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The Overlooked Healing Benefits of Crying - Page 4

post #61 of 122
Comfort nursing/non-nutritive nursing not only soothes my baby, but me as well! It's a win-win. I signed on for this whole bfing thing for both the kids and myself.

Re: crying. Doesn't it depend on one's particular baby? Sounds like many of you moms with more than one child are adept at reading each child's cues. "The overlooked healing benefits of crying"...is painting with too broad a brush. Every child is different.
post #62 of 122
Quote:
The last time it happened with this ferocity, she was crying and pushing against me (not to get away, but using me as resistance to her mighty pushing), crying loudly and red-faced. Then she stopped, looked right at me, and said, "I was stuck. It was red and wet and I was pulled and it HURT." She buried her face in my lap and cried with many round fat tears. She *was* stuck at birth.
I want to thank you for sharing this because, I also follow Dr. Althea Solter's suggestion. But I did let him nurse when he asked to nurse when he would be so upset.

Anyway.....Want I to thank you is now my son will have a tantrum and say he is stuck. Well, my dh and I always think his emotions are stuck in his body and he is trying to let it out.

Well, he was STUCK AT BIRTH and the doc had to use forceps (I had a really bad midwife!) to get him out. When he has a tantrum now he goes to a corner and says he stuck and he tries to push the walls but it is obvious he is NOT stuck, because he can walk away anytime. It is odd. Now I need to discuss this with dh (he is a psychotherapist). Ds was colicky like your child, too.
post #63 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by FitMama
Re: crying. Doesn't it depend on one's particular baby? Sounds like many of you moms with more than one child are adept at reading each child's cues. "The overlooked healing benefits of crying"...is painting with too broad a brush. Every child is different.
I completely agree, but I also know for a fact that EVERY human being deserves to be able to cry when they need to heal.
Not be taught how to "stop crying".
post #64 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by archaeomom
I just have to say this and then I will be going to bed:

If your baby is crying and is soothed by nursing,
GO AHEAD AND PUT THAT BOOBIE IN THEIR MOUTH. IT'S AN EXCELLENT FORM OF COMFORT.
ITA, but the OP is not talking about an UNCOMFORTABLE baby, but an infant that needs to HEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #65 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by nicholas_mom
I want to thank you for sharing this because, I also follow Dr. Althea Solter's suggestion. But I did let him nurse when he asked to nurse when he would be so upset.

Anyway.....Want I to thank you is now my son will have a tantrum and say he is stuck. Well, my dh and I always think his emotions are stuck in his body and he is trying to let it out.

Well, he was STUCK AT BIRTH and the doc had to use forceps (I had a really bad midwife!) to get him out. When he has a tantrum now he goes to a corner and says he stuck and he tries to push the walls but it is obvious he is NOT stuck, because he can walk away anytime. It is odd. Now I need to discuss this with dh (he is a psychotherapist). Ds was colicky like your child, too.
You shared an excellent story of how the twoo are related. If your infant had been able to deal with that trauma immediately, maybe he would not have held onto it and felt 'stuck' in releasing his emotions in a healthy and healing manner.
post #66 of 122
It is a fuzzy line I think where a lot of people may think "gee, my child may need to cry so I am going to let them" when, in reality they are letting their child CIO.

I agree that when your child is sad, or dissapointed or whatever that it is not right to say "oh you're fine" and try to make them stop crying when at the moment they feel like crying.

However, most infants and babies cry for a reason and most of the time, if not all the time, want to be comforted and soothed -- even if they feel the need to cry for a bit. Withholding things like nursing when you know your baby will be comforted by it, in order to "honor" their "need" to cry seems like a justification for CIO to me.

When our daughter cries I don't soothe her to immediately stop the crying. I soothe her because MOST human beings desire to be empathised with, or soothed, or heard, or comforted when they are upset --- and if my husband or an adult friend felt soothed by something I could provide, I would provide it to comfort them. The fact that the comfort may help them feel better or stop crying isn't my ultimate goal, though it is nice when I can help comfort someone. I wouldn't ever deny my husband or a friend something I could provide that I knew would comfort them because I felt they needed to cry. They are always *allowed* to cry if they feel the need.

The same with our daughter. Allowing her to cry when she is sad/mad/dissapointed (whatever) is far different than withholding something I know will soothe her because *I* have determined that she *needs* to cry. If she needs to cry, she will cry despite my attempts to soothe and comfort.
post #67 of 122
Quote:
However, most infants and babies cry for a reason and most of the time, if not all the time, want to be comforted and soothed -- even if they feel the need to cry for a bit. Withholding things like nursing when you know your baby will be comforted by it, in order to "honor" their "need" to cry seems like a justification for CIO to me.
No where has CIO been advocated. I am sorry parents are unable or unwilling to differentiate between their infants needs.

I disagree that an infant mostly cries to be soothed or comforted. I know that when a an infant cries, they have a REASON to cry, and it is important, as an adult and parent, to respond and help the infant, whether it is to "comfort and soothe" while actively listening and allowing the infant to heal.

