Monday, May 18, 2015

If Parents Use Common Sense....

Fans of Babywise don't like it when opponents say their "Infant Management System" is BAD for babies. They claim that if you use common sense, everything will be fine.

The problem is that the book is usually recommended to and read by new parents. First-time parents are usually unsure of themselves and seek wisdom from older, more experienced folks with common sense.

Babywise promises them a happier, smarter baby who sleeps more.
It promises happier, more confident parents. It assures you will have well-adjusted, secure children.

But it doesn't promise, or even recommend common sense. Why?
Because common sense would tell most parents that crying for ALMOST FIVE HOURS is PROBABLY NOT GOOD!!

Not so, for the Babywiser. The Babywising new parent is told that this is perfectly normal and to be expected.
 They're told that responding to the crying baby is bad parenting! The word "dangerous" is even used to ensure parents continue to ignore the crying baby!

Here's what Babywise advises for parents like the mom above:

From Babywise '98 version, Chapter 12 "Principles for Starting Late," page 210

Review chapter 8, "When Your Baby Cries," and be prepared for some crying. You are moving from a high-comfort style of sleep manipulation to basic training in sleep skills. Initially your baby will not like this change, but it is necessary. In moments of parental stress, be comforted in knowing your baby won't feel abandoned because you have decided that the best thing for him is learning how to fall asleep on his own." [Emphasis added]

Don't feel the necessity to check on your baby every five minutes while he or she is crying. If you go into your baby's room, try to do so without being seen. If necessary, move the crib so you can see the baby but the baby can't see you. If you feel you must soothe the child, go in briefly and pat him or her on the back. With a soft voice, say, "It's all right," then quietly leave. As a result, your baby will do one of two things; be comforted and fall asleep or roar even louder.
If your baby chooses the latter, don't be discouraged! The crying only means he or she has not developed the ability to settle himself or herself. That goal is precisely what you are working toward.

Be patient and consistent. For some parents, success comes after one night; for others, it comes after two weeks. The norm, however, is three to five days.[Emphasis added]
So here we see a situation that would normally be extremely upsetting for those using common sense, but Mr. Ezzo frames it as a good thing:
Notice his careful choice of words twist reality:
Comforting your crying baby is labelled "sleep manipulation"
"Crying proves that his ability to settle himself is developing!" See? The goal you are trying to achieve is working! Three to five days of this persistent crying and you have attained the goal! And if it takes over two weeks of sleepless nights while you try not to hear the crying,why that's perfectly normal too, in his view.

He summarizes with praise and promises for the parents who "work at helping their child gain this fundamental skill":
Parents who love their babies give them what they need; young children need a good night's sleep. [Parents with common sense who love their babies also know they need parents with patience, compassion, empathy, and a trusting relationship!]
Moms who have made the transition from sleepless nights to peaceful sleep report that their children not only gain the advantage of continuous nighttime sleep, but their daytime disposition also changes. They appear happier, more content, and definitely more manageable.
Sleeping is not a "fundamental skill."  All mammals will sleep when they are tired; they don't need to be trained to do so. Training will teach them not to cry, because they learn crying is ineffective. Sleep will come, of course, but not because the child has learned a "skill." Sleeping will be the response of a baby resigned to sleep from exhaustion, boredom or despair.


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