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by Julie Le Gal Brodeur





ON THIS PAGE: Parents as guides, The baby’s surroundings, Observing stages, Learning and over-stimulation, Toys, Nutrition and first foods, Rhythm, meals and sleep, Language and baby talk, The negative effects of media, Baby proofing the home, Valuing parenting, staying at home


Parents as guides - The baby's greatest guide for learning is not what we teach them, but who we are and what we do. Everything we do, how we do it and say it, is an example to them, which they soak up like little sponges. They are imitators. Children learn to stand, walk and speak by imitation. They live wholly through their senses, and are very attuned to each sense. They learn to move, act and speak by imitating what they see, hear, touch and sense with all their senses.


‘Two “magic” words indicate how children enter into relationship with their environment. These words are imitation and example. The Greek philosopher Aristotle called human beings the most imitative of creatures. For no age in life is this truer than for the first age of childhood, before the change of teeth. Children imitate what happens in their physical environment. […] “Physical environment” must, however be understood in the widest sense imaginable. It includes not just what happens around children in the material sense, but everything that occurs in their environment ­– everything that can be perceived by their senses, that can work on the inner forces of children from the surrounding physical space. This includes all moral or immoral actions, all wise or foolish actions that children see.’ Rudolf Steiner [1]



And so it seems that our greatest teaching task lies in being and acting ourselves as we wish our children to be and act, even when the baby is very young.  As much as possible, try to avoid negative emotions and arguing around the baby, even though they don't understand: it creates stress for them that may, if it is a regular occurrence, have psychological or physical consequences later in life. The more we can wield and transform our negative emotions and bring ourselves to be loving, grateful, kind, moral, diligent, responsive people, the more will our children have those values to follow.

‘Thus we see that our lifestyles are just that, styles for life. If we also pay

attention to the general health and social balance of our children we will

not only be doing the best for them, but in turn they are likely to become considerate parents

and pass on their advantages to the next generation.’

Peter W. Nathanielsz [2]

See How to make decisions


The negative effects of media



Baldwin Dancy, Rahima - About conscious parenting in our modern age.htm


Baldwin Dancy, Rahima - Conscious parenting - what can help us on the way?.htm


Gibran, Kahil - Children.htm

From Research Institute for Waldorf Education Here is the article:

Glockler, Michaela - Non-Verbal Education- A Necessity in Development Stages.pdf -link

[1] Steiner, Rudolf. The Education of the Child Anthroposophic Press, Hudson, N.Y. 1996

[2] Nathanielsz, Peter W., M.D., Ph.D. Life Before Birth and A Time to be Born. Promethean Press, Ithica, New York, 1992 Page 161





The baby's surroundings - A new baby can often be so full of intense sense impressions from inside his body; breathing and growing, learning to digest, that he has little energy left to meet the outside world. Giving the baby a gentle start in life allows him to awaken to the world in his own time, with ready ability, and not be rushed in dealing with sense impressions he is not yet ready for or not equipped to deal with. When sense impressions are consistently overwhelming, the baby is less able to rest well and less able to concentrate on what his current learning task is, and is likely to become de-sensitized to his surroundings.


If a baby is not de-sensitized to his environment, he is able to be open to it and be interested in finding out more about it. If he is able to learn something in his own time, if he is able to discover the world and his body's abilities by himself, it encourages self-motivation to learn, and interest in the world. Having the space to come into the world slowly, in a protected, gentle, loving environment gives a solid, strong foundation of self-trust and confidence that is invaluable for learning and growth. Studies have shown that early experiences and positive interactions with adults and other children are far more important for brain development than previously realized. [2]


What surrounds the baby and what she is exposed to have a profound effect on her ability to learn, on how she learns and how she will learn later on. It is important that the baby' s senses not be overloaded to be able to focus on what she must learn. A visually simple and restful environment, gentle colours, natural light, without blinking, noisy toys and TV, are an ideal setting for learning. Cartoon carachters, whether in image, doll or plush form, are deformations of people and animals and are more appropriate for older children (after seven) who already understand and know the world a little bit.

