Please, Just Don’t Ask Me These Questions …….

Mostly I try to be kind but I have an inner bitch too – and sometimes she cuts loose!

I know there have always been the ‘Tamers’ and the ‘Cuddlers’ and there is a whole spectrum between these two ‘ends’, so I don’t generally use labels. But my inner bitch is frustrated and impatient.

I get a couple of hundred emails and messages a day about babies from all sorts of people.  Most of my emails are from the ‘Cuddlers’ (you are doing a wonderful job!).

Others are from ‘Tamers’ or people who have fallen for the B.S being pushed by ‘Baby Tamers’ .

I’m not talking about exhausted parents, reaching out for help. Im talking here about rude, self entitled a’holes who talk about their babies as though they are objects – inconvenient objects at that. They use words like ‘stubborn’ and ‘manipulating’ to describe tiny helpless infants.

I don’t have time to keep answering questions from people with ridiculous expectations of teeny, tiny babies, so I have made a FAQ (Frustratingly Asked Questions!) list, especially for the ‘Tamers’.

So, if you are a ‘tamer’ wanting a quick fix, just check your question here.

1/ why does my baby cry when I leave him in his cot?

Your baby doesn’t know he’s in a posh, safety standards approved cot with a monitor on the wall and anxious parents watching his every peep through the screen on their phone ( between comparing your baby to all the peacefully snoozing babies on social media. Tip: there are a lot of liars out there pretending they have it all together because they don’t want to cop shit for having a ‘bad baby’ either).

You have a stone age baby in a space age world! He is programmed to expect a sabre tooth tiger or a crocodile or an eagle to swoop and gobble him up if he’s all alone. So don’t leave him alone in the cot if he gets upset. If he’s still crying, for goodness sake pick the poor little kid up before he is overcome with stress hormones that will flood his tiny brain and make him feel terrified and abandoned.

2/ why does my baby cry when I don’t pick him up?

He’s trying to communicate with you. If you don’t ‘listen’ when he tries to ask you nicely, he will yell louder to make sure you hear.  He needs YOU to PICK HIM UP!! (See number 1 – also see these tips to help soothe the tears)

3/ Why does my baby cry if I won’t feed him for 4 hours?

Let’s see, how long do you go without reaching for the chocolate or caffeine? Or grabbing a sip of water from your water bottle? Or stuffing your face with food?  Bet you don’t often go more than an hour or two without sucking on something!

Oh, and are you trying to double your weight?

You baby’s gut is tiny – the size of his fist (Go on, check his fist. It’s little, isn’t it?).

And how big are your boobs? Yep, some of us have shot-glasses and some of us have ‘jugs’. Although it’s not actually about the size of your boobs, but what’s inside them, if you try and refill a shot glass with a litre bottle of water (or gin for that matter!), you are going to need a lot of refills, aren’t you? Well actually, your baby will need around 800mls a day and, just to be clear, that will be a few shot glass refills.

If you have ‘schooners’ (or ‘jugs’), as long as your baby’s stomach is big enough, you won’t need as many refills.

However, whatever size your boob storage capacity is, your baby’s tiny little tummy will be empty before 4 hours and he will need a refill!  And your boobs will need to be emptied to tell them to make more milk too.

Your baby is hungry –or thirsty! Or he needs cuddles and touch – touch is just as important for growth and development as the food he eats!  If you are feeding him mama milk, your baby will digest it really quickly (it’s fuel for his brain AND his body).  HE needs to double HIS weight!

Whether you are giving him boob or not, your baby can’t reach the fridge yet so he needs YOU to feed him.  WATCH YOUR BABY, NOT THE CLOCK!  And remember, CRYING is a LATE hunger signal!

For effective tips to boost your milk supply, download Pinky’s FREE ebook ‘Making More Mummy Milk,Naturally’

4/ Why doesn’t my baby sleep 12 hours?

Why did you have a baby if you want to sleep 12 hours? Maybe you should have got a puppy instead.Or a doll that you can just shut in the cupboard when you don’t want to play any more.

Your baby is programmed biologically to have periods of light sleep (it’s important for his brain development) and he will arouse frequently in the early months -these frequent arousals are protective against SIDS. And of course, he could be hungry too – see #3 above.

So ditch the unrealistic expectations (and the sleep plans that tell you your baby should sleep for 12 hours) and surrender. Nurturing a little person is a 24 hour a day (and night) gig.

5/ Why does my baby wake up at 4 am ( I put him to bed at 6pm)?

If you put him to bed at 6pm, that’s 10 hours sleep. Your baby is either hungry after sleeping without food for 10 hours (See # 3 above) so snuggle him up with a boob and go back to sleep – or he’s ready to get up and explore the world! Two choices here – get up at the ass crack of dawn or if, like me, you don’t ‘do’ mornings (anything before 6am is the middle of the night for me), keep your baby up a bit later in the evening, be a FAMILY, feed him, play with him and enjoy his company. Then all go to bed together at a sensible time between 8 and 10 pm – and sleep til the sun really comes up.

Looking for gentle, respectful ways to help your baby (and you) sleep without compromising breastfeeding or the beautiful bond between you and your little one? See my book Sleeping Like a Baby. You can download the first chapter FREE HERE.


6/ Why is my baby so stubborn – he cries hysterically and refuses to self- settle ?

Because he’s not an inconvenience, he’s a human being. He obviously CAN”T self- settle.

Do you ever fall asleep cuddled up to your partner? Then does he/she wake you up and say, get over to your own side of the bed, we are creating bad habits? Nah, didn’t think so. You probably even make love some nights before you fall asleep or read a bit or have a nice warm cuppa. How about trying to see things from your baby’s perspective – he’s not ‘stubborn’, he’s an evolutionary survivor and he’s expressing his needs – for YOU! Give him a cuddle or a boob (yes, really, there’s good stuff in that mama milk that’ll knock the little sucker right out).

And, instead of losing your shit over your baby losing his, be grateful he hasn’t given up on you. He still trusts you will keep him safe, otherwise he would just shut up and not try to reach out to you. Think about it – do you want him to call you for a ride when he’s sixteen and doesn’t want to get in the car with a drunk driver? Or do you want to teach him right now that he’s an annoying little sod and he better not bother messing up your life?


Sorry, not sorry if I’ve pissed you off, maybe we aren’t each other’s people and that’s Ok.  But if you want to learn more about responsive nurturing and how you can survive this intense time (I’m an IBCLC Lactation Consultant and a mum of five so I know a few tricks to beat the stress and calm your baby and your world), check out my books ‘Sleeping Like a Baby’ and ‘Parenting by Heart’ HERE and my interviews with experts recording packages HERE. 


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  • Helen

    I normally love your blog but I have to admit this post has left a rather nasty taste in my mouth. I don`t think being nasty to people who don`t know any better is a way to win them over. It`s judgmental and basically just mean 🙁

    • Kiera

      Helen, I’m going to both agree and disagree with you.

      The part I agree with is that it’s not nice to be mean to someone for something they don’t know.

      The part I’m going to disagree with is that Pinky has written this post quite tongue in cheek.

      The colloquialisms and expletives are clearly (to me anyway) Pinky’s very aussie humour.

      I write this from the perspective of having been “saved” by one of Pinky’s books, having had a lightbulb moment when my four month old baby was grizzling, and I was standing at the door, desperately trying not to make eye contact, wondering what the heck this annoying, noisy young person was trying to do when clearly he should be asleep.

      Then this brash Melbournian accent rang clearly in my ears “He wants his mummy, you’re his only source of safety and comfort, pick him up for pete’s sake. BLOODY CUDDLE THE BABY”

      And as a mum who knew no better – I’m kinda glad that a few hard lines were dished my way.

      • Kiera

        Also, this post is clearly directed at Tamers…. folks who haven’t bothered to read Pinky’s books.

        A few blog posts in, and you really shouldn’t be contacting Pinky McKay to ask for advice on how to get a baby to self settle.

        In which case, is there any excuse for “not knowing” or “not knowing better” when the information is so clearly and generously available via the blog and Facebook communities?

    • Tazer

      But at some point you realise that not everyone will listen to you. she has plenty of kind articles and resources for those that are truly interested. i think this article is fine. There are plenty of people who do know better and choose to complain about the above mentioned things. i wish I could say this to a few people I know!!!

    • Sharyn

      Its seems quite harsh to read. Im a cuddler and proud of it. I have family and friends who throughout the newborn stage, were saying I was doing it wrong, and im going to cause problems for myself later down the track. My daughter is now almost 18 months and basically puts herself to sleep, tells me when she is hungry, and is a very friendly and thoughtful little girl. Compared to the kids from the parents who were telling me I was doing it wrong, my daughter seems more connectable, easy to play with etc – and just plain nicer natured. Its not coddling them, but telling them you are always here for them. It teaches them reliability. I think so anyway! Good on ya Pinky, could maybe have been not so harsh, but sometimes you have to go there!!

    • Asia

      I think it obvious that the ” meanness” is just comical sarcasm. Don’t take it do personally. And as far as people not knowing any better…are you fucking kidding me?…I’m a first time mom and,y instincts tell me everything pinky has…get a clue. You baby IS dependant. Of course they are. Love your baby, provide for their needs. Don’t let them cry alone empathy for your own blood should be in you effing DNA!

    • Sarah

      Someone didn’t read the disclaimer

    • Eliza

      Hi Pinky I love it! Loved your rant it made me feel so much better about my beautiful little boy.. I am constantly battling with his sleep and always buggered but have always refused to do the “controlled crying” and always attend to him. I have had friends tell me I will end up completely ruining his sleep, destroy my own in the process and am making it harder for myself. The more I read about this culture if people leaving babies to “self settle” bullshit and cry it out the more I am glad I haven’t. I will keep persisting with cuddling and lots of kisses and reassurance and remember your funny but true words in those difficult times. Thank you and awesome work xx

  • Nikki

    I agree…I’m a cuddler!!

  • Kiera

    This is why I love you Pinky. There’s no enabling, there are no excuses, there’s no bullshit.

    Its all “do the right thing by your baby and stop your fucking whining”

    love it.

    Keep standing up for babies!!

    • Sonia

      I agree – with all you have said Kiera. Pinky has not directed any of this at ‘Cuddlers’ who may make the odd mistake and under stress have done the wrong thing by their babies – this is all directed at those with unrealistic expectations of what Parenting Babies is about. I LOVED Pinkys book ‘Parenting by Heart’ and only wish I had read it before I had my First Child. It would have saved a lot of grief and me listening to poor advice from the many ‘experts’ around me.

    • Kara's Mummy


  • Tiffany

    I understand your frustration, but your lack of professionalism is difficult to swallow. “Mummy matters,” right? Even if mummy doesn’t agree with you or gets your hackles raised. Plenty of women do not understand normal baby behavior and have their own, personal reasons for trying sleep training. Some moms are desperate for sleep and will try anything, and don’t need to be called “fucking lazy,” and other choice words.

    • NaetheCuddler

      Tiffany, get off your high horse love,

      Read the flipping blog post again would you?!.

      Quote: “Others (far too many – haven’t they read my books before they email me?) are from ‘Tamers’. ”

      Seriously if you were an advocate of ONE particular style of parenting, and received emails day after day after day of people wanting advice who a) have never read one of your books or b) were expecting to be given advice on “taming your unruly baby”, after a while, you would need to spell it out in the simplest way possible. Because clearly tact has not worked.

      You know, you’d probably get pissy about that too. And rightfully so.

      WTF would you even bother to post your comment? It is clear you have no clue as to who Pinky is or WHAT she advocates.

      I guess the only reason you are so offended by what she has written , is because is has struck a cord with you.

      Perhaps you are a Tamer … I don’t know, don’t particularly care either.

      so really love, find a bridge get the fuck over it!

      • Symone

        Really! I don’t understand why you need to be rude and nasty to someone who’s opinion is different to yours?

        My baby is allergic to multiple proteins, some of which are found in breastmilk – should I be made to feel guilty for not giving her the ‘best start in life’ when I had no choice?

        Her allergy was not diagnosed for 8 months and in this time I had to make many hard decisions with no help from the ‘Professionals’ who should have been there for her, but who choose to blame her illness on ‘first mum syndrome’ and leave her in severe pain for so long. In this time, I had to experiment with all manner of non-recommended feeding and treatment to try and ease her pain. I averaged about 2 hours of broken sleep a night for almost 8 months. When did I have time to read a book? Why should I be criticised and ridiculed, not too mention made to feel incredibly stupid, because I don’t know any better and am trying to educate myself through a known professional?

        Bad form Pinky, maybe this applies to a select market who really are just asking for you to justify their behaviours, but not to a large group of us out here who just need help!

        After finally getting over severe PND with everything I went through, this blog is really upsetting. I am a firm believer in people being entitled to differing opinions and love this idea of answering questions in bulk like this that you do not want to waste your time on, being opposite to your personal beliefs, but couldn’t you do it without insulting and offending people?

        I’m not trying to start anything, in fact I value people’s personal opinions highly even if they are different to mine, but I don’t understand the need for such disrespect


        • Pinky McKay

          Symone, Im sorry if you feel guilt, that is your issue. You have absolutely no reason to feel guilt-it sounds as though you went to incredible lengths to sort out your baby. Its a shame you didnt find a health professional who could help. This isnt about differning opinions , as I have mentioned, its about people who treat babies with absolute disrespect then expect ‘quick fixes’ . Its about people who see their baby as a problem -not that their baby may be HAVING a problem. This obviously isnt YOU so please dont take it personally.

          • Symone

            Thank you for the reply 🙂

            To be honest, it’s refreshing to see someone so passionate about their beliefs and so involved in doing what’s best for babies. I’m glad people are inspired by this blog and you are helping people.

            I only offer my opinion so that maybe next time it doesn’t need to be quite so harsh.

            Thanks again for allowing people to comment when it isn’t a raving congratulations, appreciate it thoroughly

          • Patricia

            To be honest, I don’t think any of this is directed at anyone who puts their kids first and does the best for them, it is more to those who think kids should just fit into the parents lives and not affect an existing routine. unfortunate for those that kids do affect this. its a big change in someone’s life to have a child, and those who can’t put them first need to rethink the idea of reproducing!

