RIE encourages parents to slow down and take parenting cues directly from their babies. This means observing your child and following the baby’s cues when establishing the daytime schedule. Respect for the needs of the individual child are emphasized.
The RIE method doesn’t believe that babies and toddlers need constant stimulation to be happy. It encourages parents to allow their babies time for uninterrupted play instead of running from one early learning class to another. RIE also urges moms and dads to take better care of themselves so they’re better parents in the long run.
RIE, or Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE—pronounced “wry”), is a nonprofit organization in Los Angeles founded in 1978 by infant specialist and educator, Magda Gerber, and pediatric neurologist, Tom Forrest, M.D.
RIE recommends that parents treat their children less like kids and more like resourceful and capable little adults in order to foster independence and responsibility. This means talking to babies in a clear simple way but without “baby talk.” It deemphasizes the need for baby specific objects such as highchairs, sippy cups, toys, and pacifiers. It also avoids yelling and traditional parenting punishments such as time-outs.
Some other tenants of the RIE method include:
- Allow your baby to participate in his or her own care—Obviously, your child can’t change his or her own diaper, but you can explain to your child what you’ll do before you do it. This will make your baby feel more secure and promote communication.
- Let your baby develop at his own pace—RIE doesn’t encourage putting baby into a position he or she can’t get into by themselves, such as propped up in a sitting position or even in a stroller before their core is strong enough to sit up on their own. Instead, babies should be allowed to reach those milestones independently.
- Observe your child—To find out what your child likes and wants, watch your child play, without distractions, for at least 15 minutes, three times a day.
- Play without distraction—Forget about multitasking. Turn off all technology, and give all of your attention to your child during playtime. This can help your baby discover his or her true interests and develop concentration.
- Don’t soothe right away—Instead of immediately trying to calm your child, encourage the baby to “let it out.” For example, a walking toddler will sometimes fall. Instead of rushing to pick the fallen child up, calmly narrate what happened: “Oh, you fell, I bet that surprised you,” and wait and see. “If they really hurt themselves, they’ll let you know and then you’d provide comfort. If we respond as if something terrible has happened and intervene, then they’re not going to get experience with brushing it off and moving on with life,” says Deborah Solomon, the program’s director.
- Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE — pronounced “wry”) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to educate, mentor, and support parents.
- RIE encourages parents to slow down and simplify, instead taking their parenting cues directly from their baby.
- RIE promotes treating your child less like a kid and more like a little adult. That means no baby talk, high chairs, or sippy cups, and sticking with a simple safe contained play environment that they can fully and independently explore.
- It also means avoiding yelling and traditional parenting punishments such as time outs.
“Instead of rushing to pick the fallen child up, calmly narrate what happened: ‘Oh, you fell, I bet that surprised you’ and wait and see. ‘If they really hurt themselves, they’ll let you know and then you’d provide comfort. If we respond as if something terrible has happened and intervene, then they’re not going to get experience with brushing it off and moving on with life,’.”
My mom heard this somewhere when I was a baby and applied it and now I apply it wherever it’s relevant (which is not much as I don’t have a kid). I think that’s a good bit of advice, as are a couple other things on here, but some of them seem unrealistic or overboard… Any actual research on its effectiveness?
I’m with most of the posts so far- a few of these tenants sound good, and they’re things I’m already doing naturally! Especially when it comes to observing your child. I’m pretty fascinated just watching my baby play, and it helps to figure out what type of personality she’s growing into. I’m a big believer that you have to parent every child differently based on their individual needs, and this seems to support that!
I think that just like with all parenting styles, take from it what you will and leave the rest! I unknowingly did and still do several of these things. I don’t baby talk with my son. I personally feel like he should learn to speak English properly the first time instead of having to correct his grammar in the years to come. I don’t expect him to always get it right, but I hope that my modeling the correct usage will allow him to pick it up more easily. Also, I don’t rush to my son when he falls down. I wait for his reaction and then try to brush it off or explain it away if I can. If he’s really hurt, I comfort him, of course. I also explain everyday tasks to him while I do them…making breakfast, changing his diaper, driving to the store. But I don’t do these things because of a celebrity parenting trend. I do them because I feel like they are molding and shaping my baby boy into the best little man he can be!
And I completely agree about the unrealistic expectations of bullet point #2. My pediatrician told me that helping your child sit or holding their hands while they “walk” helps to build those core muscles. I don’t see any problems helping your child achieve more!
I agree Kristen, I think you use some principles but not the ones that work for you. I hadn’t yet heard of this new trend, but it is interesting that it does share at least some ideas of attachment parenting. Interesting!
Or I should say, you don’t use the ones that don’t work for you. Whoops!
The second bulletpoint just sounds like an unrealistic expectation- so for six months, I can’t put my baby in a stroller if I’m RIE parenting?
How can we treat our children like adults? Yes we need to teach them how to be responsible, but they are kids and should not be forced to grow up so quickly. There needs to be a healthy balance. I’m glad I do not give in to the latest celebrity trends. 🙂