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Caring for Infants with Respect

4.21  ·  Rating Details ·  140 Ratings  ·  22 Reviews
Internationally renowned infant specialist Magda Gerber, M.A., the founder of RIE, offers a healthy new approach to infant care based on a profound respect for each baby's individual needs and abilities.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 1st 2003 by Resources for Infant Educarers (first published June 30th 1998)
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Jul 11, 2012 Dominic rated it really liked it
Shelves: parenting
Now that I have read several parenting books, I have come to one huge realization: No book should be taken in total. None of these authors know my little boy, my wife, or me. While they may give us a lot to consider, they cannot understand our individual temperments and our personal and family values. As a result, read away, but tread lightly. Act as gleaner. And trust your own gut and know this: You are the expert at parenting your own child.

That said, Magda Gerber has a warm tone which feels l
The RIE approach teaches parents to observe kids and not try to solve their frustrations or conflicts for them, but try as much as possible to let them solve them by themselves.

It is a good complement to the attachment parenting theory. Attachment parenting can be overwhelming for parents because it's putting a lot of responsibility on parents, especially when you're a first-time parent. It can feel as if it's your responsibility to stop your child cries.

But babies need to express themselves, a
Emily Marks
Jul 13, 2011 Emily Marks added it
Shelves: parenting
What a helpful and warm reference book to return to time and time again of how to love and respect our children.
Two things I particularly appreciate about this book is the advice of talking to your newborn babies as if they understand and letting them know what you're about to do e.g. I'm about to change your nappies. Gerber compares this to if you (as an adult) were reliant on a carer and they just lifted up your legs by your feet and started taking off your pants without explaining what they
Mar 09, 2010 Rebecca rated it really liked it
As D.H. Lawrence said, "How to begin to educate a child. First rule: leave him alone. Second rule: leave him alone. Third rule: leave him alone. That is the whole beginning."

I wasn't sure about this book at first. I mean, she advocates letting your child go down stairs head first because it's the way they want to do it and that's the way they learn. I think she has probably worked with smarter babies than what I have since I think mine would have split her head open if I'd let her try that.

Jun 08, 2014 Jendi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: baby, parenting
"Do less, observe more, enjoy most!" - Magda Gerber

I learned of Magda Gerber through the teachers in our Waldorf school whom encourage her philosophy of parenting/teaching. Well, lo and behold. I absolutely love this author. Gerber is incredibly warm, inviting and nurturing. It's empathy, attachment driven with strong personal respect/boundaries (for both child and parent). She encourages parent therapy since we all essentially "re-live" our childhood (traumas) through parenting our children. To
K. Wong
Jan 03, 2016 K. Wong rated it really liked it
Helpful, sensible approach to hands-on, attentive and engaging child-rearing. This book gives parents the confidence to "make room" and bring baby up into a safe, peaceful and engaging environment where the infant is self-guided in learning.

Contrary to the high-tech gadgets that parents are encouraged to own, Gerber offers a tried and true approach. Children can be active, rather than passive observers of toys that whiz and pop and screens that talk and "teach."

RIE methodology spoke to me and
May 02, 2010 Mandy rated it really liked it
"Think of having a baby as a unique time that you can both enjoy - it never comes back again. And that is the time for you to invest, to put in time. This is a time of letting go, a time to feel at ease, not hurried, not pushed, not wanting to achieve. If you are wanting to do something else while you are with your children, this ambivalence, this being torn, can make this time more difficult. (That does not mean you cannot also make arrangements and go away at times.) You still have the rest of ...more
Aug 12, 2011 Edan rated it liked it
My closest friend's mom gave me this book a few weeks ago. I'm not sure what I think of the whole RIE approach, but I'm certainly curious.

Right now, I like the idea of doing a 'tapas' approach to parenting: a taste of this, a taste of that. Yum, tapas...!


There's some practical and common sense advice in this book. I like the idea of giving your child the space and freedom to do things on their own, to not help them too much as they reach for the toy, etc. etc. And, of course, we should talk t
Jessie Jellick
Oct 22, 2012 Jessie Jellick rated it it was amazing
A fantastic book for those with infants themselves and also for those caring for other peoples infants. I have done both and found that I followed the RIE approach a lot more strictly when working with other peoples children as I felt I could be more relaxed with my own child and also I was so much more tired with my own that sometimes it took too much effort to follow the theory. I think it is a new way of thinking(although it seems so simple and commonsense) it does take effort on our part...a ...more
Mar 25, 2015 Felicia rated it really liked it
I'm not someone to believe 100% in any parenting philosophy and I feel the same about RIE. However, much of what Gerber discusses resonates with me and I find many of her suggestions helpful.
Jan 01, 2014 Liz rated it liked it
Shelves: parenting
A little low on practical techniques, but certainly a good read with a different perspective on childcare. Longer review here on my blog Unified Parenting Theory.
Mar 25, 2008 Liz rated it really liked it
Great book about raising infants. Got a lot of good ideas about toys for infants, not intervening and letting children try to work out their issues before stepping in, observation is very important, thumb sucking is not as horrible as I thought, and other great things! Did not totally agree with everything, but loved a lot of her ideas.
Sep 28, 2008 Amy rated it it was amazing
This book is a must for anyone who cares for babies. The idea of caring for infants with respect may sound undeniable, but this book teaches you how many of the ways infants are commonly treated are not respectful. It is super easy to read and so informative! a great resource for parents!
Aug 24, 2014 Nina rated it really liked it
Thanks Jendi for the rec. A big take away is the idea of being totally present with your child, and then other times leaving them (safely) alone. Valuable, I think, rather than constant but divided attention.
Nov 17, 2013 Brynn rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Lots of opinions, little data. Clearly a compilation of essays/talks, not a coherent presentation of the philosophy or practice. Still, I'm drawn to RIE. There must be better books out there.
Moshe Zadka
Mar 20, 2013 Moshe Zadka rated it really liked it
It's a great book about the respectful parenting philosophy -- a sort of the infant version of "How to Talk So Kids Will Listen" when the child is to young to literally talk.
May 30, 2009 Heather rated it it was amazing
Fascinating, very sad I never found this book when I actually had tiny infants. However you can definitely use her methods even in raising older kids.
Mar 26, 2013 Karren rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013-reads, infants
such a different approach from some of the current trends. I love the ideas! much better than her other book, I think.
Jan 17, 2008 Allison rated it it was amazing
a classic from the late Magda Gerber,one of the most insightful experts on raising young children out there
Roslyn Ross
Nov 22, 2011 Roslyn Ross rated it really liked it
Less preachy, more how to would have gotten it 5 stars. Otherwise, super interesting and awesome!
Dec 03, 2008 Sara rated it it was amazing
Shelves: parenting
A great book for first-time parents that encourages natural and simple parenting.
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