The Concept of Continuity: The Pros and Cons of Raising a Baby

The concept of continuity is a work developed by Jean Liedloff, an anthropologist who studies this concept among South American Indians. The infant-rearing approach of the 1970s suggests frequent skin-to-skin contact between parents and their children from birth to 12 months. Parents from around the world have tried this method of promoting ff methods of raising babies:

  • constant physical contact between mother and baby or other caregivers from birth;
  • sleeping in parent’s bed with constant physical contact until the child leaves voluntarily, normally starting at age 2;
  • breastfeeding on demand – breastfeeding in response to the child’s needs and body signals;
  • Carries the child constantly in the arms of his mother or in contact with another person (usually the mother of the child) and the child is doing his job (normally 6-8 months when the Baby starts to crawl and crawl on his own impulse);
  • ensure that caregivers respond promptly to the child’s needs and signals such as crying and squirming, without displeasure, judgment, or overriding the child’s needs, and yet without undue attention and constant attention to the child;
  • Perceiving and fulfilling the expectations of the elders, that the child has a strong instinct for self-preservation and that the child is welcome and worthy, innately social and cooperative.

pros and cons

Although several parents claim that this method of raising babies develops and creates a strong bond between parent and child, there are still pros and cons that need to be weighed before using this method:

Feeding on demand or breastfeeding on demand

Advantages: Continuous breastfeeding stimulates milk supply by enabling the mother’s breasts to learn to produce the right amount of milk; feeds when the baby is hungry and is not dictated by scheduled feeding; This method provides unimpeded access to the mother’s breast, as babies relax without sucking.

Disadvantages: This part of the method is time consuming and not effective for working mothers.

Arming phase or continuous carrying of the child

Advantages: Babies who are constantly held in their laps have their needs met immediately, and as they watch adult activities such as cooking and cleaning while being carried around, they gain adequate first-hand knowledge of the adult world.

Disadvantages: In this method, the mother does not allow a sense of privacy or separation from her child; Also, babies who are constantly around tend to be clingy, which makes time to be separated from their mother a huge ordeal.

Co-sleeping in parent beds

Advantages: With this method, prompt breastfeeding is simplified and it is no longer necessary to purchase cribs and cots, or even set up a nursery; Also, when you check to see if your baby is breathing, there is less anxiety as you can feel him breathing next to you.

Disadvantages: This method can be dangerous as there may be two adults in bed with the baby; also, safety rules for using thick pillows and heavy duvets for babies will restrict co-sleeping; As they get used to sleeping with their parents, it may take longer for them to put the child in their own bed.

All in all, the methods supported by the Continuum concept are truly a great training ground for raising happy children, as their immediate biological and emotional needs are a priority. Children raised in this way will experience first-hand the love, care and support given by their parents, made possible by closeness. But if both parents are working, especially the mother, this may not be practical, making constant physical contact an impossible target when parents need to be away from home. But when weighing both the pros and cons, nothing is more important than giving your children the love and support they need from the moment they are born until they are old enough to claim their own independence.

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