For not wanting to be judged by my MIL for leaving my baby to cry?

(418 Posts)
roses2 Sat 04-May-13 15:51:56

Me and DH are living with his parents at the moment and we have a 4 month old DS.

I have my DS on a feeding schedule which works well. He is gaining weight steadily and seems happy in between feeds.

I like to have DS sit in his push chair with us at the dinner table while we eat so he can socialise with us. He cries quite often wanting to be picked up, more so when MIL is there because he knows she will pick him up. He doesn't cry when it's just me and DH because he knows we won't pick him up.

Me and DH know the difference between when he is hungry, wanting attention, tired etc.

Last week, DS was crying at the table. MIL got upset and told me if I was going to leave him to cry then put him in the other room. So now I put him in front of the tv while we eat. He cries for a few minutes then stops.

Last night he was crying a lot in front of the tv. Then MIL went into a rant by telling he is crying because he is in pain or hungry because babies don't cry for no reason and I should top him up with a bottle because I don't have enough milk (not true at all, I can still squirt milk out my boob when he takes himself off). As soon as I went to pick him up, he stopped crying which I think proves my point he just wanted attention.

I'm really upset with her as no matter what I do, I just can't seem to win. I try to eat with him at the table but he cries and she doesn't like it. I put him in the other room, he cries and she doesn't like it.

I was so upset last night I spent the whole night crying. DH supports me fully and told her off. All I want is to eat my dinner without having to shove it down my throat to attend to DS because she gets upset when he cries.

Not really sure what I'm looking for here but just wanted to have a rant.

It's our first row, normally we get on better than me and my own mum.

HungryClocksGoBackFourSeconds Sat 04-May-13 15:55:07

Tell her she's welcome to hold him if she wants.

HollyBerryBush Sat 04-May-13 15:56:18

Well, I would find it very off putting having a crying baby when I wanted to eat. I'd go so far as to say, it would give me ulcers! A babies cry is designed to get your attention.

Babies cry to communicate - wet, cold, hot, hungry, tired, in pain and so forth. At 4 months they are crying for something.

Euphemia Sat 04-May-13 15:56:28


Your baby is too young to be left to cry. Your MIL is right - he needs something. He needs attention, not to be ignored.

She is unreasonable to comment on your feeding. Stick to your guns on the breastfeeding.

It's stressful to hear a baby cry when it's not your own so I'm not surprised MIL gets annoyed by it. I would!

5318008 Sat 04-May-13 15:56:52

we did a kind of two sittings at mealtimes - I would hold the baby whilst DH ate then we would swap, or the other way around if I fancied hot food for a change

I couldn't be hearing my baby cry for want of a cuddle

We also did cue feeding, rather than scheduling feeds, I couldn't be doing the Oh my the baby's crying and now my let down has happened.

So on reflection YABU to not arrange for someone to hold the baby during mealtimes

OTheHugeManatee Sat 04-May-13 15:57:00

Why not just pick him up? What's so wrong with a 4-month-old baby wanting a cuddle?


Bearcrumble Sat 04-May-13 15:57:58

4 month old babies need lots of cuddles. I would be upset having to share a house with someone who left their tiny infant to cry in front of the tv.

I'm sure you aren't doing this maliciously but I think you should find out more for yourself about babies and their development. The book 'The science of parenting' would be a good start.

Kubalai Sat 04-May-13 15:59:24

Of course he cries 'for attention' and wants to be held. I would far rather hold him than hear him cry too.

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 15:59:43

YABU! I would judge you too.

How can you sit and eat while your little baby cries for you?

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sat 04-May-13 16:00:32

I'm with your MIL. Your baby is 4 months not 4 years. There's nothing wrong with crying for attention. How would you feel if you were sad and lonely and wanted a cuddle, but your DH completely ignored you?

magimedi Sat 04-May-13 16:01:00

And maybe MIL dosn't want to eat her meal whilst listening to a baby cry. It is her house, after all.

MsElisaDay Sat 04-May-13 16:01:01

YABU. We took it in turns to hold DS if he was crying at mealtimes.
Leaving such a new baby to cry is just cruel.

Tailtwister Sat 04-May-13 16:01:04

I'm afraid I would have to pick him up too. I often ate whilst holding mine at the same age.

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 16:01:22

You seem to want to punish your baby for "wanting attention". Crying is the only way he has to communicate with you, he is completely dependent and helpless.

It is horrible listening to a distressed baby.

HumphreyCobbler Sat 04-May-13 16:03:13

Lord, if he is crying for attention, then give him some attention! He is a baby.

I am with your MIL.

rubyslippers Sat 04-May-13 16:03:24

If he's frying for attention that's fine

That's how babies communicate

You can't spoil him by cuddling him

GoingUpInTheWorld Sat 04-May-13 16:03:42

At 4 months old, hes far too young to have learnt that your mil will pick him up if he cries.

She is being very unreasonable commenting on your milk supply.

But to be fair, if a baby was crying whilst i was eating, i wouldnt be able to eat.

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 16:04:23

YABU. What's wrong with giving your baby attention when he cries? And you put him in another room to let him cry to himself? How old is your baby? Breastfeeding on demand is recommended not on a routine. Babies are not robots. They get hungry, needy, tired, scared, etc...#

Tee2072 Sat 04-May-13 16:04:28

Your wrong. She's right. Pick up your crying baby FFS.

apachepony Sat 04-May-13 16:04:36

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Maryz Sat 04-May-13 16:04:43

I couldn't sit and eat while listening to a crying child.

I just couldn't.

I think you need to either let your mil hold the baby while you eat in peace (do you all have to eat together) or move out.

roses2 Sat 04-May-13 16:05:12

So many people seriously don't leave their baby to cry? Unless you all have maids, I can't see how you would be able to shower, cook food, do the laundry etc.

Totally agree with your MIL, a 4 month old is too young to be left to cry if there is not a good reason to do so. Could you not try putting him in a sling to eat? That's what DH and I did with DD, it made meal times so much easier

ImTooHecsyForYourParty Sat 04-May-13 16:05:22

Well, she's right. Babies don't cry for no reason.

They cry because it is their only form of communication.

When they cry it is because they have a need that they need to be met.

Sometimes it is food, sometimes it is a nappy, sometimes they are in pain, sometimes it is simple parental contact. They may not understand what they are feeling (hungry, thirsty, sore, vulnerable, scared, lonely, in need of a cuddle, etc) but they feel it so they cry because that's how nature has ensured that they are cared for!

A parent may choose to not respond for whatever reason - they have a routine, they are teaching them that crying doesn't bring a parent, whatever, but yes, babies always cry for a reason. So don't fool yourself that your baby cries for no reason. What you choose to do is of course up to you.

turkeyboots Sat 04-May-13 16:05:38

I'm with your MiL too.

Shower - I showered on an evening when DH was home, cooking and cleaning either was left until we were both at home or DD was in a sling.

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 16:06:22

I ate a full English bfast this morning while bfing my 1 year old! I understand you are living with your MIL but baby comes first.

Maryz Sat 04-May-13 16:06:49

Roses, there is a difference in leaving him for a few minutes while you grab a shower, do a pee, get dressed, whatever.

And actually listening to him cry at every meal which seems to be what you are talking about.

why don't you let your MIL pick him and hold him while you eat? I would hate to eat with a baby crying, I understand you want a break but if someone else want to hold him why would you say no?

I'm with everyone else.

notnowbernard Sat 04-May-13 16:07:33

Id want someone to pick him up as well

Me, DP, MIL.... Wouldn't care who just not nice to have a baby crying as the soundtrack to the evening meal

How can he be 'socialising' with you at the table if he's screaming at you?! confused

HollyBerryBush Sat 04-May-13 16:07:51

So many people seriously don't leave their baby to cry? Unless you all have maids, I can't see how you would be able to shower, cook food, do the laundry

When they are asleep.

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 16:08:02

Most people don't leave their baby to cry unless they really can't help it.

Shower - when the baby is napping, or take the baby into the bathroom in a chair so they can at least see you.
Cooking - again, when the baby is napping/when someone else is around to hold the baby/in a sling on your back/in a chair in the kitchen so you can at least talk to and reassure it
Laundry - ditto

Very few people would choose to listen to their baby crying for them when they didn't have to.

Mnetter111 Sat 04-May-13 16:08:31

have you tried putting him in a baby arrived while you eat or eating when he's napping? Also, if MIL isn't supportive,you need to bring forward the plans to move out. Fwiw everyone has different opinions on baby things, I agree with people saying he needs attention but I know it's hard when you can't even finish a meal in peace, I'd think about eating while he's napping.

oinkment Sat 04-May-13 16:09:04

When you were so upset that you cried all night did everyone just ignore you and leave you to get on with it?

CrowsLanding Sat 04-May-13 16:09:04

I agree with everyone else and your mil.
Why can you not feed him whilst you are eating?

Mnetter111 Sat 04-May-13 16:09:36

Sorry baby carrier don't know how iPad got baby arrived!

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 16:10:01

Do you feel anything when he cries - like a desire to comfort him? Or does the crying just irritate/frustrate you?

Just wondering if maybe there is something else going on here like depression?

there is a difference between leaving the baby to cry because you have to go to the toilet, finish cooking something ect than sitting at a table listening to him cry

drinkyourmilk Sat 04-May-13 16:10:49

Another that would cuddle.
However I am not you. Only you know what works for you and your family. Do you object to your mil holding your lo? If so then is it possible for baby to rest in his bed at suppertime?

Patchouli Sat 04-May-13 16:11:46

Oh. I really thought this was a funny thread - it's got everything: MIL, leave to cry, TV
I guess it's real then.

roses, you're lucky in your house-there's you, DH and MIL: your baby doesn't need to be left alone, crying, very often while you eat/shower/cook etc.

YABU. My mind is boggling at the thought of a 4 month old baby crying in his pram pushed to the table while the adults try to eat! It's madness. And then you put him in another room to cry while you eat? Come on. Someone pick the baby up! Your baby needs attention. They don't only cry because they are hungry or tired, babies have more needs than physical. I would be very uncomfortable trying to eat a meal with a crying baby in the vicinity that nobody was attending to.

apachepony Sat 04-May-13 16:12:29

Yep, shower, cook and laundry generally when baby happy on playmat or bouncer, or when dh at home. When baby was younger and not happy to be left down, laundry with baby in sling, shower when dh at home, cooking - dh did it! Occasionally of course baby left to cry for a moment when something has to be done first but cannot imagine trying to enjoy a meal with my baby crying!

noblegiraffe Sat 04-May-13 16:12:35

I've got a 3.5 month old, I shower when she's asleep. If she's crying I pick her up, if we're having dinner and she cries I will cuddle her while my DH eats, then we swap.

If she is crying and I want to do laundry, I put her in a sling, or I wait till she's asleep.

She's quite happy under her baby gym in the mornings so I do some tidying up while she plays. But if she started crying, I'd stop and go to her.

HollyBerryBush Sat 04-May-13 16:12:42

I sincerely hope your DH is going to apologise to his mother for 'telling her off' seeing as you now have a majority opinion MIL was correct with her comments. Not to mention you are accepting her hospitality.

catgirl1976 Sat 04-May-13 16:12:49

I'm sorry but I also think you are being U

We did CC which gets a flaming on here, but that was at 10 months and just at bedtime and lasted 3 nights

We did (and still do) cuddle him whenever else he cried

4 months in tiny - too young to be left

DH and I took it in turns to eat. I grabbed a quick shower when DH had him or when he was asleep. Same with laundry etc

seeker Sat 04-May-13 16:12:52

If you don't want to be judged by your MIL, I'll do it instead if you like.......

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 16:13:16

FYI Your baby might be hungry as there is a major developmental growth spurt at 4 months. Agree with your MIL 100%

WheresMrMonkey Sat 04-May-13 16:13:46

He just wants a cuddle in no way at all is he manipulating you, please think what he is feeling when he cries out


Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 16:14:25
IsThatTrue Sat 04-May-13 16:14:26

I can't leave ds2 to cry, he's 5months. If that means my house is a shit pit until DH gets home so be it. I shower when there's another adult around/if DH is away I shower early in the morning while ds2 naps. He rarely wakes during the 10mins it takes me.

I also spend a lot of time with him in the sling. But we both love that so it's not a problem.

I'm with your mil tbh. Babies need cuddles.

claremp7 Sat 04-May-13 16:14:44

I personally wouldn't let my DD cry. I'm breast feeding and feeding on demand. I'm not saying your MIL is right or wrong because it is your baby but as I've said I wouldn't do it. I suppose if your under someone else's roof you should respect them and their feelings. If when your son is older will you let your MIL discipline your son?
Its a question I've been asking myself so I don't know the answer.
I'm sorry I probably haven't helped at all!!!

notnowbernard Sat 04-May-13 16:14:59

Of course there are occasions when young babies have to cry... Anyone with more than 1 DC can tell you that

But why you'd voluntarily leave one to scream when you don't have to - I don't get at all

I'd get indigestion

ChunkyChicken Sat 04-May-13 16:15:26

Sorry but YABU.

I say this as a mum to a (just) 3yo DD & v nearly 6mo DS. DH & I have to stagger our eating to have DS on our lap if he's grumpy (& he rarely gets to crying tbh as I just cannot listen to crying without feeling frantic/pressured/miserable, which puts me off my meal anyway!). Add to that dealing with our DD, I figure we just have to deal with not having a hot meal in 1 go for a few years, unless the dc are babysat. As long as both you & DH are taking turns in not eating, its a small price to pay for a content baby.

If you really can't tolerate not eating, any not MIL pick him up? She's the one not eating then & baby is happy.

Do stick to your guns about bfing though, as you will have enough milk, but personally, I wouldn't 'schedule' feeds, as that can affect supply. Plus 4mths is growth spurt territory, so he may he crying from hunger....

catgirl1976 Sat 04-May-13 16:15:33

Oh - sometimes I would put him in his bouncy chair in the bathroom whilst I showered

Singing to him would normally help if he got teary...if not, I got out.

JollyPurpleGiant Sat 04-May-13 16:15:43

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DontmindifIdo Sat 04-May-13 16:16:14

Yep, babies at that age need attention - they are crying for a reason. You hold them when they need to have attention, if that's all, if a cuddle doesn't work, then it means they are trying to tell you something else. (either hungry, or hot or cold or wet or in pain etc).

Anyway, as for cooking and cleaning and showering, at 4 months isn't your DC sleeping for about 4 hours during the day plus at night? You do it then, or put them in a sling.

When DS was that age, I showered after DH had got ready before he went to work, so he'd cuddle DS for 20 minutes - this has the added bonus of ensuring you're not one of those mums who get to 11am and still haven't got round to showering and cleaning their teeth, being at least showered, dressed with clean teeth (if not actually done anythign with my hair or put makeup on) by 7:30am always made me feel like I was at least able to cope with the morning.

nennypops Sat 04-May-13 16:16:22

I find it really sad that he's already learning that he can't rely on his mother and father for love and attention. Seriously, you need to reverse that, fast.

madamecake Sat 04-May-13 16:16:53

YABU. When dd was that age I either showered when DH was home, or bought her into the bathroom with me in her baby seat. Same with making lunch etc.
Your DS is crying for attention because he NEEDS your attention, please pick him up or let your mil pick him up.

Floggingmolly Sat 04-May-13 16:16:56

He doesn't cry when it's just me and DH because he knows we won't pick him up. sad.
He's a four month old baby.
I would raise the depression question too.

BearsInMotion Sat 04-May-13 16:17:35

FWIW We used to put DD in a bouncer while we ate, bounced her with one foot while eating. I miss those days of her wanting cuddles all the time, now she 15 months and too busy! But, sorry, another YABU, just too little to be left to cry sad

LemonsLimes Sat 04-May-13 16:18:13

A baby's need for attention and cuddles is as much of a need as his need for milk and sleep.

He doesn't cry when it's just me and DH because he knows we won't pick him up. Poor kid. sad

purrpurr Sat 04-May-13 16:18:33

The reason you have stated in your OP for having your four month old child at the table whilst you eat was so he could socialise with you. So presumably the baby is not being fed at that time? What is the baby getting from this, other than being in a highchair unable to amuse himself, play with anything, interact with anyone?

I've been a guest at many family meals where the baby's needs were placed above the needs of 8 adults. The baby's 'needs' at mealtimes were to sit nicely in a highchair whilst we ate, ostensibly to socialise. Babies can't 'sit nicely'. The baby was confused and upset, and would begin to cry, which would be met with surprise, panic and upset each time - why is the baby crying? Oh but what's wrong with her? Oh poor baby! etc. Every time. That reaction is at least better than what you're doing. I don't get it at all.

catgirl1976 Sat 04-May-13 16:18:35

God I remember going out for meals and one of us holding the baby, starting longingly at the others starter, which they were bolting down so we could swap around

fizzzness Sat 04-May-13 16:18:47

Master the art if eating one handed whilst breastfeeding. A widget cushion will help. Then everyone's happy.

