Tag Archive for Ugh

How to Turn a Brand Advocate Into a Scourge in 8 Easy Steps

Mocking your customers’ concerns, especially when you profited from those specific concerns, is not a classy move.

SIGG went from darling of the blogosphere to pariah by following this simple plan:

  1. Take advantage of a health concern by positioning your product as the solution.
  2. Put out confusing statements that you cannot disclose what’s in your bottle lining but that your bottles “do not leach BPA” and are “non-toxic”. **wink, wink, nudge, nudge**
  3. Strong arm anyone who says there is BPA in the bottle lining
  4. Quietly develop a lining that is actually BPA-free without mentioning that the old one has BPA.
  5. Issue a legally and linguistically convoluted piece of double-speak claiming you are admitting the old liners had BPA because “the conversation has changed”.
  6. Don’t correct anyone who mentions that SIGG is BPA-free but then blame any confusion on journalists and retailers.
  7. Although you benefited from consumers concerned about BPA, claim that BPA really ain’t all that bad.
  8. And don’t forget to mock consumers, especially moms, on your facebook page (and then quickly delete it when someone challenges you).

SIGG says BPA A-OK: Quoting an article on their facebook page: “Most adults carry BPA in their bodies but expert opinion on the risks is divided. The European Food Safety Authority believes that people naturally convert the chemical into less harmful substances in the body.”

And besides, it is everywhere…because, you know, your children drink water from CDs: Responding to a consumer’s concerns: “You should also know, especially if you are concerned with BPA that it is also found in many, many products…”

Responding to another: “You should also know there’s BPA in dental adhesive…check with your dentist too if you have fillings and are concerned.”

Did you catch the snark on that last one? No? Too subtle? How about this: “For all those mothers concerned about any trace of BPA in anything, you should know BPA is also used to make dental sealants, flame retardants, and is an additive in many other widely consumer products. CDs / DVDs even the cellphone you use to call us.

The others remain on the page but this one mysteriously disappeared after I commented on their wall (along with my comment which I will admit was harsh, but clean). But I haz screencaptchuh:

That’s right mamacita. Put down the phone. Papa SIGG has everything under control.

Check out these posts for more information:

Or the Hounds with Wasps in their Mouths

It’s a curse.

If you are a military wife, as soon as your soldier is deployed, in the field, or on drill, everything falls apart.

This time, it was wasps.

Thousands of wasps.

In my walls.

Last night, I started to notice a few in the den. So, I taped up an open outlet behind the couch. This morning, when I woke up, there were hundreds of them, swarming in my dining room.

And here I thought that frantic buzzing sound last week was our whole house fan. Turns out, no. It was a giant wasp colony.

And finding an exterminator who will come over on a Sunday? Not so easy. I totally and shamelessly plead two young kids plus a husband on Guard duty and finally found someone to take the case.

There is something both hilarious and terrifying about a man in full bee-keeper regalia walking into your house.

Diva the kid got to watch both Professor Parrot AND LeapFrog Talking Words Factory today so I could keep her out of the exterminator’s way.

Once the kids were in bed, I peeked into the dining room and there is now a big hole in the ceiling. What is it about my husband, military duty, and holes in the wall?

Let’s hope that’s it for the MilSpouse Gremlins this time around.

Photo credit: Scarlett: da’ Bee Dog

We’re so Breastfeeding-Friendly, We Do Everything Except Let You Nurse Your Baby

Basking in the joy of the birth of my new, giant baby boy, I wanted to stay positive.

Still, I’d like to share my experience breastfeeding in the hospital in case it helps anyone.

Part of the reason I chose our hospital is because it is more open to a more natural birthing experience than other hospitals in the area. And, although I think this is probably true, that is unfortunately a sad commentary.

My baby and I are breastfeeding well and everyone is doing great–but I fear that if I had not already successfully breastfed my first or if I were less informed or less assertive, our breastfeeding would have been sabotaged.

