Parenting Australia

The myth of controlled crying

43 Votes


The Myth of Controlled Crying


About the Author: Pinky McKay
An International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and a Certified Infant Massage Instructor, Pinky McKay is a Melbourne based writer and editor specialising in health, education and family issues.
This is an edited extract from Sleeping Like A Baby by Pinky McKay (Penguin $24.95)

Despite the popularity of controlled crying it is not an evidence-based practice.  Professor James McKenna, director of the Mother-Baby Behavioural Sleep Laboratory at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana and acclaimed SIDS expert describes controlled crying as ‘social ideology masquerading as science’.  What this means is that despite many opinions on how long to leave a baby to cry, to train her to sleep, nobody has studied exactly how long it is safe to leave a baby to cry, if at all.

Babies who are made to sleep alone (or cry, because many do not sleep) for hours may miss out on both adequate nutrition and sensory stimulation such as touch, which is vital for infant development.  Leaving a baby to ‘cry it out’ to enforce a strict routine when the baby may, in fact be hungry, is similar to expecting an adult to adopt a strenuous exercise program accompanied by less food.

Paediatrician William Sears has claimed, “Babies who are ‘trained’ not to express their needs may appear to be docile, compliant or ‘good’ babies.  Yet these babies could be depressed babies who are shutting down the expression of their needs.  “Babies can indeed have an actual diagnosis of clinical depression”.  Often caused by trauma due to early hospitalisation and medical treatments it is also easy to understand how rigid regimes can cause depression.  You too would withdraw and become sad if the people you loved avoided eye contact and ignored your cries, as some sleep techniques advise.

Leaving a baby to cry evokes physiological responses that increase stress hormones, heart rate and temperature.  These reactions can result in overheating and could pose a potential risk of SIDS in vulnerable infants.  There may also be longer-term emotional effects.  Babies need our help to learn to regulate their emotions, meaning that when we respond to and soothe their cries, we help them understand that when they are upset they can calm down.

There is also compelling evidence that increased levels of stress hormones may cause permanent changes in the stress responses of an infant’s developing brain.  These changes can affect memory and emotion and trigger an elevated response to stress throughout life, including a tendency to anxiety and depressive disorders.  English psychotherapist Sue Gerhardt, author of Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes A Baby’s Brain explains that when a baby is upset the hypothalamus produces cortisol.  In normal amounts cortisol is fine, but if a baby is exposed for too long or too often to stressful situations (such as being left to cry) its brain becomes flooded with cortisol and it will either over- or under-produce cortisol whenever the child is exposed to stress.  Too much cortisol is linked to depression and fearfulness; too little to emotional detachment and aggression.

One of the arguments for controlled crying is that it ‘works’, but perhaps the definition of success needs to be examined.  In the small number of studies undertaken, while most babies will indeed stop waking when they are left to cry, ‘success’ varies from an extra hour’s sleep each night to little difference between babies who underwent sleep training and those who didn’t.  Some studies found that up to one-third of babies who underwent controlled crying ‘failed sleep school’.  To me this suggests that even if harsher regimes work initially, babies are likely to start waking again as they reach new developmental stages or conversely, they may become more settled and sleep (without any intervention) as they reach appropriate developmental levels.


Controlled crying and other similar regimes may indeed work to produce a self-soothing, solitary sleeping infant. However, the trade-off could be an anxious, clingy or hyper-vigilant child or even worse, a child whose trust is broken. Unfortunately, we can’t measure attributes such as trust and empathy which are the basic skills for forming all relationships. We can’t, for instance, give a child a trust quotient like we can give him an intelligence quotient. One of the saddest emails I have received was from a mother who did controlled crying with her one-year-old toddler.


“After a week of controlled crying he slept, but he stopped talking (he was saying single words). For the past year, he has refused all physical contact from me. If he hurts himself, he goes to his older brother (a preschooler) for comfort. I feel devastated that I have betrayed my child.”


It is the very principle that makes controlled crying ‘work’ that is of greatest concern: when controlled crying ‘succeeds’ in teaching a baby to fall asleep alone, it is due to a process that neurobiologist Bruce Perry calls the ‘defeat response’. Normally, when humans feel threatened, our bodies flood with stress hormones and we go into ‘fight’ or ‘flight’. However, babies can’t fight and they can’t flee, so they communicate their distress by crying. When infant cries are ignored, this trauma elicits a ‘freeze’ or ‘defeat’ response. Babies eventually abandon their crying as the nervous system shuts down the emotional pain and the striving to reach out.


