Top Katrillion(20) Thoughts on the Insanity of Letting Babies and Children Scream Themselves to Sleep:
1. I believe that no person of any age should ever be left alone to cry. Ever. (Unless they have the emotional and vocal ability to ask for solitude.)
2. Parents are THE source of strength and comfort for a baby. The notion that babies can comfort or soothe themselves is asinine. If you don't believe me, take a course or read some books on brain and emotional development. Babies don't soothe themselves to sleep while screaming, they give up.
3. Ever walked in an orphanage? I have. In Russia. It's eery. The babies don't scream and hardly cry. They are calm because they have been trained that they will not get picked up if they cry. They gave up. It is the EXACT same reason "sleep trained" babies go to sleep when placed in a crib, alone.
4. I have zero interest in teaching my child that I will not comfort her when she is terrified.
5. Babies screaming = terrified babies. How would you like to be a vegetable, with no capacity to move or walk or talk and be locked in a cage in the dark.?
6. Parents do not get to pick the hours of the day that best suit their schedule. Nighttime parenting is not a choice. It's your kid's right. (yes, they have rights too.)Your kid does not stop having needs because you are tired.
7. Don't have kids if you want to feel rested within the first year or two of their life.
8. More than most things, waking children seem to make parents feel out of control. Welcome to parenthood. Go to counseling if you can't manage your anxiety around your children not sleeping like you want them to.
9. Letting babies scream actually messes their brain chemistry. Permanently. In short, you run a high risk of letting your child suffer with one of (at least) the following: generalized anxiety, social anxiety, ADD, and sleep disturbances in later childhood and adulthood.
10. There are no mammals in the world that do not sleep with their young. Watch the Discovery Channel.
11. Mothers need to follow their instincts.
12. I have heard people rant that having a strict sleep schedule is a means of safeguarding one's marriage: marital intimacy, sex life and also instates God's desire for order in the home. This conversation has digressed into a discussion that parents need to establish "who's boss."
First: WTF, people? This talk makes my head explode. As it relates to God: Last time I checked, Jesus was walking around with lambs and touching lepers and healing sick people and feeding the hungry. I'm not sure what version of the Bible these people are reading?????? Someone please tell me one thing about Christ's character and life that leads one to believe that he would condone not tending to a screaming child???????????? Good marriages and sex lives require much intention and thought. If your marriage is good, you will find a way to nurture it while also tending to your babies. If your marriage is rocky, children's sleep habits are not to blame. Go to therapy.
12. Rocking a baby to sleep and/or cuddling them does not spoil them. Children are spoiled by material items, not love. Duh.
13. Parenting requires creativity and there are not always easy answers.
14. Sleep training works. Dogs and humans can be trained. Humans and dogs have much different needs. (But even dogs sleep very close to their babies and comfort their whimpering pups.)
15. "Oh it was a heart wrenching while we did it (let baby scream) but she/he sleeps now and is such a happy kid...Im so glad we did it." Want a cookie? You will never be able to judge the hurting or lonely idiosyncrasies within your child. Ever. For me, I am not interested in knowingly contributing to the wounds within them.
16. The notion of sleep training is being promoted by many many pediatricians: Dr.'s are not the authority on any and everything. Most Dr.'s operate from a medical model that is interested in producing results. It is difficult for most pediatricians to not give a definitive answer to tired or concerned parents. (ego?) Most Dr.'s are not educated around emotional development, which is why they will refer you (should) to a professional in the psychological realm when you have concerns about issues related to emotion and behavior. Sleep is NOT their expertise.
17. Parents would be really well served if their Dr. and peer influences would serve as reminders to new parents that "you shouldn't expect to get great sleep within the first year or two of your kids life...if you do, your lucky."
18. Research after reasearch proves that there is a link betweem SIDS (that's death, people) and letting infants cry in stress alone.
19. This issue should not be taken lightly. Period. It's a big freakn deal.
20.-katrillion: Don't have kids if you want to be rested or feel in control.
or in my Mother's words: "What in the hell happened to just rocking a baby to sleep?"