Getting mothering advice from Cruella De Vil

Claire Verity is a self-proclaimed baby training guru who has advised the rich and famous. She says, “I won’t stand for any nonsense from anybody, babies or their parents.”

Her secrets are as follows:

  • Feed your baby on a strict four hour feeding schedule the moment they get out of hospital. She says, “The key to a happy baby is food. The mistake most mums make is that they don’t feed their babies enough.”
  • There must be a strict routine. Babies must be in bed by 7pm every evening.
  • Babies should sleep in their own cots.
  • Only one nighttime feed is allowed.
  • Babies are started on solids at 17 weeks.

The bit that disturbs me the most, however, is this excerpt:

Cuddles are also restricted. Claire says too much fuss can make a baby crave attention.

“Imagine having a dog with a ball and you keep throwing it for them. Then all of a sudden you stop and walk away and they don’t understand.

It will think: ‘Why have you stopped playing with me?’ It will start barking, dropping the ball at your feet and annoying you.

It’s the same with a baby. If a baby’s picked up for half an hour, cuddled and then put down, it will get upset.”

I think this woman is awful. What a freak she is! It’s like a child is a dolly who should be put back in its box when you’re bored of it. Doesn’t she understand the meaning of love? Okay, it’s not a good idea to start cuddling and poking your baby when she’s fast asleep, but I think babies should have as much cuddles as they want. In fact, one of the greatest pleasures of having a baby is cuddling her. Now my daughter comes up to me and asks for cuddles, which is awesome. She also gets me to cuddle her soft toys (“Tigger” (a tiger), “Raf” (a giraffe) and “Doggy”). Looks like my daughter will be a cuddle monster, just like me.

My mother’s group and I were saying that there’s so much guilt out there these days about bringing up children. If you let them cry you’ll warp them for life and they’ll hate you; conversely, if you don’t let them cry they’ll be ill-disciplined little brats who won’t have any sense of boundaries. People like Claire Verity just exacerbate this.

The thing is that every baby is different. Unfortunately, it’s a process of trial and error, and there is no “right” solution. What works well for one baby might not work at all for another. My mother said my sister and I were totally different, and had very different needs. I slept through the night from a very early age (I’m still a sleepyhead too) and my sister never slept well.

My maternal health centre strongly recommended that we try controlled crying at 6 or 7 months. It didn’t work for my daughter. It was awful. We tried for a week, and her sleeping just got worse. By the end of it, my husband and I were emotional wrecks. I thought that it must be my fault somehow – had I incorrectly applied the controlled crying approach? I also felt guilty for leaving my baby to cry.

That being said, I know that controlled crying has been a godsend for other parents and friends. The world is so hard to cope with when you have had no sleep.

As it has turned out for us, a happy medium was been best – one feed in the night until our daughter was one year old, not getting up straight away unless baby sounds very distressed etc. You just have to do what works for you!

I really hate all this judgmental crap which rears its ugly head when you become a mother. The most important thing is that baby and mother are happy and healthy, which makes for a happy family!

(Via Diversion Cubed)

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    39 Comments

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    39 responses to “Getting mothering advice from Cruella De Vil

    1. Not cuddling babies! When I looked at my daughter after she was first born, I just thought “you poor little bugger”. Nothing made sense to her except feeding and cuddling. Now she’s the most gorgeous, loving, cuddly, thoughtful (and, ahem, argumentative) 2-year-old.

      Yet I also had to make compromises – you might want to check out my post on “natural parenting”:

      http://gbbw.blogspot.com/2006/08/natural-parenting.html

      I think it’s like they said in Grease: “the rules are there ain’t no rules”.

    2. Cherryripe,

      I was actually thinking of that post when I wrote this one!

      My daughter’s fifth word was “No.” In fact, she says, “no, no, no, no, no!” accompanied by headshakes. I wonder where she got that stubbornness from?

      LE

    3. pete m

      Hi LE,

      Well our 9 week old daughter certainly taught us that a good feed is important. She kept crying, but wouldn’t eat more than 50 – 100ml at one go. She’d get all warm and sleepy and we thought she’d had enough. So she would have 7-8 feeds in a day (2 overnight), and was pretty distressed in between, and would have 1 or 2 bad times where she wouldn’t settle (usually when I got home!)

      Finally, we got tough with the little grizzly bear. She was kept awake until she had at least a solid 120 – 160ml. She now sleeps well, and only wakes once during the night.

