Print Story Don't Call Me Baby
Diary
By TheophileEscargot (Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 01:06:58 AM EST) Reading, MLP (all tags)
Reading: "The Expectant Dad's Survival Guide", "The New Contented Little Baby Book", "Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer". Links.


What I was Reading
Actually read The Expectant Dad's Survival Guide by Rob Kemp quite a while back, before going public. Blokey advice guide on what do to if your partner is pregnant. Concentrates on the pregnancy and birth, only a little bit of baby advice. Good book, has a lot of useful information on what's going on. Has a few useful tips, though there's relatively little you can actually do. The jolly men's-magazine tone could be a bit irritating to some. Overall though, a solidly informative book, worth reading if you're in the situation.

What I'm Reading 2
I found a couple of the baby books recommended in my previous diary in a charity shop. Thanks for the recommendations, folks! I skimmed them both, didn't read them thoroughly from cover to cover but concentrated on the stuff that's new to me.

The New Contented Little Baby Book by Gina Ford advocates enforcing a strict schedule from the start. The controversial bits are:

  1. Wake the baby regularly during daytime to feed, every two hours at the start, right from birth. This is claimed to help the baby to distinguish day from night, and to encourage milk production.
  2. The baby should be in another room from the start (with a a baby monitor) so you don't have to accustom him to a move.
  3. The baby should be left to cry for up to 5-10 minutes to encourage him to get to sleep on his own.
  4. A list of age-based schedules with suggested times for everything, though the small print says you're supposed to adjust the times to your own baby's preferences.
Much of the rest of the content is fairly standard, and is also in Spock and Tracy Hogg. At bedtime and night-time try not to play with or stimulate the baby too much, to help him learn what night-time is.

What I'm Reading 3
Secrets Of The Baby Whisperer Tracy Hogg, Melinda Blau. This advocates listening to your baby and paying careful attention to body language. It also involves a "circle of respect" where you don't touch or move the baby without asking his permission first, and you constantly talk to him about what you're doing.

While this is presented in a daft hippyish style, I suspect it's actually fairly sensible advice, since it means you don't start the baby by doing unexpected things: at least when the crazy hippy starts yakking away he can brace himself for something to happen.

On the Amazon reviews there seems to be a bitter war raging between the Tracy Hogg and the Gina Ford fans. However, the books aren't as different as I expected. Tracy Hogg doesn't believe in true "demand feeding" and also thinks the baby should be on a schedule. She also thinks a baby should be left to cry for a short time so he learns self-soothing.

The chief difference is that Gina Ford wants to start the schedule much earlier. Gina Ford has you start on your schedule and adapt it to the baby; Tracy Hogg has you observe the baby and gradually create a schedule from his habits.

Both agree that it's important that you don't let the baby get reliant on something to sleep: being consistently fed to sleep or rocked to sleep. Hogg reckons you should put then baby in his cradle when he starts showing signs of sleepiness so that he isn't disturbed to wake up somewhere else, and learns to get to sleep in his cradle without "props".

There's a detailed guide over a few pages to baby's body language, including descriptions of various types of crying indicating various things. I'm a bit skeptical of this: if there really was a consistent "feed me" cry and a "change me" cry I think it would be common knowledge by now.

Us
Girl B wasn't very keen to Gina Ford's strict early schedules, so we're not going to wake him up every two hours from day one. She thinks Spock is the best of the baby books we've looked at. The latest Spock seems to be a pretty moderate compromise of most advice, suggesting you gently encourage the baby onto a schedule rather than forcing it.

Links
Socioeconomics. "Cybersexism" reviewed. Youngest kids in class might have a long-term advantage

Politics. Written constitutions compared, via. "You can't simultaneously think Muslim women are a threat because they wear the niqab and also are lucky for being allowed to wear the niqab and also are oppressed for wearing the niqab". George H.W. Bush witness at same-sex wedding.

Random. Banned comic Judgement Day, via. Moon rabbit. 'Yuppie' no longer a word because everyone like that now. In 1977 a British television channel was hijacked by someone claiming to be a space alien called ‘Vrillon’,

Sci/Tech. Male/female differences in corpus callosum.

Articles. The smile in portraiture. Internet encylopedia of philosophy article on Slavoj Žižek (the niqab thing earlier seems like an example of "kettle logic"). Norman Spinrad retrospective.

Percussive maintenance. Slavoj Žižek on "They Live".