One explanation for the success of ‘crying it out’ is that when an infant’s defeat response is triggered often enough, the child will become habituated to this. That is, each time the child is left to cry, he ‘switches’ more quickly to this response. This is why babies may cry for say, an hour the first night, twenty minutes the following night and fall asleep almost immediately on the third night (if you are ‘lucky’). They are ‘switching off’ (and sleeping) more quickly, not learning a legitimate skill.


Whether sleep ‘success’ is due to behavioural principles (that is, a lack of ‘rewards’ when baby wakes) or whether the baby is overwhelmed by a stress reaction, the saddest risk of all is that as he tries to communicate in the only way available to him, the baby who is left to cry in order to teach him to sleep will learn a much crueler lesson – that he cannot make a difference, so what is the point of reaching out. This is learned helplessness.

46 Comments

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  1. I think this article is very extreme. I did controlled crying with both my children at around 6 months - once convinced they did not need a feed overnight. I don't advocate endless crying for days on end - a short program of 3 days was enough to work. With my 2nd daughter, she was up every 1-2 hours. I was going insane with fatigue (almost depressed). We teach children to feed themselves, dress themselves, go to the toilet..why not teach them to resettle? A good night's sleep is a gift to them. My daughters are delightful, loving angels with a really close bond with my husband and I and each other. Let's focus on real issues like child neglect, abuse, and molestation!
  2. Further to my comment - the idea of 'learned helplessness' is rubbish. Both my children know that i am there for them the minute they need me. At night, if they cry, I go to them. I check them, soothe them, and, in the case of my toddler, will lie with her if she's had a nightmare. BUT, as they are not newborns, I will not pat them for hours on end, or sing or rock them anymore. They have not learnt helplessness. They have learnt that at night if they wake up, and if there is nothing wrong, they should go back to sleep so we can all awake to a bright fun day full of activity. Not yawns, grumpiness, and the risk that i have a car accident b/c i am so tired! (I drove through a red light when my 2nd was 5 months after a really bad night!)
  3. As a child psychologist and new mother, I agree completely with Pinky's comments. Babies who are left to cry for extended periods do not develop secure attachments with their caregivers. They come to believe that their needs are not important and therefore withdraw into themselves. Babies whose needs are met promptly are more confident, independent, sociable, and secure in themselves and the world around them.
  4. Controlled crying is child abuse! People have unrealistic expectations of when a child should sleep through the night. They put their own personal comfort ahead of their child's development - the baby has more rights to emotional security than the parent has rights to unbroken sleep.
    My son has always been skinny and hungry - I breastfed him on demand for 7 months (3 times/night), then I went back to work. I continued to breastfeed evening, morning and twice per night, until the supply dried up at 12 months. We then bottlefed him once during the night until 2 years, when we switched from full formula to steadily watered-down formula to plain warm water, and then at 2 and a half, he was *finally* sleeping through the night!
    Now my son is 10, still eats voraciously and is still skinny, but is very tall and very intelligent. If you interfere with the natural patterns of sleeping and eating, you risk stunting your child, emotionally, physically and intellectually.
  5. @ Michelle, absolutely true. Controlled crying 'works' [b]BUT it is at terrible cost to the child and the realationship with their carers. Controlled crying has the potential to 'breed' mistrusting unbalanced human beings. @Joanna- how were you convinced your child did not need a breastfeed at night at 6 mths of age ? It seems quite early to be not be having calories overnight.:'(
  6. I have a child that is living proof of the benefits of avoiding controlled crying! I am an early childhood educator and I researched controlled crying before my daughter was born. I have observed many behaviours in children and heard many parents promote controlled crying. It is not worth taking the risk of damaging your child and the relationship you will develop with them. Our daughter's needs were met and we never let her cry. Now she is a confident, well adjusted toddler that sleeps well through the night. It was hard in the early days but worth it today, people comment on how calm and rational she is.
  7. All very well but what is the alternative to controlled crying? There is not a jot of information to help a parent who has, say, a twelve month old who, even after a routine dinner/bath/quiet putting to bed in early evening won't sleep for hours.
  8. my daughter is 2. I never used controlled crying and i dont think many parents of other generations did either but guess what.....they all survived. Like Rod my 2 year old has decided not to sleep as of late. While this is stressfull on me she will learn in her own time the consiquences of not fallins asleep and eventually will. My mother rocked me to sleep until i was 4 and look... i turned out fine and so did she. I would never ever let anything i loved go through such emotional stress and pain as controlled crying. Only a heartless person can hear their child crying out for your attention and be ignored SHAME ON YOU ALL :'( If it means rocking your child to sleep then so be it all they want is to feel loved and nutured for.
  9. what a load of tosh this person is spouting. i couldn't finish the article becaue they made me so angry. of cause any person using controled crying knows the baby isn;t hungry and dose not need a nappy change. Also any mother that can endure the hours of hearing their baby scream is desparate and and probably using controled crying as a last resort.
  10. This article is correct. To let a baby or child cry as way of 'teaching' them to sleep is barbaric. The desire for a baby to sleep through the night as quickly as possible is purely for the convenience of adults to the detriment of the dear little new person. Babies need to have their needs met and be allowed to develop the ability to sleep through in their own time.

