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

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

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

So she asks for advice via status on faceache.

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

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

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

Its a fucking baby, suffering anxiety sad

I hope she doesnt listen to them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But who is left on their own?

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

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

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

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

There is diddl and most people end up there.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cailin this is MN, arguments have to be binary wink

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Or* on the toilet!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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