Caricaturizations

Once in a while I Google the term “Mainstream Parenting” just to see what’s new (I’m proud to say that this blog is still #1 in the search results 🙂 ). I don’t know why I didn’t find this sooner, as it’s been online for nearly 2 years, but I came across a series of 3 comic strips created in Bitstrips (a website that enables even the non-artistic to create their own comic strips), in which an APer – appropriately, in my opinion, nicknamed “Tokenweirdo”, decided to vent her spleen at mainstream parents and their “wisdom”. You can view the three comic strips here.

You gotta love how the author assumes that 1) mainstream parenting has exactly one method of dealing with any given situation, regardless of age, 2) any negative outcomes are portrayed as a direct result of not APing (because, yanno, APed toddlers never yell “I don’t wanna!” at their parents…) and 3) children and adults are exactly the same.

It’s almost as if I asserted this with regards to an AP parenting practice (excuse my amateurism. In case you were wondering, that was supposed to be a family in bed).

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The ‘Harvard Study’ researchers…in the flesh

I found this interesting ABC piece on infant sleep training (apparently televised last year) over at the Drs. Weissbluth blog. It’s not very long, seems journalistically well-balanced, and there are short interviews with some of the important players in the infant sleep industry: Ferber, T. Berry Brazelton, and pere Weissbluth himself.

Of particular interest to me, though, is the interview with Michael Commons and Patrice Miller, the husband-and-wife team of psychologists from Harvard responsible for the notorious Harvard non-study. You can find it about 3:55 minutes into the video:

Other than the self-satisfied looks on both their faces, I have to say they weren’t quite what I was expecting. I certainly wasn’t expecting them to sink quite so low with comparisons to Hitler and Saddam Hussein’s supposed parenting – which Miller tries to soften just a bit (probably because she belatedly realized how off-the-wall her husband sounds). Even if much of the interview was sane and edited out for brevity…they did say it. Contrast the absolute certainty Commons displays in 2008, as compared to this relatively cautious interview 10 years previously…and it’s not because the duo has done further research into the matter, mind. Nor has anyone else come up with actual research corroborating their conclusions in the interval.

What do you think?

Sleeping like a baby…in a magazine?

The AAP may not approve.
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Sleep tight, lil’ angels

I’ve never been one for class reunions, but it’s always fun to see what my fellow medical school classmates have made of their lives, and of the profession, in the years since we graduated. One I speak to on an almost daily basis, as we work together; others have become specialists I’ve referred patients to. My middle son’s pediatric neurologist is also a former classmate, and our yearly visits with her, while always professionally conducted, also involve friendly chat.

Hence, I was quite happy to hear from a mutual acquaintance that my former classmate Dennis Rosen has become a pediatric sleep expert in Boston, studying under none other than the Great Ferb himself. And that he writes a blog on the subject of sleep over at Psychology Today, called Sleeping Angels. It’s not just about kids’ sleep, either. And that it’s really interesting, too (OK, that was my own conclusion after reading several blogposts).

(And I’m willing to bet that if Dennis looks at his referral logs, he’s probably scratching his head about now and thinking, “Who the hell is this person?!”. We were a class of about 90 students, after all.)

Like father, like son

Dr. William Sears prides himself on having two pediatrician sons to follow in his footsteps. It seems that Dr. Marc Weissbluth – author of Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child – can now also boast a pediatrician son, Dan.

Dan Weissbluth has recently started a blog of his own here on WordPress dealing with infant sleep and other issues, with frequent contributions from his father.

I have to admit that I have not used nor read Weissbluth’s book in full, only peeked at it using the “Look Inside” feature at Amazon. Some people claim his methods are harsher than Ferber, some the opposite; from what I understand, Weissbluth sets out several different methods varying from ‘cry’ to ‘no cry’, leaving the reader to choose the method which best suits their own temperament and that of their baby. The father/son duo are now soliciting questions and comments, however, so if you’ve tried any of the methods and have run into problems with them, or have any questions regarding the evidentiary basis for the method(s), this looks like a golden opportunity to ask.

Consumer Reports: The new Motrin?

Wonderingwilla emailed me a couple of days back with this link to a recent Consumer Reports article titled “Five products not to buy for your baby”. The mention of two AP-related paraphernalia – cosleepers and slings – has, like the babywearing Motrin ad last November, raised the ire of the AP/NP crowd. It hasn’t quite yet reached the proportions of that particular storm yet (see Twitter activity), but it may still.
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Pacifiers: they don’t suck as much as you thought

It’s no secret that APers don’t like pacifiers. Besides the fact that they’re made out of ‘unnatural’ materials such as plastic or latex, pacifiers serve as ‘mommy substitutes’ for the purpose of non-nutritive sucking, and we know that anything which fills in for Mommy is a bad, bad thing. When the AAP released its 2005 policy statement regarding measures to prevent SIDS, Attachment Parenting International took issue not only with the recommendation against bedsharing, but also because they recommended pacifier use, even though there is quite a bit of evidence to recommend the practice as a SIDS prevention measure ,though the exact mechanism by which this occurs is not known:
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