    Any one who defends controlled crying only does so to avoid feeling guilty or because they are too selfish and emotionally distant to put the baby's needs above their own.

    If more people co slept with their babies and toddlers, there wouldn't be the problem of them being unsettled at night because they would feel safe, content and loved.
  11. My son is now 7 months old. He is a bad sleeper, he wakes up about 3 to 4 times everyday. He cries and yells until I pick him up and feed him. I always thinks Trying a control crying method. However, after talking to the doctor, I think I can't do this. The reason is he gets eczema, reflux and mucus in his upper airways. So what I need to do is to solve his physical needs first like putting on wet dressing for his skin problem, elevating his bed to help the reflux. I thing once they are physically well, they won't wake up.
  12. I used the method recommended in Baby Love - Australia's biggest selling baby book from a very respected midwife/author. I never left my children crying for hours - 2min, 4mins, 6mins and then never more than 10mins. It worked well and saved my sanity and has brought them blissful sleep for years since (literally, they are 2 and 4). As for not feeding overnight, I resettled my 6th month old by rocking (not feeding) for a week until at least 5am before deciding food was not the problem. My MC&H nurse supported me and IT WORKED. Meanwhile, all these mums suggest its wrong, then throw their kids into long daycare everyday from 12months where it takes the teacher an extra 2mins to respond to them and they get less than 30mins a day of direct conversation/play with a carer. Hmmm? Truth is, scientists/psychologists can't prove much re these early years and kids can't tell us. So gut instinct has to prevail and I did what was right for my girls.
  13. well this is such an emotive subject and i can see how personal each person here has taken to heart what other's have said. being a parent is a wonderful and challenging privilege.i feel so incredibly blessed to be a parent. my daughter is 16 now and a wonderful human being however as a baby i was lucky to get 20 mins sleep in a night. there was much advice and it was overwhelming. i tried so many ways with my baby and can now say, every adult and baby are individual, so be kind to yourself and your child and find something that works for you.each sibling can be different too.criticise less and encourage each other more, it is an emotional and delicate time. we all love our children so i want to say to you all well done and do what works for you (:
  14. It never ceases to amaze me that people would rather deny biological fact rather than a) admit they made a mistake and/or b) were misled by false "experts" who really had no idea what they were on about. Controlled crying is unhealthy and damaging. End of story. Also? Anyone who thinks that 6 months is the cut off for no longer needing feeds at night is kidding themselves & possibly hurting their child. Most babies are definitely hungry at night past 6 months. Aside from the hunger aspect, night feeds fulfill a very important emotional need as well. Why are we so willing to believe non evidence based cultural nonsense over basic biology?
  15. my five month old baby has always slept through (since 12 weeks)so i know she does not need feeding, but we have always rocked her to sleep. this worked great for months, but lately she has been taking longer and longer-up to two hours, which is getting ridiculous, as she is not hungry, has never needed this before, and it seems like she is bunging it one to get more attention and actually less sleep. it dawned on us we had taught her bad sleeping habits by rocking so much, so now it is time to do controlled crying for her own good, because rocking is actually keeping her awake.
  16. I hate this controlled crying b/s I rocked my 1st born to sleep till she was 2 then I sat by her cot with my hand on her then slowly moved away and out of her room untill she felt safe on her own, she is now 5 and so very independent and social, my second son cried non stop from the second he was born, I did controlled crying it may have worked at the time but now my son 3 crys for no reason hangs off me like a 6 month old and is very anxious and hates being cuddled or any kind of affection it breaks my heart to know that I could very well be the reason for this, my newborn spends most her day in my arms if shes very unsettled she will be put in my bed to go back to sleep in my arms, why would a child cry when left alone in a bed? They spend 9 months listening to your voice hearing u breath and hearing there mothers heart beat so people really u wonder why a baby crys they want to feel there mothers warmth and hear her voice its a right every child deserves to have !!
  17. I can't believe there are so many crackpots out there. There is just as litte evidence for other methods as well. I'm sick of parents attributing their alternative ideas because it worked with their child and bagging everyone else's method just because it didn't work. None of you are right. The bullshit "studies" about depression in babies are a crock. Consistency works with babies. That is all. You stupid people who are arrogant enough to believe you can "read" babies are fooling yourselves. If anything, controlled crying teaches children that the world DOESNT revolve around them - which is a good thing. The consequences of all this mollycoddling is the sort of spoilt child that disgusts us all as parents when they scream because they don't get what they want. They end up complaining about not having enough and have no idea about humility.
    Enough.
    Discipline and Consistency will get your child to sleep. And teach them they are PART of the world, not the WORLD itself.
  18. We need to be really careful with this whole issue - Mum's who have had children who have appeared clingy and upset in their todler years following controlled crying in their infancy - must ALSO take into account other factors. Children are different. They have different personalities and characteristics (and fears). I was one of 4 children. My Mum used controlled 'comforting' with all of us. And we have all turned out differently - having different strengths and weaknesses. One thing we can ALL vouch for, however, is looking back on our childhood (we are all in our 20's) with absolute joy. We ALL felt loved and cherished, but we also knew when it was time to go to bed.

