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1 year old crying bad for his brain?
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dadofaboy2009 posted:
Okay, so everyone knows that with having a child means you have to deal with some crying. My wife and I are at odds when it comes to letting him cry himself to sleep. I feel that it is okay to allow him to cry himself to sleep when he's tired, but she feels and has been told that if you allow him to cry that it will be harmful for his brain. So the question is, will it in fact harm his brain by letting him cry (or "be sad") or is it more developmentally harmful by not letting him learn to self-sooth?
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earleyml1012 responded:
I've never heard of crying harming the brian. A lot of doctor's recommend letting your child cry themselves to sleep to learn to self-sooth, so I don't think it will harm them if doctor's recommend it.

Not to sound mean or insensitive but do you think she's making that up b/c it's too hard for her to hear him cry, so she's saying things to convince you that it will hurt him? I know there are many people that don't feel comfortable just letting their child cry and that's fine. I personally think it's better for them to learn how to self-sooth. For DD it only took a few nights of crying for about 1/2 hr and now we don't have any problems with her falling asleep on her own at bedtime or if she wakes during the night.

This has to be a decision between the two of you but I've never heard of crying harming the brian. God wouldn't allow us to cry if it could cause brian damage.
 
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earleyml1012 replied to earleyml1012's response:
OOPS! All my reference to "brian" should be "brain". I work for a Brian, so I guess I'm use to typing that instead of brain. Man is it time to go home yet?!?
 
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bgabert responded:
I am a full believer in the cry-it-out method.
Emery has cried herself to sleep for months, I think I started it at about 3 months old. Now, when I put her down for a nap or at bedtime, she goes straight to sleep. If she is overtired, or genuinely not tired, then she cries, but that's the only time.

I think some people just can't handle letting their child cry, and that is perfectly fine too. It's a choice that both parents need to make.

One of my best friend's never let her daughter cry herself to sleep, and she's now almost two and still needs her mom there to soothe her to sleep. It's gotten to the point that they can't even go away for a night because she's "not allowed to cry herself to sleep" and no one can get her to sleep other than her mom!
Bri (24), DH (28), Emery (1), Baby 2 EDD 2/14/2011
 
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leftcoastgirl responded:
Yes, there are those who feel it is detrimental to a child to be left to cry. Usually, prolonged exposure to stress hormones are sighted as the reason.

I'm on the opposite side of the fence from PPs. I'm not a CIO parent and would hate the idea of letting my daughter cry alone. It just goes against my parenting instincts, and it's important to me that she knows I'll be there when she needs me. We've never done CIO, and at nearly 2 she sleeps just fine. Now, I'm sure she didn't get to the "good sleeping" phase anywhere near as quickly as CIO kids did, but she got there in her own time.

Of course, none of us can make the CIO / non-CIO decision for you. There are plenty of parents on both sides. I'd advise you to follow your instincts and do what's best for you.
 
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tamliz08 responded:
I'm going to agree with YOU on this one. Sometimes my daughter just needed to cry herself to sleep, and there was nothing I could do to stop it! I don't see anything wrong with letting you child cry every once in a while, and I've certainly never heard of it being bad for their brain.
 
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cheeezie25 responded:
No, crying it out is not harmful to a child's brain. I have never read anything that would indicate this is the case, and my pediatrician and a couple other developmental specialists had actually recommended that I use CIO when my son was a little bit younger (he is almost 17 months now). It is a fact that not getting enough sleep can negatively affect development, so CIO can certainly be a means to get you to an end.

Now, whether a parent is comfortable with trying CIO or whether it actually works for your child... that is a totally different story. In our case, my husband and I tried CIO numerous times with our son, but it didn't work for him; I pretty much ended up having to rock him to sleep each night up until a month or two ago when he finally learned to self-soothe himself to sleep. However, I know many parents on this board have done CIO with great success. It really depends on what works for your son.

I would talk to your wife about your son's sleeping issues. Like the previous posters said, it may just be that she is not comfortable with hearing him cry or that whoever told her this "fact" caused her to have guilt about trying CIO, both of which can be completely normal reactions. But in my opinion, if what you are doing right now isn't working, it doesn't hurt to try a different approach.

Btw, there are a bunch of different CIO methods out there, so she might actually be comfortable with one of the less strict approaches. HTH!
 
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peachyisthelife responded:
Goodness no, it's not going to hurt his brain. Crying it out is often essential for a baby to learn to fall asleep on their own. It has made my kids wonderful sleepers.
 
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leftcoastgirl responded:
Here's a blog (opinion piece, of course, not a scientific paper or anything) that outlines the typical arguments against CIO and why it could be detrimental. Again, what you and your wife decide to do is up to you, and I certainly don't think that two loving parents using CIO on a healthy child will bring terrible, irreparable harm to that child. But I did want to let you know that there are arguments on each side.

http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/07/05/no-cry-it-out/
 
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cheeezie25 responded:
I also found this: http://askdrsears.com/html/10/handout2.asp , which is one of the articles cited by the blog post listed above. Pretty scary reading all the horrible things that could happen if you do CIO, right? Until you scroll down to read its references. On first glance, you can already see that a handful of the references are papers about rat pups and non humans. I googled most of the other papers, and those studies either used subjects that were neonates (newborns in the hospital) or abused children or were written on other barely tangential subjects to what was actually being argued. Now, correct me if I am wrong, but as I understand, Dr. Sears is one of the leading proponents of Attachment Parenting. The fact that he had to dig this deep reference-wise to "prove" that there may be long term consequences to using a CIO approach (which usually consists of just a couple nights of the child crying before learning to soothe itself to sleep) says ALOT in my mind.