            Allergies and other medical complications are a whole other story.. I have travelled this road with both children, and unfortunately my idea of a “professional” is now that they must get their degrees from a cereal box, because their professionalism is, most of the time, in their arse!

            I had my child screaming in pain for 18+hrs per day, non-stop, and only slept once every 3 days myself, and even that was usually a 4-6hr nap. I did many things I now regret – or should I say didn’t do – as in standing my ground in emergency rooms to get my child sorted out, and it took an interstate trip to see someone else, as I felt that all local ‘professionals’ had let me down, to find out she had a partial bowel blockage and was left in so much pain for months =(

            but back to topic, i despise those whom I speak to that say “my child wont go 4 hrs between feeds, but the books say they should” or “She just wont drink the 180mls that the tin says she should be having every 4hrs by this age” Seriously!!!!! If they are hungry – feed them! If they are tired – let them sleep!!! If they are awake – PLAY WITH THEM!!! It’s really not mad science! It’s not written in symbols! It’s plain and simply follow cues.

            Unfortunately when you are a new mum, you just get given shit advice from the places you are suppose to trust, leaving the feeling of no-one to turn to, this is when parents need to look inside themselves, and trust that gut feeling!

            *Agree, and always annoyed at the expectation of having text-book babies*

          • Pinky McKay

            allergies can play a huge part in wakeful babies – and sleep deprived parents. Good on you Patricia for keeping on until you found an answer. I always check re FH of allergies and refer to a dietician who specisalises in food intolerance or allergies . Imagine being a tiny baby with no other way to communicate pain and discomfort other than yell. I am not bagging parents who are trying – but those who really do expect convenient babies and treat them as nusisances.

    • LearnerBurner

      If only we could all be perfect 🙂

  • Laura

    This is great, wish I’d found Pinky when I first had my bub though, it’s nice to have someone say what I’m doing is right for a change, all this conflicting advice everywhere, it just makes so much more sense to go with what comes naturally to you and your baby.

  • Bonnie

    Well said pinky – the things I would “like” to say to some mums when
    I hear the winge or complain! It’s basic common sense!!
    Listen to your baby …….!!

  • Zoe

    Love it! But then I’m a cuddler. Nothing better than cuddling a beautiful baby!

  • Benita

    I love what you wrote I’m to be a new mum in 6 weeks and actually found what you said to straight to the point and was actually in shock that ppl actually ask questions like that. I think keep up the good work more new mums out there to wake up to life and realise being a mum is a full-time job and one once you choose you can just give up. I’m also was shocked to read ppl really don’t see their babies to like themselves. I say what is this world coming to?

  • Shari rippingale

    Love love love, awesome blog, so gonna share it. Well said!!!!! 🙂

  • Helen

    Thank you Pinky!!! I needed this after an exhausting day of cuddles and boobs. My little one has been a bit out of sorts recently and wanting hourly feeds and constant cuddles. I’m happy to give her that, but it’s so easy to doubt yourself when you are a lonely cuddler in a family of tamers. When people give me stupid advice, I want to scream at them ‘she’s a baby not a dog!!! She doesn’t need training!’ (With that said, my dog is snoring away next to the bassinet because it’s too scary for her to go outside in the rain. She’s a fantastic white noise machine)

    • Vickie

      Thank you Helen – you had me LOL :O)
      I was a cuddler in a family of tamers too, until my husband and later both my parents turned into cuddlers too, so i can very acutely feel your pain. My son was over three years old when they seemed to ‘get it’. “he’s such a happy boy, he never cries. Aren’t you so lucky?” Yeah right! That would be the hourly feeds (at times, it doesn’t go on forever..) and my responsiveness to his early cues day and night.
      The good news is when my daughter arrived (pretty much) everyone who counted was on board, so she (and I) have had a lovely time (mostly) without any nay sayers, and my hubby and folks have enjoyed the ride :O)
      There’s hope for all tamers. In most cases, they just took some VERY bad advice and didn’t listen to their own intuition. Let’s face it, we’ve all done that before.
      I love it that your dog’s in with you all. We have two Border Collies who are our furkids and siblings to our kids ;O)

  • Bree

    I am with Helen. I think this post is quiet mean in nature. Im actually quiet disappointed.

    My littlest is being quiet difficult lately and it is very hard getting no sleep with my other kids needing my attention all day. I know that a few people say they are only little for a short amount of time and I know that is true but when you are going through it it is so hard 🙁

    • Patricia

      just sleep when you can. and dont let things get to you… I KNOW this is hard when exhausted… but in the end, if you have your kids, a roof over your head, food on the table…. dont let anything else matter as it will all change with each day, as each day is a new day xxx if you can let things just roll off your back, you will come out the other end stronger and happier.

  • Jessica

    What makes you so perfect? This blog is just mean and doesn’t offer any constructive advice for mums. In fact many new mums who might be struggling with their bubs and reaching out for help would be shattered to read this.
    Every mum is different. Every baby is different. At the end of the day every mum is trying the best they can to raise a caring, level headed child…if they are emailing you with their concerns it’s because they care!

    I can’t say I remember if my mum left me to cry in bed or didn’t feed me until I was crying from being hungry, but I know I turned out just fine regardless!

    • Renee

      If you know nothing about the person you are reaching out to then why would you reach out? The people Pinky is speaking about, clearly know very little about her philosophy if they ask these questions. Why are they asking her for advice about sleep training when she is against sleep training? Makes no sense and I would get pretty frustrated if people came to me for advice about teaching math when I am a music teacher!

    • Nikki

      I thought the post was actually full of very constructive advice. Cuddle your baby, feed your baby, pick up your baby etc.

      • Kara's Mummy

        I agree. It’s very simple. My daughter is almost 4 and she still wants to be close to my skin when she’s upset. It calms her like nothing else.

    • konaquin

      maybe experience patience and intuition PLUS dedication love….

  • Sas

    Love it!!

  • Jo

    This is why I love you pinky!!! I want to share this with everyone.

    • Leighanne

      Completely agree!
      Love love love it :-))
      There is NO excuse for Tamers…baby’s needs should always come first.

  • Tina

    Heck Yes!!! This is bloody awesome!!!!

  • Amy

    Is this supposed to be funny? Agree with your overall philosophy but wish I hadn’t read this it is just plain rude.

    • Cherie

      Not a very “cuddly” article. I don’t give shit (ha) about the swearing but does “mummy matter” only if mummy does it Pinky’s way and doesn’t make mistakes or get caught up in other, less gentle techniques along the way? I get that you find some mum’s questions frustrating and uneducated and sometimes plain ridiculous, but as a public figure “specialising in gentle parenting techniques” surely gentle education rather than vilification would be a better avenue?

      As a dog trainer i’ve learnt the hard way that verbally insulting or attacking people who have different views or limited knowledge wins no one over to your side, even if you feel you have the moral high ground. You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Can’t imagine if it is much different with parenting – and in the end isn’t it all about changing views and helping ease the way for babies and their parents?

      • Konaquin

        We cant be perfect all the time when it comes down to it Pinky too is only human… Brave x K

  • Amy

    Oh Pinky I do love you so 🙂 Don’t stop being you. Ever. x

  • ian

    There should be far more people with your attitude.

    There are too many mums and dads out there that read ridiculous books, making them forget their natural instincts and thereby turning them into mindless drones, causing them to lose a would be fantastic connection with their babies.

    People are constantly attempting to belittle my partner about her still breastfeeding at 6months, and bringing our son in the bed with us, but you are giving her the confidence and reassurance she needs to ignore the rambling idiots from getting to her, and for that all 3 of us thank you 🙂

  • Steph

    Pinky – you are 100% right as always. True that it’s not your usual style, but I think we all have moments when we just need to unload and say it like it really is, instead of sugar-coating it. It’s important for self-care when you spend a lot of time around mums and babies, as the sad truth is there are a lot of ‘tamers’ out there. You do a wonderful job Pinky and I’m sure there are lots of babies out there who are happier because of you!


    Thank you Pinky for posting this. As a midwife and lactation consultant myself with 20 years experience, I am asked these questions so often… When you are educated and instinctive when it comes to life and relationships, and you know what is best for babes, being confronted with such questions and hearing parents speak poorly of their innocent babes is really hard to take, day after day…so many parents are fantastic, yet so many lack insight into life itself…it is so disheartening. I was called by a disgruntled mother recently on the ward…she had an evil look on her face, a demeanour to die for – she was roughly rocking the baby in her arms and with anger she said to me ” I buzzed you an hour ago!! How am I going to SHUT IT UP!”….. I can see how some could get upset by this posting, just know, that Pinky says this lightheartedly, but also appreciate, that when you are confronted with this kind of stuff, we professionals are human and get hurt by what you say too! Thanks again Pinky, I wish I could walk around with a sign on my forehead that says, “WHAT THE FUCK?

  • Cherie

    Not a very “cuddly” article. I don’t give shit (ha) about the swearing but does “mummy matter” only if mummy does it Pinky’s way and doesn’t make mistakes or get caught up in other, less gentle techniques along the way? I get that you find some mum’s questions frustrating and uneducated and sometimes plain ridiculous, but as a public figure “specialising in gentle parenting techniques” surely gentle education rather than vilification would be a better avenue?

    As a dog trainer i’ve learnt the hard way that verbally insulting or attacking people who have different views or limited knowledge wins no one over to your side, even if you feel you have the moral high ground. You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. Can’t imagine if it is much different with parenting – and in the end isn’t it all about changing views and helping ease the way for babies and their parents?

  • Maria

    Just stumbled across this and LOVE it. So sick of stupid mums around me whining about babies not sleeping through, using ‘cry it out’ to self sooth and basically wanting a self sufficient youngster who isn’t a burden…
    It makes me question why people have children if they want their same old life. Being a parent, means being a parent 24-7. I could my blessings when they’re asleep at the same time and I have a luxury hot cup of tea. Life is chaos with kids and there is little if any me time, that’s what good parenting is all about and I wouldn’t change it. All praise for this honest article!

    • Joanie

      Wow, stupid mums? Really? How about you read Kylie’s post below then talk again about stupid mums.

      If “attached” parents are this hostile to parents who do it differently to them, I don’t want to be associated with them at all.

  • Kylie

    Pinky, I suffered terrible PND after four years of sleep deprivation and my second child. If it wasn’t for sleep training and bottle feeding, I would have killed myself. I’m not kidding. I took myself and my two children to a sleep centre and got professional help to train them to sleep through the night before I finally made the decision to throw myself and my children in to a river.

    I didn’t take my decision out of ‘convenience’ either. I co slept with my first child for FOUR years, and he didn’t sleep through the night. I breastfed both of my children, my second only until one day when I was begging my first child to just not speak at all because I had had my seventh night in a row of 40minutes sleep. I knew that she was waking because she was hungry, and he was waking because he was not good at self-settling at 3 yrs old. However, I also knew that between the pair of them I was getting that total of 40mins sleep because if I wasn’t settling one, I was settling and feeding the other. I was also alone, as I have no family nearby and my partner worked away.

    Thank god when I got help I wasn’t greeted by an all-knowing woman who spoke to me like you just did. I would have been shamed in to continuing to sleep so little, and quite possibly become another statistic of suicide because of depression. All because some all-knowing mum like yourself calls “that kind of mother” selfish and a dipshit.

    Nice Pinky, Nice.

    • Toni

      Firstly I’d just like to say that I accept your apology Pinky however you had in me in tears after reading the original post (and even while I type this response). As a first time mother I struggled with PND with the main (although not only) reason being sleep deprivation. Similarly to Kylie, I often thought about “disappearing” because I felt that I wasn’t a good enough mother as I didn’t seem to be coping as well as other mums around me. When my little one was 22 months I sought help and thank god I did (yes we resorted to CIO method). Gaining my sanity back we felt that we were ready for child #2. During my pregnancy I read from another well known author who is an advocate of firm routines, CIO etc. At that point I was convinced that I was going to follow her suggestions to ensure I didn’t go through hell again. While still pregnant I stumbled across your facebook page and was keen to hear what you had to say so I ‘liked’ and become a fan in more ways that one. As my due date approached earlier this year I questioned which way of parenting would I run with…the strict routine or the gentle approach. I listened to my heart and told myself that I would follow my baby’s lead. It has been the most pleasant and joyful experience of my life however despite reading your books I did ask you a “stupid” question perhaps no less than two months ago (you didn’t post my question and you left me pondering why but I put it down to you receiving hundreds of requests etc). Fast forward to today, I read the apology and wondered what the fuss was about so I then read your original post. You managed to take me back to that dark place and you left me feeling inadequate and ashamed for the methods I used. Surely an intelligent woman like you must understand that not everyone has the same experience or the same coping skills. Perhaps I was mentally weak but I’m glad that I chose life and my children. Naturally you can state your opinion through whatever social media channels you choose however I kindly ask that you try and be a little more considerate of other people’s experiences. Unfortunately things are not black and white…you have to accept the grey area too.

      • Pinky McKay

        Toni,I am so sorry that you are upset. I didnt mean to take you to a dark place. I realise you will be more sensitive than most mamas. Your health and sanity is important -I agree. The emails I refer to are from parents with very young babies and they are using awful language about their little ones. I have heard babies called ‘ stubborn, manipulative’, a ‘nightmare’ ‘little shits”
        This is obviously not about you so please dont take it personally.
        If I havent answred your question on facebook this doesnt mean I thought it was unimportant – as mentioned, I get literally hundreds of questions every day. Its like a lottery which ones get posted – I only check facebook a couple of times aday – less when I am away from my computer. Many questions simply ‘pass through’ the thread of messages – there isn’t time to put them all up. Feel free to keep asking, keep questioning and following what feels right for you and your babies. They are lucky to have such a sensitive mum, willing to research options and do what feels right in your own individual situation.

