Buckle in. Because the “debate” around this topic is always so civilised.
There is no pain like sleep-deprivation. And there is no parenting issue as thorny as sleep-training.
Now, there’s a new method worming its way into your newsfeed, and parents are being asked this: “Do you have the guts to try it?”
The method is: Put your baby down at 7pm and under no circumstances come back in until 7am.
Does that sound full-on? It is.
At eight weeks of age most babies have just started smiling. They coo and giggle at you. They grasp your hair in their chubby fists and their very presence near you becomes a physical pull to touch them, embrace them, kiss them.
At eight weeks they have cemented themselves in your hearts.
So could you imagine leaving them? Shutting them in a darkened room for a full 12 hours and steadying yourself not to go back in. No matter how hard they cried.
It’s gut-wrenching advice – but is coming from very real doctors, and being given to American parents who are asking for help.
This latest sleep-training advice comes from Dr Michael Cohen who runs Tribeca Pediatrics, the largest pediatric practice in New York City and has written the book The New Basics.
He poses the question to parents : “Do You Have the Guts?”
The “guts” is to leave your baby all night without comforting her even once when she is just two months old.
The advice flies in the faces of most cry-it-out methods who recommend waiting until six months to begin any form of controlled crying or cry-it-out methods.
A recent opinion piece in The New York Times by a mother whose newborn is a patient writes that she was advised that her eight-week-old sleeping six to eight hours a night was not enough. The author says she was told her baby should be sleeping 12 hours straight through.