We all want to be good parents don't we? But it doesn't help when so called experts decide to wade in with theories which are completely impractical and essentially impossible. The Three B's theory is a case in point and should be filed away under 'B' - B for bin.
According to baby experts it's all about the three B's - breastfeeding, bed sharing and body contact. Ensure your child has these three elements for the first three years of their life and they will be happy and contented little people.
Hang on a minute – three years they say.
I'm not exactly sure who these baby 'experts' are, as this was a story originally spouted on the BBC breakfast news and I have commented before on just how poorly they seem to report on various issues these days.
All I can presume is these 'experts' do not have children of their own.
I don't wish to write off this latest faddy theory too quickly. It contains elements which I think are far more preferable to the all to common perspective on parenthood these days, that children should in no way encumber your previous lifestyle and as soon as you can fling them in the back of your car and get on with your life as though the children are barely there, the better.
Being a parent is all about sacrifice and this latest theory is about sacrifice in the extreme. As a mother, to give up three years of your life to completely devote yourself to your child and to essentially be bound to them by a tight cord, or as the experts suggest – a baby carrier or sling to give them that third important 'B' – body contact – is a sacrifice indeed. But I have to say whilst it may be noble for parents to be prepared to show such devotion to their children, I would argue this three B's theory is by no means practical or even possible.
To work through the list, breastfeeding is a vital step in the bonding process between mother and child, as well as the healthiest way you can choose to feed your baby. I would advocate any mother nursing their baby in this way for as long as their baby is happy to do it. What I do find puzzling though, having breast fed my daughter, is how mothers are able to carry on breastfeeding their child right into toddler hood. When my daughter was just over nine months she looked up at me when I went to feed her as if to say, 'what are you doing' and that was the end of breastfeeding for her. She literally decided she no longer wanted to do it because she realised there was far more going on in the world that she was missing whilst being cocooned up in my arms.
As for bed sharing – how on earth do parents do this? The principle is a nice one and it certainly would help erase those irrational fears you have some nights when you worry your baby is OK simply because you haven't heard a peep out of them. But with bed sharing comes so many more worries. You either place them in the middle of the bed and then you have the concern they will slip under the duvet and be suffocated or you or your partner is going to roll over and squash them in the middle of the night. Or you keep them on the outside of the bed and keep an arm round them but then I'm sure I'd never get a wink of sleep because I'd be too afraid to go to nod off in case I let go of them and they fell out of bed.
And as for body contact and having to carry them around in a sling until they are three. This is surely the most impractical of all. I struggled to carry my daughter in a baby carrier after she was around four months old because she became so heavy. It would be impossible to carry them around like this when they are toddlers. And how are these children meant to learn to crawl and walk and run? If they need to be held close at all times when are they going to learn these kind of skills and a whole host of others like independence and socialising with others.?
These baby experts claim their three B's method actually makes children more independent because they have a good strong foundation of security and love. Now this I agree with. I think if you do ensure your baby feels safe and secure and loved they will be more inclined to merrily go off and do their own thing in the knowledge you are going to be there to welcome them on their return. But I think this foundation of security can be built up through breastfeeding for a reasonable amount of time, lots of kisses and cuddles and reassurance without having to give up three years of your life to an impractical fad which is surely going to lead to resentment and a desperate need for personal space on all sides.