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Archive for the ‘Sleep’ Category

The other day Mr. Fair and I had the following hilarious conversation.  Little Man was away at his grandparents’ house and we were discussing what to do with an evening with only one small(ish) child in the house.  Can you guess where this is going?

Mr. Fair: “We should watch a movie tonight.  And, drink some wine too.”

Me: “Yup.  And hey, we could even DO IT!”

Mr. Fair: “Ya, while we’re drinking wine!”

Me: “And here’s a crazy idea: we can do it in our bed!!”

(NB. The current sleeping situation consists of DH and Little Man in the ‘Master Bedroom’ and me and Lady Fair in the ‘kids’ bedroom.’  So Little Man’s absence frees up what is ostensibly the grown up bed)

MR. Fair: **Gives me a slightly quizzical look.** “Ya, I guess we could… Wait… Aren’t we talking about folding laundry?”

Fuck.

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When I meet with expectant parents who have hired me to be their Doula, I give them what may seem like a very odd warning coming from a breastfeeding advocate: avoid pumping.

Pumps can be great tools.  I use mine almost every week as I drive to school, as many drivers on Toronto’s roads can confirm.  I am by no means anti-pump.  But pumps, like any other birth or breastfeeding intervention have a time and place and if not used correctly can do more harm than good.  The trouble is that the buzz about pumps seems to have elevated them to the level of a panacea for breastfeeding problems.

“Should I start pumping to make sure I have enough milk?”

“My nipples hurt so my doctor told me to pump.”

“She wasn’t gaining weight so they told me to pump.”

“I was tired/depressed/you name it, so they told me to pump.”

Pump, pump pump.  And whenever someone asks me if they should pump, for whatever reason, I always reply with “And then what?”  Invariably, I get a blank stare.  It’s absolutely vital that if you’re integrating pumping into your breastfeeding relationship that you have a clear plan for what you need to achieve and how to make it a part of your long-term feeding goals, not an impediment to them.

Know when not to pump.

There are times to pump and times NOT to pump.  It may not be what a mother wants to hear when she’s in pain from sore or cracked nipples, but the only way to fix the majority of breastfeeding challenges is AT THE BREAST.  Compare your new nursing relationship to a fledgling romantic relationship for a moment.  If you’ve just met the man of your dreams and you send your sister on all of your dates, do you think he’s more likely to marry you or your sister?  She may be very inferior to you, but he won’t know that because he doesn’t know you.  Unless your baby is completely unable to feed at the breast, whether from severe mechanical latch issues or due to separation, then it’s important to develop your feeding relationship at the breast.

Feed the baby, not the pump.

But let’s say that you are pumping, the next key is to make sure that you’re feeding the baby first and not the pump.  It sounds ridiculous, but believe me it’s not.  If you’re pumping exclusively due to a separation, this is straightforward enough, but most women I encounter are pumping in conjunction with feeding at the breast and it can be incredibly easy to mismanage this kind of situation.

Example number one: you’re told to pump after feeds to increase supply.  So let’s say it’s your first daylight feed of the day.  Baby starts to nurse at about 7 a.m.  By the time you let her finish the first breast, change her diaper and offer the second breast, she dozes off so you enjoy the quiet for a couple of extra minutes.  Then you hand her to dad or doula while you go pee and grab a super quick shower.  You sit down and hook up your pump and you’re ready to boost your supply!  Except, hang on, it’s 8:30 now.  If your baby is only a few days old, then he’ll be ready to eat again very soon.  Probably the second you’re done pumping, and maybe even before you’re done.  We know that breasts are never truly empty so technically this won’t actually cause a problem.  You can put baby to your recently drained breast and the milk will come.  The thing is, it is also true that when the volume of ready-and-waiting milk is low, the flow can be very slow.  Baby fusses and since you are already nervous about how much milk you do or do not have, and because you’re a new mama and hearing your baby cry for milk hurts your heart, you feed her the milk you just pumped.  Since you just pumped it, you may not think to pump again right away…  Repeat this several times a day and your breastfeeding relationship can easily turn into a bottle-feeding relationship at the same time that you deride yourself for not making enough, even though you are, you’re just feeding it to the machine instead of the baby.