Immediately following birth, barring any urgent medical needs, my baby was supposed to be placed immediately on me. Since he was so large and stuck during part of the labor, they wanted pediatrics to check him out (which I fully understand–although I suspect this could have been done with him on me, as was done with my first child). However, after they verified he had not been harmed at all during the labor, they continued with the routine, non-urgent procedures.

I kept telling them, “I want my baby! Give me my baby!” but they did not hand him over until they were done. Although in the grand scheme of it all, this is minor, I was sad that I missed that magical feeling I had with the first when she was exactly the same temperature as me and stepped her way to the breast.

After they handed him to me, I had a short time to breastfeed before they took me to repair the tear. I got him to latch on one side and just as he finished, I was placing him to the other breast when the nurse (not the Certified Nurse Midwife) came in an said, “I have to weigh him.”

I told her was breastfeeding and it could wait.

She replied that I was getting “crazy” with the breastfeeding (huh?).

I stood my ground and responded calmly (really, I swear) that he had just finished one side and I was going to feed him on the other and then she could take as many measurements as she liked.

She got very snotty and said that she was going to have to go tell the doctor that I was not allowing her to do her job.

That says a lot right there about her perception of her role and the hospital’s role in birthing babies.

Of course, she’s just one person, and my husband overheard some other nurses speaking of her in a negative way, but at the very least some retraining needs to be done.

Following the repair, I was placed in temporary Operating Room Recovery until the epidural wore off (they had given me more medication during the repair). As they wheeled me in, I saw my husband. I called out, “Why aren’t you with our son?” Perhaps not the most pleasant greeting, but I was starting to lose a bit of trust in the hospital.

“They want to give him a bottle,” he told me.

“What for?” Now I was starting to get a little nuts, “Is he okay?”

“Yes,” he reassured me, “But they said his blood sugar will start dropping because he is so big, so they want to give him a bottle. And they said if they wait too long, breastmilk won’t do it”

“But I’m breastfeeding! Bring him to me! And I’ll feed him!” I was in full on mother bear mode and unfortunately they had sent my husband and there was no target for my protective rage. My poor husband kept going back and forth to tell me the baby’s blood sugar level and to try to negotiate with the doctors to allow my son to come to me.

They first lied and told us he was under the warming lights (he wasn’t and he was perfectly healthy so there was no reason to hold him there) and then admitted they just “did not have the personnel” to bring him to me from the nursery. Now this is not a huge hospital. It takes two minutes to walk from the nursery to where I was. And post-op had no problem with me feeding him in recovery. The staff in the nursery was creating a situation where they would need to give him a bottle because they would not let me breastfeed.

And there was no reason for him to be in the nursery, anyway, as I was rooming in with him and would be in the room as soon as the maternity ward would accept me–as soon as the medication wore off. The post-op staff again was very helpful. I asked them, “How mobile? Like walking or just some approximation thereof?” They told me that maternity liked people walking but they would start releasing me as soon as I could bend both knees. I had one leg already moving and was trying to get the other one working. Eventually they took pity on me and pretended not to notice as I grabbed one of my legs with my hand and said, “Look, it is moving!”

Finally, we were in maternity recovery and they brought me my son! With the delay, it took time and patience to get him to latch. Of course, as soon as he fed his blood sugar was fine and he was healthy and wonderful.

But they had one more curve ball to throw at me–the next day they came without any notice to take him for his circumcision. They said I could not feed him even though he was due right then for another feeding. I was concerned, but they assured me it would just be an hour and then he’d be back. Three hours later…it was now six hours since my son had fed and the poor thing had just been circumcised. He was upset and had difficulty latching.

Then they started harassing me because he had not urinated since the circumcision…again they wanted to give him formula. I told them to go away and leave us alone. Of course, once he fed a few times, he was fine.

The kicker was that the day we were checking out, after all this was over, the lactation consultant comes by, sees me nursing, says “good latch,” quizzes me (how do you know if the baby is getting enough?), and then leaves. Gee, that’s helpful.

While I’m complaining, on a completely unrelated note, I got the demonically possessed hospital bed. The bed is for patients who cannot move and it automatically adjusts as you move. So when I shifted my weight in my sleep, the bed moved, waking me. If I lowered it so I could get out to use the bathroom, it raised. And of course it was noisy, too.

