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Even the most patient, connected, attached parents can reach the point when they are ready to hurl themselves out of the window from sheer sleep-deprivation-induced insanity. I have wondered whether I could continue in my efforts to never let my baby cry it out. I am doing all I can to ensure I get enough rest to be able to cope with Squishy’s night time needs. I am so very glad that we stuck to our principles and refused to train him. This difficult stage in our lives has really made me think about why I make the parenting choices that I make. I read lots of books and online articles about babies and sleep, the majority of them by people who hold the same parenting philosophy as I do. I’ve been there, and I’m still there now.
This may get some peoples’ backs up but quite frankly, I’m not worried about that. They DEFINITELY aren’t crying because they are devious little manipulators. A few minutes of fussing is completely different to prolonged, distressed screaming night after night from a confused, frightened and lonely child. No sane parent makes choices for their kids that they don’t believe are in their children’s best interest. I am saying that the methods themselves are cruel. But what happens when baby gets sick or is teething? What happens when the family takes a holiday somewhere and the routine gets messed up?
They have to do the whole stinking awful process all over again. When we sign up for parenthood, we don’t expect to be excused from our responsibility to our children between the hours of 7pm and 7am. When a child cries, cortisol floods the body to help the child deal with the stress they are under. The rush of cortisol creates a fight-or-flight response in the body, putting the child under a lot of emotional and physical strain. Being subjected to this over and over again can be very damaging. Research suggests that children who have been conditioned to high levels of cortisol may be more prone to aggression later in life.