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Dicipline 7 mo. old - Let him cry?

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
I don't know what to do about my 7 mo. old crying durring the day. He is totally fine as long as you give him 100% of your attention. I will put him down in his play pen and he will start screeming before he touches the floor. He wants me to hold him and play with him all day and won't let me put him down to even go to the bathroom, he is fine when he is outside of the play pen but in it he is histerical. The Dr said it is a power play and to let him cry but we don't know how long you should let him cry or even if we should let him cry. He has become extreemly clingy since we started letting him "cry it out". Any advice???
post #2 of 34
IMHO, babies who are not yet walking are not meant to be put down. They cry because they are biologically driven to have their *need* to be held met. And yes, it is a need. There are 3 reasons for this need -- that I can think off hand. 1) To keep them safe at all times. 2) To help them build a base of complete security and confidence upon which to grow and develop for the rest of their lives. 3) So that they can watch life happening around them from a clear vantage point -- and learn everything they can from observing what people do and how they do it -- being a part of everything from the arms of a caregiver.

Don't put him down until he's ready. Use a sling if you need to. Learn to go about your business with one arm. He won't be spoiled. He'll be secure, and safe, and brilliantly intelligent!
post #3 of 34
I don't agree with letting a child "cry it out"....I feel it is completely ineffective, upsetting to both the child and the parent, does not accomplish anything other than to teach the baby/child that their needs won't be met by the people who are supposed to love them the most... and I feel that frankly, it makes children cry even more--- and when they DO stop crying... they are either so tired out, or they have finally given up.

Do you want that for your child?

Of course not, (I would hope).

This doctor that says a 7 month old BABY... see that... B A B Y ... is doing it as a "power play" is seriously disturbed in my humble opinion... cmon, the kid probably just learned to sit up unnassisted and before that barely mastered head control and you mean to tell me he is devising careful schemes to manipulate you and to control you...what is next...hostile world take over?

I am just illustrating that this is riduculous for your doctor to say... please DO NOT believe that. I feel that whenever a child is crying... ESPECIALLY "hysterically" (as you put it) they are expressing a need...and that need should be met... even if that need is *only* that the playpen makes him feel lonely/scared/upset...

Maybe there is something else that would contain him so you don't have to hold him all the time (like maybe fence in a bigger area?) ... or have you considered a sling? That way you can carry him hands free and not have to worry about it... Maybe try an excersaucer with lots of toys attached.. babies seem to love those....

Crap, I am not even for TV at all, but if a 30 minute baby einstein video can holdhis attention while you go to the bathroom or shower (provided he is safely contained and can't crawl off) ...would be an option to me before crying would be (even though again, I am not an advocate of TV for babies)...

I am just saying, crying it out is VERY VERY detremental to babies and children... imagine if someone left you to cry when you needed or wanted something...even if it was just a hug? You would feel like crap...

He has become extreemly clingy since we started letting him "cry it out".
You are already seeing repurcussions of this. Stop doing it. This is not "discipline". It is plain wrong and part of you knows that or you wouldn't have posted.

Good luck to you.
post #4 of 34
I am no expert but my suggestions would be to stop the behaviors that seem to make him so upset, don' let him cry it out. I've heard its extremely common for babes to become very clingy if they are left to CIO. You'll probably get lots more advice from more experienced moms about this. When my son was small I would just take him to the bathroom with me. I kept a clean blanket handy and would sit him on it when I had to use the bathroom. This is my first babe and I learned the hard way that the pack n play is definately could have lived without. Good luck to you
post #5 of 34
Are you a SAHM and your partner working? Do you have family or friends who can come over a few days a week and spend some time holding him and playing with him and/or help around the house? Does he nap alone or do you have to hold him for naps? Do you sling? Sometimes a few days of slinging almost constantly kinda "resets" my daughter if she's been super cranky and clingy, and she starts to sleep better and get more cheerful.

That doctor is wrong, wrong, wrong. A baby can't be manipulative or do power struggles. Your instincts are telling you the truth, trust your mama instinct! It's a superpower. :LOL

post #6 of 34
You have received very good advice already. All I want to add is that, in the words of Jan Hunt, all a baby needs to learn right now is trust. Your child needs to learn first and foremost that you will be there to comfort and love him. He does not need to be 'disciplined.' He needs to understand that you will be there to hold him and love him no matter what. That trust and security is the foundation of your relationship. Without it, discipline cannot occur.

Listen to your heart. If you know it feels wrong, then it is wrong.
post #7 of 34
What about putting baby on the floor instead of in a playpen? At 7 months she should be crawling or learning to, so I'd encourage her to explore how much fun it is. Get down on the floor with her. Make sure there are lots of interesting things for her to "find" while she's learning to be more mobile. They don't have to be toys, they could be anything like a spoon or whatever.

