Bringing Up Baby is broadcast on Tuesday 25th September 2007 on Channel 4 at 9.00 pm UK time. I dread viewing it. Not because of The Continuum Theory, or of Dr Spock, but because of Truby King. We were contacted by Silver River (Daisy Goodwin's production company) because they were looking for a supporter of his theories. If you Google Truby King on a UK search, we are top of the list. Not because we approve, but because of an excellent piece (Resilience, by Sebastien Kraemer) that refers to him, and his well-meaning but misguided theories.
Science has for decades refuted most of Truby King's ideas, including strict 4-hour feeding regimes, proving beyond question that his theories are not in the best interest of infants (indeed, some premature babies are reported to have died following these regimes). We now understand that babies are born with emotions and feelings the same as adults, something unknown in Truby King's time. The only problem for a baby is they lack the ability to communicate this in ways adults can easily understand.
This counts for nothing with Daisy Goodwin, or Hamish Mykura at Channel Four who commissioned the programme, who I suspect may themselves be victims of harsh parenting. So what is it with these people? Why is it acceptable to neglect the emotional needs of a newborn baby in the name of entertainment? I have asked and asked for reassurance during the pre-production phase of this programme, but have been ignored, patronised and dismissed by both. Clearly they value the added promotion of controversy above the welfare of infants and their parents.
Is it not time that the media was regulated to protect infants and children from the relentless onslaught of car crash TV? Will Daisy Goodwin, Hamish Mykura and Channel Four be interested in 12 years time to see if these potentially damaged children turn out to be functional or dysfunctional?
I have no point of reference from C4 or Silver River, as they refuse to reply meaningfully or responsibly. In the circumstances I have been remarkably reserved about what I'd like to say, as at time of writing programme has not been aired. I have major concerns.