I am new here, so please forgive me if this topic is out of place. But I wanted to basically ask the question, "WHY do we need to rely on faulty science to "prove" CIO is wrong, when it's obvious from the reaction we have to our babies crying?" Let me elaborate.
A few months ago I had a conversation with my sister about CIO. I said that the science shows that crying causes stress hormones that result in brain damage, attachment disorders, ADHD and that a study from Harvard showed that it was harmful to babies. My sister, a pediatric neurologist, laughed and ask me if I had even read the research. Since CIO being wrong was so intuitively right to me, I never actually bothered seeking out these studies. Very unusual for me as I have a doctorate in biology and am normally a journal junkie.
So I went and searched for the literature...and frankly I was shocked and disappointed. I'm sure going into details debunking every piece of so-called scientific evidence would be frowned upon here, so I won't bother unless someone is interested (it's besides the point anyway). I felt like a fool. Instead of parroting studies I heard about from various sources but never actually looked into, here is what I wish I would have said when she asked why I wouldn't do CIO to help DS sleep:
"It causes me physical pain to hear my son cry. I sweat, my heart races, there's a buzzing in my head and I want to scream. It feels wrong to go against this biological instinct."
"I can't imagine my son understanding why Mommy doesn't love him at night, but does during the day. It feels wrong to turn off my responsiveness just because night has fallen"
"I don't want my son to scream every time we approach the bedroom and have a negative association with sleep like your kids do. It feels wrong to condition him to fear and hate night time"
"If my son is crying, that is time spent not sleeping. Quickly attending to him ensures he goes back to sleep faster and sleeps more, which is better for his brain development. It feels wrong to deprive him of sleep so I can teach him a lesson".
"An alarming percentage of the time when he cries, when I pick him up he has a burp stuck, is too cold, and once had a fever. I wouldn't have caught this if I had ignored him or just tried to console him with a quick word. It feels wrong to not make certain my son is comfortable and healthy when he cries out."
Why is it that our instinct as mothers, and common sense, is not enough to defend the refusal to CIO? Why does Mothering have to rely on unsound inferences that seem logical but don't hold up to scientific scrutiny? What's wrong with a holistic defense? Isn't it enough that every mother hates to hear her baby cry, and that itself is perfectly good reason alone to not do CIO?
My postcolic son (the kind Weissbluth thinks needs extinction to order for them to get any sleep) nurses to sleep about 75% of the time. I feed him whenever he shows me hungry signs, even if its only been 2 hours. I lay down with him for naps a lot of the time. So many "bad habits". And you know what? I taught my son to sleep 11-12 hours a night. He dropped night feeds on his own this past week. I pick him up whenever he cries until he's calm, and I put him back in his crib where he falls asleep, comforted and secure in knowing I'll be there when he needs me. I think the final reason not to do CIO is that it is perfectly possible to teach your baby good sleep habits without it, and so it is wrong to choose a path of crying and distress when other gentler paths are possible.
I would like your thoughts on this, a holistic defense of no-cry nighttime parenting. Or a mod can delete this if it's not allowed, with my sincerest apologies!