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Discussion Starter #1
Has anyone every sent their child to a <a href="http://www.rie.org/" target="_blank">RIE</a> (Resources for Infant Educarers) daycare? My DS will be starting at a day care part-time in the beginning of February. The people there seem super nice, gentle, and kind but the reading material they gave me and some of the things the director said to me have me a little concerned.<br><br>
To me, the RIE philosophy seems extremely UNattached. The philosophy is "less is more", hands-off, and "more watching, less doing". Basically, you are supposed to put your infant down on the floor and observe them without intervening even if they get frustrated because "frustration is a fact of life'. This is supposed to foster independence and self-confidence in infants with the goal of "unburdening" parents of the need to constantly hold and tend to their child. It is also anti-co-sleeping, anti-baby-wearing, and so much more.<br><br>
My DS is 5 months old. He is a VERY busy baby and needs lots of stimulation. He naps in the sling and doesn't sleep well at night either. The thought of my DS on the floor with maybe one toy to play with, crying makes me so upset <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">. I know he will get frustrated and I know it is their philosophy to not intervene. A ceiling can only be exciting for so long, KWIM? <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I am having quite a bit of anxiety about this. As I mentioned, all the employees seem so kind and they promised that they wouldn't let him CIO. They are into BLW and were interested in ECing although they can not do it for health reasons. They are also into cloth diapering and actually WANT me to come nurse him as often as I can. I also know another AP mom who has her DS there and she really likes it but her son is older and able to move around when he gets bored in one spot. It just seems that babies, at 5 months of age, are build to be held. They are dependent - and that's OK. I am not in any hurry to teach him any harsh life lessons. I talk to DS all the time, play with him, read to him, sing to him, nurse him when he wants to be nursed, and hold him when he wants to be held. He is able to entertain himself for periods of time but not all the time.<br><br>
Sorry for the book. Please someone tell me that you have had a good experience with your child in a RIE daycare. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/confused.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Confused">:<br><br>
(x-posted in working mamas forum)
 

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When dd was 10 months old she started daycare at an excellent center. However, her room teacher was really into RIE. My dd is very high needs to begin with and is used to lots of attention, interaction, and affection--all of which essentially went against the RIE philosophy that this teacher practised.<br><br>
Bottom line: we had a TERRIBLE time there. Dd never adjusted and she spent the day crying to be held by ANY adult around which the teacher would not allow and she later reported that to me PROUDLY saying that it was so good for my dd's development when she eventually gave up and played by herself. I personally found it cruel and reported it to the center's director (who agreed with me). She was also into hands off, listen, observe, let the kids figure things out for themselves, express their sadness, anger, frustration, etc.<br><br>
You know, I think it could work for SOME kids. But it did NOT work for my dd. We had a terrible, terrible time there <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"><br><br>
I later found out that none of the parents approved of this teacher's methods and, well, now we have a new, wonderful, attentive and caring teacher with whom dd is THRIVING <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I'm really cynical about these kinds of philosophies. It sounds like it was probably less inspired by how it would effect children and more inspired by how much less work it would be to watch them.<br><br>
Personally, I'd chose something else, but I know it's hard for working moms to find good childcare. I'm sad to hear that someone has even created a "philosophy" like this.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks so much for your input. Much as I suspected, this situation is BAD, BAD, BAD for a high needs infant. This "philosophy" doesn't seem to take into account that all babies are different and have different levels of needs. My DS is also high needs - and a RIE person would say that we spoiled him by holding and coddling him too much but I obviously disagree.<br><br>
The thing is that it is only 5 minutes from my office and I can go over as much as I want to or need to. Also - the only other daycare close by is the university daycare (I work at the university) but the infant teacher said she would "have" to let him CIO to "train" him to sleep in the crib <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad">. It is so hard to find good daycare in Vegas, never mind so close to my work. I think we are going to try it and see how it goes. I will be popping in very often and if I feel his needs aren't being met I will pull him out of there.<br><br>
Thanks again. Maybe I'll update and let everyone know how it goes. He starts Feb 4th (sniff, sniff).
 