    Everyone needs to listen to their insticts, and if the baby is given enough attention and learning through the day, there is NOTHING WRONG with being the parent when it comes to bed time. Children need to learn (from 6months onward) that Mummy and Daddy are in charge, and that is because they are the caregivers.
  19. I think the emphasis should be on babies being able to self settle. It is a wonderful gift to be able to put your babies into their beds, snuggle up with a blankie or teddy and go to sleep by themselves. I did all sort of things to help my twins learn to self settle and self re settle and they are now 6, they love going to bed, bed is a happy and safe and warm place. I now have an 8mth old who I do let cry, but most of the time she self settles and is happy in her cot. Being attached to your baby and them self settling and sleeping by themselves are not mutually exclusive.
  20. It amazes me how many women can be conditioned out of their mothering instinct, to much archaic advice from old midwives & well meaning mother in laws, not to mention old ECHN's who generally have no idea. Why would you not want to help your baby go off to sleep gently & peacefully? What on earth kind of mother thinks its okay to ignore a screaming infant? You know that part of you that stands up on end & feels bad/ protective when your child cries? Thats your instinct. Listen to it, its there for a reason. The more you ignore it the less you can hear it. Basic understanding of neurological growth will show you a child under approx 2 years of age doesnt even posses the right neurological paths of the brain to be able to manipulate or 'bung' things on. Its a pity how little some mothers know about what their infants are capable of. The Australian Association of Infant Mental health does not recommend CIO or CC in any of its forms for a reason.
  21. I have 3 children - allteens now and used cont. crying for my first after 9 months of having a baby who slept 4 hours a night then screamed for the next 20 hours till she fell asleep again from exhaustion. At the point of breakdown and pregnant again, i saw a new doctor who took control and said we were to controlled cry her, whole process took about 3 weeks and she would cry for up to an hour in total until she vomited. it was traumatic for all of us but the change in my child was amazing she became a happy engaging child. biggest regret was not going back to say thank you to the doc - he saved our family. didn't need to use it for the next 2 chn. i think (after working for years in childcare) that the sep. anxiety experienced by some children is far more severe than cont. crying. some parents won't persist with a sleeping pattern but will leave their crying child at day care, because you can't see them upset doesn't change the fact. it is ok to say i can't function with my child not sleeping and seek help.
  22. Learned Helplessness is applicable for older age groups. Heaven forbid a baby that would want it's own sleep pattern, around he/she's OWN sleep requirements. ARGH...
  23. Controlled crying = controlled child abuse in my opinion. I really am against it for babies of all ages. I think it's a cop-out and it's cruel. So many people tell us that we should be letting our baby cry. Then they try to use watered down terminology to make controlled crying look "nicer" when it fact there is nothing nice about it.

