everything else from toys to test strips for checking the alcohol level in your breastmilk.**  But again, I’ll admit that marketing associated products is not totally out of the ordinary.

What is out of the ordinary is inviting your clients to share their information with you, and then charging them for the privilege of doing so. If that does not strike even the most obtuse observer as unethical, I don’t know what will.  No, that’s not true, I do know: that fact that she recommends you let your baby sleep with a blanket over his face, even though it might kill him.  Oh ya, and she’ll happily sell you the blanket.

Can you say suffocation risk?

What she does not recommend are soothers, even though they are recognized to reduce the risk of SIDS, because they rouse the baby from sleep (incidentally that’s precisely why they prevent SIDS) and that undermines what she’s trying to sell you.  She’s very aware, by the way, of the SIDS-soother relationship, but here’s her take on it:

Dummy use appears to reduce the risk of SIDS, however I feel when you look at the side effects of using a dummy the reasons to not use a dummy outweigh this fact.

The side effect she goes on to list is ear infections.  Now let’s see, ear infection… dead baby.  Ear infection… Yup, as a parent, I’d probably opt out of the dead baby.  But of course, then her program might not work so well, so she won’t make as much money.  Maybe that’s the side-effect she’s actually concerned with.

If all of this doesn’t break your heart enough, I suggest you check the book’s reviews on Amazon.  Obviously, there are good reviews – any method will work for some babies.  But even the positive reviews frequently said that the sleeping came at the price of being completely stressed out by the rigid routines, or that success was only achieved after modifying the routines.  Other reviews talk about needing to wean in order to make it work, increased crying along with the increased sleep, and worst of all, failure to thrive.

There is literally nothing else I can say, except that I’m so glad that there are other books out there that advocate loving your babies and treating them with dignity.  Even books that advocate driving across town in the middle of the night to rock your fully grown baby back and forth, back and forth, back and forth.  Because those are books I can get behind.

 

For some thoughts on finding your way through the long nights with thoughtfulness and respect, check out my long overdue follow-up post here.

 

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*I had a really hard time not naming this section “Her brother died of SIDS, now she wants to sell your baby the same fate.”  But I was trying to be a tad less jerky than that

**In the interest of fairness I’m going to point out that I did NOT find any actual bottles, nipples or formula advertized for sale on her website.  However, the WHO Code was violated by recommending spoons for babies under 6 months.

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