Have you ever went to someone, maybe a significant other or a family member, to cry about something that was important to you and to let your feelings or needs be known and they simply said, "Deal with it." and walked away. Better yet, what if they did not even acknowledge your feelings at all? Then you, feeling lonely, go to your own little personal space and cried about it, feeling worse than you did before?
Letting a baby cry it out is no different, if you really think about it. I am not saying that if you let your baby cry it out, you are a bad parent. Im not a perfect parent so I won't judge other parents on their parenting skills-let's get that straight right now. However, this is simply my reasoning on why I do not enjoy or partake in this method.
I once tried the whole crying it out method-only to see if my baby would fall asleep on his own. But he didn't and he cried for 5 minutes straight. It literally broke my heart. I think even I started crying a little bit.
"5 minutes? You just aren't tough on them", you may think. Since when did parenting an infant have to be considered tough.
Infants and children thrive on attention, love, and reassurance. Babies who do not get these fundamental things often do not thrive as well later in adulthood, studies have proven.
According to a behaviorist view completely ignorant of human development, the child 'has to be taught to be independent.' We can confirm now that forcing "independence" on a baby leads to greater dependence. Instead, giving babies what they need leads to greater independence later.
Babies in particular cry because they have no other methods to communicate with you. They don't just cry because they want to keep you up all night-though sometimes it may feel that way! Believe me, it is for a reason.
Dr. Sears states on his website:
"The cry is not just a sound; it’s a signal – designed for the survival of the baby and development of the parents. By not responding to the cry, babies and parents lose. Here’s why. In the early months of life, babies cannot verbalize their needs. To fill in the gap until the child is able to “speak our language,” babies have a unique language called “crying.” Baby senses a need, such as hunger for food or the need to be comforted when upset, and this need triggers a sound we call a cry. Baby does not ponder in his little mind, “It’s 3:00 a.m. and I think I’ll wake up mommy for a little snack.” No! That faulty reasoning is placing an adult interpretation on a tiny infant. Also, babies do not have the mental acuity to figure out why a parent would respond to their cries at three in the afternoon, but not at three in the morning. The newborn who cries is saying: “I need something; something is not right here. Please make it right.”
Dont'cha wish babies could talk? Well, they do. Listen to their cries. It will tell you everything you need to know.
The reasons are endless and with time, you get better at figuring that out!
My son tends to wake up maybe 2-3 times per night most nights and this is at 6 months of age, but these last two weeks its been 5 or 6 times a night and sometimes even more than that. I could have just said to hell with it and choose to sleep through it. Trust me, I was one tired momma. But then, I wouldn't have known about his double ear infection or the allergic reaction that he was having to his antibiotics for that infection.
I promise you, always tend to your baby and remember this:
YOU CANNOT SPOIL A BABY. EVER.