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I did not read the whole article. I wish I had the time, but I'm about to sign off to go do the million things I need to get done today. Anyway, I just want to say I can't stand the Cry It Out method. I seriously have a hard time hearing about anyone who lets their baby cry on purpose. Those poor babies and misguided mothers. Why is it difficult to understand that we need to comfort a crying baby. That's why they were designed to cry (and why the cry is so shrill and hard to listen to) - to let us know they need us--right now!
Earthy-Birthy Tree-hugging Mama to 5 (6 for now) great kids:
SciGuy,14 Butterfly Girl,12 Wyldchild,7 FlowerFairy,5 and Babybird,3
I have to tiptoe a fine line that I don't like on this issue, because Nora is so very high need. I haven't been able to pick her up without a burning sensation under my right shoulderblade and ribs, because I can *never* put her down. The older she gets, the less she naps during the day (she sleeps well at night though, I think because I'm right there next to her).
Apparently Nora did not read the Dr. Sears books that say A) babies love slings and B) held/carried babies cry less.
She cries if I try to put her down just for a second to change her diaper, she cries because she refuses to nap and then gets so tired that she's exhausted and cranky, she cries, sometimes, just for the sake of crying I think.
With whatever is going on in my back, and the cartiledge in my kneecaps flaring up because of how I have to try and lift my weight out of a chair as smoothly and quickly as possible so I don't wake her up (it's a condition I've had since I was a kid, makes it excruciatingly painful to keep my knees bent for any significant amount of time), I'm in a lot of pain these days. Sometimes, when I know she's crying because she wants to be walked around the house, she's just been fed, changed, and is most likely just bored, I'll let it go for a few minutes because it just plain hurts to stoop down and lift her. I feel horrible when I do it, I can't stand to let her cry, but sometimes the pain in the rest of my body far outweighs the pain in my heart when she fusses out of sheer boredom.
Sometimes it feels like there's so little grey area in AP before you start feeling guilty. Sure, the books say you don't have to follow it to the letter and still be responsive to your baby, but what do you do when baby won't sit in a sling ever, but demands to be in arms all day, while you sit there in pain, not even able to shift baby from one arm to the other without pain? Am I scarring her for life and turning her into an unattached child because I let her sit and cry for 10-15 minutes a day because I just can't muster the physical strength or energy to pick her up? There seems to be a lot of "sure, you don't *have* to do it this way, but your baby will grow up to be a violent unloving detached materialistic monster if you don't" in the AP community.
There are so many days when it feels like I'm literally fighting to stay AP. With our failed attempt at breastfeeding (I tried again just recently before my milk dried up..still no go at 2.5 months), a baby who hates slings, loves strollers, won't sit in my lap at all unless she's eating, but will sit in a bouncer, and me letting my MIL take care of her upstairs while I'm at work - it feels like all the forces are against me, and I'm not going to have the loving, attached, secure child I intended to raise.
Sometimes too much education on a subject can drive one to the brink of insanity when things don't go as planned, I think.
Originally posted by fourtimesamommy@Jul 28 2005, 12:39 AM oh neoma, i never ment to imply that if you let you child cry a little they will become evil disassociatve adults!!! i understand that you need to put her down at times and im not speaking about saving your sanity (and back and knees) i was reffering to parents who continuously allow their babies to cry and refuse to resond for fear that they will spoil the infant....also the cio sleep method...im so sorry if you misunderstood..i never ment to offend you..again im sorry
It's not anything you or anyone else in this thread has said. It was the article itself:
But there is no doubt that repeated lack of responsiveness to a baby's cries-even for only five minutes at a time-is potentially damaging to the baby's mental health.[/b]
There is quite a bit of this sentiment. Perhaps it's misguided and not meant to alienate those who have circumstances, but that's what it does. The all-or-nothing, crunchier-than-thou, my baby is more attached than your baby mindset puts parents like me, who struggle to stay AP because of their LOVE for AP and the desire to raise happy, healthy, balanced children, into a cycle of associative guilt which manifests as resentment towards the very thing they love.
To explain simply, I do my best to AP, but slowly as I wind my way down the list of AP "things to do", I find that I cannot meet all of them 100% (aside from loving and caring and being as responsive as I can). I can't respond at the drop of a hat sometimes, whether it's because food is burning on the stove, I can't get out of my chair, or I just need 10 minutes where I'm not either working or holding 14lbs of baby with a bad back. This article implies that because I lack that capability, I am setting my beloved DD up for future mental anguish.
