Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cry it Out Kills Brain Cells, Damages Development Permanently

Darcia Narvaez, professor of psychology at Notre Dame, writes in a recent publication of Psychology today that when babies are stressed their bodies release a toxic hormone called cortisol. Cortisol kills brain cells. Studies at Harvard and Yale have shown that killing brain cells at an early age can lead to ADHD, poor academic performance and anti-social tendencies. (1)

"However, it is well-documented that sustained, uncomforted infant crying causes increased heart rate and blood pressure, reduced oxygen levels, elevated cerebral blood pressure, depleted energy reserves and oxygen, interrupted mother-infant interaction, brain injury, and cardiac dysfunction." (2)




"According to a behaviorist view completely ignorant of human development, the child 'has to be taught to be independent.' We can confirm now that forcing "independence" on a baby leads to greater dependence. Instead, giving babies what they need leads to greater independence later. In anthropological reports of small-band hunter-gatherers, parents took care of every need of babies and young children. Toddlers felt confident enough (and so did their parents) to walk into the bush on their own (see Hunter-Gatherer Childhoods, edited by Hewlett & Lamb, 2005)."
Giving babies what they need is really a basic right of babies. (3) 

This is something I feel strongly about. If you aren't willing to give your baby the basic care that they deserve, then you probably shouldn't be having kids. You are there for them. They aren't there for your convenience. Missing sleep is no excuse to deny your child of their basic needs.
Future generations will look back at this kind of thing as cruel, barbaric, and detrimental to a baby's healthy development both physically and mentally.


1) Huffington Post Article
2) Psychologist Laura Markham
3) Psychology Today

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