I don't think this is a "power" thing at all, we're talking about a baby here. They cry when they are wanting/needing something they aren't getting and I think when a baby cries when they're in a playpen it's probably...because they're in a playpen, and who would want to be in one of those anyway? My DS had one of those jumping things that attached to a doorway...can't remember what they're called but my babe really loved it, they're in a harness and bounce themselves up and down with their feet that might be a good investment. And a sling too if you don't have one.
post #8 of 34
My children thought cribs and playpens were jail. People gave them to us when my oldest was born. I could never use them for that purpose. We put toys in the playp[en when we needed to vacuum the floor. The crib held clean clothes. :LOL As a bitty thing my oldest told me that cribs and playpens were jail by screaming if we put her in one. So I didn't do it. Now she is a happy 10yo girl who everyday comes to hug me and tell me that she loves me. Her need to touch and be touched is still very strong. I honor that even though I am not a touch person.
post #9 of 34
Below are two links to articles that do a good job explaining how important it is to respond to your baby when he is crying. Have you read Dr.Sears' Baby Book, by chance? His Fussy Baby book might be enormously helpful too. There are lots of other great Attachment Parenting books, resources, articles etc. we can direct you to if you'd like more information. And just so you know, I do understand how hard it is to manage a high needs baby and one who prefers to be held most of the time. Our baby was colicky in the beginning and continued to be high needs -- I couldn't even put her down for a nap for the first six months. She is now two and she insists on being down, playing independently much of the time. I'm so glad she feels secure and safe and that she has learned to trust that her parents will meet all her needs. There is no greater gift you can give to your child. Oh, and I'm appalled (but not surprised) that your doctor suggested that your baby is pulling a power play. He is merely expressing a need (one that he is hardwired to expect will be met -- to remain close to his caregiver) in the only way he can.


post #10 of 34
get a sling, that way you can do all your stuff while baby gets his needs met.
post #11 of 34
I've never met a baby who liked a playpen. Now is a good time to really childproof at least one room in the house for the baby to crawl around and explore in. If you to to the bathroom, bring the baby with you and just close the door so he can't crawl out. It's normal and natural for a baby to want attention all day.
post #12 of 34
Thread Starter 
My child is very active and has been crawling for over a mo. now. He has been pulling him self up to stand for over a mo. and is almost walking. He does not want to be held any otherway but facing front and you must use 2 hands to hold him (20lbs 29" long). He has every toy that can amuse a child at this age. We have 2 jumpers, a walker, a pack and play, 2 strollers, 2 slings - you name it he has it and he wants nothing to do with any of it. I have child proofed the house and I let him wander - he is fine when he is not in his play pen (8'x8'). He is a very determinded child and does throw temper tantrums i.e. when his bottle doesn't come fast enough or if he wants to get the dog and we won't let him. This is why I am torn about letting him cry or not. I do not have any friends or family to help and my husband works all day so its just me and the baby. I do appreciate all of the advice but to no avail I have tried just about everything and I was hoping that someone might have a magic solution. None of this behavior started till after he was in swimming lessons and his teeth started to really bother him.
post #13 of 34
Originally Posted by westbrook
He is a very determinded child and does throw temper tantrums i.e. when his bottle doesn't come fast enough or if he wants to get the dog and we won't let him.
That sounds pretty normal. All of my children have been like that, they don't understand why they have to wait to eat, and why they can't play with the dog. Also, why put him in the playpen if he does fine out of it and your house is childproofed? That doesn't make any sense to me.
post #14 of 34
There is no magic solution. But a measure of resignation was helpful to me at that stage. Sometimes you just have to accept that this is how it goes. I'll tell you what -- eventually they get to be 8 or 9 and spend all their time playing with friends or reading in bed... and you sort of miss those early months and years of snuggling and closeness!

Its good you let him roam the house and explore. He needs that.

I wonder he would enjoy riding in a backpack? I used one with my oldest at that age when I was doing housework. He loved it. I had to keep my hair pulled up firmly so he wouldn't pull at it though.

I don't think its a temper tantrum when he cries for a bottle, or expressions frustration at not getting what he wants. After all -- he has no other way to express his feelings than to cry. And the intensity of his cry communicates the measure of his feelings. You don't want him to stifle those feelings, do you? When he is older he will learn to "use words." But for now, his ability to communicate is limited. He don't have to give in or fix every problem, but being sympathetic, comforting and understanding will help him develop.
post #15 of 34
Yes, it's hard -- I hear your frustration and exasperation. My dd has had an absolutely hellish time with teething and was very, very, very clingy and needy during those times (which seemed like almost all of the time for nearly two years). I knew parenting was going to be hard, but I have to say I was unprepared for how hard. The big feelings of a baby and the means by which they express those feelings (crying, whining, screaming, flailing etc) can be very unsettling and disturbing.