I don't have a problem with saying that CIO is not the right approach for everyone, and that there is a chance it just may not work, but to claim that it could actually cause developmental and/or brain damage without any relevant information to back that up is pretty awful if you ask me. I don't feel that people should mislead others just to get them to jump on board with their parenting choices.

I already said this, but I'll say it again... your family should do what your family feels comfortable with based on your own instincts and parenting beliefs. You and your wife should not feel pressure to do anything you don't want to do, especially based on fabricated information.
 
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breezy_83255 responded:
No, I don't think it hurts the brain, but I have heard it can negatively impact attachment and trust in caregivers. I really think, however, that that's probably a short-term negative result that is only a problem in children who have other reasons not to trust the adults around them will come to their aid if needed! Children from loving and caring homes are not going to have terrible consequences from CIO.

That said, I don't use CIO. Yes, I stay with my 3yo until she falls asleep and my DH or I rock our 1yo until she's basically asleep, but I prefer it that way. We've had times when we've resorted to trying it (with my older daughter), but it just doesn't work with her personality. She would still be sreaming!! All it did was make bed time more of a hassle. It went from "mommy time" to "scary time." My younger daughter takes minutes to put to sleep and self soothes during the night unless she has something going on (severe teething/growing pains).

Just know that it will only work if both you and your wife are on board. If all it does is cause your wife to have a mental break down, then I'd say it's not the answer. My mom rocked me to sleep, and she rocked my little sister to sleep. Last I checked I now go to bed on my own- eventually they will grow into self-soothing even if they're allowed to do it on their own time line. Good luck!!
 
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ad1978 replied to breezy_83255's response:
Just another thought to add to this: how is letting a child cry at night more harmful to his brain than letting him cry when he is throwing a tantrum during the day?

I assume many of us will let our toddlers cry it out (perhaps in Time Out) when they are throwing a tantrum--rather than giving in to their desire. What if the crying in Time Out lasts 20 minutes? An hour? Is that going to affect his brain any differently than if he cries it out for the same amount of time at night? I doubt it.

The CIO methods (if you read these books) are based on the theory that your child NEEDS sleep (not that you just want to sleep yourself), and that sometimes you just need to let your child cry rather than give in to their desires in order to protect your child and his sleep...the same way you would let your child cry rather as long as it takes instead of giving in and letting him touch something dangerous.
 
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ShayKTen responded:
With the pp's on never reading or hearing any form of harm being done by CIO method.

with my daughters, DH and I battled all the time and still do to this day whether or not to let them CIO or to soothe and comfort. I am not as comfortable as some to sit there and hear my kiddos crying themselves to sleep or to self- soothe themselves into a comfort state, I would rather comfort and rock or cuddle them. DH is comepletely opposite of myself with this, so we've had to compromise on the issue. There are times yes, where I have done everything I felt that I could to "comfort" dd and she just wasn't having it, so I laid her down, left the room and she cried herself to sleep and I sat out on the front porch so I wouldn't have to hear it cause it broke my heart lol.

I would definietely sit down with your wife, explain how you feel on the issue, have her do the same and you guys come up with a game plan that works for the two of you. Have her do research online to help ease her fear of possible harming the brain of your child.... that may help this go a whole lot smoother
 
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AltMomma responded:
They recently did studies that the CIO method causes brain damage and increases the chance of anxiety and depression disorders. No joke! So, i dont recommend it. I think if its a bit of whining for a few minutes, i think its harmless. Definelty not just letting your baby sit in the crib for a half hour screaming.
Its not all about letting them self sooth either. They can do this in plenty of other ways, but they need to realize that mama and daddy are there to help. So, i say no. Firmly.
 
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leftcoastgirl replied to cheeezie25's response:
Hope I didn't offend you with the blog link. My objective had been to outline the main arguments against CIO. Like I said, I really don't believe that if otherwise responsive and loving parents use CIO on a healthy child that they'll do horrible damage to that child. But since at the time I was the only non-CIO voice on this discussion, I wanted to make it clear how what the other side thinks.

I do think it would be helpful if there were some definitive study on this. As most posters have said, we all just have to follow our instincts. And, truthfully, for me that's the biggest strike against CIO - it very much goes against my instincts. I'd be one of those moms who had to leave the house or wear earphones because it would kill me to hear my child cry like that and not comfort her. To me, it seems cruel.

So, again, to the original poster, I reiterate the advice of pretty much everyone here that you should go with your instincts - and be respectful of your wife's instincts as well.


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