As you can imagine, I could not wait to break out of that place!

To add one last final insult, they insisted I be pushed out in a wheelchair by a staff member. I would have protested, but I just wanted to leave.

I think if I have a third birth, I’m going to just make the absurdly long drive to the nearest birthing center or do it at home.

All of this is not to say you cannot breastfeed if medical need requires your child to have a bottle early on, nor is it to criticize those who choose to formula feed–but just to show how hospital policies that are not always rooted in actual medical need, can create problems during the crucial early stage of breastfeeding. This is why we need to promote breastfeeding and support nursing mamas!

Okay… end rant. Back to enjoying motherhood!

Mama Called the Doctor and the Doctor Said…

Since her operation, my daughter has had an increasing fear of doctors, not that I blame her. Doctor visit phobias are fairly common in children, and she certainly comes by it honestly.

And perhaps it is hereditary as well, along with her unusually strong legs. When I was a child, two nurses and my mother had to hold me down for shots and I still managed to kick the stool and send it flying across the room at the pediatrician.

Last time we visited my daughter’s cardiologist, he said he needed a clear picture from the echocardiogram. If we could not keep her calm, they would have to sedate her.

So, since our last appointment, we’ve been reading about doctor’s visits and practicing with our doctor puppet and kit to alleviate doctor fears.

When I called up to schedule, the doctor told me to make an 8am appointment and to give nothing but clear liquids.

Of course, this makes total sense in case she needs sedation, but I was concerned that it also makes sedation more likely. Two year old, plus no food, plus doctor’s office, equals cranky.

When we arrived, they said, “We need to get you registered.” But…we’re already registered. “Okay, let me call registration.”

Apparently, one supervisor was on vacation and the other was in another building so the woman at the desk just disappeared.

Over the course of the next hour and fifteen minutes, the waiting room filled with other patients who also either needed to be registered or have their information sent over to the office.

And, of course, my daughter started to grow hungrier, and more impatient. She was so very good, coloring, reading, playing, but I could see her attention span growing shorter, and I knew what was coming. My daughter is sweet as molasses 95% of the time, but her tantrums go from 0 to 60 in a millisecond and, once we’ve reached the edge, there is no turning back.

FINALLY, we go into the room. I convinced them to delay taking vitals so we would be fresh, but the hour wait had already sabotaged that. The doctor made a remark that if I was concerned about the vitals, he thought that sedation would need to happen. I think the doctor believe sedation to be a foregone conclusion.

The technician points to the television, “Who is that?” Unfortunately, my daughter doesn’t know big bird from, well, a big, scary, yellow bird. At that moment, I start to see the advantages of introducing television earlier.

We get her up on the examination table with her pillow, Cat-Cat, and Yorick the Duck (my husband named him). For some reason, she kept wanting to grab her legs. Finally, we figured out that we had told her she would be lying down, just like a diaper change. So, she was holding her legs up in the air, like she does for a diaper change.

Two year olds are logical, we’re the ones who don’t make sense.

She was a little calmer, but still cried when the technician touched her with the “tickle wand.” Maybe, I asked, I could give her just a little banana?

Uh-oh, bad question. The technician looked nervous and got up to ask the doctor.

The situation was getting desparate, so I climbed up on the table (35 weeks pregnant) and held her. I asked my mom to call the technician back in.

We were so close, and yet not quite there.

Finally, the technician asked, “What colors do you see?”

Baby answered, in a voice approaching awe, “Blue and orange.”

“Good job!”

“Good job,” baby repeated.

“You’re making those colors,” the technician told her.

Bless her.

From there, it was a quick snack and smooth sailing through another hour and a half of tests.

Co-Sleeping is Safe and Natural

I posted earlier about a “public [dis]service announcement” from the State of New York, against co-sleeping. This campaign did not educate about sleeping safely or even just “warn about the dangers of co-sleeping,” as the response stated. Rather, it showed a frightening image of a woman smothering her baby by accident with a voice-over that “babies sleep safest alone,” a statement NOT supported by the latest research.

