Blanket-training and alternatives (spinoff) - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is a spinoff from the thread "Church Behavior." On that thread I mentioned that I blanket-trained both of my kids as babies, and several people commented that they thought this was unreasonable. Rather than derail that thread any more than it already is I thought I would start a new one to discuss blanket-training and any alternatives.

I guess one of the things that perplexes me about all of you who think blanket-training is so evil and it's unnatural, conditioning, etc. is that I'm still not getting what y'all do instead. As far as I can tell, when a baby reaches that crawling/scooting/early walking stage, they have the mobility and physical skills to get around but not the logical or rational skills to deal with their newfound freedom safely. So it seems like we parents have a few options:
  1. Restrain baby in a safe place physically (pens, gates, etc)
  2. Restrain baby in a safe place psychologically (I gather this is Ezzo-style blanket-training)
  3. Supervise baby with your undivided attention 100% of the time and make sure he is never in an unsafe situation
  4. Let baby roam free, or
  5. Supervise him most of the time, but for those rare occasions when it isn't a realistic option, teach him how to keep himself safe (what I do)
I would never do #1; I just wouldn't. I agree with y'all that #2 is cruel and unreasonable for the baby. #4 seems way too unsafe to me. Those of you who think #5 is evil seem to be advocating #3, which is fine and I'm glad it works for y'all, but I am really not understanding how. I carried and wore mine with me a lot and stayed with them while they played, but do y'all not eat, drink, answer the phone, or go potty? And what about when there are other children? I could have maybe, possibly, assuming nothing ever went wrong, done this with my first, although I think it would have meant a lot more fits and a lot more hassle for us both. But for my second one, absolutely not. Not only did I also have a 3 yr old to deal with, but he was even more active and orally fixated than my first.

I'm serious--we're going to have at least one more baby and y'all have made me reconsider whether I should blanket-train him. But I need an alternative. So how do you do it?
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#2 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 06:41 PM
 
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I baby-proofed my living room and hall, and gated off or shut doors where DS shouldn't have been with out my supervision. I do think blanket training sounds rather odd. I train my dog to stay on her rug, I don't do that with my baby.
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#3 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 06:49 PM
 
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Well, I already chimed in on the other thread, and I have to say that if I'd known about blanket training, I'd have done it.

With my two closely spaced children, I tried pulling out a very exciting and interesting toy and hoped that ds would stay there long enough for me to do whatever needed to be done. Which I worried about. But I also felt guilty about taking him with me. There were times when he was in the middle of something, and I had to take him in to the bathroom to wipe dd, or answer the phone, or get dd out of some mess. He didn't like that very well.

I do have my house largely child-proofed, but I agree that they surprise you. They figure things out so quickly, and now my older child seems to always have hidden some little chokeable thing laying around that I missed, or pulled the furniture around so he can where it's not safe. And we don't have room for a playpen.

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#4 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 06:52 PM
 
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I babyproofed my kitchen and living room and dining room - which is just one big huge room. There are stairs going down to our fireside room, stairs going down to the front door, and stairs going up to the upstairs off of the living room. They had baby gates on them. I rarely used the gates as I basically gave DS 100% of my attention. When I had to go to the bathroom, he came with me. Answering the phone was not an issue since we have a phone in our baby proofed room. Eating and drinking....why would that be an issue. Babies are so portable - take them with you! Babyproof your kitchen!
I have not even heard of "blanket training" before this, and would never have thought to do this. I don't know anything about it being a non AP practice, or unreasonable....I would just have never thought to do this. And since it feels wrong to me, I would not do it, since I have travelled most of this mama road on gut instinct alone. Does it not feel a little "off" to you?
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#5 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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Yeah, I'm not getting what's wrong with gates? It seems to me that gating off a large space, still gives them more room than asking them to stay on a blanket. Why is a blanket better than a playpen?

