Sunday, July 6, 2008

Cry Baby, Cry !

These are the top five reasons you should always let your baby just cry it out. If she is hungry but you want her on a schedule, cry it out. If she won't sleep just let her cry it out. According to 19 research papers you would of accomplished all the dreams you ever hoped for her ....oops...had a type-o there...I meant to say SUBSTANTIAL....developmental delays & disorders !

1. According to researchers at Harvard Medical School and Yale University a young child can alter the brain’s neurotransmitter systems and cause structural and functional changes in regions of the brain similar to those seen in adults with depression simply by experiencing intense stress early in life. 17

2. "Research has shown that infants who are routinely separated from parents in a stressful way have abnormally high levels of the stress hormone cortisol, as well as lower growth hormone levels. These imbalances inhibit the development of nerve tissue in the brain, suppress growth, and depress the immune system. " 5, 9.

3. "Dr. Bruce Perry’s research at Baylor University may explain this finding. He found when chronic stress over-stimulates an infant’s brain stem (the part of the brain that controls adrenaline release), and the portions of the brain that thrive on physical and emotional input are neglected (such as when a baby is repeatedly left to cry alone), the child will grow up with an over-active adrenaline system. Such a child will display increased aggression, impulsivity, and violence later in life because the brainstem floods the body with adrenaline and other stress hormones at inappropriate and frequent times." 6

4. Infant developmental specialist Dr. Michael Lewis presented research findings at an American Academy of Pediatrics meeting, concluding that “the single most important influence of a child’s intellectual development is the responsiveness of the mother to the cues of her baby.”

5. Dr. Rao and colleagues at the National Institutes of Health showed that infants with prolonged crying (but not due to colic) in the first 3 months of life had an average IQ 9 points lower at 5 years of age. They also showed poor fine motor development. (2)

(The referenced material is number as in the original article)

2. M R Rao, et al; Long Term Cognitive Development in Children with Prolonged Crying, National Institutes of Health, Archives of Disease in Childhood 2004; 89:989-992.

5. Butler, S R, et al. Maternal Behavior as a Regulator of Polyamine Biosynthesis in Brain and Heart of Developing Rat Pups. Science 1978, 199:445-447.

6. Perry, B. (1997), “Incubated in Terror: Neurodevelopmental Factors in the Cycle of Violence,” Children in a Violent Society, Guilford Press, New York.

9. Kuhn, C M, et al. Selective Depression of Serum Growth Hormone During Maternal Deprivation in Rat Pups. Science 1978, 201:1035-1036.

17. Kaufman J, Charney D. Effects of Early Stress on Brain Structure and Function: Implications for Understanding the Relationship Between Child Maltreatment and Depression, Developmental Psychopathology, 2001 Summer; 13(3):451-471.


Sarcasm aside...

These are three examples from an article on Ask Dr. Sears web page. He has compiled 19 research paper from over 9 ivy league schools that all agree that young children who experience stress including separation & crying develop abnormal developmental problems. Much of it seems to be due to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol & adrenaline. These hormone do affect the brain. Prolonged exposure such as when a child it left to cry it out can cause problems like developmental delays. On the other hand attachment parenting which does not allow for crying it out have children that develop early including walking early.

I do know that attachment parenting has been a good experience for me. The great thing about it the more I improved my skills the more I understand my child and have an easier time relating & working with her. Even our sleeping patterns have improved. She also has great motor, verbal and problem solving skills for her age. I think much of it is due to attachment parenting. I think had I just left her to cry it out she would not be the caring yet independent toddler she is. She eats her asparagus for gosh sakes...I can live with that.

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