      We tried quite a few different things which didn’t work, but it all came back to under-feeding.

      I too agree on the cuddling, but it is really important when they are to go to sleep that they self-settle – ie in the cot. If they learn to fall alseep in your arms (any more than 1-2 times a day), you are in BIG trouble – lol.

      Our little girl is now in the 90th percentile on length, 50% for weight, but only 10th% for head size. My wife says she doesn’t mind if her head is smaller, and loves how long her legs are. If she starts trying to make her into some little beauty queen, I’m going to make her watch “my little sunshine” again.

      So while I agree with her “secrets” (why does advice have to be “secret to somehow make it better or right? What she says is the same as we found in most parenting books), I disagree on the cuddling nonsense. Maybe she came up with that to satisfy her busy “hands off” clientelle?

    4. Pete M,

      I agree that you have to be careful with those newborns that they don’t trick you into believing that they are well-fed when actually they’ve just gotten exhausted by the effort of feeding and fallen asleep. We also fell into that trap… At one point I was feeding the girl every two hours. This gave her colic and exhausted me.

      It was much better when I was making her wait for at least 3 hours, and then she’d be hungry enough to have a proper feed. If she fell asleep mid-feed, I’d strip the poor thing off and wake her up. But hey, if I gave her a feed which wasn’t on schedule every now and then, I didn’t beat myself up about it.

      A friend of mine has a simply enormous boy who needs to feed every two hours – he’s off the scale for length – she can’t make him eke it out any longer – I think he’s just a boy who needs his food to fuel all that growth! He’s not that much shorter than my daughter, who is a year older, but she’s on the petite side.

      At least my daughter will have a tall, dark and handsome fellow to accompany her to high school formals!

      Yeah, I think Cruella was just trying to make all those celebrities and high fliers feel better about the fact that they had no time for their children… “Don’t worry if she doesn’t see you and you don’t have time to cuddle her! It will make her more resilient and less demanding” etc.

      LE

    5. OTT

      I was brought up in a chaotic environment in which I got anything I wanted – including, once, a butcher’s cleaver at 2 1/2, which I then hit my brother on the head with (he’s doing fine). I was a bit of a stubborn, argumentative monster, but I think I was a loving child to my parents. My partner was brought up more strictly. We both turned out all right.

      Ms Verity’s parenting tips lack respect for children, who are sentient beings and not clockwork machines.

      I always went to sleep as a young child with my mother or one of my siblings rocking me to bed in a hammock. My mum tells a story of a family gathering where I went around tugging on the shirts of anyone who would listen, asking them to rock me to sleep. Apparently, I fell asleep doing this. The joy of big families is that there is always someone on hand to provide the cuddling.

    6. We’re well past the “no”stage … we’re talking heavy negotiations at 2 and a half. Instead of “no” we now get:

      “no thank you mummy darling” (with a big grin)
      “no not today” (eg tooth brushing)
      “no, because it will make me sick” (usually reserved for water when she wants milk or juice instead)

      and my personal favourite:
      “umm…maybe when I’m a bit bigger”

      Sometimes it’s hard, but you’ve just got to laugh.

      But as for your post, this woman sounds hideous. Yes, you’ll probably get a complacent child who has given up asking for its needs to be met – and there are times when I pray for such a child. So go for it, as long as you can handle the fact that they’ll be as emotionally retarded as you for the rest of their lives.

      Routines or no routines, kids need cuddles to learn how to love and to give love to others. Simple. It doesn’t have to be just from you, it can – should – be from other adults and other kids as well. But they need it.

      For all the new parents out there, just know that if something is working for you, and your relationship with your kid is good, don’t worry about it. If it’s not, there’s plenty of ways of changing things without killing off the love between you and your child.

      And of course I reserve the right to change my views entirely after the second one comes along…

    7. No trouble with the slumber of the infant Moe, Larry and Curly. I slept right through. Boom-tish!
      And when we first learned of Curly’s impending arrival, I was mortified. I still hadn’t taken off all the weight I’d put on with the first two. Zing! Okay, I’ll stop. Our trio were all different from and similar to each other in terms of crying and sleeping. But no extremes. Curly was botle-fed expressed milk so I got to join the late night feeding roster. Don’t know if most things went fairly smoothly because of any particular knack of ours or we were just lucky.

