You may recall that the “Cry It Out” method was recently called “toxic” by a parenting expert, Dr. Penelope Leach. “Cry It Out” is a form of sleep training where you leave your baby alone for progressing amounts of time to sleep, even if he cries. You can soothe, but not pick baby up. Then once you’ve mastered CIO, you can ask baby to roll over, beg, and play dead. Oh wait–no.
Dr. Leach says of CIO:
I’ve heard it said that babies stop crying because they have learned that mummy wants them to go back to sleep. Babies are not capable of that sort of learning.
The reason that a baby gives up after half an hour, three-quarters of an hour or an hour is that it has given up and that its expectations have been altered.
Nice. So instead of encouraging a baby with your love and nurturing, you’re teaching him that he just shouldn’t expect you.
Dr. Leach says CIO is “harmful for babies’ brains” because it causes the release of cortisol, a stress hormone, which some neuroscientists call “toxic” over time.
If you don’t buy her warnings, well, you can buy this! There is now an iPhone application that guides parents through the CIO Method.
Aptly called “Ciao Baby,” this helps you time your
passive-aggressive parenting nighttime routine. You know, because you might pick up and soothe your baby during the day, but at night it’s just so inconvenient. And babies, above all, should be convenient.
“Ciao” as in, “Buh-bye. You’re just not doing the thing I need, and I am so outta here, babe.”
Dr. Leach says there is no empirical data that proves CIO works. She suggests soothing baby, but showing that nighttime is different by not playing. Or, in realistic terms, trust your instincts and use common sense. If it bothers you to leave your 6-month-old crying, that’s because it’s supposed to. Your baby is incapable of learning your needs or your schedule at that point.
CIO is not the answer, people. And no, I’m not talking about your toddler being exhausted and throwing a tantrum at bedtime. I’m talking about the willful timing of baby’s cries. Babies don’t comprehend timers…got it?!
Or, as one Facebook friend described “Cry It Out”: “Parenting for assholes.”
The shocking app was passed on through this friend. (Check out her adorable handmade felt food.)
Follow me on Twitter.