Blanket-training and alternatives (spinoff) - Page 7 - Mothering Forums

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#181 of 192 Old 04-17-2006, 11:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by loraxc
I haven't read the whole thread yet, so forgive me if this has been said, but...

The problem I have with this isn't the picking up baby and putting him back on the blanket--to me that's not much different than what went on when I trained my toddler to stay away from the road by picking her up a zillion times, saying "No street." It's that you are training a young baby to do something utterly unnatural--to stay put and not explore or follow mama--and that you are making that happen not through an external control, such as a gate or playpen, but by making the BABY responsible for not exploring. And then I feel like that is going to lead to a baby/toddler/child who tends to be passive or hesitant about exploring his/her world....because sometimes I'm rewarded for that and sometimes mama wants that, and might it not be better to just sit here?

Okay, I understand that, but how is it different from teaching your baby to stay out of the street? Isn't that unnatural too? Sorry, but I'm really not seeing the distinction.
The difference is that when I taught when DD to stay out of the street (which I did do, in a similar kind of way) I would pick her up, say "No street!" and turn her around to explore one of the million other things that she could explore in the yard. I have successfully taught my DD to avoid/not play with/not do quite a few things, but I have done so by saying "Baby, do not explore X--explore Y instead" rather than saying "Baby, do not explore." Does that make sense?

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#182 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 12:37 AM
 
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I do not believe in pens, gates, cages, etc. for children. This is a deeply personal issue with me. I'm not saying that those who use these things are wrong, but I would not do it.
I'm sure this has been said, but you are "penning" them, just with a blanket. Instead of a physical barrier, you set up a psychological one.

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#183 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 10:41 AM
 
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Brigianna - I just got through this thread. I read almost all of it! Whew! I just have to say your responses to everyone have been so calm, courteous and patient. I am very impressed. You did a much better job than I could have with all the negativity (and quite a bit of sarcasm, too) aimed at you.

About the "blanket-training", personally I don't see anything wrong with what you are doing. You have said time and time again that your home is very well babyproofed, you only use the blanket for a minute or two, etc. I really don't see the difference between a blanket and what I do when I ask my girls to stay in a particular area of the house while I do this or that for a minute. I can't believe how many times you've had to explain and re-explain what you are doing to make people understand. And still they don't. But that's fine. We can all agree to disagree.

I just wanted to give you a great big public support. You sound like a great Mom and I think this whole thing has been completely blown out of proportion.
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#184 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 11:14 AM
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I think a major element of the problem I have is the phrase, "blanket-training" is associated with draconian parenting methods advocated by Pearl, Ezzo, and Gothard.

I believe Gary Ezzo coined the phrase. Along with "Parent-directed feeding," and "Neoprimitivistic Marsupial Earth Mother."

Unfortunately Ezzo's spanking advice is tied to blanket-training.

I don't understand how you get a mobile baby to stay on a blanket without coercive methods.

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#185 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 11:28 AM
 
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A blanket is a tiny piece of cloth. A gate at one end of the room gives a child an entire room to explore and play. I see a significant difference between setting up a boundary which still enables a child to explore and a cloth on the floor which directs them to sit still.

But I don't think that it is "evil". It just isn't my cup of tea.
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#186 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 12:10 PM
 
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OK, I read through page 4 and bailed out. So maybe this point has been raised - please gloss over this if it has been covered...

1. We almost all use some sort of very short-term confinement like a PnP for times when we have to get hot things out of the oven, or something. Right? So all the wonderful thoughts about how restricting baby's exploration - while perfectly valid - seem to be detracting from what I see as the main point here... which I'll get to. We almost all have to restrict the kiddos for a moment here or there. Bringing this aspect up seems to keep us from really thinking about what's so disturbing about this scenario.

2. This is about the method. Annettemarie hit the nail on the head in the other thread... The bars from a blanket are invisible, and made of mother's disapproval. Invisibility does not make them harmless - quite the opposite. They are insidious and only work when baby internalizes the confinement.

3. In the spirit of offering alternatives, though up to page 4 I saw no indication that the OP actually really wanted any, I do just what Captain Crunchy suggested. I've also frequently used the sling as confinement. DS is almost always happy to be there, but if he protests even that, I do something else.

