The Happiest Babies Aren’t Shushed, Swung or Scheduled

There are many routes to successful parenting. Here’s how one mom found hers:

Janet – first let me thank you for all that you do. I always envisioned the kind of connection I wanted to have with my baby, and your posts have helped make that dream a reality. In the spirit of new beginnings for the new year, I would love to share my joy:

I used to think my 4 month old son was high maintenance. But I was the high maintenance one.  I love him beyond measure, but he cried all the time. He was rarely happy. I felt like a failure and I could feel our relationship strained. I felt everything I read or heard about living with babies was wrong — all the swinging, rocking, wearing, slinging, shushing, swaddling, pacifying. The most chaotic experiment was scheduling, baby whisperer style: making him nap, making him eat, making him play. Honestly, I would cry all day too if someone dictated how I spent every minute of my life!

Somehow I came across your page, and a ripple of “AHA” moments cascaded over me. It has taken about one week but I am blown away by the difference Magda Gerber’s RIE philosophy has made in my life and my baby’s. My favorite thing about RIE is that it shows you how to coexist with your child, to live peacefully with this new person who has his own emotions, wants and needs.

I now recognize my son’s flow and respect it. He has shown me who he is as an individual, and I delight in his presence. Our days are now filled with peace. He sleeps when he’s tired, eats when he’s hungry, explores when curious, daydreams when relaxing, cries only when he feels the need. In general he is laid back and content. It’s a beautiful thing to behold. I am now looking forward to a wonderful year getting to know this amazing person! Thank you and Happy New Year!

When I asked Stacey if I could share her story she responded:

By all means post away! I hope other parents will want to share their celebrations as well. I think it’s a shame that we live in a society where we can’t express when we feel authentically pleased with our work as parents — not bragging out of insecurity but just genuinely satisfied. RIE has helped me to see that I’m a great mom and at the same time remain humble. To have balance is an amazing gift. The challenges of parenting will always be there. We should take time out to celebrate the good stuff before we dive back into the thick of it all. It is a messy and invigorating business.

I couldn’t agree more!

(Thank you for your note and delightful photo, Stacey!)

To learn more about RIE (Magda Gerber‘s life-changing child care approach), I recommend her books:Dear Parent: Caring for Infants With Respect and Your Self-Confident Baby… and also my book: Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting

41 Comments

Please share your comments and questions. I read them all and respond to as many as time will allow.

  1. hello and thank you for your website and writing. i really appreciate the RIE approach to parenting, but i’m not having the same or similarly smooth and seemingly flawless experience of this parent. there was another parent that wrote to you recently that seemed to have a similar experience as this one- after she made some changes to the way she was interacting with her baby everything just fell perfectly into place and she no longer had to rock or bounce her baby to sleep, etc…what information can you point me to so that i can get a deeper understanding of some of the more important points of RIE? thank you!

    1. Ruby, there are a number of resources for you to check out… I highly recommend Magda Gerber’s books “Dear Parent” and “Your Self-Confident Baby”, both available at http://rie.org and elsewhere. Is sleep your big issue? Remember that you can stop rocking and bouncing anytime and probably the sooner the better. But your baby might have to then discharge energy by crying. This unwinding kind of cry has a certain sound to it that is different from an alarmed or upset kind of cry…and you can stay with your baby and support her while she does this. This post might help: http://dev.janetlansbury.com/2011/09/7-reasons-to-calm-down-about-babies-crying/ If you help me understand your issues, I can better direct you.

      1. Ruby, I woke up this morning realizing I needed to add this… One of the most important aspects of Magda Gerber’s approach is observation. When our babies are placed down, free to move in a safe place (and we would always let them know that they are being placed down and do it slowly and gently), we can get the little bit of distance we need to observe them clearly. We learn SO much by doing this… We learn to recognize the early signs of tiredness so that we can move the baby to a comfortable sleeping place before it’s too late and falling asleep is harder. We learn that babies do not need entertainment and are, in fact, quite easily overstimulated (which also makes it much harder for them to fall asleep). We see what our baby is interested in gazing at and doing, what movements she is working on. We learn everything we need to know to facilitate our unique child’s development. Most of us learn (as Stacey did) that following our impulses usually means “doing” way too much.

