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2 wk old- when is it okay to let her cry? - Page 2

post #21 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by SplashingPuddle View Post

pek64  I'd be interested in some of the research you mentioned around swaddling and distress. Do you have a source/journal article link etc?  I've only heard positive things about swaddling but I am very interested in other research.


There's an entire article on the mothering mainpage about "swaddling reconsidered", most of which discusses nonexistent research or research taken completely out of context.  The reaction from the mothering community is worth reading. 

post #22 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

There is controversy around swaddling. Studies of facial muscles of swaddled babies show distress. Lack of crying is not the same as happy. And the baby may tire after struggling to get free, and you may not be able to see the struggling.

I think this is ridiculous.  Some babies love being swaddled and some don't.  I don't think we need to rely on an experts analysis of facial muscles to tell us if our babies our happy or not.

 

I had one child who did not like being swaddled and was very clear in his communication of it.  And another child who loved being swaddled until he was a toddler.  My son who loved being swaddled was very colicky, and sometimes swaddling was the only way he could calm down and be happy.

post #23 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

There is controversy around swaddling. Studies of facial muscles of swaddled babies show distress. Lack of crying is not the same as happy. And the baby may tire after struggling to get free, and you may not be able to see the struggling.

 

The theory on swaddling (as I understand it) is that the firm resistance to movement helps the baby calm down.  Harvey Karp (The Happiest Baby on the Block guy) describes this as "activating the soothing reflexes", I mostly notice that infants have very poor motor control, and are likely to disturb themselves by flailing around when they have all their limbs free. 

 

In any case, when swaddling works, it works much the same way that wrapping your baby up in a wrap-style carrier works.  A Moby provides the same containment and resistance that a good swaddle does, with the added benefit of proximity to a parent (which is great, but not practical for every activity or every parent).  Some babies love being worn, and it calms them down handily.  Some hate it and flip out.  It does, however, strike me as really odd to tell a parent to wear the baby!  get a Moby!  But don't swaddle. 

 

It is not my experience with infants that they are quiet when they have complaints about the service.  A distressed infant is going to make noise.  (There's a common claim that babies who aren't rescued immediately when they cry go silent, believing that they are abandoned and have to hide from wild animals.  This is, IMO, a lousy survival strategy for an infant in that kind of desperate, primitive situation, and not consistent with my observation of my own kids, who, when I didn't respond fast enough, shifted into a mode we called "scream so the rescue copters can hear you.")

post #24 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by goldingoddess View Post

I think this is ridiculous.  Some babies love being swaddled and some don't.  I don't think we need to rely on an experts analysis of facial muscles to tell us if our babies our happy or not.

This. Most parents aren't going to swaddle a baby and forget about them. They'll see how the baby handles it. 

 

Our daughter always worked her arms loose of the swaddle and would work at it until she did. But we used the Miracle Blanket from about 6 weeks-3 months and that pinned her arms down so she could NOT get them out, and she actually dealt with that fine and slept for longer, I think because she wasn't jerking and waking herself up. Go figure. We would only swaddle her in that after she was already asleep, so it wasn't a matter of swaddling a screaming baby and leaving her to cry herself into exhaustion... who does that?

post #25 of 42
http://www.google.com/url?sa=t&source=web&cd=2&ved=0CDEQFjAB&url=http%3A%2F%2Fstorelocator.swaddledesigns.com%2Fexperts.html&ei=mTXVUMCuGMePiAL91ICoDw&usg=AFQjCNH7N0eHXOl7sIadVY0T0KQjjcma0Q

Not the best link, but even childcare experts discussing swaddling recommend it be done differently than usually advocated.

And there have been times when I, an adult, have been quiet, but unhappy, so it seems reasonable that a baby might as well. Perhaps he/she cannot breathe in enough to get a cry out. I remember being in a stroller, laying down, and thinking my mother was attempting to hit every bump while I tried to keep my head up to keep it from banging. Then, after I had a child, my mother told me how she did deliberately aim for bumps when I was in the stroller, because "you liked it". I most certainly did not! But I was too busy trying to keep from being hurt to complain! Lack of crying does not automatically mean happy!
post #26 of 42

Even when I was home on leave and didn't "have" to get up, I got up with DH.   I nursed the baby until while DH showered, got baby full and content, even if not asleep, handed him off to DH, and hopped in the shower.    
(I have an adorable picture taken after I showered, of DH, stlll in his bathrobe in an easy chair, reading in the morning sunlight with DS (about 5 weeks old) drowsing in his lap.  It looks like they're reading together...)

 

In the first weeks, DH did a lot of simple cooking of foods that I could eat one-handed.   I got pretty handy at making sandwiches with baby balanced on my shoulder, too.

post #27 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by erigeron View Post

This. Most parents aren't going to swaddle a baby and forget about them. They'll see how the baby handles it. 

