Distress, Self-Soothing, and Extinction Sleep Training

Self soothing distress chart

Abstract:  Extinction methods of sleep training – namely cry-it-out and controlled crying – are assumed to work via teaching a child to “self-soothe”.  It is under this premise that many parents engage in the practice, believing they are “helping” their child.  Unfortunately extinction sleep training neither teaches self-soothing nor helps a child in the sense of social or … [Read more...]

Stress-Release Crying

Source: Unknown

Babies cry.  It’s really no surprise to anyone who has had a child or been in the vicinity of a child, and yet if you read articles on crying and how parents should react, we find ourselves presented with two very distinct camps.  On one hand, we have those who propose responding to babies’ and children’s cries, under the belief that this is how they communicate and that their … [Read more...]

Evolution, Crying, and the Fallacy of a Different Environment


“Parents used to have to stop their baby crying because if they didn’t, they’d all be eaten by wild animals, but we don’t live in that world anymore so isn’t that a rather outdated way of looking at parenting?” ~ Too many people to count, often in attempts to justify leaving children to cry I have heard the above mentioned time and time and time again.  In our efforts to make … [Read more...]



One of the things I hate is when others use the term 'lucky' with reference to one’s kids.  It’s something I hear a lot of because I have a 'good' baby, but it frustrates me because I am not just lucky, just as a woman with a baby who is always inconsolable without medical reason isn't just unlucky.  I have a high-needs child who I have been able to respond to using practices … [Read more...]

“Fake” Crying in Infancy

Baby Cries

By Tracy Cassels A new article out of Japan suggests babies between seven months and a year engage in a “fake cry” to obtain attention.  The article[1] examined two babies longitudinally for six months and analyzed 102 crying episodes total while also having the mothers report on each of these crying episodes.  Based on these analyses, the researcher – Dr. Nakayama – felt … [Read more...]

When Your Infant’s Sleep Isn’t Normal

Source: Unknown

In today’s Western society, more often than not parents believe their child should be sleeping in ways that are just not biologically normal.  They expect babies to sleep through the night by 12 weeks, to no longer need to be rocked to sleep or nursed to sleep, and so on.  And of course we all know that there are people out to make money who promote these untruths so they can … [Read more...]

“Is She Okay?”: Or Are We Sabotaging Our Children’s Empathy?


By Tracy G. Cassels I don’t believe I have ever met an individual who didn’t want their child to grow up to be empathic.  It’s just standard for parents to want their children to care about others’ well-being and put that care into practice.  We spend ample time discussing with other parents how to do this, we read books, we start programs in schools, we model the behaviours … [Read more...]

When I’m Not So Fun to Be Around


After having a crappy day myself and shutting myself in the bedroom because I was ready to scream at everyone and throw whatever I could find out the window, I had to write this.  So… how many of these can you relate to? When I’m tired, I get really crabby and snap at people. When I’m hungry, I get angry and can yell at those I love. When things aren't going the way I need … [Read more...]

Slate Gets on the Cry-it-Out Bandwagon

Source: Unknown

It was to my utter dismay to be led to yet another article touting the benefits of crying-it-out (CIO) and admonishing those who speak out against it.  However, it was even more distressing to read an article that so blatantly attacked researchers and held up research that has been openly criticized as "bad science" as evidence supporting CIO.  But I’m jumping ahead.  Let me … [Read more...]

Do No Harm?

Source: Unknown

I regularly post against the extinction sleep training methods, namely cry-it-out (CIO) or controlled crying (CC).  It should be no surprise it’s a practice I really don’t like, mostly because I believe the bit of evidence we have suggests it is not great for babies (even if they do recover, though not all do) and add to that it’s often ineffective.  Whenever I post these … [Read more...]