I don’t engage in cry-it-out methods of sleep training (also known as controlled crying, or in some cases to ease parental guilt it’s called controlled comforting), and here are a few reasons why:
– Sleep is a natural human function. It should not need to be taught.
– When I signed up for parenthood, it was for both day and night. Sleep training seems to mean you meet all your babies needs during the day, but at night they are just an inconvenience to be managed. Well, nighttime parenting is all part of the gig. Meeting my baby’s needs, day and night, requires sacrifices that I am willing to make.
– It goes against every fibre of my instinct. I could not desensitise myself to the point of resorting to any method that goes against my biological programming.
– Babies cry to communicate, not manipulate. If a baby cries, there is a reason. They are signalling in the only way they know how that they have a need to be met. If I ignore the cry, they may eventually fall back asleep, but the reason they awoke in the first place is unresolved.
– Uncomforted distress causes damage to a child’s developing brain (according to brain scans and scientific research undertaken by Prof. Margot Sunderland, a leading expert in the development of children’s brains and a British Medical Association award-winning author – see link.
– The Australian Association for Infant Medical Health does not recommend controlled crying due to the negative consequences on a child’s psychological and emotional health- see link (PDF document).
– The cry-it-out approach undermines the basis of secure attachment – see link.
– Responding to my baby’s needs will not spoil him – see link.
– I really, really, really, really like co-sleeping.