"Sooooo what's your viewpoint on controlled crying or crying it out methods?"
It's a question I can guarantee its a question that will come up when I meet new clients, or encounter new people on social media. It's used to really annoy me but now I find it quite amusing.
It used to irritate me especially, when id be asked by someone online. Most of the time they weren't asking me because they wanted to hire me or use my services but because they wanted to use my answer to categorise me. To judge me. When I made my first attempt at blogging a few years ago on the topic of baby sleep,I was regularly rebuked, questioned and judged by mothers (they all followed a newly popular parenting method i might add) who felt that baby sleep experts, gurus, advisors or the like, had no real care and concern for babies or their sleep deprived parents and merely wanted to exploit a need for a good nights sleep to make money by encouraging unsafe sleep practices in babies ie controlled crying.
Just to be clear I googled Controlled crying to see what definition came up.
"A technique for training young children to fall asleep on their own in which the child is left to cry for gradually increasing periods of time before being comforted"
I'm not gonna wax lyrical or explain why such practices according to certain research are deemed unsafe. Thats a whole new blog post!
I just personally don't like to hear a baby cry!
There's no big philosophy behind it or way of thinking or parenting approach I follow that has led me this way of thinking. It's just goes against my natural instincts to hear a baby cry and not want to respond. I don't like to hear a baby or child cry. Period.
Can you solve a sleep problem without any crying whatsoever?
I'm have to say the answer sometimes will be NO. If we are dealing with an older child who has gotten used to certain way of falling asleep there may well be protests, tears and tantrums. It unfortunately inevitable with children.
With babies, crying is their way of communicating to their parents. If a baby is happy and content they'll be smiling or laughing or cooing babbling or gurgling but a baby who is tired, angry, frustrated, in pain , hungry, cold, has a dirty nappy, scared, grumpy or irritated will cry. It's how they convey meaning. And us mothers, as we get to know our babies and vice eras we get to understand what each of those cries sounds like and means.
I have a lot of mothers asking me how to help them solve their babies sleep difficulties without resorting to the above mentioned methods and my answer always remains the same:
There may well be tears from your baby but your baby won't be crying alone. You'll be right there with them to respond to them should they need you to comfort them. I also ask parents to sometimes stop and listen to how their babies cry. Any mum or dad with a baby will tell you they know or are getting to know and recognise that cry/whinge/whimper that their baby does when you know their tired and their merely making wind down noises. Those are the cries that I ask mothers who seek my help to listen out for. Not to not respond, but to pause, listen and use their discretion as to wether to respond immediately or to wait a moment and see what baby does. I've often found in those split second moments when you think "no she's going to really wind herself/himself up" and you move toward them and they strangely quieten down & begin to nod off.
I'm my humble opinion as a mother, night nanny & baby sleep advisor is that babies and young children have to learn many new skills as they develop, learning to fall asleep on their own is one of them. Parents need to teach their babies this skill with loving sensitivity to the needs of the child and patience.
Thanks for reading my blog please comment below!!