    8. On what planet are women maintaining their milk supply feeding a newborn only five times in 24 hours?

      My kid couldn’t take more than 60 ml of my milk at a time at that age. Any more, and he didn’t get all satisfied and sleepy, he overflowed. (Everywhere.) There just wasn’t room in his teeny belly. We coped, as you do, and he grew out of it.

      And, sheesh. Even the AAP now recommends that babies sleep in the same room as their parents.

    9. -k

      How are children supposed to learn compassion and empathy if they are treated as manipulative little machines from the word go?

      I see kids like this every day and it’s bad news for all involved. Kids whose parents haven’t had all that much time for them; or who believe that ‘maintaining distance’ is going to produce ‘more resilient’ children. Rubbish. It’s usually these kids who are disruptive and rude. They’re so hungry for recognition that they don’t care about the form in which it comes, so they do whatever they can to get attention from whomever they can.

      Children certainly shouldn’t be coddled, but they should most definitely be loved and nurtured as much as possible. I’d be interested to know whether this ‘guru’ has any kids of her own.

    10. “How are children supposed to learn compassion and empathy if they are treated as manipulative little machines from the word go?”

      That’s exactly right. They learn what is modeled to them. If you model love, acceptance and compassion, they’ll reflect it back (even if it’s sometimes reflected imperfectly.)

      Pete M, *some* children don’t do well with co-sleeping, that’s true. Others do very well. My best little sleeper yet is the one who fell asleep in my arms or at the breast every night. We just have to be so careful telling parents that “this will work with your child, this won’t” because then if things don’t work out the way they “should”, then the parent is undermined, thinking that clearly they’ve done something wrong. Well, no, they haven’t, we’re dealing with human beings, not Ikea flat pack furniture.

    11. Our daughter was terrible with co-sleeping because she’s exceptionally wriggly! Even when she was a newborn, she was on the move. One day, she and I fell asleep on the bed – she was lying on my stomach. Luckily I had my hand on her, and when she wriggled off me, I woke up. So – no sleeping together for us…

    12. Lorenzo

      Wow! This woman has discovered the ancient secret of Sociopath child rearing. It was lost for thousands of years, after Atlantis sank ofcourse.

      I love bitter old men/women who do not have children(I hope, in this case.) and write books about how to raise children.

      I worry most for the children whose parents fall for these charletans.

      I once heard an elderly woman remark, “The Lord knows who among us are capable of raising children.” Then she mentioned some inappropriate things about another parrishoner. However, her original comment kind of hit a nerve. Some people should never be left in charge of children or allowed to become their sole care giver. These same people should be restrained from publishing.

    13. wow… that would never cut it in India! for all the Spock and Ferber we read, most of us fall back on feeding on demand for infants, rocking them to sleep in lengths of cloth hung from the ceiling, co-sleeping and lots of hugs and cloth nappies. Ver much the earth mother attitude no doubt, but then here it’s not earth mother, its just the way we do things. And when we hear of crying it out, and making little infants independent and calling them manipulative our eyes pop out and we look on in barbaric shock!! :) lovely post.

    14. found this post while googling for info on Ms Verity as she’s talking at a baby show in Harrogate next weekend. If anyone wants to come up and heckle her, you’ll get a warm welcome from me ;)

    15. It just makes me so mad that this woman is telling vulnerable new mothers that they have got it “wrong”. Alas, I live in Australia, so not much chance of making it to Harrogate, but I’ll be there in spirit supporting you, trogette.

    16. Mumenminder

      I have just read everyones comments on this person. Until she commented on C4′s production of bringing up baby series starting tomorrow i had not heard of her. I am most definitely a suck it see kind of mother. My first BF four hourly, sometime a bigger gap and did not sleep through til he wa over 1, my second BF 2 hourly 12 hours a day but went through from about 16 weeks and the third fed whenever she got a look in and made up for it at night. Even so she still went through by 5 1/2 months. The point it that noneof them would have fitted any of the prescriptive routines that those loonies seem to think is acceptable. I love my kids and to deny them succour and comfort is tantamount to abuse in my book. In fact ‘why love matters’ Sue Gerhardt 2004 talks of the brain nerve pathways that are formed by itimate relationships of infants that cannot be created in later life. So, you deny a child particularly an infant, love, affection and re-assurance, you deny it the stimuli to grow certain neural networks. These cause children to suffer with attachment disorders in later life. Also the relaxing comfort given in affection stimulates at the same time, the cfreation of cortisol receptors that will absorb cortisol (the stress hormone) enabling a person to deal with and come down from stress in later life. No love, not enough receptors and a person much more likely to suffer with emotional and clinical (depression, stress etc) disorders in later life. If parenting a baby is what you want to do, are doing or are interested in then this book is well worth a read. For all you baby wearers out there (and i wish i knew about that before now) go for it. The only thing that in life that a child shouldl be able to guarentee itself is the unconditional love of its parents. How is a baby gonna be sure of that when they leave then screaming in a room. Claire verity claims the NCT hate her. It is an organisation, the NCT does not dislike her, it’s members (pretty much all parents) do! She should read Sue Gerhardt but then someone who thinks she knows it all cant possibly learn from anyone else eh!

