Much of the harm is unmeasurable. If we are thinking about emotional outcomes, such as anxiety, depression, ability to cope with stress, trauma etc., these are outcomes that are not directly tangible or easily observable. These issues may also take years and years to surface, and would require long term studies to evaluate whether sleep training methods played a role.
If you know anything about appraising research, you probably know you can find research to support any opinion or position. It’s important to take a look at the design: the methods, the outcomes being measured, any biases to determine whether there are flaws in the study. Yes, you will find some studies that support the use of CIO techniques for infants.
A common response I get to speaking out against CIO or withdrawal type sleep training methods is, “Show me proof that sleep training is harmful.” While I’m happy to share research that I stumble across, I feel like we sometimes think too simplistically about this issue, and I want to start a several part series explaining some of the problems I have with the current research and parenting paradigms.
This little girl is happy most of the time, but especially when she is eating. It’s been so fun to watch her try certain foods for the first time and I especially love that she is now able to sit with us at the dinner table while also enjoying her own little space thanks to this high chair from @be_mindful_kids.