Wednesday, May 16, 2007

I'm currently in a state of lividity after reading this article about some tyrannical nanny. I mean you know only too well my issues with Gina Ford but this one is just ...well I'm speechless!
She totally contradicts herself too.
"The key to a happy baby is food. The mistake most mums make is that they don't feed their babies enough.
"I put the babies on a four-hour feeding schedule from the moment they get out of hospital," Claire says.

See, 4 hourly! What she on? Babies need feeding way more than that. On cue, which is frequently, is the healthiest way not only for their psychological development but to maintain a good supply so you can breastfeed successfully. Feed on schedule and if you manage to stay out of hospital with dehydration you may have a child who grows up with somekind of eating disorder. This woman also prescribes such treatment to premature babies. Has she not heard of the trouble Ezzo's ideas cause? I am seriously concerned there could be a death riding on the back of her advice.

"I won't stand for any nonsense from anybody, babies or their parents."

"The babies have to go into a routine from day one. They should be in their own cots. I won't have any babies sleeping with their parents in the same room.

Now even mainstream advice acknowledges the fact SIDS is higher in babies who sleep alone. I am a great believer in cosleeping anyway and that despite biased unsubstantiated media hype it actually lowers the risk of SIDS (or rather that cosleeping is the norm and alone sleep isn't. But then surely Claire would know this with her her knowledge of animal care?) if you have the time this review on cosleeping is a fantastic read on why babies shouldn't sleep alone and this is a good a place as any to stick a lovely article on babies, sleep and expectations.
"I don't care who the mum is, no one wants to be getting up at 3am to feed their baby."
*hands up* I do! Well I feed my baby about then..I think. I don't wake up to do it, and neither does Jenson. That's the way to do it!

Controversially, Claire says: "I start them on solids at 17 weeks. I don't care what the Government says, every baby is individual and some babies need more food than others."
There she is contradicting herself yet again, individual enough to need solids horrendously early (since when could a 17 week old sit unaided, have lost their tongue thrust, developed the gag reflex and ability to self feed? That is when they are ready) but apparently all babies need feeding every 4 hours and sleep through the night from day one.
Early weaning is putting the baby at risk of allergies, a strain on the kidneys and basically they can fail to thrive. Milk is high in calories and all the essential nutrients they need. Building blocks for that fantastic brain, solids will just replace a much required feed.

Cuddles are also restricted. Claire says too much fuss can make a baby crave attention.

"Imagine having a dog with a ball and you keep throwing it for them. Then all of a sudden you stop and walk away and they don't understand.

"It will think: 'Why have you stopped playing with me?' It will start barking, dropping the ball at your feet and annoying you.

"It's the same with a baby. If a baby's picked up for half an hour, cuddled and then put down, it will get upset.

FFS So you can't cuddle them because you might put them down again because they won't understand like a dog. Yet you can leave them alone at night in a room to cry to sleep when they depend on mum to survive thus leaving them in distress when they don't understand, you can make them wait to be feed until the clock says so yet they don't understand.
Young babies left unheld feel unsecure, it's innate, they feel at risk in case of a predator. Again yet more stress hormones whizzing round a very impressionable body. Not holding them is damaging.
This is reminding me of the institutionalized orphans and the brain damage witnessed in children deprived of love and affection (from Margot Sunderland's book The Science of Parenting, full of useful science to explain just how damaging this approach to childcare is). Awww I'm writing this in bed, Jenson's little feet on my leg. He opened his eyes, laughed and went back to sleep. He's happy and knows I'm here for him.
Children want cuddles because they need them. The early years are a crucial time for brain development, cuddles and responsive parenting will help the neural pathways forming to do so in a postive way. I can see Verity trained children having attachment problems.
If you are detached, cause your baby to be stressed and neglect them in the ways this "expert" advises you to your child will pay the price. Their brain will not have formed properly, mental and physical consequences will arise for their lifetime. Huge price for them to pay for their parents' selfish decision to want a trained baby. If you can't commit yourself enough to your baby to treat them in a way that respects the way they are, then just don't have them. It's not like seeing to their needs is a chore. Being a loving caring mum is the most fun ever!
I'm reminded a little of this comedy sketch

because this celebrity nanny has clearly seen her clients coming. Used a load of spirit breaking techniques, force children into a convenient seen and not heard state, takes the money and off she goes with no concern about the consequences.

Children who experience the chronic stress of neglect-e.g., remaining hungry, cold, scared, or in pain-will also focus their brains' resources on survival. This chronic stimulation of the brain's fear response means that the regions of the brain involved in this response are frequently activated. When they are, other regions of the brain, such as those involved in complex thought, can not also be activated and are therefore not "available" to the child for learning (Shore (1997). Rethinking the brain. New York: Families and Work Institute.)

Dissociation is characterized by first attempting to bring caretakers to help, and if this is unsuccessful, becoming motionless (freezing) and compliant and eventually dissociating; this is often called the "surrender" response
(Perry, Pollard, Blakely, Baker & Vigilante, 1995 Childhood trauma, the neurobiology of adaptation and "use-dependent" development of the brain: How "states" become "traits"). (I think this is what is to be perceived to be controlled crying working)


Jemma said...

Sary, scary, scary!
Am feeling "a bit sad" as Jaya would put it about a baby not being cuddled because otherwise they might get annoying!

Raquel said...

Hi there.. I love your blog..I had bookmarked it ages ago because I was on the homebirth forum and my baby was born a few weeks after your little boy. I was going through my bookmarks today and saw your bog and read about cosleeping etc and I totally agree. It was great to read

keep up the good work!


TulipGrrl said...

I was completely rolling my eyes, too, when I read that article.

You know, if someone strongly makes claims and speaks with authority, so many people will listen--even if what they say goes against everything we know from observation and study.