Sarah - posted on 01/19/2009 ( 78 moms have responded )
I am someone who is very against CIO for many reasons and refuse to practice it with my own daughter (and yes she is a high needs baby at night-- meanings she wakes up multiple times demanding to nurse at night)--- and personally get very upset when people try to say that "crying it out is good for babies". I understand that some people will practice CIO.. that is their decision-- but to say that it is "good for babies" is a totally false statement and I just wanted to share some facts out there that show otherwise.
Experts will go back on worth on the effects of CIO, but none can say 100% it is good for babies-- period.
Also this is really what CIO is:
Cry-it-out stance: "Going 'cold turkey'—putting your child in the crib at bedtime, letting him cry, and not returning until morning. It is NOT holding your baby in your arms while they cry or them crying for a few minutes while you are busy or them crying a whiny cry for a few minutes while they wake then fall back asleep-- it is allowing a baby to cry for a long period of time-- which is usually intensive crying-- often to the point the infant shakes, throws up and/or gasps for breaths in between cries-- and without a parent comforting the baby in any way---
THAT is CIO.
HERE IS WHAT SOME RESEARCH TELLS US.....
"Leaving a baby to cry evokes physiological responses that increase stress hormones. Crying infants experience an increase in heart rate, body temperature and blood pressure. These reactions are likely to result in overheating and, along with vomiting due to extreme distress, could pose a potential risk of SIDS in vulnerable infants. There may also be longer-term emotional effects. There is compelling evidence that increased levels of stress hormones may cause permanent changes in the stress responses of the infant's developing brain. These changes then affect memory, attention, and emotion, and can trigger an elevated response to stress throughout life, including a predisposition to later anxiety and depressive disorders. English psychotherapist, Sue Gerhardt, author of Why Love Matters: How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain, explains that when a baby is upset, the hypothalamus produces cortisol. In normal amounts cortisol is fine, but if a baby is exposed for too long or too often to stressful situations (such as being left to cry) its brain becomes flooded with cortisol and it will then either over- or under-produce cortisol whenever the child is exposed to stress. Too much cortisol is linked to depression and fearfulness; too little to emotional detachment and aggression."
From... and this is an EXCELLENT ARTICLE AND I RECOMMEND READING THE ENTIRE ARTICLE...
AND MORE RESEARCH...
"You're so right to be alarmed about the negative side effects of letting a baby cry himself to sleep! There is a popular but unrealistic and, ultimately, harmful notion that infants should not bother their parents at night and that responding positively to babies who are having trouble sleeping teaches them to take advantage of their parents' caring and deprives parents of sleep on a regular basis.
Anyone who advises you to let your baby cry until he gives up and falls asleep is focusing on the baby's behavior (going to sleep all alone) and not on how the baby feels in the process. The problem is that when infants are left to cry themselves to sleep, they are forced to conclude that they are not lovable enough to engage their parents' desires to comfort them. If they actually stop crying, it is because they have abandoned all hope that help will come. The meaningful question, then, is not, "What will make my baby go to sleep with the least attention?" but "What will enable my baby to put himself to sleep with the self-confidence that comes from feeling happy and cared about?"
The answer is that if you offer your baby relationship pleasure rather than relationship deprivation, you will help him go to sleep secure in the conviction that you love him and want him to be happy. You can put him down when you think he's sleepy, sing to him, rub his back, or find other ways to comfort him, and then leave the room. If he cries, you can return and calm him and then leave again.
Although in the first year you may have to return many times to your baby's crib to rock him, give him the breast or bottle, or stroke him, your baby will learn both that you can be relied on to respond to his needs and also that he can put himself to sleep in a contented manner (and not out of despair). Over time, as your baby learns that his cries will be responded to, he will need less input from you to feel comforted and sleep.
A baby who is responded to in this way will become a child who is a sound and reliable sleeper; and you will be rewarded with many peaceful nights as the result of your efforts in your baby's first year. Sleep-deprived parents of crying babies often feel very tempted to let their infants cry themselves to sleep so that they, themselves, will be able to get some rest. We ourselves know from experience how exhausted parents of infants can become. But we also know that you will be repaid later for the extra effort you make for your baby now. Your baby cannot perceive that you are tired and need peace and quiet, so when he is left to cry himself to sleep he has to think that you are choosing to leave him feeling helpless and miserable.
Once you see that you were right to worry about leaving your baby to cry and that the interruptions to your sleep caused by tending to him are both beneficial to him and time-limited, then, even though you are tired, you will have more reason to make the effort to go to your baby and try to help him to sleep comfortably.