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Don't Call Me Baby | 37 comments (37 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
spock by marvin (4.00 / 3) #1 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 01:23:07 AM EST
On a tablet, so point form. We leaned more towards attachment parenting. Oldest left our room voluntarily at 2.5, younger brother was waking him up too much. He never came back, rarely woke at night, etc. Tend to view spock and scheduling as tantamount to abuse. Would recommend books by Dr Sears.

It's all a load of bollocks by anonimouse (4.00 / 4) #2 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 08:58:13 AM EST
As long as your child survives whatever parenting style is most comfortable with you, it works out okay


Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
Yeah by ucblockhead (4.00 / 2) #7 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 05:01:47 PM EST
A lot of it boils down to the fact that caring for an infant is both very difficult and very simple.  Difficult in that you will get no sleep and you will be always "on".  Simple in that generally it's all about making sure nutrition goes in one and, the other end gets cleaned and the whole package is kept safe.

These books get written because new parents worry and want to prepare so other people write things that sound logical in order to fulfill the market.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Wake up a baby!? by ucblockhead (4.00 / 4) #3 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 09:29:26 AM EST
That's fucking insanity!

I'm convinced that all advice about "helping the baby learn to sleep through the night" are pure voodoo.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

our infant care class just last night ... by R343L (4.00 / 1) #8 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 06:13:32 PM EST
Our class last night (but I've read it elsewhere & was mentioned in another class we had a few weeks ago) actually recommended that at least for very young babies. I.e. they should be waking up at least every 3 hours to eat during the day in order to get enough and conveniently this also lets you train them on day versus night so you're feeding (and waking up) less at night. Whether this will turn out to be true or necessary for us remains to be seen.


"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
The reality by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #10 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 06:53:39 PM EST
"She/He's finally asleep.  Now we can finally sleep/get things done!"

My personal feeling is that a lot of this "train them on day versus night" thing is like the magic folk remedies for colds that will cure complete in 2-3 weeks.  It's all anecdotal crap, and all humans learn day versus night eventually regardless.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Might depend on the kid by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #23 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 02:45:54 PM EST
But mine certainly woke himself every two hours for food and crapping quite without intervention.

[ Parent ]
totally depends on the kid by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #30 Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:13:18 PM EST
The Dude, found his own schedule easily, and was an awesome sleeper.

DK, on the other hand, was a nightmare with eating and sleeping.  We learned, upon weaning her from the boob, was that she had been "reverse cycling": using the boob as a pacifier during the day and actually eating all night.  Night time didn't have fun stimulus, so she could concentrate on eating.  Once we switched her to a bottle, she could eat and watch the world.

DK is still a nightmare wrt eating.  I'm almost in tears every day, every meal.

[ Parent ]
My kids learned to sleep through the night by theboz (4.00 / 1) #29 Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 05:42:10 PM EST
We did it by having them on a wake up and eat schedule. It also helps to wake up some on your own timing rather than with a randomly crying baby.

Of course, we are all different and have our own techniques.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n

[ Parent ]
Oh and... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 4) #4 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 09:34:59 AM EST
" don't let the baby get reliant on something to sleep" sounds all nice and scientific when written down on the page, but when it is 4 am, you've had three hours sleep and have to be at work at 9 am, you absolutely will use those things that helps your baby get to sleep.  Statements like this just make you feel like a shitty parent for doing it.

(A lot of baby book advice is like this.  They give logical sounding but entirely impractical advice that make you feel like a shitty parent when you can't implement.  This is why parents rarely read these books for their second kid.)
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

Yeah by Merekat (4.00 / 5) #5 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 09:39:46 AM EST
Don't cuddle your child to sleep? Whyever not? Itworks AND it is nice.

[ Parent ]
The books say by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #16 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 04:20:43 AM EST
It's fine to do it sometimes, but if you do it all the time, the baby won't be able to sleep without it.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
This ^ by lm (4.00 / 1) #19 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:28:21 AM EST
Most people are creatures are habit. If you only ever put your baby to sleep in a dark room, it will grow to learn that dark rooms are the only place to go to sleep. If you always cuddle your baby to sleep, your baby will learn to only go to sleep when cuddled.

With our first daughter, we basically took her everywhere. Eventually she learned to simply fall asleep in her bassinet or backpack if she was tired regardless of where she was. We would have repeated that approach with our second daughter but by then I was working full time third shift, trying to take care of a three year old and a disabled wife, and finishing a degree at the local trade school. I didn't have enough energy left to go anywhere.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Noise by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #24 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 09:17:47 PM EST
One thing we did that I think helped tremendously for us is that we made a point of not being quiet when the baby was sleeping.  We knew people who always wanted utter silence to avoid "disturbing the baby".  We could drop a box of hammers in our house and not wake him up if he wasn't ready.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
true for us, too by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #31 Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:16:11 PM EST
DK could sleep through a barking dog and toddler tantrum, no problem.

