Aptly title "Let Crying Babies Lie," this research is one of best examples of skewed research that incorrectly reinforces cultural beliefs about how babies sleep.
Given the mountain of great research and writing by infant sleep expert and anthropologist Jim McKenna, and others, the Temple research seems to hearken back to the Dark Ages.
Dr. Weinraub believes all babies "should" sleep through the night, that when they don't it's a pathology and also a "problem" for parents and families, that breast feeding is a factor when babies wake at night, that boys are more likely to to be irritable and therefore wake, and that infant nighttime waking is a huge problem because that's what parents report to pediatricians.
Wow. There is so much wrong here.
First of all she is way too enamored of the odd Western belief that babies "should" sleep through the night and be in their own beds. Dr. Weinraub clearly has no idea that this expectation is totally at odds with the natural way babies sleep around the world, and throughout human history, which is with an adult and periodically breast feeding.
As a piece of science, this research is also deeply flawed in its methodology. Dr. Weinraub asked the parents about how their babies sleep. She didn't watch them herself, or even set up cameras.
Most offensive to me is the idea that an infant must learn to "self-soothe." You couldn't find a more Western-based phrase. That little babies should pull up their boot-straps, buck-up, and deal with their unhappiness about being left alone at night with no food is outrageous.
I guess I never learned to self-soothe cause this article made me furious, and I'm still mad.