What is blanket training in 2024? complete guide
It’s obedience training for babies. It’s described in Michael and Debi Pearl’s To Train Up a Child. The baby is placed on a blanket with an object. If the baby takes even a finger off the blanket before being given permission, the baby is swatted with a flexible ruler or plastic tubing. The Pearls provide a list of sizes of tubing to use depending on the age of the child.
Blanket Training is About Adults, Not Children
Blanket training is a child training method advocated by Gary and Anne Marie Ezzo and popularized by the Duggar family through their TLC show. It has its own Wikipedia page and has its own featured page on the Duggar Family Blog. Parents have adopted this child training method specifically because of the duggars.
In its simplest form, blanket training consists of three actions: (1) place a young child (usually an infant or toddler) on a small blanket; (2) tell that child not to move off the blanket; and (3) strike that child if they move off the blanket. Rinse, repeat.
The training can be more elaborate than this. Some advocates may describe it more gently, poetically, or less fearsome-sounding. Others prefer corporal punishment to be a last resort if a child moves off the blanket. But despite linguistic dress-up, at its core, it remains the same: you punish a young, still-developing child for wanting to indulge its natural curiosity and crawl off a blanket.
Blanket training is essentially a specific manifestation of “first-time obedience” training, also popularized by the Ezzos as well as Michael and Debi Pearl. The Pearls use this same technique, but instead of a blanket, they use an object the infant or toddler will find attractive:
Place an appealing object where they can reach it. when they spy it and make a dive for it, in a calm voice, say, ‘No, don’t touch that.’ Since they are already familiar with the word ‘no,’ they will likely pause, look at you in wonder, and then turn around and grab it. Switch their hands once and simultaneously say, No.
While the forms differ, the technique and message are the same: set up boundaries for the child that impinge on the child’s natural curiosity and development, and then punish them for acting on that nature. Ultimately, this technique (and its message) rest upon the idea that children’s nature is hell-bent rather than innocently curious. Voddie Baucham would express this idea by saying children are “vipers in diapers” and thus require significant restraint.
Families that grew up in Bill Gothard’s IBLP or ATI programs are likely familiar with blanket training. Gothard and his cohorts advocated it. A former IBLP attendee remembers Lori Voeller, wife of former ATI President Jim Voeller, teaching blanket training in the following way:
I remember Lori Voeller in her message on blanket training telling us that her child was so “trained” to stay on a blanket that she had been calling the child and she would not dare get off the blanket. The child knew this was a baiting technique. Lori thought this was admirable. I was horrified. I was thinking, “Yeah, Lori, what if the house is burning down and your child can’t think for himself or herself about getting off of a stupid blanket because they are so fearful of doing the wrong thing?”
Here are quotes from To Train Up a Child. There are more at the link that show more of the Pearls’ abusive need for power and control.
At four months, she was too unknowing to be punished for disobedience. But for her own good, we attempted to train her not to climb the stairs by coordinating the voice command “no” with little spats on the bare legs. The switch was a twelve-inch-long, one-eighth-inch-diameter sprig from a willow tree.
But what about the grouchy child who would rather complain than sleep? Get tough. Be firm with him. Never put him down and then, for some reason, reverse your position, allowing him to get up. For your reputation with the child, you must follow through. He may not be able to sleep, but he can be trained to lie there quietly. He will very quickly come to know that any time he is laid down, there is no alternative but to stay put. To get up is to be on the firing line and get switched back down.
A seven-month-old boy had, upon failing to get his way, stiffened and clenched his fists, bared his toothless gums, and called down damnation on the whole place. At a time like that, the angry expression on a baby’s face can resemble that of one instigating a riot. The young mother, wanting to do the right thing, stood there in helpless consternation, apologetically shrugged her shoulders, and said, “What can I do?” My incredulous nine-year-old whipped back, “Switch him.” The mother responded, “I can’t; he’s too little.” With the wisdom of a veteran who had been on the little end of the switch, my daughter answered, “If he is old enough to pitch a fit, he is old enough to be spanked.”
On p. 65, co-author Debi Pearl whips the bare leg of a 15-month-old she is babysitting 10 separate times for not playing with something she tells him to play with.