As for me, I have never put my babies in a playpen or in a very confined gated space. In fact, I hardly use gates at all...I have one to keep baby from going up the stairs unsupervised, that's it. Everything else in our common living areas is babyproofed. I close bathroom doors. If I need to go to the bathroom and there are older child's unsafe toys about, I take baby with me. I have a portable phone, and another one with a super long cord...but I don't spend extended periods of time on the phone when I am with the kids alone.

I am talking about crawling babies to toddlers here. I agree that when babies are later on in their 2nd year, it is harder...they can open doors, and get in to lots of other things. Still never really thought of blanket training them, though.

If you don't do it like Ezzo suggests, how exactly do you accomplish blanket training? (genuinely curious)
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#6 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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I posted so much in the other thread, I can only add here:

Training a baby to remain on the blanket when you walk away from him undermines the very nature of attachment. For this reason I would call it unfriendly to attachment parenting. The baby, though he could physically crawl after you, has been psychologically conditioned to ignore his instinct and remain seated until you return. It is this state of a mental conditioning, along with the training behind it, which is directly at odds, to me, from attachment parenting.

I could go into other reasons, but to me this is the most relevent challenge blanket training makes to attachment parenting.

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#7 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 07:06 PM
 
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First, I would seriously doubt that blanket-training works for most babies without a pretty serious degree of coercion... which is why folks like the Pearls devote a lot of time to describing ways to punish babies into submission on the issue.

Most babies have got a lot on their minds, and "sitting still for Mommy" just ain't on the list of priorities. Show me a baby who compliantly sits on the blanket, and I'll show you fifteen who turn into screaming banshees at the very notion.

Second, I really believe that a lot of the... let's call it paranoia, for lack of a better word, about "unsupervised babies" is just a tad overblown. No, you cannot prevent 100 percent of possible accidents with even the most thorough babyproofing.

But you can sure reduce it significantly. And given the (rather low) risk of my kid doing something deadly in any room of my house, I am comfortable with accepting that risk for long enough to take a leak. Some folks aren't.

Hell, my friend is utterly horrified that we let our one-year-old climb the stairs unassisted. But you know what? He has never once fallen. And I do consider a certain amount of bumping and bruising and crying par for the course with a newly mobile baby. My hovering presence or harsh forms of blanket-training might prevent a few spills. But at what cost?
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#8 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 07:12 PM
 
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I just find the concept to be useless. Training a baby to stay on a blanket is not going to keep them safe. Staying on the blanket to "stay safe" will only work if you are right there in the room with them. I don't care how well you think you've "trained" them; if your intent on blanket training them is because you don't trust them to be unconfined in a room safely, you have absolutely no business leaving them alone in that room on a blanket. And if you are right there in the room with them, there is no need for the blanket, unless you are constantly otherwise occupied, in which case in hardly seems fair to punish the baby for your interests by confining them to a blanket.

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#9 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 07:17 PM
 
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I just find the concept to be useless. Training a baby to stay on a blanket is not going to keep them safe. Staying on the blanket to "stay safe" will only work if you are right there in the room with them. I don't care how well you think you've "trained" them; if your intent on blanket training them is because you don't trust them to be unconfined in a room safely, you have absolutely no business leaving them alone in that room on a blanket. And if you are right there in the room with them, there is no need for the blanket, unless you are constantly otherwise occupied, in which case in hardly seems fair to punish the baby for your interests by confining them to a blanket.
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#10 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 07:36 PM
 
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how exactly do you teach them to stay on the blanket?

Isn't this akin to learned helplessness?

Is it natural and healthy and conducive to learning and development for a baby to stay in one place?


