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Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baby Talk

When friends get together they talk about allsorts of things –  if they are anything like mine its anything and everything- and if they happen to be ladies of the older type (like most of mine are) lots of those anything’s are grandchildren. 

I was a bit surprised the other day when I heard one of them talking about what happened recently when she was asked to mind her newish grandchild, a little babe about 4 months old.  The mother (the daughter in law) brought the baby over and left a ‘list of dos and don’ts. 

Now listen to this - on the list was the suggestion that the baby was not to be picked up and cuddled.  She was to be left in the pusher - one of those newish ones with all the bells and whistles - to lie there and look around and just take in her surroundings.

My friend was really upset over this and rang her son to ask him if this is what went on at home - was the babe just left to lie there without being picked up and cuddled and talked to.  His reply was, Mum thats the way ......... wants to raise her and I'm not going to interfere.  That is such a shame, the baby will miss out on all that contact she needs early in life, her family - grandma included - also will miss so much.  

I believe its through that physical, visual and verbal contact you have with babies they learn so much.  Remember all the funny noises they make when they are tiny and all the funny faces they pull - its through you encouraging them, that all of that happens.  I don't subscribe to the school of thought that says you don't encourage baby talk - yes, when they are starting to form words you try to get them to say the correct one but I'm talking about when they are really tiny. 

Holding and touching baby - clothed or otherwise to me is good
Goo Gooing and pulling faces to me is good

Just by coincidence I was looking through some old photos the other day and look what I found.  A very young me and daughter no. 2 at the time we lived in Singapore when she happened to be the same age as my friend's grandaughter.  I can remember the actual day - our little one was really getting into the 'finding her voice' stage.   It wasn't a performance because I was unaware Dh was taking these photos but am so glad he did.  Its the way I was with all of our five - we just happen to have proof that that was the way it was

I'm curious to know how others feel -
Pick up and cuddle or let lie to observe
Do babies miss out or not?


  1. Wow,

    There is so much research out there that indicates that one on one interaction with young children is essential for them to learn how to make healthy emotional attachments in later life. Children are hard wired to feel safe as part of a clan.. it's a matter of being a vulnerable being in a dangerous world. Holding them, talking to them and helping them to learn how to interact and interpret the world around them is so important.

    Sure they should have some lie and independently explore time but not the majority of their day.

    All I can say is "Mind Blown" on this one.

    Kind Regards

  2. I shook my head when I read this. I am already feeling incredibly sorry for this little tot. By nature, we are social creatures and require love and interaction. I wondered how this mother/daughter in law would have fared if her mother never picked her up and cuddled her (or maybe that is perhaps the problem). This saddens me.

  3. You are absolutely right, Cathy. Those games, which might seem nonsense to the uninitiated, are the building blocks of language development and social interaction. I'm sorry to say that the young mother is depriving her baby of physical and emotional stimulation and if I were the grandma, I'd ignore the instructions and play with the baby, for everyone's sake.

  4. I would cuddle the baby too.
    My house, my grandchild.
    When my child was little and I would take her to my inlaws to watch I knew the rules were different. That is part of how it goes.
    I think it is just odd to expect a grandmother to not hold her grandchild. It's a bonding thing.

  5. As soon as she drove away I would have picked that baby up and loved on her until she came back. So sad! Your pictures with your daughter are beautiful.

  6. Oh my goodness I feel so bad for that baby and her parents. There is so much that happens in the physical bonding of being held and cuddled.
    So much that gets learned through interaction.

    I love the pictures of you and your daughter. You two were having fun loving each other and your hubby was caught up in wanting to freeze all of that beauty because it touched his heart so.

    Blessings to you today.

  7. If that was my grandchild I would cuddle all I wanted. In my house it's my rules. I wouldn't want to upset the daughter in law but honestly babies are there to be cuddled. I'm years off having any grandchildren but I can't wait and my kids have already be warned that Grandma wants to and will spoil the grandbabies rotton...vbg. Gorgeous photos of you and your little girl. Both of you look so happy.

  8. Pick up and cuddle! I cuddled mine so much that sometimes I thought that I would smother them,. lol And now that they are grown and moving on with their lives, I miss those daily cuddles, but I still get them and adore each and every one. If I was the grandmother I would cuddle the child in secret. I know Im a bad girl

  9. I believe that babies need cuddling and a lot of love and attention -- that sets the stage for so much development and learning. I can't imagine someone not wanting to cuddle and talk to a baby/child and if it was my grandchild I'd ignore that "rule"! How would she know anyway :-)

  10. Hi Cathy, for my four-pennyworth I say babies need loving contact from day one. I wonder how this daughter-in-law was raised? Maybe she doesn't know any other way.


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