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Our daughter was in an place that used the RIE philosophy, and while I don't know how strictly they adhered to the practices, I didn't find them unattached <i>at all</i>. They way that I understand RIE is that it's giving the child a chance to problem solve and explore before stepping in. Letting a baby experience frustration isn't the same as letting them scream and howl on the floor. If a child is overwhelmed, they intervene. The entire philosophy is based on respect for the child, which is very much in tune with an AP philosophy IMO.<br><br>
There was one child in my daughter's room (there were 8 children, they all started at the same time because it's at a university and they are on the university calendar) who was high needs and used to being held all the time and breastfed on demand when she entered the classroom. This child was 12 months old (the youngest in the group of 12-18 month olds). It was a rough, rough transition for her.<br><br>
The first week, the teachers held her pretty much all the time and she cried <i>a lot</i>. The second week, they held her down at their waists rather than their shoulders because their hearing was beginning to suffer. The third week, they began sitting down with her on the floor and having her sit next to them. Then they'd leave for brief periods of time, and check in verbally. By the end of a month, she'd adjusted and was OK being on her own for periods of time and was exploring the classroom. This was a very gentle, caring approach to helping her settle, and yet they expressed their fundamental belief that she could learn to adjust. And she did.<br><br>
Our dd was (is) terrible at falling asleep on her own, and her teachers sat next to her cot and rubbed her back as she fell asleep every day she was in that room.<br><br>
I know that in the classroom that has the younger children (6-12 month olds), I always see a child being held. The teachers are on the floor with the children. There are no swings or other baby storing devices (there are cribs for naps and chairs for eating). I rarely heard crying from that room (it was connected to my dd's room by a shared bathroom, and dd's diapers, etc. were stored there.)<br><br>
I would read Magda Gerber's book "Your confident baby" - I was intrigued by it, though not completely swayed over by it. I would go to the daycare and observe what they do with the babies - when do they intervene? I would go to the daycare and ask specifically about how they're going to help your son adjust -- knowing that he's used to being held, nursed on demand, etc.<br><br>
To me, it sounds like a reasonable place, and a heck of a lot better than a place that declares it will have to let your ds CIO.
 

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I imagine that, like anything else, a lot depends on the individual caretaker. Specifically, how they define what kind of situation requires intervention. Our caretaker basically wouldn't intervene unless a child was in physical danger. Otherwise, she believed in being hands off and letting the children work things out for themselves. I can see where some children would do fine with that (lower-needs children, older children), but a high needs infant like my dd really had a hard time with it. She was used to being comforted when she felt sad, lonely, scared, etc., and this particular caretaker just didn't believe in doing that. Unfortunately, that did result in children sitting alone on the floor crying hysterically. If they received comfort, it was only verbal--a calm, reassuring voice, but no holding or hugging for comfort. I don't think it was "un-attached" per se and I think the caretaker sincerely believed that she was doing what was best for the children (she was not at all an uncaring, cold person). But for her, expressing feelings of anger and sadness was best left to the child to work through by themselves. Again, for some children that might be appropriate. It just wasn't for my dd, especially not as as a pre-verbal infant, and it really turned me off the whole REI approach.
 

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Jackalope, the fact that they've already said they won't do CIO is reassuring.<br><br>
I would go and talk with them and ask them to give you some examples of their interactions with 5 month olds. Ask them if they've had any problems with children not working well with RIE and what they did in those cases.<br><br>
I'd also talk to them (if those first responses are encouraging) about how since your ds isn't mobile you prefer to carry him as much as possible so he can observe more of the world and learn, and that you've found that he gets frustrated very quickly with "tummy-time" and that's what concerns you about the center.<br><br>
Doesn't matter how bad a fit the theory is to your kid if the teachers are sensible and understanding of all children being different.<br><br>
(For instance, the lady at EVC's daycare would be a perfect example of "not sensible.")
 

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I think that all child related 'methods' can be done well - and done badly. I've seen people do AP is such a way where they end up with a complete terror of a pre-teen because they fail to realize that their child 'needs' some limits. And I've seen people who do much more strict methods end up with kids who still trust them.<br><br>
Is it possible for you and your DS to go spend a day at this place? Where you can watch and observe? That might give you a better feel if this would be a good fit or desasterous.<br><br>
I think it's interesting the poster who said that her experience with it was pretty inline with AP. Because after your post I've done some reading about it. And I think that if a middle ground was taken bu someone with some common sense - then it could be pretty AP. There is a huge difference between doing all the time CIO and letting a kid get a bit frustrated to see what they can/will do. I know that when my DD started to want to move (around 4 months) I did delay a little bit (maybe 30 seconds at first) giving her back toys to see if she would crawl to them.<br><br>
But really - if it's possible I would try to visit and see. No CIO sounds awesome to me. That's my own personal big thing.
 
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