Babies should not be separated from Mommy overnight during the first year of life? How about they should not be separated from their Primary Caregiver, and sometimes, that means Daddy.

22 Jul


carry 2


Here’s a story making the rounds in a number of papers, but I have a weakness for the hyperbole of the Daily Mail, so I’ll use that as my main reference. The story is this: babies who spend nights away from their Primary Caregiver (usually owing to custody agreements) experience reduced attachment to that caregiver.


baby sleeping


Of course, the DM equates Primary Caregiver with Mommy, and while that’s generally true, it by no means HAS to be.


US researchers set out to discover what happens when babies under 12 months old spend a night or more per week away from their mothers, as increasingly happens when separated parents share custody.

They found that such infants had more insecure attachments to their mothers compared with babies who had fewer overnight stays or saw their fathers only during the day.


Let’s turn our attention first towards what the word “attachment” means.


carry 3


Infants become attached to individuals who are sensitive and responsive in social interactions with them, and who remain as consistent caregivers for some months during the period from about six months to two years of age, this is known as sensitive responsiveness. When the infant begins to crawl and walk they begin to use attachment figures (familiar people) as a secure base to explore from and return to. Caregivers’ responses lead to the development of patterns of attachment; these, in turn, lead to internal working models which will guide the individual’s perceptions, emotions, thoughts and expectations in later relationships.


Babies who DON’T experience this kind of attachment to a loving, responsive caregiver can have some serious difficulties to contend with throughout their lives.


Attachment disorder is a broad term intended to describe disorders of mood, behavior, and social relationships arising from a failure to form normal attachments to primary care giving figures in early childhood, resulting in problematic social expectations and behaviors. Such a failure would result from unusual early experiences of neglect, abuse, abrupt separation from caregivers after about 6 months of age but before about three years of age, frequent change of caregivers or excessive numbers of caregivers, or lack of caregiver responsiveness to child communicative efforts.


This new research, as referenced in the DM, seems to suggest that separations BEFORE six months can be just as deleterious on an infant’s attachment to their Primary Caregiver.


Atlanta Birth Photography | | Newborn | Home Birth | Water Birth


Personally, I agree. The idea that infants are tabula rasa prior to six months is nonsense, to me. All three of my children seemed completely in awe when they were first born and heard me speak and could see me for the first time. They did not react to the midwives, who were not familiar, regular voices to them, nor did they react to other people who were not regular visitors or guests in our home.


Aside from me, there was one other person the babies seemed astonished to hear for the first time: their father.




His voice was completely, utterly familiar. Even in sleep, their eyes would flutter when Daddy spoke or sang to them. The two younger children reacted the same way to the voices of their older siblings. They knew those voices. They were already attached to them.


It’s hard for me to set aside my Mommy instincts and try to objectively consider whether some babies might be better off with a primary attachment to their fathers, which is kind of odd, because I also believe at the same time that had I died during childbirth, my children would have been absolutely fine in the care of their father, whom they recognized from his voice.


What I do want to tackle is the idea that “shared parenting” is the ideal way to care for a baby. That the baby is EQUALLY attached to both parents, or to all the people (it takes a village) who help raise the child.


It’s bullshit. Babies need one Primary Caregiver. One person to whom they are deeply, inextricably bonded, and that person needs to be loving and responsive. I firmly believe that normal, well-adjusted women will understand that biologically, they are programmed to be that caregiver. The baby that comes out of their body is best served if they are fed from the same body, and if they bond deeply to that body. It’s a continuum that nature has evolved to ensure the best odds of survival.




There is no question that breastfed babies are at an advantage over their chemically nurtured counterparts. They are happier, smarter and healthier.


Children exclusively fed breast milk for at least three months have up to 30 per cent extra growth in the key parts of the brain which control language, emotion, and understanding, say scientists.


‘What we found was that infants fully breastfed for six months had a significantly lower risk of respiratory infections in the first two years.