Many studies have shown that noisy environments have a detrimental effect, especially on younger children when language and discrimination skills are forming.[3] Best is a quiet place with natural, human sounds, sounds of nature, real speaking and singing voices, gentle musical instruments, avoiding recorded voices or recorded music. This last point may seem a bit extreme, but if you're interested, see the negative effects of media below.

"Especially in the first year of life, a child is totally incapable of shutting out the external world; her entire body is highly sensitive and is forced to participate the all the impressions that affect it. [...] As much as possible, babies should be spared mechanical noises and "accoustic bombardment" with media such as radio, television, videos and recorded music." Michael Glöckler and Wolfgang Goebel [4]

See The negative effects of media


Welcoming the baby, nourishing the senses


On over-stimulating the baby


Respecting the baby's first tasks


How to make decisions




Davis and Keyser - on Stimulation.htm


Salter, Joan - nourishing the senses, eyes and ears.htm


Salter, Joan - harm done to the senses, eyes and ears.htm


Pikler, Emmi - development of movement - stages.htm


zur Linden - daily fresh air.htm

[2] Norrie McCain,  Hon. Margaret and J. Fraser Mustard. Early Years Study. Publictions Ontario,  Toronto 1999


[3] Maxwell, Dr. Lorraine E. and Dr. Gary W. Evans.
Design of Child Care Centers and
Effects of Noise on Young Children.
Cornell University, researched July 2009 <>

[4] Glöckler, Michaela and Wolfgang Goebel. Guide to Child Health. Floris Books, Edinburgh and Anthropsophic Press, Hudson, New York 1990, Page 201





Observing stages - Babies and children are amazingly ready to develop and learn. We need not fear that without our encouragement, they would cease to develop. They are entirely devoted to the task of growing and learning from the moment they are born. A good key thought to remember is that a child grows through different stages, and each stage has its appropriate learning and development focus, and with each one comes a new stage of consciousness. Some things vary from child to child in order and intensity, but generally, there are archetypal steps a child follows at each age. Being aware of where the child is in these stages and recognizing what she is developing at this stage is immensely helpful, especially in giving insight to what the baby's experience is. The less we interfere with a child's natural development, (for example by sitting them, standing them or helping them walk before they are able to on their own) the more we allow them to strengthen their bodies and develop a subtle sense of balance that is right for their specific body. We allow them the time to learn to move on their own, not rushing them through stages that have lifelong consequences for the development of the body and coordination.[5]The less we interfere, the better.


When we observe the child's abilities, we are able to present objects and activities she is ready for and would benefit from, and are less likely to push her. We are also less likely to overwhelm her with too many sense impressions and are likely to give her more time for what she is working on. It can also be interesting to participate in a child's development by observing what they are learning or teaching themselves through repetition. It makes much more sense than showing them too early something that will take them much longer to understand or do than if it is introduced at the right time.


A simple example: when a child learns to go down stairs, we know most children first go down backwards, facing the staircase. Because we can observe it quite easily, we know they are now learning about going down the stairs. Most would not try to force a child to go down facing the front until she feels steady enough to do so in her own time. We respect where the child is, knowing she is in the first stage of learning to go down, facing the stairs, without pressuring her to move on to the following stage before she is ready.


When it comes to less obvious physical stages, however, or stages of consciousness such as those that pertain to the child's intelligence, and mental capacities, we often tend to lose sight of what stage the child is in, and push concepts and expectations onto her that are much ahead of where she is in her development or where her present interest lies. By observing the child and seeing what she does, we are able to gage what she is developing and working on of her own accord. Respecting each stage reduces stress on the child, allows her to learn better and allows her to develop a joy for learning independently. It's also important, as much as possible, to let the child focus on her task and not interrupt her. One can always ask oneself if an interruption is really necessary, or if we can give the child time to conclude her task.


