Apparently CBeebies have now taken it upon themselves to start offering advice to sleep-deprived parents. CBeebies the channel for children which attempts to tackle many wellbeing issues such as mental health and healthy eating. The same channel that reads soothing bedtime stories to your little ones. Yes them…they are supporting a practice that has been proven to cause stress to babies! This article was posted to the CBeebies magazine site but has since been removed.
I’m clearly not a massive fan of cry it out in any form but CBeebies even managed to choose an article that makes me cringe more than usual. The writer states that…
“with controlled crying, the crying isn’t controlled of course. It’s our response to it that is. And it’s not fun for the parent.”
I’m pretty sure her poor baby isn’t having too much fun either!
But, the sentence that really gets to me is this…
Finally, you can go to sleep. (But of course you can’t! Not tonight. You’ve been through too much.)
So, your baby, the one that you brought into the world, has fallen asleep with tears streaming down her face…yet you’ve been through too much to sleep!?
It’s so sad that we live in a society where it’s more frowned upon to.co-sleep than it is to leave babies to cry.
It’s so sad that parents feel that there’s no other option but to leave their adored babies to cry alone in order to ‘learn to sleep’.
It’s especially sad that corporations as powerful as the BBC use their voice to share such damaging messages.
Being a parent is difficult but so much of the advice out there just makes things so much harder for parents.
We’re encouraged to breastfeed but told under no circumstances to co-sleep. So we’re forced into thinking it’s normal to get up every few hours (if we’re lucky) for months on end to soothe our babies back to sleep. Or we choose the other extreme…leave them to cry because the alternative is too unthinkable! What happened to common-sense and following our instincts!?
My little big boy turns three tomorrow but the day we brought him home in May 2015, we realised how little we knew about parenting. He decided for us that the cot my husband had built (and then rebuilt as it wouldn’t fit through the door!) would never be slept in. The moses basket would make the perfect washing basket. I can’t believe we ever expected him to ‘sleep like a baby’…what a strange and confusingly contradictory expression. No wonder we all have these strange expectations of baby sleep!
I can suggest an alternative that will get you more sleep:
Listen to your babies needs – if they can sleep alone and wake very rarely then great (those babies do exist!) carry on as you are. If they wake often then know that there is absolutely nothing you’ve done to cause this! It’s normal and common! Follow safe co-sleeping guidelines so that you can stay close to your baby all night.I can’t imagine having to wake up,crawl out of bed and walk to my baby several times night. I can feed my baby back to sleep without even fully waking.
Let me reassure you that my eldest didn’t need us to educate him forcably in the methods of falling asleep! He falls asleep brilliantly most of the time within minutes of his bedtime story ending. It happened naturally as he matured.
If the BBC can be so politically correct about most issues then it’s astonishing that they condone this method of infant training.
It’s time we started treating babies like people…not things that need to learn their place. My husband wouldn’t be my husband for long if he left me alone crying in my room because I couldn’t sleep and needed a hug.
Next time you read some advice about parenting…ask yourself:
1. Would I let my partner treat me like that?
2. Would I let a care home treat my mother or father like that?
3. Would I treat my dog like that?
If you answer no to any of the above then don’t do it!!!
Read The Gentle Sleep Book by Sarah Ockwell-Smith if you have any doubts!
Hug your baby to sleep tonight.