I think it is wrong and dangerous to constantly believe that, you as the parent, must make your baby stop crying.

Crying does not equal "need to stop crying", as, it has been pointed out that there is a reason for an infant to cry.
post #68 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
ITA, but the OP is not talking about an UNCOMFORTABLE baby, but an infant that needs to HEAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And you do you suggest people differentiate between the two? Really, what exactly does a "need to heal" cry sound like, in an infant? It seems to me that one would try mightily to relieve any possible discomfort first, and then if nothing works *maybe* assume that these are "healing tears"... or else assume that you're been unsucessful in determining their cause, so you will just continue to soothe and comfort as best you know how.

Dar
post #69 of 122
I think the strictly emotional crying is more a toddler/child thing. I can only speak from my own experience, but when DS was a baby, he hardly ever cried. And when he did it was because he needed something. Now as a toddler, he has a richer emotional life and sometimes just needs to cry to express himself. Now when he cries, I know I don't always need to fret and try to find the reason and fix it. Sometimes he just needs to get it all out of his system and I just comfort him. I am thinking that was the point the OP was trying to make.
post #70 of 122
I think that so many are getting confused because the word infant was used in the opening post. I guess most ppl feel that an infant has only one way to communicate, crying and that we as mothers must find out the cause to the best of our abilities. Yes there are babies that just need to cry, I would liken it to colic, no reason they just seem to NEED to cry. I feel that I need to find out why my child is/was crying and make it better. If I can't then I will continue to be there for my child.
post #71 of 122
This is what I did when my dd cried in the first months of her life (and there was a lot of crying, as I mentioned in my previous post, as well as a frequent refusal to nurse) ... First, check to see if I could identify the cause: Hungry? Tired? Hot? Cold? Wet? Gassy? In pain? Any underlying medical causes (reflux, thrush, etc.)? If the answer was no, then I felt really frustrated. What was wrong with her? Why was she crying? What was I doing wrong? Each additional moment of crying felt like an indictment of my parenting abilities (or lack thereof). DH and I went to herculean lengths to try to stop her -- hours of walking, bouncing, shushing, swaying, trying to get her to nurse, and finally I would cry, and then scream in frustration, "DO SOMETHING. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? MAKE HER STOP." Collapse on the floor in tears, dh trying to soothe screaming baby and sobbing wife simultaneously.

And then I read the article in Mothering about crying in arms. It was one of the most intense "AHA!" moments of my life. It made so much sense! After that, when dd cried, I still went down my list. When I could not identify an underlying cause, this is what I did: I took really deep breaths and tried to relax. I tried to let go of how uncomfortable her crying made ME. I tried to stop seeing it as an indictment of ME. I tried to stop making it about ME. And I stopped going to herculean lengths to silence her. Instead, I tried to open myself to her, I held her, swayed with her, made my breast available to her (she almost always refused it), and I whispered in her ear, over and over and over that I heard her, that I loved her, that she could let it all out, that I was listening to her, that she was safe and loved, that I would never reject or abandon her. Frequently, I cried too, because it pained me so much to see her like that. My instinct told me that she was traumatized from her birth experience, and it broke my heart to think of her, all alone, moments after birth, held down on a table with bright lights overhead while doctors repeatedly shoved tubes down her nose and throat, suctioning out the meconium-stained amniotic fluid. While I sat helplessly on the other side of the room, in a stupor, waiting to be stitched up, so exhausted from 3 days of labor that I hardly knew what was going on. So I would cry with her, and grieve what happened to us. I tried to hold her tight to me, but she would flail her arms and legs, hitting me. The intensity of the fury that was contained in that tiny body always took my breath away. Standing, swaying, rocking, holding her, allowing her to express her rage was one of the hardest things I have ever done. It felt so personal, like she was attacking me. It sometimes took all of my will not to get angry in return. I would remind myself -- deep breaths, relax, it's okay for her to be angry, or sad, or whatever. And after a while (5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes -- although it seemed like an eternity), the crying would start to subside, and she would take deep, shuddering breaths, and she would finally, finally turn her head to my breast and nurse. And then she would sleep. Thankfully, once I started doing this, her crying subsided considerably, and we only had to do the crying in arms a handful of times.

And we also discovered craniosacral therapy (CST), which helped so much because the therapist can tell by the rhythms of the cranial fluid whether the crying is a psychosomatic release or not. So it gave me even more confidence that she WAS processing an emotional trauma, and it wasn't just me overlooking an unmet need. And now nursing is normal, and her digestion is normalizing, and the crying is practically non-existent (only when hungry or tired or hurt). And I feel really good that I am not stifling my child's emotions in order to meet my own needs (i.e., stopping her crying because it makes me uncomfortable), but instead teaching her that it's safe to express them and I will listen, and I won't judge, criticize or condemn (which is what happened to me when I was growing up).