‘Specifically, the chance of contracting pneumonia was reduced fivefold, while the risk of recurrent ear infections was minimised twofold.’


I’ve written about women’s refusal to breastfeed before, and just how I feel about that, but when the issue of custody and wellness comes up, I think there is another layer of nuance that can be added to the discussion.


While I will happily say that breastMILK is best for baby, I am now forced to pause to consider if breastFEEDING is really all that important, or if the benefits of breastfeeding can be delivered equally by either parent.


daddy feeding


When our next door neighbor decided that motherhood was actually a shit deal and went back to work when Peanut was five months old, Peanut’s Daddy stepped in and he “breastfed” his daughter. He would tuck her inside his hoodie with her bottle (full of breastmilk) tucked into his armpit, and hold her up high while she “nursed”. It was actually the cutest damn thing in the world. She had all the benefits of skin-to-skin contact, and warmth and snuggling and listening to his heartbeat and it was just lovely all around.


It’s hard to imagine a judge ordering a baby into Daddy’s custody, and simultaneously ordering Mommy to provide the baby with expressed milk. Holy Jesus, could you imagine the headlines?








But why the hell not? We already know that men don’t get to decide if they want to be parents. If they are going to be forced into it, why shouldn’t they be able to take actions to reduce the contact they must have with the child’s mother while sacrificing ZERO of the bond they might have with their children?


One can easily imagine feminists jumping on board with the “no shared custody of babies” argument, based on the idea that it fractures the baby’s attachment to a Primary Caregiver. Fair enough. That would be a new argument: NOW (the National Organization of Women) at the moment opposes shared custody because it limits women’s abilities to sue for child support, but why not add such a compelling physiological argument to the arsenal, too?


sleeping 3



Ultimately, it could end up being a very nice precedent. Baby needs an uninterrupted attachment to a primary caregiver. No overnight visits. Watch all the women nod their heads in approval. Yup. Drop off your checks and don’t plan on any overnights with the baby for a good long time.


Right up until the moment it’s Daddy who wins custody. Then the screaming will begin.


sleeping 2


Fair won’t seem so fair then.


What we really need is a campaign that shows fathers “breastfeeding” their infant children. Ubiquitous representations of fathers as equally capable, equally responsive, equally loving caregivers of infant children. Do I think that’s ideal?


carry 1


No way. But when mothers SUCK, and god knows I have plenty of personal experience with that, then yes, fathers can and SHOULD be able to step in and take over. And needless to say, they should be awarded child support for taking on that task.


I can’t readily imagine that happening. But it would be a step towards equality, wouldn’t it?




Gee, maybe I am a feminist, after all.


Lots of love,




38 Responses to “Babies should not be separated from Mommy overnight during the first year of life? How about they should not be separated from their Primary Caregiver, and sometimes, that means Daddy.”

  1. Bob Wallace July 22, 2013 at 17:42 #

    I had noticed the bit about kids exploring and coming back. I have a four-year-old nephew who, would I take him to someone new, goes exploring, comes back to me for a bit, then heads out again. Explore, come back, explore, come back, explore. I figure all his base are belong to him.


  2. MargeryM July 22, 2013 at 19:04 #

    “While I will happily say that breastMILK is best for baby, I am now forced to pause to consider if breastFEEDING is really all that important, or if the benefits of breastfeeding can be delivered equally by either parent.”

    What springs to mind is that the physical contact in breastfeeding is important for the mother. Though baby can receive skin-to-skin from their PCG what takes place for mothers when they physically breastfeed can largely reduce the risk of PPD. And we all know what a negative affect a depressed mom can have on her children.

    I also don’t think it’s as simple as saying breastMILK is best for baby so there is no need to nurse from the breast. Unfortunately using pumps and artificial nipples can sabotage breastfeeding in that pumping doesn’t stimulate the breasts in the same way and often leads to dwindling supply and artificial nipples do not work the same way a woman’s does leaving the baby with nipple confusion if and when s/he feeds from mom again. This leads to women becoming frustrated with the process and giving up nursing all together.

