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About The Cry it Out Method

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 01:55pm
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Often friends and family will suggest that you “Let him cry it out.” And many parents do, even if their baby is just a few weeks old. So, what is it the Cry it Out method and when is it appropriate to use.

After several months of having your child wake you in the night with his cries, many parents are exhausted and looking for ways to make the nights easier. Often friends and family will suggest that you “Let him cry it out.” And many parents do, even if their baby is just a few weeks old. Other parents are advised to never let their baby cry it out because it will damage their emotional development, so they always get up and tend to their crying child.

Our experts believe there is a way to manage both techniques to help support your baby’s healthy development. When babies are only a few weeks old they are too young to sleep through the entire night without waking, so when is it appropriate to use the ‘Cry it Out’ approach and what are the alternatives?

Cry it Out is often referred to as the Ferber approach because it was originated by Dr. Richard Ferber
. The approach assumes that babies learn to fall asleep on their own, just like they learn to feed themselves. Advocates of this approach see sleeping through the night as a skill that babies can master if their parents give them the opportunity.

Advocates believe that if your child is used to having you rock him all the way to sleep, he won’t fall asleep on his own. The same applies if your baby always falls asleep while nursing. If your child wakes during the night – as all children and adults do as part of the natural sleep cycle – he’ll cry for you to help him get back to sleep, rather than just go back to sleep by himself.

Dr. William Sears advocates the Attachment Parenting approach. Dr. Sears is opposed to letting babies cry without an immediate response from caregivers. He and many other experts argue that if you do this, it threatens your baby’s trust in you and his sense of safety and security in the world.

Our experts have looked at both sides of the debate and believe that if you are interested in trying the Cry it Out method you should wait until your baby is at least 6 months old. It might even be preferable to wait until your baby is 9 months or older. This opinion is based on many developmental factors of infants, but you need to decide what is appropriate for your own baby and your family.

“Sometimes you can look at other options before choosing to try the Cry it Out method,” says Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. “First and foremost, establish good going to sleep habits. A good bedtime routine is predictable and benefits both parents and babies. If you have a good going to sleep routine it can reduce the amount of crying at night.”

Our experts also suggest that you try night weaning before trying Cry it Out. It’s too much for your baby to lose both a feeding and connecting with you at the same time. At about 5 months most babies will start feeding about 4 times during the day with a feeding just before bed and should be able to go without a middle of the night feeding.  Reduce the night feeding to as little as possible before starting the Cry it Out method.

You should also consider your baby’s temperament. How successful any approach will be can depend on how your baby responds. If your baby craves physical contact with loved ones, it will be more difficult to be successful with Cry it Out. Few babies are truly “high needs” in this regards so many babies will do well with either approach or something in between.


Did you use Cry it Out? Or did you practice Attachment Parenting? Or did you do something totally different? Leave a comment below and share your story with parents just like you!

 

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I Feel Awkward Around My Baby

by Maxine
Posted August 18 2010 06:19pm
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Sometimes new parents feel awkward with their new baby or have trouble relating to her. This is a normal feeling and will usually pass.

Our experts have developed some tips to help you when you’re feeling this way.

If you are having trouble relating to your baby, here are some tips that may help.

Remember that bonding is a process that takes caring, patience and time. Your feelings for your baby will grow stronger over time.

Understand how important you are to your baby. Your baby needs to feel comforted and protected by you.

Although some of these things might feel awkward at first, here are some ways to begin to build a warm relationship with your child (even if you don’t feel that warm at first)

  • Hold your child close, talk warmly about what you or your child is doing, and provide hugs and kisses.
  • Try singing or telling a story to your child - whatever songs or stories you like. Be yourself and your baby will come to love it.
  • Try playing some games like peek-a-boo or 'I'm going to get you.'    

Even if it feels like this is "not really you," create your own version of these activities. Over time, both you and your baby will become more relaxed and appreciative of each other.

 
Did you ever feel awkward around your baby? How did you manage this? Leave a comment below and share your story with parents just like you.
 

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Comfort, Play & Teach Everyday Moment Cards

by Maxine
Posted April 22 2011 02:19pm
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When is a meal more than just a meal? When you add a specific action to comfort, play with or teach your child and she responds in a developmentally-appropriate way. The Comfort, Play & Teach actions described in these cards transform daily routines into teachable moments to support many aspects of your child's healthy development. 

Below you can download PDF copies of individual cards or of the whole set. Make the most of the everyday moments you spend with your child with Comfort, Play & Teach.

 Download the Comfort, Play & Teach Everyday Moment Let's Learn Cards

 

 

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When the crying makes you crazy

by Maxine
Posted June 21 2011 02:21pm
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New parents are often at their wit’s end dealing with a baby’s crying. Sometimes it feels like the baby will never stop crying and nothing you do seems to soothe her. So what do you do when you feel like you just can’t handle one more minute of your baby’s cries?

"It can be hard to walk away from a crying baby, but if you’re starting to feel especially stressed out or frustrated, the best thing to do is put the baby down in a safe place – usually her crib – and remove yourself for a few minutes until you’re calm enough to be safely with her," says Karon Foster, a Registered Nurse and Parenting Expert. "Remember that it’s normal for babies to have these crying spells when nothing seems to work and, while it’s important to try to comfort and soothe her, it’s equally important to know when you’ve reached the limits of your patience."

Foster suggests that new parents have a back-up plan, someone who they can call to come help, or who can talk it out with you until you feel calmer. Unfortunately, sometimes a parent will get so frustrated that they will shake their baby to stop the crying. This is very dangerous and can lead to injury or even death. No one means to hurt their baby, but it does happen. That’s why it’s so important to put your baby in a safe place when you’re at the end of your rope.

When these moments hit, try turning on your favourite music, or running the dishwasher or washing machine. Sometimes white noise will help to muffle the sound a bit and it can give you a short break to calm down and a different noise to focus on. This white noise may even be soothing for your baby and help her to settle.

It’s also important to remember that your babysitter or other caretakers for your child may have the same frustrations. Babies are even more likely to have a crying spell when someone else is caring for them, so talk to your sitter about ways to cope if she feels like she’s losing her patience.

Never be afraid to call your doctor or go to the emergency room if you are concerned about your baby’s cries. You are the best person to judge the condition of your baby.

Who would you call if your baby has periods of inconsolable crying during the day or at night? What relaxation strategies would you use? Do you have any suggestions for other parents who are dealing with this? Let us know in the comments section below!

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