    17. i would just like to say i would not leave my dog with claire verity. the woman has never had kids so an emotional bond is not there, i am a daddy to two fantastic kids one four one seven months. my wife and i give them cuddles all the time. there is a famous song which says i did it my way. for me and my wife we did our way!!! keep a child a child for as long as you can they will soon be leaveing home going out into this big world. As for you claire keep your 50s method where they should be and go and doing something useful like join the forces. your attitude will work well in a war zone.

    18. Richard, couldn’t agree more. Cuddles are an essential parenting ingredient as far as I’m concerned.

      I suspect it’s all about helping busy celebrity mums to feel okay that they don’t spend any time with their kids and never cuddle them. So the kid doesn’t mind that Mummy isn’t around because it learns to expect that it won’t be cuddled. No wonder the poor kids grow up totally screwed in the head.

      Mumenminder, I am sure that positive interactions with a child do set up important neural pathways for later in life. If you are abused or neglected, I’m sure that you are more vulnerable to mental health issues. Doesn’t mean that you can’t overcome these problems if you have them, but who wants to create them in the first place?

      I was a very premature baby, not expected to survive and my mother couldn’t cuddle me until I was at least two and a half months old. I think it was heartbreaking for her. I’ve grown up to be a very anxious person, and I’m sure that my early months played some part, although genetics also has a big role (I come from a long line of worrywarts on both sides).

      Anyway, my daughter is the biggest cuddlebug in the world. She’ll come up and announce “Cuddle!” and throw herself at me. And I love it. It makes me feel so good, and I can tell it makes her feel good too. So there, Claire Verity!

    19. Doyeene

      I watched channel 4′s ‘Bringing up Baby’ last night and I was so furious with Claire Verity that I will not be watching the show again. It was appalling! She obviously hates babies and sees them as manipulative people who should be punished for even being born! I was so angry at the parents who also listened to her advice! I mean put a baby to bed at 7pm and don’t check on them till 7am!! My goodness! And the parents also ignored the baby’s cries, I was so upset. Claire Verity should not be let near animals let alone babies! I truly truly dislike her. I have a 5 month old and I brought her into this world so I should look after her because she can’t do so herself and not treat her like an unwanted guest in my life.

      I fear that these babies being raised the ‘Claire Verity’ way might grow up to be sociopaths!

    20. Michele

      The Gina Ford Guru who appeared on last nights Channel Four programme stated she didnt have any children of her own! no suprises there then how can she promote this sort of child abuse which would not be out of place in Oliver Twist, Dickensian Orphanages! great TV though

    21. Nina

      I couldn’t agree more Doyeene. Why can’t people simply trust their own instincts more instead of putting all of their trust in a psychopath? Why aren’t they more protective of their children? I have two beautiful what people describe as perfectly behaved children who forged their own routines. They were never left to cry, never put out in hte freezing cold and always cuddled and held. My two month old son sometimes sleeps with me in my bed but is capable of sleeping 10 hours in the night without any of that womans warped methods. His four year old sister also sleeps without any problems. Watching that woman abuse those children last night with the consent of the parents was like watching a horror film. I urge anyone who saw this to complain to channel 4 about this sick programme.
      People who have children and expect to be able to go back to their “normal” lives straight afterwards need to be neutered.

    22. Jennie

      Claire Verity what an evil woman!! I had never heard of the woman till last and wish i hadn’t watched got upset at her cruel ways i couldn’t bare to watch that baby crying i would of told her where to go and given my baby a big cuddle. I’m all for routine but she is something else can tell she has not got any children.
      i would tell her were to shove the £1000 a day she charges too as she is awful. it seemed as if kids were a nuisance not a joy?

      made me want to give my two kids extra big hugs and thank god I’m not her

    23. Hmm, I think I’m glad I’m in Oz and missed that programme, although it will probably be shown down here anyway. I think I’d find it distressing to watch. I couldn’t bear leaving my little girl to cry all night and not go in to cuddle her. Ugh. It makes me feel horrible just to think about it.