    I realize it’s not realistic to ask all women to nurse from the breast. That’s not what I am trying to say. I just think nature wins out yet again here. We were built to nurse from the breast for an extended amount of time. Because of that it comes with natural benefits and deviating from it causes more difficulties. So it’s not *exactly the same*.


  3. judgybitch July 22, 2013 at 19:14 #

    Agree 100%

    Nature intended mommy to breastfeed for mutual benefit.

    Can Daddy fill in when required?

    I think so. It may not be ideal, but neither is having a baby without a loving father present full time.


  4. Alex July 23, 2013 at 02:03 #

    oddly enough, that first headline is the only one to be offensive, at least immediately.


  5. Take Back Your Face! July 23, 2013 at 02:45 #

    I read that there was a man somewhere in Asia who breastfed his infant. Her mother had died in childbirth and one day she was crying in hunger and just to console her he put her to his nipple. She suckled and milk actually came out! Their was some scientific explanation for it. I guess men contain something like milk ducts too.

    Anyway Judgy Bitch, I see that some of your commenters her are “red pillers”. I was wondering what you thought about the red pill on the Cosmetic Industrial Complex. I’ve read on some supposedly “red pill” sites that these men expect their women to wear blue pill makeup and heels.

    I say if you’re going to take the red pill why not swallow it on everything?

    Cosmetics are unhealthy, unnecessary, environmentally risky and just serve to make the Blue Pill Corporations richer and richer while the women who waste their money on them get poorer and poorer because they are spending money that could go towards savings or making a better life for themselves and their families.

    High heels were invented to mimic Chinese foot binding. Go to this article and scroll down to the paragraphs entitled “All Bound Up” and “Sexy In Heels” and see the photos!

    High heels are mainstream conformist blue pill shoes while going bare foot as much as possible, even in public, is red pill.

    Vibram Five Fingers shoes are the next best compromise to going barefoot. I guess we could label them “purple pill”.

    I say if we really want to bleed the mainstream conformist corporate fascist blue pill beast then we need to take the red pill on EVERYTHING from body products to religion to everything in between.

    What say you?


  6. judgybitch July 23, 2013 at 02:58 #

    I never wear heels, rarely wear make-up and I’m scandalously inept with my hair.

    So maybe I’m already purple?



  7. Alex July 23, 2013 at 03:13 #

    heels were originally invented to help balance horse-back archers shoot better


  8. Take Back Your Face! July 23, 2013 at 03:34 #

    Heels are extremely bad for health. They actually ruin the spine if worn regularly over years.

    Shampoo and conditioner is also unnecessary and the mainstream non-organic, petro-chemical filled brands very bad for health.

    Hair can be washed and conditioned with baking soda and vinegar.

    There is so much we can do to bleed the beast. Imagine if tomorrow everyone woke up and decided “from here on out I will not buy any more cosmetics, shampoo, deodorant or toothpaste”.

    Those ruinous industries and their CEOs would fall flat on their faces within a week.


  9. Marlo Rocci July 23, 2013 at 04:40 #

    I think if you’re a real red piller, you done two things with women: You have walked away from them (mgtow) in which case cosmetics is irrelevant to you, or you have reduced them to nothing more than entertainment (pua), in which case cosmetics are all part of the show. So it’s a push when it comes to the red pill effect.


  10. Take Back Your Face! July 23, 2013 at 05:31 #

    MGTOW’s I can see as alternative red pillers but PUAs are very much a part of mainstream American culture. I mean seeing human beings, particularly women, as nothing more than entertainment created for one’s own personal consumption is very, very mainstream American pop culturish. You can’t get more blue pill than that.


