I watched a bit of the show on the ABC last night called "Bringing up Baby". It reflects very clearly the move during the last century from the early socialising mode to the helping mode of parenting that Robin Grille talks about in his book. The show compares three styles of baby parenting. Firstly the 50's routine/military method of Dr Truby King where the baby is seen as manipulative and is given a strict routine, then the Spock approach that proposes a balance between mother's and baby's needs and focuses on mother's inner knowing, and thirdly Leidloff's Continuum Approach. I found some of the programme quite disturbing and kept switching to another chanel. Some of the programme showed me, how we as a society, can be so out of touch are with empathy. One part that really moved me was when the older sister (probably around age 8) wanted to cuddle the baby who was not to be picked up between feeds. You could see the yearning in the older child to connect, nurture and love. How sad that this amazing sibling bond was not being forged in a most natural way because of a theory about how a baby should be brought up. Another disturbing part was when the mother had tears because she had left the baby to cry itself to sleep but kept saying "I know I am doing the right thing". I could not understand how breaking the baby's and mother's heart could ever be the right thing. On the other hand it doesn't mean that Continuum Approach parenting is a piece of cake either.
I am also concerned that in this day and age such a disconnected form of parenting can be approved to be in a TV "experiment". Some of the programme felt like child abuse to me.