Thursday, October 1, 2009

Cry-It-Out?

As more and more of my friends start adding to their families in the form of babies, I have become increasingly aware that I am not the norm-- in most all aspects of my life, but especially in parenting. In some cases, I might question their method or motivation, even though I am in no position to do so and certainly would never pressure the mom or dad. I have more tact and respect than that. However, when I hear of small babies being left to cry for a few nights or more (one as young as two months), I can't help but feel sad for the baby and try to understand the family's position.

My position on CIO is not easy to figure out. I parent through the night, and I have documented that parenting and why on this blog. There is scientific evidence that cry-it-out causes damage to babies, and while operant conditioning does work some babies, the reason for the crying has not been addressed. For some, this is of no matter. The end result is their desired result no matter how one gets there.

The Boy is almost three. He's stopped nursing, which has not changed his sleep pattern but has changed how he falls asleep. We still co-sleep, and yes, we still help him to fall asleep. So does his new school, and we're not alone.

Like many issues in life, I am torn between what I believe and respecting others in their decision making. Actually, as I am writing this, it reminds me a lot of my feelings on religious topics.

Dr. Sears on Sleep (including a LONG Q&A section)
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Sleeping

5 comments:

Jessica said...

I'm with you on this big time. I only have a handful of friends with kids, but half of them have used CIO and it breaks my heart. One of the kids took to it no problem (they used the Ferber method) and she was sleeping through the night by 3 months (she was also in daycare and came home EXHAUSTED, unlike a baby who's home all day and can take frequent naps).

The other CIO baby has fought tooth and nail. He's old, just turned 1 yr, but it still makes me cringe when I hear about how my friend had to "gut it out" and how "horrible" it was. I want to say to her, "THEN DON'T DO IT!" And her son is STILL resisting after weeks of trying. Just sucks.

ANHD said...

I agree for the most part. Letting my baby cry for long periods of time just doesn't sit well with me. I will say that now that she is almost 4 months old, I can clearly differentiate between real crying and whining. I will respond immediately to crying. If she is simply whining to be taken out of her crib at 4 a.m., I delay my response for a few minutes to see if she can fall back asleep on her own. If she can't, then I take her out and nurse her again or simply hold and soothe her. As a non-co-sleeping family, I just think a little bit of balance is important so that everyone is able to sleep.

ANHD said...

I agree for the most part. Letting my baby cry for long periods of time just doesn't sit well with me. I will say that now that she is almost 4 months old, I can clearly differentiate between real crying and whining. I will respond immediately to crying. If she is simply whining to be taken out of her crib at 4 a.m., I delay my response for a few minutes to see if she can fall back asleep on her own. If she can't, then I take her out and nurse her again or simply hold and soothe her. As a non-co-sleeping family, I just think a little bit of balance is important so that everyone is able to sleep.

Maria said...

I don't think we disagree at all Alexandra. I have blogged in the past about how we did not use CIO AND how I don't respond to every fuss. I wrote more about parenting through the night without co-sleeping here-- http://mariawj.blogspot.com/2009/01/night-time-parenting-without-co.html -- back in January. :)

jen said...

Before I had Max, I was positive he'd be sleeping in his own bed within a few days of his birth. I would BF, but in his room and with him in his crib.

He's almost 6 months now and we're still co-sleeping.

I had a midwife "instruct" me on how to train Max to CIO at 4 weeks. That was the first and last time. Like ANHD, you know the difference between a little whining and a cry. Max will not be crying.

The problem I'm having now is that Max sleeps better alone. We are just about to start an experiment to see is he prefers his own room or his bed in ours.

I can't imagine not having him with me.

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