      • Ellen

        I am another one who has ended up in tears reading this blog post. Thank you for saying what I couldn’t find the words to express.

  • Anna

    Pinky, I love your stuff, refer to you, have some of your books and am thankful there is someone who can express what I am trying to do instinctively. But most parents I know who parent as Tamers do so because they have been taught/told/shown that that is the best way. They have been told their babies will manipulate them, watch out! If you don’t teach them to self settle, then they will never ever learn to do anything for themselves, and sometimes in the middle of the night it does feel like it’s never going to end, so they start trying to teach self settling. They are told by experts and doctors their babies should sleep through the night. They are warned if they don’t have hours of alone time with their partner, their relationship will never survive children. So they do what they believe to be best for he family, not knowing that there is another way. They still love their children very much and want the best for their families too….

  • kelli

    love it!!!

  • Sonia

    Hilarious!! I have been told a lot lately that my 4 month old doesn’t sleep because I have not “trained” him, not because he has had terrible wind pain and pooed only once a fortnight, or that every time he just fell asleep I have had to take his big brothers to school or sport etc. I have just spent 48 hours with him on the boob non stop because he is sick, and besides comfort, I know my body will make the antibodies he needs to be well. I get this humour and it really uplifted me after no sleep!! PS I have a 13 year old, an 11 year old with autism and am a single mum with no family support, but I am a CUDDLER!! 🙂

  • Kylie

    I am in two minds about this ….
    On one hand, I really wish I had read something like this when my children (now 3 & 5) were newborns. My eldest would be up until 11pm in my arms and then sleep till 7am or sometimes later, which suited us perfectly. I had a lot of disapproving comments from maternal health nurses who would say we need an earlier ‘bedtime routine’, and I was riddled with guilt.
    On the other hand, being a ‘cuddler’ meant that I spent many nights with my youngest sleeping sitting up in a chair between 2am and 7am (yes, five hours!), because he liked to be cuddled sitting up and would cry if i tried to lie down, and because feeding lying down gave me neck pain that prevented sleep…not to mention being terrified of putting him at risk of SIDS. I then played all day with my beautiful children on only two or so hours sleep. So, when I asked for self-settling advice (which never worked anyway, because I was always to be a ‘cuddler’)… It was out of sheer exhaustion, and definitely not laziness!
    One must not be unkind to parents who will do ANYTHING for a safe and restful night for the whole family. Also, all children are so different that one mustn’t be made to feel stupid for asking these sorts of questions. I’m a big fan of yours, Pinky, but one mustn’t forget that a mother is not always herself when tired and this kind of attitude can only damage a mother’s already fragile confidence.

  • Rebecca

    Funny! Very informative and straight down the line. I too was a bit of a tamer, but then changed my ways. Wish I had read something like this in the beginning

  • Catherine Edwards

    I think you have mis-read it, Pinky has nothing against breastfeeding to sleep, or lots of cuddles, quite the opposite in fact. x

  • Lauren

    Here’s the thing: I get why some people found this offensive. Pinky normally writes in a pretty gentle, non-judgemental kind of way, but she also states basic scientific fact – this is why babies are the way they are and if people bothered to read her books you would at least understand where she comes from. So being asked the same (in her mind) stupid questions about why their baby does something/behaves a certain way/doesn’t do a certain thing would understandably drive a person to need to bring it down to the basic, lowest common denominator. I also get that some parents are coming at this from a different mindset. Mothers who have PND, or are doing it on their own, or have other things going on, or just have a really high-maintenance baby – this baby stage is a real shock to the system and with all the ‘Tamers’ out there telling them their parenting skills are lacking because their baby is doing ‘x’ or not doing ‘y’, it would be really, really hard!

    Pinky, I personally loved this article. Thank you!!

  • Outta here

    The language here is unprofessional – and unhinged.
    I’m making a choice to unfollow Pinky now, not because I disagree with the principles, but because the method of communication is rude.
    I also had another friend forward it to my mothers group, two of those have now unfollowed. This post seems like a King-Kong sized gaffe.

  • Kathw

    I am three months pregnant with my first and I found this post very encouraging! Summed up: enjoy your baby and listen to it. But maybe my Aussie sense of humour helps 😉

  • Hedda

    I’m not a professional, but someone once asked me how to get a 3 week old to self-settle. I wanted to revoke their parent card!

    Great post, Pinky!

  • Ingrid

    Oh dear Carly, you might want to read the article again. All the best.

  • Bernadette

    This whole post is pure gold! I love my little cuddlers and my now bigger cuddlers, in fact I love them so much I cuddle them!!

  • Thecuddlytamer

    This is rude. I have 2 beautiful babies who are very happy and both self settle and occasionally let out a little cry before sleep. Get over yourself pinky. Your way is definitely not the only way!! You can’t each your babies to self settle and still cuddle and love them and have very happy babies!!

    • Patricia

      Sorry, but I beg to differ with the latter part of your comment.. i did everything my kids way to the point I only slept once every 3 days with #2 due to medical reasons on her part. I have always cuddled, and done everything for them on cue when they let me know they needed it. I now have 2 kiddies who self settle, put themselves to bed when they are tired, and sleep all night (unless sick obviously) they are independent, helpful in the household routine, display initiative and are great learners. Although I also agree there is no One-Rule-Fits-All with kids, but the general gist of what i have read is listen to your baby and do what they need, not what fits in with a parents pre-baby lifestyle IS what babies need.

    • Sarah King

      I disagree…
      I HAVE taught my three kids to self settle, but have also given plenty if cuddles…result…one happy toddler and twins that are on their way to being happy babies. I am a cuddly tamer if you have to label me, and I think just as well too. Having 4 month old twins and being an exclusive cuddler would be nigh on impossible.

  • Aviva Sheb'a

    Pinky, I don’t know how you’ve put up with the damaging image of parenting so many parents have swallowed from so-called experts for so long. You and I raised our children by listening to them, to their needs. We have raised loving, caring contributors to the world. We’ve see so much damage done by well-intentioned yet frankly, ignorant, parenting.

    Babies need nurturing. Each baby and child is different, as is each adult. Parenting included improvising; learning from the baby’s cues. Parents need to LISTEN to their babies, LOOK at them, FEEL them (physically,emotionally and intuitively), kiss them, cuddle them, feed them, nurture them, and yep, keep them clean and SAFE.

    Leaving a baby to cry is not doing any of those things. If you have a baby who keeps on crying despite all you’ve done, develop the strength to hold the baby anyway. Sometimes it’s all you can do for them.

    How do I know that? Been there, done that. My children are 29 and 25. When they need nurturing, comforting, care, I’m still “there” for them, whether in person or over the ether. And if I’M the one who needs the nurturing, care, comforting, THEY ARE THERE FOR ME. It’s not a one-way thing.

    When your baby needs you and your are there for him or her, your rewards are many, even if they come later. The rewards come in the form of smiles, kisses, tiny warm hands on your face. As they grow, the rewards grow too.

    Enjoy nurturing your little ones, as Pinky advises. She knows what she’s on about and frankly, I think deserves a medal for the patience she has so long exhibited.

  • Bec

    Carly, you do realise this is Pinky and not Tizzy right?!

  • Kristie

    Love it, love it, love it!!!!!!

  • Sam Rogers

    I love people that tell it how it is! Well done Pinky!
    If more mothers told it how it was I’m sure there would be less comparing, less confusion and less stress.
    As a first time mother I have read your blogs and feel that this is the best one yet!

  • misty

    Awesome Pinky, gave me a good giggle. Well said.

  • Karena

    Hilarious vent! I love you even more Pinky!!

    I need to print this out and hand it to the heartless wenches that used to keep telling me to ‘let him cry’ while did house work. I even had a nurse at a children’s hospital (!) tell me it’s ‘good for them to have a big cry’.

    If people are emailing you without even researching your website to ascertain your philosophy, well, more fool them!

    The people that are upset by your blog probably don’t understand your frustration. But you are entitled to vent about it on YOUR OWN BLOG… Haha

    Personally I have to thank you for the advise/reassurance when I emailed you about breastfeeding and PCOS. It was a short lived journey but I made the best of what I had and you helped me enjoy that few weeks. Thank you and love and light to you!

  • Jam

    Thank you Pinky this is exactly what I needed to read. I share your frustration and am one of those mums who is constantly being told I am “spoiling” or creating “bad habits” in my baby. Luckily I found you before I had my baby so I never let anyone convince me to put bub down or let her cry. The constant bombarding wears you down after a while and sometimes someone just has to stand up and say “f$&k off”. Thank you for being that person.

  • Sam

    This makes me really sad because I’m a want-to-be cuddler, but my baby has other ideas. Oh what I would give to be able to settle my baby with cuddles and breastfeeding – I cuddle, I breastfeed, I cosleep but my little man just isn’t a cuddler himself… It breaks my heart, as does this blog – nothing is black and white when it comes to parenting

    • Pinky McKay

      Sam, you are doing exactly what your baby wants/needs- you are a responsive mum. I agree, nothing is black and white -after 2 cuddlers I had a baby who self settled, without being ‘tamed’. I had to catch up with her needs. This post is about people who desribe their babies like inconvenient objects -I have heard babies called ‘stubborn’ ‘manipulative’ a ‘night mare’ and even ‘little shit’ . These are the people I am frustrated with -not parents who are along a whole spectrum of nurturing that suits their individual babies.

      • Sera

        Then maybe write a post about the names some parents call their kids, and how they view them as inconvenient objects. I was another one whose baby didn’t read the books – your books – and actually wanted to be left alone. I still feel so guilty about how hard to tried to feed him to sleep, to cuddle him to sleep when he was begging me for the exact opposite.

        If I had read this at my lowest, I would have walked out the door and not come back.

        Yes, you’re allowed to be frustrated but surely you are aware that you influence many, many people in the community and therefore have a greater responsibility to consider the impact of your words.

        • Pinky McKay

          Sera, I too had a baby (my third) who didnt want to be cuddled to sleep – she sighed with what looked like ‘relief’ when one day mid rocking/offering boob, I put her down to go too the loo. I came back and watched her – which I actually suggest to parents ( giving the opportunity without leaving babies to cry) – she watched her little hands and chatted to herself and went to sleep. I learnt from her. I don’t see why you would have guilt about following what your baby wanted – you were following your baby’s cues -that is being responsive.

    • Kadriye

      My #2 was like that, right from the start. He wouldn’t be fed or rocked to sleep, he had to be put in his cot to go to sleep. .Don’t despair though, he’s now an extremely cuddly 3yo 🙂

  • Kylie

    I think we need to support each other more rather than being mean about different parenting styles. Being a parent is tough sometimes and doesn’t come easy to us all.

  • Ness

    Sometimes s**t just needs to be said!
    Love your work Pinky.

    -Fellow Cuddler of two beautiful, colourful boys

  • Fiona

    Well done Pinky….. You are brave and you are RIGHT !! You might ruffle a few feathers but you are not afraid to talk the truth, and why not eh? Although there will alway be people who take offence, dozens more will read this and add it to their parenting tool belt. We all have that voice in our heads that says ‘this is hard…..why won’t he/she just do everything the book says and make my life easier’ I know I do but I also have this louder voice in my head of Pinky, Dr Sears and countless others who are not afraid to shout out the truth. I make mistakes as a parent like we all do, but each day is fresh opportunity to make things right. Thank you Pinky…… Your honest truth changes lives.

  • Nicole

    I’m guessing that a lot of the people who said this is rude are not Aussies…… that’s one of the most difficult things about humour (especially written humour) it doesn’t cross cultural or language barriers well.

    Meanwhile, I’m personally disturbed by the fact that CIO techniques are so often used by and recommended to or by mothers with PND (or other mothers who are vulnerable and not coping well). While I don’t have PND I do have Anxiety and have struggled with depression multiple times in the past. I know from my own experiences how much depression and anxiety can cause you to constantly question your love for someone/and to have trouble feeling your bond to them even when you could feel it in the past. Considering that a lack of feeling the “bond” is a large part of PND – why are health professionals (and society in general) promoting techniques that only cause to weaken communication and bonding between mother and baby and undermine any instincts she might still be able to feel through the confusion of her brain?
    What these mothers need is support: counselling, medication, extended family, a housekeeper, LC’s & Child health workers and doctors who give them advice that will help to build a bond, and help them to love their baby through their actions even if they can’t feel the emotion.
    Yes they need sleep but sleep training is not the way to achieve that! We need to take a look at all the cultures where mothers are completely looked after for the first month post birth and replicate that for our mums at risk (at least) so that mum can focus on 2 things only: building her connection with bub, and getting better. Whilst knowing that bub is surrounded by caring, compassionate family members and medical professionals, who are able to ensure that his/her needs are being met too, and to allow mum time out for sleep/yoga/getting out of the house/couple time/therapy and anything else that’s going to help her to recover and to feel she has something to give her baby. That way the time mum and bub spend together can be primarily positive experiences (for both!) with mum slowly taking on more as she is ready to do so.

    • kirrilee

      great point Nicole. I had PND with my 4th baby. Because I was an experienced attachm.ent parent I managed to bond well with my baby and care for her automatically. If I had been separated from her or encouraged to separate by CIO or other means, I would have found that very hard. I already felt like enough of a failure as a mother. Support for the woman is the key. I can’t help but think all the angry mums commenting on this post needed more support in the ways you suggest too.

    • Amanda

      I agree Nicole, I had PND with my first baby and I think Tizzie Halls book given to me by a friend had me almost suicidal. Pinky’s book was the only thing that made me feel positive about what I was doing and comfortable with how I felt about reacting to my unsettled baby. Support is essential and wouldn’t it be wonderful if we lived in a world that provided the situation you have described above for all mothers.
      Also Pinky your blog post is awesome, I loved it and think you are even more of a legend now than I did… surely you gotta love an Aussie swearing grandma!!! x

  • Karina

    A friend of mine shared this on her facebook wall, and I had a giggle. Truly awesome post. And so true. As a first time parent, I so needed to hear this. And I think others need to be a bit more light hearted about the comments pinky has made. She’s also made some valid points also. People need to calm down, and respect others opinions. This is her blog/post after all. No one’s saying you have to agree with it. These are her thoughts, and some might relate to it some might not. I love the humour in this post. You are right on there Pinky! I remember sitting hours on the recliner feeling like a human dummy, but realizing that I’m giving my baby the best in life. Babies need comforting, and crying is their only form of communication. Rock it on! Each baby is different, each parent is different too. Respect! 🙂

  • Kellie

    I’m a Tamer ! For all 3 kids ! And I think this is unreal
    Thanks for the giggle Pinky !

