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“Sleeptraining a 5-month-old”

[Trigger warning: adultism – emotional neglect of a child]

So. In her latest article Captain Awkward wrote this:

5) My good friends are training their 5-month old to sleep and to comfort himself if he wakes. So they ignore his cries at night (unless they go on for a certain duration and intensity = more than 10 minutes, a sharp upset cry vs. a “Hey, come hang out with me” cry) so that he’ll learn to soothe himself.

This made me uncomfortable. No, this made me anxious and sad. Babies need their parents to comfort them. When he stops crying, it will be a sign that he has learned that no one will come to comfort him. It won’t be a sign that he can “comfort himself”. Babies cannot do that because for their emotional–not only for their physical–well-being they depend on their parents. He will feel scared and incredibely lonely and, depending on his development, get attachment issues. Well, so I found this scary, but there are the comments.

Anathema Device comments

Sorry if this is too off-topic but the thought of a five month old baby being “sleep trained” is causing me some anxiety.

JenniferP/Captain Awkward:

Wow. That’s really your anxiety to manage, because yeah, it’s really, really, really off topic. The parents, kid, etc. are fine and happy, they are using a method suggested by their pediatrician, and their parenting choices aren’t really up for general judgment and discussion.

And later Captain Awkward says (among other stuff)

BOUNDARIES. This is a boundary. Don’t cross it again.

And then there is Kathleen

Anathema Device, I’m sorry the idea of sleep training a five month old causes anxiety. The idea of five months with no more that two hours of consecutive sleep causes me anxiety too. But that’s another letter, no doubt.

Wow, just NO. It sucks to not get enough sleep. For a long long long time. Guess what sucks more? Feeling like you are going to die. I am not exaggerating here, that’s how it works because babies litteraly cannot survive without their parents taking care.

All of this is just a huge stinking pile of adultism and adult privilege. Yes you can and have to criticize parenting choices when they are harming the goddamn child. It’s not “theirs”. It’s its own, but if anyone choses to take care of a child they should damn well do it.

As well as Captain Awkward’s refusal/reluctance to insert trigger warnings into her posts this reaction shows me I should overthink reading this site. At least proceed with caution.