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petchy
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With all this talk of controlled crying / crying it out

Nov 7th, 2006, 12:04 PM   #1
 
i know a lot of mums on here have had good results from it, but i just wanted to offer a different viewpoint on the topic. firstly, let me say that i am not wanting to criticise anyone's parenting choices, and it is not my intention to offend anyone here! i just wanted to show mums that find it heartwrenching to leave their babies to cry that there is a different way too. it is all too easy to become influenced by all the pro CIO/CC advice out there.

i have what i would describe as an "instinctive parenting style". i follow my gut feeling - if it feels wrong then it most likely is. ruben is 9 months old now, and has only slept through the night a handful of times. but that's ok. the way i see it it is only such a relatively short time that he will need me and depend on me as much as he does now, and my role as a mum is to be there for him when he needs me. babies cannot be spoiled by too much love. their only way of communicating is crying, so when a baby cries he needs you. be it for comfort, for food or a drink.

if you wake up thirsty in the night, what do you do? you go get a drink... your baby cannot do that, he needs you to do it for him.

i believe there is a reason why your body and mind is programmed to get upset when your baby cries. if your baby needs you and you're ignoring him, imagine how that must feel to a tiny baby who understands nothing of this apart from 'i want my mummy but she isn't coming to me...'

in the beginning i was influenced by people who told me he "should be sleeping through by now" and even read the gina ford book. it just felt wrong to me, and i am glad i discarded it. there is plenty of research that shows that leaving a baby to cry it out or the use of controlled crying can actually be detrimental to the baby's health, and also adversely affect how they deal with stress in adulthood.

when ruben wakes in the night, if he is crying i pick him up straight away. (if he is stirring and slightly moaning i wait to see if he wil re-settle) often all he needs is a cuddle and he'll drift off again. (now that he is teething i also give him some anbesol or dentinox teething gel) if he doesn't settle with a cuddle, i offer him some water. quite often he is just thirsty and will settle again after a drink. if he finds it hard to settle after a cuddle or a drink, i take him into bed with me and we both drift off. he can then "help himself" to a breastfeed if he wants but most of the time he is not interested in a feed until about 6am. i have lost count of how many times i have been told i am creating a rod for my own back... i tend to ignore that, as this works for us.

i didn't realise until recently that my parenting "style" fits roughly in with the philosophy of attachment parenting.

Quote:
Attachment Parenting is a philosophy based in the practice of nurturing parenting practices that create strong emotional bonds, also known as secure attachment, between the infant and parent(s). This style of parenting encourages responsiveness to the infant or child's emotional needs, and develops trust that their emotional needs will be met. As a result, this strong attachment helps the child develop secure, empathic, peaceful, and enduring relationships.
the above is a quote taken from http://www.attachmentparenting.org/, where you can find a lot of information.

although many of you probably know that i have ditched the buggy and use slings to carry ruben instead, attachment parenting does not mean that you carry your baby 24-7, we are talking emotional attachment here as well as physical attachment. ruben is a very independent boy, happy to play on the floor alone, and happy to be on mummy's back too! i just wanted to clarify this, as many AP parents also practice babywearing - but the two are different terms!

a few more useful links if you are interested in learning more:

http://www.news.harvard.edu/gazette/199 ... edTou.html

http://childrensproject.co.uk/resilience.asp

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/ ... 20,00.html

http://www.guardian.co.uk/parents/story ... 17,00.html

http://www.aaimhi.org/documents/positio ... crying.pdf

http://home.mweb.co.za/to/torngren/patparent.html

http://home.mweb.co.za/to/torngren/patparent.html

http://www.booknoise.net/johnseabrook/s ... self/baby/

http://www.naturalchild.com/research/ha ... ntion.html

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/ ... 20,00.html

http://breastfeed.com/resources/article ... tation.htm

http://www.mothering.com/discussions/sh ... ge=1&pp=20

oops i didn't realise just how many links i had on the topic...

again, i MUST stress that i did not want to personally attack anyone with this post. if CC worked for your family, then good. i just wanted to share my philosophy in case it can help someone! feel free to PM me for more info!
 
 

 
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Jo
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Nov 7th, 2006, 12:16 PM   #2
 
Well said

I feel there is far too many books out there telling us how it should be done
Each child is differant as is each parent

If my child is crying there is something wrong end of

Jack woke up 5 times the other night and each time i got up to him


I will leave him to settle on his own when he first goes to be but if he cries i go back to him to soothe him

Haven't ditched the buggy thou
 
 

 
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Hypnorm
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Nov 7th, 2006, 12:23 PM   #3
 
Thank you for writing this Petchy, it has been very interesting an i will wade through the links.
I agree with what you have written, and when i look at it from my experience with Ewan i think i have been much the same, i still use a buggy though (my back would complain if i carry him!)
Although new parents both myself and my husband have been very relaxed towards various techniques, and have basically tried to 'go with the flow' but there is very much a silent pressure that people put on you by inocently saying ' oh isnt he sleeping through yet' where you think oo am i doing something wrong..should he ..i don't know.
I have worried that ewan wasn't sleeping through but my oh said why worry he will sleep through when he is ready, and i thought that was so true, he is a big lad who still needed a cuddle and a night bottle, eventually at 13 months he has started sleeping through.
I never did controlled crying, as i feel as you do they are crying for a reason, for warmth, comfort, food,etc.. not just to keep mummy awake.. they dont know this all they know is that they want someone.