After about ten acts of stubborn defiance, followed by ten switchings, he surrendered his will to one higher than himself. In rolling the wheel, he did what every accountable human being must do—he humbled himself before the “highest” and admitted that his interests were not paramount. After one begrudged roll, my wife turned to other chores.
We never used the rod to punish a child younger than 12 months.
For young children, especially during the first year, the rod is used very lightly as a training tool. You use something small and light to get the child’s attention and to reinforce your command.
One or two light licks on the bare legs or arms will cause a child to stop in his tracks and regard your commands.
A 12-inch piece of weed eater chord works well as a beginner rod. It will fit in your purse or pocket.
Later, a plumber’s supply line is a good spanking tool. You can get it at Wal-Mart or any hardware store. Ask for a plastic, ¼ inch, supply line. They come in different lengths and several colors, so you can have a designer rod to suit your taste. They sell for less than $1.00.
Their instructions have emboldened parents to keep striking children with the expectation of obedience. There have been reports of deaths from parents using the Pearls’ book. Fortunately, the deaths have caused a backlash.
Child ‘training’ book triggers backlash
But they point out that increasing numbers of conservative Christian families have been turning against the Pearls’ teachings, partly in reaction to the three deaths.
One American woman who blogs under the name Hermana Linda and runs a website for Christians seeking information to counter the Pearls’ mindset says she has seen many people react with disgust to their teachings.
A concept called “gentle parenting,” which opposes spanking, has been slowly gaining ground, she says. Others see a similar trend worldwide.
What is a blanket direction?
I’m not quite sure what you mean by the question. Most blankets do come with washing instructions on a sewn-on tag or label. You shouldn’t cut this off, as you will need to refer to it when it comes time to clean the blanket. If you are talking about the orientation of the blanket on the bed, blankets do usually have a right side and a wrong side, and you can tell by the stitching. Usually, the side with the more unfinished-looking seams goes down. Most blankets have a foot (bottom) and a header (top.) The header, which goes at the pillow end, has a much wider hem or even a decorative fabric or trim. Normally, the cleaning tags are sewn onto the bottom of the blanket.
What is “blanket training” and what are its benefits for infants?
I always give blankets as a baby gift; they are very soft with satin; actually, I buy two exactly alike in case one is lost or dirty. I suggest that the parents alternate using them so that they wear out at the same time. Blanket training helps the child develop security. It is comforting to the child when the parent is not around. Babies will be less likely to suck their thumb or pacifier if they have a “blankie.”. Offer the blanket instead of the pacifier. A pacifier or thumb will inhibit language development. A child doesn’t need to be weaned from a blanket.
When can I cover my baby with a blanket in her crib?
You can easily Google all the guidelines, but let me tell you something real.
I have never felt such pain and worry in my life, like I did when my daughter was very little.
Having just delivered a living human the size of a watermelon through one of the most sensitive parts of your body is more than enough to deal with at a time, but then the endless sleepless nights and days of worry, stress, constant crying (mostly from the baby, but I’ve cried my eyes out as well, tbh), insecurity, endless milk bottles, hormonal roller-coasters, breastfeeding attempts, and Google-ing while unable to even sit, take a shower, or go to the toilet without fainting from pain began. And this lasted literally for the first three months, non-stop. It does get better day by day, agonizingly slowly, though.
And then you have the rules. Made by organizations based on previous incidents, mostly by (sometimes male) doctors based on scientific data collected. As guidelines, they are very useful and informative. But they lack one main ingredient: a mother’s love. Mothers know what’s best for their children. They have the instinct inside their souls.
While SIDS is a very real danger, these guidelines on preventing SIDS are useful information to identify what the risks are. It is important to be well aware of them.
But the rules need to be considered and adjusted to what best fits the needs of you and your baby, because you two are one of a kind.
Let me give you an example.
I studied the photo of an empty crib with a fitted sheet and no pillow, blanket, or toys inside. I’ve put my baby in her sleeping suit, with a room temperature of 20–22 Celsius, alone in her empty crib, her hands reaching from my bed. Exactly as advised by the safety guidelines.
