Auto-Rocking Bassinets
Evil or Godsends?

== Interview with Maternity Guru Kathy Fray ==

Parenting experts say that the SNOO disrupts the bonding process during early stages and the development parental instincts (learning your baby’s needs/sleeping habits). What are your thoughts on these statements?

With the inventor, Dr Harvey Karp, being an internationally renowned and highly respected Infant Sleep Expert (likely far more ‘known’ than the critics of his product) my first reaction would be to ask the question “How” do some ‘parenting experts’ know for emphatic certainty that a SNOO disrupts bonding impacting parental instincts? Having been a University Research Midwife myself, I cannot imagine they received an Ethics Committee approval to confirm this theory, or that Mothers agreed to be part of the research “Would you like to participate in a study to see if a product will negatively affect your relationship with your baby?” I think not! So from that perspective, the product critics, are purely hypothesising. It is simply conjecture that a SNOO could disrupt bonding and the development of parenting instincts. At best, it’s a speculative guess.

There are some who would certainly describe this as “extremist twaddle”, which is not me completely, but undoubtedly others. I would summarise, that used excessively of the baby spending day, upon week, upon month, in the SNOO, devoid of normal human contact, then yes that would disrupt bonding and parenting instincts – but it is not the SNOO which is the cause – at fault is the lack of human touch, not the crib.

So all in all, do you think it’s okay that technology is “replacing” what parents should arguably be doing themselves, with critics implying users of the device are being “lazy” or uncaring to do simple parenting, prioritising themselves. What are your thoughts?

You could say this is a three-fold question.

Firstly, should the mother be the one who is rocking a baby to sleep, day in, day out, every night at 11pm, 2am, 4am, week after week, month after month? And my absolutely emphatic answer is NO! Such ongoing long-term sleep deprivation is a disastrous recipe for Postnatal Depression.

Secondly, should her Partner do some of the workload? Sure! But he’s typically gone all day 5-6 days a week, and if he was anything like my husband (a senior carpenter using cut-your-fingers-off-in-a-split-second tools) I categorically did not want him routinely getting up through the night to rock our babes … not when he’s leaving at 6am to need to routinely walk across half-framed roofs like a monkey – I wanted him very well slept indeed.

Thirdly, should extended family help? Yes that would be fabulous! Is it possible? Oftentimes not at all. Unlike “the old days”, today the great majority of Western mothers looking after wee babies, are isolated and alone in their homes, ironically living in a city of millions of citizens. It may “take a village to raise a child” but many (most?) modern parents don’t get access to that Village anymore.

My strong reaction to any ‘parenting expert’ implying users of this piece of equipment are lazy uncaring sub-standard parents is “Who the heck are you, to be so judgemental?” Slathering parenting guilt upon guilt atop of our loving caring Mothers today, is one of the absolutely worst things that routinely occurs these days, far far too rampantly. It’s plain bloody awful actually, and it is also enormously responsible for good wonderful mothers, worrying to ridiculous levels of anxiety. After a decade of home-visiting Mothers of newborns, I have seen it first hand, hundreds of times, over and over, and it’s hideous, and it’s unnecessary – all courtesy of the ‘pious perfect’ SJWs (social justice warriors) espousing their fault-finding fundamental beliefs on what does and does not qualify as ‘Good Parenting’. To me it is somewhat reminiscent of the 1940s opposers of the new invention called television pronouncing it will rot our children’s brains, and the 1960s opponents of the Beatles declaring the band will rot our children’s souls.

One fact is, that any parent who can afford the over US$1000 for this cot, strongly likely ain’t an uncaring parent. They are very usually parents who are obsessed to provide the absolute best for their child in every way.

In your point of view, do you feel it would’ve helped? Or somehow impacted your relationship with your kids? Can you recall a time when you wish you had the SNOO for your baby/babies? 

One thing we know scientifically with complete certainty, is that parental sleep deprivation dramatically increases rates of postnatal depression. And being a best-selling Birth, Babies & Motherhood author myself, I can confirm that the #1 commonest challenge (by far!) parents ask for help with, is Infant Sleep.

Personally, I never owned an electric cot, but I did own an electric swing-chair, and OMG it was a miracle! It was my absolutely second-favourite piece of parenting equipment, after my rocking-chair (yes, my babes were ‘manually’ rocked too). But I could easily recall multiple times when owning a rocking-cot could have felt divine (for me, and for baby)! Trust me, when you’ve got a 4 year old having a hissy-fit melt-down, and a 2 year old having her 3rd ‘accident’ in her pants in the past two hours, and the baby is now drastically overtired and going to be hard to settle, because the morning preschool teacher wanted to have a prolonged ‘friendly chat’ at the lunchtime pick-up, and the cat has just spewed a fur-ball in the middle of the lounge, then the idea of being able to place Bubs into an electric cot would have been a DREAM! And I just don’t reckon that would have made me a Bad Mum.

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