Following the broadcast of part 3 of 4 of the dreadful Bringing Up Baby series last night (9 Oct), Gina Ford and Clive Dorman had a lengthy and mostly private conversation in which a wide range of topics were discussed.
We are both passionate advocates of the styles of parenting we promote, which are quite different. However, we have found unlikely common ground in our condemnation of Channel 4's Bringing Up Baby. At the heart of this is our concern about the neglect and abuse of babies promoted by the misguided information being promoted by Claire Verity, Daisy Goodwin and Channel 4.
Gina Ford said to me (in an agreed quote) that the series is "One of the worst parenting programmes I've ever seen. I just feel so sad for the babies." My comments are well documented on this blog.
Like many of us, Gina Ford felt obliged to write to NSPCC, and with her permission the letter follows...
Dear Mr Cloke,
Re: Bringing Up Baby
This is the second time this year I have had to write to you regarding the suffering of a tiny baby used to sensationalise child-rearing methods in a television programme. In both Bringing Up Baby and Gina Ford - Who Are You To Tell Us babies were left to cry when it was clear that they were genuinely hungry. In the first programme, Gina Ford - Who Are You To Tell Us, the programme makers did at least make it clear to the viewers that Gina Ford advises that if a tiny baby is crying, the parents should always assume that it is hungry and the baby should be fed.
However, in the latest TV programme on parenting methods, Bringing up Baby, Claire Verity advises that a newborn baby should be fed four hourly and that any crying should be ignored. While parents and health care officials alike will always be divided about the best way to bring up a baby, the advice given in this programme - not to feed a tiny crying baby - could endanger a baby's life, particularly if it is being breastfed. I would urge you to take immediate steps to ensure that production companies are not allowed to continue this form of child abuse.