Methods included "controlled crying" – where an infant is left to wail for increasing periods before being comforted. Picture: Flickr.com
Methods included "controlled crying" – where an infant is left to wail for increasing periods before being comforted. Picture: Flickr.com

BBC show slammed for giving irresponsible parenting advice

By PAUL REVOIR Time of article published Feb 12, 2020

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London - A BBC show on how to stop babies crying at night has sparked scores of complaints.

'Trust Me, I’m a Doctor' on BBC2 looked at the evidence behind popular theories on how to deal with sleep-shy infants.

Methods included "controlled crying" – where an infant is left to wail for increasing periods before being comforted. Other practices covered were letting a baby "cry it out" and parents sleeping with their children.

But the BBC has revealed 262 viewers complained, accusing the programme of "inaccurate or irresponsible advice given on care for infants".

When the programme was shown last month on British TV, one viewer said: "I can’t believe you’re advocating controlled crying, a child is crying for a need which needs responding to. You’d never leave an adult to cry.’

The show featured two paediatric doctors – Guddi Singh and Catherine Hill.

Dr Hill warned that bringing your baby into your bed, if it was under 12 months, increased the risk of sudden infant death syndrome or cot death. She said the advice was to keep the baby in the bedroom but in a separate cot or crib.

She said there was "fabulous evidence" to show that controlled crying works and does not harm children.

A BBC spokesperson said: "The piece on babies’ sleep habits recognised that parents can have different approaches, and the information was based on published research that identifies the associated risks." 

Advice that sleep training was not appropriate at under six months had been put on the programme’s website, he added.

Daily Mail

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