Example number two: you’re told to pump every three hours.  This recommendation usually comes when mom and baby are having intermittent separations, like mom sleeping at home while baby remains in the hospital, but I’ve also seen it advised for supply increase, in between feeding the baby on cue.  So let’s say you’re with baby and again she has her first morning feed at 7 a.m.  You’re good about pumping right after she eats, so that’s at 8 a.m.  You continue on with your morning and babe eats again at 9 ish and then falls asleep.  Now it’s 10:45 and you’re just hooking up your pump because it’s almost been 3 hours, but baby wakes up cuing at the exact same time.  So often I see moms try to hand the hunger-cuing baby to dad or grandma or me to hold while she pumps because, after all, she’s been told that pumping is what will boost her supply!  The trouble is that baby’s natural feeding interval has been unnaturally stretched for the sake of maintaining the recommended pumping interval.  Pretty soon you can get a baby who is slow to gain.  Meanwhile, the pumping that was supposed be added on top of nursing in order to boost supply has actually just replaced the feeding at the breast.  Mom is trying so hard to do the right thing, but the outcome can be the opposite of what she wants.

Have a plan for your pumped milk.

If your instructions to pump are coming from someone who does not have lactation training – read: most family physicians and paediatricians and even (as I’ve sadly discovered) many midwives in Ontario – then they often don’t give you any instructions about how to deliver the pumped milk.  That’s because they don’t know any way to deliver the milk other than by bottle.  The truth is, if you want to resume your breastfeeding relationship, then you need to deliver the milk in a way that protects that relationship.  My personal favourite is to use small feeding tubes because they can be used at the breast or, if necessary with a finger.  But there are many ways to deliver milk other than bottles and it’s important to explore those options.

Understand the demands of pumping.

Like with so many things, the media has a tendency to distort the reality of pumping.  It’s often made out to be the secret to getting your pre-baby freedom back.  Movies show moms sleeping blissfully while their partner drags himself out of bed to pull a bottle of pumped breastmilk from the fridge.  Moms who pump, we’re told, can leave the house for hours without a care in the world.  It is absolutely crucial to understand that feeding the baby pumped breastmilk is still feeding the baby with your body and it places just as many, if not more, demands on your body as feeding at the breast does.

The first thing to know is that pumps are much less efficient at withdrawing milk than skilled breastfeeding babies are.  And even with the best pump, not all breasts will release milk readily.  So pumping often takes longer than breastfeeding.  Sure, you may have slightly more flexibility about the pumping intervals, but that’s a scheduling benefit, not a time savings.  And when I say slightly more flexibility, I really do mean very, very slightly.  The number one question moms ask me is “Can I pump during the day so someone else can do the night feed.”  Technically, the answer is yes, but there is a long list of caveats.  The first being that, as I’ve said, when you’re mixing feeding at the breast with pumping, you have to be very careful to feed the baby, not the pump.  And it’s important to know too, that most moms don’t actually sleep through that feeding time.  When that baby that you love so much cries, it will make every molecule in your body vibrate.  Warming bottles takes time and during that time, baby is likely to be crying, waking you up, not to mention stressing you out.  Even if you do manage to sleep through it, your body has been awake making milk for that feed.  So it’s possible you’ll wake up an hour later anyway but with full, sore breasts.  If this is happening before your supply is established, it’s very likely to signal your body to make less and less milk.  Believe me, I know it’s important for mom to rest, but there are so many better ways to achieve that than skipping feeds.

I don’t mean to paint a horrifying picture, many moms do manage to pump, either exclusively or when separated from baby.  Like I said at the start, I’m one of them.  After returning to work when Lady Fair was 6 months old, pumping was a work-day reality for me.  So let me paint you a real picture of what it’s like to be pumping when you’re away from baby.  When I get in the car to rush off to a birth, I take a gigantic enormous bin with me, full of the stuff I need.  More than half of the contents of that bin are not for the birthing mama, but rather for pumping and storing milk.  Sometimes I take more luggage into a birthing room than the woman who is giving birth.  And even though I pack and check my kit ahead of time, things go wrong.  I’ve had to recharge my pump in a birthing room before.  I’ve had to dump perfectly good milk down the sink because I ran out of freezer bags to store it in.  I’ve had to dump perfectly good milk down the sink because I dropped part of my pump on a scuzzy hospital visitor bathroom floor and didn’t trust that the subsequent milk wasn’t contaminated (blech!!).  I’ve had to do my best to focus on supporting my client while remembering not to put my right arm down because my work duties didn’t allow for regular pumping breaks and now my super-producing breast is engorged.  Only the one breast, mind you, so I’ve also had to walk around in public with one boob that’s twice the size of the other!  And probably my personal favourite, I’ve had strangers walk in on me pumping because I forgot to lock the door.  Oops!  It’s absolutely wonderful that I can provide breastmilk for my babe while I’m away and when it’s all said and done, these little hiccups make fun stories, but while you’re doing it, it’s challenging, and it’s important to be realistic about that.

So what am I supposed to do if pumping is out of the picture?