A four hour feeding schedule is likely to producing a hungry baby at four months, as it's classic growth spurt time and if you're breastfeeding your supply is also changing too, due to post natal hormones changing and babies often feed more to increase and regulate supply. So if you're leaving him to cry, make sure he's not hungry. Four months is also the classic time for a baby getting ready to be interested in solid food, so don't exclude him from mealtimes.

TheRealFellatio Sat 04-May-13 16:19:08

Perhaps she's sick of trying to eat her dinner in peace while your baby screams his head off and you ignore him while you eat.

I could not have done that - I would have sat mine on my lap and ate, or waited until they were asleep.

He cries quite often wanting to be picked up, more so when MIL is there because he knows she will pick him up. I'm not sure I believe this. I don't think that at four months old he could be quite that conniving.

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Sat 04-May-13 16:19:34

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Doubtfuldaphne Sat 04-May-13 16:19:37

It makes me sad to think the baby might be hungry or feeling like he needs a hug but he's being ignored sad
I know it must be stressful living with your il's with a baby but I think your mil is right on this one. We would take it turns to hold or feed dd at dinner time and at 4 months she did have a big growth spurt and needed lots of extra milk.

You say he wants attention like it's a bad thing confused

As soon as I went to pick him up, he stopped crying which I think proves my point he just wanted attention

So give him attention! This is insane.

Fakebook Sat 04-May-13 16:22:29

Yabvu and (shock horror) I agree with your MIL.

4 month old BABIES don't attention seek malevolently . They need reassurance that their parents will be there for them when they're not happy.

Wth is wrong with people....

GoingUpInTheWorld Sat 04-May-13 16:23:30

I dont mean to be rude but you do sound abit of a "know it all" but also uneducated with babies at the same time.

Geckoandthemonkey Sat 04-May-13 16:24:16

Agree with above poster. Buy a bouncer for baby and rock it with your foot while you (v. quickly) eat dinner and perhaps smile and stroke his head every now and again to keep crying at bay. Worked with my dcs or if necessary bf and eat one handed if MIL is not around.

ChilliJo Sat 04-May-13 16:25:14

YABVU. Your baby is 4 months old. I'll cuddle him.

LittleMissGerardButlerfan Sat 04-May-13 16:25:49

I managed by putting them in the bouncer chair in the bathroom doorway while I had a shower, and we had our meals either while they were asleep, or in the same room as us in their bouncer chair or on the play mat where they were happy.

You cannot spoil a baby with too much love, and if I was sat at a table with a baby crying I couldn't enjoy my meal, I would have to pick it up and cuddle it even if that meant eating with one hand so I can see where your MIL is coming from.

Therefore YABU.

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 04-May-13 16:27:24

Why can u not eat holding him? One hand fork, one hand baby? What's so blooming complicated u cannot work that answer out?

What is so bu about a baby wishing to be held by its mother? Or someone?

Are u intending to be strange?

Thingiebob Sat 04-May-13 16:29:37

Hi, I'm sorry our MIL has upset you so much. It must be hard living with someone judging your parenting skills.

The prob is that when a baby that young cries, they ARE asking for attention. They NEED attention and you have to fit this into your life. If he is not occupied a toy then he probably wants to be close to the action in a nice safe cuddle. You should try an accommodate this need when you can. It'll only be a few more months before he is busy with his own food!

cranverry Sat 04-May-13 16:29:54

Next time your baby is crying please pick him up. 4 months is so, so little and you'll be out of this phase before you know it. In the meantime take turns in eating with 2 hands or have him in your knee. Ask your mil to babysit if you and your H want to have an uninterrupted meal together.
YABU to let your baby cry on his own plonked in front of the TV. YABU to have a go at your mil who is probably pretty upset at the sound of her grandchild crying on his own.

So many people seriously don't leave their baby to cry? Unless you all have maids, I can't see how you would be able to shower, cook food, do the laundry etc.

No. Actually I have 3 children, one of them autistic and the baby has an orthopeadic brace, a dog and a husband who works a 60 hour week and I do all of those things without leaving my baby to cry. Controlled crying is fine in the right context but a 4 month old is too young to understand that you haven't just abandoned them. Please stop doing this. Poor baby sad

pickledginger Sat 04-May-13 16:30:39

He's 4 months old. What's wrong with picking him up if he's crying for attention???

Your MIL is 100% right and much more restrained than I could be.

pickledginger Sat 04-May-13 16:30:59

Not about topping up obviously.

Sparklyboots Sat 04-May-13 16:31:10

Sorry, OP, I'm with the rest of the thread. 'Attention' is a valid need for your baby, not a strategy to manipulate you.

It seems unusual that you don't want to respond to this, are you okay? You've said that you feel you can't do anything right - are there things at play here? Even the nicest PiLs would probably be quite hard to live with just after giving birth. Do you have your own family and friends around? It might feel easier to meet your DS' s needs if you felt fully supported and as if others were thinking of your needs right now?

GoingUpInTheWorld Sat 04-May-13 16:31:15


Are you related to the op?

Our mil?

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 04-May-13 16:32:43

"So many people seriously don't leave their baby to cry? Unless you all have maids, I can't see how you would be able to shower, cook food, do the laundry etc."

Pfb by any chance? Look we've all been there for a few mins thinking ' all I want is five mins for a pee, shower, rinse hair, dishwasher etc' they are content and safe for a few mins in a bouncy chair. I drag thing all over house. Dd2 bounces happily and I do my job like a working dervish then cuddle.

But to sit through an entire meal with it screaming? That's just weird.

pickledginger Sat 04-May-13 16:32:46

I find it hard to understand how you can come to the conclusion that leaving your baby to cry is a good thing. People disagree about controlled crying for sleep, but this isn't about sleep. You're actually leaving your baby to cry because?

Wishiwasanheiress Sat 04-May-13 16:33:19


Fairylea Sat 04-May-13 16:33:36

I spent the first 6 months of dinners eating one handed or bouncing ds / dd in a vibrating baby bouncer whilst they sucked on a dummy! After that I started bedtime routine at 5.30/6 and until they were toddlers we have always eaten and cooked dinner for us once they were in bed. Otherwise it's just impossible to eat comfortably!

I feel sorry for your baby and your mil.

You should take turns to eat whilst one ofyou deals with the baby. I don't know how anyone can relax enough to eat hearing a baby cry.

MrsHoarder Sat 04-May-13 16:34:31

At 4 months I did most tasks with ds watching from his vibrating bouncy chair which he loved and cured constipation. But I aimed to teach him that he wasn't imprisoned and always picked him up when he cried, even if it meant someone had a cold dinner.

Meals were eaten quickly and were very basic for a while so I could whip them up quickly. Things like stew from diced meat and pre-chopped veg. Or I'd wait until dh got home then he'd hold ds whilst I cooked.

DoctorRobert Sat 04-May-13 16:34:53

pick the poor baby up ffs.

Thingiebob Sat 04-May-13 16:35:13

Sorry! Spelling mistake. Your not our.

GoingUpInTheWorld Sat 04-May-13 16:35:27

Because she wanted to eat her meal in peace.

Sorry thats a luxury when you have a baby.

Many of times i ve left my meal uneaten to attend to dd and then had to bin the meal.

Thats what happened to my xmas dinner!

IsItMeOr Sat 04-May-13 16:35:34

I don't think we expected to be able to sit down together for an evening meal uninterrupted at anything like that age. Mostly we ate after DS had gone for a sleep, or ate in shifts while the other held the baby.

We did have one of those bouncer chairs, which he sometimes liked, and definitely my nieces and nephews have liked. So maybe you need to be doing something to entertain him (not tv - that's not going to be engaging for long for a 4mo), if you're not expecting to be holding him?

Fairylea Sat 04-May-13 16:36:28

By the way if you're feeding to a schedule and he's crying then he's not happy, maybe offer more feeds whenever he cries ... I'd always offer a feed first and then change and then a checklist.

The common advice now is feed on demand regardless of formula or breastfeeding.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 04-May-13 16:36:35

My 13 week old occasionally has to be left while I deal with one of the other dcs but FFS unless you are doing something urgent why leave him to cry? I wouldn't be able to eat my dinner while he was sat in front of the tv crying

Beamur Sat 04-May-13 16:36:56

OP's gone quiet..

IsItMeOr Sat 04-May-13 16:37:31

Also, while you don't have a maid, living in a household with 4 adults, I find it hard to believe that you have many times when you can't cook, wash, pee etc without somebody being able to hold the baby for a bit...

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 04-May-13 16:38:48

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princessnumber2 Sat 04-May-13 16:38:54

Four months old means eating hot food fast and getting indigestion or eating it cold and congealed. I recommend doing food that can be eaten either immediately or at any point over the next few hours without going rank.

Everyone eating in a civilised way with a four month old is unrealistic and if you have similar ideas elsewhere in your life you may be setting yourself up for frustration and maybe even depression.

midori1999 Sat 04-May-13 16:39:18

He doesn't cry when it's just me and DH because he knows we won't pick him up

You think that's a good thing? He's already learnt at 4 months old that you won't come when he needs you? At 4 months old, wanting attention is a very real need. Thank goodness in your MIL he feels he has someone he can trust, but you want to destroy that for him. sad

You just have to accept that having a child means your life will change and in the early months that means fitting meals, showers, housework etc around them.

It's also very probable he in hungry and not feeding him on demand may well affect your milk supply negatively.

milkysmum Sat 04-May-13 16:40:07

4 months old- really???? You could either eat in shifts or hold baby and eat and same time it's not difficult! Really really is nothing wrong with a little tiny baby wanting 'attention' you say it as though there is something wrong with this confused

Cuddlydragon Sat 04-May-13 16:41:04

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Bananapickle Sat 04-May-13 16:41:21

Is there anyway you could eat once he's gone to bed or is asleep between feeds if you don't have a bedtime yet?

That would surely be a better solution then your MIL getting annoyed and you leaving your baby to cry.

I'm sure my DD was asleep at around 7 at that age before her feed at 1030 so you could all sit down to eat then maybe.

PeneloPeePitstop Sat 04-May-13 16:42:28

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Hawkmoth Sat 04-May-13 16:43:36

What does your baby like watching on tv?

NoWayPedro Sat 04-May-13 16:44:24

Sorry OP, agree with everyone else YABU sad

8.5 mo DD here. We had a bedtime of around 6.30-7pm or thereabouts at that age so we ate dinner in peace after she went to bed. Before that we took it in turns to hold her or ate with one hand or whilst she was chilling in a bouncer. There's enough hands so give the baby a cuddle, will was way less stressful for everyone.

I do housework when baby is asleep or it doesn't get done.

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CoteDAzur Sat 04-May-13 16:46:20

Put your baby to sleep for the night before you sit down for dinner.

4-month-old babies don't "socialize" with adults at dinner time.

You clearly don't know that much about what is reasonable re babies. If you are not willing to listen to MIL's advice, find yourself some friends with babies of similar age.

ImNotCute Sat 04-May-13 16:47:19

Hi OP, I agree your baby needs to be picked up and cuddled, but you don't need yet another person to tell you that!

It can't be easy for you learning to be a mum while living with your PILs, I wouldn't have liked it. But I think this time your mil is right actually. I hope it's not too upsetting to be told this so unanimously by mumsnet. I'm sure you're a good mum, but maybe you should accept eating in shifts is the reality for many with a young baby. You'll all be more relaxed without crying in the background and it won't be like this much longer.

VodkaJelly Sat 04-May-13 16:47:41

My DD is 4 months old, when it is dinner time she is put on her play mat and we eat our meals, if she cries I put my dinner down and cuddle her until either DP or one of my other DC's have finished when they can take over and I can finish my cold meal.

My meal is not more important than my DD's happiness. I would never leave her to cry, if she wants attention then she gets it.

If the house is a shit tip, laundry needs doing then it waits until either DP or my DC's get home (they are teenagers) to watch her or I wait till she is asleep.

She likes to sleep in till about 8.30 in the morning so I grab a shower before then. My routine fits round hers, not the other way round.

I actually feel sorry for your baby.

BabbleBitch Sat 04-May-13 16:47:49

Last night when you spent the whole night crying did your DH ignore you and put you in another room and not give you the attention you wanted? You seem to think that it is ok to do that to your DS!

Thumbtack Sat 04-May-13 16:51:48

Agree with everyone sad really hope you read the thread and not run away upset. Please pick your baby up with crying

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 04-May-13 16:52:18

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aufaniae Sat 04-May-13 16:53:14

There is no way I could leave my baby to cry while eating! If he's crying for a cuddle then he needs a cuddle. Please, cuddle him!

"So many people seriously don't leave their baby to cry? Unless you all have maids, I can't see how you would be able to shower, cook food, do the laundry etc."

Shower: When Ds was litt;e I put the baby in the bouncy chair, in the bathroom so I can keep watch while I wash (quickly!).

Cook: DP does main meals. If I have to cook it's easy, quick stuff (3 minute pasta parcels & ready made sauce) which I try to do while the baby sleeps.

Eating: I eat, quickly while holding the baby more often than not. I often eat cold dinner. I don't mind, it's not forever!

Tea: I don't make myself tea if no one else about. When DS was small, I never managed to drink a tea while anything more than lukewarm, for about 5 months! Again, I didn't mind, it's only a short time in the scheme of things. I've managed a few already with DD (2 weeks old) so I must be getting better at multitasking!

Laundry: Do it while DD sleeps. Also have machine with timer, can put it on late at night, timed to start in the morning.

FWIW I don't think you're a terrible mother! But you do need to rethink this Why do you think that your baby asking for a cuddle should be ignored? Haven't you ever felt like you need a cuddle?

YABU. My dd is 4 months and no way could I leave her to cry. So what if he wants a cuddle? I never left DS to cry either, and at 2, he's a happy, well adjusted, independent little boy.

I really hope you are listening to us OP. Not one person has said that ya*N*bu, and with good reason. If there is another issue here and you feel disconnected from your baby or something then please get help. Otherwise, please just take the advice you have been given. Yes we may all find it hard not to judge, but we really are trying to help and so is your MIL.

thegreylady Sat 04-May-13 16:55:32

Agree exactly with LookingForward-your baby will soon learn that no one will respond when he cries-what a bitter lesson at only four months old sad
I have eaten meals with a baby on my lap and done housework with a grandchild in a sling.I don't think I went to the loo alone for years unless the dc/dgc were sleeping.Your poor poor mil her heart must be breaking to see the baby treated like that.

pickledginger Sat 04-May-13 16:58:21

If this is genuine, the OP has probably gotten the message now.

EasilyBored Sat 04-May-13 16:59:57

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quoteunquote Sat 04-May-13 17:00:43

sad FFS pick up your baby.

Do not leave a baby to cry, it is wrong, bad and very very sad.

Fucking hate these threads, who the fuck started the leave your baby to cry thing, fucked up in every sense.

Meringue33 Sat 04-May-13 17:00:58

There is something seriously wrong with you if you can listen to your baby cry and not be affected? My little boy is also four months, it breaks my heart to hear him cry. Obviously there are times it can't be avoided, eg when I am driving. Having my dinner or doing the laundry does not take priority over comforting my crying child!! I do those things when he is either asleep, or awake and happy playing/ interacting.

Meringue33 Sat 04-May-13 17:01:51

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EasilyBored Sat 04-May-13 17:02:16

Soppy moment - when he is a toddler and just wants to run around on his own, you will look back and relish every single cuddle and snuggle, even though at the time you just wanted half an hour to yourself.

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 04-May-13 17:02:19

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So many people seriously don't leave their baby to cry? Unless you all have maids, I can't see how you would be able to shower, cook food, do the laundry etc.

I shower either at night when DH is there, when she's sleeping, or with her in her bouncer or bumbo as she likes to watch and listen to me sing badly

I cook at night. Lunches are something quick and easy that can be whipped in a microwave, or a sandwich. Slow cookers are your friend. Baby's naps are your friend.

Laundry - when she's sleeping. At the weekend. At night.

Think you're trying to make this out to be harder than it is.

Maryz Sat 04-May-13 17:05:46

Hang on a second.

Can we just step back here and be a little less judgemental.

The op has a new baby, she sounds quite young, she is having to live in her mil's house and she really sounds under pressure.

Can we stop the name-calling and try to offer supportive advice, not a flaming.

She is doing her best. Even if anyone disagrees with what she is doing there's no need to accuse her of fucking up her son's childhood or calling her names.

And Meringue, that is an extraordinarily stupid thing to say angry

Ps - I took dd to a v fancy restaurant 3 weeks ago. She needed fed, so I fed her, at the table, eating my steak which my friend kindly cut for me as I needed it - you can do amazing things one handed if you need to!

ll31 Sat 04-May-13 17:06:27

Yabu, it's v possible to eat while holding baby.. Your mil is probably v upset at hearing him cry. Don't see how it's a good thing that at four months your son knows his parents ignore him if he's upset.

Tee2072 Sat 04-May-13 17:06:38

I certainly have left my baby to cry, but never for long and not so I can eat.

