Advanced search

To think if controlled crying does 'damage', does letting them cry in the back of the car do the same?

(23 Posts)
frankie4 Fri 09-Aug-13 23:13:01

I came back from my holiday on a plane a few days ago and there was a baby who was screaming most of the way, particularly during the descent when she probably had popping ears. And a toddler in front of me was crying, and seemed traumatised as he had to be strapped in his own seat for the take off, and he was terrified and was trying to climb onto his mum's lap.

There are lots of occasions when babies will cry as they are scared. My ds used to scream in the back of the car in the rear facing seat. Even though I spoke and sang to him, he had no understanding of what was going on and was traumatised on long journeys.

But the only time I have been slated on MN was when I said that I did controlled crying for a few nights!!

NoComet Wed 07-Aug-13 13:00:44


NoComet Wed 07-Aug-13 13:00:20

I think the car is different, they have the car motion and they can hear your voice and the radio. They are not alone in a dark room.

They may be very pissed off your ignoring them, but they know your there.

yellowtiledfloor Wed 07-Aug-13 12:55:20

There is no evidence so you just need to go with your instinct. My feeling is that yes it does, and I have a car hater. Because of this I only travel if he is already asleep and stop the car to settle if necessary. I've almost missed two flights because of it and would've chosen to miss the flight than have him cry if it came to it: dp unimpressed by this! Luckily he went to sleep!

MiaowTheCat Wed 07-Aug-13 12:52:45

This is going to end with a lot of women being told they're abusing their babies by them crying in the car when some of the usual suspects come along.

Sometimes if you're in the car on your own and you have to get somewhere there's not much else you can do... you can sing like a prat, you can chatter away like a deranged talk show host and do the trying desperately to creep toward the traffic lights praying they'll change to green and you won't have to stop thing if you've got a one who screams when the car stands still (that advert makes us smile in this house as it's DD1 to a T)... but if you have to get somewhere solo, all you can do is try to keep yourself calm and rational so you're safe to drive and decide if it's going to be more or less distressing to stop, settle them and then let them get upset again when you resume the journey - or if it's going to be better in the big picture to just finish the short bit of the trip to get to where you need to be.

We found swapping DD1 out of her infant carrier type carseat into a fitted into the car type helped a lot as she had more space and more view in that elevated position - that was really the key part of the solution for us, prior to that it was trying to time naptimes to be in the car and desperately praying not to get stopped at a traffic light lots!

Rooners Wed 07-Aug-13 12:40:00

I stop when mine cries but sometimes you have very little option but to keep going - I wouldn't want to leave it more than a few minutes though. Ds3 was terribly upset a lot of the time when he was very tiny - he's 7mo now and much calmer.

We had a few school runs (takes about 7 minutes) when he wailed, but he got upset to the point of coughing/choking very quickly, and so I stopped even on those. Try to leave with plenty of time to spare to stand next to the car jiggling/patting/feeding in case it is wind/hunger etc.
One memorable outing we attempted when he was about a month old, in the snow and ice, and stopped on the way home in the dark, about 10 miles from home, next to a diesel plant by the emergency gates and nearly got stuck there as it was so treacherous.

I fed him in the front seat and put him back in and thankfully, we did make it home.

The essential difference with CC is that it's deliberate and I detest that, totally detest it.

weeblueberry Wed 07-Aug-13 12:27:22

dreamingbohemian I'm absolutely not judging. In fact I specifically said I wasn't in my first post. I don't know enough about it to judge quite honestly. smile

The 'damage' that research has highlighted is done by the stress hormone iirc. It is the leaving them alone that creates the release of this hormone. Being in the car is nothing at all the same.

WestieMamma Wed 07-Aug-13 12:09:36

My little one doesn't normally cry at all (unlike the previous one who was a complete screamer). One day while driving down the motorway he suddenly started howling. I mean really, really howling. Like someone was sawing his leg off. It was horrendous, I nearly crashed the car. I thought he was in serious trouble. I was distraught. Got off the motorway at the first opportunity only to find there was absolutely nothing wrong with the little monkey. He started smiling as soon as I picked him out of the carseat.

