Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Crying It Out Causes Brain Damage


Thought we'd pass along this brief article [first published in 2006] because for a number of years even Ferber himself (the 'father' of sleep training, controlled crying and leaving a baby to 'cry it out') stated he would not repeat this with his own babies given what we now know to be true about the physiological, psychological, and emotional damage that CIO has on infants, children, and human development. Unfortunately, the 'controlled crying' bandwagon that Ferber started many years ago (maybe even with good intentions?) has continued to roll out of control and parents are regularly given this very detrimental advice to ignore their baby's only means of communicating that a need has not been met - her cry. 

We know there are cultures where babies' needs are met 'round the clock, and as a result, they rarely ever cry. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Why shouldn't this be the case for our little ones as well? Let's not do them any more harm. I would have to agree with the author's final statement -- there likely will come a day when we understand just how much damage we do to our babies, their neuro development and social attachment (and future children, adults, damage to even society in general) -- that we will come to see crying-it-out as another horrifying form of child abuse. 

Please note, too, that holding your baby close and comforting him if he is crying and you are trying to figure out the underlying cause, is not the same as leaving a baby to cry (distressed) on his own, and abandoned. For further information, Dr. Sunderland's book is an excellent (and easily accessible) place to start.



The following by Dr. Stephen Juan
posted with permission


Experts warn that allowing a baby to "cry it out" causes extreme distress to the baby. And such extreme distress in a newborn has been found to block the full development of certain areas of the brain and causes the brain to produce extra amounts of cortisol, which can be harmful.

According to a University of Pittsburgh study by Dr. DeBellis and seven colleagues, published in Biological Psychiatry in 2004, children who suffer early trauma generally develop smaller brains.

A Harvard University study by Dr. Teicher and five colleagues, also published in Biological Psychiatry, claims that the brain areas affected by severe distress are the limbic system, the left hemisphere, and the corpus callosum. Additional areas that may be involved are the hippocampus and the orbitofrontal cortex.

The Science of Parenting (2006) by Dr. Margot Sunderland points out some of the brain damaging effects that can occur if parents fail to properly nurture a baby -- and that includes forcing them to "cry it out." Dr. Sunderland, who is the director of education and training at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, draws upon work in neuroscience to come to her conclusions and recommendations about parenting practice.

In the first parenting book to link parent behavior with infant brain development, Dr. Sunderland describes how the infant brain is still being "sculpted" after birth. Parents have a major role in this brain "sculpting" process.

Dr. Sunderland argues that it is crucial that parents meet the reasonable emotional needs of the infant. This is helped along by providing a continuously emotionally nurturant environment for the infant.

Allowing a baby to “cry it out” when they are upset will probably be regarded as child abuse by future generations.



References:

1) The Continuum Concept

2) Why Love Matters

3) Our Babies, Ourselves

4) The Biology of Love

5) The Vital Touch 




"Crying-it-out does not lead to 'sleeping through the night' - it results in learned helplessness."
~ Danelle Frisbie



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56 comments:

  1. I saw this Powerpoint slide show and couldn't tell if it's been posted on this blog before, but it's really great and goes further into the science of why crying is detrimental to brain development.

    http://www.aapalaska.org/2006%20PowerPoint/Dr%20Bergman%20presentation%20implementing%20breastfeeding%20hospital%20best%20practices042407.pdf

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  2. hence screaming during MGM can cause even further distress!

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  3. you bet Michael! Double suffering, double damage, double torture! :(

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  4. Thank you. Seems obvious! If you or I had no other means of communication but to cry, and no one came, I think I'd get brain damage too!

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  5. Love this, I have taken raising kids God's way and took from it what I liked! I really enjoyed this article!!

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  6. of course it's a way to get attention! that's the point ... I think.

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  7. Hold your babies! Babies cry to communicate and if we ignore them, we are ignoring our primal instincts.

