To think this advice to a mum regarding seperation anxiety is sad?

(100 Posts)
MightTinge Thu 29-Nov-12 20:49:14

A mum on fb pulling her hair out because her 10 month on DC is getting major seperation anxiety, its not her first but its been the hardest child so far - she's said.

So she asks for advice via status on faceache.

I explained why they theorises babies had seperation anxiety around that age and suggested a comfy sling until it passes.

All her friends have answered "Its hard hunny but dnt giv in, she'll soo learn she dosnt get piked up if she crys."

And the age old 'rod for your back hun, ignore it.'

Its a fucking baby, suffering anxiety sad

I hope she doesnt listen to them.

chinam Thu 29-Nov-12 20:55:38

YANBU. Poor baby sad

DrCoconut Thu 29-Nov-12 21:01:53

I sometimes get this sort of thing because I don't let DS2 cry at night. He's 19 months and doesn't sleep through. I can't just ignore him and leave him to scream himself silly. DS1 is nearly 14 and doesn't still want to get in bed with me so I can't be so bad at "sleep training" can I?!

natation Thu 29-Nov-12 21:06:22

There is only one thing I could think to say in this case and that is follow your heart, if your heart says your baby needs you, then do whatever your baby needs for it to be soothed.

rainrainandmorerain Thu 29-Nov-12 21:10:03

yanbu - I hate stuff like that. Any talk about babies as if they are nasty manipulative creatures and not - well, BABIES - makes me upset. More than that, it makes my skin crawl.

wonderstuff Thu 29-Nov-12 21:16:08

YANBU. I wouldn't leave mine to cry, grumble a bit but not sob. But lots and lots of people subscribe to this 'teach them to sort themselves out' school of thought.
My babies never cried really and both have been happy to go to nursery/school/ gps without a worry. I think its because they trust that their needs will be met. But it may well be that I've lucked out with naturally confident independent children.

TisILeclerc Thu 29-Nov-12 21:20:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

FutureNannyOgg Thu 29-Nov-12 21:20:50

I hate this rod for your back crap, it makes mums feel guilty for following their instincts and doing what feels right, in fear of some imaginary future consequence.

KenLeeeeeee Thu 29-Nov-12 21:22:14

YANBU. It makes me feel very sad to see people implying that babies are manipulative in any way. sad

babybythesea Thu 29-Nov-12 22:09:21

My midwife (when I was still in hospital having had dd) asked, very carefully, whether I planned on leaving her to cry it out. He didn't ask quite that bluntly but that's what he was getting at. (It was 3am, she wouldn't settle and I'd taken her to the nursery to get her out of the ward where other mother's appeared to have newborns who instantly took to the idea of sleeping through the night! I was feeling a bit crap at motherhood (after a whole 2 days of it) and he came in to see if I was ok and to have a chat and keep me company with a cuppa he'd made for me). Anyway, I said no, I had no intention of leaving her to cry and his reaction was "Good. A baby left to cry tends to learn that their needs aren't met and the world is a crap place to be. They give up crying not because they've learnt to be self-sufficient, but because they've learnt that crying doesn't get them what they need. Not a confident silence but one brought about through desperation." He reckoned the more confident children were those whose needs were met, and who were picked up when they wanted comfort, because they learnt the world was a good place to be and were therefore happy to explore it. Crucially, they learnt that she might not be visible, but if they needed her, Mum (or Dad) would always come - what better point to start finding out about the outside world than knowing that someone will be there as soon as you feel you need them?!
I always reacted to DD. We had a few tears the first time I left her at nursery (she was 18 months) but by the third session she was fine. To the point that now, at nearly 4, I had the following conversation with her after picking her up from nursery yesterday:
Me: It's nice to have you back at home this afternoon - I missed you today.
DD: I didn't miss you Mummy, I was too busy having fun.

Tell it like it is DD!

OpheliaPayneAgain Thu 29-Nov-12 22:24:40

Who diagnosed 'seperation anxiety' ? you? the mother? or a qualified professional?

bondigidum Thu 29-Nov-12 22:43:58

Oh my mother is terrible at this but I tend not to take advice from the woman who fed us weetabix at six weeks of age because we were 'big hungry babies' hmm tbh.

She always says 'you hold them too much, why don't you just put them down, you're spoiling them, making a rod for your own back, they will grow up to be attention seekers' etc. I don't listen because I am a mother and my instincts are child cries=child is picked up and cuddled. End of. I didn't have children to dump them in a cot and let them scream. My DC are always close to me really, I seem to just be a cuddle monster for them (best thing is when all three snuggle in). I wouldn't have it any other way.

I feel sorry for mum's who feel cio is the only way tbh. It is tough and especially when its your first its hard to go against the 'expert' advice of those who have done it before you- especially close family&friends but you must always follow your instincts.

Fakebook Thu 29-Nov-12 22:45:37

DS is going through this stage right now. He's 10 months too. Most of the day I'll carry him/play with him until he stops crying, but once a day I admit I do let him cry it out next to me whilst I'm washing/cooking, but that's after feeding/changing to see if makes a difference to his mood. It's such a hard stage for family and baby.

Peevish Thu 29-Nov-12 22:45:40

I don't think you need to be a qualified professional to 'diagnose' separation anxiety - it's just a developmental stage a lot of babies go through, when they grasp object permanence, that things still exist when they're not visible.

My baby is deep in its throes at the moment, having been a very chilled little creature till seven months. It can get very frustrating having to carry him literally everywhere to the point where he sits on the bathroom floor when I'm having a pee, but I agree that having his needs met is the best foundation for a strong sense of self later on.

Djembe Thu 29-Nov-12 22:48:41


I do think that when it's your first, you have no idea how quickly they grow up. You just think this baby has been crying forever, nothing I do is helping, it's heavy to carry around... but those days of no sleep and no time to yourself pass so quickly! I do really think it's negligence as a mother to do anything other than cuddle a baby for the first 6 months or so <gavel>

Djembe Thu 29-Nov-12 22:49:47

Peevish my 1yo still sits crawls around on the bathroom floor when I'm weeing! blush

carabos Thu 29-Nov-12 22:53:01

Why don't people realise that giving a child lots of attention doesn't make it "attention seeking". It is children who don't get enough of the right kind of input who act out in this way.

bedmonster Thu 29-Nov-12 23:16:39

I was left to CIO as a baby my Mum said. Has done me no harm. I have no underlying emotion/anxiety issues. My brother received the same treatment. Again, he's fine.
Separation is a phase some kids go through, everyone deals with it in different ways.
I think YABU.

CailinDana Thu 29-Nov-12 23:25:34

Thing is though bedmonster - if an adult you loved deeply was bawling their eyes out, you wouldn't just ignore them would you? You would assume they were really in need of help and go to them, cuddle them, try to make them feel better. Why not do the same for a baby? It's not an issue of whether it harms the baby or not (although there is some evidence that it does) it's more the fact that the baby is totally helpless and clearly in need of comfort that as a parent, you can provide. Why deny them that? Is washing dishes/sweeping the floors/watching tv really more important than a sobbing baby? That tough period doesn't last long at all - it's not much to ask for a parent to put their own needs to one side for a while and go through it with their baby instead of just ignoring them. I just can't understand the motivation for hearing a tiny person in distress and not comforting them. What possible reason can there be for that?

larks35 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:37:40

babybythesea - am glad your hospital midwife gave such sound advice, I don't think anyone would recommend leaving a newborn baby to cry alone. However, I don't think your story relates to the situation the OP is talking about.

At 10months a baby who has always had mum about becomes very aware of when she isn't about and it can be distressing. However, if mum needs to be somewhere else (in my case it was work) then it is something mum and baby need to get to grips with.

OP is this separation anxiety just about being put down to do other stuff during the day or is your friend building up to go back to work?

bubbles1231 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:43:41

Read this with interest. I had a baby who cried for the first 6months of his life. He cried when he was tired, and nothing would calm him apart from laying him down . He would cry for 10-15mins then sleep. He was entirely BF and would comfort suck till he was overflowing but it was never enough to get him into a proper sleep.Cuddling made him much worse. Sling was a disaster- he just became hysterical . I remember various family members all trying different tactics to help him get off to sleep without success (I still have visions of my stepmum running with the pram down the lane to see if that would work). It was totally exhausting, so please try not to judge.
As an 11yr old he is still very vocal about how he feels.It makes it easy when he has a problem as he will always tell me. He loves hugs too. A lot of their character is what they are born with.
Other son was the model baby- very content , BUT it's his character to bottle everything up and not tell us when something is wrong.

bedmonster Thu 29-Nov-12 23:45:03

But some kids are more whingey than others Cailin, and while individually an unswept floor, dirty dishes, uncooked meals etc aren't a big deal, the fact is that they DO need doing. Especially as in the case of the OPs 'friend' (doesn't actually refer to her as being her friend) she has other children to deal with.
She might have to pick up her other children from school for example. If her 10m baby is crying and just needs to be cuddled cradled and rocked, how the hell does she do that? Does she just leave her children to walk home alone?
Or do you think at some point maybe, she might just have to leave the baby to cry whilst getting on with other things?
I'm not saying I agree or disagree with CIO by the way, just that I really doubt the child in question is in any danger of long term psychological damage from being left to cry for a bit, assuming that the mother is making effort to interact with him/her.

larks35 Thu 29-Nov-12 23:51:43

CailinDana, my 3yo works hard at crying as soon as things stop going his way, especially when he is a bit over-tired and needs to go to bed. Usually, ignoring his theatrics will ensure a smoother bedtime. When he was young I always ran to his cries at night and spent hours up with him trying to sooth him to sleep. Now on the odd occasion he cries at night, I go in and try to settle him and he tells me to go away. He basically wants to have a little cry, without his stupid mum stroking and whispering in his ear!

DD is nearly 8 months - we co-slept until about a month ago and since I've moved out of her room she has slept much better. Now when she does wake in the night, I go to her but as soon as she's had whatever she needed she literally pushes me away.

Maybe my kids don't like me, but I know that isn't true. They just don't need me 24/7 and no child should need 1 parent like that. If they've had that all along then when they stop getting it they're bound to protest but it doesn't mean they'll suffer in the long-term.

BTW If my DP cried over the same issues my DS does then I would probably, no definitely LTB grin

And what about when the mum is at breaking point from lack of sleep, the dad's work is suffering because everyone gets disturbed at night, the parents' relationship is suffering and the baby is getting poor quality care during the day because the mum is so exhausted. Responding every time they cry is not always possible, even if you hurt to hear them upset, but you're too busy sobbing with exhaustion and despair yourself.

Oh - andPeevish - yours lets you put them down whilst you pee? I envy you. Mine either wants to sit on my lap or dangle off my gusset whilst peering into the bowl...

Joiningthegang Fri 30-Nov-12 00:12:04

Dd1 and ds1 were angelic, barely cried so I responded quickly and all was well.

Ds2 cried and cried and cried - often no matter what I did - so I thought you may as well cry while I get things done, as if I do anything you won't stop anyway.

All babies are different, all parents are different, all circumstances are different - please don't decide what is best for someone else, you aren't there when they are coping alone.

lovebunny Fri 30-Nov-12 00:20:44

i made a rod for my own back, thirty years ago. that's what they told me in the hospital. 'making a rod for your own back, a few weeks you'll be back in here and she'll be taken off you'. that's because i wanted to breastfeed, co-sleep and look after my baby myself. and because i signed myself out on day three instead of staying a week.

tonight, that 'rod' and her baby picked me up from work, took me back to theirs, provided me with supper and while baby slept, 'rod' and i looked at christmas decorations and untangled necklaces, and she dressed up in her party dress to see what i had to say about it. length of visit - around nine hours. it was like a holiday. i had a wonderful time.

anyone thinking of making one of those rods for their own back should go right ahead.

mummyonvalium Fri 30-Nov-12 00:28:51

YANBU OP but only up to a point. There are times when it is good to ignore babies and that is when you have been playing with them all day and they are still determined to be the focus of your life. Personally, I am not sure if all the attention I gave to my DS1 did him any good. He is unable to entertain himself for any period of time without causing mischief and he is now 3 1/2. DS2 is much better at entertaining himself and he is only 2. Not ignored for a long time but clearly the fact that I was so busy had an effect on him.

MightTinge Fri 30-Nov-12 06:54:14

Who diagnosed them?

Its a stage not an illness. hmm

peeohayess Fri 30-Nov-12 06:55:15

There's a difference between crying because he's upset, crying because he's mad, crying because he can... And sometimes I find he needs to cuddle and other times he needs to be left. Sod the rod. Know your child.

RosannaBanana Fri 30-Nov-12 07:14:00

Lovely post lovebunny smile

RosannaBanana Fri 30-Nov-12 07:14:50

Oh, and YANBU op!

Morloth Fri 30-Nov-12 07:20:35

I never really understood the advice to leave them to cry etc to 'cure' seperation anxiety. Seemed counterintuitive. If you are afraid someone will leave you and you cry and then they leave you, well then you are right to be afraid aren't you?

When my DS's went through this phase I kept them as close as I could as much as I could. Obviously sometimes I needed a shower, sometimes I needed to be doing other stuff and they had to wait, but for the most part I carried them and cuddled them as much as possible.

My two learned that sometimes life had to happen and it was just tough luck, but mostly Mum or Dad would be there ASAP to look after them.

Like lovebunny my first 'rod' is a delight now (not as long, he is only 8) and DS2 is just as independant and as outgoing as his big bro.

ThatDudeSanta Fri 30-Nov-12 07:23:26

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Fri 30-Nov-12 07:30:49

In my opinion yabu.

she posted on Facebook for parenting advice. She opened herself up to everyone she knows (probably most of them she only knows vaguely) and asked for their opinion.

I refused to CIO, but its a valid choice and all evidence is conflicting on where it is damaging or not. Lots of midwives and health visitors recommend it as well as lots not recommending it.

I am extremely happy that I haven't cio with either of mine. But if you ask an open forum for opinions, you will get them. And cio is very popular.

Morloth Fri 30-Nov-12 07:32:46

If you ask for advice you are going to get the whole gamut from 'never put them down ever' to 'just ignore them always' and everything in between.

Morloth Fri 30-Nov-12 07:33:31

I found the best way to get 'good' advice was to pick someone whose kids you liked and do whatever they suggested.

It always seems to be the people with the feral brats who like to offer unsolicited advice.

Those of you who are saying that other things need doing while baby is crying - caring for other children, housework etc etc. Yes indeed, you are right. That is why slings were invented.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 07:50:08

I am utterly baffled by mums who have partners yet still end up getting no sleep for months on end. WTAF are their useless partners doing?? If the baby is a tough one, cries a lot, and doesn't sleep then BOTH parents need to step up and do their part - the mother just can't do it all on her own. My DS was a horrendous sleeper but I never felt completely exhausted because DH shared every single night with me. Yes, he had to work but I also had to function and I needed sleep so he just had to make do with slightly less sleep than normal, something all adults are capable of managing. Leaving a child to cry because the oh so important man of the house has to have 8 hours sleep (as opposed to 5/6) is ridiculous IMO. Ok if your partner is a brain surgeon or an airline pilot things might be a bit different but if he works in an office then there is no way on earth he should be sleeping all night while his partner gets completely strung out on zero sleep. And it certainly shouldn't be used as an excuse to leave the baby cry.

There is a difference between a crying baby and a crying toddler - I do think you have to be a bit more careful about when you give in to a toddler. And there is a difference between leaving a child to cry for 3 minutes so you can run to the toilet and leaving a child to cry themselves to sleep over an indefinite amount of time. Bedmonster what you described is not CIO - it's just normal life with a baby. I'm not saying a mum should sit on the couch all day not doing anything else except making sure the baby doesn't cry. I'm saying a parent shouldn't put a child in their own room and just listen to them sob themselves to sleep. There is a difference.

welliesandpyjamas Fri 30-Nov-12 07:57:41

babybythesea that midwife's theory sums up perfectly how I feel about the whole leaving to cry issue. As a clueless first timer I left my ds1 to cry but with my ds2 I always went to him, never leaving him to get distressed. The difference in their confidence is blatant, and I do put it down to how I handled their crying as babies.

akaemmafrost Fri 30-Nov-12 07:57:41

That's such a nice post lovebunny.

ThatDudeSanta Fri 30-Nov-12 08:10:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 08:17:00

Nor could my DH, but he fed DS a bottle instead. Even if the child refuses bottles, it's possible for the man to take, say an early-waking baby, from 5-7 so the mother can get two hours sleep before the baby needs to be fed again. Or if the baby doesn't settle till late in the evening he can look after it while the mother goes to sleep and then hand the baby over for the first feed.

A friend of mine's DD is 2 and her 'D'H has never ever got up with her once. She stopped bfing a year ago. And my friend is permanently exhausted. That is just a crazy situation IMO.

Calindana - my dh is very hands on. Result - we're both fucking exhausted.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 08:19:10

Cakes - I'm not sure what your point is? Would you be less exhausted if your DH wasn't hands on?

diddl Fri 30-Nov-12 08:20:36

But is there not some "happy medium" between a sling & leaving to cry??

EasilyBored Fri 30-Nov-12 08:24:54

I think it really all depends on why they are crying. I wouldn't leave a tiny newborn baby to cry, but if my 11 month old is upset because he wants me to sit on the floor with him (after me doing just that all morning) and I need to cook dinner... I will let him stand at the stair gate to the kitchen and have a whine/cry while I chat to him. I also don't answer his every cry at might - usually he'll stop after a minute or two, with no help. There is a balance between responding to your baby's needs, and letting them try and entertain themselves or sort themselves out a bit.

Saying that, DS is a Beth chilled out, non clingy baby, so a lot of it is probably just down to each baby's personality.

ThatDudeSanta Fri 30-Nov-12 08:25:15

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 08:28:01

Was that aimed at me Dude? Are you answering for Cakes?

ThatDudeSanta Fri 30-Nov-12 08:30:06

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 08:32:06

Sorry I still don't get it Dude, what's the "yes" in reference to?

bradywasmyfavouriteking Fri 30-Nov-12 08:32:15

calin my dh is extremely hands on. However as didn't sleep for more than 40 minutes at a time. So even with both of us. We were knackered.
He was up from 5am every morning. He didn't sleep until he was 15 months.

And yes after dh paternity leave finishes, I got up at 5 and let dh sleep a bit. Because he had to work fulltime. We shared weekend sleeps in. Dh would work from home so hr could do school runs with the older one so I could nap with ds.

We were STILL knackered. Then I went back to work so dh did a bit more as we were both working. And we were STILL knackered.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 08:34:58

Ok, brady, but I was referring to situations where the partner isn't hands on, leaving the mother to do everything, which wasn't your situation thankfully. Unfortunately even with both of you sharing the load you were tired. That's hard going, but it wouldn't have been better if you were left to do it on your own would it?

Cailindana does have a point. With DD1 I did every night feed and was up with her all day too. My ex did nothing. Luckily DD1 wasnt a crier so I never had to do CIO but if she had been, I wouldnt have had a choice.

DD2 has reflux and as a result, DP is a bit more hands off than either of us would like (hes not confident in reading her crys just yet) BUT, he does housework, makes the bottles, entertains DD1 etc. I couldnt ask for better support. Now when DD2 cries I know I can go to her. I can sit on the sofa for the whole evening with her because DP is there to pick up the rest. (Even though he thinks Im spoiling her, but Im educating him on that opinion smile )

CIO is needed sometimes, but if your child has a genuine problem/anxiety, surely leaving them to cry is just adding to that or reinforcing it!

bradywasmyfavouriteking Fri 30-Nov-12 08:40:57

But who is left on their own?

We don't know if that's why the ops friend is knackered. O find it weird that the assumption is 'tired mum equals a partner not pulling their weight'

Rather than 'tired mum means a baby that refuses to sleep and has partner that is doing his share'

I just don't see why the default of knackered must be useless partner.

Morloth Fri 30-Nov-12 08:44:45

There is diddl and most people end up there.

I am into the whole attachment thing with the slings and the breastfeeding for ages and all the rest of it.

And I also go to the toilet when I need to and have showers when I feel like it and put some washing on etc and if the baby cried while I was doing those things, well thems the breaks life is like that.

DH also very hands on and while he couldn't breastfeed the reason the baby was crying was not always hunger, so sometimes the baby got Dad rather than Mum even if said baby wasn't so happy about that.

Having a baby makes you tired. Regardless of the support.

Its still no reason to ignore a crying child (and I say that while holding DD2 who has been up all night.)

If the OPs friends DC has seperation anxiety, leaving him to CIO is counter productive.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 08:47:15

Where did I say the default of a knackered mother is a useless partner?

WaitingForMe Fri 30-Nov-12 08:51:34

Like CailinDana I'm often surprised at how little involvement so many fathers have. Newborn DS is breastfed but I'm doing ok for sleep. This morning I woke DH up at six to see to DS who had recently fed and was a bit colicky. He then carried him whilst getting the DSSs ready for school and gave him back just before eight. It would be harder if the DSSs were younger but I see no reason why he shouldn't feed, dress and organise two kids with a baby in his arms and nor can he.

bradywasmyfavouriteking Fri 30-Nov-12 08:55:56

WTAF are their useless partners doing?? If the baby is a tough one, cries a lot, and doesn't sleep then BOTH parents need to step up and do their part - the mother just can't do it all on her own

This says if a mother is tired, it must be because their 'useless' partner isn't doing enough.

ThatDudeSanta Fri 30-Nov-12 09:15:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Goldmandra Fri 30-Nov-12 09:55:43

As others have said there are different reasons why babies cry.

If your baby is waking at night and needs your to help in order to go back to sleep you can help them learn by doing the gradual withdrawal. This will be effective if the problem is just that they are tired but have not learned to settle themselves yet. In the right circumstances, with the right baby it can work quickly, even though it is not very pleasant. Within a very short time they learn this important skill and everyone gets better sleep. I'm not saying it is the right things to do - just explaining why it works sometimes.

If your baby has just become aware that objects around them can disappear and this happens to Mummy too, they are frightened. They don't know when you are coming back, if ever! Making the thing that frightens them most happen more will just increase the fear and that's when leaving them is unhelpful. An insecure child needs attention and reassurance. They need to learn more about the world until they understand that out of sight can still be close at hand. They need to find out that if they cry someone will always appear because someone is always still there for them.

Once a child who is experiencing separation anxiety feels reassured that their carer will return soon they can relax again. They will get to this stage at some point even if they have been left for long periods by someone insisting they get to grips with it but I have no doubt that they get over this anxiety sooner if the carer has been more responsive and given them less reason to be fearful.

Many people who have two children with two different characters will put the differences down to how they were treated as babies. IME there are as many mothers who feel the child they were less responsive to is more confident as there are mothers who feel they nurtured confidence in one by being more responsive.

10 month old babies are not manipulative. They become anxious when separated from their carer because they are just becoming mobile and have a natural safety mechanism to keep them close to the carer in order to keep them safe.

YANBU. It is sad because that sort of advice causes unnecessary distress to mothers and their babies.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 12:17:01

Yes, brady, if you read the first sentence of the post you'll see I was referring to women who have partners and yet get no sleep for months on end. If you have a partner who is willing to do at least some of the night duty and give you a sleep in on their days off then there is no need for that. If they are never getting sleep because their partner won't step up and do their bit, then their partner is useless. A partner who does his bit isn't useless, clearly. Your partner did his bit. So what I said doesn't apply to you. Is that clearer? I didn't say if a woman is knackered it's automatically due to her partner.

Djembe Fri 30-Nov-12 12:31:30

Cailin this is MN, arguments have to be binary wink

bradywasmyfavouriteking Fri 30-Nov-12 13:11:15

I am utterly baffled by mums who have partners yet still end up getting no sleep for months on end.

Yes I can see that, thanks. But why is that your assumption? Why does how much the partner is doing come into it at all?

I am not the only who feels you post is tired mum = equals shit partner.

CailinDana Fri 30-Nov-12 13:13:25

Ok brady. This is a pointless argument so we'll leave it there.

somewherewest Fri 30-Nov-12 13:28:13


12mo DS was a bottle-refuser and poor sleeper, but I think it helped that right from the start DH would try to re-settle him if he woke too often. This meant that he learnt to go back to sleep without feeding (at least some of the time) from very early on and probably spared us the waking every-hour-till-they're-one hell some people go through.

Scheherezade Fri 30-Nov-12 15:35:53

Conversely I hate the guilt trip for us mums with super clingy babies who NEED to put them down in order to do anything!

For instance, DS has to always be on me, or held, on my hip. He's been like this since he was 5mo.

I HAVE to put him down, and leave him to cry. I can't hold him or use a sling whilst getting dressed, on the toilet. He's a big 14mo now, every meal time involves tears whilst I put him down to use a knife or boiling water. Consequently all his meals are bread simple made as quick as possible.

I currently have a nasty d&v bug, try telling me this morning when I was filling the toilet, with soiled bedding and clothes in the tub, to just cuddle him.

I actually find now he cries for less than a minute, realises there are fun things on the floor and forgets mummy.

But all the guilt trips above are horrible, and what led to my severe depression and admission to a mbu. I just could not eat, wash, dress me or him. If I did I had hippy types making me feel guilty for making him cry, if I didn't, we were both hungry, dirty and cold.

Today I haven't got dressed, I couldn't face the tears from him after this morning.

Scheherezade Fri 30-Nov-12 15:36:58

Or* on the toilet!

catgirl1976 Fri 30-Nov-12 15:42:12

Having just started controlled crying two nights ago, I have to say I wish we had done it earlier.

ChestnutsRoastingonaWitchesTit Fri 30-Nov-12 15:46:22

YANBU but she'll take what "advice" appeals to her the most.

Maybe Im way off here, but to me there is a difference between controlled crying and CIO.

Theicingontop Fri 30-Nov-12 17:00:48

The weird thing is, when you're pregnant you're told to 'trust your instincts' - Then as soon as you give birth, you're told to follow rules that go against every instinct you have.

Put your baby in a cot, in a different room to you, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable. Don't pick them up if they cry even if you feel like you should. Don't cuddle them to sleep, even though that's what the baby seems to want - never give a baby what they want, even though they seem to be pretty good at knowing what they need.

After a point with my son, I just stopped asking for advice and decided to do what came naturally. I got judged for co-sleeping, breastfeeding past a year (shocking!) and responding to my son's every cue. Didn't kill me, and he is a very well-adjusted, happy 2.5 year old. A big up yours self proclaimed parenting geniuses.


Goldmandra Fri 30-Nov-12 17:05:43

Scheherezade I think it's very sad that you feel criticised by comments on this thread. To be in the position you describe you must be a very responsive mother and not the sort whose child gives up crying because no-one comes.

I know what you're going through. I used to look in awe at mothers whose babies would sit and play while they chatted or cooked while mine clung to me like limpet. I wondered what the hell I was doing wrong.

Then I got DD2 who was the opposite and used to play, fall asleep under the play gym, then wake up and play again.

It is gruelling work coping with a baby like your DS but it does get better. Put him down when you need to. You have no choice. You are keeping it to the minimum which is all that is humanly possible.

Don't feel guilty for meet your own basic needs. He is a baby who depends on you but you have rights too.

sweetkitty Fri 30-Nov-12 17:10:12

A group of friends were talking about this last night, one was saying her DH told her to ignore her newborns she would never learn to get herself to sleep, she said she screamed that night but ever since the has been a great sleeper sad the general consensus was the leaving a baby to cry was ok and if you didn't they would manipulate you

N0tinmylife Fri 30-Nov-12 17:12:29

I think YABU OP. I can't say I did CIO with DS, as I wasn't aware such things existed, but he was certainly left to cry sometimes. If he was in his cot, at night, and I knew he was not hungry or needing a clean nappy I would go in and check him for obvious problems, then leave him to it. The main reason if I am honest is because I was too lazy/selfish to want to have to pick him up and spend hours trying to settle him. If I left him he would settle in a few minutes, if I didn't it took hours.

I am aware that doesn't make me the best parent in the world, but it meant at the time, that I was not exhausted all the time, and during the day, I could keep up with DS being on the go all the time, and be a good Mum to him.

He is now a happy, confident affectionate 5 year old, so it doesn't seem to have done him any harm. If I could go back I would do nothing different as it worked for us.

I don't understand why people feel the need to criticise anyone for parenting the way that feels right for them and their baby. Every parent, and every baby, is different, so what works for one will not work for another!

SackGirl Fri 30-Nov-12 17:17:28

My little one is nearly 16 weeks and I can't just walk off to leave him cry, nor will I ever, I have had to step out for a moment and breathe and re-enter the room just to not start crying myself lol, but I do NOT agree with 'letting them cry it out'

I have however had to start sitting with him stroking his head in his rocker to get him to nap in the day as he got so used to napping in my arms I literally couldn't get anything done - He cries a bit, but I'm right there stroking his head singing lullabies and holding his dummy in for him. Even that makes me feel like a monster, but after a month of him only napping on me it really has to be done - I wouldn't let him get into a state though sad

Some of my friends believe in the 'let them cry it out' which I find strange... like you've all said, babies are not manipulative nor have they 'sussed' out how to get their way. :/ poor things

DuelingFanjo Fri 30-Nov-12 17:23:13

there's some horrendous advice given out on faceache, I just have to ignore it. One of my friends posts on a facebook support group for young mums and I have to sit on my hands and hide the posts. If I could work out how to hide every time her postings on there come up on my news feed without hiding all the other stuff she posts then I would.

MrsDeVere Fri 30-Nov-12 17:23:31

Are you the only facebook friend she has who can spell?

MightTinge Fri 30-Nov-12 19:51:23

It certainly seems that way. Reading her other friends replies made my eyes bleed.

FantasticMax Fri 30-Nov-12 20:32:13

I think this has been a really interesting thread.

My personal opinion is that ideally you shouldn't leave a baby to CIO. But, if you're blessed with one of those babies that screams no matter what then what else are you supposed to do?

A poster further up suggested that slings were invented so that you could look after other children/do housework. Well, yes, that's excellent, but what if you get a baby who screams in a sling too? I know mine did. And as for co-sleeping advice - your baby will sleep once she/he's snuggled into you. Well, again that was shit advice. My baby couldn't give a stuff if I was there or not. It made no difference.

It took me a long time to realise that my baby was more "high needs" than other babies. I would genuinely be astonished at baby groups when I saw more placid babies and wonder where I was going wrong.

I sometimes think the harshest critics of CIO have generally had quite an easy baby. Of course it's easy to judge because you really have no clue what it's like to have a baby who is never content.

FWIW, I generally started finding things easier when DD was 7/8 months, she seemed to calm down a lot.. But when I look at others her age I do still think she's quite a demanding baby. If it wasn't for the fact she sleeps through I think I would be tearing my hair out!

lopopo Fri 30-Nov-12 20:50:07

I don't agree with letting a baby CIO. However if I'm in the car, loo or shower sometimes it can't be helped. But that doesn't mean I would ever ignore my baby if he is distressed and I can easily comfort him. I do get uncomfortable when friends talk about letting their babies cry. I'm lucky - at the moment my 4 month year old can settle himself after a few squawks and is a good sleeper. But when he is upset I come running. I think that's the least I can do for him.

MightTinge Fri 30-Nov-12 20:54:14

Fantastic my first was the same. Screamed all the time. When I put him in a sling, when I put him in my bed, just all the time. My second was easy, never cried. When he was 2 weeks old he went a whole week without crying shock my first wouldnt go more than 30 mins without crying.

So yes, unfortunately you have to let those babies cry a bit. Its not even about 'letting' them cry, its about accepting that you're trying your absolute best but they are crying regardless.

FWIW though the OP is about a otherwise cheerful baby which is going through the seperation anxiety stage, and whether an anxious child should be left.

Scheherezade Fri 30-Nov-12 22:04:56

Agree fantastic last night DS cried from 10-2am, we tried everything, including DP in spare bed and DS in with me. Nothing worked, until I gave up and put him in his cot. He cried for THREE FUCKING MINUTES and slept till 8am. After FOUR FUCKING HOURS complaining.

He literally cries every day when its time for me to wash, dress. We eat together, with him on my knee. He hates the pram and gets carried.

If I never let him cry we would both be hungry, cold and dirty. DP has organised flexi time so he comes home in the day to let me cook, eat, go to the toilet occasionally.

I am not an ignorant, ill educated child abuser with a heart of stone. If you had a child like my DS, you would understand.

Cbh1978 Fri 30-Nov-12 22:16:17

We always meet our son's crying needs (he is now 11mths). We also co-sleep - one of the best parenting decisions we have made.
He gets anxious when his other mum goes out of the room,clearly not appreciating that I did all that hard work in labour etc., but she is his full-time carer. Still, hurts a bit sometimes that he always prefers her to me, but equally creates nice balance in our parenting.
IMO, (and that of people with more 'knowledge'), babies who realise that crying gets them nowhere are babies who realise they are not worth the attention of those who love them most. We are the products if the Dr Spock generations. No wonder we are all so insecure!
On this issue, try the book 'Three in a Bed'. It's about co-sleeping mainly but provides good arguments against the 'cry it out' theorists.

Cbh1978 Fri 30-Nov-12 22:18:54

Scheherezade, I had one of those. Not sure how old your son is, but ours cried most of the day for about three months in the early days. Not fun times... Is he quite young?

Cbh1978 Fri 30-Nov-12 22:20:18

Actually, think it was longer than three months. It is still a blur....!

Scheherezade Fri 30-Nov-12 22:38:58

He was actually very easy till he reached 4/5months old. 6-10 months old was q serious nightmare, he is getting easier, though worse in the pram.

