Monday, July 19, 2010

Mainstream Baby Care Rant (brief, I promise!)

Arggg... so, I am not even sure why Pampers thinks I am pregnant, but they sent me coupons and a little booklet full of "advice" for expectant parents in the mail today. I just had to rant about this page in it, located in the section entitled "Me." If I'm not mistaken, this same pamphlet used to call this section "Me Time." Or perhaps that is another mega-baby company. I get them confused sometimes since I get so much of their junk mail. I could probably fill a bigger box with all their junk mail that I have received over the years than with actual products of theirs that I have purchased.

So, this is a question from a new mom who wonders if there is a specific amount of time she should spend holding her four week old. She worries that she might "spoil" her four week old by carrying her too much, but she also feels guilty leaving the baby in a crib when the baby is awake.

So, rather than listening to her instincts (how many new moms can even do this nowadays? Too much advice, too many places to turn for advice, not enough examples of actual baby care in their lives, and we have this syndrome where new moms turn instantly to the Internet... hey, I did it myself with my first baby, although I didn't ask for advice on mainstream forums because I at least had a small level of trust in my instincts)... this mom is asking random people on a Pampers chat board. "Hey, these people buy diapers; they must have some good advice!" LOL.

So, the real reason for this rant is the response of the person who said that her sister's pediatrician said there is no specific time needed for holding a baby and that it is "important for babies to learn how to entertain themselves." Yes, you read that right... a four week old is in need of learning to entertain herself. Forget the fact that she was just in a totally secure environment, the womb, and now she is in this empty space and surrounded by new visual stimulation, and her brain is nowhere near the size of an older child's brain - and she is supposed to learn how to entertain herself by lying on her back in a crib, surrounded by empty space, so pitifully helpless that she cannot even roll over on her own???

The response about swaddling the baby so she feels "warm and cuddled and protected" is a bit odd too, in that I didn't know that blankets could provide cuddling to somebody...

I found it strange that these people also had no other place to put the baby while they did chores... like a blanket on the floor next to them while folding laundry. A baby sling or some sort of carrier while sweeping and mopping. It comes from a "the baby belongs in a crib" mentality.

I also noticed that these moms were talking about leaving the baby in a crib in addition to the time that he sleeps in it... implying that babies also must always nap in cribs. Babies nap a lot. Add up the hours of sleep to the other times left in the crib, and what do you get? Much less human contact (and yes, human contact during sleep is just as beneficial as when awake for a newborn baby). Flat-head syndrome. Oh, and maybe a baby who can "entertain" itself (snicker).


Maman A Droit said...

Pretty absurd to think a baby that little could or should "entertain" themself. I get e-mails with advice like that all the time and it makes me a little sad to see what's being perpetuated.

Kelly said...

After my daughter was born she spent a week in the hospital and we were there as long as we could be, holding her almost constantly. A nurse said to me, "You really should put her down and let her cry herself to sleep she needs to learn to self soothe. Do you want to be holding a two year old like that?"
I didn't really answer because I was so shocked. For one she was just born and born by an emergency c-section poor girl was probably as tramatised and I was, and second I thought what is so wrong with holding a two year old?
Self soothing is not something that babies need to learn. Maybe if we had more mom and dad soothing when they're babies they'd spend less of their adult life trying to "self soothe" with alcohol, drugs, and promiscuity. Just a thought of mine. That sort of thing grates on my nerves as well!