        1. thank you for your responses, janet. i think sleep is our greatest issue, specifically daytime sleep/naps. after reading all of the comments below, i’ll add to this that we also swaddle him for sleep 90% of the time…sleep seems like a delicate thing for my baby (now 6 months old). i’ve been wanting to transition him out of swaddling and so it feels serendipitous to have the comments move in that direction. i’ve been experimenting, sometimes with more or less success, with lying down with him to nurse when he’s sleepy and letting him nap un-swaddled. and for the last week or so he’s been teething and i’ve been sleeping with him in my bed (he usually sleeps in a co-sleeper bassinet) so he can nurse and he’s been un-swaddled and sleeping fairly soundly- although its hard to discern with his waking what is teething and what is possibly waking from not being swaddled.

          i’ve had the good fortune of being able to stay at home with my baby for the last 6 months and after reading some RIE material on unrestricted infant play i began creating space for my baby to do just that. he really responded well to it and seems to enjoy time on his own to explore his body and surroundings. he has never spontaneously fallen asleep on his own and naps have always been very hit or miss for him. i always try to take cues from him in terms of his tiredness, but sometimes he just won’t sleep.

          i could go on and on, but instead i’ll get myself some copies of the reading materials you’ve suggested. thank you for reading and responding!

  2. THANK YOU!! I received the Baby Whisperer as a shower gift for my first child, and used it only to torture myself for my “shortcomings”: I just couldn’t follow her schedule. Glad to hear it is not a magic cure-all! And most of the local moms I know follow the highly-scheduled approach, and claim that things are smooth sailing as a result. Sometimes it feels like I am the only one just paying attention to my baby’s needs, my own needs, and simply trying to work it out so we are both satisfied and healthy. And Janet, I’ve thanked you before, but must do so again. My husband is home with me on paternity leave for a few months, and because of your wisdom, whenever we hit upon a “problem” with our baby or toddler, he looks to me and I invariably come up with a loving and respectful way to approach the problem. I have so much confidence because of you!!

    1. avatar monica ryan says:

      “used it only to torture myself for my “shortcomings””

      I still do this! This is a relief to read! I definitely wish to concentrate on our needs and enjoy the magic of the day, instead I quickly get caught up in what I should be doing, and the idea of schedule/routine/rhythms definitely overwhelms me and I am still stuck in the loop of trying to create one. The days are so much brighter when I surrender to having a simple day and concentrate on just meeting our needs one by one.

      1. “The days are so much brighter when I surrender to having a simple day and concentrate on just meeting our needs one by one.” YES! And the key is not to create a routine, but rather to find one together with your baby based on what you learn through observation and communication.

        1. avatar monica ryan says:

          Thanks Janet! 🙂

    2. Oh, Amy, I am thrilled to hear that you feel so confident! That is really important. Regarding schedules, I think it is very helpful for our babies (and for us) to find a rhythm that works and is responsive and respectful to the child’s needs. Routines are extremely valuable (as I’m sure you’ve discovered), but not strict schedules imposed from the outside in.

  3. When my first baby was an infant, I felt just like Stacey. I did all the swinging, rocking, wearing, slinging, shushing, swaddling, pacifying and my baby still cried all the time. I would love to know what specific changes she made that helped her baby be content. Can you offer examples that worked for Stacey?

    1. avatar Stacey Stanley says:

