Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Then and Now Parenting

Today was a much better day. Mostly due to the few more hours sleep I got than the night before. Prozac mummy jumped out of bed this morning. Well almost prozac mummy. What would be the chances of getting some really good drugs in Kunimi.

I read my 'akachan to mama' (baby and mummy) mag this afternoon. There was an article on 'raising kids - then and now' - all about what Granny K's age group believed what was good parenting compared to now and what we think - a lot of the changes based on research and medical science. Was quite interesting..

Then: Get bubs off the boob/milk as soon as you can, give bubs lukewarm water or diluted mugicha tea after the bath.
Now: Let bubs suck you dry for as long as they want. Wait till they WANT to 'sotsugyo' graduate the boob. While they are boobing it no need to try and give them any other liquid whatsoever - thats according to WHO. Is not good for bub's digestive system and could lead to allergies or whatever.

Then: That it's OK to mulch the food in your mouth before you give it to your baby.
Now: Have realised we aren't bunch of fuckin birds. This also leads to mother passing on mouth nasties - tooth decay.

Then: Bad news to let a baby suck on a dummy. Not good for teeth development and can impair speech.
Now: Bunch of fuckin bollocks. If it shuts the baby up when it's stressing you out shove it in. Actually means they start breathing through their nose properly and can help in reducing alergies and asthma (??)

Then: Let the baby cry. Picking them up and cuddling them too much will make them reliant on being cuddled to get them off to sleep.
Now: Cuddling is good bonding with the baby and cuddling them instead of letting them cry will help lead to them becoming more independant.

Then: You should start toilet trying at one year old
Now: Whatever.

Then: If a child has a fever warm them up and let them sweat it out.
Now: Cool them down.

There were more and also a couple about cultural differences.

Japan: co-sleeping
West: baby goes in own bed from almost straight away and then a little bit later into their very own room. Gasp.

More Japanese people are doing this apparantly and it isn't really encouraged because... In the west we tend to be more kissy kissy, cuddly cuddly during the day and therefore separating from the baby at night is OK as they are still getting enough affection. But in Japan, the culture is less cuddly and so sleeping together at night has worked well in giving kids the affection they need. Only taking the one side of the coin - putting the baby in their own bed - and not upping the affection during the day and perhaps, well perhaps an akihabara killing spree nut case in the making.

(mag didn't actually say that)

And my personal favorite...

Japan: Kids aren't put to sleep on their tummy due to the whole SIDS thing. But why do people in the west put their babies to sleep on their tummies??? a) because matresses over there are harder and no sinking in and not being able to breath AND...

and this is so obvious. Their noses are 'higher' and therefore not squashed into breathlessness on the pillow - or rather the high-bridged nose makes a baby turn their head to the side to breath.

What absolute fucking bollocks. I'm sorry editor, but my very western, high nosed little brother sleeping on a hard matress died of cotdeath so me thinks this reasoning is crap. Gotta be a bit bewilderded at information like this. Does anyone know what SIDS was called in Japanese back in the day when it was Cotdeath?? Surely not Death by Futon? Perhaps it was FNDS - flat nose death syndrome.

Sorry, very poor taste.

Anyhoo, I am going to have to go to bed. It is half eleven and I started writing this two hours ago - but got sidetracked by damn episode of outrageous fortune where the baby is stillborn. Hub was very worried when he walked in after his union meeting and drinky thing to find me all red eyed and teary.



jvillelass said...

got the DVDs a few days ago!! :)
really interesting post. Thanks


My Country Quilting said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kelly said...

I should get a copy of that mag! Yasu is convinced the only way to feed a baby is to chew it up and then give the baby food which I think is gross.

I'd like to know how the Japanese explain SIDS in other countries then?

umebossy said...

I got a bit too into reading the tamago and hiyoko club mags that were in my previous gynecologist's waiting room but the current one doesn't have them so I am feeling the loss! I haven't progressed to going out and buying them though as I feel that might make S think I've gone a bit mad...

You should write a letter to the magazine and tell them to STFU (in keigo, obv.) about that last point. I thought that the current wisdom on sleep positioning in the West was on the back anyway?

shufuinjapan said...

Very interesting post and a good insight into generation differences in Japan in parenting. I also agree with umebossy, I have seen enough TV cms with Judy Bailey to know that babies are supposed to sleep on their backs. I was surprised to see a car with a STOP SIDS sticker on it the other day here so it must be "Japanese" now to use SIDS instead of乳幼児突然死症候群 or however you say that.