OP I hope you're learning something here.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 17:07:21

Leaving a baby to cry for a moment while you finish having a wee or whatever is fine. Ignoring a crying baby isn't.

You have a very young child who relies on you for everything. You need to find ways to get things done which put the needs of that child first.

Pobblewhohasnotoes Sat 04-May-13 17:07:50

I'm with your mil, and everyone else.

Your baby is four months old, they have no other way of expressing their needs than crying and yet you seem to think he's doing it on purpose to manipulate you! Pick him up, he wants a cuddle, it's normal.

Oh and when DS was this age we ate separately. One of us holding DS whilst the other ate. Or we'd put him in his bouncy chair and rock it with our feet.

Shower I had when he slept or I put him in his bouncer chair and took him with me.

Cooking, we batched cooked so had lots in the freezer or cooked when he was asleep.

Learn to eat or one handed or eat in shifts. But please pick him up.

conorsrockers Sat 04-May-13 17:08:08

Well, if I'm being honest, if you were a DIL of mine I'd probably react the same. You must be made of tough stuff if you can leave your baby to cry so you can stuff your face! I couldn't eat with that going on...

ll31 Sat 04-May-13 17:08:21

Yabu, it's v possible to eat while holding baby.. Your mil is probably v upset at hearing him cry. Don't see how it's a good thing that at four months your son knows his parents ignore him if he's upset.

PleaseDontEatMyShoe Sat 04-May-13 17:10:36

This is weird. Normally you get OPs saying 'MIL keeps telling me I'm making a rod for my own back, picking up the baby whenever he cries, but he's so little and just wants a cuddle' and we can all pile in and say 'No, no, you're quite right, babies NEED cuddles, they need to know you're there etc' - I don't think I've ever seen one the other way round before. It's made me feel quite sad-for the poor baby, and the MIL who is trying to help her DIL do what comes naturally to most of us sad

quietlysuggests Sat 04-May-13 17:10:46

OP if you are going to have such an unusual approach to parenting, you are probably best off in your own house.
So even if staying with MIL is saving you money you need to move out if you want to continue being so particular and certain that your way is right.
As you now know, your way sounds very cruel and unnecessary to many.

MrsHoarder Sat 04-May-13 17:11:18

Yes, can everyone please read what Maryz just said. Frankly I'm amazed MNHQ has let everything stand so far. We may not be nethuns, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't be civil.

BruthasTortoise Sat 04-May-13 17:12:52

Jeez come on folks! It's not the crime of the century and if, like some posters have suggested, the OP has depression, this thread could send her into a spiral. Suggesting her son should be adopted? Really?

OP it's hard being a new mum, especially if you're not in your own home but use it to your advantage. Let your MIL support you by cuddling baby so you can eat. Sometimes, when we're feeling overwhelmed, we cling onto structure and routine like a lifeboat but with a very little baby you're nearly always better to go with the flow. Feed when he's hungry, sleep when he needs it and cuddles/attention, which is equally important, when he needs that. An apology to/ clearing of the air with your MIL will probably make you feel better too.

conorsrockers Sat 04-May-13 17:13:52

I had a good friend who thought she was really clever with all that - hers were sleeping through at 4 weeks, blah blah blah. We all sat back, smiled and nodded until her kids got to toddlers and other things came into play - and then laughed like drains. They rocked heaven and earth to get her attention, whether they needed it or not. I doubt she'll ever 'fix' that trust that she lost.

aufaniae Sat 04-May-13 17:14:00

"The op has a new baby, she sounds quite young, she is having to live in her mil's house and she really sounds under pressure.

Can we stop the name-calling and try to offer supportive advice, not a flaming."

I agree

pouffepants Sat 04-May-13 17:14:56

I have 3 children, and when they were babies I just kind of assumed that crying was what they did. Of course I checked nappies, fed etc, but if I thought everything was fine then I let them get on with it. I certainly never felt any kind of emotional response to crying, it's only since being on here that I've learnt that's not normal. I'm always amazed when people talk of their heart breaking etc.

All this demonstrates that there is clearly something wrong with me, but on the positive side, my children seem to be doing just fine, so maybe it's not the end of the world.

RooneyMara Sat 04-May-13 17:16:22

Another one here with a 4 month old.

I don't leave him to cry. Maybe for a minute or possibly two but not more than that. If he's crying and I can wait to do whatever it is, I blooming well wait, I'm a grown woman and so are you/

FFS I'm sure you were just taught this load of rubbish by someone so it isn't your fault - you just grew up believing that babies 'only want attention' and that's wrong somehow, well, now's the time to realise that whoever told you that was a twit, and it's a very old fashioned viewpoint tbh and your child needs to be reassured at this age because otherwise he will be miserable.

I hope you understand now. I don't judge you for getting it so wrong, but I would if you knew it was wrong and continued to do it.

She's unreasonable btw for suggesting you top up. Your milk is probably fine.

CharlieMumma Sat 04-May-13 17:17:36

I'm with everyone else I ate everything one handed or me and dp took it in turns no way would I leave ds crying in another room in front of the tv! I wouldn't be happy doing that now and he's 2.3yrs! Pick up the poor thing!

Flojobunny Sat 04-May-13 17:18:01

Babies sleep a lot at this age, you do all those jobs when baby is asleep. You either eat in shifts or as single mum myself, I learnt very quickly to do everything with one hand. You are so lucky that you have a MIL to help you. I had no one and it was a very long and lonely first 6 fact it still is 7 years on. Don't treat your MIL like this, count your blessings and cuddle your baby. In a couple of months your DS will start weaning and then he'll be able to sit at the table and be distracted by the food in front of him, its only a couple of months inconvenience for you.

Maryz Sat 04-May-13 17:19:21

I suspect the op is now huddled in a corner crying her eyes out sad

I have reported the thread.

OP, if you come back, please start a thread elsewhere, you sound like you need a bit of help and support.

Signet2012 Sat 04-May-13 17:19:26

Op I'm not going to flame you.

But I'm afraid your mil has a point. Babies need cuddles. If they cry they need reassuring.

I have a dd 7 months old and bf. if I let her cry at 4 months it physically hurt my breasts! They would spray and ache.

I never got lunch warm. Sometimes not at all. I found eating things easily picked up with one hand the best!

For dinner I would either have a late dinner once she was asleep for a hour or again eat one handed of swop with dp.

I'm afraid I never shower when dp isn't in ! Even now I don't because I know she will start when I get in and if she is bed I don't hear her.

Routines are all well and good but not so young. I think you will find you will just end up stressed as will baby.

Does he have a bouncy chair? Dd would sit happily with her toy in her bouncy chair for 20 minutes which sometimes was enough time to wolf down a meal.

It gets easier just go with your babies flow for now.

Signet2012 Sat 04-May-13 17:20:30

By the way. Some of the responses on this thread are fucking vile.

No need. No need at all.

PeneloPeePitstop Sat 04-May-13 17:20:53

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TwinkleTits Sat 04-May-13 17:21:56


"He doesnt cry when its me or DH because he knows we wont pick him up."
-He is 4 months old and already he has learned that his parents wont see to him. Hes a tiny baby, who utterly thrives and develops on closeness and contact, for goodness sake (for your SONS sake, google it)

"He was crying in front of the tv."
-where to start with that one confused. See above.

"She said they dont cry for no reason."
She is right! He they dont!

"He only wants attention"
- YES! He is 4 months old, what on earth did you expect when you got pregnant? A robot you can fix to switch off? Grow up.

Do some research for Gods sake.

I would pick up and hold my 4 month old if they were crying. That's what I did with both of mine. It's not ideal but it doesn't last forever--in 2 months time your DS will be eating with you at the table. I wouldn't leave my baby to cry, so YABU.

But your MIL is wrong about how you should feed him; if BFing is going well and you're happy then you have no need to use formula.

BruthasTortoise Sat 04-May-13 17:23:18

Balls she is. She following some outdated advice about settling her child in to a routine. Not good but not abuse.

RooneyMara Sat 04-May-13 17:24:18

sorry if I came across as harsh.

I think a lot of people find this idea very upsetting, I'm too tired to write carefully so it all tumbles out. Sorry. I meant to say, I don't think you're evil, just a bit misguided.

this is the sort of problem those 'ideal baby' routine books create, they make people feel like failures if their babies disturb their lives - the expectations they raise are massive and unrealistic.

Hope you are Ok OP

Thingiebob Sat 04-May-13 17:24:40

I'm with Maryz. She is a new mother who has probably been told not to pick up her child constantly. Why do people have to pile in and be so fucking horrid to a woman who is already distressed and upset.

GoingUpInTheWorld Sat 04-May-13 17:25:24

Looking back at ops other threads, shes not a young mother as i thought she was, shes actually 36 years old and her dh is a year younger.

That has really surprised me

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 04-May-13 17:25:53

Sorry Maryz but I'm also young and a first time mum with pnd.

And I am absolutely going to judge anyone who can sit and eat a meal whilst listening to the cries of their baby and deliberately ignoring them.

There is no excuse.

I reported the thread too Maryz

I in no way support the way the op has behaved but there is no need for all the abuse. There is no reason not to be civil in your replies folks sad

Wingdingdong Sat 04-May-13 17:28:00

Also with your MIL. Since she's offering to hold your baby, take full advantage of that and do shifts at mealtimes...

This stage doesn't last long, you've got maybe another 6-8 weeks or so until your baby is sitting up in a highchair at mealtimes and will play happily with something (maybe even start eating something) at the same time as you.

I do think your MIL may well have a point about being hungry. Both mine were BF until 1yo and neither could have gone 4hrs between feeds at 4m, it was more like 2-2.5hrs. By 6m we'd stretched to three hours (and two meals a day), by 7m they were both on three meals a day plus two snacks and BFing first thing, 9am before nap, 12.30ish after lunch and before nap, 4ish before late afternoon nap and then again at bedtime. That was the closest we got to a BF feeding schedule, once solids were introduced. Until then, we tried to arrange our meals around the baby's needs, i.e. I'd feed the baby whilst the food was in the oven so s/he had just been fed when our meal was ready, and more likely to sleep or happy to be held by somebody else.

It's not about milk supply though, but about how much your baby's tummy can hold and how quickly it's digested. I never had a problem with supply (donated to milk bank too), but my DC were definitely hungry!

Signet2012 Sat 04-May-13 17:28:01

Sometimes though you think you are doing right and you are wrong.

God knows I've made some mistakes in the last 7 months.

I just thought a bit of support but educating the op would be a better approach than to call her names and suggest adoption.

NulliusInBlurba Sat 04-May-13 17:29:39

LookingForwardtoMarch I've reported every comment you've made on this thread for being pretty disgusting personal attacks on someone who sounds quite vulnerable. I certainly don't agree with leaving your baby to cry (and didn't do so with either of mine, ended up losing quite a bit of weight from so many missed meals) but what the heck do you think you are going to achieve by calling someone a terrible mother repeatedly? Shame on you.

FourLittleDudes Sat 04-May-13 17:31:09

I have 4 children, including an almost 2 year old and a 13 week old.

I am also a single parent, so having the option to ask someone else hold, wind or entertain my baby for me whilst I cook, clean, shower or eat isn't an option for me - but I still wouldn't leave my baby to cry. Things in my house quite often don't get done and its rather messy, I tend to eat luke warm dinner one handed, I shower when he sleeps - which is usually at 10pm as he doesn't sleep during the day very much as the toddler insists on waking him up etc. I also try and clean up at night too. It doesn't always happen that way though.

Do you get much support from your mil and DH? Maybe you could take it in turns to hold your baby whilst you eat. I find a sling really helpful whilst cooking, my baby likes to face out wards so he can see what I'm doing (obviously depending on what I'm cooking, no spitting pans etc) or sometimes I go for a quick walk whilst dinner is cooking and he dozes off in the pushchair.

I know its frustrating and you want to get your life back to how it was before you had a child - but part of being a parent is accepting that that life is gone, you don't come first anymore. Its a lot to get your head round and its a cliche but the time really does go so quick and you don't want to look back and regret not making the most of these precious baby weeks.

Although if I'm really desperate for 5 minutes then baby motzart on YouTube buys me enough time to have a poo in peace

pouffepants Sat 04-May-13 17:31:17

The thing about routines is ringing bells. I'm pretty sure I was told to get them in a routine. That meant that they were left to cry sometimes.

I'm a little upset that it appears that I was awful to my kids, but I knew no better. It felt totally normal, and as I said I certainly didn't have emotional or physical response.

If something feels normal to you, then it just is normal, and you would feel no need to question it. I guess I would only have questioned on it, if someone pulled me up, which no-one ever did.

acceptableinthe80s Sat 04-May-13 17:32:11

Op, i think maybe your expectations of having a meal in peace are a tad unrealistic. I was a single parent and pretty much only ate things that could be eaten with one hand for months.
Top Tip: cut your food up into bite size pieces before sitting down then you only need one hand and can have baby on knee.
Alternatively just eats 10 minutes before/after your dp.

YoniMeKateMumsnet (MNHQ) Sat 04-May-13 17:32:24

Afternoon all,

Thank you to everyone who brought this thread to our attention.

We'd like to remind everyone that the raison d'etre of Mumsnet is to help and support each other.

We'll be going through this thread and deleting personal attacks - here's a reminder of our talk guidelines.

As ever, please do report individual posts you'd like us to look at.

Maryz Sat 04-May-13 17:34:48

Could you have a little look at Penelope's latest diatribe Kate, ta ever so.

I'd love to see just one nice supportive post from her somewhere. I have jet to do so hmm

BruthasTortoise Sat 04-May-13 17:35:03

Routine was the order of the day for years. I'm fairly certain my mum was told to wrap us up and put us outside, alone, in our prams from we were newborns so she could get on with her housework. I'm actually not surprised the OP is a slightly older first time mum, if she's following the standard advice she would've grown up with it would make sense. Still not right since we know better now but hardly a hanging offence.

LookingForwardToMarch Sat 04-May-13 17:35:41

Nullius looking back fair enough I've been harsh.

Just found this thread v.upsetting

But she isnt half as vulnerable as that baby is. She is 36 and even with pnd should know better.

I stand by the jist of my posts, just not how I worded yhem.

pouffepants Sat 04-May-13 17:38:49

Why would she know better?

Maryz Sat 04-May-13 17:40:13

She's a first time mum.

None of us knew it all.

Many of us got conned into reading that fecking "contended baby" book.

Supportive advice and suggestions are always going to be better than name-calling, accusations of abuse and offering to adopt the baby, ffs.

This is why I hate AIBU.

BruthasTortoise Sat 04-May-13 17:41:19

Mob mentality Maryz.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 17:41:31

Age doesn't matter, you could be an 18 year old who is a natural who has had lots of experience or a 40 year old with no experince of children and who isnt a 'natural'

TenaciousOne Sat 04-May-13 17:41:33

So many people seriously don't leave their baby to cry? Unless you all have maids, I can't see how you would be able to shower, cook food, do the laundry etc.

Nope I didn't leave my DS to cry when he was that age. I still don't now he is 22 months, we try to talk to him. At 4 months, when I needed a shower he was in a seat and I knew I had 5 minutes to be done. My DH would hold him at the weekends so I could have a longer shower. Cooking food was harder, we had easier food to cook, something that I could put on to simmer. Lots of stews blush.

YABU, I couldn't sit and enjoy my meal with any baby crying.

ImNotCute Sat 04-May-13 17:43:26

Op, if you've walked away from this thread I don't blame you, some people have been very harsh with you.

Please don't take it to heart but learn from it and move on. It's hard to know what to do when there is so much conflicting childcare advice out there. I'm sure every mum has made at least one parenting choice they later regretted, none of us are perfect.

meglet Sat 04-May-13 17:47:27

Why can't the rest of the family pick him up? We used to take it in turns to jiggle a crying baby at mealtimes.

FWIW I left mine to cry if I needed the loo, and I have IBS so can be gone for 10 mins a few times a day. So it's not the end of the world.

Routines aren't a bad thing. DS cried a lot less when he was in a routine as I didn't have a clue what I was doing without one.

Exhaustipated Sat 04-May-13 17:54:16

The OP is being unreasonable, I think we've established that. But perhaps she's depressed, confused, exhausted?

Those who had sank as low as to screech 'you bad mother' (I quote) better have a bloody good excuse for being so vile and going against everything Mumsnet stands for.

YABU. I'd never ignore my three month old DD and leave her to cry, even if I know it's for attention. She's a tiny baby who wants her Mummy and wouldn't understand why I'm ignoring her.

PeneloPeePitstop Sat 04-May-13 17:59:12

Fine, misinterpret my posts all you like.
Fact of the matter is that a baby that young does not cry to manipulate its parents. When they're that small some need has to be met. If that's simply to be held then its not going to 'spoil' the child.

I'm not saying the OP is doing this out of malice, perhaps she has PND - but to be regularly ignoring a tiny child's cries for your own convenience is wrong.

Sorry if previous posts come across as unsympathetic. Perhaps the OP objecting so strongly to a RL individual trying to help got my hackles up a bit.

