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How much crying do you tolerate?

(21 Posts)
Gennz Wed 17-Dec-14 23:30:56

And what sort of crying? DS is nearly 4 weeks and is my PFB and a couple of people have said to me that they thought their second child slept better than their first because they didn't [couldn't] respond to every cry. I am trying to be quite aware of not jumping every time he squeaks but also not leaving him! (I thought before I had him that I'd be able to tolerate more crying than I can!!My limit for proper crying is about 2 min max)

I generally don't pick up for grizzles but do for wails (esp when I'm trying to get him to sleep), but occasionally I haven't got there in time and he's let off a couple of wails & then settled to sleep. Then sometimes the wails means he just needs to be picked up for a final winding & cuddle & then goes straight to sleep when put down again after a minute or two. I also try to keep an eye on when I've put him down for a nap and if crying breaks out around the 45 minute mark I try to tolerate it (shush, rock the buggy, whatever) to get him into the next sleep cycle without being picked up. But sometimes he just needs a cuddle.

I'm trying to learn the dfferent cries (I think he's still a bit young for this) & I think the biggest difficulty is mistaking a cluster feeding cry for an overstimulated/overtired cry...

I'm just quite interested in this as it seems everyone's definition of controlled crying etc is different. This doesn't feel like "controlled crying" to me, it feels like trying to interpret what he's trying to tell us, but I guess everyone's tolerance is different. And of course DS is still so tiny, I have no idea whether what we're doing will help create good sleep habits etc in the future or not.

Redling Thu 18-Dec-14 05:22:59

What are you trying to do with him to not pick him up with when he cries? Has someone to you this is a bad thing?! I don't think its wrong to pick up a crying 4 week old baby instantly! In my mind enjoy the fact you can snuggle him all day and never out him down, people who can't do it with second children don't do it from choice do they? Why is is it better? Responding to every cry instantly is very natural when you have a newborn, he's far too young to developmentally 'learn' from being left to cry. I'm not talking about those 'omg he's crying and I'm mid wee or have a jumper half way over my head' times when trying to do anything with a newborn, which everyone gets and you can't respond to everything immediately, but you sound like your doing this on purpose, and I have no idea why. Please just enjoy holding him, it's what newborns are programmed to do. You seem surprised that 'sometimes he just needs a cuddle' when right now his whole life is needing a cuddle! Don't overnalyse this stage, if he's crying its 90% going to be hunger, change regularly, let him sleep on you if you want him to sleep longest and best, it won't form any habits and honestly is the nicest thing about having a newborn. You can 'interpret' what he wants while holding him. google 'fourth trimester'. 'Creating good sleep habits' at that age is pretty much bullshit, but if you want to do something teach him night and day by taking him to dark and quiet bedroom all night even when he feeds and needs changing the same times etc and then up in the morning to light and bright fun living room with noise, to teach night and day. Do all the feeds changes etc in bedroom in low light, even just night light. Minimal low talking. But please enjoy holding your tiny baby and letting him sleep on you as much as possible as its not 'PFB' it's perfectly natural, and very soon you won't be able to and you'll realise babies can have all kinds of sleep habits good or bad, and it's mainly developmental not taught. My 17 week d goes to bed at 7.30, sleeps in his cot until 7 with two wakeups on average, 3 if he's extra hungry and wakes up a bit when in particular mental leap phases. This is normal.

CheerfulYank Thu 18-Dec-14 05:35:41

I never left mine to cry until about eight or nine months, and then just for a few minutes.

I strongly believe that very young babies need every cry responded to.

Dd is almost 19 months now and cries at bedtime because she doesn't like it, hut I'm comfortable with this because I know she knows I'm still here and still coming back if she really needs me.

She slept with me til nine months though and I did very limited controlled crying (a few minutes and then would go in and reassure her) until after a year.

At four weeks she was literally attached to us all the time, with a sling or cosleeping or being held by me or DH or her older brother on occasion.