J's mom said...

Sorry to hear about your little brother.

But you are too funny!!! Anyway, I never thought about Japan having less cuddles during the day and more at night, whereas in the West it is the opposite. So my son is getting tons of kisses and cuddles during the day, PLUS sleeping with me at night!!! So that must be why he has turned into such a mama's boy! ;-)

Nay said...

I am too sorry to hear about your little brother. It must have been really tough on your mother. My aunt also lost her child because of SIDS and I don't think she ever really got over it...

It was interesting to read why Japanese people like to co-sleep. I had never thought about it before but it kind of makes sense in a strange weird. I have been drilling into Naoki that he is going to be a more cuddly type father than the 'usual' Japanese man. I guess I will have to wait till April to see if my nagging has worked or not :P

Lulu said...

Sorry about your little brother.

I must admit, I never read any of the Japanese parenting magazines. They give me a headache trying to read all that kanji that I then lose the meaning- maybe I should start though? I have been given quite a few for free at maternity classes etc and Shun reads them occasionly (when he has no new manga, obviously. haha)

Interesting to read all of the points actually- the chewing of food THEN giving it to the baby is gross. But I have heard that Japanese people think KISSING their baby too much can cause tooth decay in the baby. I mean seriously, it is not like you are sticking your tongue in its mouth- get over it. (And Japanese people`s teeth are usually so much worse than those in Australia at least)

I think if we were using futon we might have co-slept. But a semi-double bed does not lend itself to it (in fact it doesn`t lend itself to two people when one of them is pregnant either but so far I have not kicked Shun out) so the baby will have a basket at first then it`s cot. If I napped with baby during the day then I might just put him in the bed with me though...

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hear about your brother, must make it doubly hard to read stuff like that and take it- just no common sense half the time.

It is interesting to see how the generation/culture difference really comes out when talking about raising kids. A lot of it seems to have come full circle from the 70`s/80`s..

Rachel said...

Could you please photocopy that bit about the fevers and send it to me? Or scanner/email if you can...

Kids are sick and we had a reiteration of the same argument we've been having since Amy was a baby with me saying dress them lightly and cover them lightly and him saying dress them warmly and cover them up and if they sweat then the fever breaks.

I said that was old-fashioned, he said he wants it in writing! Which issue is it?

Ruthie said...

Did they have any sections dealing with lighted candles or lighters? I'd still love to find out Granny K's rationale on letting kids play with those ;)

Gaijin Wife said...

Rachel - is November 2009 issue. In Japanese the short bit on fevers says...


Their homepage is

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say I remember hearing somewhere a theory that the lower incidence of SIDS in Asian countries may be because of the amount of noise in densely populated areas/living situations where family members are close together. Apparently it is difficult for the baby to go into the really deep sleep state that preceeds SIDS if there are lots of people and noises around, or something like that. I don't know if the theory was ever proven, but it sure sounds more plausible than the nose thing!

Midori said...

That is quite interesting that they are looking at the past and present in Japan. I had never thought about the co-sleeping/not touching during the day vs not-co-sleeping/lots of cuddles thing. Joey is very definitely a Mummy's boy and gets plenty of cuddles during the day AND still spends most nights with me so is clearly getting an over-load of affection! LOL!

I am so so sorry to read about your little brother. That must have been devastating. One of my friends at school lost his baby sister to SIDS when he was just slightly older than Joey but it affected him deeply and I was always very conscious of SIDS when Joey was a baby and also when I used to babysit. I don't think I would have gotten ANY sleep if we hadn't co-slept because I was constantly waking up to make sure he was breathing.

Rachel said...

Thanks Katy!!!

Midori I spent months sleeping with my hand UNDER Erica to make sure she was breathing! (on top of her chest I was too afraid it would be too heavy!)

Noise vs. nose? Hmm..

Although I did hear that one theory for why babies who are in the same room as their mothers have half the rate of SIDS may be because of the more frequent wakings, meaning they don't go into that deep sleep.

Lisa said...

I am so sorry to hear about your little brother.

This magazine needs a fact checker! In the US we put babies to sleep on their backs.
We started the campaign to publicly promote this in 2003 and it's called "Back to Sleep".