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  8. it's actually far from their ONLY form of communication - even my babes as newborns communicated quite a lot with their eyes and hand movements. Crying is their last-ditch communication method before they give up, potentially developing "learned helplessness" (which has been what I hypothesize babies are actually learning through cry-it-out "sleep training" much of the time). Persistence is a virtue we WANT our children to have, isn't it? But the "babies need to cry" idea is so deeply imbedded in people's psyches for some reason, I had to constantly watch my Chinese mother-in-law to make sure she didn't leave my 2nd son (born after she moved in with us) crying to "strengthen his lungs". His lungs are plenty strong, please stop leaving him to flood his body with stress hormones and get a stuffy nose! NOT helpful with the breastfeeding, mom!

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  9. 3 week old?!? *shudder* that's just insane, and the fact that the husband held the wife down to keep her from responding, to me, speaks to many deeper issues in that household. My prayers are with that baby.

    As for older children, yes I agree. Toddlers have tantrums, my 2nd child started having them around 18mo (partially, I think, because grandpa, who lives with us, gives him pretty much anything he asks for just to keep him quiet, including sweets at inappropriate times i.e. close before meal times - though I'm a mean mom and generally think candy shouldn't be permitted before lunch, and only one "snack-size" piece, but that's also due to my worries about diabetes for which I have a strong genetic predisposition).

    Yes, babies and children cry. I think the bigger question regarding appropriate parenting is what initiated the crying that we aren't going to comfort them for? Is it because they're lonely, hungry, cold, wet/dirty, physically uncomfortable in a way they can't remedy themselves? To not go to them and comfort them in any of those situations is inhumane and teaches the baby a horrible lesson (as well as needlessly raises their cortisol levels). Are they demanding something they shouldn't have (poison, open flame, shiny sharp objects, etc)? Firmly telling them "no" and letting them have their emotional reaction is appropriate, giving in and letting them haave what they want is inhumane (and incredibly stupid). There's a lot of grey area in between that really depends on the temperment of the child almost as much as their age. My two sons have EXTREMELY different temperments (just as my husband and I do - complimentary but very different). My eldest (now age 5.5) has always been an extreme extrovert, wanting to engage others with eye contact pretty much from the minute he left my womb, and lack of contact with other people is extremely traumatic for him (i.e. being sent to his room). My 2nd son I swear learned to either fake sleeping or make himself fall asleep as a newborn in order to avoid social situations (such as coffee hour at church) and at 2.5yrs still very much needs his alone time or quiet time with just a very trusted individual (me, daddy, big brother, grandparent) in order to regroup after being in more stimulating situations. I'm pregnant for the 3rd time (17 weeks) and wondering what the new little person will bring to the family. What s/he won't bring is a hours of solitary crying. My babes did not cry much, because they were reassured that they were cared for. Sometimes they had their fits when they were little (overtired, teething, ear ache, etc), but it was always with someone who loved them within visual and touch range, if not actually in our arms, verbally soothing them. I want my children to learn that *people* are a source of comfort, not material items or food or drugs or other potentially unhealthy addictions.

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  10. "...crying and the battle of wills is an inevitable part of growing up..."

    Thankfully, I still don't have this mindset after 6.5 years...even with an older child.

    Parenting doesn't *have to* be an adversarial struggle.

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  11. I read somewhere that the release of cortisol from CIO that causes the brain damage is also released during a circumcision. Hmmmm.....

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  12. I'm so glad we chose to let go of the mind set that a child in distress is being manipulative or throwing a "tantrum". Attachment parenting can continue and respect for children is not limited to the newborn months!

    Crying is communication, period. Staying in tune to your children prevents a lot of need for crying but even the melt-downs and tears are a chance for parents to be more respectful, not less.

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  13. I have a friend whose 2 year old girl has been raised with the cry it out method. Is it too late to reverse the damage done, or should they continue as they are with her and try to do better with the next baby?

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  14. Anonymous - your friend should immediately stop (before more damage is done) and start attending to this toddler's cues for needs (both during night time and day time). The vast majority of brain development occurs in the first 18 months of life, however it is not 98% completed until the age of 5. For this reason, the first 5 years are essential to the rest of life.

    I'd highly suggest reading some of the resources, books, articles that are listed at the end of this article - maybe passing a few onto your friend and checking out the books from a local library (or ordering them to give/share). Most are inexpensive on Amazon and WELL worth the investment as they have monumental effects on how our children end up.

    In order to have 'peace and harmony' during the teen years, babyhood and toddlerhood are essential times to listen to the needs of our little ones.