  11. Marlo Rocci July 23, 2013 at 12:37 #

    I find myself occasionally wondering what the 100% fatherless society is going to look like, since that is what we’re speeding towards. Feminists would like to believe this will result in a female dominated society, you know, the hand that rocks the cradle rules the world. But unless they actually intend to kill off male children in order to ensure female majorities, I suspect what they’ll end up with is a generation of disaffected males with a permanent inability form attachments with women. In other words, and with some irony, the feminist model of parenting is going to result in women being reduced in the eyes of men as nothing more than sex toys.


  12. Aye. July 23, 2013 at 12:39 #

    My best friend and I met when we were 12. Her kitten, Artemis, was separated from his mother too soon, and started suckling on the family’s other (neutered) male cat, Bruiser. Bruiser did produce milk for a short time to nurture the baby. The two remained closely bonded for the rest of their lives. Anyone or anything with nipples COULD theoretically produce milk with the right rush of hormones and adequate nutrition. That’s mammals.


  13. judgybitch July 23, 2013 at 12:39 #

    Sadly, that’s a good description of black culture, where feminism has intersected with the legacy of slavery to utterly disastrous effect.


  14. Goober July 23, 2013 at 14:55 #

    It really sucks that we even need to have this conversation. It sucks that we’re having to spend taxpayer money to do studies that show that (shocker alert!) babies really, really need their mommies and their daddies, as if that is some sort of massive, down-the-rabbit-hole revelation to some people.

    Inevitably, whenever you start having the conversation about how babies really need their mommies and daddies, you get into the fact that some mommies, and some daddies, are really, really shitty people, and no matter how badly a baby craves their presence, the baby is better off without it.

    I wish, instead of politicizing this to forward ideological goals, like feminists will almost certainly do (by saying, in effect, that fathers should never win custody because babies need their mommy) that we could focus on the best outcome for the baby’s best interest and do what is best for him. And sometimes, despite the fact that fathers can’t breastfeed, that choice is still to give the baby to daddy instead of mommy.

    In fact, I think the whole “breast is best” campaign and others have a hidden, ulterior motive behind them to ingrain in people’s brains that not breastfeeding is tantamount to abuse, and therefore give mothers an upper hand in child custody hearings. There is nothing that I can put my finger on, but I really, truly think that this is at least partially their motive. There is data that shows that breast feeding is better, but it isn’t THAT MUCH better, and these folks spin the situation like formula is poison that will turn your child into some unworldly mutant freak. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out why they would want to do that unless you consider child custody leverage in your analysis.

    My wife, for instance, was unable to sustain our daughter on breast feeding, alone. She still breastfed, but never made enough milk (or any milk at all, some days) to sustain our daughter, so we (GASP!) fed her formula to keep her alive. I was shocked at how the lactation Nazis at our hospital made that seem almost scandalous and unforgivable, telling my wife that she was harming our baby by not fully sustaining her on breastmilk. It seemed to me that they would rather our child starved to death than drank a single drop of formula. After our second appointment, with my wife nearly reduced to tears and convinced that she was an unfit mother because she couldn’t make milk, I told those Nazi cows to go fuck themselves and left with my family (no, I really did – those were my exact words). So many babies have been successfully raised on formula at this point, with little to no deleterious health effects, that I hardly think that inability to breastfeed should be a considered factor at all, but since it is an advantage of giving the baby to mommy, feminists use this as an arrow in their quiver when it comes to custody battles.

    I note how they discount the differences between men and women when it doesn’t suit them, and yet pound them to death when it does. Equality? Pshaw…


  15. Dr. Illusion July 23, 2013 at 14:55 #

    The Red Pill is just seeing the truth and analyzing everything instead of believing whatever the MSM or anyone else tells you. You don’t have to be MGTOW or PUA to be Red Pill. That makes no sense at all. Look at all the bloggers who are married and use Game and Red Pill awareness to maintain happy, healthy relationships. Vox Day, Rollo, SSM and her husband, myself, Young Hunter, the list goes on.

    Don’t confuse Red Pill with sexual strategy. Red pill is truth, mating is just one thing to see the truth about.


