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The Continuum Concept: It’s Pros and Cons in Raising Babies
The concept of Continuum is a study developed by Jean Liedloff, an anthropologist who studied this concept among South American Indians. This 1970s approach to raising infants recommended frequent skin-to-skin contact between parents and children from birth to 12 months. Parents from various parts of the globe have tried this method that promotes the ff method of raising babies:
- constant physical contact between mother and baby or with other caregivers since birth;
- co-sleeping in the parent’s bed, with constant physical contact, until the child leaves on his own, which usually begins at the age of 2;
- breastfeed on cue – breastfeed the child in response to his needs and body signals;
- constantly carries the child in its mother’s arms or is otherwise in contact with a person (usually the child’s mother), and the child is allowed to observe or sleep or nurse with the person carrying it while that person goes about their business (normally ending at 6 to 8 months when the baby starts crawling and crawling on its own impulse);
- have caregivers respond immediately to the child’s needs with signals such as crying and squirming, without being unhappy, judgmental, or invalidating the child’s needs, and yet without showing excessive concern or making the child the constant center of attention;
- feel and meet the expectations of the old child that he is naturally social and cooperative, and the child has strong instincts of self-preservation and the child is welcome and worthy.
Advantages and disadvantages
Although many parents say that this method of raising babies develops and builds a strong bond between parents and children, there are still advantages and disadvantages that need to be weighed before using this method:
Feed on demand or breastfeed on cue
Advantages: Constant breastfeeding stimulates the supply of milk, which allows the mother’s breasts to learn to produce the right amount; the baby gets food when hungry and is not dictated by scheduled feeding; Since babies find comfort in sucking, this method allows them unlimited access to their mother’s breasts.
Disadvantages: This part of the method takes time and is not effective for working mothers.
Phase in arms or constant carrying of the child
Advantages: Babies keep their needs met immediately and get enough first-hand information about the adult world, while they get to observe adult activities such as cooking and cleaning while being carried.
Disadvantages: In this method, the mother is not allowed to have privacy or separation from her child; also, babies who are always carried around tend to be stuck, making the time of separation from his mother or him a great ordeal.
Co-sleeping in parents’ bed
Advantages: Breastfeeding on signs made simple by this method and buying cribs and cribs and even establishing a nursery is no longer necessary; also, there is less anxiety experienced when checking if a baby is still breathing or not because you can feel them breathing around you.
Disadvantages: This method can be dangerous because there could be two adults in the bed with the baby; also the safety guidelines of using thick pillows and heavy quilts for babies will restrict co-sleeping; Transferring the child to his own bed can be extended as he gets used to sleeping with his parents.
In general, the methods promoted by the concept of Continuum are indeed a great training ground for raising happy children, since its priority is to make their biological and emotional needs immediately satisfied. Children raised using this method will experience firsthand the love, care, and support that their parents provide as closeness makes it possible. But if both parents work, especially the mother, this may not be a practical method, making constant physical contact an impossible goal to set at times when parents need to be away from home. But weighing both the pros and cons, nothing is more important than giving your child the love and support they need from birth to the age when they can claim their own independence.
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