Funnily enough I am sympathetic. I had a screamer for six months, but that was in spite of attempts to stop it and I don't feel that's the case from the OP's posts.

ChasedByBees Sat 04-May-13 17:59:56

Am going to try and be gentle with my YABU. I hugged my baby pretty much all the time - she either fed on demand or slept (only on me which I wouldn't recommend).

I bathed either when DH came home, when she was asleep or I got in the bath with her.

I ate cold sandwiches during the day or went to cafes (baby cafes sometimes provide a hot lunch - see if there's any in your area) and as soon as DH came home I passed her over and headed to the kitchen for some much needed time alone, even though I was cooking.

I didn't have a hot drink for about 6 months! That was one of the lovely things about returning to work - hot tea.

Housework didn't get done.

I would leave her in the cot if I needed to go to the bathroom. I'd sing nursery rhymes on the loo so she didn't cry so much. That is another luxury about being at work. Loo breaks.

I wouldn't change a thing (except I'd try and get her to sleep on her own in the cot earlier, that would have helped). I have an active 15mo who doesn't need me quite as much - she spends her days running circles round the room now so I can go and cook and do stuff. Not much, but some stuff. Yes it was hard and I felt I had been touched far too much by the time poor DH came home - I did not want hugs. It was such a short, short time to have to be there to that extent though.

bordellosboheme Sat 04-May-13 18:00:53

I'm afraid I think you mil is right. It's very distressing hearing a baby cry, that would ruin the meal due to knots in the stomach... Can you have baba in a sling while you eat or eat in shifts ( a pain I know)

RooneyMara Sat 04-May-13 18:04:43

OP you have the luxury of a DH, at least - many people take turns to hold the baby while the other eats their dinner etc.

I live on sandwiches and pizza and often my 'breakfast' is a hastily grabbed cup of tea, the only one I get all day as I can make ds1 hold the baby - and a few biscuits.

Having someone around to take turns with would be awesome. Please please make use of him and that way everyone can be happy.

RooneyMara Sat 04-May-13 18:06:35

and one handed ravioli out of the tin is not unknown here..! half of it goes on the keyboard/floor but at least the baby is happy...well he had better be smile

it's only for a short while. they do get easier.

4 months is way to young to do controlled crying, he hasn't intellectual capacity to be trying to manipulate you. He needs something, even if it is only comfort.

I often eat with my 2 month old in a sling, or I hold her and eat one handed. I wouldn't be able to get a meal down if she was wailing and distressed so I'm with your MIL on this.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 04-May-13 18:13:58

Darling your baby is only little once, there was a good article in the Guardian about this today, your baby needs to know you are there for him. So please stop this pressure on yourself and on him and give him cuddles. He'll soon be a sulking teenager who won't want to cuddle anymore.

bringbackopalfruits Sat 04-May-13 18:14:37

YABVU. At that age DH and I ate in sittings. 4mo babies aren't able to manipulate people to get attention. Their need for attention is genuine and should be responded to.

thebody Sat 04-May-13 18:14:41

I agree with your mil.

A crying 4 month old is a cuddle opportunity.

They grow up so quickly. He's not 14 months and so far too young to ignore like this.

Piemother Sat 04-May-13 18:16:42

Yabu. And cruel.
I am a lone parent to a 3 year old and a 5 month old. Sometimes dd2 has to cry while I'm putting dd1 coat on or in the car or if I desperate for the loo. These are 5 minute bursts I cannot do anything about. The rest of the time of course I don't leave her to cry!
Feeding schedules are bullshit too.
Why would you use a pushchair in the house?
What's the matter with you?

lunar1 Sat 04-May-13 18:21:06

I'm with your mil on this, I never left mine to cry, I don't think I physically could.

My advice would be to talk everything through with your health visitor, we have made errors in judgment in parenting. Please remember there is no shame in getting it wrong, I screwed up feeding ds1 so much that he was readmitted at 7 days old with dehydration, I was horrified when I realised but it was easily fixed.

Samu2 Sat 04-May-13 18:21:15

I agree with your MIL

Even when my fifth was a baby at that age I would only allow her to cry for longer than a minute or two if there was seriously no other choice. Sometimes it was inconvenient but that's parenting for you.

Baby is four months old, there is nothing wrong with them wanting attention and it's way too early to even think about them trying to manipulate people.

Bit late to the thread but I remember being highly strung when my first was a baby and worried about bad habits. Ridiculously so.

Looking back I had undiagnosed post natal depression. It was diagnosed but far far too late. I was so stressed with my first and obsessed with not creating a rod for my own back. I was so uptight.

You can't spoil a baby. I wish I'd spoken to the HV and the GP a lot sooner.

I hope you're ok OP.

ChangeNameToday Sat 04-May-13 18:27:12

"He cries more when MIL is there as he knows she will pick him up."

What rubbish. He is 4 months old. He doesn't know how to manipulate people yet. Arrange your meals around his sleep times fgs and let everyone get some peace while they're eating.

FWIW I judge you for leaving a tiny baby to cry. It was your choice to have him, your job to fulfil his needs I'm afraid.

loofet Sat 04-May-13 18:28:04

You should be feeding on demand. How do you know when he is screaming he doesn't want food? He's 4 months old fgs, he needs food when he asks for it, not on some stupid schedule. Also it will effect your milk supply not feeding when he wants it...

As for managing to sit through a meal whilst your baby screams, I don't know how you do it... I also can't see what would possess you to think 'I'll plonk him in front of the TV, ignoring his crying, so I can eat my meal'. That seriously set off alarm bells for me..

There are times I think where its necessary to leave them crying FOR A MINUTE OR TWO but not whilst sitting through a meal... More like whilst you run to the loo or something. I had an exceptionally attached third child and its only been the past month or so that we've got our evenings back and she's almost 9 months. We've always eaten when the DC are in bed anyway.. Just easier that way. But before she would go to bed DH would hold her whilst I ate and then we'd swap. There were times he was at work so I had to either wolf down my food whilst I rocked her in the bouncer or i'd let it go cold so I could settle her first.. It's tough but nobody said parenting was easy! Babies cry for a reason, i'm with your mil.

I could sort of get it if you were alone but you have the luxury of a DH and mil to hold the baby so you can eat.. So yabvu. Hold the baby when he cries and feed on demand.

Yabu. Your mil is right.

Please pick up your crying baby.
I think we ate most our dinners with baby on our lap when they were that young.

They are too young to be "taught" not to cry when you are busy, some would call it neglectful or cruel parenting.

There is three of you. I am sure your MIL would hold the baby? Why not enlist her help and advice if you are struggling?

As the others have said, when baby nap, you do your chores. You shower when your bf can have the baby, and the other way around. He can cook while you bf the baby, etc. Share chores between you and ensure the bulk of the chores are done while baby is sleeping.

maddening Sat 04-May-13 18:35:54

Personally am more inclined to think like your mil - and current advice and research points to not leaving a young baby (pre 6mths ) to cry.

Additionally for you you have several cuddle opportunities for your baby but many parents do not leave their baby to cry and manage so it's not a case of having maids - maybe other things slide a bit but it isn't the end of the world smile

Tbh whatever you do as a parent will be judged by others - especially more extreme ends of the spectrum - ferber style/leaving to cry and at the other end attachment parenting will both attract judgement as they are more extreme. But you make your choices hopefully following reseaech and if you are happy then all is good and you can feel confident in the face of judgement.

ChangeNameToday Sat 04-May-13 18:35:55

Also, what's wrong with a baby wanting attention? Do you think his needs should go no further than food and sleep? What a strange thought.

maddening Sat 04-May-13 18:40:10

Ps I could not sit in a room with a crying baby - my stomach knots - I think loofet's post is one to read.

Shellington Sat 04-May-13 18:40:55

Does your H help out OP?
Leaving a 4 m/old to cry while I ate a full meal never occurred to me tbh.

LeaveTheBarSteward Sat 04-May-13 18:42:19

My stupid HV told me off for picking my 5lb prem ds up as I was making a rod for my own back! I listened to her for about 10 minutes and luckily my instincts kicked in.
I so wish I'd had the confidence and knowledge to tell her how ridiculous she was being.i

Theironfistofarkus Sat 04-May-13 18:42:42

I feel a bit sorry for you Op and for your little one. There is so much parenting info out there and so much literature urging routines and not spoiling babies etc. It can be very confusing and I know I sort of felt guilty and felt I had to always explain my attachment parenting approach. I can see therefore how you might have ended up taking this approach.

But as people have said almost unanimously here, babies want love and attention and they deserve it. It is awkward to eat with a baby on your knee but far from impossible. The times when they want to sit with you constantly will be over in the blink of an eye. Embrace them!

pointythings Sat 04-May-13 18:49:10

I do feel for the OP in a way, but I hope that she does not stick to her rigid routines and actually listens to her MIL, because her MIL is right. Young babies need cuddles as much as they need food, warmth and clothing. Babies who do not get the cuddles they need end up having problems with attachment and are storing up problems for later life.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 18:51:19

Right I op as mum of 3 I agree with you,they don't need to be picked up at every wail.

However the noise,light of you all having dinner is going to confuse him.

If it was me I'd get him into bed after a feed,bath change etc.Then have dinner.

Will take a few nights but he'll soon get to grips with it,then you'll be able to eat in peace.

BooCanary Sat 04-May-13 18:53:45

I have been slated on MN before for mentioning that I had not picked my DCs up the nanosecond they start crying on occasion. But I think leaving a crying baby whilst you eat or shower is excessive. A few moments whilst you finish on the toilet, or whilst you answer the phone, however is not unreasonable IMO.

However, a lot of people (especially older generations) would and have left babies to cry for long periods. OP, if you are leaving your baby cry because you have been told to by well meaning friends/family/ health professionals, then you might want to rethink the advice, and find a middle ground.

A lot of the posts on this thread have been OTT, and I hope you will be able to find the measured responses within the hysteria.

sandfish Sat 04-May-13 18:54:33

I agree with Maryz, this thread is unpleasant. Some posters have a 'holier than thou' tone or appear to be engaged in some kind of martyr contest trying to show how far they have gone/ how little they have eaten, to ensure no baby whimper goes unattended.

Then there is the dangerous nonsense about ‘damage’. Frankly, if you have more than one child, and if you spend any time parenting on your own, the baby will inevitably be left to cry in some circumstances. What happens when you are supervising older children in the bath and the baby wakes up and starts to cry? Unless your baby sleeps in the bathroom, you have to delay whilst you ensure the older children are safely out of the bath.

I also imagine that some poor new mum, who may have a colicky or reflux baby, or PND, getting to the end of their rope with constant crying. What happens if they feel they can never just simply put their crying baby down safely for 10 minutes and walk away in order to regain their sanity, because they read the irresponsible comments on this thread and think that if they do so it would be abusive?

Now I know the OP was talking about deliberately leaving a child to cry rather than doing it out of necessity as in the examples above, but surely the effect would be the same on the baby since they don’t understand mitigating circumstances?. Sorry I just don’t believe she has damaged her baby by leaving him to cry for short while when she is eating.

Here’s my constructive advice, to the OP . It can be terribly draining when you feel you don’t even have time to eat and you are not being unreasonable for wanting to eat your dinner. If you are breastfeeding you need to eat, you need to nourish yourself so that you can nourish your baby. Yes you can learn to eat with one hand or eat really fast – but for a better way get a bouncer/rocker chair, place the baby in it by the table, talk to the baby, give the baby a toy to hold and rock the baby with your foot. This will give plenty of opportunity for you to eat your dinner whilst keeping baby happy.

OP are you finding things okay?

Yes babies sometimes have to be left to cry but you can do stuff and deal with baby too. I learned this with my second. By 4 months, she would be happy rolling on her play mat while I did stuff. I could eat while she napped in the sling or cot.

In fact I was more relaxed with dd than with my first baby, with whom I was obsessed with routine etc etc. dd naps anywhere, goes to bed well, eats well etc etc and I think me letting go a bit really made the difference.

Anyway OP, I'd ask yourself why you're sticking to such a routine.

RooneyMara Sat 04-May-13 19:16:36

'Some posters have a 'holier than thou' tone or appear to be engaged in some kind of martyr contest trying to show how far they have gone/ how little they have eaten, to ensure no baby whimper goes unattended. '

No, just trying to make it clear in case the OP doesn't realise, that this is NORMAL - that most people's lives turn upside down when they have a baby, unless of course they do have a live in nanny.

We're trying to show her that she isn't a rubbish parent if she has to alter her routines to cater for a small crying person.

However I do think there are two issues here - one is how the OP is relating to her baby, the other is how the MIL is behaving and perhaps both need addressing a bit separately.

Piemother Sat 04-May-13 19:25:25

I think the mil is rightly concerned hmm

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 19:30:34

Erm not everybody runs and drops everything the minute their babies cry.In RL I don't know anybody who did,it's just on MN.

Op get a book on routines if you want to go down that route.A tried and tested version is far easier imvho than trying to reinvent the wheel.

Op I had twins and believe you me they had to wait a lot.grin Perfectly happy babies.

Oh and don't listen to the damage bollocks,babies produce cortisol all the time. Imvh most babies would produce far more being left day after day at nursery yet many,many mothers do it daily.Babies are tough and you need to look after yourself which means having a few minutes peace to eat your meal.

Routine,bath,feed,change,bed in a quiet,dark room.After a few months he'll be doing it regardless and you'll all be happier.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 04-May-13 19:32:54

I also agree with your Mil on the crying and think you are being unreasonable definitely consider offering boob. Anyway since unsurprisingly I jgjdwdtdpwmmd else made many mistakes on all my children I would chalk it down to experience and maybe look for some more advice and tips on the baby section.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 04-May-13 19:34:27

Stupid phone I have no idea what that says but it should say like everyone else

CSIJanner Sat 04-May-13 19:48:36

YABU - 4-6weks is a growth spurt. Stop feeding to a schedule and listen to what your baby is trying to tell you.

MiaowTheCat Sat 04-May-13 19:59:13

I agree with what sandfish is saying - this thread is incredibly nasty, has turned into some kind of competitive martyrdom contest and a crowd of bullies continuing to pick pick pick away at an OP who has already ran away.

So what if she's 36? (And I think raking through post history to find ammo to hurl on this thread is bloody nasty as well) She's still doing all of this for the first time like any new mother - age doesn't really come into it on that front. And the comments about needing to have the child adopted - fucking sick. How do you think that's going to make the OP who sounds pretty damn worn down by everything to be honest if you read the stuff about "can't win whatever I do" feel... and how do you think it's going to make any woman who comes onto this thread and reads the stuff about how one second crying causes irrevocable damage feel?

So you didn't ever need a pee while your child was awake - congratulations... so you starved for days on end - congratulations... so you wore your baby in a sling day and night... have a gold medal fine - but don't use it as an excuse to kick someone else when they're down because you see things as you being a better mother than them - somewhere down the line YOU will inevitably screw up and not have all the answers too.

As for the baby - I'd bet at least SOME of the crying is picking up on your own unease and anxiety - I've got a twitchy critical MIL (in my case she just can't stop comparing my kids and my parenting to the perfect SIL) and when you feel like you're being watched and judged you get more on edge... DD1 is always always always much more tricky to deal with when MIL is around - because she picks up on how I feel around MIL (and before anyone starts - it's not a repeat of the OP's situation regarding things like crying - it's just everything from childbirth onwards I've done wrong in MIL's eyes) and responds to that, which of course makes MIL think she's justified and that I MUST be shit, so she twitches and judges harder and it becomes a vicious circle of fuckedupness.

Work out some way of staggering mealtimes or moving them to after the baby's in bed, relax a bit more with the routines and regard them as -ish things rather than written in stone (I see nowt wrong in knowing that our day naturally goes that DD2 will want a feed about 6ish, then will want a nap at about 7ish etc as long as you're prepared to chop and change things accordingly - but at least that general pattern of the day gives you something to hang things onto) and things will start to work out a bit more - none of the baby books, none of the posters on here and no MIL in the history of mankind has had ALL the answers - half the trick is picking and choosing the bits of advice that work and smiling sweetly and ignoring the bits that don't.

sandfish Sat 04-May-13 20:05:21

RooneyMara, perhaps some posters may have intended to show the OP that new babies mean big changes and sacrifices in life. However I feel that what is behind some of the posts is a desire to castigate her for having her own need to eat properly as if this is somehow optional.

I would guess that either consciously or unconsciously, because OP is living with the PIL's, she feels she is in a position where she is not getting to make decisions (who chooses meal timings for example?) and this is added to usual feelings of panic and being out of control that new mothers can feel. She is responding to this insecurity by sticking to rigid rules i.e not picking up the baby at meal times, and feels her MIL is picking the baby up not out of a desire to help, but a desire to criticise. So telling her her MIL is right in parts is pretty unhelpful to be honest, even if it is true, it is probably the last thing she wants to hear.

seeker Sat 04-May-13 20:08:49

I haven't posted again because I was hoping that the thread would drop down and vanish- but it hasn't.