Redling Thu 18-Dec-14 05:39:38

Sorry it's an essay but I strongly feel you've had some very odd advice or been reading a book you should bin! Think of a 4 week baby, used to being curled up warm inside you, he still can't see well, he's programmed to learn at this stage mainly by looking at faces and hearing voices and conversations. He's lying on his back in a basket or pram and he can see a vast expanse above him which is scary. He can hear his mother and father and smell them and he's frightened and he cries because he wants to be held by them. I'm sure you are trying to do what's best for him because you hope it will help in the future, but as I've heard on here before, be the parent he needs now, not the one you think he needs in the future. That means sitting on the sofa holding him so he's warm and comforted and building a bond, and by all means when he sleeps pop him down and go for a coffee etc, but if he wakes pick him back up and settle him.

Pengyquin Thu 18-Dec-14 05:39:43


My second child had awful colic and literally didn't stop crying for 7 weeks. No way could I have ignored it!

Now, he's 8 months. I do let him grizzle if i'm honest much more than I did DD, but that's normally because if they're both kicking off at the same time, I deal with her first (she's a small toddler)

rootypigsinblankets Thu 18-Dec-14 05:55:56

I think your ideas are essentially right but you're a wee bit ahead of yourself. 4 weeks old is tiny and he'll mostly need going to. But being alert to what your baby is trying to tell you right from the start is a great thing! No idea why you're getting flamed.

Anyway to answer your question I can only stand about ten seconds crying before my brain goes up in flames (2yo DD) and twas ever thus. I look forward to the day when crying is not a form of primary communication in my house hmm

Redling Thu 18-Dec-14 06:08:18

rootypigs I'm not flaming the op, she's doing what she thinks is best, nothing wrong with that. BUT if she's leaving him because she believes it will all come right in the future and this will help him sleep, I don't think its true and then this period when it's best to hold hold hold will have been lost. I'm hoping to make her feel she can relax as she doesn't sound particularly happy with letting him cry but is doing it because she thinks it's right. And yes OP you are right in trying to learn to interpret his cris but you don't have to let him cry without picking up to do that iyswim? If your natural instinct is to grab him the minute he cries there is nothing wrong with that.

purplemurple1 Thu 18-Dec-14 06:18:22

I think I did the same as you, I tried to not be on high alert all the time but when he cried I'd get his bottle or go to him but that takes a few min and sometimes he would settle before I got there.
That's not CC it's just allowing yourself to relax a little knowing a couple of mins grizzling won't harm the baby. I think 45 min naps are quite normal at his age so I would pick him up. But also sometimes I would put my arm around him in his crib to settled him, although that started because I had back pain.

confusedandemployed Thu 18-Dec-14 06:23:19

My DD is nearly 22 mo now and I never let her cry, unless I was sleep training (much later) - and only then for a short while because thankfully she didn't take long to get the sleeping thing.
I still go to her very quickly, because I find it's much easier to settle her after a whimper, than it is if I let her build herself up to a proper old scream (talking night time now, obviously).
My advice would be listen to your instinct and don't worry about bad habits. You will never meet a better sleeper than my DD and she wasn't left to cry for more than a couple of seconds at that age.
Congratulations on your baby flowers

rootypigsinblankets Thu 18-Dec-14 06:45:51

Redling I think you misinterpreted the OP tbh.

And OP purple is right, this is not CC you just wait

steerpike82 Thu 18-Dec-14 06:49:25

I think at 4 weeks babies probably need picking up when they cry, but I see your point - I started leaving my lo to cry at about 12 weeks, but only for 5-10 mins st a time ( i had morning sickness). Tbh, I do regret even that as he did go quite clingy, but he was safe in his cot while I was ill.

FishWithABicycle Thu 18-Dec-14 06:50:26

If you have any time for reading (unlikely with a young baby) then Secrets of the Baby Whisperer has a lot to say about this.