I think many, if not most, of us just try to supervise our kids while they do what is developmentally appropriate.
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#11 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 07:36 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
So it seems like we parents have a few options:
  1. Restrain baby in a safe place physically (pens, gates, etc)
  2. Restrain baby in a safe place psychologically (I gather this is Ezzo-style blanket-training)
  3. Supervise baby with your undivided attention 100% of the time and make sure he is never in an unsafe situation
  4. Let baby roam free, or
  5. Supervise him most of the time, but for those rare occasions when it isn't a realistic option, teach him how to keep himself safe (what I do)
I would never do #1; I just wouldn't. I agree with y'all that #2 is cruel and unreasonable for the baby. #4 seems way too unsafe to me. Those of you who think #5 is evil seem to be advocating #3, which is fine and I'm glad it works for y'all, but I am really not understanding how. I carried and wore mine with me a lot and stayed with them while they played, but do y'all not eat, drink, answer the phone, or go potty? And what about when there are other children? I could have maybe, possibly, assuming nothing ever went wrong, done this with my first, although I think it would have meant a lot more fits and a lot more hassle for us both. But for my second one, absolutely not. Not only did I also have a 3 yr old to deal with, but he was even more active and orally fixated than my first.
What is your objection to No. 1? Everyone does it on some level, sometimes. Do you use a crib? A carseat? You're restraining your baby. I have three children bout 2 1/2 years apart each, and I use a combo of slings, carriers, backpack, the occassional baby gate (in front of the fireplace, for example, but that's more to keep them out than to keep them in). If I was going to do something where they were going to be out of my sight, I would put them in the bassinette or crib, because this was truly the safe option. If you blanket train baby 3, what are you going to be doing to make sure child 1 and child 2 stay away from the baby? Even supposing it is safe to train a baby and trust them to stay on a blanket--and I don't believe for a minute that it is--what about the other children? Will you be trusting them to stay on their blankets as well? Will you tell them not to touch the baby and just trust that they will unquestioningly obey?

Swings, chairs, cribs, etc can be overused as mama substitutes, but they are not evil in and of themselves for tiny "go to the bathroom"-sized chunks of time. They're certainly safer than trusting a baby to stay on a blanket and other children not to touch the baby.

I just don't understand how you can call blanket training a baby "teaching him how to keep himself safe." It's a baby. Or a toddler. Or a young child. It shouldn't be responsible for keeping itself safe, that's your job.

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#12 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 07:46 PM
 
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I didn't see the other thread. How do you train the baby to stay on the blanket, supposing that you wanted to? Do you use physical pain in any way? Withdrawal of affection? Of food? What kind of coercion does it take to make a baby do what is unnatural for him?
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#13 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 07:49 PM
 
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I have five children. Three are extremely close... i.e. twins then 16 months later another one.

We baby proofed our home. And we used gates. I have no problem using gates.

Blanket training is for animals, not humans. My children are people deserving of my utmost respect. And, as for teaching a child to "keep himself safe"....

Not his job. It's yours. Children aren't able to understand how to keep themselves safe when they are infants, toddlers, young children...even young adults. It's up to you as a parent to shoulder that responsibility.

Period.
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#14 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 08:05 PM
 
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i don't like the concept. i'd rather have my child think that he or she can't get somewhere bc there's a gate in the way than because mommy will be angry if they get off their little square. my babies shouldn't need to think about approval/disapproval. it was just never a necessity with me. i can't think of a time when what i did was insufficient.
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#15 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 08:26 PM
 
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first of all, i can't see how anyone would perceive blanket training as anything other than conditioning. this is something that you obviously strongly believe in, but don't shy away from calling things their names.

i won't be the first here to say that it is developmentally inappropriate at the age of 8 months. or a year. or even 2 years. but guess what. there is a point, and i don't know when this happened with my dd, but she is almost 4 now, and i can ask her to stay in one place, and in most situations i can trust her for short periods of time (a minute or so, i never needed to do this for more). not when she is upset, or frustrated, or angry. but when she is in a calm mood, and i explain and reason with her, i can trust her. because she is developmentally ready. i didn't have to 'prepare' her in advance.

when she was a crawling baby, or now with her 15 month old brother we baby proofed our apartment. not 'completely' -- there still were things that she could potentiall ruin. but there is nothing that could hurt her.

