Train the parent, not the child

Whether you call it controlled crying, sleep intervention, sleep training or cry it out (CIO), it all sounds the same to me. Unnecessary pain to the baby and parents. I have never really understood this 'technique' which has so many followers in the Western world and elsewhere. Letting babies cry for fixed intervals to 'train' them to sleep through the night is a strange concept.

"Let me be me!"
I believe in instinctive parenting, that is, do what feels right. Indeed, mothers in particular have been programmed to do the best for their offspring. Therefore, CIO is not only illogical, but unwarranted, in my opinion. I know there are many staunch supporters for this school of thought, but hear me out. When parents can no longer cope with sleep deprivation, they turn to sleep training as an end-all solution to their "problems". But why make the baby cry it out? Why don't the parents go wail in a corner of the house to end their frustration?

The thing is, parents need a break too. But it doesn't have to become the baby's punishment. They are ones blessed with a mature brain, and they should think of ways to deal with it. Whether this means hiring extra support, asking friends or family or one of the parents staying at home with the child. When you become a parent, you really can't have it all. By 'training' the parents, I mean that doctors and health care officials and professionals should shift their focus on helping prepare parents mentally for what to expect. So that they are better prepared and can come up with solutions in advance of having to deal with sleep deprivation.

This is a very deep subject and I have barely skimmed the surface, but the point of this post is to talk about change a perspective. Yes, you may be tired as hell, but you can't make a baby do something as unnatural as not communicate by crying or to sleep all night before time. It's not worth it.

More reading:
The Worst Baby Advice Ever
Dangers of “Crying It Out”
Letting Baby "Cry-it-out" Yes, No!

(Pic: Petr Kratochvil)

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