While our approach to helping babies learn to put themselves to sleep is more time-consuming than the popular prescription to let infants cry, it will make your baby happier now and will also lay the foundation for his future well-being. Just as parents rarely balk when they are told they have to get up in the middle of the night to give children medicine or take their temperatures, we have found that when parents understand the healing they cause by responding to their infants' cries, they usually will accept the interruptions to their sleep as reasonable and necessary. We applaud your wish to help your baby put himself to sleep in a happier way and wish you well."
Here is more......
"Science Says: Excessive Crying Could Be Harmful to Babies
Science tells us that when babies cry alone and unattended, they experience panic and anxiety. Their bodies and brains are flooded with adrenaline and cortisol stress hormones. Science has also found that when developing brain tissue is exposed to these hormones for prolonged periods these nerves won’t form connections to other nerves and will degenerate. Is it therefore possible that infants who endure many nights or weeks of crying-it-out alone are actually suffering harmful neurologic effects that may have permanent implications on the development of sections of their brain? Here is how science answers this alarming question:
Chemical and hormonal imbalances in the brain
Research has shown that infants who are routinely separated from parents in a stressful way have abnormally high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as lower growth hormone levels. These imbalances inhibit the development of nerve tissue in the brain, suppress growth, and depress the immune system. 5, 9, 11, 16
Researchers at Yale University and Harvard Medical School found that intense stress early in life can alter the brain’s neurotransmitter systems and cause structural and functional changes in regions of the brain similar to those seen in adults with depression. 17
One study showed infants who experienced persistent crying episodes were 10 times more likely to have ADHD as a child, along with poor school performance and antisocial behavior. The researchers concluded these findings may be due to the lack of responsive attitude of the parents toward their babies. 14.
Dr. Bruce Perry’s research at Baylor University may explain this finding. He found when chronic stress over-stimulates an infant’s brain stem (the part of the brain that controls adrenaline release), and the portions of the brain that thrive on physical and emotional input are neglected (such as when a baby is repeatedly left to cry alone), the child will grow up with an over-active adrenaline system. Such a child will display increased aggression, impulsivity, and violence later in life because the brainstem floods the body with adrenaline and other stress hormones at inappropriate and frequent times. 6
Dr. Allan Schore of the UCLA School of Medicine has demonstrated that the stress hormone cortisol (which floods the brain during intense crying and other stressful events) actually destroys nerve connections in critical portions of an infant’s developing brain. In addition, when the portions of the brain responsible for attachment and emotional control are not stimulated during infancy (as may occur when a baby is repeatedly neglected) these sections of the brain will not develop. The result – a violent, impulsive, emotionally unattached child. He concludes that the sensitivity and responsiveness of a parent stimulates and shapes the nerve connections in key sections of the brain responsible for attachment and emotional well-being. 7, 8
Decreased intellectual, emotional, and social development
Infant developmental specialist Dr. Michael Lewis presented research findings at an American Academy of Pediatrics meeting, concluding that “the single most important influence of a child’s intellectual development is the responsiveness of the mother to the cues of her baby.”
Researchers have found babies whose cries are usually ignored will not develop healthy intellectual and social skills. 19
Dr. Rao and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health showed that infants with prolonged crying (but not due to colic) in the first 3 months of life had an average IQ 9 points lower at 5 years of age. They also showed poor fine motor development. (2)
Researchers at Pennsylvania State and Arizona State Universities found that infants with excessive crying during the early months showed more difficulty controlling their emotions and became even fussier when parents tried to consol them at 10 months. 15
Other research has shown that these babies have a more annoying quality to their cry, are more clingy during the day, and take longer to become independent as children 1.
Harmful physiologic changes
Animal and human research has shown when separated from parents, infants and children show unstable temperatures, heart arrhythmias, and decreased REM sleep (the stage of sleep that promotes brain development). 10 12, 13
Dr. Brazy at Duke University and Ludington-Hoe and colleagues at Case Western University showed in 2 separate studies how prolonged crying in infants causes increased blood pressure in the brain, elevates stress hormones, obstructs blood from draining out of the brain, and decreases oxygenation to the brain. They concluded that caregivers should answer cries swiftly, consistently, and comprehensively. (3) and (4)
1. P. Heron, “Non-Reactive Cosleeping and Child Behavior: Getting a Good Night’s Sleep All Night, Every Night,” Master’s thesis, Department of Psychology, University of Bristol, 1994.
2. M R Rao, et al; Long Term Cognitive Development in Children with Prolonged Crying, National Institutes of Health, Archives of Disease in Childhood 2004; 89:989-992.
3. J pediatrics 1988 Brazy, J E. Mar 112 (3): 457-61. Duke University
4. Ludington-Hoe SM, Case Western U, Neonatal Network 2002 Mar; 21(2): 29-36
5. Butler, S R, et al. Maternal Behavior as a Regulator of Polyamine Biosynthesis in Brain and Heart of Developing Rat Pups. Science 1978, 199:445-447.
