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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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Childcare Anxiety

by Maxine
Posted September 5 2011 03:42pm
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You know exactly how your child likes to be lulled to sleep, how to comfort her when she falls down, what her favourite songs and games are. Let’s be completely honest, can anyone do it at well as you? Deep down, most parents feel like this. That is, they feel that no one can care for their baby as well as they can. 

“Making childcare arrangements can leave parents feeling a range of emotions,” says Palmina Ioannone, a Parenting Expert. “You might feel anxiety, guilt and even resentment, but having the right information can help ease some of your anxiety about leaving your child with a babysitter or in a daycare setting.”

Some Comforting Thoughts

Study after study shows that babies flourish when people with whom they have mutual loving relationships care for them. 

Babies can have several loving relationships. No matter what kind of care you choose, or how old your child is, you don’t give up your role as a parent when you put your baby in someone else’s care. You’re actually allowing other loving people to share in the honour of caring for your baby. Keep in mind that others are only sharing your child’s love; you’re still your baby’s mother or father.

Your baby will love you best and will be thrilled to see you when you return, even if he spends long days with someone else who has loved him dearly since day one. 

Some parents mistakenly think it’s okay to leave their child in a loveless childcare situation to ensure their baby loves them best. Your child’s love is not easily controlled or channelled; she will become attached to the people who care for her—whether she’s receiving lots of love or not. 

Keep in mind that to thrive, your child needs lots of affection. When your child has plenty of people in her life that make her feel loved, she will love them right back. In fact, your baby needs love more than ever when you’re gone. Don’t be leery of bringing a loving person into your baby’s life; it’s good for your baby, and good for you, too!

Did you have any of these worries when you first put your child into childcare? How did you cope? Share your strategies with parents just like you by leaving a comment below!

 

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Comfort, Play & Teach and Your Baby's Social Development

by Maxine
Posted January 2 2012 12:57pm
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Every day, there are plenty of opportunities to use Comfort, Play & Teach: A Positive Approach to Parenting. The following examples from our experts show how you can support the social development of your baby while doing your routine errands.

When you are running errands with your baby, he often gets lots of attention from the people around you. He sees many new faces and hears new voices, so make sure to talk to him and let him see that you are close to him so he feels comforted by your presence. This will help him develop a sense of security and give him the confidence to face unfamiliar people and surroundings.

You will also find that your baby is interested in the other babies you meet along the way. Don’t hesitate to stop for a few minutes and let your child interact and play with them; they may “socialize” by making eye contact and communicating through sounds or gestures.

When you leave the house and return, say “Good-bye” and “Hello” to other family members. Over time, this teaches your baby that he always comes back to his family, and that he can trust them to return when they go out too.

Did you use any of these strategies with your baby? How well did they work? Leave a comment below and share your story with other parents.

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