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Originally Posted by Captain Crunchy
I am the crazy radical who lets my young infant explore and when it is a legitimate safety issue at hand, either help her explore safely, sling her, take her with me (like in the shower etc) or the very rare time, in a pack n play within sight (of me showering or vacuming etc) which she goes in willingly and happily for a few minutes with no training on my part and no attempt on her part to get out (by standing up, fussing etc). You may think there is no difference but I think the difference is huge. I didn't have to *train* her to go in her pack n play for a couple minutes. She was completely free to protest (and believe me, she knows how lol) and in that event, I would and have removed her happily. The difference with blanket training is by the child crawling off, that is their protest, and it is repeatedly ignored.
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#187 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 04:58 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
I do not believe in pens, gates, cages, etc. for children. This is a deeply personal issue with me. I'm not saying that those who use these things are wrong, but I would not do it.

My house is babyproofed, but that is still not totally safe. As I mentioned on the other thread, both of my kids were very oral babies. Anything that got in their hands went in their mouths. If I had left them unsupervised in a room even for a minute, even with babyproofing, something would have wound up in baby's mouth. Hence the blanket-training.
Quite frankly, it sounds like you haven't baby-proofed enough. I have one room in my house that is completely and totally baby-proofed. My DS is also an extremely active, oral child who will put everything in his mouth. In this room, I have cleaned it out enough so that anything that DS puts in his mouth is safe and there are no other dangers. On the very rare occasions that I need to leave DS alone to do something (usually to pee), he goes in that room and I go real quick. I feel comfortable knowing that he won't get into any trouble. EVERYTHING that is within his reach is something that is OK to go into his mouth. And yes, there are quite a many things and I've had to let go of some of my ideas of "germy-ness".

When DS was unhappy with being left alone, I would put him in a carrier and do whatever it was that I had to do.

This is what works for me, and I have to say that when I have tried to keep DS in one arbitrary place (ie when we were on the plane and DS couldn't crawl around everywhere and had to stay in the seat with me) he HATED it. i think that if i tried this blanket-training, DS would throw a fit. if i really wanted to do it (and i don't), i think i would need some SERIOUS physical punishment to keep him on that blanket--and obviously that's not even an option.

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#188 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 05:02 PM
 
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Originally Posted by captain crunchy
I think blanket training is well, let me just say I am truly, truly against it. I think it goes against every instinct a child has to roam and explore.

I feel that forcing a child to stay on a blanket by placing them back on the blanket each time they crawl off is borderline mean and just plain controlling. It was mentioned in the other thread that their was no punishment, because you knew your baby wanted to please you and knowing you wanted them to stay on the blanket was enough (I'm paraphrasing). I think that sounds very manipulative. It sounds to me like someone who is playing on thier infants love and deep desire to do the appropriate thing to please their mama. It does not sound like attachment parenting to me, but hey, who am I.

I am the crazy radical who lets my young infant explore and when it is a legitimate safety issue at hand, either help her explore safely, sling her, take her with me (like in the shower etc) or the very rare time, in a pack n play within sight (of me showering or vacuming etc) which she goes in willingly and happily for a few minutes with no training on my part and no attempt on her part to get out (by standing up, fussing etc). You may think there is no difference but I think the difference is huge. I didn't have to *train* her to go in her pack n play for a couple minutes. She was completely free to protest (and believe me, she knows how lol) and in that event, I would and have removed her happily. The difference with blanket training is by the child crawling off, that is their protest, and it is repeatedly ignored.

I just have a huge issue with "training" an infant to go against their very nature in general --especially for something that in reality, offers absolutely NO safety whatsoever. Either two things happen, you leave the room and they make their great escape right off the blanket... or you leave the room and they stay on the blanket out of fear of dissaproval and the futility of knowing that if they attempt to crawl off, you will just put them where they don't want to be again.

Neither option sounds good to me.

It reeks of the Pearls and I don't like the idea at all.


