I often wonder, as I am finding new parents seriously considering trying the infamous “cry it out” approach, how many more generations and how many more research loaden articles we need to prove that this method is cruel, off base and simply wrong.
There has been a ton of articles on Internet bringing in the newest research showing that letting your baby cry it out raises their stress hormones, reduces oxygenation of their brain. Eventually, it leads to separation anxiety, sleep disorders and lack of trust in a caregiver. There have been studies linking cry it out young babies to later addiction issues, panic attacks.
Do you know why children eventually stop crying, it is not because they found a way to calm down, young babies are not capable of doing that, they simply LOST HOPE that someone will respond. Babies are not manipulating us to be held more, they actually need this for their development, they need constant contact with us . If we look around we will find so many people today that are deeply frustrated, unhappy in their lives. I really liked a book “Continuum Concept” that spelled out that brilliantly to me. Humans need to be in physical touch with their moms as they are growing up for a long time. That touch and feeling loved, listened to and cared for creates a fulfillment, a sense of security and happiness that will last a lifetime. The author explains that the babies who didn’t receive enough touch, love in their babyhood tend to miss something later in their life, this usually translates into a plethora of issues some of us are having like depression, addictions and aggression.
Cried out babies may also gain weight slower because they are denied food when they may be genuinely hungry. Some of the so called experts on baby rearing like Ferber advise parents to feed their offspring on a rigid schedule and not offer baby any food if it is not time yet. There were cases of “failure to thrive” caused by this method. Babies were diagnosed as dehydrated and starved by parents applying this technique to their infants. It is completely insensitive to baby needs and goes against the logic.
But most of all, crying it out goes against mother’s instinct. Can you really listen to your baby’s cries? When my babies cried it was always as if someone was putting a dagger in my heart. My natural reaction was to always soothe them, pick them up and hold in my arms. Their cry made my heart go faster and emotionally vulnerable. It never made sense to me to let them alone to train them to be independent at an early age of couple of weeks. The notion of making your baby independent is simply ridiculous, too. Babies are not supposed to be independent in any way, they rely solely on their caregivers for survival. Training a baby to be independent may actually lead to some serious problems later down the road. Why? Because the principle of parenting is to create a healthy bond with your child so she will trust and respect you and eventually grow up into an independent teen who may still come for advise to you rather than to a friend. Mothering with love makes your child naturally attached to you and not to peers so later you will have some influence over your child’s decisions.
I definitely see a huge difference between children who are parented with unconditional love over the ones who were cried it out. The latter ones seem to be more frustrated and less connected to their parents. They may be aggressive or sometimes withdrawn. They don’t feel comfortable within their own body and may not like an eye contact with anyone. My children come to me to ask if they can do things or eat things that they know I may not approve and they do it because they have a very strong bond with me and not because they are afraid of me. They actually care what I have to say and don’t try to hide the facts from me.