Can I beg people not to post? The OP has got the message by now- nobody is saying anything new. Let's just leave it.

OP- please read the sensible advice you've been given and ignore the hurtful stuff. Tomorrow is another day.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 20:09:49

Agree with Miaow and Sand.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 04-May-13 20:10:32

Good post miaow to be honest though I do think the point needed to be made and emphasised about not leaving a 4 month old to cry so frequently. When my first was a baby my mother was first to say not to leave her to cry unless you absolutely had to but when sister in law left her little boy in another room to cry it out between scheduled 4 hourly feeds she did not feel it would be appropriate for her to comment and I would love if sister in law came on here instead.

Piemother Sat 04-May-13 20:12:09

I don't think I would enjoy my dinner with dd2 screaming hmm
I've just had a lovely dinner though. Dd2 was lying next to me chewing a toy and cooing.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 20:13:28

Hope you're ok op.

If you want to start another thread in order to get some constructive advice instead of petty vitriol feel free.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 20:18:53

Pie that is you and Neu no I don't think any point had to be made. Not all of us want to pick up a baby 24/7. I had 3 under 15 months so it wasn't even possible.

Many mothers have other siblings who need and are entitled to attention and a mother not continuously fussing over a baby. Most of us have other kids,houses to run,some even have jobs.

In real life babies cry.They survive.

sammysaidso Sat 04-May-13 20:20:53

Sorry but I'm judging you for leaving your baby to cry.

Leave a 4 month old to cry?? Horrendous, no wonder your MIL is stressed. Why would you behave like this?

I couldn't live with someone who let their four month old baby just sit and cry, it would upset me too much, it really would. I think everyone has different tolerance levels, perhaps your MIL is really sensitive to it.

AdmiralData Sat 04-May-13 20:23:23

I've got nothing to add OP, there seems enough venom here already but at least some of the posts have been kind. I hope you've not been too hurt by some of the vile comment made. Stay strong, little babies are only little babies for a while x

roses2 Sat 04-May-13 20:24:40

OMG, I so did not expect this reaction. You're all making me out to be a child abuser.

Firstly, DS is cuddled all day along except for a few times when we want to eat & shower. And that is because MIL wants us to all sit at the table and eat as a family. She won't have her & PIL eat then me & DH eat later.

We've tried sitting him on our knee and bouncing him up and down but he still cries. He wants us to carry him and walk around so he can see things. When he cries, I always check for hunger, pain & nappy change. Once he's picked up and walked around, it's clear that all he wants is attention.

And it's not abandonment, the theory is called retreat AND RETURN - which I always do.

Sorry, it's just not sustainable to do this all day long every day.

tholeon Sat 04-May-13 20:24:42

The thing I always think about on this type of threads is when my ds was in intensive care at four months, attached to a load of machines so I couldn't hear him when he cried, let alone pick him up. Heartbreaking at the time but I don't think it has scarred him for life, he is a very happy and well adjusted four year old now. Sense of proportion, people.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 20:29:55

I think you need to explain to your MIL that you either have to eat when he naps/gone to bed or she will have to accept for now eating in turn with someone looking after the baby.

With 4 adults around there really isn't a need for him to be left to cry at all.

SuffolkNWhat Sat 04-May-13 20:30:42

The problem is that retreat and return is not recommended for babies under 6 months, that is why people are not agreeing with you.

Can you talk to MIL about changing dinner time so your DS is asleep or perhaps your DH could man up and put what is best for you and his DS first and tell him mother that you cannot do both, eat together and have a non crying baby.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 20:31:35

Tho - that is different, I have been in the same situation and it is heartbreaking but its out of your control, and I know I still did everything I could do to comfort DS when he was ill even when that was just holding his hand or rubbing his head.

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 20:31:54

Babies need attention roses, I'm afraid that just comes with the territory.

You need to tell your MIL that you can't eat until later as your DS needs to go to bed first. Leaving him in distress so you and the PIL can "eat as a family" is not reasonable.

If MIL is dictating dinner times, and this is causing problems related to how you handle your baby during the meal, can you move?

Is there a special reason why you cannot live on your own as a family?

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 04-May-13 20:33:17

It's not forever, in a couple if months he will be sat at the table chucking food at you! Sorry but until then there will be times when you have to leave what you are doing and pick him up.

Tell mil from now on you will be eating at a different time from her then she can hold the baby while you eat

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 20:34:36

I've never heard of "retreat and return", but assume it is a form of controlled crying? Are you trying to get your baby to sleep in front of the TV while you eat? A 4 month old has no concept that you will return or that you are trying to teach him something - he just knows he is upset and needs a cuddle.

Maryz Sat 04-May-13 20:35:15

roses, can I give you a teeny bit of advice?

Don't start threads in AIBU if they are about things you mind about.

I suspect your problems aren't to do with your baby crying, but with the circumstances that are forcing you to live with your mil sad. I think standing up for yourself, and deciding when (or if) you and your dh will eat will completely solve this problem.

As will moving out [hopeful].

Please don't take some of the comments personally.

Moonstorm Sat 04-May-13 20:36:36

A four month old dosent understand retreat and return, they just see you leaving and panic. You can't expect him to understand with adult logic.

I never left mine to cry, I couldn't bear not holding them and reassuring them.


maddening Sat 04-May-13 20:38:35

have you tried a sling then op? Might be a good answer.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 04-May-13 20:45:16

It's not like the mil is stopping op from picking him up though, she just doesn't like him being left to cry. Lots of people would feel the same.

Sounds like she's upset that your leaving him to cry and like you said in your op you just want to eat your dinner without having to attend to him crying because it upsets your mil.

Iwaswatchingthat Sat 04-May-13 20:46:25

OP - please don't worry.

Crying was my dd2's hobby. Unless she was clamped to me she was bawling. Total Velcro baby.

If I had held her every time she cried I would have not eaten, washed, slept again.

And to all those who say 'that is what having a baby is like' I would disagree. Dd1 rarely cried. Dd2 cried non stop.

Just tell your mil you will eat after your baby is in bed.

Your baby will not be harmed by a little bit of crying. Think about the generations who were left down the bottom if the garden in a pram. Are they all in counselling now?

Good luck!

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 04-May-13 20:47:46

Blue skies 4 adults sitting around a table ignoring a crying child at the behest of its mother is not the same at one or even 2 people fire fighting against 3 under 15 months. Babies cry and sometimes you cannot respond but contriving a situation where noone responds so adults can have a cry free dinner is not dealing with the realities of a 4 month old.

RhondaJean Sat 04-May-13 20:47:50

Em I have two very well balanced older children and I have never held one of them while I ate a meal or missed a shower because of them. Especially as I was breastfeeding, I felt looking after my own health was vital.

However I did used to eat with them - they would get brought into the room, clean well fed and comfortable, and would have a shoogle in the pram/rock or bounce in the chair, and would be spoken to by us if they were awake.

Some of you are being very harsh here - and there are lots of posts deleted which I can only imagine were worse.

OP said she doesn't want MIL picking him up when he cries confused
I don't understand the idea of retreat and return either. For the daytime? Why?

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 20:49:23

Yuk I'd have rather eat my own hair than use a sling.

1)they bloody hurt my neck
2)you get zero personal space

Maybe op doesn't want a sling.hmm

Seriously op put him to bed first and no they don't need attention 24/7. Like all,of us they need down time.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 04-May-13 20:49:58

That goes for the mil as well if she is not allowing 2 dinner sittings by the way.

plim Sat 04-May-13 20:55:10

I don't agree with leaving a 4 month old to cry in front of the tv....I also don't believe you can follow a feeding routine when breastfeeding such a young baby. Feeding on demand and lots of close contact and cuddles worked well for my 3. One thing you could try is a pillow called my Brest friend - as you can feed the baby whilst eating your dinner and have two hands free!! I found it invaluable and whilst you might not want to feed the baby at the table with mil there - it makes life so much easier when feeding. Link here,default,pd.html

RhondaJean Sat 04-May-13 21:00:58

Why the blazes would you want to feed the baby while eating your dinner????

My dd2 in particular was a preemie and spent several weeks in SCBU. All babies there are fed on schedule. She was fed on schedule till weaned and yes I breastfed and yes it worked perfectly well.

The trick though is to be adaptable with the schedule - if they are hungrier eg growth spurts make the feeds more frequent.

Op, if he is awake when you eat, have you tried involving him in the family meal without actually holding him?

MarjoryStewartBaxter Sat 04-May-13 21:05:11

I suspect the op is now huddled in a corner crying her eyes out

Stick her in front of the tv until she stops?

plim Sat 04-May-13 21:06:17

If you're feeding a baby on demand then you can feed them whilst eating your dinner. Sometimes young babies want feeding slap bang in the middle if dinnertime. Why is that so absurd? Far better than leaving them to cry and I've fed all of my babies wherever and whenever they've wanted to (apart from on the loo!). Each to their own of course ;)

Piemother Sat 04-May-13 21:07:02

So it's not sustainable to care for a baby all day long?

Is retreat and return Gina or that fuck awful tizzie woman then? Or some other quack

pointythings Sat 04-May-13 21:07:13

I agree with maryz that your living situation is the main problem. Your MIL needs to respect your family's needs, i.e. 2 sittings for dinner so that you can give your DS the attention he should have. She also needs to butt out about your choice to BF, which is clearly going well for you.

But your DS's need to be held does need to come first. With both my DDs I spent the first 4 months or so eating scatty dinners bit by bit, or taking it in turns with DH to eat so that one of us could hold our (unsettled in the evening) babies. It was a stage that passed. And they are now the most independent, confident non-clingy children you could wish for, so you will not be making a rod for your own back.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 21:07:52


Jeez thank god MN isn't real life.

OP. the thing is, it's not forever. I have a 10 month old and i still remember the 4 month time. It was crap in many ways. Exhausting, constant. The jiggling, the pacing, the swaying, the bouncing, did i mention the jiggling?

I had my MIL staying with me. Bit different as i had more control but i still had the weight of judgement and doing dinner, lunch's hard and made me a bit irrational. Not saying you are irrational but i know i wanted it to get easier and more routine and would have seen the appeal of feeding regimes etc but go with your instincts and pick the baby up.

Eat after the baby is in bed. Let MIL hold the baby if she insists on one dinner time before baby is asleep. My guess is she'll get more flexible about this after a few cold, one handed meals!

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 21:10:40

Pie thousands of babies have thrived on Gina,mine included.

So it's not your bag.hmm

roses2 Sat 04-May-13 21:11:42

I've got the my Brest friend feeding pillow and I agree, it's absolutely amazing. However meal times are when my MIL has finished cooking, they don't revolve around the baby.

Slings don't work. He cries when I sit down because he wants to walk around and see things. So whoever is holding him has to walk around the whole time as he cries when sat down.

plim Sat 04-May-13 21:12:48

Oh no, let's not open the gina can of

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 21:13:48

So can't you push his bedtime forward and dinner back.

RhondaJean Sat 04-May-13 21:14:09

Sorry plim I didn't mean that to sound quite as rude as it came across!

I have always been someone who has to have planned organised meal times and sit down to eat or I get indigestion/ end up very grumpy and it has a bad effect on my overall wellbeing.

I also didn't find breastfeeding a natural process at all and required full attention on it, and the thought of juggling feeding baby/trying not to lose latch/ juggling meal etc - good lord that is honestly my idea of hell.

I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one to feel like that...

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 21:14:54

roses - sometimes you can't stop them crying, but you can still comfort him. Leaving him to cry alone in front of the TV while you ignore him is unnecessary, and it is understandable that your MIL finds it distressing.

Do you think you might be depressed?

plim Sat 04-May-13 21:15:31

Op could it be that he's hungry maybe? Could you have your dinner later when baby is asleep? In my house dinner did revolve very much around the babies.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 21:16:10

Does she cook meals for the same time every day? If so can you try to change nap/bedtimes? Or just aplogise to your MIL and say you will cook yourself something/heat yours up when the baby has been sorted?

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 21:16:36

What because she wants to eat one meal in peace?hmm

plim Sat 04-May-13 21:16:50

No worries rhondajean smile

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 21:17:24

Also agree that life does have to revolve around the baby for a while when they are little. Soon your baby will either be more settled in the evening and going to bed earlier so you can eat afterwards, or you can all eat early together.

Sirzy Sat 04-May-13 21:17:27

When he is able to sit up you may want to consider putting him in a high chair at the table with some toys so he with everyone and part of the meal.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Sat 04-May-13 21:18:38

OP - Retreat and return is a settling technique for sleep isn't it? It's not something you do to make a baby sit on its own during the day.

Controlled crying is a similar technique to retreat and return. And whilst people on here feel strongly about it, the thing is that, if done at the right age and the right way, it should only be a couple of nights, maybe a few, of upset. It isn't for me, but it is a way, and it generally works.

You cannot do retreat and return for making a baby sit by themselves in a pushchair in the daytime (and by 'by themselves' I mean not being held, not being alone in a room). A baby in a cot, in a gro bag, in a dark room on their own and with a mobile can understand what will happen when all those circumstances are replicated. A baby sitting in a room full of people just isn't going to understand why sometimes they are picked up and sometimes not. If your DS has stopped crying when you are on your own, I can only assume he's starting to think you'll never pick him up. Which isn't a fab message to send to be blunt.

I think personally I'd eat with the baby on my lap even if he still cried. A baby crying in your arms is experiencing something rather different to a baby crying and being intentionally left. Yes, there are times a baby needs to be left. DD2 screamed through many a shower when she was small. I couldn't wait because I had DD1 to get out to places, but I'd put her in her bouncy chair and talk to her and comfort her the whole time, and stick my head around the shower curtain. The 3 minutes didn't hurt her I don't believe. But making a child wait whilst you sit and eat a meal is, IMO, too long and unnecessary.

IsItMeOr Sat 04-May-13 21:19:11

roses I agree with others that this seems to be more about your frustration with having to live with your PILs.

Unfortunately, that seems to be prompting you to act in a slightly confusing way. It sounds like MIL is happy to hold your DC at mealtime, but you don't want her to. Yet you go along with her insistence that you all eat together, and rather than let MIL hold DC, you prefer to let them cry while you all eat.

I'm sorry if that is not what actually happens, but that is what I think you have described, and it sounds unhealthy for you and your DC.

Hope it's not the case, and that you get any issues with your living situation resolved soon.

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 21:19:20

Wanting to eat a meal in peace is one thing, but being able to just ignore your baby when they are distressed/crying is an unusual response in a mother. The fact that the OP doesn't understand why the MIL finds it upsetting suggests maybe a bit of disconnection.

TwinkleTits Sat 04-May-13 21:19:45

All the same OP id rather hold my crying baby, the have him sitting alone in front of the tv at 4 months old.

Quite understandably, your latest post is very different from your OP. I hope it is because you have realised its probably not the best thing to leave your baby, and that your MIL is right. They do cry for a reason.

So he keeps crying when you pick him up. If you were sobbing would you rather sob in your husband/mothers arms? Or be left by the, to sob alone?

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Sat 04-May-13 21:21:26

Sorry - the eat with him on your lap bit was assuming you can't move the meal until after he is in bed, or move his bedtime forward.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 21:23:27

Oh for goodness sake hoards of mums have to and do ignore crying at some point.

If you have picked up and dealt with a crying baby all day sorry but by the evening I know plenty who could happily ignore a grizzling baby for a short period of time.

Piemother Sat 04-May-13 21:25:11

I'm all for passing over gf. There are far worse baby trainers these days!

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 21:25:15

A baby "crying a lot" for the duration of a meal is not the same as a little bit of grizzling for a few minutes.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 21:28:26

Grizzling/ crying whatever.After a whole day bfing and dealing with a cranky baby sorry but I for one would have had a bellyful by tea time.

roses2 Sat 04-May-13 21:28:42

Who said I said MIL couldn't pick him up? I certainly didn't, she's welcome to cuddle him whenever she wants but at meal times she doesn't want to pick him up and she doesn't want him crying at the table while trying to eat.

I'd rather have him crying at the table. I don't like putting him in the other room but MILs comments are very upsetting.

I wasn't depressed before but after reading this thread, now I am.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Sat 04-May-13 21:31:04

You said he cried more when your MIL was at table as he knew she would pick him up. That's where people have understood you as meaning she would pick him up and you don't want her to (as you don't, so he doesn't cry so much when you are on your own)

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 21:31:27

Your living situation does sounds stressful, but I think you have to prioritise your baby's need to be comforted over your MIL's desire to have everyone eat at the same time.

Your comments about not wanting to give him attention and the baby knowing you won't pick him up makes it sounds like you've struggled to bond a bit?

plim Sat 04-May-13 21:32:05

Roses I would just eat later / earlier, whatever works best for you and the baby not mil.

Cloverer Sat 04-May-13 21:32:38

What time are you having dinner? If the baby is miserable and hard to comfort by that time then maybe he needs a feed and bed?

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sat 04-May-13 21:33:21

Cloverer bollocks.

Iwaswatchingthat Sat 04-May-13 21:33:29

Blue skies - I could not agree more.