The Dude slept through everything except very loud fireworks.  He still sleeps through his sister's midnight meltdowns.

If The Dude leaves their shared bedroom in the night, DK wakes up within a few minutes.  She knows when he isn't there, and totally flips out because of it.

[ Parent ]
... and no soothers either in many of them by marvin (4.00 / 2) #6 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 11:23:42 AM EST
Why would you want to parent without a BabyPlug™? One of my favourite items, along with BabyJail™ (playpens). Both are responsible for the preservation of the vestigial sanity I enjoy.

[ Parent ]
Dummies / pacifiers by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #20 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 08:07:56 AM EST
Both books say are OK within limits. You can use them but you're not supposed to let the baby get reliant on them.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?
[ Parent ]
Because... by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #25 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 09:20:22 PM EST
A ten year old with a pacifier is strange?  Is there a reason behind being reliant on pacifiers are a bad thing? 

That rule always struck me as a bit of puritanism.

(Our son didn't care for them so much, so the point was a bit moot for us.)
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Actually by TheophileEscargot (2.00 / 0) #27 Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:38:22 AM EST
With pacifiers / dummies it's not dependency that's the problem. There's some evidence that overuse can cause problems with teeth and so on, so these books reckon you should limit their use.

Naturally, there are other authorities who reckon they can reduce cot death, and therefore you should let them suck all night.
--
It is unlikely that the good of a snail should reside in its shell: so is it likely that the good of a man should?

[ Parent ]
pacifiers by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #32 Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:18:55 PM EST
The Dude hated them from the beginning, he found his thumb around 2.5 months old and that was that. Now, age 6, when he's tired his thumb still finds its way to his mouth.  He doesn't even realize he does it.

The problem with sleeping with pacifiers at night is they fall out.  And when the kid wakes up and finds it isn't there, the screaming begins.  You become a slave to the pacifier.  I got sick of it, and took it away from DK, and my nights got a little bit better.

[ Parent ]
So .. yeah by R343L (4.00 / 1) #9 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 06:34:53 PM EST
Last night at the infant care class, I came out of it wondering if that class was really worth the time. Well the practical stuff about swaddling and carriers (with baby dolls!) probably was. But, most of it what they were saying sounded like common sense combined with persistence and patience. Admittedly none of these personality traits are common (or easy at 4AM on couple hours sleep). But, what I took away was: you'll figure it out, just be patient, realize you'll be tired, and btw don't do these few actually dangerous things (mostly various SIDS related things).

I still haven't read any of the books I've gotten or been given (a coworker offered me three of hers). I think A read a snarky one for dads that sounds like the survival guide described here, but other than that ... not sure I will. There's a helluva a lot of advice that really seems to not be practical and just makes you feel bad if you fail.

Somewhat relatedly, a lot of the official advice seems to be counter-productive (in that if you tell people something and it doesn't work that way they will trust you less later). In this post, a writer I know describes a study about breastfeeding. She links to a previous post talking about the issue where official recommendations aren't practical and don't jive with people's actual experiences. In this case, that some use of formula early on can help parents stay sane until they get breastfeeding working, but the official parent advice remains that any use of bottles or not-natural-nipples will make it likely you'll quit breastfeeding, so don't. Another case involves co-sleeping where the official position is "never, ever co-sleep" but of course many parents end up doing so at least sometimes because it works. So ideally the research would be looking into how to more safely co-sleep instead of just blanket "never do it" recommendations.

So, uh, yeah. Baby advice is complicated and often not supported by (good) evidence.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Anecdotal comment by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #11 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 06:57:39 PM EST
In our own case, part of the reason our boy wasn't sleeping as much as we would have hoped early on had to do with breast feeding issues.

There were also issues with sleeping in other rooms, and only falling asleep when held.  It was a pain in the ass.  Then he got older and he stopped.  I guess I could right a book about how we got our son to tell night from day using the "watching Stargate at midnight method", and this is the only reason he doesn't stay up to midnight as a ten year old.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
I imagine ... by R343L (4.00 / 1) #12 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 07:01:30 PM EST
There will be a lot of television in our future. It's not like I can really type while breastfeeding an infant, even assuming I'm not so exhausted that writing (or doing anything else "creative") is possible.

IOW, I would buy that book. ;)

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
I wish we'd had Netflix by ucblockhead (4.00 / 1) #13 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 09:08:35 PM EST
That was back in the Dark Ages of 2002 when one had to just watch whatever happened to be on!

