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Feel really mean!

(14 Posts)
fruityb Wed 08-Mar-17 13:24:32

DS is six months and a good napper and has them in his cot. He wasn't always but in the last month to six weeks he's become a great snoozer. I decided his cot was the best place as he was always snoozing on me and while I loved the cuddles it wasn't exactly practical!

Anyway I noticed about a month ago there were times he just refused to settle downstairs and as soon as I put him in bed he would. But there are times he was over tired and grumpy and I was far too quick to run to his room or to get him up. So I started setting the timer on my phone for four minutes, then five etc. Typically I had to go up twice and he'd nod off. He's usually looking around and then settles. Today he was crying because he was just so tired he was a nightmare! He cried the whole time for five minutes until the last 30 seconds where he went quiet and when I looked at the monitor and he'd fallen asleep. I feel horrible that he cried, and I hate leaving him to. I'm telling myself he was just shattered and needed to calm down and sleep - but it doesn't stop me feeling sad. I'm not going to cause him any issue am I? He wasn't there for ages and he was crying for four and a half minutes if that. He has his comforter and is now fast asleep with his arms above his head peaceful as you like.

I'm not a horrible mum am I??

FATEdestiny Wed 08-Mar-17 13:56:27

You seem to be very keen for people to tell you that you did the right thing. I think if you are going to do controlled crying at 6 months old, you need to "own" that decision rather than looking to others.

You only need to justify it in your own mind (and baby's Dad). If it's ok with the two of you, then that is your decision as the right thing to do.

I think with my firstborn child, I may have done the same. At least half-heartedly and on-and-off at this age. Im not proud of the fact though.

As i had my second and subsequent children my expectations became more realistic and I stressed less about everything. So would not consider leaving my baby to cry at all. I understood by that point there was no need and no benefit to it.

If you are, fair enough. Lots of people do. If you made the decision as the right thing for you and your baby - then stand by that.

If you feel bad or guilty for leaving your still small baby cry, even though he relies upon you for everything, then may be listen to your instincts?

Give it another 6 months or so and baby will be better able to snuggle that comfort toy. For now, he does not have the physical dexterity skills to do so. So dont kid yourself, his comforter isn't providing any comfort. Yet.

fruityb Wed 08-Mar-17 14:14:37

Keen in general or keen here? I'm on my own a lot and don't have a lot of people I can talk with regularly so I like to ask opinions.

Kidding myself? I'm not kidding myself of anything I'm looking for reassurance or advice. I think the way you speak to people is quite condescending if I'm honest. I own everything I do I'm just asking if others may have done the same or for any advice. He sleeps wonderfully all night I'm just seeing if this works for naps and wouldn't do it for longer than twenty minutes in short increments. And he always cuddles his comforter when he's sleeping.

I know he relies on me for everything but in terms of napping sometimes I cannot calm him or get him to sleep and he needs that time in his bed.

Are you a sleep expert? Genuine questions as you seem to know a lot about it.

ineedwine99 Wed 08-Mar-17 14:19:15

Hi OP, i do this and have done from very early on, i've learned the difference between a 'whine' and a distressed cry so i know when to go to her, as such she's good at re settling herself.
If i have a second I'd certainly do this again.

fruityb Wed 08-Mar-17 14:24:38

I know his cries and know this one was his "I'm knackered but I'm going to fight this for all I'm worth" cry. He was flailing himself around when I was holding him and I just don't think I'm doing him any favours - particularly as I'm back at work soon and I don't expect the child minder to spend her time doing that!

He slept for over an hour and then woke so I went and got him. He's now passed out asleep on my shoulder and I'm enjoying the cuddles.

FATEdestiny Wed 08-Mar-17 14:33:23

There's no need to be defensive, that's what I mean about owning your decision. If you think it's right, then there is no need to seek justification from others.

If you are doubting your decision (your thread title describes you feeling mean, and you mention feeling sad), then I should imagine you can understand why some people would not do this.

I'm aware of my straight-to-the-point time. That's just me, no need to take it personally it's just how I am. Im also no expert. I just have had four children with very different sleep habits and have had a very varied sleep journey as a mother. I guess my breadth of experience with baby sleep might be wider than some. That doesn't make me an expert though.

The "kidding yourself" quite you took was in relation to your baby's physical dexterity skills. These are the fine motor skills that are part of normal development. Things like the pincer grip, deliberately placing items rather than just dropping etc.

Unless exceptionally advanced in fine motor skills, 6 months is very young to have developed these skills. So you are kidding yourself if you think your 6 month old can coordinate his movements to move, manipulate, turn around and stroke the comforter in the specific ways he wants to find comfort.

