Chana Lew is a mother to 5 sons, 2 daughters and 1 husband - and working on growing up herself. Loves: self-respect, all things birth, informed choice & fresh, clean food. More at www.chanalew.com
CRYING IT OUT
(MY PERSONAL RANT)
I'm continuously disturbed by parents who allow their children to 'cry it out'. For those not familiar, this is a method used for teaching babies to sleep. Baby is placed in the crib and kissed good night. Lights go out, doors are shut, baby screams. There are different variations that include parents coming back into the room after 5 minutes, then 10 minutes, 20 minutes, etc. Baby usually is asleep by the time they reach an hour. The second night takes 1/2 hour, the third night (or so) baby knows that crib means sleep and doesn't fight the process. Some parents actually stay in the room but will not take their babies out of the crib.
This method doesn't actually teach babies to sleep. It does teach them to submit. It teaches them that nobody will respond to their cries (and they wear themselves out and fall asleep). It doesn't teach them to sleep independently. It teaches them that they can't depend on anybody. It teaches them to fend for themselves.
Independence is healthy. Being unable to depend - unhealthy.
It's hard to be a parent. Especially so when there are lots of others that need us. Especially when there are so many deadlines, appointments, commitments, etc. You can see the results of a neglected house, but the long term effects of a neglected baby, while far reaching, are hard to pinpoint. It is normal for a baby to be fussy every now and then. Having a fussy baby should not allow us to become desensitized to our child's cries. Allowing a baby to cry it out does just that. It desensitizes our parental intuition. We crush our natural instinct to reach out and comfort a crying baby. When we crush our instincts and our intuition we fall down a slippery slope of self-denial, self-doubt and insecurity. We continuously question ourselves and our ability.
Being left alone to fend for ourselves carries on to our adult lives. We lose our faith in mankind. We feel that we can't depend on anybody. We don't know how to trust. We tend to do everything ourselves. We suggest that others are too busy. We consider ourselves capable through desperation. We become martyrs or victims. We use the pretense that "others won't do it as well," and then label ourselves 'perfectionists'. Where does all this lead us? We are essentially crying it out.
Let's make an attempt to regain our faith in humanity. Let's right this wrong. Let's allow ourselves to be vulnerable. Let's ask for help. Let's allow someone to help us for the simple reason that we ask them to.
Go ahead and pick up your baby for the simple reason that she put her hands up. Don't wait till she's crying. I certainly don't want to beg for help. Do you?