Cots as 'little baby jail cells' and bedtimes for babies 'abuse': Mum's unconventional parenting philosophy goes viral

Picture: TikTok
Picture: TikTok 

There's attachment parenting ... then there's this.

A mum from Arizona has been ridiculed for her unusual parenting philosophy, after likening bedtime routines to abuse and describing cots as jail cells. 

Alice Bender, from Arizona, took to TikTok to share a video of her approach to sleep for her five-month-old, Fern.

While a pet bunny hops around the nursery, the mum shares her belief that most 'typical' nurseries are set up 'for the parent's benefit, not the child's'. 

Critiquing parents for putting artwork up high, she then moves on to one of the most debatable ethos in parenting: sleep, taking issue with the use of cots.

"We literally buy these little baby jail cells so we can leave our baby in there and walk away," she says.

"I don't have a crib because I will never enforce a bedtime for my child. Babies are people too and forcing anyone to sleep when they're not tired is inhumane," she adds.

"Imagine if your partner locked you in a container you couldn't get out of and forced you to sleep when you're not tired. That would be abuse and you would (hopefully) leave them."

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Continuing to say that kids deserve the right to bodily autonomy,  she then shows the floor bed she uses so her baby can get up and move around when if it's not tired. 

The video has so far been viewed more than 7.7 million times, and being TikTok, users did not hold back in the comments, many pointing out everything from potential safety issues, to what may happen in five years or if she later has more children. 

"OMG this is the most asinine video I've seen in a while. Babies need sleep and it's your job to provide a safe place to sleep," wrote one.

"It's all fine and merry when it's just you and your first kid. Then you have four that are all on their own schedule. Don't do this with multiples," another advised.

"I don't even have a kid but this just sounds silly," another chimed in.

When asked what she planned to do once Fern was school-aged, the mum said they would go to school tired. 

"Send them to school the same way adults still have to work even when they don't get any sleep."

However some users defended her approach, saying they too had never had a bedtime routine.

"I've never enforced a bedtime and my children have each fell (sic) into their own schedules. I don't use cribs or other baby containers either," said one.

"I don't get why she's being judged. Y'all hate on anything. It's her choice not yours," added one.

It's Bender's only theory. Also an advocate for freebirth (not having any medical birth attendant) and homebirth, she has also told followers of her belief that hospitals are 'for profit' and that the more things that go wrong with a birth, the more money the hospital makes.