  • Hannah

    Love your work Pinky. How depressing that we live in a society where people have to be told that its OK to cuddle your baby as much as they need it. Please don’t stop being awesome 🙂

  • Kate from Food from our life

    Carly, I think you might have got your wires crossed Pinky IS THE Champion of cuddlers, She’s on our side, cuddle away she’d say! It’s perhaps tongue in cheek, perhaps not… either way she’s having a dig at those who crack it because their babies/kids aren’t doing what they expect, when those expectations are so far off base and unreasonable it’s not funny. She’s co slept with all 5 of her kids!

  • Hayley

    You are amazing PINKY !!! … if the sensitive people out there don’t want to hear the truth thats not your problem thats there’s … people shouldn’t have babies then force their lifestyle on the child that is primal ! .. I love you and your posts and think you are the only hope for parenting in this country and the WORLD!!

  • Renee

    Hmm. I think you may have missed the point of the article.

  • Cassie

    In many ways I a solute lot agree with and share your sentiment. I must say though, the people who email you with such questions are often desperate, struggling and may not have had anything to do with newborns before.

    An example – after having my beautiful little girl at 21 I quickly realised parenting was vastly different to what I had anticipated. I bled heavily for 9 weeks and eventually ended up severely anaemic with a raging uterine infection needing a truck load of antibiotics and a curette to get rid of the massive chunk of placenta left behind. As if this didn’t make me feel crap enough I also had a baby with a severe tongue tie who was failing to thrive from physically being unable to effectively suck from my bleeding battered nipples – yet I still persisted with up to 16 feeds per day as well as expressing 8x a day just to fill her little belly and ward off the threats of doctors to put a nasogastric tube down and feed her formula.

    At this extremely stressful time of my life I did think – why do you cry when I put you down? I got frustrated too. Sometimes in exhaustion I let her cry so I could have another 15 mins sleep. I would have been happy to get more than 50 mins at a time and this continued for 5 weeks. At this stage I was depressed exhausted and starting to have very unsavoury thoughts about my baby. And no, at this stage I had not read your book, I would not have had the time for such a leisurely activity.

    Now while I understand who your comments are directed at, had I stumbled upon this blog 2 years ago when I was going through this I would have not been “offended” rather, it would have contributed to my downward spiral of depression – if a midwife and a lactation consultant says I’m a shit mother because I don’t want to pick up my screaming newborn out of her safety approved cot, then I MUST be a shit mother… And believe me I didn’t need any more convincing!

    Good news is that we survived, breast fed for 14 months and eventually I fell in love with my daughter the way I expected to. The reason I share my story with you, and I hope you do read this, is that you are a public figure and people look to you for guidance. I understand you must get frustrated with the same questions that to you seem careless and selfish, but I don’t think you can call a person a tamer based on reaching out for some help. Please continue to write sensitive and informative blogs and if people choose to ignore your advice, let them sort it out for themselves.

    • Helen 2

      Good for you x

  • Maxine

    Pinky, thank you for telling it straight. More mums need more support from their family and friends and communities but I do wonder why loving and holding and being with their little babies is so hard for so many. To be honest it doesn’t get any easier in all the many years of parenting that you have to do, so time to suck it up and be the adult. Thanks for all your wisdom, Pinky. XXX

  • Michelle @ rock my roll

    I am not sure what to make of this article. I cant “classify” myself either with the “tamers” or the “cuddlers”. In fact I tried to “cuddle” my baby and she hated it.. I tried to breastfeed and she rejected me after four months of persistance. I also believe in discipline and not giving into to every child’s demands. I am the parent and will not tolerate bad behavior to get what they want (ie. junk food)
    She is now a very loving 4 year old that has good manners. Not every baby wants to be cuddled no matter how hard the mother tries. Each to their own. I did what works for us – and that usually means that just when you thought you had it down it all changed again As long as there is love in what you do then go for it i say.

    • Pinky McKay

      Michelle, you don’t need to ‘classify’. We all do what we can with the babies we have – the basic criteria is ‘is it safe?’ Is it respectful? Does it feel right for us? Thats all we need to do. There is a whole spectrum of nurturing that will vary from one family to another. I don’t usually ‘classify’ but get upset about people who speak of and treat their little ones as an inconvenience. You are certainly not doing this -sounds to me like you are a fabulous caring parent with a child who is ‘proof of your pudding’

  • Pinky McKay

    Hi Carly, I am sorry if this has upset you – I actually support mums like yourself who cuddle and breastfeed babies to sleep -if you over cuddle , good on you. The people I am talking about are those who talk about their babies in horrible terms as though they are an inconvenience and trea them accordingly. You are obviously not this parent. BTW I did a lot of parenting on my own too – with ahusband away. Its tough so kudos to you mama!

    • Leonie

      Pinky, I loved that post!
      I am a mother of two beautiful boys under 7 (and a third now on the way). My husband often works long days and chunks of the weekend, and we don’t have the luxury of a family network to support us and ease the load. In addition, I work full time.
      Neither of my boys were good sleepers – my youngest pretty much waking up every 1-3 hours for the first two years of his life. I’m not exaggerating! I would often be deliriously tired, and yes, at times went to a dark place myself, especially in the wee hours of the morning.
      However, I was always a cuddler, and lucky enough to have no problems in breastfeeding. Yes, I became frustrated at times, but more frustrated by people who judged me, and helpfully suggested I do controlled crying, stop co-sleeping, stop breast feeding or try and sleep during the day (what, under the desk at work?).

  • Yvettedownunder

    Bravo Pinky! Every single day there seems to be another *clever* blog post come through my news feed by a writer who is bagging those women who choose to be *cuddlers* and being far more derogatory than your obviously tongue-in-cheek diatribe. It seems that *tamers* are forgiven for their statements about *cuddlers* but it isn’t acceptable the other way? Personally, I get a bit sick of being asked to justify, validate or provide evidence for my parenting choices, whereas endless *taming* is thrust upon me without any such consideration. Don’t want to be a *cuddler*? Fine, move along, nothing to see here – you will be looking for that forum over there, the one marked *tamers*. Brand new *cuddler*? Come on in, we are here to help. It isn’t rocket science: to each their own. find your tribe and stay away from mine!

  • Kali

    Pinky I really think this was one of those times you needed to write to vent your anger and then press DELETE or at least save to a file never to be publicly seen. New mums like newborns are learning too- they need gentleness and nurturing to help them find a parenting style that works for them and their baby, they don’t need to be made to feel worse than they already do- thought you were better than that pinky

    • Helen 2

      Totally agree!

  • Kate Beardsley

    I adore you Pinky McKay ♡ I think we all need yo take this article with humor-I dont envy you having to troll through endless emails of “parent’s”calling Children names-yeah granted I might be a little p#*!@*d off too-especially when your life is spent advocating on behalf of these little ones. Dont take it personally unless you have emailed Pinky calling your child horrid names in which case you can f#*!k off! 😀

  • Darren

    That is the most hypercritical bull crap I’ve ever heard. Firstly you mention how disrespectful tamers are to cuddlers, then proceed to bag out tamers for your rather lame attempt to justify your own baby beliefs.

    Firstly, tamers and cuddlers are two extremes of parenting styles – not your one or the other, but a scale. Yes some people may be too much on the tamers side, it probably is detrimental to some children. Cuddlers are just as bad in extreme cases. If a child is never put down to learn to sleep by themselves, how will they ever learn to, and learn you will be there when you wake up.

    In fact I could pick holes in all your narrow minded statements. I was hoping I’d get to the bottom and you’d have a statement saying it was a joke or an experiment or maybe an example of persuasive writing.

    I’m a dad and a teacher and believe every parent should be able to find their own balance of the scale and hopefully have enough support from family and friends to bring up much loved children. Even you!

    I reckon you’ve lost a lot of readers.

    • Pinky McKay

      Darren I absolutely agree there is a spectrum. There is no ‘one way’ . I suggest you read my follow up post – why I flipped my lid at baby tamers – if you want to see an explanation.

      It seems everyone is allowed to bag the ‘cuddlers’ but people who talk about babies , calling them names like ”he is a nightmare’ ‘stubborn’ manipulating and even ‘a little shit’ are ‘entitled’ to make their ‘choices’ .

      We all make choices but these are made on behalf of our babies – who cant rationalise or justify when they are called demeaning names.

      It’s not popular to speak up on behalf of babies but I actually dont care about lost readers – my job isn’t to be popular, its to speak my truth.

      • Nicole

        Well said Pinky!! I agree it isn’t popular to speak up on behalf of babies but last time I checked they couldn’t speak up for themselves. That’s what we as parents are for.
        I think also the people that have taken offence to this post either don’t agree with your philosophy or feel some type of guilt and are projecting this on to you.
        I thought the post was amusing and oh so true about some of the parents I have met! I am a cuddler who’s main priority was to meet my children’s needs, after all in the blink of an eye we are on to the next stage as it goes way too fast!
        You are awesome Pinky! Keep up the great work!

  • Emily

    Love it! It’s perfect timing for me as just tonight my hubby told me that my 15 month old “didn’t need” an overnight feed anymore, i will be printing this off for him to read!

  • Rachel

    Thank you Pinky! This is the reason why I own and refer to your books (and blog) regularly. You are no nonsense and brutally honest and for that you hold my respect and admiration

  • Katie

    Hi Pinky,

    As a HP working with new mums and bubs I share your frustration.. It seems almost everyone has read a sleep training book and commences parenting with very unrealistic expectations of baby behavior. It doesn’t help that many child health nurses , paediatricians and GP’s advocate similar rigid sleep guidelines. Thankfully there are baby advocates like you pushing back. Thank you.

  • Roni

    I don’t usually swear online, but seeing as you’ve set the standard. That was fucking brilliant.

  • Belinda

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this!!! Best blog post of all time :)))

  • Jenny

    I too share your frustrations. I am very much a cuddler and it hurts me internally when I hear of babies being tamed like animals and all they go through to get there. However as somebody who works with new parents I know that most commonly the reason behind this kind of ‘parenting’ is not selfishness or cruelty but a good-intentioned lack of understanding. In some cases it is even something like PND. I know that if many new parents were handed this article to read they would be absolutely crushed.

    I appreciate from what people have said that you have put plenty of friendly, constructive information out there for parents in this boat and this individual post is just a one-time public implosion. I get that. However, for me, I have never previously heard of Pinky McKay (I’m not Australian) and this was the first time I have ever happened upon your blog. The first post I read was a mean, vulgarity-filled lash out at the very people you are supposed to help. For this reason this will also be the last post I read.

    You need to understand that when you put something out there in the public domain, not everybody will have the benefit of your entire career and for some this will be their first (and probably last) encounter with you. If that person is a struggling, lost, depressed mother – then I’m sure you can imagine how this might make her feel.

    For an individual to say this kind of thing in the privacy of their own home is one thing. We all have those moments of intense frustration towards this type of parent. But as somebody who is apparently writing in a professional capacity as somebody who normally helps parents – it is just a complete no no. As a professional I leave my opinions at the door and I empathise, advise and support. You may argue this may be some kind of personal blog (I don’t know) but when you are flogging your parenting books at the top as far as the public is concerned you are a professional. I personally feel this was not a very fine moment for you.

    • Pinky McKay

      Jenny, I do agree about leaving judgement at the door -and I do this when I see parents. I know you have been put off and I appreciate this – I have written another blog to explain why I wrote this. I have been sharing gentle information for many years but feel increasingly frustrated that there is so much criticism of parents who are trying to parent against the tide of rife baby training. It seems that anyone can ‘bag’ gentle parents/attachment parents/ responsive parents – they are ‘making a rod for their backs’/ not teaching their babies ‘vital’ skills and so on. I speak to beautiful mothers who are undermned at every turn but if anyone dares to speak out against people who call their babies names or treat them like an inconvenience that is ‘unprofessional’. I feel sad that it has taken a rude rant like this for people to ‘find ‘ my work. I am sorry you dont want to look further but I would like to invite you to check out my post ‘ why I flipped my lid about baby tamers’. I too have a ‘back story’ just as many other mothers do and perhaps by looking a little further you may see I do offer empathy, advice and support -lots in fact.

  • Melanie Suhr

    Love it! Oh dear you’ve hurt the feelings of the tamers. Shame they don’t get that what they are doing to there babies is far far worse.

  • Jo

    This just made me laugh. After being uptight with bub number one until I met you and read your books, I just relaxed and went back to feeding him to sleep, and guess what, it worked!

    Bub number two has had so many more cuddles and co-sleeping and is still breastfeeding months after number one gave up. I used to read Sleeping Like a Baby while he gurgled himself to sleep on the bed next to me.

    Love your philosophy and all the power you give back to mums to do what feels right and not what we think we should do!!!!

  • Hannah

    Pinky, you said what needed to be said! The crying it out method has gone to absolute extremes with parents it’s unbelieveable! Good on you for saying the truth, somebody needs to!

  • Sarah

    I’m a cuddler, but I still think this is such a mean spirited article. You are coming across as an awfully arrogant bully! .

    • Me too

      Agree. Also a cuddler (also Australian) but feel this post has let the team down and contributes to negative publicity. In a news week dominated by accountability, I don’t even see Pinky taking accountability for vilifying a group of people in such a bullying way. This blog sits really uncomfortably with me, including the name calling and swearing. Pinky has acted as Ambassador for organisations like Bonnie Babes – how would those organisations feel if they saw this language and attitude?

  • Tamer???