      Hi Erin,

      Here is how I went about implementing RIE in our lives. It was a slow and gradual process. I tried to start with creating a healthy emotional foundation by describing what I was going to do in detail during care activities. It was awkward at first but became more natural with practice. The results was a much calmer baby. In fact if he gets frustrated to the point of no return while playing I can ask if he wants a diaper change and he becomes calm and alert. He loves diapering now! Next was creating his safe free space. At first too much space was scary for him so I started with a Graco travel crib. He’s a precrawler so it gave him space to move on his back but still felt safe and cozy. After a few days he now prefers a large quilt on the living room floor. Start out with short periods of free time. My son would get frustrated very fast with his play objects. If it escalates I just give him a break by picking him up and placing him in my lap for a minute. Just long enough for him to relax. I had to do this a lot when we first started but now only a few times a day. I knew we were really on the right track for his daytime flow the first time he fell asleep by himself after an hour of quality playtime. I had never seen him take a nap on his own. He never had the opportunity. It felt amazing. Like tasting freedom. He now takes 4-30 min naps a day at around the same time. Its incredible to see how fast he started to self regulate. One of my favorite parts about him hanging out on his blanket is that when its time to feed him I can just lay down next to him and nurse. I dont have to disrupt his flow, so feeding is pretty seamless. It works nicely for us with exclusively breast feeding. The next big thing was sleep. I never liked the idea of swaddling but like most sleep deprived mothers of newborns got hooked on it. I do sincerely feel there was a short period of time when it was ok. But we did it for way too long. First of all, I recommend starting this process when you have been able to get a decent sleep the night before. Its important to be rested so you can fully commit to unswaddling. Its a process that may require sacrificing some sleep depending on how long it take for your baby to adjust. We put him in a sleep sack which does resemble the cozy feel of swaddling. The first time we did it was just for the first few hours of bedtime. When I could no longer be mindful and present after a few hours of off and on crying, picking up and putting down, I swaddled him. Its important to make sure you can be present for your child during these changes. They are hard. As long as his cries are struggle cries and not suffering cries he will be ok. Tell your baby you know this feels different, that you hear his struggle. Tell him its hard for you too. Always use this as a time to connect through honest communication. But always use your mommy instinct because only you know what is best for your baby. I can’t stress that enough. After the first night he fell asleep unswaddled for 5 hours. He does have a strong startle reflex and I thought that would be a huge problem. But it seems as though he just needed the opportunity to practice getting used to it. I see him startle sometimes but he no longer pops his eyes open crying. He stirs a bit and settles back down to sleep. He does still use a pacifier at bed time. It is something I dont feel he is ready to lose. But I stopped just giving it to him. And he only uses it to get to sleep not to stay asleep. So for a child who wouldn’t sleep unless in the swing and swaddled and pacified, I think he’s doing amazing. I noticed that after a few days of having as much free time as possible to move and explore and wiggle, he was pretty worn out and ready for bed. The most important thing to remember is that sucess doesnt happen overnight. Our lives are peaceful and somewhat predictable now which is a blessing. But my son still cries and that’s just fine. He needs to cry, to express deeply and fully so he can move on. At least now I know its not because I’m aggravating the situation, and I can just be there for him with patience and understanding. RIE is not a quick fix. Its a process that allows you to adjust to your baby’s specific needs as they grow, as you grow together! Good Luck in all your RIE endeavors! I wish you and your little one all the best… Cheers!

      1. Thanks for your response, Stacey! I remember the first time my daughter fell asleep unassisted, and it was just amazing like you said! I will keep your ideas in mind for our next baby- I really appreciate it.

        1. Stacey — you’ve articluated your process so beautifully…I especially love: “Its important to make sure you can be present for your child during these changes. They are hard. As long as his cries are struggle cries and not suffering cries he will be ok. Tell your baby you know this feels different, that you hear his struggle. Tell him its hard for you too. Always use this as a time to connect through honest communication. But always use your mommy instinct because only you know what is best for your baby. I can’t stress that enough.”
          Thank you again and again!

  4. I asked this question on Lisa’s blog when she posted about Dr. Karp’s five ‘S’-es and how they conflict with RIE, but I did not get a response so I will ask it here: what does one do with a newborn who has a strong Moro reflex to enable sleep? My very alert daughter had a difficult time falling asleep even as a newborn – I now realize that part of the problem was that even then my efforts to soothe her were engaging and stimulating, but even in a dark and quiet room she would lie awake happily for hours and hours. Once she did fall asleep her Moro reflex would startle her awake quickly if she was not tightly swaddled. Because she was swaddled she did not have a chance of finding her thumb, and she had a very strong impulse to suck in order to soothe. I know that Magda Gerber was a strong poponent of placing infants on their backs, so I assume that she did not advocate tummy sleep.

    My question is: apart from a swaddle what is a solution that enables a back-sleeping infant to sleep through strong startles?

    1. I would love to hear a response to this as well.

    2. Babies learn to control the Moro reflex sooner when they are given the opportunity. In other words, by allowing babies to move through this phase, they gain control. When babies are swaddled, their natural abilities are hampered and they have no control at all.

  5. I also must thank you for all of your postings. As things come up I often feel more prepared and when I see the outcome as explained here I smile, knowing it was the right choice, even if it was a challenge to get through.

