Dr. Howard Chilton is a Neonatal Paediatrician and author who studied Zen Buddhism. Over his 40+ year career he has helped countless new mothers navigate the often daunting and overwhelming journey into motherhood and in this interview with mother-of-two Jacinta Tynan, she finds out Dr Chilton’s views on why so many mums struggle with (particularly new) motherhood, and whether he thinks the “art of connecting with our Mothering Instinct” has been lost.
The respected baby doctor gives his reasoning behind why the controversial settling method of ‘controlled crying’ is only successful for a small percentage of newborns. He says “85% of babies are free spirits, they have no intention of having anything to do with routines because babies’ brains are not designed to be able to hold ‘habit’”. He adds “babies are in the perpetual ‘now’, so teaching them something five minutes ago has no relationship to what they expect of their mother in five minutes time.”
On the importance of the relationship we build with our baby through Attachment Parenting, he says the quality of protection, love and security we give them in their first year or two will last them a lifetime, and can determine the kind of adults they will become. Recognising that Attachment Parenting is not always practical however, he adds that a member of the extended family or a loving carer can be just as important “The baby knows whether the person loves them. And they know that through the love and attention they get. It’s really that simple.”
In this fascinating interview, the two go on to discuss the process whereby mother and baby fall in love with each other, child care and how the traits you see in your baby also become apparent in their teenage years.
If you would like to watch the second half of Jacinta’s interview with Dr Howard Chilton go to Mother Zen
Jacinta has just published her third book, Mother Zen, part memoir part modern parenting manifesto about how to be a more conscious and present parent and available via her website.
Dr. Howard Chilton’s books Baby on Board’ and ‘Your Cherished Baby’ are available via his website.