Baby Handling in the Past and Now

When I wrote “Correct Baby Handling and Correct Choice of Appropriate Equipment and Accessories,” we might have marketed with, “Wow, a new handbook for parents on baby handling. This must be the latest, super modern thing. An entirely new invention that every single parent should know about!”

Hmm, yes, this is how the baby handling story could be hyped.

However, the true story doesn’t go like that at all. Baby handling is nothing new, nothing super modern. We might even say baby handling is something that our grandparents and great grandparents were skilled at without handbooks or special endeavours. It is something we have forgotten, even though we shouldn’t have.

I don’t see how a baby born 100 years ago is different from a baby born today. Today, just as a century ago, the baby is helpless after birth, as well as dependent and immature. But a hundred years ago, babies were not made to be life projects, and people would never consider getting a house mortgage just to buy all sorts of baby equipment available in the shop. People were simple, satisfied with little things, inventive and patient – and parents weren’t focused on creating babies that were perfect technological miracles.

Today when a woman finds out about her pregnancy, she dives into reading magazines, books, seeking out articles online, shopping for the best baby products and frantically searching for all things imaginable. But today’s mothers rarely consider talking to their mothers or grandmothers and asking for a piece of advice. Why should you when everything is online?

This is a mistake we often make. How come we don’t listen to our loved ones? The people who raised us and other members of our families have no bad intentions and only want to keep our heads clear and share their views. Why do we rush into shops, buying all the “best” toys, baby rockers, resting chairs, front carriers and baby walkers available… when we actually don’t need them at all?

I am 100 percent positive that our grandmothers didn’t lie in expensive resting chairs, nor did they have numerous toys and other unnecessary equipment at their disposal. These “modern essentials” didn’t even exist. Children had to spend their time on the ground, in the lap or in the baby stroller, basket, etc. They began walking when they were truly ready for it and nobody forced them into it. Nowadays, we want everything to happen as soon as possible because we’re constantly in a hurry, because the neighbour’s kid is already sitting, crawling on all fours and standing up and…

Considering all of the above, what I’ve learned about baby handling is nothing new. The basic philosophy simply strives to encourage the child to be active as independently as possible, promotes communication between parents and the child and, most importantly, focuses on observing the child and discovering his or her needs – just like our parents and our grandparents did. You will quickly learn that children don’t need any expensive equipment and whatnot – new parents need onlylisten to their parents, share close contact with their babies and create quality opportunities for quality development.

Did you seek advice from your parents and grandparents during your pregnancy or after? What was the best advice you received?


Published on: February 14, 2011
About the Author
Photo of Spela Gorenc Jazbec

Spela Gorenc Jazbec is the author of the manual Correct Baby Handling and Correct Choice of Appropriate Equipment and Accessories and the website.

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