Yesterday I attended a day to celebrate 20 years of the Brazelton Centre in the UK. Having booked on some months ago, I found myself wondering why I had decided to attend. What the real nappy industry knows child development expert Dr T Berry Brazelton for is endorsing the size 6 Pampers nappy with the mantra “Let the child decide when the time is right to potty train.”
What I discovered yesterday is there’s much more to Berry Brazelton than this. He radically changed attitudes to the new born. It was Berry who really championed the idea that babies are born individuals, that whilst babies may not speak their first word for a year, they are born ready to communicate.
Something else struck me deeply at the conference yesterday. We also heard a talk by Professor Dieter Wolke who made the case that babies who find it difficult to ‘self-regulate’ are more challenging. They make the life of her/his parents much harder. The message was, be careful not to judge those parents who are having a tough time. Parenting is significantly more challenging for them. These parents need support to understand how they can help their babies to self-soothe. Their baby may need more regular routines.
I guess this is all common sense to to most of us now. However, it feels important to understand that it hasn’t always been so and we have Berry Brazelton and the Brazelton Centre UK to thank for this.
With all the pressures of our busy lives perhaps it’s even more important to spread the Berry Brazelton message that we need to tune into new borns. Suzanne Zeedyk is carrying on the work, showing just how important and enjoyable nappy changing can be when we ‘tune in.’ Watch this short film ‘Dance of the Nappy’ (on Youtube.)