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Thread: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformation ar

  1. #1

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    Default Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformation ar

    ETA- Sorry it chopped off my title- dangers and misinformation around controlled crying. Article is called 'Losing Sleep' by Amanda Hooton.

    Morning! Anyone read this in Saturday's Age? I found it really informative and direct, included lots of neurological, cognitive and evolutionary science and research. Written by a mother of a baby who doesn't sleep consistently through the night, she started down the path of different CC methods but neither really felt ok... Most of article is based around an interview with paediatrician Howard Chilton who is based out of Sydney Prince of Wales Private Hospital, but is interspersed with small conversations with mothers who have used controlled crying with varying degrees of success but also of stress. I will try to find an online copy as it is very long but (very) basically Chilton says lots of CC methodologies are 'good stories' designed to scare parents into buying a sleep training book. He cited a few things that I found to be 'ah-ha' or 'of course!' moments ... Such as:

    'Thanks to the evolution of our narrow twisted pelvises (to assist upright walking) and our babies' large heads (to accommodate big brains), all human babies are born developmentally premature, and, like premature infants of any species, need a lot of high-intensity, contact-based care for a long time.'

    Also cites the low protein composition of breastmilk and because of this, its quick digestion rate.

    And, in regards to controlled crying on babies younger than 6 months (quoting Chilton and author)-

    'Before six months you are just extinguishing...eventually the baby just gives up' ... '"extinguishment" is the name given to evolution's last effort at infant survival in extremist. Loss of parental contact is a serious danger signal for young babies, and they're designed to cry and cry until it's restored. But beyond a certain point even a hysterical baby will stop crying, often quite suddenly. This is because, in an evolutionary sense, an unprotected crying baby is broadcasting its whereabouts to predators. Instinct tells it that its parents have vanished, and that the sabre-toothed tiger that killed them is close. It falls silent in order to survive.

    It is thought however that such a baby is still under stress...in one 2012 study of controlled crying in babies as young as four months, researchers found that by the third day of the program babies had stopped crying at sleep times but their levels of the stress hormone cortisol were elevated.'

    Chilton also says,

    'It's a question of brain development. When you're born you're just a limbic brain. That's the threat and reward part of the brain: it responds to fear, food, contact. Whereas the frontal lobes - the intelligent, thinking part of your brain - are not connected at all. So as adults we can take the impulses from our limbic system and say, 'no that's a cardboard tiger, calm down.' We're not at the mercy of our limbic brain, as a baby is.'

    'During your first year of your life, you wire up connections between your limbic system and the frontal lobes which help you regulate stress, and establish your feelings of security and self-worth...part of that wiring up is genetic. But part of it is your environment, and it triggers the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Cortisol, particularly, has a really negative effect on neural connections..."the basic stuff about stress is done in one year."

    One research paper cited does suggest that at six years of age 'there was absolutely no difference between the two groups (CC and non-CC) either in sleep, behaviour, or parent mental health.' (Quoting Harriet His**** the researcher over this study).

    Overall in the article the only real benefit suggested for CC families is some research that shows the mothers who went through CC programs had fewer PND symptoms: 11% versus 22%.

    Will try to find an electronic copy to post...
    Last edited by Ladylove; February 22nd, 2015 at 02:03 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformatio

    That sounds very interesting LL would love to read it if you find a link

  3. #3

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    Default Re: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformatio

    Looks like it was in the Sydney Morning Herald too-

    http://www.smh.com.au/good-weekend/d...20-133tf9.html

  4. #4

    Default Re: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformatio

    Fantastic article! Thanks for sharing.

    I just sent it to my DH. One of his work colleagues uses cry it out with their month old daughter. They left her to scream from 12:30-2:30am before it was the dad (who usually never gets up at night) went in to her. Poor little girl. I was shocked, I didn't know people still did that. I thought everyone read BB!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformatio

    This reminds me of something I read the other day. It echos some similar points although I think the one linked below has more 'opinion' in between the cited studies which I think is a bit misleading......
    https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog...nd-development

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    Default Re: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformatio

    Sagres that is also interesting especially with regards to breastfeeding and breastmilk. And of course it makes sense that a frequently waking baby is more protected as it is more closely attended to.

    I've often wondered though why such a high functioning, big brained mammal such as a human produces low protein, low fat milk? It makes some sense if it is to keep the baby waking frequently and to maintain milk supply but on a developmental level wouldn't humans theoretically need higher protein/fat etc?

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    Default Re: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformatio

    I cannot help wondering with regards to the original article I posted what sort of op-ed feedback she will get. Might look out for letters to the editor next week. I've never read anything in mainstream media that genuinely challenges such a parenting status quo as sleep 'issues' and controlled crying.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformatio

    Quote Originally Posted by Ladylove View Post
    Sagres that is also interesting especially with regards to breastfeeding and breastmilk. And of course it makes sense that a frequently waking baby is more protected as it is more closely attended to.

    I've often wondered though why such a high functioning, big brained mammal such as a human produces low protein, low fat milk? It makes some sense if it is to keep the baby waking frequently and to maintain milk supply but on a developmental level wouldn't humans theoretically need higher protein/fat etc?
    It's a good question. Maybe there is an evolutionary advantage to metabolising things quickly and getting them out the body quickly? Not sure!

  9. #9

    Default Re: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformatio

    Quote Originally Posted by Ladylove View Post
    Sagres that is also interesting especially with regards to breastfeeding and breastmilk. And of course it makes sense that a frequently waking baby is more protected as it is more closely attended to.

    I've often wondered though why such a high functioning, big brained mammal such as a human produces low protein, low fat milk? It makes some sense if it is to keep the baby waking frequently and to maintain milk supply but on a developmental level wouldn't humans theoretically need higher protein/fat etc?
    It is actually the smaller animals that produce high fat, high protein milk.

    Calories in breast milk: Nutritional information

    According to that article, protein is an indicator of growth rate, and higher protein milk is found in animals that cache their young.

    I was suprised too when I learned how relatively low fat, low protein breastmilk is. Maybe it's something to do with our low fat lifestyles.

  10. #10

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    Default Re: Article in The Age Good Weekend re: dangers and misinformatio

    I love seeing articles like this in mainstream media, it is rare! I love that it's backed by science, rather than just an "expert" with no qualifications or evidence to say that controlled crying is what you must do.

    Also makes it easier for me to share with DHs work mates who like to tell him how we're failing at parenting by going to our kids at night, but seem to think the articles I show them are by hippies.


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