Our daughter always worked her arms loose of the swaddle and would work at it until she did. But we used the Miracle Blanket from about 6 weeks-3 months and that pinned her arms down so she could NOT get them out, and she actually dealt with that fine and slept for longer, I think because she wasn't jerking and waking herself up. Go figure. We would only swaddle her in that after she was already asleep, so it wasn't a matter of swaddling a screaming baby and leaving her to cry herself into exhaustion... who does that?

If she worked at it until she got her hands free, then she did *not* like it.

I wonder how you, or any adult, would react if you woke up swaddled.
post #28 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


If she worked at it until she got her hands free, then she did *not* like it.
I wonder how you, or any adult, would react if you woke up swaddled.


We swaddle our four month old daughter because otherwise she would not sleep for longer than 30 minutes without waking herself up.  She would break out of the swaddle if she could, so we got her a Woombie that she can't get out of.  She wakes up in the morning smiling, giggling, and cooing to herself until I pull her in to nurse.  Of course, it's possible that all that cooing and giggling and smiling is just masking the serious emotional and psychological damage I've done and that researchers could somehow measure that damage by looking at the subtle facial expressions that are masked by all that giggling, but I doubt it.

 

When in doubt, OP, do what feels natural to you.  If your baby doesn't like being swaddled, she'll let you know. 

post #29 of 42

She didn't like it when she woke up in the Miracle Blanket, so we'd take her out of it. But when she was asleep it kept her from jerking and waking herself up. Early on we only swaddled her legs since she didn't like having her arms swaddled. This was when she was still very small, we were concerned about her getting cold, and we couldn't put her in pants since she was wearing a hip harness that wasn't compatible with pants. 

 

As for the stroller bumps, of course a lack of crying doesn't equal enjoyment. I'd venture that there are many parents in this world who can tell that their small child dislikes something even when they're not crying. For instance, in our case, I could tell my daughter was not a particular fan of our umbrella stroller because she was typically pretty quiet and not very interactive when in it, and she'd struggle to get more upright which she couldn't do, and then give up. So we rarely used it, and subsequently got rid of it in favor of a different model. 

post #30 of 42

My baby who liked being swaddled is now nearly 11 and he's got a quilt made of jeans material that he says he likes because it feels heavy on him. I had one really big swaddling blanket that he didn't outgrow until he was nearly a year old, he was old enough that he knew what that blanket was for and he'd be calming down as I wrapped him up. I think for some babies, being swaddled feels like being held. My baby now, she likes to stretch out in her sleep, so swaddling didn't work for her. The parents figure out what's best for their own kid.

post #31 of 42
My personal experience is with parents who didn't respect my feelings. Perhaps this colors my views, but I am concerned that swaddling is too easy to be abused. I encourage caution in the area of swaddling. And we are talking about a 2 week old, not a four month old. I suggest the OP do her own research on the subject of swaddling. That seems reasonable to me.
post #32 of 42
I kind of think swaddling is like pacifiers. Most (or maybe even all) parents who have enough interest in what they're doing to be active at Mothering are probably concerned enough and paying enough attention to make sure their children are happy (or as a mom of a baby who had colic I'll say "as happy as possible), and aren't using it as a crutch to get their kids to shut up and be quiet no matter how they feel. But they could be used that way potentially, and it's worth learning about so we can be aware of potential problems associated with it so we can make sure those problems don't happen with our kids.
post #33 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I kind of think swaddling is like pacifiers. Most (or maybe even all) parents who have enough interest in what they're doing to be active at Mothering are probably concerned enough and paying enough attention to make sure their children are happy (or as a mom of a baby who had colic I'll say "as happy as possible), and aren't using it as a crutch to get their kids to shut up and be quiet no matter how they feel. But they could be used that way potentially, and it's worth learning about so we can be aware of potential problems associated with it so we can make sure those problems don't happen with our kids.

Thank you. This attitude makes me feel better.
post #34 of 42

OP, I think by the number of responses you can gather that this is a very common, if not standard, issue for new moms with a newborn.  It is VERY frustrating, but you have to remember that just 2 weeks ago your LO was all snuggled up and insolated from all the hubbub of daily life, and this is very overwhelming for her.  Is there another family member close by, or close friend, or even just an awesome neighbor, who can come and hold your LO while you take some time to yourself?  When my DD was 2 weeks, I was lucky in that my husband works from home and could hold her at most times, unless he had meetings that day.  I also had my MIL over almost every day, and she would just hold DD while I shower, clean, cook, gel out, whatever!  Now, seperation anxiety is an entirely different beast, now DD will SCREAM if I try to get MIL to hold her!  I almost miss those newborn days! 

