Controlled crying wasn’t the answer

Sam: I have to say I was getting really fed up of being woken up by a crying baby. Of course I love him and everything, but after a few weeks it was starting to get to me. I kept threatening to let him cry it out, specially as I thought he had to learn. I mean I thought he couldn’t just think someone would come running every time. Then I did a bit of research on it. I wanted to find the most effective way of getting him to stop waking up.

Well I have to say I was really shocked to find that it’s actually a good thing he’s waking up. It protects him from SIDS, it helps his brain develop if he’s having milk at night, it completely changed my opinion. I started to feel glad when I heard him wake up. That must sound mad and I know it’s not me that feeds him so I can’t speak for the ones doing the feeding. But I felt happy he was awake like he was being protected.

I also did some reading on what happens when they’re left to cry. I always thought it was a good thing and they’d learn. But it causes cortisol (stress hormone) to rise which actually affects their brain development. They even found the cortisol still there after the baby had fallen asleep. And the reason it works to stop them waking up is they just basically shut down. They don’t ‘learn’ at that age. They’re just trying to survive, that’s another way of looking at it.

I couldn’t imagine doing it after I’d done my research. It’s not fun getting woken up all the time and I’d be lying if I said I don’t have moments of just wanting to shut the door, but I don’t think I could do it. It’s not forever is it. I want to know we’re doing the best for him.

– Sam