    This topic is very close to my heart. People who advocate controlled crying are asking people to ignore their parental instincts and force their baby into a strict "routine". My wife and I take shifts through the night and we are always there for our baby no matter how tired we get ourselves. I would not ignore our baby for any reason. Babies are not manipulative control freaks. They are BABIES.
  24. If people can't handle the fact that their babies have real needs that might cause an inconvenience to them then don't have a baby in the first place. I know that this opinion is blunt but we have been burnt by so many "experts" trying to tell us how to parent and it really made us doubt ourselves at times but we're glad to have stuck to our instincts and listened to our baby and not some stupid societal ideology formed by people who know all about textbooks and nothing about the real needs of babies.
  25. I used control crying on my son, i still describe him as the perfect sleeper, sleeping from 7 til 7 since he was 3 months old. He is now 12 and not trusting and emotional but well adjusted, generally very happy and intelligent. My daughter who is nearly 2 had collic badly for the first 6months, so after that we could not bare to leave her to cry. We still do what ever comfort she needs to sleep, rock, hold sing, sit on end of bed. I now have a 3month old and eventhough its very tiring rocking,holding, co sleeping, i love it, it feels so natural and right thing to do for me and my baby at the moment, i think you just make what ever decisions is right for you and your baby, happy mum, happy baby :-)
  26. If we are talking about parents being kind to children, what about calling your child "Pinky" Come on....
  27. As a mother of 5 and my 6th due in 9 weeks, also my first 4 all born within 45 months I can honestly say that I see both sides of this. All of mine slept 8 hours from 3 months and 10 - 12 from about 6-7 months. The key here is instinct and that is easily diluted with should, must and 'ideally'. Have you ever balled your eyes out for 1/2 hour straight ? It is exhausting. I would settle all for the night and follow a 5 min, 10 min 15 min rule. And in between I would listen. If after 30 mins there was still an urgency or desperation to the cry it was usually warranted. I can't think how many times after 30 mins I would unwrap a munchkin, pick them up and an almighty fart would light up the night sky. A kiss on the head, rewrap and rub and goodnight little stinky. But at 5,10 and 15 mins I would just go in with a 'I'm here'. I could always hear the 'wind down' and some sobs. I didn't go in and pat as that seemed to 'startle' a bub getting sleep sorted in their head.
  28. Thanks for the criticism and various "CC = controlled abuse" claims. As far as I'm concerned, it worked for me & if not for you, fine - best of luck & have a nice life. I would suggest that you find evidence of the abuse in my son before laying charges though!
  29. I feel I should point out a couple of things.
    First, Please check if there is something wrong with your baby first if you are choosing to do controlled crying. My son cried all through the night, and I discovered his back was out. After getting his back put back in, he slept fine. My daughter didn't sleep well because she had reflux, so sleeping her with the head-end of her cot slightly raised helped alot. And they always cried when they needed to burp, and couldn't burp until I picked them up. So please check out that your baby is 100% well before doing this!
    Second, Its totally possible to teach your baby to sleep through without leaving them to cry. A book that helped me so much is 'the no-cry sleep solution' by Elizabeth Pantley. Please check out the alternatives, controlled crying is not necessary.
  30. As a new mother of two, the hardest lesson I am learning is that someone’s needs will be sacrificed. Mine? Definitely. But moreover, while I am spending hours a day with babe no 2(6 months)cuddling, rocking, patting, etc, my 3 year old is in the lounge room fending for himself. Am I neglecting my older child? That is how it often feels. Am I a bad parent? Some will find a way I could be doing it better I am Sure. I do not agree with leaving your baby to cry unattended for hours, however I am getting to the point where I need help to teach my baby to settle, because I am wracked with guilt, by how little time I am able to spend with my older child. I take my hat off to all the perfect parents out there who are able to balance work lives, married lives, run a house hold, manage several children, cuddle rock and pat baby to sleep for 6-8 hrs a day and can still find time to tell all those around you how perfect you are and how wrong they are.
  31. My 18 month old has never slept through the night and wakes up to 10 times a night, usually for hours at a time. I have turned to controlled crying because the alternatives do not work. Sometimes, for the sake of the family, of which the child is a part, the last resort is the only option. No mother in her right mind would choose controlled crying for fun. We do it because we have to. I spent almost two hours going in to him every 30 seconds last night because he kept getting out of his bed, and I was always calm and loving and comforting. Better that than me lying on the floor of his room weeping, which is what I was doing last week when he wouldn't sleep, again, at 3am! Its not always a case of a mother wanting 12 uninterrupted hours at night so that she can prance around in her neglige. I would settle for 2 hours' sleep in a row!
  32. I don't have any kids but I am a private tutor in Hong Kong and get to see a lot of child-raising. and the one thing I would do is STAY IN HONG KONG where I wouldn't need to do it all by myself. Everybody here has help, everybody. Either helpers, family or both. A Chinese mother is supposed to do nothing at all for one month after the birth. And the kids are never left alone to sleep. Even at five, someone stays in the room with them. In Laos, kids sleep with parents for years. A Lao guy told me he slept with his dad til he was 13. I told him that would get the authorities involved in the UK. I told them all about controlled crying and they looked at me as if I was a monster. "Why you so cruel!" And I got to say, the Asian kids are mainly delightful.
  33. I am so confused as to what I should do now. I have an 8mo (my third, I have 3 under 5). She is the sweetest most endearing, engaging and perceptive baby - but shes a terrible sleeper. She has co- slept up until a few weeks ago when I was hospitalized with PND. Of course, she came with me but had to sleep in a cot. It was so hard on my heart in so many ways. We are now home, but I can't go back to things being like they were before I went in, I was feeding her every 40-50mins overnight just to keep her quiet so she wouldn't wake the other 2. She would only sleep of I BF her to sleep, day or night - Very hard when there's 2 other little children depending on you. I can't do control crying. We tried putting her to bed and going in every 1min, 2 min, 3 min etc, but i can't do it, my heart bleeds when she cries and it does not feel right. I love my baby, but I love my family too and everyone is suffering from having an unwell mum.
  34. my daughter has a three month old, if he has a bad day he will usually have a bad night which means full on inconsolable screaming and so forth as an overtired infant will do - to the point she will have been tending to him practically 22 hours out of 24