Basically - responding to a cry doesn't / shouldn't mean picking up and cuddling every time. Stop, look, think, look for cues to work out what kind of cry. Sometimes the right response is just your calm soothing voice or a gentle pat. I didn't understand for months that my DS needed to cry a few sobs just to express how very very tired he was for a minute before falling asleep - picking him up and cuddling him was utterly the wrong thing to do, and a lot of the months of no sleep were down to that. Once I learned what that cry meant, suddenly the sleeping situation improved dramatically.

Gennz Thu 18-Dec-14 07:30:13

Jeepers. I don't think not running down the hallway the moment I hear him start to grizzle equates to leaving him! I'd never leave him to cry for 5 minutes but I have let grizzle while standing over him (sometimes shushing or rocking the buggy) while trying to see if he's actually awake or not. I'd be annoyed if someone grabbed me or cuddled me while I muttered in my sleep.

As I said, sometimes it's clear he needs a cuddle and so he gets a cuddle! I have absolutely no concerns about DS' emotional well being, he certainly doesn't lack for cuddles or adoration from either of his parents.

Gennz Thu 18-Dec-14 07:33:28

P.S I'm pretty happy with what I'm doing, & DS is doing really well & seemspretty happy & chilled! I was just interested to hear what others do - there seems to be a very broad definition of what = crying and what = "controlled crying".

MrPop Thu 18-Dec-14 07:59:48

Gennz - controlled crying is a very specific sleep training method, initially developed by Richard feber.

Gennz Thu 18-Dec-14 08:02:38

Yes I know, I've read his book. Clearly this is not controlled crying by any stretch.

MrPop Thu 18-Dec-14 08:07:01

So there isn't a broad definition of controlled crying as it is a defined technique which is for babies 6 months plus. What you have been doing isn't controlled crying btw. As I understand it some babies grizzle before sleeping, sadly none of my dc got the memo and all ramped up their cries if not picked up.

All babies are different and the early stages are about learning what your baby is like - which it sounds like you are doing ..until they go and change everything again!

Gennz Thu 18-Dec-14 08:15:40

Sorry, I know there's a definition for controlled crying but everyone seems to have a different definition/tolerance for the "crying"bit which was what my OP was focused on.

Redling Thu 18-Dec-14 08:16:17

Ok that's fine, if you are happy it's ok! I assumed your post was that you were letting him cry for periods against your own wishes as you felt you were helping him train to sleep, which I still believe can't happen at 4 weeks, but they do have to learn to sleep alone. Also when you mentioned trying not to pick him up when he sleeps again I thought you meant you wanted to hold but were worried about it! It's natural to panic about sleep, I was totally stuck on his naps when he was 8 weeks and he just stopped falling asleep. I certainly don't think that you are doing any damage! Sorry if my post read like that, more that I feel you worrying about their later sleep habits already is uneccasary stress in what's already a difficult time, and I found just picking him up and holding as much as poss the easiest option. He does sleep pretty well now, and has never really co slept so is happy in his own cot. Now at 17 weeks I can tolerate a lot more crying because coats need to be put on etc and he bellows at a whole range of stuff, it was a lot easier when just oicking him up would stop it! Congrats on your baby!

purplemurple1 Thu 18-Dec-14 09:06:13

For me (I was fine with crying from day one and did CC at 6 months)

Crying - fine while I'm getting what it is he needs, finishing on the loo, turning down dinner etc. Or grizzling in his sleep/almost asleep (mine slept with his eyes open so this was hard to judge sometimes).

CC - timmed crying periods where I know he is safe, fed, dry etc and needs to sleep but doesnt want to. where i know picking him up will stimulate him and keep him awake.

mewkins Fri 19-Dec-14 22:29:40

Hi op, with my second I always waited a few minutes if I knew it was an obvious 'I am tired, I need to sleep' cry and he always went to sleep quickly. He caught onto self settling really quickly whereas dd was just loud and wouldn't! It very much depends on personality types. With dd I would have said there's no point in leaving her, she'll just get louder, babies can't settle themselves at this age etc, but actually I think she wss just overstimulated by the world. I think what you are doing is a good approach.

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