I've been told numerous times ohh you'll be sorry if you carry on feeding him during the night which made me feel bad and maybe he doesnt need the food. i did reduce the amount of milk he had at night to half but i still got up fed him and tcked him back in. Its hard but i quite enjoy our time in the night. as soon he wont want that or the cuddles we share.

Your post has also made me think that i spend too mcuh time on this computer when i should be spending time and effort with Ewan, as he is always bringing things to me as i sit here..
 
 
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Lucy
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Nov 7th, 2006, 12:29 PM   #4
 
Hi Petchy

Really good, well written post.

I agree totally with a lot of it and like many things in life it doesn't have to be all or nothing.
I mostly carry Olivia in a sling as well but have done a very gently method of CC, but this was more like what you did when you took Reuben's dummy away. I only did it for a few nights and then she was "cured" of not relying on my boob or dummy to settle herself. I'd never just leave my baby to cry, I would hate to feel I'd been desserted as well.

There's lots of information in that post, thanks for sharing it

Lucy
 
 
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Nicky_Jones
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Nov 7th, 2006, 12:39 PM   #5
 
It is very interesting to read what you have written. I have to say that I haven't been able to do the controlled crying thing, or spaced soothing or whatever people call it with Ellie and do very much the same as you. Thankfully Ellie sleeps very well on her own. She has ended up in our bed a few times when she hasn't been able to settle but pretty much sleeps through (if you count feeding her at 7:30pm, dreamfeeding her at 11:30 and then getting her up at 7:30am sleeping through, I certainly do). I am feeling really bad about last night Ellie woke me up moaning a few times, but didn't go into full crying so I left her to settle herself, this is very unusual for her, especially how often she woke up moaning during the night. When the alarm went of this morning at 6:20 a distressed cry came through the baby monitor and I was in her room before my brain woke up enough to realise it wasn't her crying (the radio coming on somehow caused us to receive somebody elses baby monitor, if I wasn't half asleep I would have realised instantly it wasn't her voice). However me going in woke her and I realised why she had been moaning so much through the night, she needed a nappy change (She has only had 1 dirty nappy overnight in the last 2 months and that was when I started taking penicillin for mastitis). I feel so bad about not going in when she was moaning now . I fed her after the nappy change and put her back to bed and got her up at 7:30 as normal.
 
 
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Em78
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Nov 7th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #6
 
i totally agree with you that we seem to be so bombarded by advice on how to "parent" (i swear this is a new word - people just used to raise kids and BE a parent ) that dont use our instincts anymore.

i am all for info being there when you need it but for the most part i think alot of us prefer to do as you do - instictive parenting (theres that blooming word again!)

personally i have used controlled crying and it worked for us - not to say it works for everyone. however i have gone against a lot of advice as i didnt suit me & my child. i didnt feed on demand, my baby sleeps on his front and has done form a few weeks old. i am his mother and i will do what i think is right.

you are right hun there is too much pressure to do things a certain way. just be a mummy - thats all your babe wants!

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
 
 
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Lyn_no3
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Nov 7th, 2006, 13:44 PM   #7
 
hi luckily i havent had to use the methods you spoke of but a close friend of mine had a very similar thought as you and she thought that you should go to your baby cos they obviously need something etc...

the thing is this child is 5 yrs old and still not sleeping thru the night, he gets up as he would of as a baby and goes into his parents for comfort in the night, needless to say they have no sex life and no real down time, i agree that in an ideal world you will do this for your child for aslong as they need but what if this turns into 10 years?

babies pick up[ on patterns dont they doesnt this mean that if they get used to you always going to their every whim day or night they will manipulate you and basically rule the roost, what then happens if you have more children and you have to divide your time between 2 demanding children? do you have to then choose which one deserves attention first?
 
 
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Hypnorm
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Nov 7th, 2006, 13:55 PM   #8
 
its difficult when it happens like that,
Ewan has come in to my bedrooom but i won't allow him to sleep with us as i dont feel comfortable with it, and i'm worried hubbby would squash him, everytime he wakes during the night i deal with him in his own room and settled him and put him to his own bed, its the same as a friend of mine, he is 6 and he is taken up to bed but wont sleep so they bring him back down again, and he doesn it coz he knows he can come down.
when ewan goes up to bed we make sure we dont bring him down stairs again,

I think its all a case of doing what you feel is right for you and what you are comfortable with, not just because your MIL or hv says you should be doing it this way and that!

Use your instinct and common sense.
 