    I said to her that on these occasions when it is REALLY bad which is not that often, when it is getting into the early hours she's exhausted he's still fussing, maybe you just have to "leave him to it" as an occasional thing - because it seems to me the tending to him, picking him up, feeding again rocking, won't be put down after, sometimes taking him out in the pram, sometimes in the car (that does not work he HATES HATES HATES the car and screams blue murder) are all just contributing to the over stimulation.

    I hate the thought of leaving him crying even in these circumstances but the mother's sanity and health also has to be considered....What do others think?
  35. Amanda your comment resonates with me. I have always been so anti letting a baby cry, i believe a baby should not be left to cry at all ever...HOWEVER I too have other children and am currently without my partner. The effects of PND on me, for which I have been receiving treatment for since my nine month old baby was four weeks, coupled with broken sleep every night due to a co sleeping breastfeeding baby is causing me to lose the plot.
    When it gets to the stage that my patience is so impared with the other kids that I'm abusive to them (shouting etc) then I don't think the argument is so clear cut. With any major decision that involves PND and a family if the benefits outway the risks then its worth a go.
    I have always hated the idea of controlled crying but I am currently not a good mum to anybody so we will see how it goes.
    PEOPLE PLEASE DON"T BE SO QUICK TO JUDGE OTHERS
  36. Its hurts tht we are judging each other so much. If I love my baby and spend all day every day with both of them tending their every need, don't use babysitters/daycare wouldn't they know I love them?

    We talk about it being natural for a child to be rocked and held or fed to sleep as it means no tears... But after 6 months, when your backs out and you are sleeping like a ruler in a bed with them
    While they starfish all night long or you are sitting in a chair with them for two hours 4 times a night or you can't keep your eyes open while you are driving or losing your temper at your other kids for just being kids ... Is that natural....

    There has to be some compromise and understanding that if both parties are getting more rest and are able to spend more time loving each other during the day .... Surely thats a good thing?
  37. What disturbs me most about this is the verocity of comments aimed towards parents that leave their babies to cry for a while to teach them to go to sleep. Parenthood is a tough, all-consuming gig. Many parents that leave their baby to cry for a while are desperate for a solution for themselves and for the baby. Accusing parents of child abuse is very serious, and in this instance, I believe it is way out of line.
    What works for some parents and some babies, will not work for others. A child that is left to cry may turn out to be clingy, just as much as a child who is never left to cry may turn out to be selfish. When it comes to parenting, there will always be debates as to what is right and wrong; however, at the end of the day, each parent has to follow their instincts and do what they believe is best, even if that means having to bear hearing their baby cry for a little while.
  38. That was meant to be *ferocity*!
  39. Every child and every parent are different. As is every circumstance.

