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Am I doing this right?(5 Posts)
Hi all, I have a 6 month old pfb (and not ashamed to admit it! )
Just a few questions/queries, often when he wakes up from a nap I leave him alone in the bedroom chatting away to himself, I don't tend to go in until he's crying for me. Is this teaching him to self soothe? Or am I just teaching him that when he cries I'll come running? Should I get him out of bed before he starts to cry?
Likewise when he's whimpering/crying because he's bored/can't see me, do I leave him unhappy for a few minutes? In the hope that he will eventually settle himself or again am I teaching him that when he cries I'll come? But I don't want him to think that I won't come when he wants/needs me....
You want him to learn that when he needs you, you will be there! That forms strong attachment and will reap you benefits in the long run, as secure attachment will help produce a calm and confident toddler.
I would be happy to leave him burbling in the cot if he is happy, but I would go in as soon as it starts to sound unhappy. I wouldn't let it get to full on upset crying. Same with leaving him to do other things - obviously occasionally you can't avoid it and he'll have to wait. But I wouldn't let him get to upset crying.
The "self settling/soothing" thing afaik refers to sleep - the idea that you can teach babies to fall asleep on their own, or resettle if they wake in the night. My opinion on this is that it is a bit of a red herring. Some babies can self settle naturally - those that can be put down awake but drowsy, and then drop off. Others can't, and there's no point in trying to "teach" them. They will achieve it in their own time, different for each child, and nothing really will hurry them along. IMO the controlled crying techniques just condition your baby not to expect a response when they are upset. From my point of view, this goes against the secure attachment that babies should feel as I mentioned above.
I have 2DC, 4yo and 11mo.
If they chatted away on waking I'd leave for a bit til sure they weren't going back to sleep, then go in and get them. Wouldn't wait til they're crying as that just reinforces that they have to cry to get you.
If dd is crying because I'm not there I'd go to her, reassure with a cuddle and try to put down again. I've had 2 velcro babies though so I got used to getting about with one or other attached to me! Babies that young don't cry to manipulate you IMHO, they're just upset when you're not there.
FWIW, DS was the ultimate velcro baby and would barely be put down til a year old. He's now charming and still cuddly but staunchly independent and confident.
Let your instincts choose. If your heart says go to him then do it.
Thank you ladies, it's a minefield this parenting lark and everyone has different advice!
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