    Just last night I had one of these moments and I was thinking of e-mailing you Janet. My husband and I went on a 3 day trip and my son stayed with my mom whom he sees weekly and adores. He did not miss us. He never cared when I called except to say “Hi Mommy, Grammy read lots books.” My son looked up when I walked in, said “Hi Mommy” and kept on playing. I got a quick hug, but nothing special. I had half expected this as he never went through typical separation anxiety. Soon it was time for the bedtime routine, but my son was upset that Grammy would be leaving. He fought the diaper change and pjs with all his might and went into a complete unloading of his “emotional backpack”. It was hard because I had missed him so much and he was rejecting me, asking for Grammy and just screaming and crying. I couldn’t even get a book read. There was no hope and it did take a lot in me to remind myself not to try and stop it, rock, bounce, shush or tell him it was OK. Instead I said, “I’m here for you.” I tried to hold this thrashing almost 2 year old in the dark as his emotions flowed. Light on, light off. Wanting the lovie, not wanting the lovie. book, no book. water, no water. Finally he said he wanted a book again, but had slapped the book out of my hands previously so I knew that wasn’t going to work. He listened as I recited “Goodnight Moon” quietly as he settled into my lap in the dark. He was not struggling anymore, he was not fighting; his body was relaxing as I spoke and it was truly ending. When the story was over the emotions were gone and he did what he does every night, telling me that when the sun wakes up our dog will come get him up. That was that. It was done. I wasn’t stressed and he seemed lighter. I knew in my heart from reading this blog that his rejection of me was because I am closest to him and knew not to take it personally. He did wake up asking for Grammy initially, but was overjoyed to have us home and gave me the best hug ever that I never would have gotten yesterday. When my husband and I talked about it, he immidiately said “we left, he had to unload his emotional backpack.”

    Thank you Janet for sharing this information! It gives me a little parenting boost to feel like I had to knowledge to handle a difficult situation well.

    1. Oh, I love this story, Jennifer! Thank you for sharing!

      1. Today was a day I have to work and tonight when I was hugging him before putting him in his crib he said, “Mommy always here.” It took me a minute to realize what he was saying because his “here” sounded like “har” but I repeated it back asking if that was what he meant and he said yes. I told him I will always be here for him. Oh he just makes me want to not have to put that sweet little boy to bed! I just want to spend all evening with him!

    2. Jennifer,

      I will always remember this when my son transitions to toddlerhood. You are a rock solid momma!!

  6. I just wanted to respond to KT, although I dont’ know that I have the best answer. We had the same issue with our son. He had a very very strong startle reflex and also really loved swaddling. At the same time he needed to suck and suck and suck to go to sleep. We did swaddle him at night for about his first 4 months and gave him a pacifier. It worked pretty well, the problem came when we wanted to get him out of the swaddler. He had a really tough time sleeping and would constantly startle awake, and then be unable to sleep. Amazingly what we found worked very well for him was a tiny bear. He loved holding the bear and somehow this helped. He would hold the bear and this seemed to calm the startling. I can’t really explain it, but it made an enormous difference. He was only about 6 months old, but to this day (he is now 26 months old) he still carries that bear everywhere and sleeps with that bear every night! He is a tiny bear, not a choking hazard tiny, but also not fluffy as to cause him bite off a piece… it works well. He also rubs the bear on his face and that seems to soothe him to sleep. Not sure if this idea would work for you but it did help him! We use a very short pacifier clip to keep the bear on his PJ’s otherwise he would get lost in the crib or fall out! Definitely a disaster for him! Hang in there and know others are in the same situation and things do resolve for them!! : )

    1. KT,

      That startle reflex can be more disruptive to sleep in some infants than others. Some babies do not need them, some can not stand them, and others seem to be comforted and have a positive response to the pressure and confinement.
      I trust your expertise on your own child of where she falls in this regard.

      In my experience development happens so rapidly that before long it is a non issue.

      I am not a fan of the straight jacket velcro type of swaddles.

      If your child has become accustomed to the pressure by the tighter form of swaddles:

      1.)switch to a regulare old fashioned blanket swaddle and slowly reduce the tightness and pressure.
      2.)It is very important to NOT fold the end of the blanket and create a pocket for the lower body (pelvis)
      and legs to be hindered in any way. That portion of the body should be free and unrestrained.
      3.) The next transition is to do a partial swaddle and leave one hand out.
      If you can figure out what hand readily goes into the mouth that would be a bonus.

      This transition can occur over a few days and nights.

      Talk to your baby about this process.

      This reflex will be integrated into the nervous system before long and the more freedom of movement during the day and less swaddling you can manage the better.

      Use your sensitive observation skills and you will see and know!

      Warmly,
      Eileen Henry, RIE Associate and Sleep Specialist
      Compassionate Sleep Solutions

      1. Deb and Eileen, thank you so much! My daughter is now 10 months and has not been swaddled since 2 months, although the process of weaning her was very difficult. She was not ready developmentally, but we had to drop the swaddle because she was fighting it and clearly unhappy about it and would get fabric over her face during the fighting process. A few months later she did learn to sleep independently and now has very positive sleep associations involving a muslin sleep sack she loves.

