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RIE stands for Resources for Infant Educarers (yes, you read that right, it’s edu- “carers”) and is pronounced "wry." It was created in the 1940s and enjoyed a resurgence of sorts a few years ago. But according to a new Vanity Fair article, it’s apparently all the rage again in LA, thanks in part to a new book about the parenting philosophy called "Baby Knows Best," by Deborah Carlisle Solomon.
“RIE takes you back to basics. RIE makes us all better. Better parents. Better partners. Better people,” actor Jamie Lee Curtis, a RIE proponent, says in the article.
Sounds pretty awesome, right? What parent wouldn’t want that? Well, you, perhaps — when you take a look at some RIE do’s and don’ts from the article.
Don’t use baby talk.
What? Give up cute widdle baby talk wid your cute widdle baby? Um, yes. Yes indeed. According to RIE, you should be talking to your baby like the miniature adult she really is!
Don’t dump your baby in a bouncy seat.
YouTubeBouncers, according to the article, “are discouraged on the principle that they are disrespectful to a baby’s true emotions, as the object is to make him zone out and stop annoying you." Well, yeah … and the problem is?
Don’t use a sippy cup.
YouTubeBPA-free be damned, do you want to drink out of a plastic cup with a picture of a cartoon monster or soccer ball on it? We didn’t think so. So take baby from boob straight to cut crystal tumbler. (One word: Waterford. Now that’s respect.)
Don’t give your baby toys.
TumblrEspecially not the kind that require batteries. Give baby an empty toilet paper tube or some measuring cups instead. (Wait, actually…we can kind of get behind this one.)
Do let your baby cry.
TumblrDoes this mean that only second-time parents can actually engage in RIE parenting? Because, you know, first-timers tend to have a harder time not “repressing” their babies’ emotions.
Don’t give baby a rattle.
YouTubeAccording to RIE founder Magda Gerber, “Rattles are an adult idea: you pick up something, and it makes noise. Why does it make noise? Because some adult put something into something.” Clearly this woman never picked up a dried gourd.
Don’t interfere (“within reason”)
TumblrYour toddler and his buddies are pushing and hitting? Great! Let’s just hope your kid is the bigger one.
Don’t give baby a paci.
This has nothing to do with nipple confusion or baby’s natural need to suck on things that look like nipples. No, pacis apparently thwart your baby’s God-given right to cry. And that’s not cool.
As a mom, some of the thinking behind RIE parenting just sounds crazy-pants to me. But honestly, some of it makes sense, too. Dealing with babies can be hard. And, frankly, boring sometimes. But giving the bouncy seat an occasional rest, putting down the cell phone and engaging with your kid — really learning who he is and what makes him tick? That doesn’t sound so bananas to me. It actually sounds pretty awesome.
Erika Rasmusson Janes is a mom of two and writer. You can follow her at Google + and Twitter.