I understand that this was likely designed more towards parents who cio on purpose, consistantly, letting children cry themselves to sleep all the time - but because they decided to add in the "even 5 minutes at a time" variable, it has singled out parents who let a child cry for 5 minutes in a bouncer or swing, whether they consider themselves AP or not. I'm sorry, but I DON'T believe Nora will turn into a disassociative child because she spent 15 minutes a day crying (not fullblast crying, mostly fussing and "I'm bored" crying), and it's offensive that the article would suggest so.
Maybe I'm going out of my way to feel offended, I just find more and more that there's this "Either you AP or you don't, end of story" is permeating and alienating, and it does no good.
Editted to add: The rest of the article strikes me as a "duh" for AP'ers. If baby is crying and all his/her needs are met, it does not really make sense for someone who is already AP to sit them down out of reach to cry it out, I would assume most AP'ers have their children cry in arms until they wind down? Or perhaps I'm misunderstanding the article. Or is the point of the article more to discern between when a child is crying for a physical need and when they simply need to relieve stress? It's sort of all over the place.
Neoma - I agree that the article is all over the place. I wanted to post it to see what others thought of what it was saying!
I htink you're a great AP mommy, though (for the record).... You recognize your baby's needs as important and valid (whether she needs to be fed, diapered, comforted, etc)
I think that the CIO method is a sad thing to do to a child - I know that Grace DESPERATELY needs to be comforted a lot of the time. We've had to start giving her a pacifier because she's around 15 lbs and I can't just pick her up and carry her around CONSTANTLY (esp. if she refuses the sling and/or carrier - sheesh!).... Anyway, I think the most important thing about being AP is being a parent that is sensitive to the needs of the child as much as possible.
I feel your pain Radish, lol. 14-15lbs of baby to carry around all day is rough. I'm trying to learn how to clean the house with one hand, as Nora is phasing out naps, apparently. She'll sleep for a half hour at a time now, if I'm lucky.
When I was a kid my baby sitter use to do this. I remember being a small child..maybe 5? And asking her why she lets the babies cry. She told me if was good for their lungs. She was never neglectful though. A very caring grandmotherly type...a little old fashion probably. She use the cio method on the small babies, just the ones that could stand on their own. With the small ones she would lay them down on her chest until they fell asleep and put them in a crib. With the older babies/toddlers she would only let them cio after their naps. She would let them cry for less then 5 minutes and then go get them. This method actually worked for me. I found ways to entertain myself, I eventually learned that she didn't abandon me and that she would get me as soon enough. Somehow she knew the difference between babies cries. Like if it was I'm in trouble cry, I'm hungry/dirty or an I just want out cry. She was never wrong. Then again she was one of 13 siblings and probably baby sat for hundreds of kids over the years. But I personally do not believe in this method and will not use it on my child once he/she is born. Just thaught I' d put in my personal experience with this.....
Originally posted by Ana_and_Gage's_Mommy@Jul 29 2005, 10:20 PM Neoma, I think this that you said loving and caring and being as responsive as I can is about as AP as you can get , Im sure you are a super terrific mommy
I appreciate that. Sometimes the stress between working 9 hours a day and taking care of a high need, very picky, very "set in her ways" (how can she have ways already, she's only 3.5 months!!!) baby, plus trying to overcome a lot of parenting obstacles makes me forget that doing my best is all I have to offer.
As to Nora, I see a princess in our future =p Which is amusing since mommy was (and pretty much still is) a rough n tumble tomboy who is generally easy going. I guess the "I hope you have a child just like YOU!" curse my mom put on me when I was a kid didn't work so well, LOL.
My daughter is 1 month old and I got told that I am spoiling her by picking her up whenever she cries for attention. I have done alot of research and reading and dont believe that is true. Maybe back in the old days people used to do that but i dont think it is true this day in age. Whenever my baby cries it is for 3 reasons she is hungry her diaper is dirty or she wants attention and you cannot spoil a baby as young as she is. My pediatrician said that and i have read books and magazines about that too.
Neoma, I think you are a great mom and well on your way to producing a securely attached little daughter. I've studied attachment in undergrad & grad school - you seem to be doing just fine. While the article had some interesting points, there were a lot of things that were opinions, or far reaches from studies. You really don't have to worry that you're raising some little monster. Your love will help your daughter to be a very happy and well-adjusted person.