 

Ask for, and take, any help you can get so that you don't get overwhelmed.  Newborns need more care than just one person can provide. 

post #35 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

My personal experience is with parents who didn't respect my feelings. Perhaps this colors my views, but I am concerned that swaddling is too easy to be abused. I encourage caution in the area of swaddling. And we are talking about a 2 week old, not a four month old. I suggest the OP do her own research on the subject of swaddling. That seems reasonable to me.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamazee View Post

I kind of think swaddling is like pacifiers. Most (or maybe even all) parents who have enough interest in what they're doing to be active at Mothering are probably concerned enough and paying enough attention to make sure their children are happy (or as a mom of a baby who had colic I'll say "as happy as possible), and aren't using it as a crutch to get their kids to shut up and be quiet no matter how they feel. But they could be used that way potentially, and it's worth learning about so we can be aware of potential problems associated with it so we can make sure those problems don't happen with our kids.

This thread has kind of been derailed, but I wanted to add that I agree with these posts. DD didn't like being tightly swaddled from the day she was born. At night she sleeps in a sleep sack where her arms are out and free, her legs are inside but free (she can bend them, kick them, do whatever she would like), and it has a kind of wide strap part that goes around her belly and velcros in the back, so it's almost like she's being swaddled around her torso, and she likes it a lot. But try to swaddle her arms and she goes nuts. I've read some stuff that kind of makes sense to me about how newborns use their arms to wake themselves up (definitely true with DD) and if they're tightly swaddled it's harder for them to wake up, which is nice as far as sleep goes, but they may not be waking up to eat as early as they normally would.  

post #36 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post

There is controversy around swaddling. Studies of facial muscles of swaddled babies show distress. Lack of crying is not the same as happy. And the baby may tire after struggling to get free, and you may not be able to see the struggling.

 

Cultures all around the world swaddle/wrap their babies. When I swaddle ds, he smiles and gabbers, then nurses and falls asleep. It works for us.

post #37 of 42
Quote:
Originally Posted by pek64 View Post


If she worked at it until she got her hands free, then she did *not* like it.
I wonder how you, or any adult, would react if you woke up swaddled.

 

Babies are not adults. Babies spent the first nine months of their life in a tight space and swaddling can be comforting for them. Try not to think of a baby as a grownup. They have different needs then we do.

 

 

 

Quote:
And we are talking about a 2 week old, not a four month old.

 

That's why I'm leaning towards swaddling. A two week old is pretty much still a fetus and being swaddled can help them feel secure. 

 

I'm sorry that you didn't have your needs met by your parents; please understand that what I'm recommending to the OP (and what I tell the parents I work with) is so that those babies and parents can both get what they need.

post #38 of 42

Op, since your baby is nearly 20% older than she was when your first posted this message, I'm guessing things have changed for the better. If not there are some of my thoughts on the subject: 

 

  • I agree with the suggestion to swaddle. I had a much easier time with DC #2 who I swaddled in a Miracle Blanket than I did with DC #1, who I did not swaddle. I think I'm pretty in tune with my babies and I felt swaddling addressed a need in my younger child. I'd be interested in some research that counters what seems to be a fairly cross-cultural tradition and appreciate the words of caution brought up, however, I am skeptical as well.
  • Again, with DC #2 I was more relaxed and I suppose more willing to invest in some of the "material comforts" of modern parenting. So, we had a swing. It was an amazingly wonderful gadget for those first few months and gave me a few hands-free hours in the day, which I found I appreciated very much. Mine was on loan and is now being passed on so it didn't feel like such a huge consumerist waste.
  • With DC #1 we had three adults to one child in the home. We just held her.all.the.time. If that works for you, it is a wonderful way to parent and it is certainly good for the baby. But that isn't practical for everyone in every situation. I know you know this but I wanted to put this out there just in case. It's hard to both give ourselves permission to hold our baby all the time...and it's hard to give ourselves permission to plop them in a swing from time to time. We're hard on ourselves sometimes.
  • A carrier!!  With both my babies I used a ring sling. I can't say enough good things about them. For one, they do have a swaddle type effect so it's calming in a womb type way. The baby is normally content, warm and cozy by mama (papa, friend...) and with practice you can be pretty hands-free. It's the best of both worlds.  

 

Hugs to you and enjoy this time, mama!  It's one of these bits of advice I could give but didn't take until my second but this time goes by so fast. In just a few months you will long for another hour holding your infant. I know this is little comfort when you really need a sandwich but it's true. Lots of love to you and congrats on your little one.  

post #39 of 42

Another suggestion would be to set your baby down on a warm spot (maybe where you were sitting?). Do the arm test: they are sound asleep when their arm drops right down if you lift and drop it. Also maybe set her down with something that smells like you (this is where the sling comes in handy). ALSO, those bouncy chairs are awesome. You can put the baby down and then kind of bounce her. Also again, be sure to get some arms-free time whenever you have friends or family over. Pass that baby...you know they want to hold her. love.gif

post #40 of 42

Here is a good article cautioning against "routine swaddling": http://www.mothering.com/community/a/routine-swaddling  

 

It should be said that this caution is written in response to the wide-spread popularity of swaddling and many articles that endorse it. Both are good to consider. 

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