Monday, July 28, 2008

Most annoying thing friends w/o children have said so far...

"sometimes you just have to let them cry". I just want to tell them to go get a newborn and try staying in the same house when he/she screams at ear splitting levels until reaching that unearthly decibel where I swear they must be severely hurting their throats because sound is strained and they cry harder because it hurts. I'm sure there is an age when this is correct advice but for now, with a newborn, the most I allow is 10 minutes for those emergencies when all bottles are dirty and formula must be made and only after all attempts to console have been soundly rejected by baby.

Sorry friends, until you spend all day for a vast period of days trying to console a newborn you will not understand the uselessness of this advice. Waking time of a newborn basically consist of diapering, feeding and consoling. Comforting baby is typically due to desperate need for bottle, diaper change, uncomfortable gas and digestion issues, burping and/or hiccuping issue causing more spit up. And so you do every thing in your power to work through the issues, rock to sleep and then carefully transfer them to crib without causing any waking thus crying. You hold your breath and conduct the transfer with every ounce of care so as to not awaken the crying beast. In other words, your goal is to reduce crying as much as possible. Not incense babies wrath by abandoning it.

ps. advice welcome from folks w/children as to when it is okay to let them "cry it out".

pps. have a friend with video monitor who noticed child crying to summon parents and then turn to look at the door, stop crying and wait for it to open, repeat performance until parents arrive. Child was approx. 1 year old. Assuming around this period of "awareness" is possibly time to prove who's boss?

7 comments:

crazywildberry said...

My opinion. Take it with a grain of salt.

I let my children cry it out at about six to nine months old at night. About the time when I noticed that they didn't REALLY need that nighttime nursing and I REALLY DID need the sleep. It was when it was high time for them to start sleeping through the night without Mom's help to get him/her back to sleep.

Is this hard? Sure. I sit by the door of our nursery and get all worked up to the point of tears or storming in there to "save them". However, I know that they need to learn to fall back to sleep on their own and they don't really need me. So, cry they do.

I also believe that it's ok to let colicky babies cry sometimes too. I babysat for a family, before having my own kids, who had a colicky baby and there was nothing I could do to totally ease his discomfort/ need to cry. I tried. Walked miles in their house trying. I did learn that resting a colicky baby on his stomach on my arm while walking did help some, but he still cried a lot. So, make baby as comfortable as possible, make sure she is safe, and walk away. Ten minutes just to pee, grab a drink, or just do something to ease the stress will do you wonders as you try and take care of baby.

If you don't take care of yourself, how can you take care of your baby?

Potty Mummy said...

This is a long one; sorry...

Re: the childess friends, SB, I found the best thing was just to nod, smile, ignore them, and if they won't shut up, tell them you're keeping notes to pass back to them when they get round to having kids...

There's a great book, don't know if I've mentioned it before, called 'Why Love Matters - How Affection Shapes a Baby's Brain' by Sue Gerhardt. It's fantastic, though rather hard going on the science part to start with, but worth persevering with. It won't stop you letting them cry it out, but might inform your attitude as you do it.

Sounds like you're doing a great job in any case. And don't forget: it's a baby's job to get your attention. A 1 / 2 / 3 month old is incapable of being manipulative - they just have needs, however hard that might be for the rest of us. That's not to say you shouldn't take those 10 minutes - you most certainly should - but don't fall into the trap of thinking that she's doing it on purpose. She can't help it.

I did let Boy #1 cry it out, aged around 8 months or so, it was hard for a couple of nights, but it worked. Interestingly, I didn't have to with Boy #2 - maybe because, having been through it all before I was more relaxed about it all, and perhaps as a consequence, he was a bit less needy. But every baby is different.

Samurai Beetle said...

Really appreciate all the advice and encouragement!!!

I'll look into the book, it sounds like an informative read.

Iota said...

I found the book by Elizabeth Pantley called "The No Cry Sleeping Solution" or something like that very good.

I think a lot depends on the individual baby and the individual mother too. I don't think there is one correct age, but it's definitely not newborn. The mother would be in shreds, as well as the baby - as you say.

Samurai Beetle said...

Hi Iota - thanks for the advice. I love book recommendations and will definitely check it out!

Anonymous said...

Give it a rest. Someone without kids would probably not know what to do with a newborn so cut THEM some slack. They're the ones who have to listen to your boring chatter about how sleep-deprived you are and how your brain has turned to mush while trying not to hurt your over- sensitive, post-partum feelings.

Samurai Beetle said...

When I wrote this it was really more of a call for help to all the moms who read this blog. I had never held a newborn or changed a diaper before having my baby and I was very frustrated with the crying and wanting a solution. Making a joke against my friends who didn't have children was a stress relief with some humour. I got some great advice and I'm glad I wrote this piece.