Channel Ten Gives Outdated and Unsafe Sleep Advice

Channel Ten’s lifestyle program, The Living Room, is under fire for providing baby sleep advice which is considered to be outdated and unsafe.

The segment focused on the ‘cry it out’ method of sleep training and discussed a four month old baby that had been left to cry itself to sleep. Their advice stated to always put the baby down awake and let them cry it out for up to twenty minutes.

Channel Ten’s expert ‘sleep whisperer’ is a Maternal & Child Health Nurse, but not known to have any specific qualifications in the biological sleep behaviours of infants and toddlers. She has been criticised for preying on vulnerable parents who are unsure if they are doing the right thing.

Baby sleep expert Pinky McKay has contributed to the discussion saying it was an ‘appalling segment’. The outrage on social media is palpable with some mothers calling for an official broadcasting complaint to be made to The Australian Communications and Media Authority.

The Australian Association for Infant Mental health published a position paper on controlled crying and states “AAIMHI is concerned that the widely practiced technique of controlled crying is not consistent with infants’ and toddlers’ needs for optimal emotional and psychological health and may have unintended negative consequences.”

It goes on to say that “it is normal and healthy for infants and young children to wake through the night and to need attention from parents. This need not be labelled a disorder. There are no long term health or developmental problems from babies waking at night. Responding to an infant’s needs/crying will not cause a lasting ‘habit’ but will contribute to the infant’s sense of security.” If you would like to read the full position paper you can access it here.

New Research around the “Cry It Out Method” of sleep training shows there are better ways. Newbornbaby’s stance on infant sleep remains unchanged and we do not support the ‘cry it out’ method. You can find further information on infant sleep from our NBB Sleep expert, Helen Stevens here and here.

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