Following on from yesterday's veiled threat to read a book on parenting here it is.
I have long subscribed to the school of thought that cites (or it might be my own school entirely) that parenting has become increasingly difficult over the last few years with so much information and advice out there about everything that can go wrong, plus an emphasis on the myriad potential pitfalls seemingly lying in wait for the unsuspecting. Add to that the new and different pressures on parents in 2008 to those of years ago plus the plethora of childcare books and it's all a recipe for confusion.
Tom and Ann, in Novel About My Wife, were certainly in uncharted territory and blatantly nervous about what parenting would involve and how it would change them, and for them the consequences were ultimately tragic.
Therefore it is incumbent upon me to finally check out Dream Babies Childcare Advice from John Locke to Gina Ford by Christina Hardyment. I bought this one at The Oxford Literary Festival and here's yet another great review of several events there by Sarah Laurence.
As I occasional allude to, but try not to dwell on here, change is rife in the UK health visiting profession at the moment and I'm certainly beginning to feel positively palaeolithic, or at least as if I have been around since 1693 when John Locke's book Some Thoughts Concerning Education first appeared. I'm too nervous even to mention Gina Ford's The Contented Little Baby Book on here because that got netmums into serious trouble, suffice to say it's horses for courses and plenty of families I know are devoted to Gina and have had great success with her methods. Every childcare book has its advocates and beneficiaries and its detractors and victims so I have to know their contents and remain open-minded about them all bar the obviously and patently dangerous.
From where I stand it's more about assessing a situation and advising on the right book for the circumstances if requested.Then I add a caveat, there might be plenty in there of no relevance but you might just find the one bit of advice that helps.
However where Dream Babies is concerned, I do seem to have been offering childcare advice contemporaneously alongside a hefty chunk of Christina Hardyment's through-the-ages guide.
It leads me to ponder at a tangent why in some professions a lifetime of experience at something equates to being seen as old-fashioned and out-dated whereas in others it is venerated ?
Or is that just me getting older and my perspective changing?
But it's my own fault, I certainly was around in the good old days advising the Neanderthals on Feet to Foot and Back to Sleep cot death prevention advice as applied to their woolly mammoth fur-lined cots...no sorry, perhaps I might respectfully suggest, best not to use woolly mammoth fur because the baby will overheat. Thankfully woolly mammoths now extinct before I get into trouble for even suggesting such a heinous crime as to kill one for its fur.
Think on it, if only the Neanderthals had heeded my advice we'd be enjoying woolly mammoths even now.
If however you should come across a stray woolly mammoth and you do skin it please don't lay your baby on the fur, think of the germs.
If however you decide to wash the fur first please don't use biological soap powder, think of the allergies. Fabric softener may also give your baby a rash.
If having washed the fur you then lay your baby on it please ensure there are no loose tufts that your baby could ingest.
If your baby does ingest a tuft of woolly mammoth fur please ring NHS Direct where you will be advised on the best course of action...I shouldn't jest, I know it's all become very serious and worrying, but the caveat list has become endless.
I'll be very interested to read Dream Babies and examine Christine Hardyment's overview of it all. My hope is that in the end the outcome will be generally to let common sense and instinct prevail, and with it a confidence in parents' own abilities to do what feels right for their family.
But I'll let you know about this one and isn't that cover, in a slightly deeper shade of what is now called Daphne Red here, quite perfect?