Block your ears peeps or stock up on ear plugs.
For it seems we’re about to be hit with an influx of screaming babies, left to cry on their own, in their cots, while parents happily ignore them.
Media outlets around the world are publishing headlines such as:
“It's OK to let your baby cry himself to sleep, study finds”
“Parents Shouldn't Feel Guilty About Training Babies to Sleep”
Media outlets are claiming ‘Cry-it-out’ is OK; that letting your precious baby cry itself to sleep causes no harm, after the American Pediatrics journal published results of decade-long Flinders University research.
The most successful technique was controlled crying, where babies learned to self soothe, which had infants falling asleep, on average, 13 minutes sooner, according to YAHOO.
Researcher Dr Michael Gradisar said there was the added benefit that the babies “weren't waking up so much during the night as well”.
“Dr Gradisar said the 43 participants were retested for salivary cortisol 12 months later, and again researchers couldn’t find any harmful effects on children’s behaviour or emotions,” according to Adelaide Now.
|Precious babies. Love, cherish, respond to.|
Such studies are fascinating for parents. The research findings are very interesting/ good to know.
I can understand why and how Controlled Crying may work for some, however, my real concern here is the media’s focus on “cry-it-out” instead of “controlled crying” and that the research relates to babies and toddlers aged from 6-16 months. Not younger than 6 months.
Consider how many sleep deprived mums are now seeing headlines pop up in their news feeds suggesting it’s OK to just leave their babies to scream until they pass out from exhaustion, with their needs unmet. Well, that really doesn’t sit well with me.
CC = parent checks on bub at intervals, for example, 1 min, 2 min, 5 min, 8 min to reassure them and then starts process again.
It’s a shame that many people are encouraged to program their babies, these precious little humans, into becoming robots who feed and sleep at set times.
Instead of, I don’t know… FOLLOWING their needs, responding to their communication – which is in the form of crying because they can’t talk yet - and watching for their tired signs so they can tell YOU when they’re ready for sleep!
If they’re crying, it’s usually because they’re wet, dirty, hungry, thirsty, or in need of some affection.
What if I told you, you CAN have your baby sleeping well using a GENTLE approach!?
No leaving babies to scream. Ever.
|Breastfed to sleep and happily/gently transitioned into self-settling in their cots so they could sleep through from 5 months.|
“Bedtime fading is the more preferred technique parents choose when provided both options. … It’s a gentle technique that works quickly,” Gradisar told Fox13Now adding that the university’s website has instructions on how to carry out both sleep training methods.
What’s more, the study offers an alternative to letting babies cry it out.Dr Gradisar advocates a gentle approach, however the media are running with the ‘let your babies cry’ line without any concern regarding the huge impact this will have on many mothers around the world, who are already vulnerable in their sleep-deprived haze, and may not realise the age range (the huge impact CIO or CC could have on babies younger than 6 months!) and the differences between CIO and CC.
In her book ‘Sleeping Like a Baby’ (extract on http://www.kidspot.com.au/baby/baby-care/baby-sleep-and-settling/the-con-of-controlled-crying) author Pinky McKay, an International Board certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) specializing in gentle parenting techniques said controlled crying and other similar regimes may indeed work to produce a self-soothing, solitary sleeping infant.
However, the trade-off could be an anxious, clingy or hyper-vigilant child or even worse, a child whose trust is broken.
This is why babies may cry for say, an hour the first night, twenty minutes the following night and fall asleep almost immediately on the third night (if you are ‘lucky’).
They are ‘switching off’ (and sleeping) more quickly, not learning a legitimate skill.”
“Who benefits from CIO system? Yes, sleep training practitioners.
To the rest of the mothers struggling to digest this new information that goes completely against your natural instincts, I say, follow your gut and respond to that baby a thousand times.
Love them, hug them, cherish them, nourish them and reassure them.
This ‘sleep deprived’ state won’t last forever, there ARE alternatives to CIO or CC (you can have your babies sleeping well by using gentle techniques I used on my own babies).
(We started putting our bubs down if they were drifting off to sleep during a feed. Soon they were able to happily self settle and could peacefully transition through sleep cycles without the need for a ‘sleep association’ - such as breast or bottle - and could sleep through. Though they do suck their finger/ thumb.)
|My happy twincesses were able to sleep through using a gentle approach.|
What are YOUR thoughts?
Lauren Paris is a multi-award-winning journalist and former magazine editor who juggles working as a business consultant/ social media manager/content producer/ parenting coach and breastfeeding educator as well as life as a mum to her 4 young children (including 2-year-old twins who were happily demand-tandem breastfed until their 2nd birthday and were HAPPILY sleeping 10 hours each night by 5 months old using a GENTLE approach).Lauren helps women achieve their goals in business/career and parenting at: www.instagram.com/the_mummymentor www.facebook.com/themummymentor
And blogs at www.goldcoastmum.com www.facebook.com/goldcoastmum
Get in touch for support with your breastfeeding journey or for tips on helping your baby sleep through the night using a gentle approach. Email: email@example.com
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