All the mums I knew in real life when they had small babies felt the same too.

That makes it more clear to be honest. It read as if she wanted to pick him up but you didn't want her to (re read your OP, it's there)
You are going to have to put your foot down. Your MIL wants you to sit down to dinner together, but won't tolerate your baby crying, and won't tolerate either of you eating at another time so you can entertain the baby while the rest eat? That's not fair. You have to find a way that works for you and if that means you and DH eat later then insist. It isn't sensible to try to eat dinner before the baby goes to bed if you have a choice in the matter.

Iwaswatchingthat Sat 04-May-13 21:34:16

I meant I could not agree more about having a bellyful of a baby crying.

neunundneunzigluftballons Sat 04-May-13 21:34:44

So what is your mother in laws solution op? This is quite different to your op She sounds like hard work.

WeAreSix Sat 04-May-13 21:35:48

Roses do you think he might be teething? My babies have all wanted to be upright and jiggled when their mouths are sore.

FunnysInLaJardin Sat 04-May-13 21:38:55

unless your DC is crying due to over stimulation then yes you need to pick him up. If he is over tired then he needs to go to bed and not be up with you eating

maddening Sat 04-May-13 21:42:04

well then your mil has created a conundrum! She doesn't want the baby picked up and doesn't want him crying confused I think the moving a nap time to dinner time is the only solution then - from you last 2 posts your mil sounds more unreasonable as she is creating a situation not working with your routine - but if she won't tweak dinner then you can tweak naptimes (by which time he'll be weaning and sitting with you at dinner smile )

blueberries - fair enough you don't like slings it was only a suggestion hmm op is asking for advice/support and to suggest a sling isn't outlandish. Op doesn't like slings all is good smile

maddening Sat 04-May-13 21:43:24

blueberries - blueskies

emeraldgirl1 Sat 04-May-13 21:46:04

Just my tuppence worth OP as I have an 8 week old and have been struggling these past couple of days... Shower, I put her in bouncy chair and take her into the bathroom, if she cries I sing songs in the shower and get out as fast as is reasonable. Meals, we eat in relays holding her. Cooking, I do what I can before DH gets home while baby sleeps even though she is not a massive sleeper, we have had some ropey dinners but have still eaten, he does the rest of the cooking when he gets in. Cleaning has gone up the wall a bit, I am v v lucky to have a DM who cleans whenever she visits.

It is tough beyond belief but I am reliably informed it will get better and I couldn't leave her to cry, she is so little and I assume she just needs something when she cries. My job is to try to work it out and provide it for her, even if (especially if!!) it is 'just' a cuddle.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sat 04-May-13 21:52:54

Rhonda I had two prem babies and although they were fed on a schedule, it was to make sure they didn't go too long between feeds. If they wanted feeding more often they were.

OP I think you've probably got the drift that leaving him to cry isn't good. I get the feeling that if you were in your own home, doing your own meals things would be a LOT different. I also think that your first and second posts were automatically defensive because you feel like you can't do anything right in the eyes of your MIL - unfortunately this didn't become clear to many posters until your later posts explained things more.

I appreciate that your LO seems to want to be walked around to quiet him, but perhaps it's because looking at things distracts him from his hunger?

I know that may sound a little out there, but my DD was a cluster feeder, particularly during growth spurts (and four months is a big one). She would stick like glue to a four hour routine all day but come the evening it was every hour between six and ten.

I had no idea at all about cluster feeding and thought that because she was happy on four hourly feeds all day she was just fractious/colicky/overtired. DH and I would walk miles around the floor - and it helped in that she took short breaks from screaming to look at things.

But once I heard about cluster feeding and tried it - what a change! NO more evening screaming. Yes I was feeding for twenty minutes every hour, but that left me forty minutes to eat, shower, whatever. As an added bonus she slept through from the first night of cluster feeding, probably because she had told me she wanted to eat til she was full, and I'd finally got the message.

I have my own little pocket of parental guilt for all those nights I walked about with her, starving her, but she's fine. We ALL have one for something we got wrong or didn't understand. But we get there.

As for your MIL wanting you all to sit down as a family. Sounds like SHE needs a lesson on baby's needs coming first, because frankly, with a four month old in the house she should appreciate that family mealtimes can't happen, and that no one should give a shiny shite about all sitting down together.

Sounds like in this respect she is putting HER wants over your baby's needs.

That said no one would be able to stop me going to DD if she was crying, so rather than following what your MIL wants do what your baby needs.

Which I very much suspect is what you actually want to do. (itchy trigger finger!)

pointythings Sat 04-May-13 22:30:37

Pretty much everything what coola said, OP.

I hope you find the strength to parent the way you would like to, despite your difficult situation.

And major credit to you for coming back on this thread, I suspect a lot of posters on here (self included) will be eating their words having read your clarifications.

Littlehousesomewhere Sat 04-May-13 22:33:50

op your mil can't have it both ways, either you all eat together and he cries or you take it in turns to hold the baby. Ask her what she prefers and do that. I think you do need to consider her feelings as it is her house! I can't believe your dh told her off, how rude.

Do what you think is best the rest of the time though.

For what it's worth looking back I didn't let my dc cry and I think I was a little obsessive about it. If I have another I hope I would be able to cope with a bit if crying as I don't think it is the end of the world.

Have you got a swing mine loved that. Also if his neck support is good maybe a jolly jumper?

Mine only liked prams if they were moving so maybe that is the problem.

Hulababy Sat 04-May-13 22:44:10

Leaving baby to cry isn't really workable surely?
There is no way I could eat listening to a baby, any baby, cry let alone my own.

I think you need to stand up to MIL.
Let her make dinner if she wants to - but she can't force you to eat it when she wants you to. If your baby needs your attention, leave the meal plated up in the kitchen. Come back to it when YOU and your baby are ready. Or take it in turns with your DH.

But don't let MIL dictate to you. Get your DH to speak to her, tell her how things are going to be, and then both of you act on it. Yes,, MIL may whinge initially but with time it will be the norm so she will just have to get used to it.

My two both seemed to want a feed just as dinner was on the table, they smell the food. I just fed while eating one handed or DH and I took turns. At 4 months mine both went through growth spurts and cluster fed in the evening, it was a difficult time.

I can't relax when a baby is crying either, it would put me off my food.

If your mil doesn't want him crying then either you have him at the table, you take turns to eat with your DH, she has to help and pick him up or you don't eat together.

What happens if you feed baby just before dinner time? If baby is full and has a clean nappy, might be less inclined to cry? Or if rather than a pushchair a baby bouncer with some toys baby can bat at? This was a lifesaver for us.

I would imagine that dinner being ready does not come as a surprise, you can use the time while MIL is cooking to feed and change baby?

Fairylea Sat 04-May-13 22:57:00

Next mealtime you have I'd put your portion to one side to be heated up later. (Take turns with dh to do this). Then one of you can deal with the baby while the other one eats.

I really recommend trying to encourage your baby to sleep before you eat if at all possible. If mil is insisting meal times are at a difficult time for you then suggest that from now on you will sort meals for you and dh, then you can eat when it is more convenient.

RooneyMara Sun 05-May-13 07:19:56

'Think about the generations who were left down the bottom if the garden in a pram. Are they all in counselling now? '

a lot of them seem to be, yes

and others that aren't blooming well ought to be

Tailtwister Sun 05-May-13 07:31:18

We used to call our first baby 'destroyer of lunches'! Whenever we were out for lunch I carefully timed his sleep/feeds so he would be asleep. As soon as our food touched the table his he would wake up, guaranteed! I think babies have a sixth sense as to when they might not be getting 100% of your attention, asleep or not.

You've have a rough time on this thread OP. It is very frustrating when you can't even seem to meet your basic needs (eating, washing, toilet) without interruption. The only way we survived was to eat in relay.

VodkaRevelation Sun 05-May-13 07:35:03

Roses2, if it is clear all he wants is attention then I wod give him
attention. Attention is a valid a important need for a baby. They need attention as much as they need food and nappy changes and sleep.

Your situation with MIL sounds awful and has perhaps forced you into this way of treating your child. Can you or your husband not insist that you will buy your own food and prepare your own meals as and when suits you and your baby? Maybe as a compromise you could all have Sunday lunch together.

I hope things improve for you all.

Figgygal Sun 05-May-13 07:39:18

Op i think you have had a hard time on here and not going to add to all the other comments but a 4mo doesnt understand retreat and return so i would forget about that.

You or dh needs to tell mil you Dont need to do family meals you need to help/tend to ds so if there are 3/4 of you there 1 of u eats later simple.

If ds genuinely needs constant moving around to look at things at that age i have much sympathies for you that would have been v frustrating what about a swing rather than chair? Play mat? Light projector?

CadleCrap Sun 05-May-13 07:46:38

My DD was a bit like this - if I sat down she cried and stopped as soon as I stood up. Bloody annoying.

I ate one handed, standing up at the kitchen counter.

OP I had one like that two, yeah for a while around that time DH and I took it in turn, standing up and swaying with DS in a sling and the other one eating, then switch off. I ate lunch at the kitchen counter also, finger foods. My other kid was never like that, just different personalities. My velcro baby (that I swear I held for two years without putting down) is now 12 and is very affectionate and caring. I have a cold right now and he has brought me ice water and offered to give me a foot massage and will make me snacks and all sorts of caring things. So it made it worthwhile in the end smile It is nice to have a cuddly one now they are older.

Oh and even now the smell of food makes him hungry which is good because he has a tendency to be somewhat picky (not by many standards, but by comparison to my husband and other son) and hunger stops this.

I know it is frustrating but it really will pass, soon enough he will be sitting in a highchair and you will be eating with one hand and picking up food and rinsing it and handing it back with the other. My crying at dinner times kid was happy as larry at the table once he got solids.

Oh and the lady who said slings hurt her neck, it may be you are wearing it wrong, it shouldn't be any where near your neck.

Shellington Sun 05-May-13 08:26:16

OP what do you do at home then, away from ILs. And do you do other things in life 'by a book' or trust your instincts?
Like Clovering & Flogging et al I think your tone does come across somewhat detached / depressed. The MIL situation is harder to judge but if she really is demanding either a baby-free dinner or a non-crying baby then she is BU - not sure what solution she is suggesting - or why your H isn't either setting her straight or taking baby while you eat (then you, vice versa).

As an aside, I have no clue how you check for 'pain' in a 4 m/old confused that's part of their mysticism isn't it "guess what my cry/whinge is today" - lasts them well into toddlerhood!

clabsyqueen Sun 05-May-13 08:37:03

OP in your last post you said...'I'd rather have him him crying at the table but MIL comments are so upsetting'. hmm I am so disappointed you have not listened to anyone on this thread. It is YOU banishing your baby to the other room. I think over 200 people have told you very clearly YABU but yet you still defend your actions and blame your mother in law.
She shouldn't have to listen to him crying.
He shouldn't be left to cry.
I hope a good nights sleep has left you more able to see these very plain facts.

DontmindifIdo Sun 05-May-13 08:44:04

Roses - your MIL can tell you when the food is ready, but you are an adult, you can say "this isn't a good time for me, I'll reheat mine later." and just not come to the table and eat it.

CheungFun Sun 05-May-13 08:47:20

I think if your baby stops crying when you pick him up and cuddle him just pick him up and cuddle him. If you've tried everything e.g. Checked if he's too hot/cold, tired, hungry, cuddled etc., and he's still crying then I don't think taking 10 minutes to eat should do any harm. But, I wouldn't do this every day. If it was happening every day, I would do as other posters have suggested and take turns to cuddle your DS so you can all eat.

If your mil wants you all to sit down and eat dinner at the same time and be at the table with a 4 month old she's being a bit unrealistic IMO. One of you needs to be holding the baby, and if the mil doesn't like it then tough. A baby's needs come first in this situation.

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 05-May-13 09:33:43

Roses, good grief this thread took a terrible turn! Im truly shocked by what the middle pages said at times and relieved to see some tried to re-track it at last few pages .I sincerely hope you are ok today.

Perhaps repost in behaviour/development? Then it will be discussed in a rational helpful manner. Assuming u are not too terrified now.

Anyway, my thoughts are with you today. Hope the sunny weather helps cheer u up.

sherazade Sun 05-May-13 10:01:24

I remember how i once showered when my dds were little, out of desperation:

DD1, age 19 months, in a high chair in the bathroom with grapes and some crayons and paper, DD2, newborn, in a vibrating bouncer, also in the bathroom, both there with me showering with curtain drawn.
and I sang and spoke to them whilst showering.
I was desperate for a shower, dd1 was teething and dd2 had colic.
It was that or nothing.You've just got to work around your kids.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 10:26:59

Blimey I never had to do that with my 3 under 15 months,bathroom waaaay too small anyway.

Little bit hmm that babies can't be parted even for 10 or 15 minutes.

I used to give them all breakfast,change them and then put them in their cots with some toys. 9 times out of 10 they played happily if they didn't I 'd call out and they errrr had to wait.

Never had the need for mass showering.confused

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 10:32:37

Self. I tried lots of slings and none were very good,hate being velcroed to a baby 24/ 7 anyway.

Have to say I never had these juggling mealtimes,sorry just couldn't live like that.In order to look after babies I need sleep and decent mealtimes.

My 3 always went down after lunch for 2 hours when I then had my lunch,they were in bed at 7 on the dot,had dinner after.

Really wasn't a big deal,nobody has to be a martyr.

Op have a lovely day today,I lived with gparents for a while and it isn't easy.I'd seriously talk to her about moving dinner back so you can get him into bed.If she doesn't like it or the hollering she can hold him.grin

roses2 Sun 05-May-13 10:44:32

To all you people judging those who use a sort of crying it out method, we could just turn around and judge YOU in ways like saying "you're spoiling your child, you're just giving in". Shame on you for judging. It's not your place.

My DS gets cuddles and attention pretty much all day long other than 2-3 times a day for 20 minutes each time. He gets sung to, picked up and walked around, goes on his play mat, gets put in the BabyBjorn & goes on a 1 hour walk every single day.

Through practice and constant teaching is how they learn. My MIL went away for three weeks and during that time, DS sat happily at the kitchen table with us while we ate. We let him cry at the table for 2 days & after that, he stopped doing it. We chat to him throughout our meal. DS may be only 4 months old but he's no fool. Once MIL came back, he started his trick of crying again and stops as soon as he is picked up. And because MIL doesn't want to leave him for 1-2 days to get back into the routine of sitting at the table with us. Instead, she asked us to put him in the other room.

If you always pick up your child at the slightest cry they will learn very quickly that "I Cry, I get picked up". Then it becomes impossible to put your child down cause they always want to be held.

I think people who won't do it because it is "cruel" just can not man up and do the difficult thing. Crying it out is not an excuse to ignore a baby, it is a way to teach them to self soothe. I believe as long as you are checking on the baby every few minutes and making sure they are fed and changed then there is nothing wrong with this method, and no I don't feel guilty for my parenting choices.

Go ahead and judge me if I don't parent my DS the way that you would, but hey, it's my baby not yours. I don't see what I do as cruel at all. You can't molly coddle your baby 24/7.

At the end of the day every parent has a right to make their own decisions with their children, and what works for one child may not work for another. I don't think anyone on this forum has the right to say that any parent that lets their baby CIO is a bad parent. Parents do what works for them and if a parent chooses to use the CIO method because nothing else works than I say good for you.

I won't be posting on this thread again.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 10:50:39

Roses I'm with you all the way,you sound very switched on.

Don't let it get you down,there are times when I think MN is not the best place to go for advice,this is one if them sadly. You won't always get a balanced view on here.

Have you got some RL friends you could talk to? Drop round for a cup of tea to offload.The vast majority I can guarantee will feel the same as you.

Fwiw I think you're doing a great job.The living with inlaws thing is hard,could you move?

EasilyBored Sun 05-May-13 10:50:41

I didn't want to teach my four month old that if he cries he gets ignored, because I am his mother and it my job to see to his needs.

They are little for such a short time. It's not such a hardship to eat a few minutes later for a couple of months is it?

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 10:52:46

FGS, a baby should know that if they cry they get picked up! How do you think they form secure relationships?

Leaving a baby to cry it out does not teach them to self-soothe - it teaches them that no one comes to help them. If you're happy to teach a tiny, helpless person that then fine.

How sad for your baby that he can't be molly coddled by his own mother. He's 4 months not 14.

Flojobunny Sun 05-May-13 10:56:51

I'm not one for molly coddling my DC but at 4 months old sad
OP seems to have a strange belief that a 4 month old is in control and can manipulate, I worry what will happen to this child when he is 2 and really does try to get his own way. What will OP do then?

catgirl1976 Sun 05-May-13 10:57:43

Is CIO reccomended by anyone for babies as young as 4 months?

I am pretty sure it isn't.

I did CC with mine at 10 months, but that is a lot older and CC is very different from CIO.

tiredlady Sun 05-May-13 10:58:21

"Ds may be only four months old but he's no fool"

What an ignorant thing to say about your baby. You really think he's manipulating you, don't you?