    I’ve never read your blog before, I’ve never even heard of you. A link to this blog appeared on my Facebook and I’m wishing I never clicked on it!! So according to you and your two labels I must be a tamer? My baby girl (7 months young) self settles and sleeps 12 hours at night, bless her!! My husband and I have raised her using a routine and guess what… It worked for the 3 of us. Your blog made me feel like some hard ass strict bitch that doesn’t give a shit about my baby! Words can’t even express how much I love my daughter! All I want is the very best for her. I may not be a “cuddler” but when she’s awake I play with her, I read to her, I kiss her, I laugh with her and I cuddle her. I love my baby just as much as you and all the other cuddlers love theirs, only difference is my baby doesn’t need help to go to sleep and can sleep 12 hours at night!

    • Lisa

      And you clearly seem to feel that’s down to your brilliant parenting and not pure, unadulterated luck. Some rare few babies “self settle” and sleep long periods without being left to cry themselves to sleep. In some circles these babies are referred to as “unicorn babies”. MOST babies aren’t like that however, and trying to force babies to be something they aren’t would indeed put someone in the “tamer” category.

      Routines are not bad, most babies settle into a routine, on their own. Forcing babies to a routine that clearly doesn’t work for them, ignoring their cries, not feeding them when they’re clearly hungry because “it’s not time” makes a person a tamer. Following the baby’s need/sroutine and lucking out with a baby who sleeps a lot at night doe not.

    • Patricia

      I dont think its about achieving a routine. But aimed at those who leave their babies to cry and cry and cry because the ‘text book rules of a baby’ say they should be asleep… or shouldn’t be hungry yet….

      My first child too was a 12hr a night sleeper! from day #3!! it was great for my recovery from birth that i was able to sleep and wake myself and just await the waking of my baby ready to feed him.

      But that was HIS routine. and that is what Pinky is saying, to follow your bub’s lead and offer them love and let them feeling that, not leave them to feel that they are alone. As being in our world is a great big new thing to a baby, and is a very scary time to them! They need to know we are there.

      • Pinky McKay

        Exactly – Nowhere do I mention routines are good or bad and most babies eventually do naturally settle into a rhythm of their own – although this can change at any time. I have seen happy thriving babies who do naturally sleep 12 hours -not many, mind you. As Patricia says , if its the baby’s natural routine that you are respecting, that’s being responsive to your baby.

  • Natalie

    Fucking love it!! Lol ;))

  • Karrie

    Brilliant, common sense thinking. Well done Pinky. So many people have so many conflicting opinions and think they know it all. Pinky speaks sense, and yes, is to the point but that is exactly what some people need. Refreshing!

  • Melina

    I read this article tongue in cheek, the way you wrote it Pinky. My first was definitely not a cuddler but my second is. At 18 months he’s still not sleeping through the night, which is ok, but sometimes when he wakes he doesn’t want me or a drink or anything except to scream. What the hell is going on with that? It freaks me out because there doesn’t seem to be anything I can do for him – he squirms out of my arms & continues to scream. I can’t leave him on his own like that, but staying doesn’t achieve anything either! Any advice? Should I get him checked out for sleep apnea or something? He snores.

    • Pinky McKay

      If you feel he may have sleep apnoea by all means get him checked -trust your gut. They are all different!

  • cathy

    LOVED this post. In fact if you want to write yet another brilliant book in this style I’d buy that too. I love your books, I love your commonsense approach – and now I love it that you get the shits and don’t bother with bullshit occasionally.

    I often give your books to new mums as baby pressies – telling them that it is like having a grandma at your shoulder, telling you to trust your mother instincts and that it is all good. And now you are even more like my grandmother – she is delightfully feisty too!

    Thanks Pinky:)

  • Junelle

    I think this is a hideous article……It can isolate and harm any woman that doesn’t fit with your idea of mothering……..quite the opposite to thinking that mummys who “cuddle” are vilified, all I see posted on facebook and the internet are posts like this.

    Not articles on how I am a loving but firm mother who lets my child settle themselves, occasionally smacks when I need too, treats them like an individual ……(although a little one who needs teaching about the world) AND am proud of it.

    We (I) don’t need to shout it from the roof top or post it all over Facebook like we need to convince the rest of the world we are ok with what we do. I just do it, natural, like my mum and dad taught me and I turned out just fine…caring, understanding, responsive and with good manners.

    The one thing I know for certain is a post with that amount of disgusting language would never come out of me in public whether I was angry or not. So where between the curtain the internet gives you to hide behind and the bad example your parents taught you did you learn that that was acceptable….I could go on but I don’t like to preach…..

  • Rhonda

    Loved it. I’m always totally mystified how people don’t get how dependant on you a tiny baby is and how they can not possibly be manipulated when all they need is your full attention and care for their existence.
    From a mother of 10 and a total cuddle bug. For years I woke up to a baby snuggled next to me,a child in between, one at our feet, one tottering on the edge and two or three on mattresses on the floor. Wouldn’t have had it any other way,

  • Ren

    I feel sick after ready that putrid article. Emotionally charged language is always used to cover up for fallacies… I am now convinced Pinky McKay is a cult leader of sorts. I followed a sleep routine and assisted with lots of love and cuddles for my now 2 year old girl to self settle in her own bed. There was no torture involved, I have cuddled, kissed, fed my baby contently. She is a beautifully well behaved little girl…maybe because she has been well rested for last 2 years? Mums should go with their instinct, not follow a rude larrikin such as you!

  • Antonia

    Brilliant Pinky! I LOVE it!! I so get why you need to vent – it must be so SOOOO frustrating at times. We all need to let off steam at times.
    I feel sad that some have taken offence and can’t see the humor in your post, and I hope that they can grow to understand your genuine intent…

    Thanks Pinky

  • self storage facility

    Hi there! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after checking through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.

    Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back frequently!

  • Heather

    Its not that I don’t agree with you, but you should know that I refer to you as a guru and send literally everyone to check out your posts. This scares me. What if this is the first and only post they read 🙁

    • Jules

      Have to say that I fall into the category Heather describes. First time reader. Don’t mind the message, but the delivery is infinitely poor form. I’d never take advice from someone who speaks so aggressively to people that need the exact opposite at this time in their lives. Saw you on Insight, Pinky and thought you were really good – what a way to turn me off you!!!. Luckily there are some other fantastic parenting ‘experts’ out there who know how to connect with their target market.

  • Melissa

    This is fucking funny as! I love you even more now Pinky.

  • Marie

    This is a great article. Language is quite fullon but we can always choose to not read on. Everything in socitey is so PC. Ive not read many baby books and Ive never heard of you pinky (This article showed up on my FB). But If pinky wants to say the above. She can. All mothers go through hard times at some stage. Parenting is a long term job. We all have a story or struggle. People need to see therapists rather than blaming or hating others with differing views to their own and realise you are not the only one whos got a story to tell or had a shocker. Chin up everyone and move forward.

    • Huh!

      So your saying that Pinky needs to see a therapist then??!

  • Sio

    Couldnt have said it better myself! I love everything you said and everything you stand for Pinky!!!

  • Kirstin

    So – I don’t follow you Pinky – a mother from my mothers group posted this. I understand how frustrated you must have felt to write this. All parents are judged Pinky – attachment parents – “tamers” – everyone. Unfortunately it is the world we live in. It does make it extremely hard as a new parent. Some of these people don’t know any better. You are offended at what they call their children? They might be at breaking point? I am sorry these people have not taken the time to find out “your methods” before they have posted – but maybe they are exhausted, maybe they were just wanting help. How is your rant any different from others who judge – it is exactly what you have done.

  • Lateralus

    Wow. What a polarizing article. I usually love your stuff Pinky, but I am not so sure about this piece. I get that it is intended to be a bit tongue in cheek. I get that you must be frustrated by all the misguided questions that are directed at you. But wouldn’t your line of work be a bit pointless if you were only approached by people who were 100% card carrying ‘cuddlers’? Why not embrace the opportunity to help some of these parents ‘see the light’ rather than alienating them? I work as a coronary care nurse and spend a lot of time educating patients on lifestyle modification to reduce their cardiac risk factors. I can’t begin to count the number of stupid questions I get asked.. But it’s not going to help anyone if I tell these people how stupid, misguided, delusional, ignorant or arrogant they are. A lot of misconceptions people have are because that’s what society tells them. They need education not ridicule.

  • Sara

    Tamers or cuddlers whatever you do good on you if its working for you! But to all you people saying this is hurting those who ‘tame’ and it’s arrogant … GET OVER YOURSELVES. How many articles and books out there are based on ‘taming’ and hurt all us mothers who ‘give-in’ to their babies? I gave up reading pretty much every parenting book or article out there because they all made me feel like crap. Sorry but I’m not gonna leave my baby crying for half an hour because ‘It needs to learn’ … IT CAN”T EVEN REMEMBER WHAT YOU ARE ‘TEACHING’ IT! My Plunket Nurse tells to start ‘training’ my baby and I just nod and agree and then don’t listen, she makes me feel like I would be a bad mother and put my baby at risk if I didn’t ‘teach’ her now. My baby is 2 months old and is still waking ever one – three hours overnight, and you know what… I don’t care. It’s better than me getting tired out waiting for her to cry herself to exhaustion. I’m doing it on my own as my partner works away so really I don’t have time or energy to even try ‘tame’ my baby when it’s brain is still growing and developing, why confuse the poor kid? Go with the flow!

    • Sara

      Also … doesn’t anyone understand sarcasm these days??

      • Ros

        Sarcasm is one thing. Calling women “fucking lazy” and “dipshits” because they ask “stupid” questions is misogyny.

        • Md

          Misogyny!?? Seriously? Wow.

  • Niamh

    How does a new mum who gets 5- 6 hours sleep a day find time to read your book, or trawl the net or bookshop to find it?
    All these new fragile mums need guidance, education and encouragement. It’s ok to ask stupid questions, we are not all perfect.
    As a cuddler and a breastfeeding mum (it took a while to learn these skills) of a beautiful 7 month old I am sorry to see you find the need to write this.
    Most first time mums are anxious enough.

  • Jo

    I love this article!! Thanks Pinky!! I feel so much better about how I am caring for my bub.xx

  • liz

    Wow, it’s such a shame that this was written with such foul language and with a nasty tone because what it was saying was making a good point. Even though it was tongue in cheek, it is just so disappointing that after decades of using a gentle manner this was written the way it was,whatever the excuse for it. Aside from those who already cuddle (like myself) agreeing with the underlying points, I can’t see how it would actually achieve it’s aim directed towards the Tamers but what I can see is how it has the potential to really hurt many mothers out there.

  • Jess

    Why is my baby not a robot with a built-in timer?

  • Heidi

    Unfortunately i found your post really rude.

    Im on the cuddlier side of things myself, but even if i wasnt, well im like every other mummy and we are all just trying to a)keep our sanity and b)figure out the best way to get through this. We are all just muddling through it arent we, at the end of the day, and all of us “idiots” look to “experts” such as yourself to suggest something that might help us muddle through a bit better. Mums ask for help because they are struggling. Im fairly certain that at one point you werent an expert herself, and probably had similar “stupid” questions you wanted/needed to ask, and probably didnt know what to do or who to ask.

    Funny how now you are making your moolah by blogging and doing talks around the countryside and getting cash out of sleep deprived and struggling mummies, you conveniently forget that at one point you probably didnt have a clue. Theres no need for judgemental crap like this.

  • Sarah Jones

    Bloody well said! They are babies not robots and people really need to start treating them as such.

  • Sarah Botting

    this is amazing! you saved my sanity, without your help i would not have survived the last 11mths, and i think more mothers need to stop trying to “tame” the babies and just enjoy the cuddles!

  • Michele Kavanagh

    Hi Pinky!
    I totally get where you are coming from here and god knows I want to scream all these things all the time too!
    It’s absolutely refreshing to hear and I hope this approach will get people to sit up and take notice! Clearly the softly softly approach is not working – I wish more people were fighting the tamers like you are. Thank you for this brave and honest blog 🙂

  • India

    Thank you for getting angry. You are brave enough to say the things that many of us feel, but lack the voice or support to say. We NEED to get angry about these things. The sleep tamers are SO seductive!

    My heart utterly bursts knowing there is a parenting expert and baby advocate so passionate about the well being of our babies, that she puts herself out there like this! She allows her heart to speak alongside her head! You are so, SO brave!

    Society doesn’t often see a woman passionately angry. Perhaps we’re not sure how to cope! I thank you. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you. For all the new mamas who don’t have the love and support in their lives to encourage them to listen to their wisdom. Our society needs more people like you, brave enough to speak up and speak out!

    And you know what, this wee controversial post has achieved a reach it wouldn’t have, had you not dropped a few “f bombs” 🙂 So there’s even more mamas and papas who now know your name :).

    I think you’re wonderful.

  • Linda

    Thank you Pinky for cutting through all the bullshit and telling it like it should be.
    I was of the “taming” school when I had my kids a couple of years ago and I believe that was one of the main reasons I developed Post Natal Depression – by trying to control something what was completely out of control.
    I wish I had read this blog post before I had kids….I knew no better and I assumed taming was the way to go from everything that I had heard prior to having kids.
    Hindsight is a wonderful thing of course, but if I had my time again would def be of the “Pinky” school of thought and be doing more cuddling and less taming 😀

  • Ellen

    It makes me really sad that anyone could defend someone swearing and name calling a baby who cannot defend itself. Society has indeed gone too far when children are seen as inconveniences and making life difficult. Good on you for standing up and speaking for those who cannot do it themselves and shame on anyone who thinks this behaviour is acceptable or tolerable

  • Jessica

    You’re awesome. ‘Nuff said 🙂

  • Kate

    Pinky, a few people have speculated that “you will lose a lot of readers” after this blog post, but I am certainly a follower you have GAINED! It is so refreshing to come accross a highly reputable professional who speaks so passionately about the importance of mothers listening to their instincts and intuition when it comes to the care of their babies, and I don’t blame you for getting to the point of explosion due to frustration! This post had me in tears – of laughter. Thank you for getting angry and initiating a dialogue about something that needs to be discussed. Go Pinky!

