Your Self-Confident Baby
(published by John Wiley & Sons)
As the founder and director of Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE), Magda Gerber has spent decades helping new mothers and fathers give their children the best possible start in life. Her successful parenting approach, revealed in Your Self-Confident Baby, is based on the idea that each child is unique and will grow in confidence if allowed to develop at his or her own pace. Magda believes the key to successful parenting is learning to observe your child and to trust him or her to be an initiator, an explorer, a self-learner with an individual style of problem solving and mastery. Co-author Allison Johnson attended Magda's parent/infant guidance classes with her husband and daughter.
Your Self-Confident Baby helps parents and caregivers develop their own observational skills, learn when to intervene with their baby and when not to, find ways to connect with their baby through daily caregiving routines such as feeding, diapering, and bathing, and effectively handle common problems such as crying, discipline, sleep issues, toilet learning, and more. Magda's approach helps parents instill trust, endurance and optimism in their child.
"I had great trepidation about motherhood, and so I've read a lot of child-rearing guides. This one was recommended to me by our friends Gary Ross (director of Seabiscuit) and Allison Thomas (coproducer of Pleasantville). It presents the Resouces for Infant Educarers approach to baby care. This book gave me a practical guide to giving my children enough room, getting out of the way of their development, and not imposing my own agenda on them. I really want to stress that motherhood is phenomenally difficult, and while this book has been an amazing resource for me, I don't believe there is only one way to parent a child."
--Felicity Huffman, O: The Oprah Magazine
"Five Books that Made a Difference"
"A child therapist, great-grandmother and founder of a method of child rearing called Resources for Infant Educarers, or RIE (pronounced "wry"), Gerber runs a parenting center based on her approach in Los Angeles. First developed while she was working with orphans in her native Hungary at the end of WWII and refined through her work with children here, RIE focuses on helping parents and "carers" to treat babies with respect, an approach that lays a strong foundation for their development as self-respecting individuals. Specifically, respect means trying to understand what they want, and telling them what we are going to do before we do it. Aided by freelancer Johnson, Gerber presents suggested RIE-based responses to children through stages of infancy and into toddlerhood. Such issues as feeding, sleeping, child care, sibling rivalry and responses to crying are considered in sample dialogues...readers will find plenty of wisdom and common sense on these pages. It's hard to turn away from a book that invites you to relax and enjoy your baby."
"Designed to assist new parents and caregivers of infants in developing capable and confident children, this book was written by a great grandmother and founder of Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE). Its philosophy is a developmental approach to child-rearing based on the principles of trusting your child (or charge) as a self learner, providing a safe and challenging environment, allowing uninterrupted play time, involving the child in care giving activities, providing time to explore with other children, and consistent limits and expectations. She implores parents to be keen observers of their infants to determine their needs rather than constantly interfering or guiding their learning. Basic trust in the infant, and vice versa, is the key to her philosophy. The book is divided into three sections: How RIE Can Benefit your baby, Your Baby at the Beginning of Life, and As Your Child Grows: Toddlerhood and its Challenges. It includes discussions on everything from the qualities of a good parent, selecting childcare, to headbanging, rocking and repetitive behaviors. It is a thorough examination of many of the challenges new parents will encounter, and its use of parents' actual experiences adds authenticity."