      The thing which gets my goat is that this woman says her method is “the way”. If she had any knowledge of babies, she’d know that all babies are different and there is no “one way”.

      I think some people think they’ll be able to have a baby and then go back to exactly what they were doing before. I had an ex-boss like that, and when she expected me to do the same after I had my little girl, I resigned. I think there is a notion in society that women can “have it all”, but the fact is that having a child has a massive impact on your life and things don’t go back to what they were.

      Claire Verity is catering for these women who just want to go back to their old life. There’s no disturbance to sleep, no need to tend to the child’s needs, because you teach the child that you’re not there for it. Which is a pity. Being a mother is awesome, and, in my humble opinion, it’s worth compromising a little on your own life to build up a loving relationship with your baby.

    24. Raquel Seabra

      I don’t know the woman but I already hate her. Living in Portugal I have not even seen her but I can picture her very clearly in my mind, with her rigid blonde hair.
      I have three children – all adults now – and I’m happy with the results! I have never fed them in tight schedules, I have never left them alone for more than 2 minutes, much less outside, or let them cry for long. I never drank or smoked during pregnancy or while breast-feeding. Am I perfect? Absolutely not! I’m only HUMAN!

    25. mona

      I also watched the programme on Channel 4 in the UK. I was extrememly upset by the way she left babies outside in the garden for several hours with door shut. She also told parents hold to hold baby too comfortably when feeding becuase baby would fall alseep getting too cosy. She also told them not to cuddle them or give them eye contacts! How ridiculous does that sounds? The methods she claims it works was written by a person who observed cows and their behaviours and found that it worked when applied to human babies !

    26. Pingback: Ethically Speaking :: Are babies for cuddling? :: September :: 2007

    27. Melissa

      I am incensed at the thought of this woman giving advice to new mothers. I am watching ‘Bringing up Baby’ and cannot help but shout at the screen when I hear the “advice” she is giving. She is telling mothers to treat their children in a cold and manipulative way in order to get ‘results’. Babies are not robots. They cannot be programmed to give results. These children are being starved of the care, attention and the social contact they need to feel secure. Has this woman ever hear of bonding? I have never felt such anger and abhorrence at a person in my life. But I am really sickened by this womans views

    28. Nads

      Oh get over it you freaks she’s brilliant. That holding your baby all the time idea from the 70′s is stupid and the 60′s follow your instinct by some bloke called Spock is just open for abuse. My instinct told me to smack my baby. Whatever.

      Go Verity ignore these weak parents.

    29. Nads, I’m not into attachment parenting myself. In fact, I’m not into any particular “recipe” for parenting: you’ve got to be flexible and take into account the specific situation of the mother and the child. If attachment parenting works for you, then fine, if routines work for you, I’m also cool with that. Neither extreme suited me at all.

      Nor am I one of those people who just lets her child do whatever she wants. I think that it is important for a child to have boundaries, and to have manners, and to think about other people.

      Personally, I found the experience of trying “controlled crying” worse than the sleeplessness. It didn’t make any difference to my daughter’s sleeping, but it did make me very upset and stressed. That being said, I know others for whom it has been a godsend. I am open-minded.

      That being said, I think it’s entirely inappropriate to “discipline” a newborn baby. Of course you have to look after yourself as well as a parent, and in fact it’s really important that you do. But you can’t teach a newborn, and I think it is really dangerous to teach a very young child that they can’t rely on anyone coming to help them.

      Why do babies cry? Well sometimes, they are manipulative. I remember that when my daughter was six weeks old, she let out a giant bellow like she was having her toes pulled off. I went over and looked in the crib. She immediately stopped crying and gave me a huge grin. I could see her thinking “Mission successful, I got the Mummy to come and play with me.” It’s part of babies learning that they can influence the world around them. However, babies also cry because they need help: they’re uncomfortable, they’re wet, they’re tired. Perhaps they’re in pain or ill. I just think it’s irresponsible to ignore a distressed child for a long period of time in case there’s something really wrong.

      And it can be dangerous. During the time we tried controlled crying, my daughter was crying, and it wasn’t “time” for me to go in and check on her yet. I’m really glad that I did go check on her. She’d got her leg stuck between the cot slats and was lying all twisted up.

