I’ve noticed that my Blanket Training from long ago still gets quite a few hits from the search engines. There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding about the whole idea of teaching a baby to stay put.
Although I’ve not yet taught The Boy to do this, I am tempted just so that I can tell the doubters and naysayers exactly what is NOT happening to him.
Yes, I’m a troublemaker. Sorry ’bout that.
I am no expert, and every parent will do things a little differently. There is no Official Webster’s Definition for blanket training. It’s not in Wikipedia either. In fact, it’s really hard to find any real definition for blanket training.
Do you know what that means? Anyone who wants to claim the term gets to make up the definition.
Blanket Training: a definition
/blanket training/: the act of teaching a baby or toddler to stay within the bounds of a blanket which has been spread upon the floor or ground. The blanket and practice may vary widely among users. Often, but not exclusively, practiced in large families.
Blanket Training: the rules
Since I defined the term, I also get to make up the rules. Here are my rules:
- Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. Eph. 6:1
That’s all. Just one rule. As I mentioned many moons ago, the idea is simply to begin teaching babies self-control and obedience from the start.
How a parent begins to teach a baby to obey the fifth commandment is a matter of method rather than principle, so it will and ought to vary widely from one house to the next. Blanket training is simply one tool that some families choose to use in that process.
Blanket training does not mean that the baby never explores freely; it does not mean that the baby lives on the blanket; it does not mean that the baby cries alone on the blanket while the rest of the family turns up the volume on the television.
Like a playpen, blanket training provides a clear boundary for the baby for those times when you don’t want your baby to wander freely. This does not take the place of holding, snuggling, tickling, feeding or any other form of attention. Even when we did blanket one of our babies, she spent very little time on the blanket – just as our babies now spend very little time confined in any way.
Blanket Training Objections
Some will say that it is demeaning to teach a baby to stay where you put her.
Why do they think that a
cage playpen is less demeaning? Or maybe obedience in general is demeaning…I wonder how they feel about Ephesians 5:22?
Others will say that a baby’s curiosity is stifled.
How is this more stifling than when I wear my baby in my Ergo or carry him on my hip? I would venture to say that he has better peripheral vision in the middle of the floor than smushed up against my chest. Maybe I really do need to get started on blanket training The Boy. I’m afraid I’ve been stifling his curiosity.
They might say that the parent who practices blanket training smacks around the edge of the blanket with a wooden spoon to demonstrate the boundary.
I’m partial to a cattle prod myself
I don’t, but so what if some parents do?
Some say that the baby is taught to stay by means of fear.
Ah-ha. Now we come to the heart of the matter. I suspect that most people who are horrified at the idea of blanket training are also staunchly opposed to corporal punishment. The question is not really about whether or not the baby gets a smack on the tush and how old she is when it happens, but why would anyone ever spank a child.
And that, my friends, is a post for another day.