  16. MargeryM July 23, 2013 at 19:41 #

    You might want to travel on over to where we are talking about natural beauty methods like the ones you have suggested and will be talking about more. For the most part we identify as Red Pill women over there.


  17. Alex July 23, 2013 at 19:54 #

    you can thank 16th century noblemen for that. also, people would be extremely smelly and have seriously bad breath. not everyone is comfortable with being a hippy


  18. Take Back Your Face! July 23, 2013 at 19:56 #

    There is not one monolithic “black culture”. Shall we label British “chav culture” as “white culture”?

    What we see amongst the financially disadvantaged sub-cultures in the urban centers of Britain and the US is due to a combination of poverty, lack of intelligence, lack of family, lack of good culture.

    Wealthy children of single parents do not experience any where near the amount of dysfunction that we see in general in those demographics. Money sort of buffers them against the other stuff.

    So as the commenter above asked; what will a fatherless society look like? Just look at fatherless kids now, in all the various financial demographics and that will tell you. It will look different depending on the extent of a financial buffer.

    By the way, I cringe when dysfunction is associated with being poor because I know plenty of poor people who’s families are intact, functional and cultured. So I don’t know if this horribleness is associated with just the West in general, or US and UK in particular or with Western urban centers or what.

    I don’t see it in other parts of the world. In most places the poor manage to have great family values.


  19. Take Back Your Face! July 23, 2013 at 19:58 #

    Doc, the names you mention fail to take the red pill on religion.

    If one takes the red pill, might as go all the way and deconstruct ALL the institutions of illusions, not just the ones we don’t like.


  20. Dr. Illusion July 23, 2013 at 20:25 #

    I think Rollo is an atheist. Not sure.


  21. Take Back Your Face! July 23, 2013 at 20:25 #

    Since biologically male mammals are capable of producing milk too, I think the equality your looking for Goober can be found in mainstreaming that scientific fact and giving cultural permission to fathers to also breast feed. Right now I’d say that fact is largely unknown and certainly taboo in practice.

    Lets red pill it and make it mainstream.

    Be the change!


  22. Dr. Illusion July 23, 2013 at 20:25 #

    And I know Young Hunter isn’t religious.


  23. Take Back Your Face! July 23, 2013 at 22:16 #

    Yeah it cracks me up when I hear religious fanatics talk about taking the “red pill” and how they are so “alternative” and how blue pillers/feminists or women in general are “less logical” than men who believe in myths and are even willing to lay down their lives for fairies and spirit beings.

    And I’m not an atheist either.


  24. Goober July 24, 2013 at 01:03 #

    Or how about we just accept the fact that feeding a baby formula is not that big of a fucking deal?


  25. Goober July 24, 2013 at 01:07 #

    Agreed – study after study shows that babys and children do not suffer because they are poor (as long as basic needs like food, water, and shelter are met), but rather because the condition of being poor leads to fractured, insecure family lives.

    I grew up pretty damn poor. We (family of 5) lived in a 21 foot motorhome for nearly a year.

    I turned out fine. So did my brother and sister. Turns out that kids growing up “poor” today still have it infinitely better than even the richest of kids did throughout most of human history. Lucky us.

    Being poor is not the problem. Fractured families are the problem.


  26. Goober July 24, 2013 at 01:13 #

    YEAH! FUCK living in houses – so blue pill! And streets and cities?! Fuck them, too!

    Let’s just take down every single social institution that there is because RED PILL!!!

    Or, maybe we could calm down and have a rational discussion about there being middle ground between wearing high heeled shoes and going barefoot everywhere we go.

    Or, how about the fact that wearing high heels is a personal choice, over which you really have no say if someone wants to wear them?

    Individual freedom is the red pill. It’s the only red pill that there is. Men must be free, because nothing else can be.

    I highly doubt that the red pill/blue pill discussion has gotten to a place where we can discuss makeup, when we’re still talking about whether it is okay or not to FUCKING KILL SOMEONE because they refuse to buy health insurance…..


