A fierce debate has been sparked online after a new study claims leaving your baby to "cry it out" is a viable tactic for parents.
A warning to all new parents with babies on the way. Newborns have little to no regard for night and day. We mean, why would they? They'll sleep when they feel like it, which is great, but that means they will wake up when they like, which is not so great. Simply put, prepare for your sleep schedule to be seriously disrupted.
That being said, there is a controversial tactic which some parents opt to adopt. The Ferber method. It basically requires parents to do next to nothing should their baby start to cry in the middle of the night, providing they don't need to be fed or changed, of course. It is also referred to as "self-soothing" and its aim is to let babies cry themselves back to sleep.
The debate over whether this is an effective and appropriate method has been raging for years. However, it has reared its head again recently following the claims of one mom in particular. The West Australian reports that Professor Emily Oster conducted a two-year analysis during which she discovered that letting infants "cry it out" benefits both the baby and the mother.
Oster claims that her studies showed babies actually sleep better after they have been left to self-soothe. She also added "there seems to be some benefits to parents, including less maternal depression and better marital satisfaction." Others are still not sold on the controversial method. Ngala, a parenting and childhood service, strongly disagrees with leaving babies to cry themselves to sleep.
Mom of three Danielle Kenworthy is also on the side of Ngala. She explained that even though her first child cried a lot early on, the only time she would ever put him down was to gather herself. Although Oster is a proponent of leaving babies to cry it out, she is not trying to force those beliefs on all parents. She agrees that it is a decision which needs to be made by parents, and not necessarily something that will work for everyone.