|Is Crying It Out Dangerous For Kids?|
I'm feeling kind of annoyed. Not really angry but just kind rubbed the wrong way perhaps. I recently saw this article posted on facebook about crying it out being dangerous for babies and possibly resulting in such things as ADD. The facebook post came with a message stating that they were so glad that they could never bring themselves to let their babies cry no matter how difficult it got. Not sure why this rubbed me the wrong way. In fact, the person that wrote it is a dear friend who I love and respect greatly. (And I might add that this blog post isn't anything personal against that person or the people that commented in agreement.) Perhaps this facebook "share" and article in general got under my skin because parents already feel enough guilt over things they did and did not do so here is another one to add to this list. Maybe it got under my skin because so many people were liking it and saying how they never let their babies cry either and it seemed to come across like "hey, pat on the back for me! This research says I'm a better mom than you because I never let my kid cry." This wasn't what they were saying, (obviously, this was just me allowing myself to feel a certain way), but it was just the way that it was posted that got me thinking and reflecting. Fired up in an Amanda kind of way.
Did I let my babies "cry it out"? Yes and no. We used the Ferber method as mentioned in this article. We never let them cry it out when they were little babies but once they got to be older babies closer to a year, we did let them cry for certain amounts of time as we were trying to get them used to soothing themselves, sleep through the night (when they obviously didn't need to nurse/eat anymore), etc. We always let them know that we were there, they were loved, and we made sure their basic needs were met. Does this make me a better mom than someone that let their kids cry for longer or at a younger age? Absolutely not. I think there is a lot of research out there that backs up a lot of points. We see this in education, the medical field, parenting, and so much more.
I think this situation about letting babies cry it out depends on so much. Some mothers and fathers are actually better off allowing their children to cry for longer amounts of time. For their own well being and their child's. We all have different limits. And we can always take things too far. We can even take co-sleeping and never letting your baby cry too far. Different strokes for different folks.
I'm sure there is some validity to this research/study. As with most research and studies like this, there are extreme cases that go in the mix with the average "cry it out" situation. This is definitely something to talk about, present to future parents and parents who are currently facing this situation. The most important thing to take from this article is the value of nurturing and loving your babies. However, I don't think that every parent that allowed their children to cry it out should start berating themselves and freaking out that they are the reason for their children's learning problems, ADD, use of anti-depressants, etc. There just might be another cause for these issues folks so don't go hating yourself just yet.
1. So, what are your thoughts on this article? I surely think that this article is talking about more extreme cases but I think it was just the way it was posted that rubbed me the wrong way. God knows, mothers feel enough guilt as it is. This article is definitely food for thought for future parents, and those that are just now having babies. But it is no good dwelling on it for too long now that my kids are not babies any longer. What is done is done. I'm sure if they ever start antidepressants or have ADD, I'll blame myself for letting them cry it out when they were 11 months old. Kidding. :)
2. Did you ever let your baby cry it out to fall asleep, for you to get sleep, to help them learn to self soothe, or to just get a break? Or did you believe in sleeping with your child, picking them up every time they cried, etc. I don't think there is a right or wrong answer here. We were right in the middle here. We were not able to really let them cry it out for too long before we picked them up and nurtured them but we did let them cry for short amounts of time. We slept with them when they were really little and had their bassinet next to our bed until about 4 or 5 months. Around 10-12 months we started helping them fall asleep on their own, fall back asleep when they woke up in the night, etc.