I think we can all agree that babies are human beings just like we are—albeit with quite a few developmental accomplishments ahead of them. However, I find that we have a hard time putting this concept into practice. Actually, to be blunt: it is amazing to me how disrespectful we are of our little one’s rights.
Now I don’t want you to think that I am someone who believes that parents shouldn’t discipline their kids and that they had the right to make their own decisions about everything from the beginning. Of course not; that’s what parents are for. But at the same time, children have certain rights from the very day they are born. It’s based quite simply on the fact that they are noble, spiritual creatures.
My Baby Isn’t a Doll
While some parents dress their children in outfits that I personally don’t like, because said outfits are basically miniature, cute versions of what their parents wear, I feel that the child as a person is being respected. But there are cases where the parents’ choices really make me uncomfortable; these are the cases where the child comes off as an over-the-top candy or clown.
But I realised early on that this is a personal choice as well, and that I should respect other parents’ choices. But by the same token, it means that other individuals should respect my choices. That means that I will not be dressing my baby up in any outfit that is gifted to us. On the one hand, I am grateful for the token of love and generosity; but on the other hand, if I don’t feel that the outfit is befitting my baby’s true nature as a noble, spiritual being, then I won’t be using said outfit.
Individuals who are upset at the fact that I don’t use their tokens of love have the right to be disappointed, but I really hope that they understand that my baby is not a doll for them to dress as they please, and that they are happy that my baby has an advocate dedicated to her well-being.
My Baby’s Body Isn’t Yours To Enjoy
I love holding babies and hugging them. They are so sweet and cute, so innocent and filled with hope of a bright future. And they smell so sweet!
But just like I don’t go around hugging adults randomly, I wouldn’t pick up a baby randomly, even if the parents give me their OK. I would make sure that the baby is OK with me picking him up, and that’s because from the very beginning, he has the right to determine what happens to his body.
It is particularly distressing to me that people don’t respect the baby’s right to determine who can hold him. I’ve been told that babies don’t have an opinion on the matter, that they are too small to know better, and that parents need to chill out. But time and again I have seen the signs quite clearly when a baby doesn’t want me to hold him.
I can’t help but wonder what we are teaching our babies when, in short, we do not give them the right to determine who can do what to their bodies. If anyone who wants to is allowed to touch them at that age, what’s to say that this trend won’t continue into the future, however subconsciously?
My Baby Isn’t a Toy
This one is like the doll but more so. Don’t move my child’s limbs around ridiculously. I know it’s safe for her physically, but you are insulting her spiritual nature by treating her as a toy for your amusement.
Another thing I noticed a lot of people seem to like doing is to use a baby as a prop or a doll. They will hold its arms and make ridiculous gestures, they will make them walk around, they will propped them up in a certain way that amuses them, things of the sort. This one also bothers me because, well, would you do that to an adult? Isn’t it an insult to her noble, spiritual nature to treat her like a puppet that does silly things?
My Baby Isn’t Totally Helpless
While babies are dependent on their parents for so many things, they are also intelligent human beings who can achieve a lot. But they are learning; they need more time and don’t do things the same way that we would. When you see a baby trying to reach for something, don’t give it to them, however kind your intentions. By doing that, you could be sending the message to the baby that it will not be able to reach the item in question, and so he just might as well not try. Rather, channel your good intentions into encouragement; cheer babies along as they learn the basics of life.
My Baby Has Moods Just Like You Do
You know how some days, you are not cranky, but you just feel quiet? Those days during which you would rather listen than talk, observe rather than participate? It’s the same with babies. It’s important not to label babies and children, especially with negative labels. My baby isn’t cranky and antisocial. My baby is just in a quiet, observant mood. And ironically enough, she is in that mood more often around people who treat her like a doll, don’t respect her body, see her as a toy, and think of her as helpless.
Treat babies like real people and you will be surprised by how well they will respond to you.