  27. Take Back Your Face! July 24, 2013 at 03:43 #

    “you can thank 16th century noblemen for that. also, people would be extremely smelly and have seriously bad breath. not everyone is comfortable with being a hippy”

    Thank them for what – toothpaste?

    I have the ancient Hindus to thank for that, thank you very much.


    Freshest. Breath. Ever.


  28. Exfernal July 24, 2013 at 15:25 #

    Aren’t you overreacting? The point of the NYT article that I have linked a while ago wasn’t about negative effects of feeding a baby formula to the infant, but about negative effects of not feeding ANY breast milk to the infant. Supplementation with a formula is surely a better alternative to starvation.

    A more sophisticated formula with the composition more closely resembling mother’s milk would be an even better alternative. With so many potential allergens, why would anyone take unnecessary risks? Toddlers in general have more developed immune system than infants, so gradual exposure is safer.


  29. Keanu July 24, 2013 at 22:22 #

    Hey JB- Have you done a post about Tucker Reed yet? If not, some definite material for you:


  30. Goober July 25, 2013 at 00:29 #

    I’m a little touchy on the subject, yes. My wife has been driven to tears by breastmilk nazis one too many times for me to not get a little poppa-bear about this stuff when it comes up. Sorry.


  31. Take Back Your Face! July 27, 2013 at 04:14 #

    “Or, maybe we could calm down and have a rational discussion about there being middle ground between wearing high heeled shoes and going barefoot everywhere we go. ”

    I mentioned the shoe middle ground. Vibram’s Five Fingers.


  32. Take Back Your Face! July 27, 2013 at 04:18 #

    Depends on the ingredients of the formula.

    Organic coconut milk, hemp milk are better alternatives.

    There’s so many other REAL milks to feed a baby other than FDA approved genetically modified corn and soy franken-formula.


  33. Take Back Your Face! July 27, 2013 at 04:19 #



  34. Take Back Your Face! July 27, 2013 at 06:18 #

    “Or how about we just accept the fact that feeding a baby formula is not that big of a fucking deal?”

    Well, that depends on the ingredients in the formula. Here in the States its FDA approved genetically modified corn and soy.

    There are far better alternatives such as organic coconut milk, h*mp milks, and other milks.


  35. Sarah Daniels August 29, 2013 at 01:58 #

    I am not an advocate of pumping milk into a bottle so I can give it to my daughter when she can get it from me. It just doesn’t seem normal or right. Why fix what was never broken? Why can’t a Father just be happy with seeing his child during the day until they are old enough to stay with him overnight? Men and women are different and men and women have different roles. You can’t pretend we are both the same. That would essentially make you a feminist. Men were never fussed about this kind of thing before feminism. They left the hands on baby business to the Mother and that is how it has been for 1,000s of years all around the world.


  36. judgybitch August 29, 2013 at 02:16 #

    Except when mommy died. Then daddy was on full time. And here we are. We all survived. Together.


  37. Sophia's Daddy March 17, 2014 at 03:45 #

    Great read. I’m actually going through this at the moment. After a bad break up 7.5 months into our pregnancy, things went downhill for me. I was extremely excited to start this new chapter in life as a father only for all that excitement to be shot down with pain and frustration. My daughters mother went on to birth our baby girl without notifying me of any of it. I actually found out on Instagram a few days later. I had to retain an attorney and file against her because I wasn’t added to my child’s birth certificate as her father nor did she share my last name. $20k & 4 months (the last two with supervised visits) later we just last week had our 1st temporary orders court date. I’m happy to say that things went our way and I now have my angel two days a week every week and alternate weekends overnight! She does just fine with me and I love fatherhood! Watching her little eyes blink until she falls asleep in my arms is the best and waking up to her smile is priceless. Oh yeah, the judge also ordered that her last name is to be changed to mine. 🙂

    Proud daddy.
    God is good.


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