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Trust maternal instincts, says expert

Desmond Morris criticises the harsh methods of some modern childcare experts.
Britain's best-known zoologist and the acclaimed writer Desmond Morris has hit out at modern baby books for advocating "unnatural" methods of child-rearing.

The Naked Ape author intends to publish his own childcare guide because he says that babies should be given tender loving care whenever they need it, instead of being left to fend for themselves as advocated by some modern nannies.

Morris said that he had grown weary of "prescriptive" baby books that attempt to introduce "cold discipline" into a relationship that should only be about nurturing.

He explained that when he was born in 1928, the harsh theories of baby care were in vogue and he suffered the effects of them.

"After that, my mother decided to abandon the teachings of the day and trust to her maternal instincts," Morris said.

He added: "I'm very angry that baby books have recently begun repeating the unnatural dictates of so-called childcare experts of the past, who ordered mothers never to hug or kiss their babies and ignore them if they cry."

The author said that many modern mothers rely strongly on baby care books because they lack the support of extended family or their partners, so childcare experts should be more responsible with their advice.

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