I often had "get the kid to sleep" duty, which meant the child was lying on one arm, preventing me from doing much in the way of moving.
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[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman

[ Parent ]
Actually you can by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #22 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 02:44:27 PM EST
But a kindle is more relaxing.

[ Parent ]
Second smartphone / tablet by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #26 Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 07:23:20 AM EST
Maybe we could have conditioned eldest to TV but he was a pretty jumpy one, I doubt it. Smartphones arrived before youngest and were a bloody godsend.

Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
Yes you can by iGrrrl (4.00 / 1) #28 Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 12:24:59 PM EST
It's not like I can really type while breastfeeding an infant

I did. A lot. Boppy or the My Brest Friend. (Seriously, that thing was worth it!

"Beautiful wine, talking of scattered everythings"
(and thanks to Scrymarch)

[ Parent ]
Like Descartes observed about common sense by lm (4.00 / 1) #17 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:22:49 AM EST
It's the only virtue that has never been in short supply, no matter who you talk to, they will tell you that they have no need of more.

I here you. I didn't read any books or take any classes. For the most part, things that seemed like common sense to me are the same things that other people tell me that they're read in this book or that book.

Which I guess means either that pretty much every possible parenting tactic has been recommended by some book or that parenthood pretty much came naturally to me.

But I don't think that everyone has as much common sense as they think. Hence, going to parenting classes is probably a good idea for most.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
[ Parent ]
Parenting by gmd (2.00 / 0) #36 Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 06:42:59 AM EST
 How hard can it be?

--
gmd - HuSi's second most dimwitted overprivileged user.
[ Parent ]
Gina Forde by Scrymarch (4.00 / 2) #14 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 09:25:26 PM EST
Since we've already turned the comments section into mummyblog territory, the thing I can't get over with Gina Forde is that she doesn't have any kids, doesnt have any medical qualification, and some paediatricians actively recommend against her.

But sure, infants can benefit from having some schedule and structure. Which as you say, even the hippy dippy books grudgingly acknowledge.

This being the internet, someone will now reply detailing how their Nobel prize winning septuplets were raised exclusively on Gina Forde and cold showers at 3am.

Iambic Web Certified

So interestingly ... by R343L (4.00 / 2) #15 Fri Sep 27, 2013 at 11:01:21 PM EST
It's actually mostly daddyblog territory if I recall who is who well enough.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
Hah true enough by Scrymarch (4.00 / 1) #21 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 09:19:36 AM EST


Iambic Web Certified

[ Parent ]
Why is Ford's point 3 controversial? by lm (4.00 / 2) #18 Sat Sep 28, 2013 at 07:23:33 AM EST
It makes sense to me, especially at night.

As for sleep schedules, my wife and I took the opposite approach, letter our girls sleep whenever they wanted. We also took them out and about with us. The result was that wherever they were, if they were tired, they just fell asleep with a minimum of fuss. And, while they weren't sleeping through the night, they were contenting themselves by playing or whatever instead of crying.

In some ways, I don't think this is all that different from what you present Hoggs as saying in some ways. Basically, learn your baby's cries. A cry for the sake of crying is different than a cry for hunger or a cry for pain. Take care of the cries that indicate something needs to be taken care of but not the cries for the sake of crying. They'll go away.


There is no more degenerate kind of state than that in which the richest are supposed to be the best.
Cicero, The Republic
co-sleeping by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #33 Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:24:22 PM EST
we did it, because I could totally slacker nurse in the middle of the night.  Boy would start to fuss (never fully waking up), I'd cram a boob in his mouth and go back to sleep.  It was awesome!!  By 11 weeks, he didn't need all-night feedings any more and was happy to sleep in his own room.  He was such an easy baby, we were so spoiled.

DK....ugh.  She is just....ugh.

yeah that by Merekat (4.00 / 1) #35 Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 06:30:45 AM EST
People keep asking if I want more kids. I explain my little guy and say it can only go downhill from there.

[ Parent ]
At the same time by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #37 Mon Sep 30, 2013 at 08:43:40 AM EST
now that DK is old enough to really play with her brother, watching the two of them together is so totally worth it.


[ Parent ]
oh, yeah.... by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #34 Sun Sep 29, 2013 at 08:26:07 PM EST
and I thought it was helpful to read all the books, etc before the baby came.  Only because when what we were doing wasn't working, we had a nice arsenal of other techniques to try.  The reality is: you do what works for you and your family.

Don't Call Me Baby | 37 comments (37 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback