... to have an argument with SIL over her post about controlled crying?

(362 Posts)
katykuns Fri 12-Jul-13 11:45:18

Post: 'Dear mommy,

I am confused.
I am used to falling asleep in your soft, warm arms. Each night I lay snuggled close to you; close enough to hear your heartbeat, close enough to smell your sweet fragrance. I gaze at your beautiful face as I gently drift off to sleep, safe and secure in your loving embrace. When I awaken with a growling stomach, cold feet or because I need a cuddle, you attend to me quickly and before long I am sound asleep once again.
But this last week has been different.

Gentle, Tear-Free Sleep Solution
Each night this week has gone like this. You tucked me up into my cot and kissed me goodnight, turned out the light and left. At first I was confused, wondering where you’d gone. Soon I became scared, and called for you. I called and called for you mummy, but you wouldn’t come! I was so sad, mummy. I wanted you so badly. I’ve never felt feelings that strong before. Where did you go?
Eventually you came back! Oh, how happy and relieved I was that you came back! I thought you had left me forever! I reached up to you but you wouldn’t pick me up. You wouldn’t even look me in the eye. You lay me back down with those soft warm arms, said “shh, it’s night time now” and left again.
This happened again, over and over. I screamed for you and after a while, longer each time, you would return but you wouldn’t hold me.
After I had screamed a while, I had to stop. My throat hurt so badly. My head was pounding and my tiny tummy was growling. My heart hurt the most, though. I just couldn’t understand why you wouldn’t come.
After what felt like a lifetime of nights like this, I gave up. You don’t come when I scream, and when you do finally come you won’t even look me in the eye, let alone hold my shaking, sobbing little body. The screaming hurt too much to carry on for very long.
I just don’t understand, mummy. In the daytime when I fall and bump my head, you pick me up and kiss it better. If I am hungry, you feed me. If I crawl over to you for a cuddle, you read my mind and scoop me up, covering my tiny face with kisses and telling me how special I am and how much you love me. If I need you, you respond to me straight away.
But at night time, when it’s dark and quiet and my night-light casts strange shadows on my wall, you disappear. I can see that you’re tired, mummy, but I love you so much. I just want to be near to you, that’s all.
Now, at night time, I am quiet. But I still miss you.'

She doesn't understand why it's angered me. In my opinion, it's emotional blackmail and utterly manipulative. I did controlled crying with DD1, but she was naturally a good sleeper so it wasn't really a challenging experience. DD2 isn't a great sleeper, and we do try for a few minutes to see if she will settle, but get her back up when she doesn't.
As I see it, this is written by an adult projecting her own feelings about CC onto others through the form of a poor vulnerable baby, it really doesn't sit right with me at all.
I don't really agree with co-sleeping, but I never would post stuff like this to upset people doing co-sleeping.

brainfidget Tue 30-Sep-14 11:59:52

Utterly nauseating post. For that alone she is completely unreasonable.

However, you are also unreasonable for not warning us we might need sick-bags.

LittlePeaPod Tue 30-Sep-14 10:56:25

Op, firstly an apology. I haven't RTFT, very rude however I wanted to respond to your OP. this appeared on my FB news feed via an NCT associate. I have a nearly 9 month old. I simply posted....

"What a pile of guilt tripping, manipulative bullshit. Who actually has time to write this crap".

Rusticated Tue 30-Sep-14 10:22:02

Isn't this an ancient thread? Anyway, there's no excuse for that kind of mawkish, sentimental writing and overuse of the word 'tiny', which has suddenly become incredibly irritating. No excuse even if the author were under one.

catgirl1976 Tue 30-Sep-14 10:20:35

I did CC and I don't have an ounce of guilt

I wouldn't have an argument with her. I would just think she was a total twunt.

I have seen that pop up on my Facebook and thought it was the most mawkish, vomit-inducing thing I have ever read.

I mentally categorised the person who posted it into the same category as people who "wuff their gawguss l'il man", grown women who like to be called "Princess", people who re-post Britain First toss, UKIP voters and people who could spend an entire day being amused by a bit of fluff they found on their feet.

Bambambini Tue 30-Sep-14 09:57:38

This kind of mawkish crap is really vomit inducing. I'm embarrassed for folk that post this kind of crap.

Meerka Tue 30-Sep-14 09:47:20

ugh, i hate emotionally manipulative shit like this so much. It makes me actively want to do controlled crying :P

it's right up there with the pro-lifers who are emotionally manipulative and really shit parents who enjoy making their kids cry just to see the tears. Getting what you want by this sort of shit is pathetic

the only reasonable response is 'fuck off'.

<coughs and calms down>

wingsandstrings Tue 30-Sep-14 09:29:36

A couple of years ago I could have posted this one in return.
'Dear DD, as I heave my exhausted body from the bed to attend to you for the 8th time tonight I reflect on how I am a shell of my former self. Whilst my love for you is boundless I myself have become depressed after 12 months waking every 45 minutes to breast feed you back to sleep. Your brother is having a miserable time because his parents are too tired to parent him properly, and Daddy could well loose his job as a result of your terrible sleeping. I am so sad. I want sleep so badly.'

I think that people who are very against CC (and I was one of them until DD came along) have never had a really bad sleeper. After 12 months of hell we did CC and 3 nights later she slept through and our lives changed.
I think that anyone who puts really strong parenting opinions on FB is asking for trouble - and that smaltzy 'dear Mommy' post is SO passive aggressive. In her favour though she probably didn't think through how it could make some people feel, she probably just liked the sentimentality of it.

Thebodyloveschocolateandwine Tue 30-Sep-14 09:05:22

It's a very old thread.

Fwiw CC saved my sanity and is a miracle.

Your sil sounds like a dramatic cunt

MrsMook Tue 30-Sep-14 09:02:04

Zombie thread

Klapton27 Tue 30-Sep-14 00:48:57

I co slept but I am trying controlled crying now as my 9mo is waking every two hours. I hate it but that's because of how it makes ME feel, and those are feelings that I am trying not to project. Each to their own but I would never have done it before she was 6 months, or if she is ill or hasn't eaten much in the day.

HaroldLloyd Mon 15-Jul-13 10:48:04

Research is different though fanjo what if someone posted something along the lines of

Mummy every time we go in the car I get dreadfully upset that I'm pointing forwards is so dangerous mummy oh why oh why didn't you go to halfords.

DuelingFanjo Mon 15-Jul-13 10:27:08

"The 'if you are hurt by this it's because it makes you feel guilty about your choices' attitude is arse too"

I agree.

I find it a bit offensive when people say I am putting my child's life in danger by not having a rear facing seat for example, or that I could have had a better birth if only I had tried more but I don't assume that every time someone posts a link to research on those things that they are aiming it at me specifically.

What is hurtful is when people tell you that you are neglecting/harming your child... i.e explicitly telling you.

In either case the OP had every opportunity to call 'bollox' on the link posted if she wanted to, rather than assuming it was explicitly about her.

At the end of the day the world doesn't stop just because you have a baby. You still have to attend those appointments, your older children still need to get to school, your neighbours still have to sleep, and you and your partner still need to get to work. If parents see fit to spend months pacing halls or sleeping in every room and garden shed so not to wake everyone else then that's up to them, but its unfair to criticise those who choose to address the situation. Newborn - normal, 4 months -normal by 8/9/10 months its not normal. Yes they still may feed at night but it is not unreasonable to expect 4-6 hour blocks and for them to even <shock horror> sleep through. I'm sure most people are bright enough to realise that if there Are no improvements after a few days then either there is something else wrong that needs addressing first, or that the method they are choosing isn't working. I would never criticise anyone doing cc because I believe it's just as selfish and unfair that the older child is kept up all night. What about their stress and cortisol levels? Sleep is not a luxury as pointed out in a previous post. It's something vital for growth and development and its as important to try and achieve that for the babies sake as well as the rest of the family. If co sleeping works then great. If gradual retreat works well that's great to, but if its cc thats your last resort as nothing else worked then that's fine too. Don't ever underestimate the effects of poor sleeping.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 15-Jul-13 10:08:18

It's also worth pointing out that chronic sleep deprivation is a major risk factor for PND, which has been shown many times to have an adverse effect on babies.

So if parents are opting for the (minor, unproven) risk that CC may affect their babies, as a way of heading off their own MH problems and the (major, proven) risk that their MH will affect their babies then how in the world is it reasonable or indeed ethical to make them more anxious and guilty about this decision?

kali110 Mon 15-Jul-13 10:03:34

Toad that made me laugh!!

HazleNutt Mon 15-Jul-13 09:57:31

of course that SIL will think people doing CC are unreasonable if she really has a baby who will be immediately sound asleep as soon as mommy has attended to its needs. She should try:

dear Mommy, I only fall asleep when I'm sleeping on you and wake up screaming every 20 minutes, around the clock. I also wake up screaming whenever you move and then keep screaming for ages, no matter what you do. Yes, you are always crying yourself and starting to look a bit like zombie, but that's just tough luck..

KateCroydon Mon 15-Jul-13 09:50:40

The 'if you are hurt by this it's because it makes you feel guilty about your choices' attitude is arse too. I guess some people skip merrily into cc, but a whole lot more try it in desperation because they can't cope. The first lot will never feel guilty, the second lot already do.

KateCroydon Mon 15-Jul-13 09:46:31

YANBU. Unkind, unimaginative, mawkish post,

I hope never to have to do cc, but sleep isn't some kind of luxury you can do without.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 15-Jul-13 09:41:26

PPS Here's a fairly balanced evaluation of the relationship between cortisol/stress in infancy research and controlled crying: link

MrButtercat Mon 15-Jul-13 09:33:33

Oh and a twins lot in life is to wait.You don't hear of thousands of screwed up sets of twins (or babies born into larger families) because they've had to wait 5 minutes.

I like the maj of 60s babies was left to cry down the bottom of the garden.Very close to my mum and ever grateful for the good routine of sleep,3 nutritious meals and early bedtime she instilled in me.

OTheHugeManatee Mon 15-Jul-13 09:33:07

The cortisol research is SO badly misquoted SO much of the time on this kind of thread. It's not that the facts that get quoted are inaccurate as such, but they are out of context and incomplete. It is true that elevated cortisol levels over extended periods in infancy has been linked with later mental health problems, but when this is quoted by 'gentle parenting' types there is never any definition of 1) what age in infancy (the neurobiology of babies changes rapidly and what may be appropriate at 3 months is different to what may be appropriate at 9 months) and 2) what constitutes 'extended exposure'.

For example, the HPA axis (the neurochemical stress response) doesn't settle into its adult circadian rhythm until 3-6 months old, producing more cortisol in the morning (to wake us up) and less at night (so we can sleep). From this we can deduce that trying to put a four-week-old baby into our circadian rhythm may be a waste of time, as its brain simply isn't wired for it yet. However from a neurochemical point of view a 1-year-old absolutely can be on the same rhythm as an adult. Talking in a vague, general way about 'babies' implies that a 1-year-old and 1-month-old have the same needs and neurochemistry, which is patent nonsense.

Equally, the 'extended exposure' concept has generally been studied in situations where there is severe neglect, for example parental substance abuse, violence or abandonment. There is plenty of evidence that this kind of exposure to stress causes long-term damage, and I see this on a regular basis in my clinical work. However there is also plenty of evidence that brief exposure to stress, in a context where recovery can be aided by a trusted, loving parent, is actually beneficial as it teaches resilience. So the recurring theme about 'cortisol rising to dangerous levels' misses a crucial nuance: cortisol is not inherently toxic or dangerous - in fact it's a crucial component in enabling us to respond to our environments. What is dangerous to a baby's development is being in an environment where misattunement is persistent, care is unreliable, frightened or frightening, or neglect is pervasive over the months and years.

Lots of people on this thread have described sleep training their babies. None of those descriptions sounds like pervasive neglect to me - brief exposure to stress, maybe, but not pervasive neglect. Briefly elevated cortisol levels (5 minutes a few times over a couple of days) will have a completely negligible effect on a baby's development. So we should all calm down a bit.

PS: I have no axe to grind in this, as I don't have DC yet and don't have very strong views on how I will/won't sleep train them when I do. But I have some knowledge of the research field and get a bit fed up with perfectly valid studies being quoted partially or out of context.

Mintyy Mon 15-Jul-13 09:32:36

Yes, that cringeworthy post made me laugh too but its not really funny. I'd just have to defriend someone who shared anything as mawkish as that on facebook.

MrButtercat Mon 15-Jul-13 09:30:42

Believe you me my dc were exposed to more cortisol pre cc than during it.

Pre they screamed constantly whatever I did.We were stressed and I was sobbing and dreaded every whimper.I ended up one night throwing pillows found the room in frustration.I was a zombie during the day and rarely smiled as too knackered.They must have inhaled cortisol 24/7 and smelled the stress.

3 days after.

Smiling,happy contented babies(twins) who rarely cried and smiling happy mummy who finally got to start enjoying being a mum.

There is no way I'd choose a stress filled sleep deprived environment to raise babies ever again.

TOSN that just about sums it up!!

TheOriginalSteamingNit Mon 15-Jul-13 09:26:05

Anyone who's ever been driving and not able to stop or turn round with a grouchy tired baby, when you actually can't pick them up, has seen that babies can sometimes squawk a bit before going off to sleep and no harm's done.

Likewise, anyone ever raced up the stairs on hearing an isolated cry, and then found a sleeping baby when they get there?

A baby who did a bit of skriking and then slept through is a bright-eyed bushy-tailed delight in the morning (well, relatively) - as are its parents. (and I love how the emotional manipulation in that post is targetted exclusively at 'Mommy'!). A baby who was picked up and walked around up and down, and never really got beyond a fitful doze all night, is a whingey misery in the morning - as are its parents.

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