I took some time to calm down and write a letter to my state. If you live in New York and wish to contact the department, you may do so here.

They responded, and I answered again. The state’s response is essentially that there were an alarming number of infant deaths in which co-sleeping was a factor. They do not take into account whether co-sleeping was a contributing or primary factor, nor do they compare this number with the number of infant deaths in cribs. Their reaction (scaring parents into not co-sleeping) is akin to saying that babies die in cars so, instead of promoting vehicular safety, they will launch a campaign discouraging parents from taking their baby in a car at all, ever.

In searching for the campaign online, I discovered that many other states have similar campaigns. Please be on the lookout to see if there is a campaign in your state and let me know in the comments. I will be posting a list of states that have these campaigns as I find them. If you write to your state, please share your letter in the comments and/or a link to your letter on your own blog.

Even if you are not a co-sleeper, please support the right of others to do so!

Other States With Campaigns (with links to the department to which you may address your concerns)

Florida, Indiana (news stories; looking for the link), Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri (found the St. Louis link, working on the state link), New York

Open Letter to New York State Office of Children Services

Dear New York State Office of Children and Family Services,

I expect official offices of my state government to use my tax dollars and launch helpful, well-researched campaigns only when necessary. So, I was dismayed to see your television “public service announcement” claiming that “babies sleep safer alone.”

Perhaps whatever committee approve this advertisement is unaware that co-sleeping, when done safely, has a whole host of benefits. Not only do parents and children who co-sleep have the opportunity to bond and get more sleep and thrive, co-sleeping, when done safely, also reduces the risk of SIDS.

Dr. Sears, a prominent pediatric authority, has written a well-researched and clear article about the benefits of co-sleeping, including its possible effect on reducing SIDS. Theories about this aspect of co-sleeping include the idea that babies who co-sleep sleep lighter and therefore wake up more easily in case of a problem, mothers are more attuned to their baby’s sleep patterns when sharing a bed, and that the parents’ heart and breathing rhythms may even help form baby’s.

Before I continue, I assure you I am no zealot. I firmly believe each family should choose the arrangement that works best for its circumstances. Personally, I did not begin co-sleeping with my daughter until she was already close to a year old, and then only part of the night.

What concerns me is that your campaign of misinformation will scare parents into making decisions that may not be right for their families.

A far more honest campaign would discuss sleep safety in general. As with most parenting, co-sleepers must plan ahead and be drug-free to ensure their baby’s safety.

Baby’s sleep space, whether a crib or an adult bed, should be firm and free from excess clutter and fabric. If you choose to co-sleep, remove all heavy blankets and excess pillows from the bed. If you use recreational or prescription drugs that may affect your sleep patterns, baby may be safer in a crib. Consult your physician if you have concerns about prescription medications.

New and exciting research is getting us that much closer to understanding and preventing SIDS. We now know that placing baby on his back, ensuring a smoke free environment, and eliminating suffocation hazards are all actions that reduce SIDS deaths. For the time being, however, we cannot explain SIDS deaths. What we do know is that there are key ways that parents can better ensure infant sleep safety.

Instead of wasting money on factually suspect scare tactics, spend our tax dollars on a campaign that reflects the best science and educates parents to make the right decisions for their children.

Their Response

Thank you for contacting the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS) on June 29, 2008.

The statewide Babies Sleep Safest Alone campaign was developed as a result of an alarming number in fatalities reported to the New York Statewide Central Register of Child Abuse and Maltreatment (SCR), where co-sleeping was a factor listed in the narrative of the report. Since
2006, 89 deaths were reported to the SCR in this category. Out of that number, 68 deaths involved infants between 0 and 3 months old, and 17 involved babies between 4-12 months old. The remainder fell in the 1 to 5 years old category.

Our campaign materials alert parents about the dangers of co-sleeping and the factors that can cause an infant’s death while sharing a bed with an adult or an older sibling. We are aware that co-sleeping is a controversial topic and are confident that educated parents will take
the necessary precautions to prevent an accidental death, which is the goal of this multilingual statewide campaign.

