Do you believe in "Ferberizing" babies? Or do you support another method?
"Ferberizing" babies is highly debated and seems to vary on the parents. Do you believe in having babies learn to self-sooth, or do you prefer that babies are soothed by the parents? Why do you feel this way and what is your personal experience with this?
We actually used the Cry-it-out method with our son and it did work within three days. So I guess I would have to say that I am not opposed to it. I believe that each baby should be trained on sleep differently though - whatever works for one baby will not necessarily work for another.
I think it depends on the child & on different parenting styles. My first self-soothed pretty naturally, my second not so much. So I soothed my second one at night-time so much more, because he seemed to 'need' it. (I don't like the idea of having the baby be crying if soothing by the parent will stop the crying, but that is just my personal preference). Although, once he could suck his thumb, that dramatically improved his ability to self-soothe and at that point I became more accepting of trying 'cry-it-out' methods with him.
So in conclusion, I'm not really in favor of "Ferberizing" unless I can see evidence that my child is already capable of some self-soothing behavior such as thumb-sucking or clutching a soft toy e.g. during the daytime. Then I'd feel OK to encourage that self-soothing at night, otherwise not. But that is just my style. Every parent is different and every baby is different too.
I don't believe in "methods" when it comes to babies. If mothers don't let "the world" butt in and tell them what they should be doing; all it takes to have a baby develop really well is to take good care of the baby, make him feel super-secure and loved by being responsive to him and by the way a mother holds and talks to her baby. Talking to him, singing to him, making him laugh, and making eye contact are all part of nurturing too.
When babies feel super-secure and loved, that lays the foundation (even at the "brain-chemical" level) for his developing well and being able to learn new things as he continues to develop. Brain connections are forming, and if parents miss that "boat" the child suffers for it.
When babies develop well they DO learn to self soothe eventually. My first-hand experience was with my own three kids. I've had a lot of other experience with babies and toddlers too, though. Most normal mothers have common sense and a maternal instinct. They should use both, instead of looking to outsiders with a book to sell, or a willingness to turn someone else's baby into an experiment, for parenting "methods". (Once children get past preschool age things can get a little trickier sometimes, but babies all pretty much "work" the same way.)
I totally disagree with it. Think of it this way, a child communicates by crying, whether sad, happy, hungry, whatever. We are not teaching them self-soothing, we are teaching them that their cries are not important--that they cry and we do not respond.
How many times have we cried as adults, just wanting someone to hold us and soothe us. But to ignore a baby's cries...no I didn't with my kids, or my grandkids.
AND HOORAY Lisa HW--You said it very well.
My son was a fantastic baby. Weighed in at almost 10 lbs and was 22 inches long. He hardly cried, was eating 8 oz by 3 weeks, and was sleeping through the night by 4 weeks. That being said, he was (and continues to be) a self-soother.
Children will learn to soothe themselves but I think "making" them by letting them cry it out or punishing them for needing mommy or daddy to soothe them will not do anything but cause harm either psychologically or behaviorally. I think it is important for children to learn that on their own at their own pace. It all depends on the child!
I believe every child is different and every parent is different. What might be good for one parent or child, will not be good for another. My two natural daughters were so different as infants (and now as adults) that we tried different things for them. My oldest daughter cried continuously for her first three months of life. Nothing I did seemed to help. I would hold and cuddle her and would let her cry it out. I was a very young mother and was not in great contact with my own mother and had a lousy doctor who told me that she would someday grow out of it. Little did I know that my baby was literally starving because I was not producing enough healthy milk for her. After her having seizures and nearly dying because of starvation, I finally had a wonderful nurse tell me to give up on nursing her and give her formula, and lo and behold, my daughter stopped crying and began putting on weight and except for asthma, had no more troubles in her health.
My younger daughter, whom I also nursed, thrived and never cried unless she was hungry or needed a diaper change. I was a much older mom and had more experience and more confidence in myself, as well, and I am absolutely positive that, too made a difference.
So I guess my answer is to do what you feel is best for your child, keep in contact with a good doctor and challenge your doctor when you have questions. You will know - and your child will know - what is best.
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