See Toys and the importance of play


How to make decisions


The negative effects of media




Winn -The Plug-in Drug- Parenting before TV.htm


Pikler, Emmi - development of movement- stages.htm


zur Linden - clothes for the baby and small child.htm

From Research Institute for Waldorf Education Here is the article:

Glockler, Michaela - Non-Verbal Education- A Necessity in Development Stages.pdf -link

[5] Pikler, Emmi. Friedliche Babys, zufriedene Mütter. Pädagogische Ratschläge einer Kinderärztin. Herder Verlag, Freiburg, Germany 2000




Learning and over-stimulation - What about stimulation and encouraging early learning? There is a lot of pressure from parents or family members for babies to develop fast, to learn to sit or walk or speak faster than others, as if this is a sign of intelligence. Though it is possible to push a child and encourage them to learn at a faster pace, and even to be precocious throughout schooling, a look at the long-term results of this approach are not favourable.[6]


Our society has put all the focus of childhood learning on the intellect, to the detriment of a harmonious relationship with the body and of social and creative abilities. Exposing a child to intense sense impressions on a regular basis or pushing a baby in any realm can have detrimental long-term effects, and may lead to a more dependant child that needs approval and encouragement, instead of finding actions satisfying in themselves and being independent problem solvers. This also has long-term consequences on how the child thinks, how the child relates to the world and people as an adult. [7] This is where we can ask ourselves what our true ideal of success is, and perhaps put aside conventional assumptions of what is considered success, and look at the cost of it on children.

See Observing stages


How to make decisions


The negative effects of media




Davis and Keyser - on Stimulation.htm

[6] Elkind, David. The Hurried Child. Addison-Wesley Publishing Company, Inc., Reading, Massachusetts 1989

[7] Pikler, Emmi and Anna Tardos. Laßt Mir Zeit. Richard Pflaum Verlag, München 2001




Toys - The world and all the objects of daily life in our home awaken the interest of most babies. For the first months, a soft cloth can be interesting enough for them to learn to grasp and switch hands and such, then, a simple wooden spoon with wide handle, then things they can chew on such as a damp cloth or a wood ring, later, a wooden salad bowl they can put things in, and so on. Babies are often more interested in real objects because they see us using them. For the first year, one can save oneself the clutter and give them objects from the kitchen provided they're safe, and try to avoid plastic.


See On over-stimulating the baby


Respecting the baby's first tasks


Toys and the importance of play


How to make decisions


The negative effects of media




Baldwin Dancy, Rahima - The importance of play.htm


Baldwin Dancy, Rahima - Creating an inviting environment for play.htm




Nutrition and first foods - What is the right time to introduce solid food? Earlier than four months, the baby does not have the enzymes or the right swallowing reflex for solids. At five or six months, the baby is usually able to swallow solids, and is able to digest starches and fats. By then, the baby may have doubled their birth weight, and they may start to be constantly hungry. At this time, they are also often putting everything they can in their mouths, and some babies will show that they are interested in adult food by watching attentively as you eat.


A baby's first foods should be very simple, fresh, and ideally, in season and homemade. With homemade foods, you are able to judge the freshness and readiness of them and adapt their consistency to the baby's needs. Introducing one thing at a time in small quantities, one thing for a few days, then adding the next thing for a few days and so on, will make sure the baby reacts well to each new food. At this time, it's more about getting used to eating food, than eating a whole meal, since babies are still getting their main source of nutrients from milk.

Some good first foods are organic apple, pear, peach, carrot, squash, and, fennel, which can be cooked and pushed through a sieve or a hand operated baby food mill. Then oat and rice flour can be used alternately to make warm cereal. For the first months of solids, it's best not to add much salt, oil or sugar, especially since the tastes are new to the baby.


There are many different philosophies on what to feed and not feed a baby the first year. My own inclinations are to avoid processed foods, refined sugar, aim for organic or biodynamic, and to stay away from intense proteins such as meat and eggs.