dd was a sling baby -- i carried her for up to 8 h a day, because she liked it. her brother is a 'down baby' -- he loves being on the floor and exploring.

when at home, they are never in an 'unsafe' situation. and i do let them raom free. but this does not mean that i do not pay attention to them.

another problem with blanket training is that by asking the baby to stay on the blanket you basically require the baby to be responsible for his own safety. this is a very unreasonable request, and it is a burden. babies and young children are impulse driven. and on some level they are aware that they are not safe by themselves, or they would not naturally attach to their parents -- they need our guidance and reassurance. blanket training diminishes their trust that the parent is there for them. all of a sudden they are on their own, responsible for themselves. this is a violation of trust. entrusting a young child with their own safety does not make any practical or psychological / emotional sense.
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#16 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 08:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I blanket-trained both of mine when they were about 8 months old, but they had already been playing on blankets on the floor from as soon as they could hold their heads up. Basically I just said "please stay on the blanket" and if they got off, I put them back and reminded them again. I explained it in more detail on the other thread. But there was no punishment or reward involved. It did not take long at all for either of them to "catch on" that I wanted them to stay on the blanket and they did so. I never kept them on the blanket for more than a few minutes.

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.



Quote:
Originally Posted by heartmama
Training a baby to remain on the blanket when you walk away from him undermines the very nature of attachment. For this reason I would call it unfriendly to attachment parenting. The baby, though he could physically crawl after you, has been psychologically conditioned to ignore his instinct and remain seated until you return. It is this state of a mental conditioning, along with the training behind it, which is directly at odds, to me, from attachment parenting.
I don't think he's really ignoring his instinct, but even if he were, don't we teach our children to ignore their instincts all the time for their own safety?



Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie
I just find the concept to be useless. Training a baby to stay on a blanket is not going to keep them safe. Staying on the blanket to "stay safe" will only work if you are right there in the room with them. I don't care how well you think you've "trained" them; if your intent on blanket training them is because you don't trust them to be unconfined in a room safely, you have absolutely no business leaving them alone in that room on a blanket. And if you are right there in the room with them, there is no need for the blanket, unless you are constantly otherwise occupied, in which case in hardly seems fair to punish the baby for your interests by confining them to a blanket.
It wasn't useless for us because it did work. They did learn to stay on the blanket. So I don't think it's true that they are somehow incapable of learning this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie
What is your objection to No. 1? Everyone does it on some level, sometimes. Do you use a crib? A carseat? You're restraining your baby. I have three children bout 2 1/2 years apart each, and I use a combo of slings, carriers, backpack, the occassional baby gate (in front of the fireplace, for example, but that's more to keep them out than to keep them in). If I was going to do something where they were going to be out of my sight, I would put them in the bassinette or crib, because this was truly the safe option.
We never used a crib; both of the kids slept in bassinets and then went straight to "grown-up beds." Carseats are required by law, but as I said on the other thread, I really hated doing that to them, and they objected much more strenuously to the carseats than they did to blanket-training. I don't consider slings, backpacks, etc. to be restraint devices like pens and gates and cribs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie
If you blanket train baby 3, what are you going to be doing to make sure child 1 and child 2 stay away from the baby? Even supposing it is safe to train a baby and trust them to stay on a blanket--and I don't believe for a minute that it is--what about the other children? Will you be trusting them to stay on their blankets as well? Will you tell them not to touch the baby and just trust that they will unquestioningly obey?
Yes, I would trust them not to touch the baby. I taught dd not to touch ds when he was a baby (when he was a toddler was another story...) I guess I just have a lot more faith in young children's capacity for self-control. I think if we treat them like they have self-control, they are much more likely to act accordingly.



Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodWillHunter
Blanket training is for animals, not humans. My children are people deserving of my utmost respect.
I agree that children are people deserving of utmost respect. But I think that teaching them to stay on a blanket for short periods of time is more respectful than locking them in a pen or behind a gate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoodWillHunter
And, as for teaching a child to "keep himself safe"....

Not his job. It's yours. Children aren't able to understand how to keep themselves safe when they are infants, toddlers, young children...even young adults. It's up to you as a parent to shoulder that responsibility.
Yes, it's my job to keep them safe while they're babies, but it's also my job to teach them how to keep themselves safe, because I won't always be able to do it for them.
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#17 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 08:43 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by annabanana
first of all, i can't see how anyone would perceive blanket training as anything other than conditioning. this is something that you obviously strongly believe in, but don't shy away from calling things their names.
I don't believe in it strongly; that's why I'm open to alternatives. But I don't agree that it's wrong or abusive or conditioning.

Quote:
i won't be the first here to say that it is developmentally inappropriate at the age of 8 months. or a year. or even 2 years. but guess what. there is a point, and i don't know when this happened with my dd, but she is almost 4 now, and i can ask her to stay in one place, and in most situations i can trust her for short periods of time (a minute or so, i never needed to do this for more). not when she is upset, or frustrated, or angry. but when she is in a calm mood, and i explain and reason with her, i can trust her. because she is developmentally ready. i didn't have to 'prepare' her in advance.
I think that they can understand staying in one place as babies, but they need a concrete reminder of what that place is (the blanket).

Quote:
another problem with blanket training is that by asking the baby to stay on the blanket you basically require the baby to be responsible for his own safety. this is a very unreasonable request, and it is a burden. babies and young children are impulse driven. and on some level they are aware that they are not safe by themselves, or they would not naturally attach to their parents -- they need our guidance and reassurance. blanket training diminishes their trust that the parent is there for them. all of a sudden they are on their own, responsible for themselves. this is a violation of trust. entrusting a young child with their own safety does not make any practical or psychological / emotional sense.
I think it enhances their trust because it shows that I trust them enough to stay put and I don't need to lock them up. I don't think it makes them responsible for themselves though.
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#18 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 08:54 PM
 
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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.
Isn't your home a pen- a big one, but a cage nonetheless? Don't we fence in our yards? To me- to say you do not believe in these things- do you close doors? Isn't that caging a child? Do you leave your front door open all the time as to not "pen" your child? How is a physical barrier a problem? Especially if it occurs in our daily world?

As far as blanket training goes- the term is a Gothard one- do you follow his other methods as well? I balk at the term training and young infants.


As far as alternatives- I do a combination of closing doors- (creating a pen- yes I know- but a big one)- babyproofing and supervision. And to answer the argument about being able to take care of other children I have 5 under 18 in my home. I manage to care for all of them while providing heavy supervision for my toddler- so it is possible!
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#19 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 08:59 PM
 
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Originally Posted by heartmama

Training a baby to remain on the blanket when you walk away from him undermines the very nature of attachment. For this reason I would call it unfriendly to attachment parenting. The baby, though he could physically crawl after you, has been psychologically conditioned to ignore his instinct and remain seated until you return. It is this state of a mental conditioning, along with the training behind it, which is directly at odds, to me, from attachment parenting.


Response:

I don't think he's really ignoring his instinct, but even if he were, don't we teach our children to ignore their instincts all the time for their own safety?


With attachment parenting, a baby is encouraged to express his natural attachment-building behaviors, and parents are encouraged to rethink mainstream expectations so they may better support the attachment process. This is part of the foundation of their relationship.

Your theory with blanket training seems to rest upon divorcing safety from attachment.

Considering the myriad issues that arise in daily life that cause us to think about safety, I think it is good to think about how attachment relates to this issue.

Is there a way to keep a baby safe and support attachment? The parents here are saying yes.

If there is a way to do both, is that preferable? Within attachment theory, yes.

Do you want agreement with the blanket training method? Do you just want to advocate it? Do you feel something unfair was said which is prompting you to press the issue for clarification?

