even a "small" amount of crying it out is harmful...
Well, I am more of an "information geek" than a "try it out" mom. I think the evidence and studies speak for themselves.
Before I list a very few of them, I want to say that every family must do what works for them and there is no perfect way to raise a child.
I also want to urge every mother to do her own research. Be a critical reader! When reading, be aware of who wrote the information you are reading, what their credentials and motives are, and how the author is viewed by his/her peers. There is great information out there, but there are a lot of really bad books, too. Many written by people with little or no training, education, or experience. Anyone can write a book...
I also believe that a mother who mothers by her gut will usually do what is best. Any information that causes a mother to go against her natural mothering instinct is the wrong information for her. Any regrets that I have come from times when I didn't follow my gut.
Here is some of the research that I find helpful:
The studies on cortisol levels in babies while they are crying alone vs. crying in arms are astounding. The levels of cortisol measured in babies crying alone are high enough to cause damage to brain tissue and permanently alter a child's mental function. Clearly, babies are not meant to be left alone to cry.
The research in the fields of sociology, psychology, and anthropology show us that families around the world as far back as history dates have shared a family bed, breastfed on demand for and average of 4 years (still the current world average), and carried babies or strapped them on during their babyhood.
This body of research also tells us that a child who has his needs met by a single care giver (most optimally the mother) is a more independent, confident child than those who spend time fearing that their needs won't be met or those who are forced to be independent before they are ready.
Be sure and check out the sitations on this and any article your read.
Further, this attachment extends to the later parenting, making it easier to parent the child...
Nils Bergman on You Tube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PcaMsZrElnE (he has several videos you can watch!)
His book, Hold On To Your Kids is a MUST READ!!!
The Discipline Book by Dr. William Sears
Here is some really compelling research:
Biology gives us a whole body of research on human milk composition which shows us that out of all mammal species, human milk has the lowest amount of fat and protein when compared to other mammal species, here is what that says:
Cache care - These animals must hid their babies and only feed them every 12 hours. They have the highest amount of fat and protien in thier milk. Rabbits, mice
Nest care - These animals have less fat and protien and feed their babies every 4 hours or so. dog, cat
Follow care - These animals have even less fat and protien than cache and nest animals. They feed every 2 hours or so. Zebra, cow, elk.
Carry care - These animals have the lowest amount of fat and protien and feed their infants every 30 to 90 minutes. Primates.
Humans have the lowest amount of fat and protien! What does this say about how our babies should be cared for? How often they should be fed, and what we should expect from them at night?
BTW, new research is now linking colic to babies not being fed often enough and being left alone too often.
Dr. Sears recommends feeding your baby twice as often and half as much when colic seems to be the trouble. He also recommends holding your baby http://www.askdrsears.com/html/5/t051300.asp
It is interesting to see the societal influences we have here compared to the rest of the world. We want our babies to be convenient, yet their very make up makes that impossible.
Again, mothers must do what their gut tells them and use information to supplement that wisdom. Don't choose sides, choose your child!
Happy Mothering!! Enjoy your babies