Sorry OP. You sound utterly dreadful.
I feel very very sorry for your baby.
And next time, don't post on AIBU unless you are prepared to have people say YABU

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 11:00:11

If you are with your baby 24/7, feed them when they're hungry,change them when dirty,give them masses of cuddles,love and time sorry but the odd bit of waiting aint going to be neither here not there.

Secure relationships- pmsl at that one.grin

At 4 months old a baby can't be manipulative.

I think you should go and talk to your HV or doctor and get a professional opinion on the whole situation.

DonDrapersAltrEgoBigglesDraper Sun 05-May-13 11:07:06

If you always pick up your child at the slightest cry they will learn very quickly that "I Cry, I get picked up". Then it becomes impossible to put your child down cause they always want to be held.

Is this your first baby?

Because it just doesn't work like that, as anyone with a child out of babyhood will tell you.

Cloverer Sun 05-May-13 11:11:25

Yes Blueskies, secure relationships, attachments to carers that come from being responded to quickly and consistently.

HappyMummyOfOne Sun 05-May-13 11:11:35

OP, you sound like you dont like your MIL much or living with her. You are an adult, old enough to become a parent so move out and you can make your own rules to your hearts content.

Personally given a 4 month old cant talk, crying is the only way to get attention they need or want and the retreat method sounds awful. He's a tiny baby not an animal being trained.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 11:12:13

Sorry. I'm the mother of 2 very secure,happy 9 year olds and a secure happy 8 year old and yes it can work exactly like that.

Rarely managed to pick any of mine up instantly<looks out of window at all 3 pitching a tent together,happy and content>yup I think they look pretty secure.

Op ignore the harpies and enjoy the sun- it's gorgeous out there.grin

Wuldric Sun 05-May-13 11:16:31

I dunno. You are living with your MIL, who sounds quite nice and caring tbh. You probably owe her the courtesy of not allowing your baby to cry. It's like hearing chalk on a blackboard. Your MIL is trying to enjoy her meals as well. You seem to have forgotten her rights in all this.

I mean you could do this 'leaving your baby to cry' schtick (which by the way I totally disagree with) if you lived in your own home. But you don't so you do have to compromise and take into account your hosts' feelings.

Wuldric Sun 05-May-13 11:22:13

Sorry, hadn't read the whole thread and missed the part where the OP had stropped off.

There is a discussion to be had about controlled crying. I never did it and it is not difficult not to do it, IYSWIM. There is no issue about 'manning up' to a baby for goodness' sake.

Tailtwister Sun 05-May-13 11:26:09

Well OP, you sound confident in your own approach. It is your baby, but I'm amazed you think at 4 months he can try and trick you. He simply recognises that his parents don't respond to him when he cries and your MIL does.

In any case, I don't understand why on earth you posted here if you're so sure what you're doing is right. If I was your MIL I would be counting the days until you move out!

lucamom Sun 05-May-13 11:30:04

Sorry, but have to agree that this strikes me as selfish-those in the 'never did my kids any harm' camp sound as if there was no choice, sometimes other children or more pressing tasks need doing and baby may have to cry for a short time (I have 3, so know cuddling all the time is a luxury).

However, you're choosing to put your own needs (feeding yourself in a civilised and comfortable way, wanting a 'routine' for feeding, not wanting your son to get the upper hand) ahead of those of a baby, who isn't the enemy, but a part of the family who deserves to have his needs met before your own.

Now if you had no one to hold him I'd say that if course you need to have some food and may not have a choice, but you aren't in that position so suck it up and find a way of keeping baby content, thereby reducing the stress in the house for all concerned (including, most importantly for a breadtfeeding mom, yourself)

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 05-May-13 11:33:04

Thanks op grin

I was feeling bad about expressing myself in the wrong way as your op made me so angry.

But thanks sooo much for coming back on and validating my previous (deleted) opinion with your last post.

Shame on you for making out a four month old baby has the capacity to manipulate anyone.

You need to make an appointment with your gp and health visitor and say exactly what you just said in the op.

Maybe you will actually listen to them when they tell you YABU

( The hv will love the bit about sticking rigidly to a feeding routine when the poor mite is probably having a growth spurt)

apachepony Sun 05-May-13 11:45:23

I have to admit that I was feeling bad for the op until the last point! Surely CIO is a sleep training method to be used with care after 6 months, not just a method to teach a baby it won't be responded to? Honestly how hard is it to take turns holding baby or eat after baby is in bed? I honestly can't understand how you can enjoy a meal with your baby crying?

dimsum123 Sun 05-May-13 11:46:20

I never left my babies to cry. They are now 7 and 9. Neither are spoilt molly coddled or manipulative. Instead they know they are loved and are happy secure and thriving.

OP I suggest you read "Why Love Matters - How Affection Shapes A Baby's Brain" by Sue Gerhardt. Maybe science will help you rethink your parenting style.

Oh, dear OP. It's a good job you're not coming back because you'd need an even harder hat, not to mention a nuclear-style bunker for that last post. My DS was exactly the same as everyone else's at four months - couldn't be put down, and wasn't. By five months, when he was able to sit safely in a highchair, we had mealtimes back. But I don't know why I'm saying this, since you're not coming back.

Blueskies I think you got very lucky with babies that took so well to routine if they were all consistently able to go down for two hours after lunch then be in bed 'on the dot' as well. Those of us with Velcro babies can only dream!

Shellington Sun 05-May-13 12:22:04


4. Fucking. Months. Old.

Yes it's much discussed, we'll never know for sure and hey if at least one anecdotal mum says "I do it - you'll be fine <pat on your back>" you'll no doubt feel justified hmm but aside from that - no one, not a medic or university ANYwhere - will test theories such as this on babies under at least 6 months old. For a reason.

"A walk for one hour every day" - sounds very structured, ditto feeding schedule. More small red flags for depression - needing to control the minutiae of daily life for fear of losing things completely.

Think I'll follow you out the door of this rather hideous thread OP.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-May-13 12:36:52

You sound like you've read some shitty parenting books that see a baby being a baby as bad instead of normal.

I don't believe that you 'taught' your baby to not cry over dinner and that your MIL spoilt it, rather that babies go through different stages of neediness (see the evidence-based Wonder Weeks) and when your MIL was away was an easy stage, and 4 months is a notoriously difficult stage. That's why she's now crying during dinner when she previously wasn't. You are simply ignoring her at a time when she needs you more.

noblegiraffe Sun 05-May-13 12:38:21

Ignoring him, sorry, your baby is a boy not a girl.

Shellington Sun 05-May-13 12:40:50

I believe it's spelled i-n-c-o-n-v-e-n-i-e-n-c-e, noble

MammaTJ Sun 05-May-13 12:41:24

Anyone else reminded of the 'Miles is a quiet baby, he knows noone comes if he cries' NSPCC advert by the OPs last post?

This is such a sad thread.

Shellington Sun 05-May-13 12:41:31

Shouldn't be here, bringing out the negative in me obviously!
<door hitting arse on way out>

LemonBreeland Sun 05-May-13 12:43:05

It is complete and utter nonsense that if you pick your baby up every time they cry that you will end up with a baby you can't put down.

I feel sorry for your baby and sorry for your mil. I'm not someone who picks a baby up at the tiniest thing but I could not eat while my baby cried.

It is not healthy, normal or helpful to 'teach' a 4 month old baby to shut the fuck up by ignoring them. There is no value or purpose in it. It isn't a parenting method, it's just unkind. Retreat and return isn't even a thing. I googled it and nothing came up. And even if it was - why? Why retreat from your baby when he wants you? Madness.

Tailtwister Sun 05-May-13 13:10:31

I agree Mamma this is a very sad thread. However, it is very heartening that the majority of posters don't think it's reasonable to leave a 4 month old to cry. It's just a shame that OP can't be persuaded the same.

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 05-May-13 13:13:01


I actually posted about that advert early in the thread. Definitely reminded me of Miles.

However I was v.angry and my posts were deleted because I expressed it (wrongly) and called the op an awful mother

quoteunquote Sun 05-May-13 13:17:18

I won't be posting on this thread again.

That what I thought, because I realised after my first post, it's just a wind up, button pushing thread.

The sad thing is that someone might be stupid enough to copy the vile method.

so I hope the OP really thinks hard before doing it again.

Unfortunately, I do think this thread is real, real and very sad, but not as uncommon as I'd hope, I've had a young Mum ask when it's OK to do CC with her baby barely 4 months hmm

If you need to eat, get a sling, they are awesome for babies of that age, or take it in turns with Dh to hold him. or do what I did with my first and cut your food up before then have him on your lap!

It really is surviving at this age, but it honestly doesn't last long.
I take it this is your first baby? the time goes so quickly, don't regret how you treated him in his first precious months.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 05-May-13 13:51:48

[mamma] I hate that advert!

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 05-May-13 13:52:58

mamma even

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 05-May-13 14:06:10

I've just read the ops last post, god that's sad.

I'm not someone who believes babies need to be attached to you at all times or that occasional crying causes brain damage but manipulative, really? He's a tiny baby, maybe he does want picking up for no other reason than attention so what he's a tiny baby. Give him the attention he wants and wait for your bloody dinner. It's only a few months out of your life

PeneloPeePitstop Sun 05-May-13 14:13:38

Ok I feel my initial instincts on this were correct after that last post.
Crying techniques are for careful use after 6 months old. This baby is way too young.

And to feel that a 4 month old is 'no fool' and 'manipulative' - this OP needs professional help if she really believes this.

It might feel forever but really it's such a short time - a developmental phase. I'm concerned this need the OP has for control in this way is to mask a feeling in some other way she's not coping.

It's really sad.

Limelight Sun 05-May-13 14:34:57

Your DC wants attention. You talk like that's a bad thing. Out of interest, what will happen in the long run of you give into your DC's need for attention?

But it's your call. I remember feeling like I was never going to be able to use two hands to eat my dinner again so I remember how annoying that can be. Your MIL wants to help though. Maybe you should let her.

Thingiebob Sun 05-May-13 14:37:02

I don't think this is a windup post. When my dd was a baby I had plenty of people tell me the exact same stuff, inc my own mother and HV, about babies 'controlling you' and so on.

I also knew plenty of seemingly well adjusted and loving mums who used CIO and controlled crying at a v young age. One mum in particular who was happy to turn off the baby monitor at 12 weeks so she couldn't hear her DD and so didn't respond.

It happens.

Limelight Sun 05-May-13 14:40:06

Just read back through the posts. Good grief. Lost cause. Going to play with my DC who are remarkably well adjusted, well behaved, and not even a little bit manipulative. Amazing when you consider I picked them up and gave them a cuddle when they cried as babies.

maddening Sun 05-May-13 14:49:04

Of course you will be judged - everything you do throughout your entire life will be judged by people around you - mostly it is very passive and you won't notice.

When it comes to dc judgement comes from a more passionate place for most people - it is pretty much geared in to human society to do so as it benefits society to protect the young of that society.

You have made a decision to choose a more extreme parenting style - if you are happy with that choice then why worry about other's judgement? So yes - everyone has the right to form their opinion on your parenting style when you have posted it and you have the right to parent as you see fit - you are happy with your choice but it doesn't mean everyone will agree with it.

As for the mil situation - if it is her dictating this mealtime issue then she ibu but you can find a way to work around it. If she isn't though and it is your choice to let your dc cry for the entirety of the meal then you do need to appreciate that it is extreme to do so and may be hard for others to tolerate as it goes against instinct so her "judgement" is quite normal and her right as much as your parenting choice is yours.

It isn't pleasant to feel "judged" but that is life and we are judged at every turn.

My boy at four months was on either my or dps lap. If it tskes '1-2 days to settle him to not crying at the table' surely it'll only take 1-2 days to settle him on your lap?

claremp7 Sun 05-May-13 14:56:55

I'm going to get in to trouble but......
Do you even want to have a son? I'm wondering if your relationship with OH is obviously more important. Does he agree with your parenting methods. I hope to god not otherwise that poor poor baby will grow up in a terrible uncaring home. One heartless person in a house is enough.
Please read through these comments carefully. My first one was positive and some people have really been trying to help you but I can't hold my tongue after your last post.

Wishiwasanheiress Sun 05-May-13 15:03:56

Hmm. I retract my earlier post and re point u back to my first, this is odd behaviour. Please post elsewhere for sensible help and see GP!

Sad sad thread sad

Blueskies, I really didn't have any choice because my kid really couldn't cope being separated. If I put him down it would take him about an hour to calm down and there would be puking involved and it would be the kind of uncontrolled screaming like the worst thing ever (you know that scream right? the blood curdling one like something is desperately wrong) it wasn't just crying with this one. He couldn't nurse because he was so worked up. I also like my personal space and felt crowded but I really had no choice on this one. My older one was very hands off and loved sitting in a bouncy chair looking around, this one was different. This one was generally a very happy baby so long as he was in constant skin to skin contact.

He is now twelve and much more independent than his earlier independent older brother was at that age, so 'coddling' him has not held him back in that respect.

OP, teaching a baby to self soothe is a good thing, I agree. It just is a skill they should learn later. Right now the single most important skill a young baby needs to learn is "my parents will be there for me, no matter what, I can rely on them" then when the time comes to self-soothe they know that you are there for them and they will be fine AND IT WILL BE EASIER. One thing I've figured out over 18 years of parenting and 10 years of nannying is that if you wait for your child to want to do something it is way easier than you deciding it is time.

If you always pick up your child at the slightest cry they will learn very quickly that "I Cry, I get picked up". Then it becomes impossible to put your child down cause they always want to be held.

Oh honey, they won't always want to be held. You really have a very small window (although I'm sure it feels like forever right now) when they really want to be held. My baby is 17 and those years flew by. I know you are in the trenches right now but this time will go. Very soon your son will be a toddler trying to slide off your lap and run around while you try to cuddle him.

pointythings Sun 05-May-13 16:14:24

Well, I always, always picked mine up. And they are secure, confident and as independent as all hell.

I was feeling sorry for you until your last post, OP. Now I'm firmly in the YABU camp. 4mo babies are incapable of being manipulative.

bouncysmiley Sun 05-May-13 16:15:20

It's really tough being a new mum.Showers and chores etc just get done when someone else is there to look after baby or with the baby attached to you.Have you got a sling? This will allow baby the closeness and comfort he needs and give you two hands back! I sympathise I really do but I think you and your husband need to adjust your expectations. Don't give your mil a hard time. If you talk to her and tell her you are struggling I am sure she'll give you a hand with chores or watch him while you grab a shower.

Svrider Sun 05-May-13 16:15:56

Attachment disorder OP
You might want to google it

NaturalBaby Sun 05-May-13 16:16:16

I had a very clingy, demanding baby - showers where the worst but at meal times he sat in a booster chair at the table right next to me with toys on his tray and was very happy.
You're going to start weaning soon, and it's as much about the social aspect of sitting together to eat as the food.

Putting a 4month old in front of the t.v next door is a bit over the top, there are other options!

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 05-May-13 16:16:52

"it becomes impossible to put your child down cause they always want to be held."
I felt like that four months in, and to be fair I did have a very full on, cry-ey baby who only wanted to sleep on me for a while, and did want to be carried about everywhere. It was very hard work.
The thing is, I did also have totally undiagnosed PND (I know this now), and I much as I loved my ds, I felt like I was totally trapped, and like it was never going to end.
I think, had I not had PND , I would have been much more able to rationalise, and see that this was a short phase, and that It would be OK.
As it was, I struggled on, feeling like I was in Hell, and wishing I had one of those easy who occasionally slept when they were "supposed" to.
Feeling like that makes it very hard to just chill out, and enjoy your baby.

IfNotNowThenWhen Sun 05-May-13 16:17:22

easy babies I mean

NaturalBaby Sun 05-May-13 16:19:06

At lunch times when it was just me and my baby we used to have a lovely time - he would sit in his bouncy chair smiling at me and watch me eating or play with his toys.

After reading the OPs last post I retract my posts to her.

What you are describing is NOT parenting OP, it's neglect. As awful as it sound I hope you DO have PND - at least that way there is a treatable reason for your seriously odd ideas about the manipulative abilities of tiny babies, because if not I feel truly concerned about your ability to meet your child's emotional needs.

I am not in the slightest bit tree huggy, I don't really have much time for attachment parenting, but your last post was frankly scary. There is a wealth of research that states categorically how such behaviour damages a child.

PLEASE show your GP and HV your posts are because you are so very wrong and your actions now have an impact on the rest of someone else's life.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sun 05-May-13 16:42:08

I hate it when babies are looked on as if they're an adversary to be defeated, rather than a small helpless creature that needs looking after.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sun 05-May-13 16:46:13

DS3 (7 months) will stop crying as soon as DH or myself walk over to him and you know what, I am damn proud of that because it means he knows that we are there for him. He knows that he can expect comfort and security from his parents. I'd rather that than a baby who doesn't even bother crying because he knows his parents can't be bothered with him.