Really, there’s nothing magical.  Know that most of the time, you and your baby only need each other to breastfeed successfully.  Focus on feeding frequently and supply will follow.  Focus on finding a comfortable position and chances are, a good latch will follow.  Surround yourself with people who know about and value breastfeeding and confidence will follow.  And if you do need to intervene, do it with a clear plan and good support.

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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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Cosleeping already, awww.

If you look closely you can see the head of his baby triceratops poking out of the pajama bottoms that I rigged into a sling. He wanted his baby to be “nice cozy like baby sisser”.  That dino has also been nursed on several occasions by me AND Little Man 🙂

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Since all of this hullaballoo about the TIME cover started I’ve been thinking to myself that if only we could show the whole picture of attachment parenting, people would get it.  If we could give people not just a snapshot, not just these tidbits about never putting our kids down and never sleeping by ourselves again, but a full day in the life of attachment parenting – or better yet, several days – then they’d realize we’re not totally out to lunch.

Just as I was thinking this, I happened to open my iTunes movie list and there they were: Tom Selleck, Ted Danson and Steve Guttenberg – the original attachment dads. 

Huh?

3 Men and a Baby, aside from being hilarious (25 years later and that peeing on the couch scene still cracks me up) is also pretty much a how-to manual of attachment parenting.

Let’s have a look at how many of the API’s 8 principles show up in the movie:

When a baby shows up on their doorstep out of the blue, our poor accidental dads are quite beside themselves to comfort her.  They don’t know what to do.  But they keep trying until they figure out what she likes.  They never leave her alone to cry until she passes out.  And when they try to give her to the drug dealers (admittedly not the best parenting choice no matter what your style is), they send her with the instruction that “she likes to be rocked to sleep”.  They don’t care whether that’s a socially acceptable way to go to sleep.  They don’t express fear that she’ll never go to sleep without being rocked.  They just respond sensitively to her need to be comforted.

There’s no sleep training going on here

Once they finally get her to go to sleep, the attachment parenting just keeps on rolling.  You may be wondering why you don’t remember seeing a giant family bed on the floor in the movie.  Well guess what?  You don’t have to bedshare to be an attachment parent.  You just have to recognize that babies still have needs in the night and that those needs are no less valid because they occur in the night.  So when Mary wakes up, she doesn’t get Ferberized, she gets a capella.  Talk about creating a physically and emotionally safe sleep environment!

But for the record, in the movie Tom Selleck does bedshare and Ted Danson cosleeps (the baby’s bassinet is in his room, that’s cosleeping).

Clearly, there’s no breastfeeding happening in this movie as none of the 3 Men are in possession of breasts, but they still feed with love and respect.  We never see the bottle propped up, one of the dads is always holding Mary while they feed her.  In the scene where Jack (Ted Danson) is left home alone with Mary for the first time, he offers her a  bottle but when she turns her head away, he respects her fullness cue and puts the bottle down.  That’s the crux of how attachment parents feed their kids, no matter what food delivery system they use.

There are also a couple of really good examples of nurturing touch in this movie.  The dad and baby shower scene is a classic.  Bath time is a great way to bond and attachment parents know the importance of skin to skin contact, so why not get in the bath or shower together?

But of course the media portrayals of attachment parenting always focus in on one kind of nurturing touch: babywearing.  They describe it almost as a shackling, holding mom hostage by strapping a baby to her.  AP parents know that’s categorically not true.  As Ted Danson shows us, babywearing allows us to cuddle our little ones while we get on with our regular daily tasks.  Of course, most of us don’t spend our days foiling drug lords, but the point is we could thanks to babywearing!

Admittedly, our dads are a little a lot overwhelmed by the task at hand when they set out on their parenting journey.  But hey, what parent wouldn’t be?  Especially when you have about 0.001 seconds to prepare!  But they find their groove and soon manage to find balance in their personal and family life.  They each find ways to fulfill their work commitments while providing consistent and loving care for Mary: Peter gets her a pink hard hat, Michael lets her hang out on his desk (and spill his ink… ah the joys of parenting!) and Jack wears her on his back at rehearsal.  They still go out on dates.  The fact that they exploit Mary’s cuteness for the purposes of procuring those dates… well nobody’s perfect!

So if this is attachment parenting, then what’s the big deal?  That’s just it: there shouldn’t be one.  Attachment parenting is, at its core, just about reminding us that it’s OK to follow our innate instinct to respond to our babies. It’s OK to make adjustments and compromises in our life in order to include the needs of the new person in that life.  That’s it.

