Anti-vaxx parenting influencer faces backlash after calling cribs ‘baby jail cells’

Anti-vaxx parenting influencer faces backlash after calling cribs ‘baby jail cells’

A parenting influencer sparked a backlash for equating cribs to “baby jail cells”.

Alice Bender, or @comingupfern to her 100,000 followers, said in a TikTok video:

“We literally buy these little baby jail cells so we can leave our baby in there and walk away. I don’t have a crib because I will never force my baby to have a bedtime.

"Imagine if your partner locked you in a container you couldn’t get out of and forced you to sleep even though you weren’t tired. That would be abuse and you’d probably leave them.”

She added that her five-month-old has a floor bed so that she can crawl around when she’s finished sleeping.

One commenter hit back by saying:

“Babies don’t have self-regulatory mechanisms developed yet to determine ‘I feel tired’ = ‘I should close my eyes and go to sleep’. Adults have to help children learn how to take care of themselves by creating an environment for good sleep.”

Another joked:

“Next week on this lady’s TikTok: why I let my five month old drive.”

NHS guidance recommends “placing a baby to sleep on their back to sleep, in a cot in the same room as you, for the first six months” to help prevent SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome).

Bender’s TikTok is filled with controversial views. She encourages her followers to be sceptical of doctors, hospitals and vaccinations.  

Her five month-old’s sleeping set-up left people unimpressed.

In another TikTok, Bender responded to the criticism that “kids thrive on structure”. She doubled down on her analogy, saying:

"Imagine if your little sister came to you and said my husband puts me in a container I can’t get out of every night. So you go over to her house and you inspect the container and you notice bite marks and claw marks from her trying to escape.

"And then you ask her husband about it and he says my wife thrives on a schedule. Look me in the eyes and say you wouldn’t be upset."

Bender has been contacted for further comment.

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