Here are some things that helped us: I just really tried to remain compassionate, realizing that she was truly hurting -- doing this really helped shift my perspective -- and then I comforted her the best I could. When my DH came home, I took time for myself -- that went a long way in restoring me and just looking forward to that break could help me get through some rough patches. I napped or rested when she did. I let go of my need for a clean house. Or clean hair. :LOL I surrounded myself with other mamas and enjoyed activities outside of the house (that always seemed to distract dd and she'd generally do better when out playing) and it also helped me feel less isolated and alone in the big job of parenting ( I hear you don't have friends around. Where you can meet up with other mamas? A library story time? A community rec center? The playground?). I breathed. Whenever I felt really fed up, I would really focus on being grateful -- I would think of people who had lost a child or who were not able to have a child. Practicing gratefulness is powerful stuff (though I don't do it nearly enough, I feel so much better when I do). It also helped to think how fast this was all going to go (though it doesn't seem it at the time) and how soon I wouldn't have a little baby to hold and cuddle and keep close. Sometimes I'd call my dh or a friend to cry and whine (we have big feelings too that need expression). I pulled out the bubbles and watched my fussy baby become instantly calm and enchanted (temporarily at least). I danced with her to my favorite music (calming both of us) -- I highly recommend Jack Johnson's On and On). I got into the bath tub with her -- then we could both get clean and have a good half hour or more of fuss free entertainment.

Oh, and know that he won't always be this way -- teething, developmental spurts, coming down with an illness, separation anxiety are some things that can cause a lot of neediness...it will pass. Well, that's all I have for now. Good luck.

post #16 of 34
Originally Posted by bri276
Now is a good time to really childproof at least one room in the house for the baby to crawl around and explore in. If you to to the bathroom, bring the baby with you and just close the door so he can't crawl out. It's normal and natural for a baby to want attention all day.

as a btdt, my walking baby wants to be down 90% of the time now. he's just 11 months.
post #17 of 34
There is no magic cure - I agree with what OP said. He needs to be held, plain and simple. DS is 6 months old and the same way. He's also crawling around too... holding him all the time will not hurt him in anyway. It will help build security for him until he becomes more independent. He loves you so much that he wants you to hold him a lot.

On a side note - I see you are a newer member. Check out that user agreement to see what this board is all about - especially if you are new to AP/NFL. You'll learn a lot. Your child is completely normal. No worries.

Check out the finding your tribe areas to find other AP moms in your area...

Mothering's Statement of Purpose:

User Agreement:

Both are loaded with great information.

Good luck!
post #18 of 34
I agree that you need to ditch the playpen.
I don't think of them as jails, but if there is no need, then why use it?

Put him down on the floor. Let him safely explore.
I don't think "power play" is the right term. Expressing his opinion is a better phrase.
He is saying "Mom, I don't like this"

We made on cupboard a child safe one in our kitchen. We redirect our youngest there to play so I can work in the kitchen. She loves it. It worked for my older one too.

Now sometimes, you have to say no -for example, for the dog. Let it go.. You can redirect his attention, but just a gentle, "Doggie can't play. Let's look at this toy!"

The same with the bottle... my Nazgul, I mean Moo will scream if her bottle isn't there when she wants it. I tell her it is coming and just keep telling her this. I comfort her, but that's not really a power play, she just wants it and she can only scream to tell me that...

There is no magic solution... sorry, but instead of leaving him to cry you can comfort him when you have to put him in the situation of crying....
post #19 of 34
Nic's last post had some good advice. If you read anything, I hope you'll read hers.

Teething time can really be trying, for sure. Everytime my daughter seems to go nuts for a few days, it was usually teething.

It's tough, this mothering stuff. Nobody is judging you for wanting to get stuff done. We all do. Right now your baby needs you to be there for him. Let me echo others: your doctor is wrong. Babies do not have the ability to manipulate. He can't even regulate his own feelings yet, much less try to get control of yours.

Have you ever tried something like the Ergo or other kind of back carrier? You can possibly get stuff done then and he can be in close contact with you. Babies may need to have an adult's body help them to discharge energy, and they need close contact to do that. Do you feel like he gets enough time outside? Try taking a daily walk, it will be great for both of you.

Tell us more about your living situation. Stay around. There are mamas who want to support you. Do you have any little indulgences you can do for yourself for maybe 5 minutes a day? Like having a cup of tea and deep breathing, or have a little square of chocolate. You have to mother yourself too. Sometimes I feel lonely and stressed out, it sounds like you may too. Let people know about it here. There are wonderful people here, and they know what it's like.

Finally, please read this article if you get a chance. It talks about how crying it out may actually damage the brain. Let me know if you want more articles, I would have to look them up. http://houseofstrauss.co.uk/modules/....php?storyid=4
post #20 of 34
I wanted to second Mamaduck's backpack suggestion...my ds just started full-out crawling and pulling up over the last two weeks (7.5 months old) and it has been a rough two weeks for me as I transition to having a more mobile baby. He goes to work with me. I have started using the backpack more than the sling, and he loves it. He's asleep in it right now as a matter of fact!
Good luck. And DEFINITELY follow your instincts! A 7 month old cannot manipulate...he's just letting you know that he wants/needs to be near you.

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