An article that detailed how we should respond to babies cries, but to not put the breast in their mouth every time they cry .. Which is what I've done for a year now.
Now I'm all confused. Should I stop doing that and let my son express himself??? Did I hurt him by not allowing him to express himself through crying bc I always popped my boob in his mouth and babywear him!!!!?????
I am not a big fan of RIE. I don't find it terribly compatible with Waldorf, which is what I am more into. From what I understand, Waldorf advocates the parent as an authority figure, whose job is to set boundaries and make decisions. I feel that some of what Janet Lansbury suggests makes the child *too* autonomous, *too* sacred.
However, you asked about AP, not Waldorf! I think that RIE tends to put too much emphasis on a too-early independence. On the other hand, I do think it is good to let babies "alone" to explore and develop, in the sense that we shouldn't jump in every five minutes with some flashy distracting toy to entertain them. (But that's hardly my image of AP either).
I think that parenting is more of a balancing act ... (not that I should be talking, with my whole seven months experience over here!!). Sure, it's good to let your child do things on his own, as RIE advocates. On the other hand, I don't believe my child is going to be stunted because Daddy likes to put him on the slide (even though he's not really big enough by himself) or help him stand up (even before he was ready). RIE is very one-sided. Her article on letting babies eat at a baby-sized table on the floor bothered me a lot -- sure, it's kind of the ultimate Baby led weaning, but my purpose for baby in a high chair is also because he's part of the family, and, as such, he belongs at the table with us. (In fact, he sat with us at the table before he was ready for food, just so he could socialize.) And it seems like a lot of her ideas are over-thought.
I also think there's a limit to Attachment Parenting (or rather, maybe I think we put too much emphasis on labeling everything). I think of myself as an AP parent, but I let my baby cry when I use the bathroom if I have to, because ... what else am I going to do? Or sometime he cries while I'm making my husbands lunch as he's heading out the door because he needs his lunch for the day. But I think that an ordinary day, with head-bumps, and small frustrations such as being in the car seat, allows for plenty of self expression,without my going out of my way to let him cry it out!
I actually just read a line in "You Are Your Child's First Teacher" about this. She said that both are balancing acts, but that when RIE parents fall off the tightrope, they are more likely to be too rigid and strict, and when AP parents fall off the rope, they are move likely to be too permissive or indulgent. Interesting, because there isn't really a lot available on RIE, at least not in this country.
What is RIE? I skimmed over some of her stuff and her advice seems decent.
I used to pop my boob in my oldest's mouth every time he cried, and I still find myself about to do it with my youngest two but usually stop myself now. Mostly because I am much more comfortable with them crying and feeling negative emotions than I was with my first... that AND I'm tandem nursing and sometimes feel sick of getting sucked on incessantly! I'm not sure why I am more comfortable with the negative emotion thing, other than the fact that in general I've become more laid back about EVERYTHING (maybe it's a survival thing for me! lol)
Anyways, my oldest is 8 and is decently adjusted. I do wish he was less needy, I find myself doing a lot for him that I think most eight year olds are able to do. I think he is very uncomfortable with challenging tasks and gives up easily. I wonder how much of this is because I wanted to do everything for him, comfort him all the time, hated to see him suffer in any way. But he's my first born, I was a single mom and had a lot of guilt about things and was determined not to see him suffer.
I think if you do the best you can (meaning do the right thing, whatever that is for you and your children) with thoughtful intention then that's all you can do, and you should feel good about that.
Dp, me ds#1 , ds #2 and ds#3
I have no idea what RIE is. What I can tell you is that I nurse my son when he cries all the time and he's a friendly, outgoing 10-month-old who is totally fine when I leave him with babysitters and who crawls around the house fearlessly and doesn't show any excessive signs of neediness. So... if you nurse your kid when he cries, I think you're okay. You might end up with a shy child, but that'll just be because that's the way he is, not because you nursed him.
OP, interesting question. I found RIE after DD1 was already older and read one of the books recently after DD2 was born. I'm also a big Waldorf fan and I actual found it through some overlap there. I like some of RIE but feel like I don't really have a good handle on it yet, and I do have questions about some of it that just doesn't fit for me. For instance, they are not big into baby wearing.
But I will mention another resource you might look at. Hand in Hand Parenting (or Parenting by Connection) offers a lot of wonderful resources about letting children express their emotions. They have an article on their website called something like "Listening to Nursing Babies". It is about responding to your child and also how to best support and give them the space to cry when they just need to off load their feelings.
I have a hard time hearing my baby cry. I think it is just natural that we want to fix things and make them comfortable when they are distressed. There have been a few times with my baby that I was sure that her crying wasn't out of need for food or discomfort. She was just tired, so I held her and listened to her and talked to her (a la Hand in Hand). It is really hard to do it, though. But I found that afterwards she was much calmer and had a wonderful nights sleep. Most times I just nurse her though.
With DD1 I never let her cry. But now she really stuffs her feelings. I suspect she is just that way naturally. I'm sure there are lots of children who were nursed any time they cried that are very comfortable expressing their feelings. But I do wonder sometimes for my daughter if it might have been different if I didn't do that.
So, you might look into Hand in Hand. It is a different perspective from RIE, I believe, but kind of asking the same question.
Oh, I will mention that I do love the emphasis on respecting babies in the RIE approach. I think that that is very AP. It is the one thing that I am really trying to be conscious of with my baby... taking the time to talk to her before I do something like change a diaper or get her dressed and then wait a moment for her response, etc. And I think the attention to the quality of our touch is wonderful too. I find it really hard to do because I am usually in such a hurry, but I do love that part of RIE.
We aren't a RIE family but our Reggio preschool has a lot RIE families in it. I like a lot of parts of the philosophy (personal respect and autonomy etc) and I like the way most of the parents parent. That being said, all of the RIE families who also bf give a serious eye roll to this part of the philosophy.
And the only person I know who did take it seriously was also into CIO and claims that "breastfeeding stopped working at four months because she lost her supply." Wonder why?
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