April 7, 2006

Nanny's Got A Pen

So you want an advice book for disciplining your newborn, get her to sleep through the night PDQ, &c., but you're afraid of getting hooked up with a pseudo-Biblical cult?

Fortunately, the cult of celebrity is here to help. The no-nonsense British night nurse who helped Chris Martin and Gwyneth Paltrow through those first rough weeks is putting a book out. And the same thing that DT commenter Lisa pointed out about the Baby Whisperer--i.e., everything sounds more authoritative in a British accent--applies here x3, since all the accents around little Apple's crib are either natural or Oscar[r]-winning.

Not that that's stopped the folks at Blogging Baby from taking some solid swats at the nanny and her respect-instilling ways.

That said, When you set aside the idiocies of clueless parents starving their kids because their preacher told them to, the picture does get more complicated. When you're not actually talking about a specific baby and his needs, this whole advice/respect/little king/slave-to-the-baby thing can devolve into meaningless arguments over the difference between "routine" and "structure."

For most new parents, the idea of hiring a night nurse who all but moves in with you during the first couple of months to help you get some sleep and get acclimated to the parenting routine sounds like a cop-out or a dodge. But grandmothers do that kind of thing all the time. Especially at the beginning, four hands and 24 hours just does not feel sufficient to stay on top of things.

In Manhattan, though, I know all kinds of people who see their night nurse as their livesaver. A voice of experience and calm and perspective can go a long way. Of course, for lots of NY families, the nurse is the one who covers until the handoff to the nanny, by which time, the parents' lives and jobs are back to normal. Your mileage may vary.

I think the real problem with this ApplePower book is that the nanny wrote it at all. I'd think new parenting is stressful enough without having to worry that someone's collecting material for their book. [Which is totally different from a blog, how, exactly? Oh, wait...]

Enough with the PR fluff, tell us what you really think: Gwyneth Paltrow's nanny gives terrible, horrible advice in her new book [bloggingbaby.com]
Previously: Breaking the seventh seal on the Babywise book of the apocalypse
Should you read the nanny's blog?

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