Well, there was a problem. My daughter cried every time I put her in her cold prison cell. Neither she nor I could get any sleep for the next month. I was very serious about following the doctor’s recommendations, fearing I would suffocate my baby with a teddy, blanket, or, God forbid, my body, if I failed to put her back in her crib before dozing off while holding her. I became more stressed, unbelievably tired, and even suicidal as time went on because I saw no end to this agony of no sleep and constant crying.
Then what started happening was that while I would feed my baby, I would fall asleep with her in my arms in my bed and wake up hours later with her sleeping happily, and I felt amazed but extremely guilty for what I thought was risking my child’s life by my lack of strength to follow the rules. But the baby, just like a small newborn kitten, wanted the smell, warmth, and security of her mother right by her side. And she didn’t want it any other way. The “alarm” (crying) would go off the moment she was laid into the “security” of her isolated sleeping space, aka crib.
I started reading about the benefits of co-sleeping with an infant. About how the mother’s body temperature changes to adjust to the child’s needs when in close contact with the child. Most SIDS cases happen when the baby is alone in the crib. Most cases of infant suffocation happened when the mother consumed alcohol prior to lying next to her infant, or when the parent dozed off from exhaustion on a sofa, and the baby in their arms then fell or suffocated.
Even though I realized co-sleeping is a good thing for us, I was still so scared of it because of the recommendations that were carved into my brain. Then one night, I decided that, rather than jumping off a cliff due to exhaustion and depression, I would move my daughter into my bed, following the main safety guidelines.
I removed my duvet and slept with only one light blanket and a thin pillow in my corner of the bed. I would instinctively put my body in a no-roll-over position towards my child. Her blanket would be tucked in under her in such a way that it could never end up over her face, and I never used any medicines or substances that could alter my sense of awareness while I co-slept with my baby. I also bought railings for my bed so she could not fall off.
From that moment on, we both slept through the night, only waking up for feeds and diaper changes. Life became good. We bonded. I became so aware of any changes in her that I would wake up as soon as she opened her eyes. She never had to cry to get my attention. She was no longer alone and afraid.
My fears were gone. I knew what was best for her. Mothers do have special sensors. It probably comes with the hormones. My mother was right when she kept on telling me how people had kids before guidelines, the Internet, or baby cots existed. And they sometimes had 10 kids in a family all co-sleeping, and blankets were the least of their worries. LOL!
A mother knows. Trust your instincts while following safety guidelines and being aware of the SIDS risks while taking precautions to prevent them.
If you feel your baby needs a blanket, give one, but choose an appropriate size to be tucked in from all sides, keeping the top end away from falling over your child’s face, if the baby should lift their hands up or roll to the side.
What is the blanket training method?
The term “blanket training method” typically refers to a controversial child-rearing practice advocated by some conservative Christian groups, notably associated with advocates like Michael and Debi Pearl in their book “To Train Up a Child.”
In this method, parents are advised to use a blanket or similar soft object to create a boundary for infants and toddlers. When the child attempts to cross the boundary, the parent uses physical discipline, such as spanking or swatting, to deter them from doing so. The idea is to teach the child obedience and respect for authority through consistent and immediate punishment for disobedience.
Critics of this method argue that it can lead to physical harm and emotional trauma and can create a fear-based relationship between parent and child. Many child development experts and organizations caution against the use of physical discipline and emphasize the importance of positive, nurturing parenting techniques that focus on teaching rather than punishment.
How do you blanket-train a baby?
Blanket training, as described in some parenting books and resources, typically involves the following steps:
- Selecting a Blanket: Choose a soft blanket or mat that will serve as the boundary for the child. It should be large enough to create a defined space but not so large that the child can easily step over it.
- Establishing Boundaries: Place the blanket on the floor and clearly define the boundaries for the child. You may verbally explain to the child that they are not supposed to cross the boundary.
- Supervision: Supervise the child closely as they play within the designated area. Whenever the child attempts to crawl or move beyond the boundary, intervene promptly.
- Discipline: If the child persists in trying to cross the boundary despite verbal warnings, some proponents of this method advocate for using physical discipline, such as a light spank or swat, to deter the behavior. The idea is to associate crossing the boundary with immediate consequences.