    • Pinky McKay

      Thanks Kate, welcome! Frankly Idont mind if people choose to ‘unfollow’ but it seems a lot more people are ‘warning me’ that this will happen, than is actually happening. I have had loads of support from many professionals who are just as frustrated but are ‘bound’ by professional codes against speaking their truths.

      • Tasha

        I hadn’t heard of you until today & you’ve found a follower in me!
        LOVE your posts! It makes my heart break when I hear babies CIO 🙁

  • Grlwonder

    There are more types of people than just “cuddlers” and “tamers”, whatever that means. For some people, this might be their first introduction to you and your philosophy. I’m not sure that those people will be rushing to hear your advice.

  • Oliando


    This post, your post is brilliance. People who are hurt by it, are women who are hurting and these words just fit the problem that already exists. You did not create the problem, by naming it hopefully they feel cause and prompting to seek some healing.

    I haven’t read the other comments, I am just going to reshare my comment from a discussion on facebook.

    Oh enough! Honestly. Her backlash is not against WOMEN as it is the culture that informs women’s responses to their own children. When the collective voices of these women are the product of that insanity, how can you not snap a little sometimes?
    And you know what? For women like me? This is what I needed to hear, how I needed to hear it. If I had someone support me in my idiocy and gently lead me to water, you know where I’d be? An idiot who didn’t didn’t get the logical splash of cold water in the face I needed.

    STFU about “mummy judging” – many mothers do not want help, they want to be supported in giving up on their children and being told they are great for doing so and they certainly find it, it’s everywhere. The reality is that it’s bloody hard and it’s not OK to make it easy for yourself, at the cost of your child every damn time. If you aren’t coping, then you need to look after yourself before you can look after your child, the oxygen mask rule. HOWEVER, if you are unable to look after your child and do not seek out help for yourself, it’s a cycle of damage no woman should be supported and settled in to.

  • Jacinta

    I love that you tell it how it is Pinky. As a professional who is trying to promote gentle parenting techniques, being bombarded by the opposite must be frustrating beyond belief. Someone needs to stand up for the babies. They aren’t put here on earth to manipulate and sleep deprive us. They have strong survival instincts that are there to help them do just that, survive. Unfortunately in the modern world most of us live in, this is seen as an inconvenience. Society has a bloody lot to answer for!

  • BJ

    Can’t believe what I just read. Not the message itself, but HOW it was said! It’s not funny, it’s just rude. I’ve read better.

  • Amanda

    Wow! Thanks for raising awareness of parents duty to care, nurture and respect their babies and children. Reading this article I was not offended. Why? Because it was clearly tongue-in-cheek and presented to those who feel that babies are battery operated toys that can be turned on and off at a whim. But I don’t entirely blame them asking these questions. Because society has been programmed to believe they are by ‘experts’. The experts that drum in a ‘perfect routine’ and if it doesn’t work, well that’s you as a parent not following the rules, not sticking with the exact wording….or something.
    I was a cuddler right from the beginning. It even surprised me. It just didn’t feel right. So I followed my gut and had the guts to continue to do so, despite the pressure from family, friends, health professionals, media etc that I was creating bad habits, spoiling him etc. It has been a beautiful thing to follow my instincts, but I am so sad when I see others don’t because of so much conflicting advice and pressure heaped on them to be the perfect parent with the perfect baby. I have some friends who follow their instincts and we don’t do everything the same, but we don’t judge each other because we can clearly see our instincts are matching up with our babies and we are enjoying the bond that is firm and strong and we (parents and babies) are clearly happy with our choices.
    I remember comforting a distraught friend trying to follow a strict routine and it wasn’t working because baby didn’t fit the routine. I asked her why she was doing this when it was clearly making them both so upset. She didn’t have an answer and I could almost see the relief wash over her when I said it was ok to just follow baby’s lead and follow her instincts. She’s just had baby number 4!!!!
    So please, please, please think about what Pinky is really saying here. She’s saying love your babies, nurture them, respect them, believe in them and most of all believe in yourself. It isn’t a competition, there are no shortcuts.. There is no right or wrong side to choose. You are a parent of a new life that is programmable – so invest your time and love fully and wisely.

    • Vickie

      It sounds like we have been on a very similar path Amanda. It was so lovely to read your words…

  • Jenn

    Love love love, go Pinky!

  • Jason

    As a dad, being a cuddler makes perfect sense. It’s the most simple and intuitive approach amongst so many varied opinions. There will be plenty of time later in their life for some taming.

    Ladies, just think about how you like to treat your husband 🙂

    • Pinky McKay

      Or how you like your husband to treat YOU!

  • Aleah

    You’ve done it again pinky!! Bang on the nail!!! LOVE your work.

  • Amy

    If we want to put labels on parenting I fall into the category of cuddler, in fact I am sharing a bed with my 6 and 4 year old as we speak. HOWEVER parents need to be supported.

    Obviously you have forgotten how hard it is to be surviving on zero sleep a night. It can be torturous and messes with your mind.

    While I was happy to breastfeed and co sleep for some people this isn’t possible for so many reasons.

    Everyone is different and I have friends from all different parenting labels and the thing we all have in common is that we ALL love our children and doing best we can.

    To all the Mum’s who have been hurt from these comments, please don’t beat yourself up. Being a mum is hard, you are doing a great job and there is no better person to parent your baby than YOU!

  • Vickie Hill

    I love this article! It is so funny (and accurate!). Frustration turned into the funny. Love, love, love it.
    From one cuddler to another, thank you for the reassurance that others are wildly passionate about responding to babies needs whilst giving us a good laugh ;O)
    Thank you Pinky xx

  • Bella

    I love your post!!!! Everything you wrote you have said 1000 times nicely in the past – sometimes people just don’t get it unless it is said bluntly!!

    My little one was never a settled baby – he had severe allergies (which took us months and months to figure out) and spent the vast majority of his first 6 months screaming. Sleep was a huge issue to say the least. I feel for the parents who got offended by the post – I get doing it hard I really do – however I was lucky in having the unwavering support of my husband plus years of infertility probably changed our perspective a lot. But I can personally vouch that your books and the approach you advocate for were a godsend and he is now such a secure happy little thing despite all he went through. An approach that is centred in love, affection and empathy cant be wrong :))) We were always there for him in his hours of screaming, and now at 3 he trusts us so much that he will sometimes walk up to me, fling himself blindly backwards and shouts ‘Catch mum’ giggling away. Thank goodness I have managed to catch him each time, and while I don’t encourage it at all I am soooo flattered that he trusts me that much.

    Thank you Pinky for all that you do in educating us parents on how to hear our babies better!!!

  • Liz

    Love it. And totally agree.

    I don’t understand all this baby taming either – I think it’s just plain mean to try to train a baby to sleep at a young age, just because it suits you better. Or to leave a baby to sleep in another room on its own, far away from its mother.

    Babies need to smell and feel their mother – it’s just how nature works.
    Look at animals, for example. What animal do you know of that puts its babies in the other side of the paddock far away, on its own, then goes to sleep elsewhere? Exactly, there isn’t one.

    You don’t have to have baby in bed with you – in the cot right next to the bed, where you can reach out to him/her, and where you can hear baby breathe and they can still sense that you’re near – that’s fine.
    The Red Nose/cot deaths people say this is the safest way for baby to sleep anyway.

    I hadn’t read Pinky’s books when i had my baby 3 years ago. I didn’t follow any particular methodology. I just followed my instincts as a mother. And my instincts told me to listen to baby, put him first and to keep him close to me, to focus my world inwards on him – and to nap with him during the day when I was tired. The first few months with him were not difficult at all and were the happiest I think I’ve ever experienced. It’s only difficult if you fight it, I hink.

  • Samantha

    Sitting up at 3am here with my baby girl, felt I wanted to share my recent experience. I’m a cuddler and breastfeeding on demand but with both babies (son 3 years and daughter 3 months) I spent the early months dealing with terrible colic. Often five hours of inconsolable screaming.

    Health nurse told me she was just “vocalising”. A doctor advised I just put on some reggae as that “seems to help”. But I knew that something just wasn’t right.

    Finally a different doctor suggested my very long baby might still be hungry following the feed / burp / change routine. So, back on the boob – again and again – and it worked! Ok so now I often feed for five hours but I’ll take that over five hours of distress.

    I wish I had had this advice earlier rather than the pressure and expectation of four hourly feeds. I’ve also felt the expeditions of others who although having my best interests at heart, keep suggesting I should be getting the baby to sleep through or even introducing formula at night or solids so that I can get more rest and sleep. My baby has been called manipulative!

    Second time round I am becoming more confident in my parenting style and less worried by others’ concerns about the way I “should” be doing things. I’m doing what makes my baby happy and that makes me happy. And I am an fortunate to have oodles of milk to keep up with my hungry girl, so why change things?

    The only thing ill add is that the rollercoaster of being a new mum has some very deep lows, deepened by hormones and sleep deprivation, and being a cuddler does not make you immune to them. I have felt angry, frustrated and depressed and there have been times I have had to put my baby in a safe place and walk away to compose myself. Not enough of us talk about, share or admit to these dark feelings. Perhaps if we did then it would help first time parents to know that it’s no picnic and not to expect sleep, a baby that never cries, or the perfect settler

    A few nights ago sitting up in bed with my baby, who with a blocked nose was very unsettled and waking every 15 mins, I felt those feelings of exhaustion and frustration rising. My husband lying beside me said in a quiet voice, “she needs you. You’re her everything”. And I knew that he was right. Being a mum is the hardest, selfless and best job in the world.

    • Pinky McKay

      I abolutely agree about talking of the ‘lows’ as well. This gig isnt easy, I agree. Your husband is a gem, what empathy and calm support you have. I feel another blog coming….

      • Vickie

        We found a chiropractor/Kinesiologist who helped enormously with my little boy when he was a newborn with similar issues. And have since found traditional Chinese medicine combined with extremely helpful. I’m pretty sure my little guy wouldn’t have been such a wakeful babe or throwing up breast milk constantly if I had’ve known these things when he was a bub… Bless you for all you hard work and kindness to your babies.

  • Kim

    You are AMAZING! And this post is epic. I hadn’t heard of you before today…but I love you already. Seriously, I could have written this myself! Ignore the haters….they are just mad because you called them out on their shit.

  • Shayla

    Lady, I love you to the moon and back!
    So does my happy little three month old, who’s currently cuddled up asleep on my chest because he’s unhappy being put down today. Sure, the laundry is dirty and I’m kind of smelly…
    But my baby doesn’t cry.
    He just doesn’t. Cause if he starts, he’s up with a boob in him and everything’s all happy!

  • Tania

    I have 4 children (aged 13, 10. 8 and 6). I still cuddle them in my bed. My youngest daughter is 6 and she still sleeps in my bed since she was a baby. Enjoy your cuddles with your baby. Children grow up too fast. I enjoy cuddling them. When my older boys are poorly or stressed, I give them a good cuddle. They are my babies. Please celebrate your children. Celebration childhood.

  • Nirvana

    Have never read much of your blog before. Will be now. Huge respect for you for speaking the truth. Fully agree!!!

  • Amee

    “To parents who wanted 12 hours’ sleep, she said: “I’m surprised you found the energy to MAKE a baby if you are so f—— lazy that you need 12 hours’ sleep.”

    GOLD pinky!!!!!!!!!!! I love it – said with strength, which is waht makes you such a great spokesperson. DOnt back down you are awesome xxxxx

  • Melissa P

    This is what I silently think as I try to calm myself and give info with studies to prove what nature intended.

  • Xeric

    Well said Pinky.

    My days of child rearing are long gone but it pains me to see parents, often those who have had children later in life, expect their (fashion, family or ticking-clock inspired) baby to conform to *their* lifestyles, poor dears can’t have a lie-in any longer. If you don’t want the responsibilities, and rewards, of children then don’t have them.

    btw, an appropriate use of profanity, it underlines your point well.

  • Rebecca

    Your blog post was both blunt and brutally honest which is just my style. I loved it. It was so refreshing.

    I’ve read the replies here and must say that I’m so bored of the sensitive and easily offended. *Yawn.*

    • Amber

      I’ve never read your blog before but I think I might now! You are my new favourite person. I LOVED this post.

  • Mummy evolution

    Hi Pinky,
    I’ve always suscribed to the theory that as parents you should do what works for your child/family. As a family of 5, I started off with a two self settlers (read: it must have been our fabulous parenting and anybody who has children not sleeping through must be doing something wrong!). Whilst I wasn’t a tamer, I also wasn’t a cuddler but then number 3 came along, a gorgeous little velcoro baby, sent for us to cherish but also to change our ways out of necessity.
    I’ve always considered parenting to be an process. Some people are brought up with gentle parenting and your philosophy is so natural for them. For others like me, being a gentler parent is a work in progress – we are after all, a product of our own upbringing. Whilst I have read and subscribed to your blog and facebook page for years, I have read much more intently since baby number 3.
    So in regards to this article, you are truly right. In the most part you can see here that you are preaching to the converted, if people are truly offended by this post it either pushes their buttons because they don’t align with your phiosophy, they are scared by the ‘lightbulb moment’, don’t see the bigger picture outside of their own 4 walls or they truly just don’t get what you are trying to say? If they are offended by the language then they do not understand your passion. It must be incredibly frustrating to preach what you believe, only to have people ask questions about concepts which are clearly foreign to you. You cannot force them to see your ways, they need to see the light and want the do things differently/better. People will continue to hold up their own way as ideal – as long as it is working for them at the time! If people are searching for answers, they need to open their eyes and ears and truly listen, otherwise they will learn nothing.
    I say keep up the good work, as an ‘evolving mummy’ I may not fully be a cuddler, but your words (even in this form) still inspire me to be a better parent. I read your blog because it tells me there is work still to be done and I’ll continue to read because now I know that you are human too.

