Righteous mothers remember, All You Need is Love
I have discovered in the mommy universe there is a controversy about just about anything.
Breastfeeding, car seats, co-sleeping, sleep training — I wouldn’t be surprised if one started over Cheerios.
The latest brouhaha I stumbled on while scrolling through my Facebook newsfeed was on letting babies cry it out as part of sleeping training.
As much as I wanted to join in on the debate, I couldn’t bring myself to do it. That was mostly because one mother’s comments were getting nasty and borderline cuckoo.
When I couldn’t stop thinking about the topic, though I knew I had to write about it.
Often moms who are experiencing night-time troubles with their wee ones and who’ve basically tried everything else, resort to what’s called the Ferber Method.
There’s a written method available, and books to buy, but basically it involves letting baby cry for say five minutes, then longer the next night, then a little bit longer and so on it goes.
I think it’s a tad silly it has become commercialized. But I do think the method works and in some situations has to be done.
We’re not talking letting your newborn cry for hours upon hours here. We’re talking a nine-month-old baby, and we’re talking five-, 10- and 15-minute intervals of crying.
But with anything mommy-related, there are moms who don’t agree, and there are advocate moms who voice their opinions so loudly they drown out other explanations or experiences.
For example, from the Facebook debate I spoke of, one side said crying it out (CIO) is child cruelty and has long-term emotional effects. Maybe if you were to let your child cry through the night with no comfort at all, OK, then I might agree with that.
But for the type of CIO described above, I think that might be going a tad too far.
With any household and set of parents, there are a lot of things that can inflict long-term emotional effects on a child. Parents who frequently fight in front of their child or a mom who loses her cool too often and releases her stress into every situation are two examples.
The day after I read the Facebook debate, I created my own post. I stated it was a controversial topic and I thought I’d write about it in my next column.
When I logged back in, I wasn’t surprised to see I had several new notifications from friends commenting what they thought of CIO.
One comment in particular stuck out for me. It was from a good friend, Kim Girolami.
In essence, she quoted the words of the most famous Beatles song, and the message behind my all-time favourite movie, I Am Sam: all you need is love.
“Everything about parenting is controversial,” said Girolami. “When are people going to realize there is more than one right way?
“Obviously there some things that are totally wrong but there are a whole lot of ‘right’ ways. Love your kids and everything will be fine.”
Now if only Kim could be there to mediate all mommy controversies....
Ashley Degraaf is a News Leader Pictorial reporter who writes about family issues here monthly.