10.27.2008

The Cry It Out Culture


I've been reading a lot about the Ferber method of crying it out. On the Berkeley Parents Network many moms write about feeling guilty letting their baby wail in the night as they learn to fall asleep on their own. Ferbizing a baby sounds excruciating and pain staking. But many people I know are all for it.
The main points are to separate your baby to their own room, let them cry it out for gradual periods, and fall asleep on their own. Americans are afraid that babies will become too dependent. What's wrong with an infant being dependent? Don't they have the rest of their lives to become independent? Like when they turn 18?

Last night, we had a pediatrician friend over for dinner. I asked him about his opinion on certain popular theories like the crying it out method. He said it really depends on the family and the baby but many of these popular theories from American authors are culturally and economically biased. I've been a little shocked reading forums where parents put their baby in a different room a week after birth. It seems a little cruel. What if a family doesn't have a second room? Then I guess the crying it out method is not really an option right?

There are many examples of co-sleeping families where the child turns out loving and independent. Co-sleeping is natural in many parts of the world. Several years ago, Harvard researchers concluded crying it out can lead to more fears and tears. My conclusion is that like many other parenting decisions, it's really no one else's business.

For us, we've been co-sleeping since day one. More often co-sleeping with a crib next to our bed. We enjoy the whole family sleeping together in the same room including our cat, Choco. I let Kai sleep with us for a bit in the mornings. When he hits six months, we may consider moving him to the next room. When that happens, I'll let you know how it goes.

1 comment:

Mama Aya said...

ahhh. i love the picture.

i feel you though on how sleeping decisions are really no one's business.

when a friend asked how Soluna was doing with sleep and i told her we were co-sleeping and that she still woke up at night, she was like "on no. you need to change this immediately." and went on and on about all the reasons why i was doing the wrong thing for me and the baby. i didn't ask. i didn't say it was a problem... she just thought she had to "help" us!