(Originally posted here)

This week I saw an article in The Telegraph where Celebrity maternity nurse Rachel Waddilove has spoken out about her views on ‘modern mothers’ you can read that here.

Now on the most part I can’t help but think what a load of bull! However, I do think that on some points there is some value to what she says.

Swaddling

She believes that all babies should be swaddled. I understand the reasoning behind that as it reminds babies of being in the womb. However it is now believed that swaddling can be a cause of hip dysplasia. And so it is recommended that if you do decide to swaddle your baby it is best to leave the blanket loose around the hips and legs.

We chose not to swaddle our children as they hated being constricted or covered in blankets for that matter.

Controlled Crying

I think when people hear the words controlled crying they think about ‘crying it out’ and leaving your child to scream until they fall asleep. I cannot bear the thought of leaving a child to cry themselves to sleep and so crying it out was never an option for us. However, we DID use the controlled crying method with Reuben.

Now she says to do it from an early age. We didn’t. We resorted to this method when Reuben was about ten months old because he would wake every hour and want to be rocked to sleep every night. It was too much, we were both at work and we were both exhausted.

Controlled crying worked for us. We would leave Reuben for a minute, then two, then three and keep increasing it. He was never left for more than five minutes. Within four days he no longer cried, he would go straight to sleep. He would sleep through the night. We slept. For us on this occasion it worked. We haven’t had to do it with Jessica she has been a thumb sucker from an early age and settles herself.

Formula Feeding

Rachel believes that women shouldn’t feel guilty about formula feeding as baby being fed is best. I couldn’t agree more!

Focus on the Father

She advises to ‘mother’ your child and focus on the relationship with the father and rest of the family and discourages baby-led. Can someone please explain to me why you couldn’t do both? Oh wait a minute, you can! I fed on demand. I go with Jessica’s cues, just as I did Reuben. OK, this disrupted our lives for a short while when Jessica (and Reuben) was first-born but when they got themselves into a routine everything worked better. Our children are in bed asleep by 7:30 and then it time for Sam and I to do as we want. To be so against baby-led seems silly.

Feeding routines

This links in with the above in that she believes a feeding routine is very important.

Feeding routines make life easier. You can plan outings and errands when there is a feeding schedule. Can you put your new-born baby into a feeding routine? Some clearly can but I don’t think this is what is best for the baby. I have always been a ‘feed on demand’ mum. Why? Well if my baby is hungry, they are hungry, why wouldn’t I want to feed them? If I’m hungry I eat and so will my baby, end of!

On top of that, babies also want milk when they are thirsty. Would you only drink at certain times? No I didn’t think so and so babies should be able to eat and drink when they want. A routine will fall into place when the baby is ready. Both of my children came into a routine when they started solids.

Babies Sleeping

So this one is absolutely nuts! Rachel has said that she encourages parents to put their children to bed ON THEIR SIDE. Not only that but she recommends that babies are put in their own cot in their own room after 2-3 weeks.

This is not something that is recommended. There has been developments over the years through research that recommends babies are put to sleep on their backs and share their parents room for at least 6 months but preferably up to a year.
These recommendations have reduced the number of deaths relating to SIDS significantly. For her to recommend going against this is irresponsible and could result in parents putting their babies lives at risk.

Modern Mothers believe it’s all about the Child

“Creating Tin Gods”

She goes on to say that modern parenting is all about the child and that she hates it. That is a strong opinion to have. She goes on to say that we are creating ‘tin gods’ and that it isn’t nice.

How is that so? It would be interesting to see how she has come to that conclusion.

The truth of the matter is that you decide to have a baby. A baby is a helpless human who is unable to do anything for themselves and so they depend on you to do it for them. Therefore, yes, it is all about the baby. As the baby grows and turns into a toddler, child, teenager your parenting style will adapt. It is at this point surely that you teach your child that it is not ‘all about them’ for want of a better term. You teach them patience and understanding. Not as a baby, you need your baby to know that they can depend on you, that you are there for them.

Opinions

I’m not discrediting all of her views and after all they are views. Everyone is allowed to have them. And it is up to me if I agree or disagree with those views. My concern is that some of her views is going against medical advice and people are likely to listen to her because of her medical background. I think that she does need to acknowledge that some of her views are a little dated and if there is medical advice going against her views, it is time to stop recommending those methods!

At the same time some of her points are quite valid so instead of trying to change the way people are parenting. Attachment or otherwise, rather than insinuating you can only parent in one style or the other. Why not do what works for you?

I would love to know what you think on these methods. What have you tried that you think works best?

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