A recent study showed that children with high levels of pesticides were more than twice as likely to develop ADHD.[8] This is yet another incentive to wash our fruit and vegetables and to buy organic. The following site has an informative slide show of the important foods to buy organic:


See The importance of breastfeeding and colostrum


Diet and nutrition after one


How to make decisions


See Guide to Child Health in Recommended Reading




Cook - Cooking for Children.htm


Spock - vegetarian diet.htm


Lambert, Louise - Rituals at meals.htm


Caplan -The Early Childhood Years - Feeding, Nutrition and Eating Habits.htm

[8] University of Montreal and Harvard University Pesticide Exposure May Contribute to ADHD, Study Finds ScienceDaily May 17, 2010, researched May 2010 <>




Rhythm, meals and sleep - The first year of the baby's life is so full of learning tasks and physical changes, that regular activities in the home and a safe, familiar environment are of great comfort and support to them.  Creating rhythm in daily life can be an immense help both for the parents and for the baby. Since the newborn comes from a place where there is little variation or rhythm, he has to get used to the rhythms of day and night. We can help him find rhythm in waking, meals and sleep by trying to do these things at regular times. This can be quite challenging the first year.


Of course, it's good to go with the flow and not get stressed about schedule keeping, but encouraging the rhythms that arise naturally can help you establish them, and eventually, it helps the baby find his own rhythm. It can also be very strengthening and reassuring for the parents and family to be in a rhythm of regular meals and sleep, hard as that may seem to start doing. Once the rhythm is established, it begins to carry itself with less and less need to be reinforced.


Having regular meals is also healthier for the body by giving the digestive system time to rest and time for the digestive juices to prepare for a meal.


See How to make decisions


Harwood, A.C. - Rhythm.htm

Lambert, Louise - Rituals at meals.htm


Leisher, Esther -Housework.htm




Language and baby talk - Just as in walking, a child learns by seeing us do it well, so in speaking, a child needs to hear us speak well, rather than hear us speak like him. It is of great value to speak clearly and naturally to the child, rather than using baby talk and speaking in a baby-like manner. Not only does is show respect towards him, but his language development starts long before he speaks, and exposure to good language gives him a worthy model to imitate.                  


Singing and nursery rhymes are a wonderful thing for babies and young children. They expose them to rich language that they don't encounter as much in everyday speaking, as well as awakening their natural sense for music and rhythm.



 See The negative effects of media





The negative effects of media - This theme is very large, and could make up volumes in itself. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under two be kept away from any media because of the negative effects it can have on development at this crucial stage. [9] The negative effects on development and health seem to continue for later years as well. [10],[11] Here are some thoughts and facts gathered as an introduction to further reading.

On reflection, watching television is a very poor investment in your child’s future.” Dr. Aric Sigman [11]


what research and studies say: A study that monitored children between the ages of two and four compared their time listening to television and their language development, and found that for each hour of television heard, their age-appropriate language skills decreased.[12] Another study showed that children with televisions in their rooms clearly showed lower school performance levels.[13]  

There is a huge amount of research that shows the negative effects of television, computers and video games on young children in many areas of development.[14],[15] They deprive the child of sensory experiences in seeing, hearing, and touch they have while doing active things in the real world. Developing co-ordination, sense of balance, general motor and fine motor skills, and physical fitness as well as social skills developed in play with others, are all important for short and long-term physical and mental health. There is a clear correlation between exposing children to TV between the ages of one and three and the development of attention problems (ADHD) later on.[16] Watching television in childhood and adolescence is associated with being overweight, early puberty, poor fitness levels, smoking, higher cholesterol in adulthood. [17],[18], Studies also show that the viewing patterns children have as toddlers will influence their viewing habits for the rest of their lives.[19]

