My Bookshelf: Bringing Up Bébé

The mamas in my life told me that the days would fly with a newborn and I didn’t quite believe them. How could you possibly fill the time, I thought? The east coaster in me wants to work in my waking hours and I’ve had to fight the guilt my whole life! But its true– with breastfeeding every few hours (or less), swaddling, changing, rocking and bouncing our little one to sleep, I’m amazed when sundown arrives. Just when I start to feel frazzled, Lorea wants to nurse and I happily sit down and put my feet up.

Breastfeeding forces us mamas to relax and take a break. Its my time to read an actual book and I’m totally enjoying Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman. Its got me laughing out laugh and scratching tiny stars next to the good stuff. The best of…

On Sleep: The Pause. “Before responding to an interrogation, common sense tells us to listen to the question…It’s exactly the same thing with a crying baby: the first thing to do is listen to him.” Sometimes when babies sleep their eyes move, they make noise, they suck, they move around a bit. But in reality, they’re sleeping. So you mustn’t go in all the time and disturb him while he’s sleeping. You have to learn how the baby sleeps.”

On Pleasure: “I was mystified by all the talk among French parents and educators about letting children “awaken” and “discover.” Awakening is about introducing a child to sensory experiences, including tastes. It doesn’t always require the parent’s active involvement.

…they believe that awakening will help their kids forge “inner psychological qualities such as self-assurance and tolerance of difference.” Others believe in exposing children to a variety of tastes, colors, sights, simply because doing so gives the children pleasure. This pleasure is “the motivation for life”…If we didn’t have pleasure, we wouldn’t have any reason to live.”

“There are so few years to just be a child.”

On Development: “In a sort of emancipation of babies, Dolto claimed that even infants are rational, and indeed that they understand language as soon as they’re born. It’s an intuitive, almost mystical message.”

“Human beings speak to other human beings. Some of them are big, some of them are small. But they communicate.”

“A mayor’s report on Parisian creches calls for a spirit of “energetic discovery,” in which the children are “left to exercise their appetite for experimentation of their five senses, of using their muscles, of sensations, and of physical space.”

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One thought on “My Bookshelf: Bringing Up Bébé

  1. sinda

    Whole Parent, Whole Child. Whatever makes you a better mama, makes Lorea a better child. it’s all baby steps. learn the value of baby steps to discovery. I love hearing you write about bebe! I should have done more because watching Cedra unfold to life was so special. Watching my son was just as precious, but a girl!..my sister child was so different to watch. Still is.

    Reply

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