Tailtwister Wed 07-Aug-13 11:21:26

This brings back memories of being stuck on a gridlocked M25 with DS1 screaming like a banshee in the back. Just horrible and so stressful when I couldn't do anything about it. I even contemplated getting out of the car to soothe him (I was on my own), but luckily the traffic started moving and I came off at the first junction.

NeverQuiteSure Wed 07-Aug-13 11:16:29

I have absolutely no idea re your question, OP. However, the memory of mine screaming in the car still haunts me. It's just awful.

bigkidsdidit Wed 07-Aug-13 11:09:56

Well yes, and that's what I do too, but of DS2 is really yelling I'd have to yell back to get him to hear grin

SalaciousBCrumb Wed 07-Aug-13 11:07:39

Presumably OP has a voice, Bigkid? Can sing, talk, make soothing sounds before giving up and turning the radio on loud and driving like an F1 driver to get home asap

bigkidsdidit Wed 07-Aug-13 11:01:20

Saying 'but you didn't leave him, you were in the car' - a
Baby in a rear facing seat wouldn't know that

dreamingbohemian Wed 07-Aug-13 11:01:03

I don't understand why people are so judgy about controlled crying when they don't even know how it works.

We did it and it worked. 3 nights. The longest DS cried was 8 minutes, on the first night. 4 minutes on the second, 2 minutes on the third. So 14 minutes total which is less than the crying in your one car trip. You certainly don't have to leave them for 10 minutes if you don't want to. And it's not recommended for young babies anyway.

bigkidsdidit Wed 07-Aug-13 10:59:18

I always think this. DS2 hates the car, we avoid it but sometimes it is necessary. Equally what about babies with colic? They cry all te time - but I've never seem anything suggesting they have long term damage.

IMO the evidence behind the long term damage of cc is bert weak and over interpreted.

SamuelAndOscarsMummy Wed 07-Aug-13 10:56:48

Sorry this is off topic but really bugging me..what does PFB stand for?!

Controlled crying never did mine any harm. They know I come to them in flash when they are really upset or hurt or poorly or anything but when they are trying it on or that god awful whinging (my 2 year old, not my little one obviously) they get ignored until they tell me what it is that is wrong. They also know they get cuddles and attention without having to whinge for it, I'm a strong believer in controlled crying as I think it puts the parent in charge, as long as you give your children lots of love without them having to 'ask' for it.

So no, YANBU, you were driving and there was nothing you could do about it, can you remember being a baby? I certainly can't so nothing my parents did when I was 3 months old has done me any damage!

Icedink Wed 07-Aug-13 10:53:55

I always hated it when my babies cried in the car - if you're stuck in traffic or on the motorway theres literally nothing you can do! Sorry that doesn't answer your question but Ikwym.

weeblueberry Wed 07-Aug-13 10:50:55

Lol thanks ;)

I admit I don't know much about cc (most of what I do know was learned from mn so take that as you will!!) but don't you do out for 5 mins, then 10 etc? Ugh I dunno...

Given how much of a sore head I had after a good fifteen minutes I'm not sure how people do cc frankly...

HollyBerryBush Wed 07-Aug-13 10:44:39

I don't see how you can 'test' these theories. You havent got a control product.

cory Wed 07-Aug-13 10:43:21

But you were there. You didn't leave her/him. You are an utter failure at this controlled crying lark. grin

WilsonFrickett Wed 07-Aug-13 10:41:33

Oh this is bringing back baaaad memories of DS wailing in the back of the car.

Unless you are in the car for 12 hours a day, how can a one-off wailing incident be in any way like controlled crying? Sometimes I would have stopped to soothe DS - but that would normally have been if DH was driving as he found the crying really distracting. More often we we would just focus on getting home. And you can't stop every 5 minutes when you're on the motorway, can you?

So stop PFB-ing. It's fine grin

weeblueberry Wed 07-Aug-13 10:30:03

I'm probably not someone who'll try controlled crying when the time comes but am not judging those who do. I know it has a good success rate, it's just not for me.

I admit I got sucked in with the whole 'if the baby cries and no one comes it learns that mummy doesn't always come if you're upset' stuff. But as I was driving home the other day and my 3 month old wailed LITERALLY the entire way home, I wondered if that causes the same problems anti controller criers say leaving them in their cot does?

Or am I being a total bitch and everyone else stops every 5 minutes to soothe their child when they cry in the car?

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now