  • Emily

    Pinky: well done. A brutally honest, but oh-so-refreshing article. I thoroughly enjoy reading your work.
    Keep it up. I’m straight to the point with a lot of my conversations, so I appreciate your ‘no nonsense’ approach.
    I think you’re fantastic!

  • Belinda

    I have 3 children (3.5y, 14m and 11days) and have never read your blog or any or your books, but I have certainly heard the name Pinky McKay many times…

    After reading this, I’m about to buy your books, i LOVE your point of view!!

    Currently I’m struggling with trying to breastfeed my new bub while try to entertain, console, feed and constrain my 14mo, and as hard as it might be, I put myself in this situation, NOT my child, my children are supposed to be work, I knew it wasn’t going to be easy (DIDNT realise it would be this hard though)!
    Currently I am. am at a stage where i might have to give up breastfeeding my daughter, because I can’t supervise my 14mo, but that’s the biggest sacrifice I can/will make…. I will never force them to feed/sleep etc like robots, I will cuddle, I will listen and I will question why any parent complains about their bub, when they are just doing what little people are programmed to do.

    Thanks for your honesty and candour, it’s a shame some people can’t see that is comes from a good place and are over sensitive or. Perhaps feeling a little guilty!

  • Ch

    You should be ashamed of your post! and your language! any respect any of us had for you is gone! No first time, second or third time mum should ever feel that any question is a stupid one to ask. You are entitled to your own opinion just as every other mother is. You are writing books and giving advice and a sounding board for many. Wow! shame on you!

  • Natalie

    Before reading this I thought I had to be a ‘tamer’ to ensure my 6 week old wouldn’t get into “bad habits”. Especially when my bub loves being held to sleep and people started saying he was spoilt. This blog had me in stitches cause everything she says about tamers was me to the tee and made me realize how ridiculous I am!! My poor baby. I’m going to go give him a cuddle now!! Thanks Pinky!!

  • Felicity

    I must admit I was at first happy but then there was one question in there that i am responsible for asking the one about getting up at 4am. I have no problem with getting up at that time but i wanted to know why, my baby gives tired signs at 530pm and was waking at 430am and i needed advice so i must admit i was a bit upset at that comment. i am a cuddler through and through, i dont do self settling.. my 1 year old has just gone back in our room as she has been sick and is waking lots during the night plus we have heating.. since moving her in she wakes less and coughs less too. anyway that was some verbal diarhoea on my behalf right there sorry about that… i love pinky and even though a bit thrown back as i was just nieve.. but the rest of the article i do love. PS not offended just taken aback..

  • Bree

    I’m one of those weird mums who wakes up at 4 am gets the mr off to work by 9 and deal with my 3 kids easiest thing to do if u don’t get enough sleep at night (ie: more than 3 hrs) if your children are all still young enough to have naps in the day time, have a lil rest when they do its better to rest when they do than run yourself raggid to the point where you have a mental breakdown

  • Tereza

    i loved your honesty and it is actually quite true, i dont think people should get offended by this post at all if they do obviously there too senstive

  • Sara

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! More people need to speak up, i dont understand why people have babies if they are then not willing to accomidate them into their lives! Your life does change, you do need to comprimise and even, gasp!!, give up some stuff..but that is to be expected. Looks like majority of parents today didnt get that memo.

  • Elle

    Way to go Pinky!!!!

    .WELL SAID !!!and I totally agree !!!!!

    totally..far too many people out there expect quick fixes …common sense people wouldnt go astray and I personally loved the colourful language
    perhaps it may actually get people listening!!!
    I am continually judged by others for the way I mother..with my first I used to get upset by the time I had number 2 I ignored them and with number 3 I use some colourful language of my own.
    I am breastfeeding my 3 and a half year old , still co sleep with him as I did with my elder 2 and babywear…
    for me the proof is in the pudding…Gentle parenting …Mother Nature does not err … and boobs were given to us with the milk making ability as use them!! as Pinky would say ..

  • Kate

    Oh Three cheers!!! FED UP with “oh I have to wean at 2 months so I can renovate the house”
    HATE the “how soon can I put him in childcare so I can have “me time”
    You gave up me time when you conceived. You will get it back when the kid hits 5 and goes to school, so suck it up princess!

    • kellee

      so very true!!! and I have never been able to understand how mum’s (who don’t work) are so willing to dump their babies in daycare!!! The things they miss!!

    • Diem

      Get off your high horse. Do you have extended family around? Did you want to be a mother with your whole heart? Does your partner do any parenting? Are you independently wealthy so you didn’t have to go back to work?

      If you answered yes to all of those things, then you are privileged and lucky and you’re the princess. The rest of us schmucks are just muddling through as best we can.

      I didn’t mind Pinky’s post, but your comment is misogynist and beyond the pale–it takes two people to make a baby, and a village to parent one, so saying a mother should wait until her baby is 5 to have any time to herself is a) ridiculous and b) revolting.

  • Eleni

    Loved your talk Pink. wish I went with what felt right when I had my baby. it took me a while to tell everyone I should’ve told to piss off & simply do what I could & what was right. people give me funny looks when I mention that some nights my baby, who is now 10, still asks to cuddle with Mummy & we do. if I had another baby I’d be a cuddler all the way.

  • rebecca

    I loved reading this. I am a huge cuddler. While writing this I have my 2 year old asleep on my lap. 🙂 can’t think of anything better than snuggling with my girls when they need me. I did it with my toddler and she is a well developed independant 2 yr old. I’m sure my 4 month old will be as well, I always cuddle her to sleep and she sleeps 8 hrs a night because I think she feels safe and knows I’m there if she needs me.

  • Pia

    Love your work, as always, Pinky! I can totally see why you’re so frustrated, but there are a lot of us who’ve learnt so much from you, and have been able to parent more confidently according to our beliefs when we’ve been inundated with all sorts of crappy advice.

    I think my personal favourite was when a nurse suggested I should start stretching out my then five day old baby’s night feeds (she was feeding every two hours) so that *I* don’t get too tired (too bad if my tiny little jaundiced baby is hungry, eh? Mummy obviously needs her beauty sleep.)

    Anyway, just wanted to say that your work does make a difference, and I, for one, am very grateful for everything you do.

  • Zoe

    Lying here at 2 am, reading your blog over mr 8 month old lying on my chest and mr 3 yo snuggled up to my side it’s obvious I’m a cuddler…guilty of the whole raft of emotions of wanting them to miraculously self settle and not need so much from me at times…but ever so thankful for the overwhelming amount of support these days to ‘just keep cuddling’. Thank you and others like you!

  • Michelle Robinson

    Finally, how refreshing ! A woman that tells how it really is!!!!

    I too have wondered many times why some people even bother to have children as they’re so inconvenient in their lives.

    I have always thought that leaving my babies to scream till they’re wretching is abuse and couldn’t understand how it didn’t make them ill! The sound of my boys screaming would turn my tummy and release so many Hormones I’d be almost in s panicked state if I couldn’t get to them. FFS if you haven’t the time to give your baby some time, comfort and live wtf are you having kids for!!!

    As for all the negative comments; get over it and get back to your baby!!!

    No ones saying we have to be perfect mums!!!! Just prioritise your baby!!!!

    Thank you ! Loved the post!!!!!!!!

  • Debbie Graham

    Hi Pinky,
    I often meet mothers who are tamers and find it quite scary in trying to help them see what they are doing. I think they are products of their own growing up, the peers they are surrounded with but yes agree with you our society is breeding these controlling behaviours in all areas of life.
    For you to have written this it worries me that you are at the end of your tether in dealing with these stupid questions. I just want to give you a big hug and say don’t give up…. you are influencing the tamers…. one at a time. We need you Pinky to help change the world because you are. I have just loaned your Toddler Tactics to my niece. Your influence is wide spread…. and maybe you are not getting enough warm fuzzies from the cuddlers…

  • Becky

    A friend posted this on Facebook and this is how I came across this blog. I could not believe what I saw! This is no better than someone criticizing a mother for over cuddling or feeding their baby. I am a mother of 2 kids and am pregnant with my third and I have used a number of techniques with both my children and I do not believe there is anything wrong with that. Have you ever thought that in a moment of extreme frustration and sleep deprivation a mother could say anything they did not really mean. Have some sympathy for the mother too as it can be very distressing to feel all alone and have a baby that doesn’t stop crying or sleep no matter how many cuddles you give them. Everyone is different and so is every baby. Just as you and me, babies are different too and have different needs. There was a point I felt ashamed and bullying for so called ‘sleep training’ my babies, but now I realize that there is no question in my mind that I don’t love my babies any less than the ‘cuddlers’ and they know that. And there are other ways to sleep train a baby that is not controlled crying. My husband is in the Airforce and will be deployed when my next child is born and I can guarantee you that I will not be pressured or bullied into thinking that I am a horrible mum who should never have had kids because I may used a mixed approach to parenting. I too will admit that I shed a few tears reading your blog because as a mum who struggled with extreme sleep deprivation while my husband was away was borderline depressed at points of time. It does frustrate me when mothers who have babies who sleep really well from the beginning critisise a mother who has a baby who really struggles to settle to sleep for using a different approach as they do. I think it’s time mothers stop critisising each other and start banning together to support each other whether they have different opinions or not. The health and well being of the mother is so important and is crucial in how well a baby can be taken care of. Don’t judge a mother’s love for their child based on an email. Instead why don’t you reach out to the mother and see if they are ok and how you could help them?

  • nanettte

    Well done Pinky. I’m sick of hearing all the whinging too that I read so much of. Takes courage to say what you think in this digital age. Hats off to you and keep being honest. Thanks for making my day. :0

  • Alex

    OMG I love you Pinky!!! I think some people REALLY need to hear this. You are truly amazing and an inspiration to us all! I couldn’t have done it without you!

  • sleep apnea

    Spot on with this write-up, I really believe this
    amazing site needs a great deal more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read through more, thanks for the advice!

  • Clarence

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!

  • Angelique

    Before my first baby was born I had my Tizzy book all read and ready to go. Thank God that after my baby was born my instincts kicked in and tizzy then became a great foot rest and I luckily found Pinky. I always trusted my instincts and was comfortable with my ‘cuddler’approach but it was great to have Pinky to turn to for reassurance.

    The other night my 21 month Old woke up at 1.30am which is most unlike her. I decided to pick her up and have a cuddle in mummy’s bed. When I took her out of her sleeping bag I realised she was absolutely saturated. My first thought was about Pinky. Imagine those mothers who would think ‘there’s no way i’m getting you up it’s the middle of the night and you should bee sleeping through’ and leave their babies to cry or get angry at them and yell at them to go back to sleep! Sophie would have been left to sleep in urine soaked pyjamas in a cold house for hours. The thought of this got me emotional. My daughter clearly had a problem, not was a problem, and i’m proud to say I found out what it was.

    I then let her sleep with mummy and while she was on her tummy and I was on my side lying next to her I put my arm over her back and my hand was on the mattress next to her. She reached out and put her little hand on top of mine and dozed peacefully off to sleep. I of course couldn’t sleep then because I had tears in my eyes and the biggest smile on my face at how touching the moment was. I just couldn’t help but think of those mothers who are missing out on these incredible moments that are so unplanned and will not last forever (though they will in my mind) I hope mothers can wake up to themselves and as Pinky says stop being so selfish. My second baby is due in 7 weeks and I can’t wait to continue my cuddling with another precious gift.
    Thanks Pinky, you’re wonderful! 🙂

  • H

    Words cannot describe how much I love this post. You put into (far more eloquent) words everything I feel about this subject.

    Hurrah for Cuddlers 😀

  • Cherie

    Was directed to this comment from another site and just wanted to commend you for this post. I think as mothers everyone gets in your face about how you should raise your child and cannot believe how people objectify tiny babies. They are not an animal who needs to be trained. They are little human beings they need love and contact from their parents. I am definitely on the cuddler side of things and have two beautiful primary school age boys who are the light of my life.

  • Joss

    So bizarre to read all the fighting about this. Though I suppose fighting about taking care of our kids proves it is important to us and that’s a good thing.

    My two cents – I guess I’m a ‘tamer’ if we need to stick more labels on people, but I know I’m a damn good mother so I don’t care what you call me. I was lucky with a (relatively) easy baby, I did let her cry when she went into her cot at night (never for very long) but she also slept with me from 3am after her feed. Now we have a cuddle every morning so I hardly think she has suffered – and I know her first year was hard enough for me without being chronically sleep deprived.

    I think we need to trust our instincts, and then we wouldn’t get so upset about what one expert says compared to another. Pinky is offering her opinion – which I largely agree with. She’s not my mother, or my friend so its not personal.

    I do think perhaps she has overreacted to the venting of tired new parents who are struggling to find appropriate language to describe the change that has just happened to them. For people who haven’t had any contact with babies the first year is a huge shock – and its really tough to describe how conflicted people can feel. There are no words in the English language to politely describe immense love but simultaneous or passing regret or resentment. Overall new parents do make the leap she has described to realising they just have ‘get over it’ but this can take a while. Obviously she is the wrong person to vent to and in her line of work that’s understandable.

    • Pinky McKay

      Joss, it sounds to me as though you are a very cuddly ‘tamer’. And a confident mum – lucky kids!

  • Niconic

    I love this. I agree, babies shouldn’t be made to follow routines. My firstborn was a reflux baby and after 18 months of getting up to her 5-6 times a night and trying controlled comforting, we decided to go against the majority and cuddle her back to sleep instead of leaving her to cry. We did the same for our now 2 year old son and yes, we still have some broken nights, but I would much rather have the kids know they can wake in the night and be cuddled and comforted by us rather than be left alone in the dark to cry. We still cuddle, sing and pat our kids to sleep and it’s a lovely part of our day. I know one day they will be ready to go to sleep on their own, but until then I’m happy to help them along with love and cuddles. I come from a long line of instinctive, “follow your gut” mums who absolutely cherish babies and look on the positive side of life instead of the negative and I am so thankful that I have this family history because it makes much more sense to me than trying to follow a routine and watching the clock instead of trusting your instincts. Babies are babies for such a short time, please cherish them. I know sleep deprivation is exhausting but it really is such a short time in their lives so please, please look at the bigger picture. You WILL sleep soundly again even if it feels like that will never happen!