These skills will come, as he approached the end of his first year. But he's unlikely to have those skills to be able to make adequate self-comforting movement yet. Not because of any emotional development. Just because of normal, natural, physical development stages in infants. 6 months is too young for most babies.

FATEdestiny Wed 08-Mar-17 14:38:36

Op - you may find some solidarity with @Timetogrowup2016. I think she did controlled crying early with her baby too.

fruityb Wed 08-Mar-17 14:40:34

I guess I just see these boards as somewhere to talk about these things and seek other opinions or advice. I don't think "well actually I'm fine so I'll just potter along and not bother asking". This is actually what makes me not want to ask things at times.

Telling someone they're kidding themselves is quite a negative or condescending thing to say - I'd rather hear "actually that will come with time, they might not get comfort from it just yet". You might as well have called me stupid the way you responded! That's what makes me defensive. But if that's just your way I'll bear that in mind.

DS is crashed asleep on me now and I'll keep him there. I don't like leaving him to cry too long but I equally don't think I'll be doing us any favours if I leap up as soon as he makes a noise. I suppose I was trying to distract myself from doing so when I wrote the first post.

MamaHanji Wed 08-Mar-17 14:51:45

6 months is very young to be doing controlled crying. I'm not a sleep expert, just a mum who's been through it before. At such a young age, your baby isn't old enough to be left to cry to sleep. I know that ferberizing works as I did it with my little one when she was 20 months. She was very advanced and within 2 nights, she was fully self settling. Controller crying is it recommend below the age of 8 months as babies to not have the emotional maturity to know that you are coming back, or that they aren't being left. They are still babies, and at this age, controlled crying just teaches them that you aren't coming when they cry. And that is what I was told by a sleep expert. When your baby is older and is much more emotionally mature, controlled crying or 'ferberizing' is a recognised although difficult method. Gradual retreat is much gentler and although it takes longer, it's much better for this age or really any age. Some children are completely unsuited for controlled crying at any age

FATEdestiny Wed 08-Mar-17 14:53:32

I'd rather hear "actually that will come with time, they might not get comfort from it just yet"

This was my paragraph:

*"Give it another 6 months or so and baby will be better able to snuggle that comfort toy. For now, he does not have the physical dexterity skills to do so. So dont kid yourself, his comforter isn't providing any comfort. Yet.*"

Goodness me. You ask a question about controlled crying at 6 months old and are offended by people disagreeing.

My tone is, and will continue to be, uncompromising. I did not go so far as saying "yes, you are being mean". I have deliberately not answers this:

I'm not a horrible mum am I?

Because to give a direct answer to this direct question would not be nice, or kind, or helpful to you.

But I disagree with you. Even though, Id like to add, I have done the same with my firstborn. And I wont be apologising for being clear in my opinion that controlled crying at 6 months is unnecessary and unhelpful.

fruityb Wed 08-Mar-17 15:00:13

Point taken. He cried today and hasn't really any other, he typically just lays playing with his mobile till he bobs off. I'll see what changes I may need to make in future. I have to be out of sight or he'll just sit laughing at me while he's in his bed!

Thank you for your input.

Carta60 Wed 08-Mar-17 20:07:33

I agree with fate. I would never leave my baby to cry to sleep. That's my choice. They can't meet their own needs. They need comfort to sleep and can't provide it themselves in my opinion. Motherhood is exhausting and completely impractical but I want to be there for my dd every step of the way. Fate helped me adjust my expectations. Since doing so I've found happiness in the stage I'm in. It will all improve in time and I know in my heart I'll never feel guilty for not cuddling my baby.

I have pinned this quote to my fridge:
If you can try to take a more relaxed approach and trust that it willcome in time, you’ll see your baby eventually become a good sleeper. You’ll be able to rest peacefully in your heart and mind knowing that she reached this in her own time when she felt secure enough to do so, not because he had no other choice but to quiet herself because no one would come.

fruityb Wed 08-Mar-17 20:10:55

He wasn't sobbing or screaming as I would have gone in then as I did an hour later when he woke. It was more of a moany cry. He is a fab sleeper it was just today. I'm taking all this on board and tomorrow is another day. I didn't just leave him screaming he was quiet when I left him and he started when I came downstairs.

He's asleep in my arms freshly bathed and looks and smells beautiful 😊

OohNoDooEy Wed 08-Mar-17 20:23:23

I see no problem with 5 minutes at any age tbh. If you have more than one, it happens!

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