Aussie Mums run baby-sleep trainer out of town

Just when you thought controlled-crying was sinking into the past, it makes a comeback in Australia – and a pretty scary one, at that. Beats me how one sworn to uphold the Hippocratic oath can train a Mother to cold-shoulder her wailing child. Somehow, these people just keep coming back.

But this time, this peddler was not prepared for what awaited him – and neither were his promoters. A wave of furious mothers, a deluge of outraged calls and mail. Such was the backlash that this doctor’s gig at a Melbourne Baby Expo was canceled. Read about it HERE.

Is this a sign of the times? Is the Maternal asserting a new place in our baby-phobic society? Watching these well-organized Mothers triumph over this new horror; I was moved to pen the following words:

“So, here we are again, yet another charmer in a white coat promising broken and desperate mothers a night of healing rest, guilt free – while 10,000 babies are consigned to scream in Solitary Confinement; for having the temerity to ‘cry too much’.

Helping mothers is not on the agenda in a free-market society. Quarantining babies until they stop acting like babies, that is the low hanging fruit. No questions asked.

What is wrong with this picture? Does it not seem a little eerie that we treat this as an issue of “science”? For sure, agenda-driven junk science does need to be exposed and media jockeys need to be educated. But honestly, do we need a laboratory report to tell us it is OK to respond to a child? What else? Do we wait for test results to confirm that we need a hug? Do we argue the statistical significance of our need to breathe clean air? Do we need to cite medical journals to endorse our urge to eat?

How did we become so detached from our own feelings, so detached from one another? First we ask the good doctor if our baby’s wail means anything. And to defend love, we must present papers from peer reviewed journals. Is this what has become of us, in this Attention-Deficit Society? Detachment is all around us, it is the default setting; we who were left to ‘cry it out’ on the front porch, we grow up to dissect human vulnerability like an intellectual parlor game.

How small were we made to feel; shamed and brow-beaten in our suburbs and our school halls? “Because I told you so!”, they said to us, with one voice. And we carry this smallness inside, we take counsel without question from the modern Priest: He that wears the Stethoscope – “because he told us so”.

Look around. We are the ‘normal’. We are the ‘healthy’. We are the ‘good’. The ‘good society’ we built by silencing babies and children – is this what we want to pass-on to our young? What if we let the noisy Caesars of Science babble among themselves, and all the while listen; deeply listen to what our hearts have been whispering all along?

The Press and the Priests bay for ‘proof’ that babies have feelings. Give it to them, there is plenty. In the home meanwhile, the heart laughs at ‘proof’. Go to the baby. And for love’s sake, be hugged.”

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4 Responses to Aussie Mums run baby-sleep trainer out of town

  1. Pat Torngren says:

    Hi Robin, I love your article, I love your indignation and the fact that you are not pussyfooting around this issue. There is a time for appropriate anger and indignation when the most vulnerable of sentient beings (human babies) are being abused, and by a white-coated doctor at that. Thank you for speaking out — your voice is much needed at this time, and we do so appreciate you as the voice of reason and compassion!

  2. Hi Robin

    Thanks for your article – Bravo!

    Perhaps you and your readers might be interested in listening to a free online presentation by anthropologist Prof Helen Ball (Durham University Parent-Infant Sleep Lab) re latest research on normal infant sleep, the importance of night-time connection between mother & baby, sleep training, safe infant bed sharing, hazardous sleep-sharing practices, SIDS & more.

    The recorded presentation is available to the public until Fri 24 Oct. Here’s the link:

    Cheers, Julieanne

    • Robin Grille says:

      Thank you for sharing this, Julieanne! Fantastic! This kind of info probably needs to go to doctors and nurses – mothers already feel it, by and large.

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