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  15. There is a big difference between CIO and fussy one who, at times, simply doesn't know what he wants! My first son was worn more or less non-stop between my husband and I. He needed the closeness, I think, and that's part of the reason why now at 4 1/2 he's a very emotionally intelligent child. In all other ways, he's 100% normal. But he's quite empathetic for someone his age. Our newest, however, will fuss at me until I lay him in his bed, whereupon he sighs almost gratefully and falls asleep- the message being, "Will you leave me be so I can rest!" I'm still amazed at how different 2 babies can be.

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  16. When my babies cried, I immediately attended to their needs. They were usually hungry, tired, or bored. As a result, they rarely cried and have grown to be confident, independent, well-balanced young adults. My mom would say, 'let them cry it out', yet I never thought this was sage advice. She said she learned it from Dr. Spock, who she regarded as the almighty know it all he proved not to be.

    I also did not vaccinate them based on my own research and a nurse's suggestion that I read an insert label for vaccine ingredients. I was appalled that such neuro-toxic and carcinogenic poisons were being injected into our children, hence, 21 yrs. later, I still do research and give legislative testimony on vaccine-related bills.

    Check out www.nvic.org (Nat'l Vaccine Info Center) for more info...

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  17. When my first baby was born, I remember that my mom adviced me to 'not spoil' him and let him cry it out sometimes, that it was needed so that he would be educated from the crib. However I was just not able to follow her advices, I guess it was my mommy instincts... my son has vaccine induced autism, I just cannot imagine how much more severe it could have been if I had been able to follow my mom's advice and let him cry.
    I will surely let her know about how wrong she is.

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  18. Wow, thank you for this article. I've made it clear to all the parents I've met through birthing work, please, please pick up your baby when they cry...its their ONLY way of communicating, and how would you like to have your needs ignored for hours on end?...Thank you again!

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  19. So much of what doctors eventually say reflects what mothers and other full-time caregivers have always known. When my daughter was born in 1968, my o.b., head of a department in a prestigious hospital and medical school, insisted to me that newborns couldn't feel pain. Later, her pediatrician, another respected doctor in a large city, told me to let her cry. That I didn't resulted in friction that became one more brick in my eventual divorce from her authoritarian father.

    I read recently that a scientist who has been working for 20 years in the face of ridicule to demonstrate that dogs have emotions is finally getting respect from others validating her research.

    Hey, doctors: why not START with believing what mothers tell you?

    This irritation isn't for all doctors, of course; my brother, a child and family psychiatrist, for example, has always shown compassion.

    Mary Golden

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  20. i dont know whats worse; the fact that this message is being spread far and wide and mothers are actually accepting of it, or the fact that mothers KNOW it goes against their instincts, because they can FEEL it, but they CHOOSE TO IGNORE IT!!! then they tell the next tired new mom that its perfectly normal to force that on a child.

    oh that is horrid.

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  21. I knew this was wrong before I had kids..Babies dont just cry!
    When I had my first I was told let the baby cry any I said thats nice I dont think so!! My boys are super and I never let them cry it out.
    I like you blog..I enjoy reading it..keep up the good work

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  22. As a Lactation Consultant in private practice, I tell the mothers I work with that the saddest person on earth is someone who cries alone. The one who is crying needs to be hugged. When no one responds to an infant's call for help, the infant gets a message that no one cares enough to come when they call. This is a sharp message for an infant. When they don't get positive response, eventually they give up calling, suffering anguish beyond our adult experience.

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  23. Thats so true, Linda. Which is why my babies will never cry alone- whether 5 days, months or years.
    It IS possible to say no and set firm boundaries whilst being compassionate and comforting to your 'older' child. They are not mutually exclusive and in my experience it prevents things becoming a battle of wills.

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  24. I always felt it was cruel to let your babies cry. I always figured that my babies cried for a reason..hungry, cold, wet, or lonely. If I didn't teach them as babies that I was someone they could trust to care for them...they wouldn't trust me later. They NEEDED to know that if they had a need....their mama COULD be counted on...I have 4 kids ranging from age 30 to 13....all 4 KNOW I'm someone they can count on....