I'm trying to understand how blanket training relates to attachment parenting in the first place.

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#20 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 08:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brigianna
Basically I just said "please stay on the blanket" and if they got off, I put them back and reminded them again. I explained it in more detail on the other thread. But there was no punishment or reward involved.
What was their response to their desire to explore or get to you being thwarted?

Quote:
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.
It's strange to me that you don't seem to realize that you're basically subjecting your children to a pen without the physical pen. You're still restraining them in one place, you're just doing it with a blanket instead of a gate.


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I agree that children are people deserving of utmost respect. But I think that teaching them to stay on a blanket for short periods of time is more respectful than locking them in a pen or behind a gate.
I guess I don't understand why it has to be one or another. I never locked ds in a pen - not even when I had three other children to attend to. I also never stuck him on a blanket and made him stay when he wanted to leave.

And, still, I think blanket vs. pen is a distinction without a difference. Blanket vs. gate? Well, it depends on how the gate is used. If it's used to block off dangers yet allow the baby to still have access to you, then there's a difference in favor of the gate. If it's used as a pen, it's the same as the blanket, just higher.

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Yes, it's my job to keep them safe while they're babies, but it's also my job to teach them how to keep themselves safe, because I won't always be able to do it for them.
Why are you so intent on doing this when they aren't ready to have that responsibility? Ds is 5. He's gradually becoming more and more aware of how to keep himself safe. It's an ongoing process. I don't think it's fair to burden children with responsibility before they're ready. And I don't think not training them from the time they enter the world does any harm whatsoever in the long run.
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#21 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 09:36 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
I blanket-trained both of mine when they were about 8 months old, but they had already been playing on blankets on the floor from as soon as they could hold their heads up. Basically I just said "please stay on the blanket" and if they got off, I put them back and reminded them again. I explained it in more detail on the other thread. But there was no punishment or reward involved. It did not take long at all for either of them to "catch on" that I wanted them to stay on the blanket and they did so. I never kept them on the blanket for more than a few minutes.
so when you didn't need for them to be confined for the blanket, would they stay there anyway? i mean...did they learn (at 8mos) that they can roam free when you're there but as soon as you say "stay on the blanket" they couldn't? or did they just assume that they are never allowed to leave the blanket?

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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.
deeply personal? that's confusing to me...can you explain why?

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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.
wouldn't it just be better to focus on teaching them not to put things in their mouths? i mean, later on you say:
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I guess I just have a lot more faith in young children's capacity for self-control. I think if we treat them like they have self-control, they are much more likely to act accordingly.
but i really think that you're demonstrating the opposite with the blanket training. their self-control is limited to staying in one place when determined appropriate by your words of "please stay on the blanket"...but not when it comes to putting things in their mouths, playing with sockets, pulling things off shelves, etc? if they are so able to self-control, why don't you focus on those behaviors instead?


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Yes, it's my job to keep them safe while they're babies, but it's also my job to teach them how to keep themselves safe, because I won't always be able to do it for them.
but...i mean, you have time...at 8months you are still there MOST of the time (i hope!)...do they really need to learn this at such a young age?
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#22 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 10:14 PM
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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.
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#23 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 10:15 PM
 
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>>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.<<

unless the object is small enough to choke on, what is really a big deal with having it in the mouth? i don't get it.

or teach them not to put things in their mouths? which is a more concrete, safety oriented response?
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#24 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 10:24 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 agree with this post. The nicest way I can put it is that I think blanket training is sick.