Patosshades Sun 05-May-13 17:13:11

So this 4 month old child was able to sit at the table and not cry when the MIL went away for 3 whole weeks. How advanced is this child confused

Pick up the baby when they cry for gods sake. Tel MIL you and your DH are not children either and can choose to eat dinner when it suits you both. So one or other of you can watch out for the child. This phase won't last forever.

Just for the record also, your 4 month old baby, 16 ish weeks on this earth, is most definitely not manipulating you for extra contraband hugs fgs.

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 05-May-13 17:24:27


Op has sadly already stated in op that her dh supports her shock

I was raging at the start of the thread but the last posy from the op is desperately sad.

I also hope that there is some kind of attatchment issue/ pnd that can be fixed.

The alternative...that the op and her dh truly are that deluded and selfish that they believe a four month old baby is out to manipulate them.

Poor boy.

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 17:25:08

Wow 1st mil thread where I support mil!

I'm shocked that you think a 20 week old baby could be so wiley?
I'm sorry to say Op that its going to be a long time before you manage to have a peaceful lunch/dinner !

Pick that child up! I hate controlled crying! Find it awful when people let there dc cry out especially at that age sad

whatamardarse Sun 05-May-13 17:26:35

16 week I mean !

Lweji Sun 05-May-13 17:29:18

OP, don't you sometimes need attention?
What would you do if every time you went to talk to someone, or rang them, they ignored you?
That's what you are doing to your baby if you only hold him to feed, or when you please.

Figgygal Sun 05-May-13 17:35:45

Op your child is too young for cry it out and that's the end of it!!

ChunkyChicken Sun 05-May-13 17:39:24

My DS is 25wo today. He rarely gets left to even start crying - I can tell when his grumpy noises are genuinely getting too much & he's about to cry. Sometimes it gets to me & I feel greatly under-pressure and wish I had 5mins to brush my hair/toilet/drink tea warm etc etc. However, I know that it will pass and, like my lovely, energetic, out-going 3yo DD, he will be less 'demanding' of me.

And sometimes, when he is grumbling to be held as the dinner hits the table, or when DD has a poo in tandem with DS, or when I just step in the shower & I hear him wake up, or when I just doze off for a brief nap & either of them wake up, I do feel like they are doing it deliberately. Just to spite me.

Then I give myself a virtual slap & get a grip. No young child, let alone a baby, is capable of being manipulative - not unless you have taught them that's the only way to get attention. No 4mo is ever crying just for attention - that is a NEED in their own right.

I would suggest that even advocates of CC/CIO etc would say a 4mo shouldn't be left like this. It's one thing to leave a baby for 5mins to cry whilst you finish a wee/shower/the last mouthful of food before you go to them, its quite another to actively plan to leave your baby in distress on a daily basis.

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 05-May-13 17:41:16

Your wasting your time.

Read op's last post.

Does that sound like someone who had taken on board the fact that 200 odd people told her what she was doing is wrong?

SirBoobAlot Sun 05-May-13 17:44:34

He's four fucking months old.

Pick up your fucking baby.

Jesus Christ.

MyHeadWasInTheSandNowNot Sun 05-May-13 17:59:21

He's 16 weeks old - of course you should pick him up when he cries? You wont be getting him into a 'bad habit' you will be teaching him that he can trust you to meet his needs.

jacks365 Sun 05-May-13 18:07:32

Ok the op won't see it and won't care if she does but i've had so much advice about dd4 along the lines of not picking her up too often and that she'll end up spoilt etc from the attention but i ignored it and fed on demand and always pick up when she starts but now at 18months she is a happy independent toddler who loves to explore. She also goes to bed happily at 7pm and will play in her cot in a morning. What she has learnt is not to manipulate me but that if she needs me i'm here. Yes its hard for a bit but like others say she enjoyed her bouncy chair and i used a sling to get things done in the long term it is more than worth it.

I've parented all 4 the same, i'll never forget dd1's first day at nursery, she ran off to play and didn't even look back, that's a happy confident child.

MyShoofly Sun 05-May-13 18:14:26

Not much of an open mind for learning eh OP wonders why you asked. YABU and seem a bit ignorant to boot.

themaltesecat Sun 05-May-13 18:15:06

Poor kid.

Ashoething Sun 05-May-13 18:17:09

Whether or not I agree with op on the baby being "manipulative"hmm-I find all this nonsense about babies who are left to cry for 5 minutes having issues in later life a load of old bollocks.

Personally I think leaving very young dcs in a nursery with a bunch of strangers for 8 hours a day would probably stress them out more yet I bet there are loads of posters on this thread who do just that.

MyShoofly Sun 05-May-13 18:19:37

sad that some believe you can "molly-coddle" a baby

roses2 I rarely see a new mum who insist they know better than mothers of several kids, yet you come across as both inflexible, cold hearted and ignorant.

I feel for your baby! They are too young to be molly coddled, or left to cry. You are creating a clingy, insecure baby, and in turn a rod for your own back!

maddening Sun 05-May-13 18:28:18

Ashoe - I don't think anyone is suggesting that 5mins is an issue but rather longer periods

tabulahrasa Sun 05-May-13 18:30:30

Ashoething - To be fair, I think there's a massive difference between having to leave a baby to cry for a few minutes because life gets in the way and consciously deciding to routinely leave a baby crying because you want it to learn that you won't comfort it!

IsThatTrue Sun 05-May-13 18:39:33

ashoe I think that the reason people are objecting (mainly) is planning to leave a very small baby to cry.

My DS is 21 weeks (3rd baby) sometimes he can't have what he wants/needs immediately, but that doesn't mean I plan not to even try.

Tiny babies need cuddles. They are not manipulative little creatures who need breaking! sad

LookingForwardToMarch Sun 05-May-13 18:41:08

Its not 5 minutes while the op is busy finishing doing something else.

It's 20 mins

Just so that the op can have a relaxed meal listening to a baby scream.

I think the issue is more op's attitude.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Sun 05-May-13 18:43:01

Oh, what a sad thread.

Just to be clear, controlled crying/retreat and return/cry it out are not training techniques for a baby's behaviour during the day. They are sleep training techniques.

If you only waited a couple of months, your baby may well be happy to gum a breadstick whilst you eat. Or get him to bed earlier. Intentionally leaving a baby to cry to teach them they don't get what they want is soooo far beyond their comprehension.

PearlyWhites Sun 05-May-13 18:45:17

He probably was crying for attention which is just as important as hunger to a four month old. You should leave a young baby to cry because you want to eat.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 05-May-13 18:54:38

I don't think leaving a baby to cry for 5 mins will damage them.

I don't know if leaving the baby to cry for 20 mins every day so I can eat my dinner in peace will damage them but I think it's fucking cruel

RooneyMara Sun 05-May-13 19:01:49

The fact that he stopped crying when you picked him up, doesn't mean he's a manipulative little so and so who is trying to 'trick' you.

It means he has got what he needs.

Babies this age don't have 'wants', only needs. He needs you to pick him up. He does not understand the concept of manipulation, or tricks.

What on earth would he gain from this? hmm

every child deserve s and needs attention. Attention seeking, as a bad thing, comes about when a child doesn't have enough attention given to them as a rule, so tries to manipulate people into giving them attention by acting up.

If you deny a baby their natural amount of attention then you are going to turn them into exactly what you are trying to avoid.

It's true - there was research done that showed that babies who are comforted quickly in the first six months of their lives, cry LESS than those who are ignored in the first six months.

Whoever told you all this stuff about babies is clearly very old fashioned in their thinking, very uneducated and you've believed it all unquestioningly.

I am very sorry for your little boy. He must be really bloody confused. You're setting him up as an adversary already. Shouldn't you be on the same team?

RooneyMara Sun 05-May-13 19:05:39

sorry, cry less in the second 6 months than those who don't get the necessary response from their caregiver.

a baby who knows its needs will be met will not cry so much, as one who is afraid its parents won't come. It knows that it will have to escalate if it wants a response iyswim, so does so much more readily than one who only has to say, 'excuse me...ahem..a little help here' and someone comes to help.

In short you get a more secure, independent baby if you respond quickly to it when it cries in the first few months.

RooneyMara Sun 05-May-13 19:07:29

sorry again, the baby who is not confident it will get a response, will escalate quicker than one who knows a little cry will achieve a result.

trying to type with, erm, baby on lap!

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 20:56:16

Erm hate to burst your bubbles but op gives attention all day bar periods of 20 minutes 2 or 3 times a day. She didn't say he was crying all that time but that bar 20 minutes 2 or 3 times a day he was held,given attention etc.

Sounds more than normal to me,not sure I read the law "thou shalt carry and coo at your baby 24/7".

Oh and cc rocks.It may not be your way but it is the way for many,many mothers.I couldn't leave my baby in nursery however one size doesn't fit all.

Babies and mothers differ- live with it.

CC rocks??? for a 4 month old?

lucamom Sun 05-May-13 21:09:40

I couldn't leave my baby in nursery either, but those who do have no choice as they have to go to work-this mother chooses to impose her very bizarre and potentially damaging ideas onto her child. She has an opportunity to see she is wrong, but has clearly flounced off with her fingers in her ears...

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 21:11:32

What giving her baby attention all day bar a couple of 20 minute sessios.hmm

midori1999 Sun 05-May-13 21:13:11

This thread is so upsetting. I thought Mothers who thought their babies were manipulating them were something of the past now and that we were more educated these days. sad

As for 'CC rocks', who for? I doubt the baby.... plus, CC is a sleep training technique, whether you agree with it or not, it's not something to use to 'train' your baby during the day and it's not recommended for very young babies and it appears the OP has been treating her baby like this for some time. sad

catgirl1976 Sun 05-May-13 21:16:07

cc rocks

It certainly worked for us when DS was 10 months.

But what the OP is doing is not CC.

CC is for sleep training. Not the middle of the day or mealtimes.

CC does not involve just leaving your baby to cry. That's CIO, which is different.

CC is a short term thing, lasting a couple of nights. What the OP is doing is every meal time (by the sounds of it)

CC is not recommended for babies under 6 months old.

(And I do leave my baby in a nursery 2 days a week and have done since he was 5 months old.)

greenformica Sun 05-May-13 21:16:35

Does the baby really need to be left to cry? It's only 4 months (not a toddler) and wants to be held. Why don't you all just take it in turns holding the baby so everyone can get their needs met - adults with food and baby with cuddles. Why don't you listen to what your baby is trying to tell you? There is plenty of time to train him to sit nicely at a table when he is older, I think it's crazy that you are pushing quiet sitting now. I'm not surprised your MIL finds it distressing - maybe she could be the one to hold baby and socialise with it while you and DH eat?

lucamom Sun 05-May-13 21:16:56

From her op and responses it's clear that she isn't thinking " this us my only chance to eat, baby will just have to cry for 5 mind whilst I wolf this food down, it's the first chance I've had all day" (we've all been there). This op has made a choice to train her child out of it's natural instincts, as the baby is trying to get one over her and win affection, which must be stopped through this method of controlled crying (which is actually a misnomer, it's simply crying)

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 21:20:36

Erm babies need sleep in the day.I and the vast maj of my friends did 3 or 4 days tops of cc (actually a bit of a misnomer as there is very little crying involved when you follow a routine a la Gina).

Most babies I know need 2 or 3 hours of sleep a day.Mine were miserable and cranky until they started getting it.

Sorry last I heard routines are still very popular.There is no "we", parents parent differently.

catgirl1976 Sun 05-May-13 21:23:24

But the OP isn't using CC to get her baby to sleep either in the day or at night.

She isn't using CC at all.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 21:31:40

Didn't say she was.

From her posts it's clear she gives her baby masses of attention all day bar a couple of 20 minutes when I guess she's shovelling food into herself.He cries for a few minutes and stops.

Being his mother she can differentiate between grizzling and a scream due to tiredness,illness etc.

Nt child abuse,not neglect but a knackered mum grabbing some food so no cause for hysteria or mass judging.

catgirl1976 Sun 05-May-13 21:33:30

I just don't understand why you keep talking about CC though when the thread is not about that

Sirzy Sun 05-May-13 21:35:30

To me its the idea that a 4 month old can be manipulative and needs training to realise that they are being ignored which I struggle with.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 21:40:30

I was responding to others which mentioned it.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 21:42:26


EasilyBored Sun 05-May-13 21:44:58

I'm all about having a routine, but it has to be one that suits the whole family. You can't crowbar a baby into a routine just tosuit you. Babies are people too. I hate this 'my baby, my rules' bullshit, you don't own a baby. It's a human being who has wants and needs too. If people want something that is obedient and minimally disruptive, they should get a fucking dog.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Sun 05-May-13 21:49:46

Blueskies - i don't understand why you keep talking about CC and Gina routines. They weren't for me, but they are legitimate parenting techniques that work for others. People aren't knocking that. That isn't what this thread is about. People are saying that what is being done isn't CC/CIO, that a four month old can't 'trick' anyone. If the OP wants a strict routine, fine. Then they can eat and shower when they know the baby will be napping or in bed. But what she is doing is not any form of routine or sleep training.

Intentionally leaving a baby to regularly cry until they give up, not to bolt down food as quickly as possible, but because you decide to have a formal dinner at table is not IMO, a nice way to treat your child.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 21:55:17

Oh for goodness sake babies have to fit into a family,they're not made from Dresden china.

The fact remains the vast majority of the day revolves around babies so the odd one or two times they're not the centre of attention isn't going o make a jot of difference.It's a marathon not a sprint.

Sparhawk Sun 05-May-13 22:08:03

Why on earth would you post a thread asking people for their opinions, then throw a hissy fit when they didn't give you the opinion you wanted? hmm

Sparhawk Sun 05-May-13 22:10:25

Oh and there's absolutely no way I would ever leave my three month old daughter crying, she's a baby, she doesn't understand why her mummy is ignoring. I plan around her routine and I certainly wouldn't allow another woman, regardless of who it was, to tell me when I can and can't eat.

AmandaPayneAteTooMuchChocolate Sun 05-May-13 22:21:12

That wasn't actually what I asked you Blueskies, but ok. I have said upthread that DD2 regularly cried in her bouncer for a few minutes because I needed to shower before taking DD1 out. But I wouldn't, intentionally and where I could avoid it, plan my day in a way that would regularly involve her crying whilst I intentionally ignored her to teach her a lesson.

PeneloPeePitstop Sun 05-May-13 22:25:07

Think about it. If the baby is on a feeding schedule then it will be crying a lot more than just at mealtimes.

Because everyone, not just babies, gets hungry at random intervals. We don't all sit and eat every four hours on the dot, sure our meals might fall into some routine but most of us snack on fruit or whatever in between.

So, it'll be crying from hunger until the next 'feeding window' too. But I suppose that's also manipulative behaviour.

Blueskiesandbuttercups Sun 05-May-13 22:33:14

Not sure what ou're getting at Penelopehmm, said baby gets whatever attention it needs where possible throughout the day.Said mum likes to eat so shovels some food down herself baby sometimes cries(maybe just grizzling for all we know). Soooo not an issue unless you like mass,jumping on the bandwagon judging.

MoominsYonisAreScary Sun 05-May-13 23:31:34

The op says he was crying a lot and it doesn't take 20 mins to shovel some food down, he is being left to cry because the op wants to eat her meal in peace. That's pretty sad

ProtegeMoi Sun 05-May-13 23:59:41

FFS at first I felt sorry for a mother who sounds like she's struggling but after all these people telling her that 4 month old babies have no understanding of routine , feeding to schedule rarely works and leaving her tiny baby to cry is the wrong thing to do she simply says we're all wrong and she's going to do it anyway.

Poor baby sad

MrsHoarder Mon 06-May-13 05:19:13

Sparhawk because the op expected everyone to say yanbu and offer support/mil handling tips.

Think this thread should be pointed our next time its claimed MN is a hotbed of anti-mil sentiment, setting innocent gm's up for a fall.

Branleuse Mon 06-May-13 06:55:42

pick the poor baby up and give him a cuddle. sad sad sad

Bluesky Read the OP and her responses. She's not shovelling food in and leaving her baby to cry just while she does that as you suggest. She's purposely leaving him to cry because she thinks he'll learn not to at an age when he's not capable of that logic, and further thinks he's capable of 'working the system' for different people.

Doingakatereddy Mon 06-May-13 08:54:08

Just read OP's responses - she has a 'manipulative' baby who knows 'tricks' to force families affections.

I suspect she has a baby who relies on families love, affection & care to survive.

For pity's sake, pick your baby up & give the parenting theories a break

Dancergirl Mon 06-May-13 09:04:50

OP, if you are still reading....please consider this: forget all the books, theories, discipline routines, 'methods' etc and go with your instincts as a mother. Live in the moment, that your baby needs you right now. Don't worry about what will happen in the future or try to make predictions. Babies and children's needs change very quickly. It really won't be long before he won't want picking up so often.

Svrider Mon 06-May-13 14:58:25

Also op children are not mentally capable of been manipulative untill at least 6/7 yo
Note years old
Not months
Not weeks

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