The dismissal of the importance of a rise in cortisol on the developing brain is very popular with extinction sleep training apologists. Although we do not know the exact influences, there are reasons to be cautious of this dismissal, which ignores key evolutionary and biological information.
A piece is making the rounds claiming that sleep training is a feminist issue. I think it is too, just not the way the original author believes.
The premise behind extinction sleep training is that infants (and toddlers) are being taught to "self-soothe"; however, this ignores key points of what self-soothing abilities can be expected from children and how distressed they are at the time of separation. Instead of focusing on these extinction methods, gentler methods that respect where the child is developmentally should be considered.
Doctors, family, and baby "experts" like to promote cry-it-out and controlled crying as forms of sleep interventions for infants despite protests that it ignores infant communication and stresses parents out. What if, contrary to what parents are told, it also doesn't really work too well?
This is for those of you who have gone the cry-it-out route and now regret it. The two biggest questions I'm asked on the topic - have I done irreparable harm and can I fix it? - are discussed herein.
Is crying-it-out traumatic for a child? Yes. With this in mind, what does it mean for our promotion of it? Is it short-term pain for long-term gain or should we possibly think a little (okay, a lot) differently?
New research suggests stress can be "caught"; that is, mothers can pass their stress onto infants by touch. Does this provide support for sleep training? I am going to show you here why I think it does not at all...
In pondering the use of CIO and CC further, I start to wonder if those of us who speak out against sleep training may be inadvertently setting families up to fail. Hear me out…
Often when I write about crying-it-out or controlled crying, I get comments from people who have done it asking what else they should have done in their sleep deprived state. The question concerns me because it highlights not only how mainstream the idea of leaving a child to cry has become, but also about how ignorant society is as a whole about the alternatives to sleep training.
You know how everyone keeps saying it's up to us to prove the risk of harm from sleep training? Well, we have the beginnings of this with a new review piece looking at outcomes for sleep training of infants under six months of age.