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#25 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 10:25 PM
 
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The difference with blanket training is by the child crawling off, that is their protest, and it is repeatedly ignored.
Well said.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#26 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 10:37 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Brigianna
Yes, I would trust them not to touch the baby. I taught dd not to touch ds when he was a baby (when he was a toddler was another story...) I guess I just have a lot more faith in young children's capacity for self-control. I think if we treat them like they have self-control, they are much more likely to act accordingly.
I have plenty of faith in children's capacity for many things. However, where we obviously disagree is that I would never expect a child--an infant or toddler especially--to self-regulate. And what will you if you're in the bathroom, baby is on the rug and starts fussing, and your oldest decides to help mama, pick Baby up, and drops him? Of course, that's a worse-case scenario, but that and worse has happened to parents just as conscientious as you. The bottom line is that the only person's behavior you can control is your own. If your baby decides to crawl off the blanket, or your toddler decides to toddle over and sit on Baby's head, or your oldest decides to try to pick the baby up, and you're not in the room, it's on your head, not thier's. THAT is what I have been saying over and over and over again, and you just don't seem to be hearing or understanding me. Unless you can absolutely 100% guarantee that nothing will happen when you are out of the room you shouldn't be leaving your child unattended on the blanket, honestly trusting and believing they aren't going to go wandering off. Even blanket trained babies need babysafe houses and lots of adult supervision. Your logic reminds me of the people who "teach" their children to swim and then are shocked when they drown. After all, the children were taught and should know better.

Am I being a bit overdramatic. Perhaps. But just because these things aren't likely to happen doesn't mean they won't.


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Yes, it's my job to keep them safe while they're babies, but it's also my job to teach them how to keep themselves safe, because I won't always be able to do it for them.
Baby.
Toddler.
Small child.
They will learn eventually, and if you're not willing to dedicate yourself to keeping them safe their first few years, then I guess we're at an impasse. Motherhood is a full-time vocation, and I see blanket-training as an attempt to circumvent a child's natural growth process and give the mama an easy way out that is, in reality, not safe at all.

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#27 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 10:38 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.


To your entire post.

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#28 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 10:47 PM
 
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Brigianna

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I don't believe in it strongly; that's why I'm open to alternatives. But I don't agree that it's wrong or abusive or conditioning.
I think it's great that you are open to alternatives.

I also think most of us are very sensitive to being told we should have parented differently on an issue, and if the alternatives rest on hearing that, many people aren't going to change. So, if you want to explore alternatives, I'm hesitant to say much more that puts you on the defensive. I'd really prefer to give you alternatives than to keep pointing out what's wrong with blanket training.

I agree that your version of blanket training isn't abusive~conditioning, to me yes, but that isn't "abuse", in the sense that slapping or neglecting to feed a baby is abuse.

I am curious if you have considered the ways that attachment and safety CAN work together? I think this is really the key to understanding ap alternatives to blanket training.

Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children--William Makepeace Thackeray
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#29 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 10:51 PM
 
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Well for dogs, they have those collars to shock them when they leave the yard. Seems like an alternative to your idea.
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#30 of 192 Old 04-15-2006, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Madre Piadosa
Isn't your home a pen- a big one, but a cage nonetheless? Don't we fence in our yards? To me- to say you do not believe in these things- do you close doors? Isn't that caging a child? Do you leave your front door open all the time as to not "pen" your child? How is a physical barrier a problem? Especially if it occurs in our daily world?
In a symbolic sense maybe, but I don't really see them as comparable. And I fence in my yard and lock my doors to keep strangers out, not to keep my family members in. We have a privacy fence in the backyard that both of my kids could easily cross, but they don't, because I've asked them not to. It's a symbolic boundary, just like the blanket.

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As far as blanket training goes- the term is a Gothard one- do you follow his other methods as well? I balk at the term training and young infants.
I don't know anything about Gothard or what he teaches. I know he has a Christian homeschooling curriculum and said something about dolls being sinful but that's about it.

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As far as alternatives- I do a combination of closing doors- (creating a pen- yes I know- but a big one)- babyproofing and supervision. And to answer the argument about being able to take care of other children I have 5 under 18 in my home. I manage to care for all of them while providing heavy supervision for my toddler- so it is possible!
Dana
Can you give a concrete example?
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