Friday, May 14, 2010

An Unplanned Rant...

AAAGGGHHHH!!!!! BLECH! GRRPPPP!!!! - splutter, splutter, choke - OMG!!!! I don't know where to begin. I just had the great misfortune to catch a few of this week's parenting segments on Ireland A.M and to be quite honest, I don't even know if I can continue typing, such is my disgust at the sheer amount of absolute rubbish being presented.

First off, the segment on Ann Sinnott, author of "Brastfeding Older Children," had the potential to educate people on this taboo topic. Instead, the female presenter spent the entire time staring at her in absolute shock and horror whilst comparing allowing children to breastfeed for an extended period of time to allowing kids to stay up late and eat loads of junk food whenever they feel like it.

Her other oh so informed point was that we don't allow babies to remain in nappies till they are 6, so why let them breastfeed? (?!?!?!?!?)

The presenters proceeded to read out several comments from similarly negative minded viewers whilst ignoring the many voices of support which appeared all over their facebook and twitter pages.

This morning's interview with so called baby expert, Tizzie Hall, (who wrote all of her books before she became a mother herself) dealt with the ever popular topic of infant sleep.

Despite my grievances over the appalling way they handled yesterday's foray into the world of extended breastfeeding, I held out hope for today as they opened the segment with recently published studies which prove that yes, leaving your baby to cry DOES in fact hurt your baby's emotional development.

However, Ms. Hall then proceeded to interpret the study her own way in order to fit with the theories outlined in her own book (plug, plug) which all incorporate some form of controlled crying. Apparently, Ms.Hall can interpret your child's cries and can tell you which ones are real and which ones are a mere form of emotional blackmail on the part of your infant (blood. pressure. rising. will. explode. soon.)

The presenters loved her. Clearly, this was a woman who knew her stuff. Who cared that she only recently became a mother herself and yet wrote all of her books years ago based on her work as a nanny. This woman believed in taking care of the parents' needs first and THAT made sense to them!


Sorry if this is all a bit incoherent and ranty. I only just watched the two segments and had to vent somewhere.

What are your views on extended breastfeeding and controlled crying? (please don't be afraid to be honest, even though you can probably already tell where I sit on these subjects! lol)


  1. Oh I've seen that woman talking about sleep before. I have to say that I didn't like her either or her theories. I am very lucky that I never had (so far) any problems with my girls and sleep. As for the breastfeeding, I did breastfeed so can't really comment! X

  2. Sorry that was meant to read didn't breastfeed.

  3. Ooohh, I will rant right along with you at both. Controlled crying is just plain wrong, if a baby cries it is because they have a need for something and if that something is a cuddle they why can't they have it? gggrrrr. I breastfed two of my children and don't have any problems with the choices people make for their own children. Glad I didn't see those segments! Jen.

  4. Great rant Mammydiaries! I think that what you believe in is the ideal, but it doesn't work for everyone. To be honest I think parents have to do what works for them, depending on the child (ren), the family situation, and how much support is available. I didn't breastfeed for a number of reasons, including cos my husband didn't like the idea. He also left the babycare to me and I would never have managed to go back to work after 10 weeks (which you had to in the early 90s) unless I'd established a routine. On number 2 and 3 special needs kicked in along with just as little help and so I did whatever I had to do but I would certainly not say that I did "controlled crying", I just tried to keep us all reasonably happy!

  5. Controlled crying makes me loose control of myself...'nuf said...

  6. Rant away, sister!! I'm with you on everything. I am breastfeeding my almost 3 year old right now and I dare anyone to tell me that it is akin to feeding kids junk food and letting them stay up all night. WTF????

    What is it about our selfish society that makes us want to believe that the needs of infants and children are not important. And that our grownup needs/desires are? I sleep with both my children still because it just feels right. I don't expect everyone else to do it, but I am glad I can comfort them in this loving way.

    To me, the trickiest part about parenting is about finding that balance between meeting the needs of your kids and meeting your own needs. But I think our society has it swayed too far in the direction of parental needs by coming up with infinite numbers of theories that say it's okay to let babies cry, that they need to be independent, don't need to suckle, they are just manipulating us, etc, etc, etc.