Our Babies Sleep Safest Alone campaign supports the American Academy of Pediatrics strong stance against co-sleeping and recognizes the risk factors that can potentially harm your child.

Thank you again for your input and concern.

My Response

Your campaign fails to take into account the latest research. The AAP is not the final word. Look at the research available and you will see that co-sleeping SIDS deaths are a tiny number compared to crib SIDS deaths.

First, consider whether co-sleeping was actually happening in these reports–ie a baby in an bed, with an adult, without excess bedding. Eliminate falls from babies sleeping alone on a bed,”couch” co-sleeping, and deaths that are actually drug or alcohol related and you’ll have a different number.

Then, compare that number to SIDS deaths in cribs.

Tell me, how many babies died of SIDS in their cribs in New York?

I think you’ll find that co-sleeping safely is even safer than crib sleeping safely.

Your campaign does not discuss any of these issues. It makes a blanket statement that “Babies Sleep Safest Alone,” which isn’t true, and shows an image of a mother accidentally smothering her child, which is not what happens.

Tax dollars should not be spent on a campaign that uses scary images to take an irresponsible stand, which does not reflect the best research, on a controversial topic.

Put the money towards a campaign for safe sleep spaces, whether that be a crib or a bed, and I would be 100% behind that campaign.

Babies Sleep Safest Alone…NOT!

Right now I’m pretty P.O.’ed.

I saw a commercial for this trash about how “babies sleep safer alone.” The campaign is NY-based, but in searching for the site, I found that they have similar campaigns in a bunch of states.

What is so aggravating is that it is patently false. Co-sleeping when done safely reduces the risk of SIDS.

Honestly, we did not start off as co-sleepers. My daughter slept in a “co-sleeper” side car for a variety of reasons. But at times when co-sleeping worked for us, that’s what we did. So, it is not that I think everyone must do what I do…what is aggravating me is the idea that these government agencies are conducting a campaign of blatant misinformation to scare parents into making decisions that may not be right for their families.

A more honest campaign would be to say: Baby’s sleep space should be free from excess clutter and fabric. If you choose to co-sleep, remove all heavy blankets and excess pillows from the bed. If you use recreational or prescription drugs that may affect your arousal, baby may be safer in a crib. Consult your physician if you have concerns about prescription medications.

I’ll calm down, collect my thoughts, write up a letter and send it here and then post it, but in the meantime, you may also want to see if there is a similar campaign in your state.

You can find more information about Attachment Parenting Practices, including co-sleeping, at the Attachment Parenting Institute. (Thanks to Katja for the reminder)

And as a reward for your hard work, go have a few laughs with these co-sleeping comics.

How Do You Respond to That?

Last night we went to the midwife appointment. There are six midwives in the practice, so last night we saw one we hadn’t seen before and she had a strange sense of humor.

In she walks, full of nervous energy. She says hello and then poses near the calendar on the wall:

“I like to pose near the calendar so people can see…” She’s one of those people who laughs at her own jokes.

Hubby and I laugh, too. Not because that was particularly funny, but because she’s obviously making a good natured attempt to help us feel more comfortable.

While we’re still laughing, she adds, “Because I’m the dark one.” Then, as our laughter starts to become less comfortable. “Most people don’t believe I work here so I show them the calendar.”


Did our (African American) midwife just make a racist joke? About herself? And or the bigotry of her patients?

And how does one react to that? If we keep laughing, do we approve of the joke? And if we stop laughing, what does that signal?

Leaving aside the race issue, it isn’t really even a joke–lacking any comedic structure or timing.

Throughout the appointment, she was friendly and professional and thorough…but she definitely had one of those odd senses of humor. The type that is not particularly funny, so she just tells the jokes really quickly and then laughs loudly. Later in the appointment, she compared my two year-old’s typical toddler speech patterns to Tarzan/caveman speak. Not really offensive…just strange and not especially well-delivered.

I really hope she isn’t the one on for the delivery…I don’t think I’d find her brand of humor especially relaxing.