6. Perry, B. (1997), “Incubated in Terror: Neurodevelopmental Factors in the Cycle of Violence,” Children in a Violent Society, Guilford Press, New York.
7. Schore, A.N. (1996), “The Experience-Dependent Maturation of a Regulatory System in the Orbital Prefrontal Cortex and the Origen of Developmental Psychopathology,” Development and Psychopathology 8: 59 – 87.
8. Karr-Morse, R, Wiley, M. Interview With Dr. Allan Schore, Ghosts From the Nursery, 1997, pg 200.
9. Kuhn, C M, et al. Selective Depression of Serum Growth Hormone During Maternal Deprivation in Rat Pups. Science 1978, 201:1035-1036.
10. Hollenbeck, A R, et al. Children with Serious Illness: Behavioral Correlates of Separation and Solution. Child Psychiatry and Human Development 1980, 11:3-11.
11. Coe, C L, et al. Endocrine and Immune Responses to Separation and Maternal Loss in Non-Human Primates. The Psychology of Attachment and Separation, ed. M Reite and T Fields, 1985. Pg. 163-199. New York: Academic Press.
12. Rosenblum and Moltz, The Mother-Infant Interaction as a Regulator of Infant Physiology and Behavior. In Symbiosis in Parent-Offspring Interactions, New York: Plenum, 1983.
13. Hofer, M and H. Shair, Control of Sleep-Wake States in the Infant Rat by Features of the Mother-Infant Relationship. Developmental Psychobiology, 1982, 15:229-243.
14. Wolke, D, et al, Persistent Infant Crying and Hyperactivity Problems in Middle Childhood, Pediatrics, 2002; 109:1054-1060.
15. Stifter and Spinrad, The Effect of Excessive Crying on the Development of Emotion Regulation, Infancy, 2002; 3(2), 133-152.
16. Ahnert L, et al, Transition to Child Care: Associations with Infant-mother Attachment, Infant Negative Emotion, and Cortisol Elevations, Child Development, 2004, May-June; 75(3):649-650.
17. Kaufman J, Charney D. Effects of Early Stress on Brain Structure and Function: Implications for Understanding the Relationship Between Child Maltreatment and Depression, Developmental Psychopathology, 2001 Summer; 13(3):451-471.
18. Teicher MH et al, The Neurobiological Consequences of Early Stress and Childhood Maltreatment, Neuroscience Biobehavior Review 2003, Jan-Mar; 27(1-2):33-44.
19. Leiberman, A. F., & Zeanah, H., Disorders of Attachment in Infancy, Infant Psychiatry 1995, 4:571-587.
THE FOLLOWING IS FROM AN ARTICLE ABOUT NIGHT TIME PARENTING:
Get baby used to a variety of sleep associations. The way an infant goes to sleep at night is the way she expects to go back to sleep when she awakens. So, if your infant is always rocked or nursed to sleep, she will expect to be rocked or nursed back to sleep. Sometimes nurse her off to sleep, sometimes rock her off to sleep, sometimes sing her off to sleep, and sometimes use tape recordings; and switch off with your spouse on putting her to bed. There are two schools of thought on the best way to put babies to sleep: the parent-soothing method and the self-soothing method. Both have advantages and possible disadvantages.
1. Parent-soothing method. When baby is ready to sleep, a parent or other caregiver helps baby make a comfortable transition from being awake to falling asleep, usually by nursing, rocking, singing, or whatever comforting techniques work.
* Baby learns a healthy sleep attitude – that sleep is a pleasant state to enter and a secure state to remain in.
* Creates fond memories about being parented to sleep.
* Builds parent-infant trust
So-called "Disadvantages": Because of the concept of sleep associations, baby learns to rely on an outside prop to get to sleep, so—as the theory goes—when baby awakens he will expect help to get back to sleep. This may exhaust the parents.
2. Self-soothing method: Baby is put down awake and goes to sleep by himself. Parents offer intermittent comforting, but are not there when baby drifts off to sleep.
So-called "Advantages": If baby learns to go to sleep by himself, he may be better able to put himself back to sleep without parental help, because he doesn't associate going to sleep with parents comforting. May be tough on baby, but eventually less exhausting for parents.
* Involves a few nights of let-baby-cry-it-out
* Risks baby losing trust
* Seldom works for high-need babies with persistent personalities
* Overlooks medical reasons for nightwaking
* Risks parents becoming less sensitive to baby's cries
Remember, in working out your own parenting-to-sleep techniques and rituals, be sensitive to the nighttime needs of your individual baby and remember your ultimate goal: to create a healthy sleep attitude in your baby and to get all family members a restful night's sleep.
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