This Is Your Future

| January 4, 2010

My daughter turns six weeks old tomorrow. Living with a newborn baby these past weeks has been hell for my wife and I. We are blessed that our daughter is healthy and thriving. But we did not get the textbook baby. You know, the one that is supposed to sleep a combined 16 hours a day and is typically calm unless hungry or has a soiled diaper. We have a high maintenance, constant fuss child. We're thinking she has colic, because she starts screaming around 3pm everyday and will not let up around 8pm (here's a video of her typical meltdown). We meet parents who say their newborns are perfect angels who eat well and then sleep. We want to strangle these parents and throw their bodies into the Back Bay.

That said, it has led me to explore the plethora of baby books on the market. Before I go any further let me say that the experts are all wrong. Trial and error is the best approach to dealing with a baby. Like religion or politics, every baby rearing philosophy claims to have "the truth". One of the more impractical and possible detrimental philosophies out there is the "attachment parenting" philosophy championed by Dr. Sears.

Sears advocates holding or wearing your child in a sling constantly, breastfeeding anytime the child cries and having the child sleep in your bed. This method is impractical for a household in which both parents work. Maybe it would be feasible if several people stayed home all day with the infant and shared the various care duties. Also, this method does not work if you have a fussy baby like mine who will not tolerate being placed in a sling. Drawn to its logical extension, this method seems like it would produce a highly clingy child who won't leave their parents' bed until age 5 and learns to be completely dependent on their parents for soothing and comfort.

So, to get to my point. The below scan comes from Dr. Sears' The Baby Book.

To recap:

1. It's up to the mother to not let baby come between the spousal relationship. Sorry Dads.
2. It's totally normal to have sex in bed with your child lying right next to you.
3. Sex will be more exciting by having your child sleep in bed because you'll be forced to fool around in other rooms of the house.

Umm, not only will this method produce insecure, clingy adolescents but it will lead major sexual hang-ups and some interesting discoveries in the subconscious during psychotherapy in adulthood.