Would you choose to let your baby ‘self soothe’?
There is tons of articles online on ways you can help your baby self soothe, or in other terms – cry it out until they go to sleep.
I’m not a fan of this, not because I want to brag about what a great mother I am for jumping out of my seat every time I hear a stir from upstairs, but because I prefer knowing I am comforting her back to sleep.
I always find with a first child, they are your test run in motherhood – I have made so many mistakes with Alfie and have learnt a lot, so most of the things which I chose when Alfie was little, I wouldn’t chose to do with Holly.
For example, I did in fact try the ‘cry it out’ “method” with Alfie. All it did was cause my baby to be distressed and upset. He was learning that no matter how long he cried for, mummy wasn’t there to comfort him.
Alfie is now scared of the dark, not entirely trusting towards me and he is a very cautious child. Was this caused by letting him self soothe? I’ll never be sure – it could just be his personality, but I do believe it could be some factor.
I’m not in any sense wanting to cause an argument between which method is best for a child, as I believe every parent is entitled to their own method of parenting and if it works for you, great!
However, research has shown that self settling or better known as ‘self soothing’ can cause damaging effects to your baby’s brain. Not only this, but it can cause attachment issues which can lead to lack of independence.
Some resources claim that self soothing can actually cause children to have less attachment to their parents – I can’t agree with this as mine and Alfie’s relationship is very close and we are inseparable. But that doesn’t mean it won’t happen to somebody else’s relationship with their child.
I like to think that by taking the ‘baby led’ approach to my parenting with Holly, that it will cause a more positive effect.
I don’t like the thought of having another child who lacks independence and need me by their side through anything they do! (that includes going to the bathroom and going on the slide at soft play).
Another point is, because I am breastfeeding Holly – if I was to make her cry it out then I could miss her important feeding cues which means she will miss feeds and my body will produce less milk, which can then cause an array of issues.
Besides all of these reasons, I choose not to let my baby ‘cry it out’ because I cannot stand the thought of her crying for me and just ignoring her. As an adult, the most annoying thing is to be ignored – so why is it any different for a baby?
Alfie is almost 7 years old, and even now if he is wanting some comfort before bed time, I will cuddle him until he falls asleep. No, I have not made a rod for my own back, it’s 10 minutes I take out of my time to make sure he is happy and settled.
I believe baby’s do not cry for no apparent reason (until they reach that god awful age where everything is a tragedy) – sometimes baby’s cry for a cuddle, is that really a bad thing?
Let me know your thoughts.