Thursday, 8 May 2014

Cry it out crap

It annoys me the way mothers are fed 'strategies' to parent babies in a way which sells the idea that they should be made to be independent from the get go.

For example you'll be told to train your baby to sleep by:

1. Playing music.
2. Warming the cot.
3. Replicating a heartbeat.
4. Giving them a thick heavy formula to phase out extra feeds.
5. Leaving something behind that smells like you.
6. Not going in too soon if you hear them crying, because if you immediately offer milk or cuddles, you'll be creating a hard-to-break habit.

Does any of this sound mad to you and go against everything being a mother is about, or is it just me?!

When I had my baby I took on the responsibility of nursing him (“Nurse” means comforting, not just breastfeeding) and getting him to sleep without baby gimmicks and gadgets by:

1. Singing to him.
2. Using my body to keep him warm.
3. My heartbeat to comfort him.
4. My breast milk to nourish him as often as needed.
5. My scent to assure him I'm there (in person) to care for him.
6. Believing in his cries and responding to them without hesitation. 

and that's truly the best advice I could give anyone.

To 'Let a baby cry if out' is the most counterproductive advice, given to mums, and is not biologically correct.

Use discernment about advice that promises a sleep-through-the-night more convenient baby. On the surface, baby training sounds so liberating, but it’s a short-term gain for a long-term loss.

You lose the opportunity to get to know and become an expert in your baby. Baby loses the opportunity to build trust in his caregiving environment. 

You cease to value your own biological cues, your judgment, and instead follow the message of someone who has no biological attachment, nor investment, in your child.

Especially in the first six months, avoid sleep trainers who advise you to let your baby “cry-it-out.” Only you can know what “it” is and how to respond appropriately to your baby.

Artwork by Gioia Albano

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