Studies with one, two and three year olds have revealed marked negative effects of background television on their ability to play in a focused manner, though they were not watching it.[20],[21] Though studies have yet to be done, it would be of little surprise if radio noise had the same effect. Many studies show that children exposed to higher levels of noise have higher blood pressure, a higher heart rate, as well as lower cognitive and language skills.[22], [23]

babies: Up to about ten months, babies will usually not respond to what is on a screen, but they are very sensitive to the emotions of others around and will pick up, even unnoticed, how others are reacting to what they are watching.[24] Any strong emotions are stressful to a baby, and are not conducive to growing and learning, as well as having a potential effect on how their bodies develop. As for being exposed to constant background noise of TV or radio or music, studies show it having a negative impact on the baby's ability to recognize language, sounds of nature and human sounds.[25]

weakening the social sense: There are also more subtle consequences of children being exposed to media and recordings. When we meet someone in person, and interact with him or her, we get a sense of who they are. We find out so much about them that cannot be discovered over the phone or even in video recordings of them. As we grow up, we develop a sense for people, we learn to observe subtle signs and traits that help us to understand people and recognize subtleties and changes in them. It is through this sense of people that we are able to have empathy towards them and discernment, and how we are able to adapt our interactions with each person and situation accordingly. These are crucial elements for all of social life and for any healthy interpersonal relationships.


Recorded voices (speaking or singing) TV, cartoons, video games, are disembodied impressions of human beings (or human-like in the case of animation) that give us only part of the information about who is there. A young child receiving these is still unable to judge something as being a recording; a child receives what is there as a whole thing. He gradually perceives that the voices, the figures in the TV or computer don't respond to the present situation: The music or the recorded voice persists or stays at the same volume, not adapting to what is happening in the immediate surroundings of the child. On a more subtle level, a video game has the same problems and forces the child to follow a given set of actions and has only set reactions. Simply put, voices and people represented in the media do not behave or react like real human beings. What message does this give the child? In response to this, a child disassociates elements that in a human being are whole and all associated together.


Babies and young children do not think yet, they cannot make decisions or pass judgments. Only later, in the pre-teens are children fully able to filter and distinguish between real and un-real. Children misunderstand advertising and distorted behaviour, and are deeply affected by violence.[26] And so, they become desensitized to real human interaction. Repeated exposure to any kind of media for young children can lead to a distancing of themselves from real people in real life situations and can lead to lack of compassion, and more aggressive behaviour.[27] In this way, the media weakens the development of a healthy social sense.


conclusion: The effects of television viewing, computers and video games cannot be underestimated: they reach far into the foundation of the child's relationship to the world. They affect the child's values, their relationship to and estimation of other people, their relationship to themselves, their perception of reality. Even children's programs, cartoons and education shows are not only violent in some cases, but they expose the child to behaviour that both shows lack of reverence and respect for other people, or encourages awareness of self image, which jars the child into growing up before her time. Not to mention the enormous impact and very researched field of the short-term and long-term effects of violence in the media. Even regardless of the content watched, television, films and computer games are addictive, impoverish creativity and imagination, as well as keeping them sitting in front of a screen instead of moving and playing.[28]


There is a very common fear that a child who has little or no exposure to media, will be left behind other children and be socially excluded. But when the time comes that the child will really need to use a computer, she will be quick to learn and most likely be very enthusiastic to learn. Even as an adult, one can quite quickly learn the basics of using a computer, more so all the time, as computers become more user-friendly. So I think it is safe to trust that children have very little difficulty in learning and adapting. As for being socially excluded, when children are old enough to want friends, they usually find friends they can relate to. This is something that can be encouraged by inviting friends to play and encouraging healthy play without media.


suggestions: Since the media is so much part of modern life, it can be a huge challenge to avoid exposing young children and babies to it. One thing that helps immensely is to start by weaning oneself from it. Try to watch less TV, to spend less time on the computer, and to sing (no matter how out of tune you are) and learn to play an instrument instead of only listening to music, and be selective and attentive to content when playing music around the child.


Using the television or film as a babysitter seems to be a necessity in some situations. It may help to really look at the situation and see if the child could in some way be involved in what you are doing, or if there is something else you can show them or give them to do while you accomplish your task. Sometimes having a special book or a paper bag full of special things (with a one year old it can even be cans from the kitchen cupboard) that you give them to hold their attention for a few minutes.


