I came across an article by Deborah Cruz on The Stir yesterday about how allowing your child to “cry it out” is ” inhumane,” and it really got my hackles up. Cruz opted for attachment parenting with her daughters, which is perfectly fine. But she crossed the line, in my opinion, when she launched an attack on every parent who chose a path different from her own. The operative word here is chose, because it is a choice and a deeply personal one at that.
I am not ashamed to admit that we allowed our daughter to “cry it out” when she was around 5 months old, following the Ferber method of slowly increasing the wait time before we went into her room until she was able to fall back asleep on her own. It was what worked for our family and for our daughter, the same way that attachment parenting is what works in Cruz’s family. To say that, because I made this particular choice, I must “believe that you can spoil a baby with too much love,” (clearly insinuating that I must not love my daughter enough) is just taking it too far.
Cruz says in her article that letting a baby “cry it out” is “a bit ridiculous and over kill [sic].” Well, I could say the same for attachment parenting—but I’m not. Because we need to stop judging each other for our parenting styles. There is more than one way to raise a child, and one style is not necessarily better than the next. What is best is what works for you and for your family.
I don’t usually use this blog to get on my soap box or preach, but can we please, please stop tearing each other down just to validate our own choices? Parenting is hard enough without the added pressure and guilt. Here’s an idea: why don’t we support each other and discuss our differences of opinion in a respectful and open-minded way? Perhaps this will be the best lesson we ever teach our children.