Cbh1978 Fri 30-Nov-12 23:25:42

Phew! Glad things are getting easier. It is really hard. My mum said she would have thrown him out of the window if he had been hers. Needless to say, she has never volunteered to look after him. Would I let her? ;-) Our son is the only baby I know to have been like this. Cranial osteopathy helped loads early on. Needless to say, it was all his frustrated genius. ;-)

Cbh1978 Fri 30-Nov-12 23:28:31

And we had the same pram/pushchair issue too. It is different now, he started walking as he turned ten months and now wants to walk everywhere. Easier on the back but very time consuming. Have to say, he is less frustrated since walking. Good luck. I share what you are going through!

Scheherezade Fri 30-Nov-12 23:32:19

Yes, it got easier when he could crawl, and will be much easier once he's walking I think, especially for out and about. He just gets bored and frustrated I think, can't really blame him for that.

Scheherezade Fri 30-Nov-12 23:33:46

p.s. thanks! Nice to know someone understands.

And yes, I console myself with knowing its obviously a sign of being wonderfully clever wink

rainrainandmorerain Fri 30-Nov-12 23:52:22

There is ALL the difference in the world between putting a crying baby down or keeping a wailing toddler at bay because you HAVE TO (hello, norovirus - yes, I do need to run to the toilet quickly and it is best done without a child in tow) - and DELIBERATELY leaving them because you think they are 'getting' at you, trying to manipulate you, and so it's up to you to 'show 'em who's boss' etc.

It is inevitable that my toddler will bang his head on a table edge, accidentally. This doesn't mean it is fine for me to beat him round the head with a lump of wood.

I think a lot of this labelling of babies as scheming manipulative creatures is done to justify parental behaviour when stressed. I can remember feeling so upset and frustrated and downright angry sometimes when my baby ds woke me up yet again in the night for a feed. It really was hard. But I didn't decide that he was a nasty little shit, so I was going to damn well leave him to cry and see if I care etc etc.

I said earlier that labelling babies as manipulative creatures who need to be taught lessons made my skin crawl. It's because it reminds me of what abusers say about the children they abuse. 'She knew what she was doing/he led me on' etc. They are projecting and adult sexuality and behaviour onto children when it is wholly inappropriate. I feel the same way when I hear someone talking about a 6 month old baby 'knowing how to wind you up' or 'just crying for attention' etc. I just want to shout 'NO. THEY ARE A BABY. LET THEM BE A BABY.'

rainrainandmorerain Sat 01-Dec-12 00:01:20

And separation anxiety is a stage. I have seen it coincide with children starting nursery, which of course is really tough for all concerned, and unfortunate timing. The reality of some parents lives just doesn't allow flexibility there.

But really - if you knew your seven year old, or thirteen year old, or fifteen year old was anxious and and unhappy, and really wanted reassurance that you as a parent were 'there for them' - who would deliberately shun them, to 'teach them a lesson'? or to show them you won't come when they want you? Why does anyone think it's ok to do that to a baby?

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 01-Dec-12 00:31:59

I have no personal experience of this myself OP,but do know that my parents would leave me to cry occasionally,though not sure how young I was. Probably about 10 months - 1 year. If I was fed,warm,clean,not unwell and just screaming they would leave me for 5/10 minutes to cry it out then come back and check on me. If I was still upset they would obviously comfort me. More often than not I was asleep...I used to fight it.

Still do at the grand age of 24. I think (hope) I am a fairly well rounded adult,certainly have a good relationship with my parents.

I think leaving a baby to cry for a long time consistently is probably going to be detrimental though. I don't think babies attention seek but lots really hate and fight going to sleep and maybe need to be left for 5 minutes. But I'm not a mum yet,so don't know how I'll feel when it's my child crying. All hypothetical at this point.

rainrainandmorerain Sat 01-Dec-12 00:40:13

just to point out - babies and children do have emotional needs. Please be aware that when you say things like they are clean, warm, fed, not unwell and just screaming, there is a whole other dimension to their wellbeing.

Scheherezade Sat 01-Dec-12 00:41:31

That's absolutely spot on alis let him have 5/10 minutes to shout, he fights sleep also. He has never, ever dropped off anywhere, I find he screams longer/harder if I'm holding him. My friends baby fell asleep in her highchair in front of me once, my face was just shock

Alisvolatpropiis Sat 01-Dec-12 00:48:52

Oh I know they do rain but I suppose by 10 months parents mostly know how their baby is in terms of tiredness,wanting to play,needing to be held. My anecdote was only relating to babies who fight sleep really.

MightTinge Sat 01-Dec-12 06:05:58

But you do realise the OP is about a baby suffering seperation anxiety not one whos crying for the hell of it/needs to sleep.

CailinDana Sat 01-Dec-12 06:59:26

What rain said. Exactly.

MrsJamin Sat 01-Dec-12 07:12:40

I hate those facebook status updates that turn into lots of people giving bad advice. Instead of starting a personal argument I normally private message the person saying what I think if it's very different to the rest of the advice. Poor woman, if the child is 10 years then that's one thing, but 10 months! Cuddle them and let them know you are there. DS2 has bad separation anxiety and he's just about becoming more independent at nearly 3.

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