  • Dee

    Hey Pinky,
    Sounds like you’re trying to be a ‘parent tamer’.
    😉 😉

  • Sarah King

    As a person that is neither a cuddler nor tamer, it boggles my mind that there are parents out there that actually ask those stupid questions cos they cant be bothered actually parenting. Those types that ask for a quick fix are the types that have kids for status and not for any other reason.

    I applaud Pinky for not being scared of calling it like it is, expletives and all. Some people just do not deserve to be parents

  • Gaye

    Awesome work Pinky! I agree with everything you have said and I can understand how frustrating it is for you to be “nice” and “gentle” all the time.
    I’m 100% behind you.

  • Jendo

    I love this article and don’t really see what the problem is. I have a sense of humour and read it with one. The points are valid might just be what some people need to read. I say well done Pinky, keep doing what you are doing and continue to be yourself. It will be children in the long run who benefit.

  • ray ban aviator

    ray ban aviator…

    Thanks for taking the time to talk about this, I come to feel strongly about it and love understanding more on this matter. If feasible, as you gain skills…

  • Brooke

    Thank you pinky for making mothers who don’t parent he way you do feel like a bad mum I don’t care how anyone parents unless they are hurting them I find your post to be hypocritical you want everyone to stop criticising your way of parenting but your doing the same wtg I do get what your about but instead of calling some mothers idiots asking stupid questions ask them if they are ok and wtg to all mums doing a great job with raising their kids with what they believe

  • Michelle Evil-McCreedy Adams

    Oh I love this – you told it like it is 😀 I was in hysterics all the way through reading this. Theres bits I’d love to say to certain people in my own life when they comment on my style of parenting.

    Good on you for saying this, if people are too blind to search out answers to simple questions then why on earth are they reproducing?!

  • Shona

    How is this rude? I think it is wonderful. Clearly if you are a Tamer you will be offended, so become a cuddler instead and you will find nothing rude about this post. If you don’t agree with Pinky’s parenting style, don’t follow the blog and stop asking the above ridiculous self centred questions.

  • Meaghan

    Thanks Pinky, that was the biggest laugh I’ve had in a long time. Sometimes there’s nothing else for it but to drop the f bomb. Keep it up!

  • Mooh

    Wish I’d read this 11 years ago! Hilarious. Having my first baby at 25 (11 years ago) was naturally a “cuddler” – I co-slept, demand breast fed, what ever my baby needed, I gave. I was guilt ridden!!
    Mum’s around me were control crying, feeding by schedule, they all ‘seemed’ so much more in control and organised. Statements and advice like “you’re the boss, not the baby” , ” you are forming bad habits”, “you’re making a rod for your own back”, “you are spoiling him” were constant.
    I could just not change my parenting approach, it went against what my instincts were telling me….but I felt lazy. I attempted the “controlled crying” under advice but I could not make it past the first crying ‘stint’…. So I went about my natural way , secretly almost.
    Looking back its sad that I wasn’t more confident in myself. All I knew is that my baby wanted me near him all the time- so I was. The shame in this is the guilt I felt. As he grew older , some nights he took so long to fall sleep, I would lay with him in his bed talking and soothing till he slept. All the while I thinking that this was because of my bad mothering !!
    My second baby boy came along 4 years later. I didn’t change my ways: the guilt was still there but I had resigned myself to the fact that I wasn’t disciplined and it was the best I could do , so it would have to be enough.
    My third baby boy is now 11 weeks old. Same approach….. But this time….. No guilt! It wasnhumorous to learn my method has a title !! I’ve read more, seen more, lived more. – Dont care what people think: My 11 year old is well adjusted, kind, independent, sleeps on his own LOL, he’s a pleasure. My six year old still climbs into our bed some middle of the nights , tucking himself between my husband and I ….. We cuddle, he goes to sleep…. I love it……. And no guilt.
    I hope young (or older) mums, struggling as I did read your post and be comforted. There’s nothing wrong in listening to your baby. Enjoy them while you’re at it. They grown so fast. Cheers for your passion Pinky, loved the article.

  • Kelly

    Oh my god, I love this. It’s refreshing to hear it perfectly straight, and to read someone who is sticking up for babies!

  • kellee

    Love it!! totally get it and I have 8 babies and i cuddled them when they we’re tiny and i cuddle them now!! and as you said pinky, you only get this time once!! to all the tamers! cuddle your baby!!!

  • Jacinta

    I love your blog!!! This is the first time i’ve read it and as a Mum to 3 beautiful kids I totally agree with your gentle approach. I’d also like to congratulate you for being so down to earth and telling it how it is. It does seem as though some people need a good slap in the face to get what is just logical to people like you and me!

  • Jenny MacPherson

    I don’t often take the time to respond to articles, I figure, to each their own, but I find this article so very offensive. Once my first chikld was over his collick and whatever else was going on for the poor guy, it became clear that there was no way on earth that he was going to have a good night’s sleep if I had cuddled him at night and stayed with him every time he cried for me. He would only sleep in my arms and even then woke repeatedly. We would have both been thoroughly exhausted and physically and emotionally compromised if I hadn’t let him learn to self-sooth! My second baby is somewhat better, but still sleeps far better on her own, uninterrupted by slight movements and noise from me. Some (perhaps even many, but how can one know for sure?) babies sleep far better on their own once they are used to it. Helping them learn to self-sooth actually helped my first child’s neural and emotional development, because he is not an over-tired mess every day and his brain is better able to develop! My second child required no “sleep-training” at all, as she was able to, and enjoyed, soothing herself to sleep. I cuddle them all day if they need it and they sleep better without me! It is too bad that people aren’t able to at least see the value in the other’s techniques. And where is this proof that the stress hormones will fry their little brains, anyway? I researched extensively before I used sleep-training for my first child (even though I was physically exhausted from carrying the baby throughout his collick) and I know in my heart, without any doubt, that this was the best course of action for him.

    I do get that you’re annoyed with people treating their babies as objects, I get it – I cringe when I hear moms talk of training their newborns! But I do wish that more advocates of attachment parenting could see that sometimes co-sleeping is not in the best interests of the child!!!

    • Pinky McKay

      This isnt about cosleeping – there is a whole range of nurturing that is perfectly reasonable -its an option for some families when done safely but not for others. JUst like your babies, my own have been different with some needing help to sleep and others preferring to be left alone. It’s the ‘training’ of newborns and the horrendous expectations around this that has potentially harmful impacts on babies, breastfeeding, bonding and brain development. Sounds like you have done what worked for your family. All I really ask is that parents filter what they do by asking ‘is it safe? Is it respectful? Does it feel right?’ There is increasing evidence, however of the effects of cortisol on baby brains and their nervous sytems and this can have lasting effects.

  • jodie

    We all need to REMEMBER that each CHILD is an individual & each family is UNIQUE therefore families should parent in a safe nuturing way that works well within that family network & not how OTHER think they should parents.
    Parents should never be labelled or catergorised as “TAMERS or CUDDLERS” but instead be recognised as a parents trying to do what is best for THIER baby.
    What works for one family may not work for all families & there are many styles of parenting that works just as well each other.
    Babies do not come with instruction manuals & as parents do the best we can under the circumstances that we are faced with.
    What is important is that we nuture & love our babies regardless of how they go to sleep.

  • Mel

    Pinky!!!! Why did I not know of you when I had my babies?! You are a CHAMPION!!! I am a cuddler with a fair amount of disapproval from external influences. A few of whom kept attempting to thrust a certain “sleep bible” as some tamers call it, into my hands. From here on in, I will be quoting Pinky McKay. You completely reflect my view on parenting. Thank you!!

  • Kerry

    OMG Pinky you are a legend 🙂 everything you write is so true and people wonder about the current state of society – look to the raising of our children I say. I wish so much I had read your stuff before I had my first but was recommended all the ‘tamers’ books which sadly lead to major issues with bubs weight and supply. I was lucky to get in contact with a fantastic Lacation consultant who literally saved my breast feeding relationship for which I will be eternally greatful (although as you say all the work to sort it out certainly wasn’t ‘convenient’). We’ve also been getting a really hard time from pretty much everyone about co sleeping with our 19mth old so it’s great to get more reassurance that we’re doing the right thing by following his lead 🙂 I just want to say thank you thank you thank you for all your amazing work, I appreciate greatly all the info you provide and support you give.

  • Chantelle

    I had a fair giggle at this. I can see that people might take it sensitively but I read it with good humour. It probably helps that agree with the main theme here… that babies don’t “think”, they just run on instinct and know nothing other than “I want mummy”.

    Cuddler No. 123,456

  • Pinky McKay, Unleased | Blog-A-Bye Baby

    […] had enough. Famous for her gentle, common sense approach to mothering, Pinky let loose on her blog and upset quite a few people. I’m not sure what upset them most; the swearing or the dose of […]

  • Megan

    I can’t believe I missed this!

    You fucking rule Pinky. 🙂 I have always been a massive fan of yours and now am even more so. TBH, I can’t believe it’s taken this long for you to blow your top at all the bullshit out there.

    Keep up the great work!

  • Peta Keegan

    I had such a laugh when I read this Pinky. I have had quite a few people say “Don’t carry her around so much she will get used to your arms, let her cry in her cot, don’t use the dummy, dont do this dont do that, dont pick her up when she starts crying, she has to sleep more” if people didnt comment so much, motherhood would be so much easier. Thanks for your blog, i truly loved it. I cant believe that some mothers would take offence to it ;O)

  • Mandy Rodrigues

    You are a legend! This is gold!
    Common sense is a commodity these days, and this highlights that there are some people out there who seek a quick fix solution to life, including their ‘accessory’ baby!
    Great work Pinky! Keep it up!

  • mamaduck

    I love this post!! I laughed so hard the first 3 times I read it. I’ve just spent the weekend with an unhealthy dose of “Tamers” and came on your blog for a bit of perspective and a laugh. Thank you so much for writing this.

  • Nicole Nielsen

    Your a fucking legend. There is no quick fix, avid cuddlers, snugglers and frequent kissers here my daughter is not an accessory or puppy she is a very bossy lovely little person that deseverves respect and love.

  • (Another) Cassie

    This is the best thing I have read about babies, ever. Pinky I am not a 100% advocate of all your methods but you sure as hell got my attention with this post. I am pregnant with my second and after following your facebook for the past 6 months and after reading this cracker of a blog post, well, I think I might be your newest fan!

    “Because he’s fucking hungry”. LOL

    Love it. Thank you.

  • Peta

    This is pure unadulterated GOLD! What a fantastically funny and yet sensible article! Thank you.

    My favourite comment to date was the unfollower who had to tell you that her friends unfollowed you too. Bahahahahahaha!!!!! Its like 7 year old fighting in the playground at school – “I’m not going to play with you anymore and I’m dobbing to my friends!” Oh for goodness grow up!

    My babies are quite self sufficient little people now, they can certainly open the fridge and grab a snack at 13 and 7. I can absolutely confirm that they do it more regularly than 4 hourly! And, while I’m no longer am looking for help with babies and toddlers I have a whole heap of friends and relatives who are at this stage – rest assured I’ll be sending them your way. (One of them is how I found this blog – she facebooked this article saying how much she loves your stuff).

    Just one point – if you do this again could you include……
    “For gods sake! They spend 9 months in your tummy, is it any wonder they don’t think sleeping in a seperate cold and lonely bedroom is a good idea and scream blue murder about it.” I think that a lot when new mummies are complaining about their little tiny defenceless baby not sleeping as they would like them to.

    Thanks again.

  • Dr Amy (the sane one)

    Love LOVE this article. Thanks for expressing in words what so many of us feel. Did I say I LOVE this?

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  • Cat

    I understand your frustration Pinky. As a ‘Cuddler’, I totally get it. Unfortunately, I feel this post with further ostracise the people who are likely to need the most education. My philosophy is one of loving kindness, for everyone. Example is the best way to teach kindness.

  • Zainab

    I read this when I was about 4 months pregnant and it set my decision to be a cuddler and how I would go about my baby’s feeding and sleeping (just go with the flow, feed him when he wants, let him sleep when he wants, cuddle him when he’s grumpy)
    Now my little squishy is 4 months old and this is the article i read whenever I’ve been given stick by a Tamer…..and I have loads of tamer friends! It’s written exactly how I’d like to speak to them about my choice to not ignore my baby, expletives and all!
    Thank you Pinky!

  • Christy

    This is freaking awesome! Well done Pinky!

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  • Excuse Me Pinky… | My Baby Boot Camp

    […] a baby to fit into my life instead of giving up my life for my baby. In fact, according to a famous rant by well-known lactation consultant, and not a doctor or a scientist, blogger Pinky McKay, I am a ‘baby tamer’ whose sleep-training methods will fill my child with ‘stress hormones […]

  • Melita

    My cousin shared this on Facebook cos she likes you. I was shocked and disgusted at the over the top language used. I agree with your points and have no issue with the odd swear wordbut you’re writing style is simply crass and i stopped listening to the content waiting for the next ‘fuck’ and ‘prick’ to show up! I’ll be sticking with Janet Lansbury for sure! Similar messages, honest approach, she admits when she gets it wrong (unlike you who sound like you were a parenting saint!) And a friendly non judgmental approach. Good luck!

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  • Julie

    Love your post, you are speaking what I’m thinking when I see people CIO their babies or watch their crying babies with a timer and say ‘it’s not four hours yet, it’s not feeding time’. Since when common sense and motherly instinct became second thought? People definitely need to read more scientific articles, especially the neuropsychology sort. It’s hard to watch when people are treating their babies like burdensome objects-why bother having them then? There’s nothing wrong with the babies, they don’t need training (or taming), it’s the parents who need to get educated and get more in touch with their feelings and instincts. Don’t treat everything like a slippery slope, ‘bad habits’ is not some kind of monster that’s lurking around trying to get you.

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