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Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child's Natural Abilities -- From the Very Start Paperback – February, 2012
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Readers will find plenty of wisdom and common sense on these pages. -- Publisher's Weekly, January 1998
This book gave me a practical guide to giving my children enough room... has been an amazing resource for me. -- O, Oprah's Magazine, May 2005, by Felicity Huffman --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Here are the main points that I found to be useful:
1. Have respect for the baby. He is a person, not a pet. If you need to do something to him,
let him know (now it's time to change your diaper....). This is similar to how a doctor talks you through a procedure beforehand so that you prepare for it mentally. I must say that these ideas are not entirely novel. Writings of Maria Montessori advocate respect for the child (see for example Secret of Childhood. Also, talking to your baby about what's going on is suggested by Bright from the Start: The Simple, Science-Backed Way to Nurture Your Child's Developing Mindfrom Birth to Age 3. I can't remember where else I read about asking for permission from non-verbal babies (e.g. "Would you like me to pick you up now?") but I liked the idea, and has worked for me and my 2-year old. As a child what I hated most was relatives kissing and pinching my cheeks when I did not want that. My boy knows he has a choice in things that involve his body - he is not my property.
2. Crying is not the end of the world. I am one of those parents who feels like I have been stabbed in between my shoulders when my baby cries. I have, over time, figured out what different cries mean, and have relaxed. I still, however, immediately pick up my child when the cry is genuine (hurt, tired, etc.Read more ›
* Basic trust in the child to be an initiator, an explorer, and a self-learner
* Time for uninterrupted play
* An environmnet for the child that is physically safe, cognitively challenging, and emotionally nurturing
* Involvement of the child in all caregiving activities to allow it to become an active participant rather than a passive recipient
* Sensitive observation of the child in order to understand her needs
* Consistency and clearly defined limits and expectations to develop discipline
A couple of examples given in the book covers getting your child to sleep and communication. RIE recommends that you always put your child to bed awake. Why? Babies are aware of their surroundings. If a baby is lying in the living room and wakes up in a bed, it is confusing for the child. Another example is talking to your child. When you are going to change a diaper, it's recommended that you communicate this to your child and ask for her cooperation. This allows the child the opportunity to process this information and prepare for the activity as well as enable them to become a participant rather than a recipient.
I finished this book and found it extremely illuminating. For me, the things that stood out (i.e., things I didn't think about while around babies) are:
* Talk to the Baby, not about it
* Treat the Baby as a person not as an object. They have feelings and those feelings should be respected.Read more ›
Primary times for interacting with your child are diapering, feeding and bathing. These times are no longer tasks to be hurried through, but moments of communication and interaction that set the stage for a lifetime of relating.
The book also addresses the needs of parents. It is the first book I have read that truly deals with the family as a unit. Realizing that parents also have needs and are better at parenting when these needs for rest and time apart from the infant are met was very helpful.
Also helpful were the ideas around creating safe areas for Noah to play in ... both indoors and out as a way for him to have space and time alone.
Allowing Noah to have his feelings when something comes up that doesn't suit him was another area that the book deals with. It is ok to be mad or upset or uncomfortable...and as a parent not to distract my son from being upset, which seems to be a knee-jerk response at times. It never occurred to me that just acknowleging Noah's feelings was enough. I didn't have to give in to all the demands to keep peace in the house. In fact, our home is very peaceful since implementing Gerber's ideas.
This is more than just a parenting book. It has helped me be more present with my son.
I only wish I would have discovered this book before we had our son so that I could have done some of the things she suggests earlier in Noah's life.
It is a book that I enthusiastically recommend.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I work as a caregiver and have used RIE for 8 years. It has made my job so much easier and has made me a better person. I recommend this book to new parents all the time. Read morePublished 19 days ago by Teresita Cuadrado
Was very interested to read this book and there were a few good points like letting your child figure things out for themselves and not saying "you're ok" when they fall... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
I like that emphasizes the thing that we should respect our children, we should love them but in the same time tell them what we don't like about their behavior. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Irina Tanase
Precious, easy and practical ideas with great results!!!
Your Self-Confident Baby: How to Encourage Your Child's Natural Abilities -- From the Very Start
This book has transformed my relationship with my toddler. Love it!Published 3 months ago by Sarah Moffatt
This book helped me develop a parenting disposition that I find to be supportive of my daughters independence and easy for me to stick to. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Heather R.
Phenomenal approach to parenting. Basic and true. Magda Gerber puts your head on straight when it's spinning with all of the different parenting approaches that are out there. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Mama G
Excellent read! I highly recommend this book especially to first time parentsPublished 5 months ago by Veronica