    30. Doyeene

      The scary thing is when the babies do start to fall asleep on its own and sleep through the night, parents will mistaken this for a happy child responding to Claire Verity’s ‘successful’ parenting. The reality, however, is, that babies have just gotten used to being ignored. What’s the point of expressing their needs if no one is listening?

      A mother’s instinct is there for a reason and Claire Verity is advising mothers to ignore this. The easiest solution to parents who want their lives back 24 hours after giving birth is er, to not have a child in the first place! Claire Verity’s method is child abuse, plain and simple.

      This is from last night’s episode:
      CV: She’s looking at you. No eye contact please.
      Mum: No eye contact at all whenwe’re feeding?
      CV: No. Once he gets eye contact he knows that he’s in charge – and he’s not. You’re in charge and your feeding him. It’s all about getting this milk down him.

      This is a baby she’s talking about!! I mean why would any parent in their right mind take advice from her, she’s obviously a psychopath! She’s never had children so doesn’t understand a mother’s instinct to care and love her baby so why should any mother listen to her?? Psychopathy is defined as ‘a condition characterised with lack of empathy’ I say no more…

      Everyday I spend with my 5 month old is precious and filled with loads of cuddling and loving, these parents are going to regret these few weeks of their babies’ lives that have been put in the hands of Cruella-de-vil.

    31. Maternity nurse /Doula

      Mums i would say go with your gut feeling you will know if your baby just wants some comfort and support.

      I am all for routine i have to say and babies getting fresh air but by this i mean mums out walking with there babies to get the fresh air.I certainly personally would not advice any mum to leave a baby alone in the garden,of course we must also think of the world we live in would you feel ok just leaving baby.

      Having a baby and bringing up a baby is hard work you do need some structure to your day otherwise it will feel like you dont have a break .

      Feel free to give me a call if you are having problems and would like a basic routine set i promise not to charge up to £1000. a day !!!!

    32. Katherine

      I live in the States and I, too, am appalled by this woman. My infant son co-slept with me because I had a C-Section and was just too exhausted to keep getting up in the middle of the night. As a baby, he was a big cuddler, and even now, at 9, he loves his “snuggles.” He has grown up to be an amazing kid, whose company I really enjoy. Every night before he goes to bed, we snuggle together and tell each other how much we love each other…”more than the universe…more than Club Penguin..” It sometimes gets really silly, but I keep thinking, “He will be a great husband and father who will not have any problem letting his family know how much he loves them.”

      That is my role as his mother. Helping him become a loving, caring adult.

    33. emma

      please please please make a complaint to child protection/NSPCC. This woman should be reported to social servies. this is a child protection issue. I spent many years working in romanian orphanages. The children/babies were completely silent, staring blankly at the ceiling. I am sure Claire Verity would describe these babies/children as “good” babies because they make no demands. These orphans have learned not to ask for anything and are so grateful for any interaction. The romanian’s were accused of child cruelty at the time. What claire verity does is the same if not worse. She should be struck off her so called “profession”.

    34. I lived with a woman who worked as an early intervention social worker with traumatised children. At the time I had a 6 month-old baby and I was finding her crying difficult. She supported us through a gentle but firm version of controlled crying, which worked wonders for all of us.

      I remembered her comment that “it’s the babies who are badly abused who DON’T cry. They’re the ones we really worry about.”

      It seems that this is the theory that this woman is working from – but she thinks it’s a sign of successful parenting.

      I have a very loving, kind little 3 year old. She plays little dominance games which I have learned to manage. So she knows to listen to me, and the fact that she loves me means that she listens and cares if I’m upset with her. We’re about to have another baby. I’m sure if she was a neglected, withdrawn child, this would be a much more difficult process, full of resentment and anger. Instead, she knows how to love and care for another human being, and I am so proud of that.

      Your kids shouldn’t walk all over you or destroy your mental health – it’s no good for either of you – but the way to deal with it needs to be sensitive and sensible. Positive, confident parenting skills are essential. If they are not being promoted, crazy people like this will step into the gap.

      Can you imagine these kids as teenagers? As adults? Do you think they’ll care for their lonely, elderly parents? Do you think they’ll be warmongers or peacemakers? Bigots or healers?

      These should be the bigger questions on our minds when we promote this sort of crap.

