Question, what animal do you think humans are more like a primate or a bird?
I’m guessing bird…
No? Primate, huh who would have thought it?
Why did I think bird well because of how we are told to respond to our babies and children.
Lets take a very simplistic view of how primates and birds raise their young.
Primates give birth to their young, the breastfeed them, carry them and sleep with them.
Birds lay eggs, incubate, feed them ‘solids’ (grubs, worms etc), don’t sleep with them. Yeah the nest is built for the chicks to live in not the parents to sleep in.
So if we are more closely related to primates why are we being encouraged to raise our young like birds?
I know that people will say that I am being too simple, but am I?
When our babies are born they are born about four weeks too early, they cannot burb themselves, they can hardly see, the world is a terrifying place for them . That’s why we have the fourth trimester. Another 4 weeks where baby is outside the womb but should be surrounded by mama and dada. They should ideally be breastfed on demand and held. The whole not wanting to be put down is completely normal.
But even after the fourth trimester has passed we shouldn’t be heading straight for the independence route. Our babies brains at this point are operating on a primal level. Their brains are not mature enough to understand why they should sleep in that big cot all alone in their room. They do not understand that mama and dada will still be there in the morning if they sleep all night. Their brain literally cannot compute it.
Why then are we constantly being bombarded with information like ‘put down when awake but sleep’, ‘self -soothing’, ‘responsive settling’, ‘they’re too old for breastfeeding now’. On and on.
I’m not mummy shaming I’m society shaming.
I get that society has changed. I understand mums have to return to work now (hey I’m adjusting to it myself) but I firmly believe we have shifted so much that we struggle to raise our children in the healthiest and natural way as possible.
There is more and more research coming out that shows how more authoritarian, independence focused parenting i.e. using sleep training methods, putting baby in their own room, not carrying baby, not responding gently and connecting with the child is causing huge issues later on in life. Things like anxiety, attachment issues, low self esteem.
Why are we pushing parents to raise their young in a way that is completely unnatural? Why is it Cry It Out is not seen as a form of abuse? Why are we told that we should get into a schedule, make the baby feed at this time and sleep at that time?
Oh I know that life requires schedules, but that’s my point, society is no longer family friendly.
Take me. I’m returning to work, been doing some hours already, I drop my Firecracker off at 7.15, I then go o work. I pump at work using my lunch break, Firecracker picked up by Dada at around 5.15, I get home about 5.45-6. I get an hour with her.
Supposedly I’m on ‘flexi-time’ so I can have working hours to suit, except in reality that’s just bull. I can’t work from home as it’s not allowed, I still have to cover core hours so basically 10-2 in the office, how is this being flexible?
I’m having to use my lunch break to pump so I am literally in my office from 8.30 until 5.
Again there is huuugggeeee amounts of research about how important it is to have just 30 minutes break from your work environment.
I know others have it worse. But that’s the point society is no longer flexible to parenting and it flipping sucks!
Oh I know the get our response, ‘you chose to have a baby you shouldn’t get special treatment.’ On the one hand sure, on the other continuing the human race….