I received a disturbing letter from someone who was under the influences of the promises and fear tactics of a book on “infant management.” Such books lure inexperienced or overwhelmed parents with a promise (sleep through the night, raise a respectful child, avoid having a disrespectful brat like so-and-so’s child) and scare you with horror stories of what will happen if you don’t follow the plan.
So in diligent, well-intentioned pursuit of the book’s ideas, this loving mother described letting her newborn baby cry for HOURS. The baby was less than a month old.
She expressed that she doesn’t want to ask the baby’s doctor about it because she already knows that he does not accept the value of the book’s goals and ideas, therefore he might give her advice contrary to the book, which she does not want to hear.
It broke my heart to read her letter because I know it is the very kind of thing that when she is a more experienced mother, she will look back and wonder, “what was I thinking?”
I hope she soon figures out that she can dump the book without risking the future well-being of her child.
Edited to add–I did share some thoughts with her, and she seemed receptive.