    35. I just recently read about Claire Verity. And yes, I agree, she’s awful! I have two wonderful sons, who are always up for a cuddle, whether midday or midnight. =)

      These cuddles are important to them because it is during this time that they “recharge”. i.e., sometimes they need a cuddle because they feel bad and need to be comforted.

      As a parent, I’d like to raise my kids the way my parents raised me–they were absolutely supportive of most of the decisions I made, and gave me space to make my own mistakes.

    36. nikki

      oh my word, thank you, i have watched this show in morbid horror. That “woman” ( claire verity)(and in my eyes she does not even deserve to eb called human is purely evil. My son is 8 1/2 months old and i still bf on demand ( he is eating solids so do not worry), he sleeps in bed of a morning (i.e, i put sesame st on and have an extra 1/2 hour kip while he sits and watches or plays with toys. He is a very happy and well adjusted littel boy. However the parents who let that woman into their houses are going to cry. If you want “your” life back after giving birth. DO NOT have children. You can say No, use contracpetion etc. Babies will not sleep through the night until they are ready to. I would not let that woman anywhere near my son, she is pure evil. babies have no idea what it means to manipulate, they are babies for a reason. she makes my blood boil. Where are social services! I hate to say it, but those kids are going to be messed up, and did you see the mother of the twins, 1 of course bf is not going to work, you will lose you milk supply following that womans advice, but then again bf is not what she wants anyway. 2 the mum looked like she was going to fall to pieces because she had to kill her maternal instincts. PICK YOUR BABY UP, CUDDLING IS NOT A SIN. sorry i could go on, but i am so mad i can not get it all typed out properly

    37. Ed Buckley

      As usual the Tv promotes and antagonises normal parents including me by allowing these freaks to get their self absorbed kicks by being controversial. I have never seen such garbage spoken by a so called pro. I am the professional here and know much more than this woman. i have 4 children and to be honest I think that we could teach any parents how to deal with their kids and we would not need the teachings of some outdated idiot from the southern hemisphere. When Truby ( see idiot) King wrote about children NZ was little more than a tribal colony, of course things are different. Claire Verity needs a lesson in reality, she can argue any point but without any substance. i would cut her down to size quickly simply because she should have children first before proclaiming herself the messiah. Every child is different and so are the parents. I am also ashamed of the parents on this program that allow their child to be abused in this manner and maybe they should be assessed by social services to ascertain whether their child should be left in their care. The Tv company is paying a fortune to these “guru’s” ( please note the sarcasm in my typing) and also paying the families so that they can make sensational watching. Personally lets get the police and council involved. Arrest this child abusive carer and inform the parents that they must change or risk losing their kids. I am truly disgusted.

    38. Mumofthree

      Claire Verity has written a column in the Daily Mail today (available online) expressing her surprise at how she has been vilified by mothers around the world. She attempts to defend herself, but in my opinion digs herself an even deeper hole with her arrogance.
      Personally speaking I find her methods and her attitude abhorent. For me is speaks of pure cruelty. Having 3 children I can also say that I have had all manner differences in them. With my first I was urged by an elderly midwife to feed him 4 hourly – result – my milk dried up.
      Both of my daughters have been breastfed on demand and all 3 (I always cuddled my eldest when he needed it) are the most adorable children you could hope to meet. My youngest had a traumatic birth and was stillborn, but resusitated. She spent the first few days in my arms, she was so distressed and only settled when snuggled with me looking up at me in confusion til she heard my voice and then she would visably settle. She has had nothing but cuddles, love and adoration piled on her by her older siblings and my husband and I. Nope, I didn’t have a life for the first few months, if you consider a life doing your own thing and not being hassled by a small person who is manipulating you. What I did have was a baby in a sling, loads of contact – I was told it would make her needy – the opposite is true. She is the most outgoing, happy, wellbalanced child. She has never cried when left at playschool or with family (although I never left her until she was two and able to understand I would be back). She is so affectionate, ‘cuddles mummy!!!!!!!!!!!!’ then a huge hug, and I just know that all of mine will grow up to make wonderful wives and husbands and in time parents.
      I just feel so incredibly distressed for those poor babies on that programme and any others THAT WOMAN has been near. How can they grow up ‘normal’ when they’ve been deprived for hours on end of the only thing a newborn understands – love and food? When they are a bit older – 6-7 months – then they can understand more but controlled crying should NEVER be used on a newborn – its the epitomy of cruelty.

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