- Consistency: Remain consistent in enforcing the boundaries and consequences. Repetition and consistency are believed to be essential in teaching the child obedience and respect for authority.
It’s important to note that blanket training is a controversial practice, and many child development experts and organizations caution against the use of physical discipline with infants and young children. Advocates of positive parenting techniques emphasize the importance of nurturing respectful interactions with children and discouraging the use of punishment as a means of teaching obedience. Always consider consulting with pediatricians or child development specialists for guidance on effective and safe parenting strategies.
At what age should you start blanket training?
The age at which blanket training is typically started can vary depending on the proponents of the method and individual parenting philosophies. However, it’s commonly recommended to begin blanket training when the child is around 6 months to 18 months old, typically when they start crawling and exploring their environment more actively.
Advocates of blanket training often suggest starting at an early age to establish boundaries and teach obedience. However, it’s crucial to consider the developmental stage and readiness of the child. Infants and young toddlers may not fully understand or respond to the concept of boundaries in the same way that older children might.
Regardless of the age at which blanket training is initiated, it’s essential to prioritize the child’s safety, well-being, and emotional development. It’s advisable to seek guidance from pediatricians, child development experts, or parenting resources that align with evidence-based, nurturing approaches to child-rearing.
What is the purpose of the blanket exercise?
The Blanket Exercise is a participatory educational workshop developed by KAIROS Canada, a faith-based social justice organization, in collaboration with Indigenous elders, knowledge keepers, and educators. The purpose of the Blanket Exercise is to educate participants about the historical and contemporary experiences of Indigenous peoples in Canada, particularly focusing on the impacts of colonization, dispossession of land, and the resilience of Indigenous communities.
During the blanket exercise, participants physically represent Indigenous peoples by standing on blankets that represent the land. As the facilitator reads a script, participants engage in various activities that simulate historical events, such as the arrival of European settlers, the imposition of treaties, the spread of diseases, and the forced displacement of Indigenous peoples from their traditional lands. Throughout the exercise, blankets are gradually removed to symbolize the loss of land and resources due to colonization and assimilation policies.
The Blanket Exercise aims to foster empathy, understanding, and reconciliation by providing a visceral and interactive experience that highlights the systemic injustices faced by Indigenous peoples. It encourages participants to reflect on their own roles in addressing issues of social justice, decolonization, and building relationships with Indigenous communities.
Overall, the Blanket Exercise serves as a powerful tool for education, reconciliation, and promoting dialogue and action towards Indigenous rights and justice in Canada and beyond.
What is a blanket and what are its uses?
A blanket is a large piece of fabric typically used to cover or wrap oneself for warmth, comfort, or protection. Blankets come in various sizes, materials, and designs, and they serve a range of purposes beyond simply providing warmth. Some common uses of blankets include:
- Sleeping: Blankets are commonly used on beds to provide warmth and comfort while sleeping. They can be used alone or layered with other bedding, such as sheets and duvets.
- Home Decor: Blankets are often used as decorative accents in homes. They can be draped over furniture such as sofas, chairs, or benches to add texture, color, and style to a room.
- Travel: Blankets are useful for providing warmth and comfort while traveling. They can be taken on road trips, camping trips, flights, or train journeys to ensure comfort during periods of rest or relaxation.
- Picnics: Blankets are frequently used as ground coverings during picnics or outdoor gatherings. They provide a clean and comfortable surface for sitting or lounging while enjoying meals or socializing outdoors.
- Camping: Blankets are essential camping gear for providing warmth and insulation in tents or around campfires. They can also be used as makeshift sleeping bags or wraps in cooler temperatures.
- Emergency Preparedness: Blankets are included in emergency preparedness kits as they can provide warmth and protection during natural disasters, power outages, or other emergencies.
- Pet Bedding: Blankets are often used as bedding for pets, providing them with a soft and cozy place to rest or sleep.
Overall, blankets serve a variety of practical and functional purposes in everyday life, offering warmth, comfort, and versatility in various settings and activities.
What is blanket training in 2024? complete guide