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  25. So true...what a sensitive and caring mom you are. Your children are very fortunate to have you as their mother.

    When my kids were babes and small children, I would always attend to their needs and if they cried, I knew it was because they were either 1) hungry, 2) tired, 3) overdressed, 4) bored. When these needs were addressed, it would often just take a hug and to hold them for as long as they needed to be held which would bring them comfort. They always knew we were there for them and they are now young adults who are very confident, independent, and interesting to be around.

    Whenever I'd hear the word 'spoil' as in spoiling a child by attending to their needs or cries, I was reminded of the definition of 'spoil' which means to ignore or allow to rot. Think about it...when you have fruit or veggies you've forgotten about in your frig, they're spoiled and have to be thrown away.

    I feel for those kids who cry and cry and their parents are too selfish to realize it's not about them, the parents, but about their children. Some people should not have children as they don't have a clue on how to raise or love them.

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  26. This is 100% how I feel I have never let my babies cry. EVER. I think its wrong in so many ways, and they very rarely cry anyway. My job by God was to look after them and the only way I can know what they need is to be there and listen and watch. I DO NOT AGREE WITH ANY PERSON THAT SAYS LET YR BABY CRY, OR LET YR CHILD CRY...
    Better thing to ASK! How would u like it if u were crying and I saw and I never helped u or came over to see if u where ok?

    For the ones that what to leave their child to cry...then u go sit in a corner and cry shame on u! Grow up and be a good parent and watch them and listen and learn.

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  27. I will never understand how anyone can do this to their child. My son is 3, and i have never, nor will ever do that. I have friends who constantly tell me "you need them. they dont need you" And it just astonishes !!!.....think about it in these terms..youre crying(eventhough you can communicate) and your partner walks out of the room, or just ignores you. WOulnt that be awful? whatever happened to compassion, and teaching your children that you will be there for them when they need you. Its cruel...I want my children to go to bed happy and comforted. I believe this is why so many people end up in nursing homes....besides the people that absolutely have to...most people just dont care. they dont have that attachemnt to their parents because they never taght them that. I get harrassed everyday that i spoil my kids, and that i need ot let them cry..then again this is for people who think having pets is harder than kids...because "you can just put your children in from of a television, and pets require a lot more attention" ugh

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  28. I agree, I would never let my child CIO.. But, come on, "Regarded as Child Abuse by future generations"? Right...

    Our future generations will be so busy on their phones, facebook, computers, and narcissism that they probably won't even notice their babies are crying.

    Why don't we work on teaching new moms and our own children that FAMILY and people come first, not technology. Maybe then people will have more compassion and not let their poor babies cry to sleep.

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  29. I was very interested in reading the powerpoint mentioned in the first post here, but it is temporarily disabled.
    Does anyone else have any links that have more information as to why this is harmful? I'd love to share this, but having more scientific backup would make it easier to prove my point.
    Thank you.

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  30. I have one word for y'all---COLIC!! My kid does not have brain damage actually he is quite the smart cookie!! He cried for almost the full 1st year of his life! Nothing made him happy and I tried everything! (not even holding him made him happy)!

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  31. I wrote this yesterday and I don't see my comment on here but this sentence here: "Ferber himself stated he would not repeat this with his own babies given what we now know to be true about the physiological, psychological, and emotional damage that CIO has on infants, children, and human development." Can you tell me where this is stated because my in laws are trying to get me to Ferberize my baby and I'm looking for lots of ammo against it.

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  32. http://www.cafemom.com/journals/read/1554414/Fascinating_Slideshow_Supports_Attached_Parenting
    I found the same thing but a google search of the link pointed me to this blog, which highlighted a few intersting points. Hope that helps!

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  33. I have been told that I spoil my 6 week old bc I don't let her cry. This article makes me feel better for doing what I've been doing. I hate hearing my daughter cry and even if her needs are all met she may need something else....like love and affection in her mommy's arms :)

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  34. You don't need any validation from your in-laws as your own motherly and well-honed instincts are what's important here. My mother was a big advocate of Dr. Spock back in the 50's and still believed that children should be left to cry it out so as not to 'spoil' the child.