Patronizing, Sexist, But Right

I grew up in suburban New York and learned EXCELLENT parallel parking skills. I prided myself on being a good, if somewhat aggressive young driver. When I moved to Cambridge, I had plenty of opportunity to perfect the parallel park.

Then, we left for Texas for four years and I can’t parallel park worth a darn anymore. Unfortunately, I need to parallel park every time I visit our public library.

So, I have to admit it was not entirely without cause that a middle aged gentleman approached my car as I struggled, for the third time, to ease my car into an embarrassingly large space between two cars.

I hoped, somewhat shamefully, that he was going to direct me off the low curb onto which I had pulled and into a better position.

Instead, he opened with, “Has anyone ever taught you how to parallel park.”

“Well, yes sir, but I’ve quite lost the skill.”

He then starts to explain the procedure…which I already know. I can remember that, just not how to implement it properly.

Here I am, running late for toddler time (having had great difficulties locating my purse that morning), one wheel up on the sidewalk, and he’s explaining what I could read in any manual.

What’s worse, he’s chuckling and lacing his instruction with “poor baby”…in reference to me, not the two year old strapped in back.

The most horrible part of all was that he was right. My parking was terrible and I clearly needed a refresher.

At that point though it was all I could do to smile politely and not “accidentally” run over his foot. Oops. Silly me.

PS–I went hunting for an image and found this parallel parking game.

Ugh…That’s in Poor Taste

Dlisted has shots of Larry Birkhead parading DanniHope around the street where celebrities go when they want to be photographed shopping. (warning, site is not “family friendly”)

Michael K mocks him for being an attention hog, D-lister, but do you notice the t-shirt she’s wearing? “Who’s Your Daddy?” After a long, public paternity battle? Ick.

Colic: New Science, Old Nonsense

When the latest New Yorker arrived, I showed baby the cartoons and noticed an article on colic. I could hardly wait until baby’s nap to check it out, hoping to see some exciting new information about how parents can ease babies’ transitions and help themselves cope better with challenges.

The article is not available in its entirety online, yet, but here’s an abstract of The Colic Conundrum. I’ll save you the cover price: the main researcher with whom the author spoke advocates letting the baby cry, alone.

I’m not going to dispute the research itself. I’m no scientist and it actually seems more or less sound. However the conclusions drawn and the actions advocated just do not logically follow.

Researchers found that even in traditional societies, where crying is seen 50% less than with Western babies, colic is still found.

Barry Lester, the researcher, has found that many colicky children (about 75% in a limited study) end up having behavioral problems. He speculates that these children are overly sensitive.

He then goes on to argue that part of the problem is that while colic may not cause irreparable harm to the child, it can harm the family relationship, leading to problems down the road.

He goes on to say, “…the child doesn’t learn behavioral regulation and develops problems with impulse control…It starts out with crying, and then, when the child is older, he doesn’t control his emotions very well.”

So, his advice in all of this? Let the baby “learn” to “self-soothe” by leaving him to cry for five to ten minutes.

Like a colicky baby will stop after five to ten minutes? Haven’t we been here before? Didn’t Ferber even admit he had gone too far in his recommendations?

Now, one good thing the article examines is that crying can stress out the family, particularly the primary care giving parent, noting that many “shaken babies” were crying. This is pretty obvious stuff. Even Dr. Sears advises that it is better when overwhelmed to put the baby down for a few minutes in a safe place, rather than to act rashly (a fact not mentioned in this article that seems to almost sneer at him and the idea of attachment parenting in general).

However, allowing a baby to cry regularly, without comfort, as a matter of policy, is absurd.

Let’s start with the whole concept of colic.

Colic is pediatricianese for “I don’t know what’s wrong and I can’t help you.” Colic isn’t a diagnosis. It is a description of a symptom. Colic is defined by a rule of three. More than three hours, more than three days a week, for more than three weeks. Then it is called colic, but no cause is known and no advice is given. Imagine if a doctor diagnosed adult ailments that way! He’d be laughed off as a quack.

A doctor is supposed to help track down the cause of the problem and offer possible ways to solve the problem or alleviate the suffering if possible. Not offer meaningless words and send you on your way.