In weaning oneself, a good first step is to be aware of when one does watch TV, play games, and listen to the radio. Try to have set hours of screen time. It can be interesting to keep a log of when and for how long the TV is watched and when it is just on. Be honest with yourself and really look at the reasons for turning on the radio, the TV, the computer. Often, it's out of tiredness or habit we turn on the TV, wanting to get away from frustrations of life, or we spend time on the computer to answer a few emails, look something up or play a game, and find that three hours have gone by. We fill our lives with music we often don't listen to... why? If you know the reason for it, it may be easier to find something inspiring to do instead. Taking televisions and computers out of children's rooms is a good start to reducing screen time. Eventually, it may help to put the computer in a place it can easily be monitored, and the television somewhere less central in the house or hidden from view. You can even take the plunge and stop cable or satellite service, use the TV only for watching films, or simply, if you can do it, get rid of it. It may also be a good idea to make a plan or a list of activities to do instead of watching television or going to the computer, so you have something to refer to when temptation strikes. Look for new ways of finding entertainment, of spending time together or alone, of doing things that enrich life and bring learning experiences about the world.

See Creating a home life through the year


How to make decisions


See a quote from American Academy of Pediatrics in their section for Toddlers:

Commercial Free Childhood and University of Michigan Television and Children

A list of research studies about TV and children at Active Bodies Active Minds:





Billington, Kim - Creating A Steiner Playgroup

Childrenads recommendations.pdf

Christakis - The effects of media usage: what do we know and what should we learn.htm - Study links TV viewing among kids to later violence.pdf

Coca - Effects of Media on Children.pdf

Dyer,  Wayne W. Dr. - Television.htm

Moncke, Lowell - Why Children Shouldn’t Have the World at Their Fingertips - link

Royal Children's Hospital Melbourne - Television and Early Childhood Development.pdf

Salter, Joan - Nourishing the Senses, Eyes and Ears.htm

Salter, Joan - Harm done to the senses, eyes and ears.htm

Samuels MD - Effects of television viewing on the preschooler.htm

Setzer, Valdemar W.-  ELECTRONIC MEDIA AND EDUCATION: Television, video game and computer.htm

Winn -The Plug-in Drug- Parenting before TV.htm

[9] American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) TV and Toddlers <> and Healthy Children <>from Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5 American Academy of Pediatrics Elk Grove Village, IL 2009 . researched October 2011

[10] Hancox R.J. et al. Association of television viewing during childhood with poor educational achievement. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine  Vol. 159 No. 7 July 2005 researched October 2011 <>

[11] Sigman, Aric, Dr. Remotely Controlled - How Television is Damaging our Lives. Vermillion, London, 2007 pages 29, 30

[12] Christakis Dimitri A., MD, MPH, et al.. Audible Television and Decreased Adult Words, Infant Vocalizations, and Conversational Turns A Population-Based Study. Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine Vol.163 No.6, June 2009, researched June 2009 <>

[[13] Gentile, D.A. Walsh. A normative study of family media habits. Applied Developmental Psychology 23 (2002) 157–178 2002, January, 2002, researched June 2009 <>

[14] Sigman, pages 13 -52

[15] Jusoff, Kamaruzaman. Television and Media Literacy in Young Children: Issues and Effects in Early Childhood. Canadian Center of Science and Education, International Education Studies Journal Vol. 2 No. 3 August 2009, researched Sept. 2011 <>

[16] Hecht, Frederick M.D. and Barbara K. Hecht, Ph.D.. Attention Problems Due to TV Before 3. Medicine, 5 April 2004, researched June 2009 <>

[17] Sigman, pages 29,39

[18] Hancox RJ. Association between child and adolescent television viewing and adult health: a longitudinal birth cohort study. NCBI Pub Med, 17 July 2004, researched August 2009 <>