I had nver heard of blanket training so I opened the thread out of curiosity. I have to say - I am still not understanding why anyone would want to "train" their child in such a way that curbs their desire to explore the world around them - or teaches them that you (the parent) do not want them to explore the world around them. What a sad way to break a child's natural desire & will to learn!!:
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#189 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 08:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you for all of your replies. I am reading and thinking about what y'all are saying. This thread has been very informative for me. A week ago I had no idea that blanket-training was controversial or disapproved of, and it wouldn't have occurred to me to ask about alternatives.

However, at the risk of sounding like my 6 yr old, I don't want to do this anymore. I feel like I have explained myself over and over again and people are still misunderstanding. I'm sure this is because of my own lack of communication skills, but I don't know how to explain any better.

I have read and tried to understand all of your objections to blanket-training--it limits baby's freedom, it promotes detachment, it's punitive and conditioning, it's ineffective and impossible, it's no different than a pen, it teaches baby not to explore, it constrains baby with disapproval, it's unnatural, and it is a term used by child-torture fetishists. I understand, but respectfully disagree with these points. I have tried to explain as best I can why I disagree, but I don't think there's much benefit to further debating the issue. The only objection I do agree with is the one about limiting baby's freedom. I agree that is problematic, which is why I wanted to ask for alternatives.

If you believe that there is nothing wrong with containment devices or gates, I respect your opinion. If you believe that it is always wrong to leave a young child alone in a room for even a minute, and this is a realistic option for you, I respect your opinion and your ability to do this. However neither of these are options for me. I cannot have baby with me at every single moment, and I have many problems with containment devices which I have partially explained here and which I would be willing to more fully explain by pm.

I am sorry if I have offended anyone on this thread, and I'm sorry for anyone who has had any kind of experience with the child-torture fetishists. I understand that some of y'all might be sensitive about that in the same way that I have a strong sensitivity to symbols of captivity.

If anyone has any more questions about how or why I used blanket-training, or how or why I came to the views that I have, or anything else, please pm me and I will respond as best I can. Or if you want to tell me what "expecto-patrionis" means. If you want to continue a community discussion about the relative merits of blanket-training, please start a thread to discuss just that. But I do not want to debate the relative merits of blanket-training on this thread anymore. It isn't what I wanted and I don't think it's productive.

What I would like is some continued suggestions for leaving a baby alone for a short time without containment devices or gates. Some of the suggestions I've gotten so far that have made a lot of sense to me are:
  • making the entire downstairs a harmonious open area where baby can roam free without boundaries
  • singing to baby while out of the room
  • keeping doors to less safe rooms closed off (I already do this)
  • keeping only chewable baby toys in reach and moving all adult things higher up
  • rotating toys on the blanket to keep baby entertained
  • using furniture and boxes to block off an area, and
  • being less paranoid about free-roaming babies
All of these are good ideas, especially being less paranoid. This thread has really changed my assumptions about what constitutes safety in a babyproofed room. I would love to hear any other of these types of suggestions that any of you may have. I don't promise I'll implement them but I will take them into consideration.

I don't know whether I'll blanket-train future babies or not. Fortunately I have a while to decide. But y'all have made me reconsider it and given me some good ideas for other options. So maybe I will use the blanket but with less emphasis on training. But if you have any other suggestions please share them, and I promise to be nice.

Thanks.
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#190 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 08:34 PM
 
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Brigianna, while my stance against blanket training, even in the modified form you use, is as strong as ever, I do want to tell you how much I appreciate the grace and dignity with which you've handled yourself on this thread. Please forgive me I've come across as strident or angry.
Wishing you the best!

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#191 of 192 Old 04-18-2006, 08:59 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by annettemarie
Brigianna, while my stance against blanket training, even in the modified form you use, is as strong as ever, I do want to tell you how much I appreciate the grace and dignity with which you've handled yourself on this thread. Please forgive me I've come across as strident or angry.
Wishing you the best!
Thank you.
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#192 of 192 Old 04-19-2006, 02:20 AM
 
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And with that, I will close this thread. Please feel free to start a new thread if you wish. Thank you so much for all the respectful and mindful responses. There is no doubt we all learn so much from each other.

Much love and peace

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