    Calling other parents cruel, barbaric or child abusers is offensive. Unless you have walked a mile in someone else's shoes please don't judge. Some of the comments here if read by someone with PND and/or on the cusp of extreme of sleep deprivation can be harmful and hurtful.

    Everyone is entitled to their opinions but lets try and acknowledge and accept instead of blame and hurt.
  40. I personally don't do controlled crying with my bub, however he is quite a good sleeper. He is 2 months old and he generally requires a little rocking to put to sleep but then he'll sleep 8 hours, have a feed and sleep another couple. Sure sometimes he'll take a bit longer to get to sleep but I don't mind the extra effort because once he goes to sleep he always sleeps through. He sleeps in his own bed also.

    I personally don't do it, but I don't judge those who do either when it's affecting the whole family due to extreme sleep deprivation, pnd etc.

    I am judged for not doing it and told my baby will be 'soft' if I rock him to sleep, pick him up when he cries etc.

    My question is to those who do controlled crying, would you still if your baby slept like this?????

    Would love some feedback
  41. Has anyone stopped to think that a baby may be crying, screaming, upset, because the NEED that they want met is in fact sleep? My 4 month old cries when being put to sleep no matter what we do. He becomes exhausted and beside himself. We are using the tweddle controlled comforting method which does not involve leaving him distressed without comfort in any way. As a mum with a disability, who has rocked her crying son for two hours trying to get him to sleep, I needed another point of view. Teaching your child they are loved even when they cry but they need sleep not more cuddles is an important step in their emotional development. When my baby is tired and refuses to sleep he doesn't eat we'll, he cries during play, he only wants to sit over my shoulder and ends up crying from exhaustion in the end. So tell me how it is not child abuse to NOT help my baby get the restorative rest he needs so he can spend the day learning not crying.
  42. I think another distinction needs to be made here-I was accused of using controlled crying with my 3 month old. I do not believe that is what I am doing. When I put him down he makes noise-it is not crying it is more like loud grizzling. It is very different from the noise he makes when hungry, wet,in pain, fussy or ill. He makes the same noise if he is been cuddled to sleep or in the car. (Often for much longer as any movement sets him off again) There are no tears, no sobs and the noise gets less as he drifts to sleep. If it gets louder or the pitch changes or the noises become more frequent I go to him immediately. I dont let him continue making the noise for more than 8 minutes-if he does I go in and rock him until he is more drowsy then start again. Iv only had to do this once-i went in and his eyes were closed and he made one more noise before falling asleep. Iv been attacked on forums for using this technique and it makes me angry. I wil get off my soapbox now.
  43. Instinct, science and common sense tells me to comfort my crying baby. Despite this, feeling that I should be teaching my baby to 'self-soothe', I tried gentle controlled crying / withdrawal for a couple of weeks, finding it achieved nothing. Since then I've continued to breastfeed my 10 month old to sleep, and we co-sleep overnight when it's important that I get a proper sleep before work. Despite warnings to the contrary, bub still manages to fall asleep without feeding if I choose not to, or cannot (if she's in the pram or if she's at daycare), and she otherwise sleeps in her cot in her own room (until I bring her into bed with me overnight). I think it's inhumane to ignore an infant's needs. I also understand that the practicalities of modern-day life mean some parents resort to controlled crying, long daycare, etc. What we should avoid, however, is over-justifying or protesting that such solutions are fine or optimal. They're not.
  44. i can not understan you guys. you should not have kids. baby os jast baby andghey are crying and not sleeping in moust of cases. my mum always said to me...womans this days should be having robots and not kids. push the button and tobot is sleeping and push the button and uou can play with your robot. but that is not working with the babies. they will sleep when they are ready...will eat on their own very quickly and than what....everything goes away and your baby is an grown up and new problems are coming. so i think enjoy with youe baby have a lots of cudles smell her chicks and hair remwmber that smell and that soft skin cause they are growing too fast
  45. It's not unreasonable for mum's to want to make the parenting journey enjoyable, get some sleep and cope.
    Perhaps instead of being up all hours and letting your baby run your life you should get some sleep and learn to spell

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