[19] Josephson, Wendy L. PH.D.. Television Violence: A Review of the Effects on Children of Different Ages. Health Canada, Ottawa 1995

[20] Parker-Pope, Tara. TV Background Noise Disrupts Child Play. New York Times, Health, 7 July 2009, researched July 2009, <>

[21] Acoust. J. Community noise exposure and stress in children. Acoustical Society of America Digital Library Soc. Am. Volume 109, Issue 3, pp. 1023-1027, March 2001, researched July 2009 <>

[22] Maxwell, Dr. Lorraine E. & Dr. Gary W. Evans.
Design of Child Care Centers and
Effects of Noise on Young Children.
Cornell University, 1997, researched July 2009 <>

[23] Coca, Nithin. The Effects of Media on Children. Associated Content, 9 January 2006, researched June 2009 <>

[24] Guernsey, Lisa. Into the Minds of Babes: How Screen Time Affects Children From Birth to Age Five. Basic Books, Philadelphia, 2007

[25] Guernsey.

[26] Wilcox, Brian, PhD, et al.. REPORT OF THE APA TASK FORCE ON ADVERTISING AND CHILDREN. American Psychological Association, 20 February 2004, researched June 2009 <>

[27] Huesmann, L. R., et al.. Longitudinal relations between children’s exposure to TV violence and their aggressive and violent behavior in young adulthood: 1977-1992. American Psychological Association, Inc. Developmental Psychology, 2003, Vol. 39, No. 2, 201–221, 2003, researched June 2009 <>

[28] Winn, Marie. The Plug-In Drug, Television, Computers and Family Life. The Penguin Group, New York 2002




Baby proofing the home - Before the baby starts to be mobile, it's wise to move electronics, breakable, toxic or dangerous objects to a place that the baby can't reach, and to have baby gates and locks for cupboards and drawers they should stay out of. This way, the child can explore and move about freely in the house and doesn't have to constantly be watched or told not to touch things all the time. She is in a safe environment that welcomes her, that she feels at ease to be in, and that holds no dangers for her.


It is also well worth cultivating cooking habits that keep hot items away from a child’s standing reach, and turning pot handles away form the edge of the stove.


See Beauty and cleaning products




How to make decisions




Valuing parenting, staying at home vs. day care - Being with someone who cares deeply for them, is interested in their development and is attentive to their real needs in a safe environment is the best and healthiest situation for a baby to grow well and learn. Most commonly, this person is the mother, or father if the baby is weaned, at home with the child, if possible for the first three years. In our society, being a stay at home parent is not so common, seemingly impossible with single parents, where parents have careers to manage, and with most families having financial commitments that require two incomes. Many women and men also find the task of homemaking socially isolating and not stimulating enough. It's a complex issue with no clear solution.


However, being well surrounded and cared for in the first years of life is of great importance for the child. And what to an adult are two or three years, is for a child a lifetime of effects and consequences. It is of utmost importance, in these first years, who cares for the child on an everyday basis.

How can we say that a full-time mother is not working? Is caring for a child “playing?” And how did the most important job in  our culture – the duty of raising future generations  - get granted such a low status? Peggy O’Mara[23]

In each case, it may be good to examine financial and logistical possibilities that would allow the child to be at home with his mother or father as much as possible, or with grandparents other family or friends. Sometimes it's possible to arrange part-time work for those first years.


If this isn't possible, if day care is the only option, finding someone who has a day care in their home and has only a few other children under their care is a good solution. This allows the child to build a trusted, secure connection with them in a warm setting. Or look for a non-for-profit day care with few children. Ask what activities they do, where they play outside, see what toys they have, what the space is like, ask what the children are fed, what the philosophy or mandate is.

See How to make decisions

The negative effects of media



Winnicott - the mother's contribution to society.htm


zur Linden - caring for a sick child - the mother's love.htm

[23] O’Mara, Peggy Natural Family Living Pocket Books, New York, NY 2000, Page 119




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