‘Dear Parent: Caring for Infants with Respect’ by Magda Gerber

This book is an introduction to the RIE approach written by its founder – Magda Gerber. The title says it all: it contains a wealth of thoughts, observation and lots of useful practical advice on how to implement respect for your child in your life from the day the child is born. This, in our opinion, might just be one of the most valuable parenting books ever printed.

The opening lines drew us immediately, since there is a vital recognition there that may be lacking in a number of other parenting resources. The title of the first chapter is: ‘EDUCARING: Meeting the Needs of Infants and Parents’. It is throughout this whole book, that we keep being reminded of this simple message: our babies have needs that need to be respectfully met. But so do we. And throughout the book advice is given in a simple way on how to meet the needs of babies and our own, in such a way that this journey together is a joyous and rewarding one for all those involved.

The book talks about different ages and stages, different activities we are involved in in our daily lives (feeding, diapering, bathing) and gives simple points on how to care for our babies in a nurturing, respectful manner, ‘focusing on the establishment of an authentic, trusting relationship between the adult and infant.’

We especially loved the tone that supported the message – in giving advice on how to be respectful towards infants, the respect towards the adult caring for this infant is never forgotten or put aside. It might be common sense, but sometimes we all need that reminder.

An interesting thing is that while the book is written for parents of infants, it seems to us that a lot of things can easily be applied to just about any relationship we are trying to build with another person. Have a look for yourselves – and let us know what you think!

Some quotes we found worth pulling out for You:

‘Enjoy more, work less’

‘”Unbusy” your head and “unbusy” your body’

‘Dear new parent, do not be scared. Give in to the rhythm of a new biological clock; you will not stay in this place of time distortion forever. You will get back in the demanding, pushy, hustle-bustle of “normal” life in due time.’