Why I don’t think of myself as a baby whisperer
The Horse Whisperer is an incredible movie and Cesar Millan, the Dog Whisperer makes for pretty watchable Reality TV but I don’t think of myself as a baby whisperer and I wanted to explain why.
Horse whispering (or natural horsemanship) is the collective term for a bunch of different techniques used to train horses that have become more popular since the 1980s. The techniques are generally about understanding horses and using communication techniques that are not abusive.
The purpose of horse whispering is to train the horse to wear a saddle, have a rider and eventually respond to commands.
The term “horse whispering” goes all the way back to the late 1700s when a horseman called, Daniel Sullivan, made a name for himself in England by rehabilitating horses that had become vicious as a result of abuse. Sullivan was so well known for his gentle techniques that he was called, Daniel “Horse Whisperer” Sullivan.
To me, drawing an analogy with babies just feels a bit off.
Babies are people; they’re not animals that we need to have dominion over.
Cesar Milan (the Dog Whisperer) says, “I rehabilitate dogs, and train people,” and while again, I baulk at the comparison between babies and dogs, I can see where he is coming from.
I guess what I have in common with an animal ‘whisperer’ is that I do start from a foundation where I believe it’s really important to understand the baby: their baby sleep cycles, their biological and psychological needs. But having ‘mastery’ of babies like we’d have control riding a horse or taking a dog for a walk, is not my philosophy at all.
What I want to do is to empower parents with understanding of their baby so they can help their baby to develop and become a fully formed human.
Babies have needs and wants just like adults. Of course, they have smaller tummies so they can’t go without a feed as long as an adult. And they have smaller brains, which are so very new, so it’s hard for them to control their emotions and thoughts, let alone communicate them to us.
So we have to observe babies carefully to understand what they’re going through, what points in their cycle through the day they are at, and what they need from you: food, warmth, cold, comfort, a nappy change, sleep, or just a cuddle.
Secondly, I feel like styling myself as a baby whisperer suggests that I have some sort of magic which you can’t have yourself. That’s not the way I roll.
My philosophy is that if you marry together understanding of the science behind babies’ needs and wants with your own intuition, you will become your own “baby whisperer” to the extent that term is appropriate to use.
You will be able to understand your baby and help them to sleep and feel comfortable in their own environment.
So if you want to be a baby whisperer, I’m all for it! But for me, I’ll just stick to being a baby sleep consultant and give you the tools to understand your little one and enjoy your time with them more because you’re well rested and so are they.
You’re ok and your baby’s ok.
All the best
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