An Unprofessional Opinion

When we first heard that everybody would have a parenting advice for us we thought that old wives will voice their wacky opinions at will.  We would then disregard their opinions and turn to medical professionals and psychologists instead.  But no, every pediatrician and every shrink has his or her own pet theory and calls everyone else a so-called expert.

One of the wackiest and most popular theories is Attachment Parenting.  Attachment parenting Bible is The Baby Book.  The cover of my copy boasts half a million copies sold.  The book was recommended to me, and I bought it although I should have known better – The Birth Book by the same author pair was to the left of Lamaze.  Dr. Sears, the lead author, appeared on multiple TV shows, which is not surprising considering how outrageous he is.  Dr. Sears teaches new parents to sleep with their children and to “wear” their children.  He also advises to pad coffee tables – G-d forbids your crawling offspring bumps into it and cries.

On the subject of sleeping with babies Dr. Sears admits that there is no literature that supports his thesis that sleeping with babies is good for them.  He actually admits that all studies show that it’s bad.  Never mind – Dr. Sears feels that one day a study will come out to vindicate him.  He actually conducted his own mini-study with the parents of his patients who admitted sleeping with their newborn.  They were all happy with their decision to “share sleep”.  Now, I admit, I had brought my baby in bed with me even though I realized that it’s not a good thing.  But I was exhausted, and I’m not perfect, and I have to forgive myself.  I’m not getting self-righteous on account of bad decisions.

Dr. Sears, on the other hand says that only in our culture sharing bed with children is not appropriate.  It’s all great considering that we live in our culture.  And yes, in the Middle Ages for instance, a peasant family slept together.  They also brought a cow, and a sheep, and perhaps a chicken to bed with them.  And it was before central heating.

What about the kids getting so used to sleeping with their parents that they are unable to leave the “family bed” and establish healthy sleeping patterns.  Only Dr. Sears doesn’t mention the words “healthy sleeping patterns”.  He tells us not to worry – one day the kid will mature and be ready to leave. In the meantime, parents might feel uncomfortable with intimacy in presence of their toddlers.  In this case Dr. Sears advises parents to look for another place to have sex.  Uh, what the hell, a grown up can act like a teenager without all this middle life crisis nonsense.

Then there is the issue of baby wearing.  Apparently if a parent doesn’t wear the baby they will fail to attach.  So generations of people brought up in the Western world, generations that created the most creative, dynamic, humanistic culture weren’t properly attached to their parents.  Thus their parents failed to bring them up properly.

I find strollers and carriages comfortable, but no, forget that we have paved roads around here.  Like hunter-gatherers we need to put our babies in sacks and break our backs carrying them around.  Probably because like the noble savages we should make our sons warriors.

Baby carriers didn’t work out for me.  The ones that go over one shoulder are not ergonomically correct.  I bought a Baby-Bjorn style carrier and found it impossible to use.  Putting baby’s limbs in right compartments is very very difficult.  I basically have to break their safety rules in order to be able to fit her in.  I’m uncomfortable carrying that much weight, and she is uncomfortable because I inevitably put her in uncomfortable positions.  In addition the carrier pushes the diaper close to her skin, resulting in an unpleasant sensation the second she wets her diaper.

Supposedly there are some newer carriers that go over both shoulders but keep baby sideways.  Still the weight is not distributed evenly in this kind of carrier.

I figure if I tickle my daughter, and sing to her and dance holding her in my arms, we will bond.

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July 17, 2007. Breedosaurus, Random thoughts.

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