  7. Hi there,

    I’m a new reader and I like a lot of your ideas on connecting with our little ones. But your post title makes me wonder, don’t some babies cry when they just want to be comforted (as opposed to changed or fed)? And aren’t some babies comforted by gentle rocking motions or feeling secure in a (loose) swaddle? I guess I’m not ready to give up those “5 S’s” just yet…

  8. I love this post and very informative comments. As a long time 0-3 teacher I find that children who sleep in little cat naps (45 minutes or less) have a harder time with coordination and are pickier eaters (maybe want carbs/sugar to stay awake?) and have trouble focusing for long periods. This is strictly anectdotal and maybe isn’t relevant until the baby is over a year old but is something to think about down the line.

  9. Janet, thank you for this post. As Ruby, I am just starting to understand and put into practice the key points of RIE. Tonight I just started to wean my 6 month old from his pacifier and I found this story inspiring. Although I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, I guess I was looking for a quick fix to keep him from crying. This story reminded me that this is a process and we both will be struggling, but learning at the same time. Thanks again!

  10. Stacey’s son sounds like one lucky boy!!

  11. Hi Janet,

    I just found your website and am really hopeful that your ideas will make a positive impact on my parenting as I am expecting my third child in a few months and things are sure to be a little stressful for a while.

    I have a questions about healthy eating. I have a 5 and a 2 year old and I am very passionate about healthy eating, which I believe includes strictly limiting sugar and other junk food. However, I have realized that food can be a very emotional issue and one that is a lot about control. So, my question is, how can I promote healthy eating for my children without power struggles and without giving in and letting them eat the junk food they would prefer?

  12. We found that swaddling really helped our baby to settle, especially when we had missed our window of opportunity for putting her to bed when she was ready! After a couple of months, we noticed she was trying to suck her right thumb, so we left this arm out. Then later left the legs out. Then it falls off anyway! By 6 months we changed her to a go-go bag (I really recommend the NZ merino wool ones which give good thermoregulation in hot or cold places) Hope this helps.

  13. I have always endeavored to follow my daughter’s cues, though I feel I’m in a unique (and fortunate) situation to work from home, so letting her nurse when she’s hungry and sleep when she’s tired works for us wonderfully. What can the moms and dads whose children are in child care, and must be on some kind of schedule for waking and feeding, do?

    1. Jillian, I am not in that field, myself, but I know that the best child care providers follow the baby’s cues rather than imposing a schedule. Many of these providers have trained with my associates at Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE).

      1. I own a small family daycare for children 3months-5 years. The older (over two, more or less depending on the child) children have a set quiet time but sleep is not required. The babies eat and sleep when they need to eat and sleep. Daycare is not an excuse, and certainly not permission, to stop treating children like people. Here in California it is not legal to have more than 4 children under 2 in care and that is a very manageable number to respond to individually. I understand that there are many daycares that feel scheduling makes it easier for the adults but when you work with babies it’s not about making it easier for the adults (and in fact it ends up making things harder for all involved). Parents are are entitled to expect their daycare provider to be responsive to their baby as an individual (my god, if not now when?). I know it can be very difficult to find the right place but please don’t believe that it is ok for someone who cares for babies to insist that those babies conform to the needs of the adults.

  14. avatar Dayamonay says:

    Thank you for this story. I wish that I knew about blogs when my baby was little. I feel like I learn so much from the wonderful people who share online via blogs and comments.

    I am really grateful to all the people who commented today!

  15. avatar Genevieve says:

    I must be in the minority.

    While I didn’t dictate when my son had to sleep. ( who can force a kid to sleep! ) I did find that feeding him every 3 hours ( ass opposed to whenever he cried ) helped his reflux significantly, I did follow the clock to an extent – BUT – he set the rules.

    I will give you a real life example from when he was a new born

    August wakes at 7am, I know he will get sleepy around 8:30 ( because he has every other day ) so at 8:15 I take him into a dim room play some soothing music and lie down next to him on the floor. He starts to yawn – I then place him in a loose swaddle – and watch as he drifts off to sleep.

    Next day we do the same thing, except this time he fusses and fusses and there hasn’t been a yawn, I don’t force him to sleep, I think ‘ok he isn’t tried yet let’s just lie on our backs and look at things a bit longer ‘

    But I did always try at 8:15 to go into a nice quiet dim room.

    So in that way, I followed the clock and I followed him.

