never ever ever let baby ‘cry it out’

December 17, 2008 at 5:41 am 3 comments

be extremely cautious and wise to “expert” advice if there is any recommendation for training your baby to sleep or ‘cry it out’. when a child is left to cry alone in a crib, they think they are dying and the reason they eventually stop crying is because their brain goes into primal mode from stress and shuts down. babies do not know that they are separate human beings until around 18 months so the impact of being left alone to cry is harmful and can be permanently damaging. never ever ever leave a baby to cry.

AVOID ALL ‘SLEEP TRAINING’ BOOKS INCLUDING…
here is a customer review of the book “healthy sleep habits, happy child”

A friend gave me “Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child” as a baby gift. As an anxious first-time mother, I was frantic when I read Dr. Weissbluth’s warning that unless my son learned to sleep in a certain way, he was likely to develop attention deficit disorder or be prone to injury. After additional reading on the topic, I no longer believe this to be true. In fact, the nursery-crib-sleep schedule phenomenon is a very recent development in human evolution.

Dr. Weissbluth’s book is filled with anecdotes from exhausted parents who endured three or four nights of their child’s hard crying, but were delighted with the results. He makes his method sound straightforward and simple. However, it took one of my neighbors eight weeks to sleep train her daughter. Another neighbor had to retrain her son because the training “wore off.” After two weeks of sleep training, my cheerful six month old was a sullen, voracious thumbsucker who had lost weight and no longer trusted me implicitly.

Most of the mothers Dr. Weissbluth interviews confessed to an initial concern about emotionally damaging their children by letting them cry themselves to sleep. Dr. Weissbluth confidently assures them that they will do no such thing. How does he know this? There is a large volume of infant sleep research indicating that babies left alone to cry themselves to sleep experience numerous physiological changes, including elevated levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

Dr. Weissbluth offers hope and a quick fix for parents who want to or must limit the amount of time they spend attending to the needs of their children. For those parents willing and able to follow their instincts, though, I highly recommend the books “Our Babies, Ourselves” by anthropologist Meredith Small, and “Three in a Bed” by Deborah Jackson.

IF YOU NEED HELP WITH SLEEP, EMAIL US. info@naturalparentingcenter.com

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. naptimewriting  |  December 18, 2008 at 3:00 am

    Thank you for this post. We found a lot of comfort in Bonnie Reichert’s In Search of Sleep. With a nighttime parenting situation that honored our belief in our son’s right to trust his parents to come whenever he really needed us, we were visiting our child to help parent him back to sleep at least three times a night for almost three years. We were desperate to know that what we were doing was right, and that what we were experiencing was normal. The reality is that children don’t usually sleep through the night without needing at least some help until three or four years old. Our society privileges the two month old sleeper, but that’s just not normal. And I can’t help thinking that the intense adult sleep disorder phenomenon has something to do with the cry it out approach.
    Regardless, the instincts you feel as a parent are the ones that should be honored. Child experts change their tune every half a generation or so…just find a network of people who honor your gut and you’ll do far better by your child than you would forcing her to sleep as soon as she joins your family.

    Reply
  • 2. klaroche  |  December 18, 2008 at 5:02 am

    ah yes. thanks for this. few people realize that babies are NOT SUPPOSED TO SLEEP THROUGH THE NIGHT…while this may be challenging for us, it is not only normal for babies, it is essential to their brain development. it has been postulated that SIDS is related to babies falling into sleep that is too deep. our instincts are telling us loud and clear when we feel intensely driven to go to our babies when they are crying.
    i feel so sad for my mother and others of her generation who were trained to ignore our cries. not only did we suffer as babies, but so did our parents because they became numb to their own feelings and instincts.

    Reply
  • 3. ecobabybuzz  |  December 28, 2008 at 1:48 am

    This is a great post. I think it’s important for new parents (and sometimes not so new parents) to understand from their baby’s point of view how it feels to be left to cry all alone. I have always been a pretty firm believer in holding my babies, baby wearing an co-sleeping. Thanks for a great post.

    Reply

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