    I never agreed w/her on this point, and always tended to my children's needs via crying, which is the only way they can communicate when they are small. My children are now young adults who are very bright, healthy, intelligent and well-rounded. They are not 'needy' and are independent and critical thinkers. I always listened to them, acknowledged them by looking them in the eyes and 'hearing' them even when they were not able to vocalize what they wanted. They are not 'spoiled' in the least and and are hard-working, kind, and honest young adults.

    The word 'spoil' means to ignore such as when you realize the fruits/veggies in your crisper have gone bad because you forgot about them or left them to rot.

    When my daughter was around 6, she tripped and fell while in a store and started crying. The sales clerk said, "don't cry, big girls don't cry"...I just looked at her in amazement and said she's crying because it hurts and crying releases endorphins which makes you feel better and starts the healing process. I said crying is good and should not be suppressed...end of story.

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  35. To the Anon 3 posts back writing about 'colic' -

    'Colic' is a culture-derived term that we tend to slap on babies in North America when we don't know what is causing them pain/discomfort or when we don't have the resources or information to figure out what the problem is, or how to relieve it. Crying is never 'normal' or needed.

    There is *always* an underlying reason for infant discomfort, pain, or confusion leading to crying - it is simply our job as parents to dig in and figure out what this is. A book that has helped many (recommended reading before baby is born) is "The Fussy Baby Book"

    http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/0316779164

    A baby's cry is a last resort effort to indicate that some need is not being met (and that former non-verbal cues have not been recognized). Crying when hungry, for example, is an indicator of *late* extreme hunger - and should not be used as the first cue that a baby needs to eat, or drink, or nurse for comfort.

    However, CIO = leaving a baby to cry alone. Crying in arms does not have the same cortisol spikes as crying alone. Until the issue is figured out, and the root cause for a baby's pain/discomfort/fear discovered, elicit the help of another gentle care giver (hire someone if need be) and switch off.

    Two of the most common culprits for infant pain are:

    1) birth trauma - either during or after birth (which includes genital cutting and other intense pain episodes leading to PTSD symptoms -> adults have their own versions of 'colic' when they've been traumatized in similar ways)

    2) cow's milk or nuts/soy in a mother's diet or artificial baby feeds (also includes starting non-breastmilk items before the gut has closed which typically occurs for most babies around the 8th month). Human infants cannot digest the proteins in cow's milk or nuts/soy.

    Other than "The Fussy Baby Book" (recommended!) another good one is "The Vital Touch"

    http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/0805053549

    And "The Continuum Concept" (a more difficult read but well worth it! In which the author discusses the many cultures in which a baby never cries)

    http://astore.amazon.com/peacefparent-20/detail/0201050714

    A good article on the same subject - "Why African Babies Don't Cry"

    http://www.drmomma.org/2010/09/why-african-babies-dont-cry.html

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  36. Excessive crying which is not soothed by feeding, colic, holding, touching, sleeping, etc. can be a sign of encephalitis (brain inflammation) caused by vaccinosis (vaccine damage). A friend of mine's baby cried inconsolably for 2 wks after a set of shots. She immediately went into seizures and cried to the point of exhaustion and then would resume her crying upon waking. Her daughter exhibits autistic symptoms and she has helped her child immensely by eliminating dairy, gluten, and sugar from her diet.

    Check out www.gutandmentalillness.com as well as www.nvic.org (Nat'l Vaccine Info Center)...

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  37. Renee' mother of twinsFebruary 11, 2011 7:04 AM

    All of this is most helpful for me! I have 4 month old twins. They rarely cry and when they do it's because they need something. Sometimes they will be a little fussy for around an hour. But that is rare and it's usually gas. Some anonymous family members (just in case I show this to them) will want to hold them and when they cry and I want to take them to breastfeed them, they will say 'they're fine' or 'babies cry, they are strengthening their lungs.' It gives me this sick feeling in my gut. I feel like just grabbing them and finding out what truly is wrong. Something I have found by being a mother is that mother's instinct is true on all counts. I just know them inside and out. If I'm around people and one of them starts to cry they say 'let me try...do you want me to try?' I think to myself, what are you going to do that I couldn't do myself? Yet, if I want to take them back, I am 'spoiling them.' To me that is so warped.
    It's hard watching twins sometimes because I want to be able to give them the same attention that one baby would get from a mother. I feel like I am doing the best I can. But, even with two babies I have been able to keep them from crying for longer than 5-10 minutes. Most of the time they don't even cry for longer than a minute and their needs are met.
    My husband will bottle feed them sometimes and he always has to have either his ipod touch (playing games) or a computer to occupy his other hand. It boggles my mind. Feeding them and holding them is such a sweet experience. I tell him he is missing out on watching the precious faces that he would remember for a lifetime. I feel like they know that they aren't the focus when electronics are around. Babies are so much smarter than people give them credit for.
    Any advice on how to sway people's mind on the CIO problem?

