I am a social worker and parent in Australia concerned about the western practice of a method called 'controlled crying' that is used on infants to get them to sleep. This blog talks about the use of this method and other parenting methods. Search all the information on this site to be better informed about the practice of controlled crying. For any comments or questions, my email is

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Reasons not to use "Controlled Crying"

Reasons not to use Controlled Crying or other similar methods;

There must be many reasons not to use this method, but here are just a few;

* There are no studies verifying that these methods are safe for a babies developing brain. Safety can not be assured.

* Neurology, Neuropsychology and other fields of Science are revealing more and more about how these methods could damage your child’s emotional, psychological and behavioural development, due to the effect it has on the infants brain

* It is an emotionally difficult experience for both children and parents, and this alone may alter your attachment or future relationship

* There is also the suggestion by some doctors and health professionals that using these methods could adversely affect the child’s sleep in the future. For example they may develop a fear of bedtime, bedwetting, or other behaviours such as head banging and so on.

* There are many examples of heartache experienced by mothers who have used controlled crying methods in the past.(Most of these examples listed have been told to me via emails from the mothers or friends of these mothers) Some examples are;

Death of child (the child died when left to cry. It would have been avoided if controlled crying was not used).
Burst blood vessels in the infants eyes
Vomiting / choking
Rejecting the mother afterwards, or severe and obvious effects on the attachment relationship. (See also Pinky McKays book "Sleeping Like a Baby")

* One of the best reasons not to try these methods is efficacy. The best available estimate on the effectiveness of this method is that it works in 70-80% of cases (Dr Harriet Hiscock), and other reports are as low as 20 - 40%. This means that, at best, 20-30% of babies go through this experience with the potential harmful consequences and it still doesn’t work. At worst 80% of babies and children go through this experience and it doesn’t improve their sleeping. Why take the risk?

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