    As for feeding I fed him every three hours, except during growth spurts when he was pretty much attached to the boob. I wouldn’t make him ‘ wait if he was hungry’ nor would I force him to eat if he wasn’t, I would simply offer the opportunity at set times and in a set order.

    No forcing just opportunities.

    But that is what worked for us, as a toddler he has set nap and eating times but once again it doesn’t mean locking him in a room and forcing sleep or foodie just means an order to our day and an opportunity to rest eat at regular times if one wants.

    I think we needed a routine, I have 15 dogs, 4 horses, about 25,000 sheep ( yes that’s right!) all of which need feeding at set times, which in itself creates an order for our day.

    I thrive on it as does he.

  16. Just last night I was asked if I thought rie had really made a difference because my baby was just ” naturally easy” . Having done rie from birth there is no way to know how easy or otherwise she would have been if I parented differently but Stacey summed up exactly how I feel rie has impacted my our family and influenced that “easy nature” that others see in my daughter.

  17. avatar Victoria Halfpenny says:

    I love this article, so many people think their kid needs this strict scheduled routine. My son use to fall asleep on the floor and I let him. My daughter slept anywhere and on the go all the time. And both now are very healthy 6 & 4 year olds and exceedingly flexible and adaptable which are keys I feel to creating well adjusted kids.

  18. My now 2 year old hated to be swaddled and i gave it up after only a few tries when he was a newborn. I used the baby whisperer techniques, but mostly as a guide,not a strict schedule,and my son responded well. I am about to have my 2nd and looking forward to combining what I’ve read on your blog with my past experience.

  19. So I’m reading the articles and the comments and maybe I’m just in denial of what has to happen but I feel overwhelmed and like it just isn’t possible to get my ten month old to sleep on his own and especially to fall asleep on his own. He has nursed to sleep pretty much every night and every nap unless he’s in the car. Does this approach require that I stop my life completely, in order to make sure I catch him at the right moment to go to sleep? That s how it occurs to me. The one night I work he stays home with his dad who usually just waits until he’s so exhausted all he has to do is pick him up and walk around and he falls asleep but that doesn’t happen until like 9 or 10:00 sometimes which I dont like. Is that okay? He doesn’t express upset the entire time and goes to sleep peacefully. Even when that happens he starts crying if he tries to pUt him in his crib. So right now he co – sleeps. I really want to get it so he can go to sleep without me because I’m switching jobs and its during the time that i usually put him down, 2 night’s a week. Right now I do a bedtime routine but when it comes to the going to sleep part he fights and fights. And has upset after upset. Last time we tried to get him to go to sleep without nursing he was being held by either me or his dad screaming his head off until we just couldnt take it anymore and I nursed him down. I want to make changes but I worry that he’s just not ready. And he gets long naps and enough sleep it seems because I nurse him. Otherwise i dont think he would nap long at all. Any advice or input would be greatly appreciated.

  20. I’m new to this site, and have to say:
    Janet, you rock my world! Every article I’ve read so far is simply genius. the fact that you respond to everyone and help so many mamas with information, suggestion or just moral support is priceless!
    Thank you!

  21. I first have to say how much I enjoy reading and following your articles and approaches. They’ve helped tremendously with my toddler and I’m very grateful.

    I do, however, feel this article really misrepresents the ‘Baby Whisperer’ style and approach – which is a great disservice to a woman who also devoted her life to helping guide parents to raise self-confident children.

    Nothing in the ‘Baby Whisperer’ approach talks about forcing your child to do anything and emphasizes working ‘with’ your child in a respectful and loving manner… much the same way as the RIE method. Possibly the primary difference is that the baby whisperer offers a ‘suggested routine’ (NOT a hard schedule) that provides a newborn some consistency and expectation throughout the day. We followed her approach with our daughter and she was a very happy baby!

    So, I feel it’s important to properly represent someone else’s life work

    Thanks!.

  22. Thank you so much for all this information. I have a 2.5 year old and I have been reading your stuff since he was born. I didn’t have a a lot of experience with babies, but i knew we didn’t need all the crap advertisers try to sell to new moms. I love our relationship, our son is a person who lives here with us. he is not our property. and he can make choices and decisions. It’s amazing the perception twist when you think of babies as people. it makes so much more sense than coddling and babytalk and shaking things in their faces. I rarely tell him to ‘be careful’ i remind him occasionally to ‘pay attention to what you are doing” when he’s climbing. he’s become very physically adept. he can catch himself when starting to fall, he tests things before climbing. I love so much that he is learning to trust himself and his abilities. I thank you for all these ideas and for your supportive words when other people think i’m crazy.

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