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  38. I have three kids. When one them was an infant, I was not a good mother, I let her cry it out every night, I would not pick her up till morning, no matter how hard she cried.
    With my other 2 children I would get them at night if they cried, and they are extremely well adjusted.
    But my one daughter, at 10yrs old, has low self esteem, she cries often, and insists no one cares about her. It doesn't seem to mater how much positive reinforcement we give her.
    At the time I thought I was doing the right thing, but now I wish I could go back and do things differently.

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  39. @Anonymous, That breaks my heart. I pray that you can give to your daughter now what she needs and that she feels better about herself and her relationships.

    I came on here to research the method because I'm so firmly against it (our old small group at one point wanted to use Gary Ezzo's "Growing Kid's God's Way" as a Bible Study. YIKES!)
    I've seen the effect of CIO, both my nephews are not normal. The oldest responded to it by becoming a people pleaser, closer with a stranger than his own family. He values things above people and is incredibly sneaky and manipulative. My younger nephew is a zombie. He just watches the world go by. He was a much needier baby and I think it just shut him down.
    I've been telling my husband and Mom for a few years now that sometime in the future we'll look back at Ferber/Ezzo, etc and recall it as child abuse. Thanks for the article.

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  40. What about premature babies stuck in NICU's without their mothers closeness? It breaks my heart what my son went through.

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  41. I had my son (5 1/2 months) on his tummy for some tummy time, and he was getting really fussy and started crying. Crying as in red in the face, tears streaming down his cheeks, etc crying. I went to pick him up and my husband said "well there goes him developing" and "you are a cute kid but you won't be very smart" and that my son is "manipulating me, see, he stopped crying when you picked him up, he's manipulating you and it worked". I wanted to punch his lights out.
    After I picked my son up, I fed him a little and he went to sleep. I think he slept because he was so emotionally worn out from CIO while on his tummy (no wonder he doesn't like tummy time!) that he pretty much went to sleep because of the emotional wear and tear on him. I feel so bad that I did that but apparently my husband thinks that he should be left to cry it out. Of course any information I find that backs my stance is from paranoid mothers who "smother" their children **eyeroll** and so on and so forth. I'm a SAHM and do not believe in letting him CIO or do CC!!!

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  42. It's sad how people think that picking up your baby when they are crying is 'spoiling' them. Insane.

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  43. I'm going through this same argument with so many people around me right now... just reading all the comments literally brought tears to my eyes. So glad to know there are lots of other mommies with the same feelings as me!

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  44. My MIL commented that "I was making a rod for my back". My response was "It's my back, and I'm OK with carrying it".

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    1. My in-laws said exactly the same thing! I tried to let my baby cry as I walked past because they said 'she was manipulating me' and I couldn't do it a second time. I didn't care what they said from that point on. I've just found out I'm pregnant again and will continue doing what I feel is right. AP all the way. :D

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    2. My in-laws said exactly the same thing. I tried walking past my baby (8 months at the time) and she cried for me and I didn't go to her. I couldn't bring myself to do it a second time. They both looked at me and said that she was manipulating me and that I was making a rod for my own back. Needless to say, I don't listen take heed to their advice. I ALWAYS pick my toddler up if she wants me. If I can't pick her up, then I keep her close by (i.e. if I'm cooking or something) and if I'm in the shower my husband holds her in the bathroom so I can see her and she laughs when I flick water at her or splash her! Attached Parenting all the way. Pregnant again (found out today) and we will continue with AP with the next baby. :D
      (*(

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  45. Something is very very wrong in our society.