Now lets move onto the !Kung observation

The !Kung study is cited to show 50% less crying. Even if colic still exists in these societies, that still means that most babies would cry less if raised like !Kung babies: carried close to the body and nursed on demand.

So, right there, that should show that, while Lester is right in putting down expensive gadgets, it actually does make sense to try that sling and some attachment parenting before moving on.

My darling baby was colicky. Although I had planned to practice attachment parenting, anyway, I discovered I did not have a choice. Due to her heart condition, I had to keep her calm.

I am not saying it is easy to soothe a baby who is sensitive to the stimulation of her new world–but with this life and death motivation, I managed to do it.

Add that to the fact that SOME cases MAY have medical roots, such as reflux, and you can probably bring relief to a few more families.

We got most of the way there with swaddling and nursing and shushing and lots of babywearing…and then I got someone to believe me about the reflux. Once she was on Zantac, nursing became a huge comfort to her again and we did great.

I am still angry, though, when I think of that doctor who would repeat nothing but, “She has colic, there’s nothing you can do.” Her confidence in her “diagnosis” meant that it was another month before I was able to relive more of my baby’s discomfort and my stress.

So now we’re left with a handful of genuine “colic” cases…what to do?

I would guess one could still reduce the stress on colic babies, and therefore on their parents, with some attachment parenting measures. However, some babies will still be criers, despite the most attentive parents and most diligent doctors.

Lester’s idea is that leaving the baby to cry teaches him the skill of self-soothing. I suppose when his sixteen year old wants to learn to drive he’ll just hand over the keys and say have at it? Since when does a total beginner, let alone a four week old baby, learn to do something without any help?

“Lester concedes that most people who suffered from colic as infants and from temper tantrums as toddlers do not exhibit behavioral problems as adults, regardless of how their parents responded to their cries.”

He also says, “Because colic is ‘the first bump in the road for many parents, it will influence how you deal with the second, the third, and so on…”

True…so which “template” would you rather use? You have a problem, kid, so you’re on your own? Or, here, let’s solve this together?

Attachment isn’t doing things for your child, it is showing your baby how to calm himself–all the while reassuring him that this is what learning will be. Baby and parents working together through things.

So, you, like hate this guy, right?

Well, not exactly.

While I am concerned that he is sending the wrong message to an audience that is way too broad, I do think he has good intentions.

The article notes that some doctors used to suggest that “nervous” mothers caused colic in their babies. (When the aforementioned doctor suggested this to me and I almost clocked her.)

Recent studies have shown this is not the case. However, colic can worsen depression and anxiety in the mother.

Lester is trying to find ways to minimize colic’s impact on the family.

So, what’s the answer?

I think that better suggestions may be found, within the article itself. You just have to look in the right place:

Lester, observing a rare crying baby in a traditional non-Western village. This was unusual, he explains, and so, he describes: “Everyone in the village would stop what they were doing to see what was wrong.”

I think a huge part of the issue is that we have moved so far from our support systems and isolated ourselves to the extent that the only help a parent usually has is the help that parent can afford. And if you can’t afford any help, you are often out of luck.

Most babies, even those who do not cry very much, will have the peak of their crying around the same time. Most will also see a reduction of crying around the same time.

So, given that even easy babies have some difficulty in their new environment, it makes sense to do the free and inexpensive things that make babies feel safe and help avoid overstimulating them–babywearing, swaddling, nursing if mom is able, etc.

Given that even with these efforts, some babies will still cry…a lot, the best thing is to develop support systems and to help one another out.

Believe me, I know it is tough. My husband was deployed while my baby was born and for most of her first three months of life. My family lived halfway across the country. My friends were afraid of getting my baby sick with colds and flus, given her condition.

Still, looking back on the experience, I needed to work those support systems more and ask for help where it was needed.

The article is also framed with a mama who was blessed with twins who were colicky and we learn that the twins eventually outgrew their difficulty adjusting to their world and mom is now giving advice over the Internet to another mom coping with colic:

“I urged her to get someone to spell her.”

Amen, sister.