And what was the result of all of this here attachin’?  The result is that three party-loving, serial-dating bachelors without an iota of childcare experience become caring, competent and confident parents within a few short weeks by following their baby’s cues and finding ways to meet her needs.  Were they extreme?  Didn’t seem so.  Did they martyr themselves? Definitely not.  Did they leave some of their free-wheeling ways behind them?  Yes.  Did they seem to regret that choice?  Not even for an instant.  They are, after all, very attached dads.

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“Why Attachment Parenting drives some mothers to extremes…” reads the sub-head of the much debated TIME Magazine cover.  It immediately affirms that the author is NOT an attachment parent.  If she were, she’d know the truth: that most of us do this because we’re NOT extreme.  We do this because we’re laid back and would prefer to work with our children’s needs than waste time and energy altering or denying them.  Many of us get into Attachment Parenting, not by design, but by accident, because it was the intuitive (aka easy) route.  Yes, the truth is that attachment parents are, in many ways, lazy.

It is true that, generally speaking, we do this because it fits with certain overarching values that we have.  We do it because we feel it benefits our children now and in the future.  We believe that the psychological foundation we’re creating will help to make our children into strong, empathic adults who can form healthy interpersonal relationships because their first relationship – that of parent and child – was so secure.  But let’s be honest, NO ONE actually makes all of their daily decisions about the minutiae of parenting with that sort of forethought.  Not even this notoriously overthinking mama.  If you want to know the truth about why I choose AP, not as a philosophy, but as a daily practice, have a look at this snapshot of my thought processes:

Why spend hours reading safety reviews for, and assembling a crib when you could just tuck the baby into the (appropriately prepared) bed you already own?

Why get up and trudge to another room in the middle of the night to feed a baby if you could just roll over, aim a breast in the right direction and go back to sleep?

Why spend hours plugging your ears to a baby’s scream to get her to fall asleep alone if you could just cuddle her for a few minutes and then enjoy a movie with your partner in peace and quiet?

Why wake up and listen to a monitor to check the baby is still breathing in another room if you could stay asleep feeling him breathing right next to you?

Why speed home from work to catch the last precious minutes before baby goes into his crib for a book-prescribed 12 hours if you could drive safely knowing you’ll get to snuggle him all night long?

Why blend and strain food into oblivion, and coax it into the mouth of a baby too young to do it himself, when you could wait another month or two and simply move a piece of broccoli from your plate to his?

Why spend an hour trying to airplane a bite of food into a kid’s mouth when you could just trust her instinct to stop eating now, and start again well before she starves to death?

Why stalk magazines for tips on filling the gaps in a picky toddler’s diet if the answer could be as simple as ‘nurse her’?

Why count ounces of milk and worry over growth charts if you can let baby eat as often and as much as she wants and know she’s the perfect size for her?

Why struggle to explain to a child that he can’t nurse because he’s 366 days old instead of 365 if you could just continue to enjoy the relationship, knowing that it WILL end either way and that one day you’ll look back and realize it was over in a flash?

Why try to navigate a busy mall/market/airport with a bulky plastic stroller when you can just strap the baby to you with a beautiful piece of fabric and go?

Why race home for elaborate go-to-sleep-in-a-crib routines if baby can sleep in a sling while you stay at the party a little longer?

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I know, I know, it’s all so EXTREME, isn’t it??

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When Lady Fair was barely even skin side, I started getting asked if she was “sleeping through yet”.

My immediate reaction was, “Yet?  She’s 13 days old!  For F***’s sake, can we not let the poor baby get through a cotton-pickin’ fortnight before we start shackling her with ridiculous expectations of adult behaviour?”

But I realize, this is one of those questions people just ask about babies because they don’t know what else to ask.  I also know I’ve asked the same question myself, as well as many of the following:

“Is she a good sleeper?”

“Is she a good eater?”

“How much does he weigh?”

“Is he a good baby?”

These are the standard new-baby icebreakers.  I think it’s because a new baby’s personality is more or less a mystery, so these little factoids are the best we can come up with to get to know him or her.  But at the same time, I think there’s also the lingering belief that a baby has no individual personality and thus it’s ‘performance’ as a baby can be quantified by things like how much it eats, how long in a stretch it sleeps and whether it burps readily.

But wouldn’t it be wonderful if we AP types could come up with some better new baby questions?  Questions that reflect what is actually important for parent-infant relationships; questions that don’t make new parents feel like their coping skills are being graded; happy questions.

So here it goes, let’s start a trend of happy attachment-friendly new baby questions:

“Are you loving the snuggles?”

“Do you get lots of smiles?”

“What’s her favourite way to be held?”

“Does he have a favourite time of day?”

What else can we ask??

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