Some cultures deny babies the needed attention.
There are cultural beliefs that permit parents to ignore their crying babies. Even some medical professionals recommend this idea, hiding behind a few theories, such as the Ferber Method, which promote the idea that “babies need to cry their feelings out”.
I strongly disagree. I disagree in my full capacity as a mother and a human being with feelings and a brain. I believe that if your baby is crying, they are communicating their needs to you, and indicating that you must act. The art of communication between parents and their children begins as early as that first cry after the delivery.
This communication must be strengthened by you responding to the baby when and every time they need your attention.
It is an obligation; just the same way you give attention to your friends when they text you. You run to the phone to respond, don’t you?. Another example is of a patient at a
hospital who keeps pressing the help button, indicating to the staff that he needs help.
If the staff fails to attend to this patient, his situation might worsen. It’s simple to understand: If you ignore the cries of your baby, whatever situation they might be facing could worsen.
Just like animals, we are born with instincts and survival traits. These traits include crying when it comes to children. It is normal, necessary and healthy.
I have met people from different cultures, some with no children, who are strongadvocates of the controversial Ferber Method. The method whose endorser, Dr Richard Ferber, called ‘baby training’ sounds like ‘dog training’ to me. Dog training does not usually require the trainer to have feelings towards the dog. The goal is to get the dog to do what is required. That is all.
This method allows adults to feel no guilt when ignoring the cries of innocent children. This method tells you that your child is crying for absolutely nothing, and you need not care at all. This method desensitizes parents from doing what they ought to do. Is your baby just like a dog to you?
The biggest flaw in this method is that it is based on senseless arguments. There is no proof of any benefits. On the contrary, it gives some free time to the parents to do whatever else they like while their baby is crying their lungs out. Why do you have babies if giving them attention bothers you so much? Do you understand that their cries are only temporary? Do you mind being bothered for just six to 12 months attending to your baby who cannot speak yet?
People must understand that even as adults, we do not just cry. We cry because we feel something. We cry because we are hurting, distressed, in pain, hungry, and so on.
Now, it doesn’t take a medical degree to understand this. So, why must we be encouraged to let our babies cry without giving them the needed attention which is comforting and loving to them? Are they aiming at disheartening these babies? Are they teaching them that when they cry, they must not rely on their parents for relief? Because that’s how it is translating thus far.
Luckily, there have been other medical professionals who have been brave enough to come forward and debunk the Ferber Method. These Samaritan professionals have proven that the longer you let your child cry, the harder it is to create the needed trust between you and the child. Moreover, their psychological development is affected. The brain of the child has many dots that it must connect for it to function in our social environment. And you would surely want it to connect the ones that are good for its development, wouldn’t you?
In conclusion, refrain from taking away the love and attention your babies need. They are only a few months old living in a scary world. And all they ask of you is your comfort and absolute attention.
Debunk all cultural beliefs or crazy methods and follow your heart, which wants to love your baby anyway.