I am an adult who has struggled with self esteem issues. One of the biggest causes of self esteem issues in children rises not out of neglect as many think, but out of overparenting and overprotectiveness. It is vitally important that toddlers learn to develop a sense of self, and that this should grow with them as they grow. They should know that they are not an extension of their parent/parents. They are individuals. My children have Asperger Syndrome, and one of the most important things to teach them, is to have their own identity, their own sense of self, and to know that other people have needs and rights as well as them. One of the things I have become quite aware of as I have taught them this, it that many other parents don't in fact teach their supposedly "normal" children the same. Yes babies need to have their needs met, as and when. But this needs to change as they develop. I think one thing that worries me about the idea that babies needs must be paramount at all times is, that it can be very demanding to a mother who is feeling the pressure. In my opinion mum and dad's needs are just as important to babies. I do not agree with controlled crying etc, but I do think there is a time and a place for letting baby wait, especially if mum or dad feel so much under pressure by meeting baby's demands as and when, that their own health - mentally or physically- is at risk.