 
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petchy
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Nov 7th, 2006, 14:45 PM   #9
 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyn_no3
the thing is this child is 5 yrs old and still not sleeping thru the night, he gets up as he would of as a baby and goes into his parents for comfort in the night, needless to say they have no sex life and no real down time, i agree that in an ideal world you will do this for your child for aslong as they need but what if this turns into 10 years?
personally i cannot see this becoming a problem. once ruben is old enough to grasp the concept of my room/your room, etc i will gently teach him that he should sleep in his own bed the majority of the time, most likely by gently leading him to his room and settling him in his own bed if he does come to me during the night. and even at 5 years old i would have no problem with him coming to sleep in my bed if he had a bad dream for example...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyn_no3
babies pick up on patterns dont they doesnt this mean that if they get used to you always going to their every whim day or night they will manipulate you and basically rule the roost,
we're talking babies here, at this age they have not got a clue what the word "manipulate" means. APing is not about never disciplining your child or always giving in to what they want, it is about developing mutual understanding and respect, which i believe will go a long way towards eliminating the need for them to try and manipulate their parents later in life, as they will gfrow up feeling happy and secure knowing that their parents will listen to what they have to say and take their opinions seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lyn_no3
what then happens if you have more children and you have to divide your time between 2 demanding children? do you have to then choose which one deserves attention first?
obviously i only have the one child at the moment, but i think my response above can also be applied here.
 
 

 
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Lyn_no3
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Nov 7th, 2006, 15:41 PM   #10
 
i can see what your saying, i mean my older kids come into me if they have a bad dream, but i'm not sure the softly softly approach works with all children, i think babies are much cleverer than you give them credit for and realise what gets results very fast!! and they use it.

fair enough tiny babies a few months old are more than likely crying for essential needs but when does this then become more calculated? when is the right time for your child to see that they cant cry to get what they want, when they are having the worst toddler tantrums in very public places as altho old enough to understand your gently reasoning they understand that this has always been the way to get everything they want?

i agree that children will develop their own routines and their own way of getting their needs met and what works for one doesnt always work for another, its all about what fits into your family,
i think i would of totally agreed with most of what you said when i had my first but with ryan especially, if he were to cry often thru the night i have to also consider the needs of my other kids who have a full day at school the following day.

and my five and six year olds dont know what the word manipulate means this doesnt however mean they are not clever enough to not be doing it does it?
 
 
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*saulino*
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Nov 7th, 2006, 18:53 PM   #11
 
Hi

I think everyone does thinsg how it suits them and thats great I only let Kiara cry it out at her bedtime which she only does for about a min now, but when she wakes in the night i know its cuz shes thirsty or somthing is wrong so i always go in, but on the other hand my friend lets her baby cry all night / morning and ignores her which i couldnt do... but i guess each parent has teher own ways of doing things.
Katrinaxx
 
 
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skatty
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Nov 7th, 2006, 21:43 PM   #12
 
Thanks Petchy I am so pleased with those links. My daughter is having some problems with her digestive system and after spending yet another night in the hospital I got to do lots of thinking and decided the best thing I can do for my baby is to use my instincts. Because of her problems I have really tuned into her language and she never cries for no reason, its usully because she has pain or is hungry. She sleeps with me in my bed but for most the night she is on her own side of a superkingsize bed but if she sounds like she wants to cuddle up this is what we do, usually in the early hours of the morning. She's only young yet but so far she can lie on her own and get herself off to sleep fine. I'm not worrying about her going in her own room anymore because I think I'll just know when she's ready for that. I've bought a few books including the baby whisperer and have got some great hints from them but for me I've decided only I can know what's best for my baby. It was like a relief when I decided this last night! tomorrow I am going to start wearing my sling or baby carrier a bit more so I can get more donne but be close with her.
 
 
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petchy
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Nov 7th, 2006, 22:13 PM   #13
 
aww, skatty... i hope your little girl is ok??? glad you enjoyed those links - as said before, everyone is different and different things work for different people. but i think the most important thing is to listen to your instincts. i know what you mean about the feeling of relief - the night wakings were doing my head in until one day i decided to discard pretty much any piece of advice i had been given by my HV and other well-meaning people and trust myself it finally clicked into place.

see you're in denmark by the way - are you danish? i'm norwegian (living in the UK right now) and just being nosey! lol

if you or anyone else wants any more info on attachment parenting or babywearing please PM me, i have plenty of links to even more sites
 
 

 
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Urchin
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Nov 7th, 2006, 23:05 PM   #14
 
Great post Petchy I totally agree.
 
 
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Tara & Liam
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Nov 21st, 2006, 22:07 PM   #15
 
with my first i was on my own and did as you do Petchy except for i rarely used the cot and let kieran sleep in my bed. He is the biggest cry baby ever, he cries even if you say to him that he did his homework wrong but i am not connecting the two, i think that it is just his personality.

with Joshua we did the same as you and in the end he preferred our bed. right now he is asleep in our bed, but will be put into his own bed when we go up.

with Liam he doesnt sleep well in our bed, much preferring the cot. what we tend to do is, if he wakes we give him a bottle and check his nappy then we put him back to sleep, but if he persists then we know that he is faking we leave him to settle himself. There have been times when he is so so tired and it is 10pm and he refuses to sleep, this is when we lay him down and keep putting him down when he gets up. i just feel that with some babies you need to take a stand with. All our 3 boys have been different, you just need to adapt with each one.
 
 
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