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  46. This is encouraging and enlightening. It can be so hard (especially when you struggle with insecurity as a whole) to trust your gut instinct and defend yourself/your child when your methods are constantly frowned upon by your own family. I know that I only want to do what is the very best, most loving and God-honoring for my children. Its hard when your heart says one thing, your mother says another and truly, there is research that supports all views.
    Thank you for the encouragement that tangibly loving my kids is the best thing for them versus discipline and 'boundaries' from a seemingly ridiculous young age.

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  47. So Good to know..Thank u..

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  48. To Peach above: I hear you. My little one was in the NICU for a time as well. Most of the time, the nurses say the babies don't cry much because they are so young and fed so much on schedule they don't really get hungry in between and with a ratio of 2-3 babies per nurse, this means their cries are quickly attended to.

    That said, it all depends on the nurses involved. I had nurses who would not move from their areas unless absolutely needed so I know my baby received great care then. However, I saw nurses (when I would be in for my baby's evening meal) who would just hang out in the nurse's station...

    Having a baby in the NICU is so difficult. I held my baby every second I could both in the NICU and when my baby came home. I hope that I have corrected or at least softened any damage caused by being left alone so much. In the end: that's the best I can do.

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  49. I have a friend who lets her son "Cry it Out" and I have NEVER in my life known of a child who is soooo detatched emotionally. He does not like to be cuddled, kissed, rocked, loved on, hugged etc. He seems extremely behind developmentally and doesn't say much at all. She also did the CIO method with her daughter and she is very whiney, needy, demanding, emotional, COMPLETELY dependent, and insecure. It seems as if it is easier on the mom but there is something about the children being sooooo detatched from affection... :(

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  50. If only these links were provided in books that suggest the CIO Method - like Tizzy Hall etc.

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  51. I have never ever let my son CIO and now he cries very rarely - our neighbors still ask "Are you at home? We can"t hear your baby cry." The less baby cries = the less baby cries. How simple. You won't find a cat, dog or lion who would not react to its cubs'crying immediately. It is a matter of instinct. Our instincts are good, but we resist them. This is a principle meant for newborn and babies, who cannot speak, who can only cry to tell us they are needy. People often mistakes it for situation when an infant cries because he/she wants a cookie / new toy / ice-cream etc. These kiddos are mature and can express what they want. Such type of cries, yes, are for manipulating. But babies are helpless, they don't cry to manipulate us and when they get no response to their crying, it is just a matter of time for them to start to be depressed / stressed / felt left alone. I can totally relate to this. This "method' is practiced also in our country (often with some "sophisticated" schedules like - wait one minute, then go to see the baby, then let him cry for 3 minutes, 5, 7, 10...) - but as a result, the baby does not fall asleep because it turns him out to be "good" / used to, but because he is helpless and exhausted, feeling left alone. This is how I explain it to other people who wants to oppose me. Long live Dr. William Sears :)

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  52. My baby is 11 months. When he stays at the sitters he sleeps in a little seat that sort of cradles him. He has just grown out of it so we tried placing him in the playpen to sleep but he did not like that at all. We then placed a child mat on the floor with a blanket and small pillows for him to sleep. He didn't like it either, but he did stay however still crying his eyes out. He wasn't alone the sitter was there with him along with two other kids he was just very mad that he couldn't sleep like before. I hugged him, told him I was sorry, but that he had to sleep there now, gave him a kiss and left him with the sitter. I called about an hour later and she said he would still cry off and on, refused his breakfast but did sleep for about 5 min. I called after lunch and he did finally eat, but still would cry off and on because he was so tired. If I were with him I'd help him sleep, but I know the sitter most likely wouldn't because she has the other children to tend too. Does this type of crying cause the same affect as the CIO method? I would like to assume not because he's not alone and helpless, just mad because he dosen't have that cradled feel anymore. I would just like to know for peace of mind. Thanks! :)

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  53. How much crying alone is too much? I am a single mom and have to on occasion let my son cry for 10 to 20 mins here or there every day to eat, shower toilet ect. He's 3 months and have had to do this from birth. Is this causing bad brain damage? I'm scared! How can I be sure it hasn't caused damage???

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