This has been pondering and rolling around in my head for a while now, as many blogs do! My “Babies” are now 13, 10 & 5yrs and I look at how different the “parenting” world is now compared to when I had my first 13yrs ago. It is most definitely getting harder, not because being a mum is harder, but this modern world is making it harder, I am going to try and decipher here why! The plan was to run it as one blog, but I started on the first thing “scientific evidence” and it was so long I decided to run it as a series!!
I decided to put this first, as I have just written a piece for social media about how you need to forge your own path, make your own decisions and do what works for you and your baby. I put a line about how a baby can’t be damaged by being left to cry. I was met with one comment that there is “scientific evidence” to prove otherwise…now I dispute this massively. We know that when a baby cries, cortisol is emitted into its brain, we also know that long term cortisol can damage the brain, I get that. However…..if we look at babies crying in the western world…babies born to mums to love, cherish and care for their babies….whether we are talking about:
a young baby left to cry because mum has older siblings to attend to
a baby left to cry because mum needs a wee, shower, poo or simply just needs to walk away for 5mins.
A mum who is on her knees with exhaustion and wants/needs to try “controlled crying”/”cry it out” (I REALLY hate “terms” in parenting but for ease”)
Or a mum whose baby has reflux, colic and cries regardless what she does…
Is there scientific evidence to suggest those babies will be damaged?! NOOOOOO! I don’t know of any study that has been done on modern/western babies that has followed a mum who has had one of these babies above, and at 5yrs, 10yrs, 15yrs, that child is deemed to be “damaged” by something that happened to them as a baby…
Babies in Romanian Orphanages, babies who are neglected with no human contact, who learn to simply not cry anymore because no one comes, YES totally!!! But look at a 5yr, 10yr, 15yr old and tell me that that child is “damaged” because of one of the reasons mum let/baby cried IT IS RIDICULOUS! There are so many other factors in humans!!
IF that study HAD been done, what about all the other factors to human beings…demographics, where did that child live, what was the family situation like, did both parents stay together, did mum go to work, maybe a family member died, did they have siblings, there are SO many other factors!!
Now I don’t care how you parent your child, you can follow Attachment Parenting or you can follow a routine based or similar, or you can simply do what 99% of us do and just muddle through…the point of this blog is that if you read something that worries you, makes you feel guilty, please don't. We place so much emphasis on baby, what about Mum? If you aren’t happy, will your baby be? Is it selfish to do something that works for us? Of course it isn’t! We spend so much time knocking women down, we need to start building us back up!
We wake up frequently to news stories:
New Research - Breastfed babies are “less likely to get fat”
New Research - Kids going to nursery rather than staying home with mum are better off researchers say
Behind those stories and headlines is often small studies that invariably contradict each other.
You are DOING YOUR BEST, be kind to others, leave others to their parenting choices ,and FORGE YOUR OWN PATH.