This RIE blogger and self-proclaimed parenting specialist is fostering her niece, whose parents “couldn’t take care of her” — and apparently, neither can she. She denies the baby toys, insists that tummy time is grossly disrespectful, and has video clips of the baby girl at 7 months behaving like a 2-month-old, and then again at 11.5 months just beginning to combat-crawl. The baby is now seventeen months old and but appears to have the motor development of baby half that age.
What I don’t understand is how ALWAYS placing an infant onto its back (even to play!) and hindering its development is supposed to be respectful. And denying an infant or toddler developmentally-appropriate toys (especially one who is already significantly delayed!) isn’t a “parenting philosophy” — it’s straightforward child neglect.
Here’s a clip of the baby “during an hour long play session in which R., who is five months old, peacefully and contentedly explored and manipulated a piece of wax paper, forever challenging the notion that babies get easily bored”:
EDIT: Someone on Mommyish has taken exception to my “picking on” Lisa (i.e., the blogger and daughter-in-law of RIE’s founder), arguing that there could be reasons behind the child’s developmental delays which have nothing to do with REI. As I pointed out to her:
I’ve said it before about Attachment Parenting, and the same holds true for RIE: “If a baby has a developmental delay, that’s unfortunate. If the delay happens as a result of poor parenting, even more so. But if the delay is clearly caused by a parenting philosophy, that’s just unforgivable.”