    Great post. I'll listen to your rants any day!!!!

  7. There is a lot of talk of controlled crying, crying it out, etc but when it comes right down to it in the majority of cases, a mom knows her
    baby. I let my babies cry for a few minutes
    (up to ten) when going to sleep on occasion as
    I knew they needed sleep and were overtired and
    I had done all I could for them. I also walked
    the floor with four of my kids for hours on end
    when they had colic but that was different. They
    were in pain and no amount of crying it out was
    going to put them to sleep. I think at the end
    of the day there is no one rule that applies to
    all babies. We have to find our own way with
    some guidance from other sources but the decision to breastfeed or not, let out babies
    cry for a short period or not, is ours and
    somehow they all grow up and most sleep through
    the night eventually. But as my mom told me never ignore a crying child as they may have gotten sick etc. You can keep an eye from a
    distance. Love you.

  8. Thank you all for your posts :)
    @Foodie: (btw, loved your neighbor blog the other day!) It isn't so much about whether or not people choose to or are able to breastfeed, I suppose what gets to me is how people feel very free to express such negative views on something that we really need to be more supportive of. When I was doing the research for mammydiaries, the number one reason people gave for not breastfeeding was lack of support (which also, on another note, was a very common thread in those dealing with postnatal depression. It's amazing how powerful a helping hand or lack thereof can be...)

    @everyone: Whenever I think about some of the "methods" offered to parents, it makes me cringe. Imagine if our friends and family treated us the way we are expected to treat our children. Imagine having a really shitty day and just feeling so low in yourself, all you need is a good cuddle and instead your partner comes in and says "Are you hungry? No? Do you need to go to the bathroom? No? Are you too cold? Too hot? Well gosh! I guess you're shit outta luck there baby!" And walked away. Or even worse, just ignored you because you were only "looking for attention" or "acting up" or even worse "manipulating" them somehow. grrrrr.....

    We forget that children are people with feelings too, not just physical needs.

    @Bluesky: I totally agree that there is no magic fix that works for everyone. Every baby and parent is different as you pointed out, as are their circumstances. But I do believe that as a society we need to make changes so that we can better support parents and children, especially in the early years.

    We have all the research in front of us that shows what children need most but unfortunately, the world we live in doesn't accomodate these needs and that is the big issue that needs changing. In a lot of America, the 10wek mat leave is still in operation which is ridiculous.

  9. @ Anonymous: I love you too :) And you did an amazing job, the results speak (and blog!) for themselves. x

  10. Hey,
    I dont have an opinion on extended breastfeeding. I think that maybe some people can take it a little overboard, but I also feel that its up to each parent to decide what is best, not only for the baby, but for the whole family.

    which leads me onto controlled crying. I can see why it upsets people so much. But when I decided to do it with both my children, it wasnt just to make them sleep through the night. My motives were to teach my children that the reason they were crying is because they are tired. and i wanted to teach them that they didnt need to cry when tired. that the best remedy for tiredness isnt a cuddle from mommy or daddy, the best remedy for tiredness is sleep. (something i am still trying to teach my husband who insists on staying up late watching tv, but then complains all day the next day that he is tired)
    i did controlled crying for my children, but yes, i also did it for myself and my husband - SHOCK HORROR! i feel that we needed better sleep so that we could function as better parents.
    i did put a time limit on the controled crying method, i resolved if they werent sleeping through by day 4, that i would leave it and try again in a month. the older one slept through on night 4. the younger one i had to try again once, and she slept though on night 3.

    im not sure if i would have used the "no cry sleep solution" as i dont really know what it is, and i dont need it now. maybe if i have another child i will give it a read, but will go with my gut.

    diferent methods work for different people/parents/children/FAMILIES

    for example, my youngest girl wold have been happy to sleep through the night in my bed, stuck to my boob. but it didnt work for me, because i couldnt sleep with her there. but that doesnt stop me suggesting to new breastfeeding moms to give it a try, it might work for them

    - Phoenix Family Fun