Don’t flame the messenger, but here’s more proofthat SOME nighttime crying won’t harm your baby — and actually may help the whole family by boosting mom’s mental health. A big shout-out to mom’s health advocate Katherine Stone for being on-record about this hot-button issue. She risks the backlash that I’ve experienced here, but she does it for the health and well-being of families and babies. Kudos to you, Katherine!
The bottom line is this: Neglect, hostility, and abuse DO hurt babies. Blowing off some steam to settle down for a better night’s sleep DOESN’T. Of course, individual personalities and circumstances make a difference: Pick up and comfort your baby if she’s sick, super-scared, or if she has an unusually sensitive temperament (or, if you have a crying/barfer, like one of my kiddos. Who wants to be up all night AND clean a barfy crib?) If you want to argue, argue with the respected journal that published the research today, Pediatrics.
Judging parents for their reasonable decisions about their own children is NOT good for families and babies. So hurray for more proof that this controversial parenting decision doesn’t deserve the attacks it often gets. Parents and children who get more sleep are happier AND healthier. That’s nothing to cry about.
I'm a psychologist and Mom of four, here to make parenting easier -- and more fun. My advice is science-based and road-tested in the real world. I specialize in babies and young children through age 7. I'm also a parenting writer, national speaker, child development expert, and social media strategist.
Let’s Get This Potty Started!
"Calling all parents who are about to embark on the wild adventure of potty training their child—this is your must-read! With authoritative practical advice, playful tips, and a spirit of connection and love, Dr. Wittenberg gives us an easy-to-read gem of a resource that can lead your family to a diaper-free finish line with minimal fuss -- and a big helping of laughter. Enthusiastically recommended."
Anthony T. DeBenedet, MD, co-author of The Art of Roughhousing: Good Old-Fashioned Horseplay and Why Every Kid Needs It