And that is how it has worked for us. I don't withhold comfort from my child. I don't overlook needs she may have. And, I also allow her to express herself, which sometimes means I have to set aside my discomfort with her crying, and allow her to let it out -- offering comfort all the while, but not using it in a desperate attempt to silence her.
post #72 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
And you do you suggest people differentiate between the two? Really, what exactly does a "need to heal" cry sound like, in an infant?
Shanana gave an excellent example of how she was able to differentiate her infants needs.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shanana
I tried to let go of how uncomfortable her crying made ME. I tried to stop seeing it as an indictment of ME. I tried to stop making it about ME.
This part shows how often we forget that an infant has needs, and it is not always about our performance as a parent.
Too often, it is taught that a baby is only a machine-eat, sleep, poop, and cry. Infants are newborn human beings each with their own complex needs/wants.
post #73 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by dynamohumm6
No offense, but can you back this statement up with anything other than anecdotal evidence?



If my son is crying, and I nurse him and that's not what he wants, he just won't nurse.
I'm just curious where you're coming up with this theory.
Coming in late, and I haven't read all pp's.
My ds (now 18 mos) would most certainly accept nursing, and stop crying, no matter what the REASON that he was crying. It took me a while to figure out that sometimes when he cried (when he was very young) it was because he was overstimulated. What he NEEDED was to go to a quiet room. But, back then, I though the goal was to just get a baby to stop crying, and nursing made him stop. But it wasn't what he needed, or wanted, at all.
Essentially, it just gave him a way to deal with a less than desireable situation, instead of helping him get into a more desireable one.
post #74 of 122
And, imo, nursing should not be "withheld"- I see NOTHING wrong with comfort nursing. If my ds shows ANY indication that he wants to nurse- crying or not, happy or unhappy- I do so. (If I'm busy, and he's agreeable to waiting, we wait a minute.)
BUT, if he cries, and shows no indication that he WANTS to nurse, I don't *make* him stop crying by nursing him (which would stop most crying, regardless of the reason). If he's crying, I try to address the reason.
He currently cries when he feels that I haven't acknowledged his feelings/thoughts/desires. If I were to nurse him, he'd stop crying quickly. But its not addressing the reason at all. The right thing to do, imo, is to acknowledge him, even if it takes a bit longer for him to stop crying. My goal isn't to stop the crying asap. Its to deal with the reason- to do what he wants- if I am able to do so.
If I can't really address the reason, say if he bumps his head and it hurts (not a major hurt, obviously), I don't nurse him, unless he wants to nurse (and trust me, he lets me know). I know he likes to be walked around (he wants to), so I walk with him, and talk quietly to him. He's generally good to go in less than a minute. If someone tries to distract him from crying, it takes much longer, and the cries go from "that hurts!" to can't-hardly-breath-I'm-so-upset. Don't know exactly why, but that's what happens.
If, at any point, he shows any indication that he wants something (a toy, to flip a light switch, to nurse, to read a book, anything) we do it. But I'm not going to say "oh, here play with this, flip the switch, nurse, let's read. Anything- just stop crying" to try to distract him from crying. It introduces too much frenzy into an already unhappy situation. Its not respectful. He deserves to have a calm situation, to calm down in. And he deserves to have his desires respected. If that's nursing, fine. But if its not, that's fine too.
post #75 of 122
Quote:
First, check to see if I could identify the cause: Hungry? Tired? Hot? Cold? Wet? Gassy? In pain? Any underlying medical causes (reflux, thrush, etc.)? If the answer was no, then I felt really frustrated. What was wrong with her? Why was she crying? What was I doing wrong? Each additional moment of crying felt like an indictment of my parenting abilities (or lack thereof). DH and I went to herculean lengths to try to stop her -- hours of walking, bouncing, shushing, swaying, trying to get her to nurse, and finally I would cry, and then scream in frustration, "DO SOMETHING. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? MAKE HER STOP." Collapse on the floor in tears, dh trying to soothe screaming baby and sobbing wife simultaneously.
I did the EXACT samething! It was just awful. When all else failed attempts, espesially NOt WANTING to nurse, its hopeless. The problem with ds was he would cry and then throw up, which made it even worse . My homeopathic doctor gave prescribed some homeopathic remedy that was for colicky or teething problems. I could never tell if it was teething or emotional crying. So, if my attempts failed I let him cry in my arms for 3-5 mins then I would give the homeopathic remedy to help him.

I figure if it was emotional stuff, he had another time to release them, hence the 2 yr old tantrums.
post #76 of 122
Thread Starter 

Back to try again :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBug
I think that so many are getting confused because the word infant was used in the opening post.
Most of the information I have used to come to the conclusion that what I said in the OP was true for children and babies as well came from Mothering Magazine. I am gobsmacked that no one has commented yet on how surprised they were when they found out it's not just me who thought this up.

Mothering.com Article
http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...ion-side1.html
Peggy O'Mara says the following (and see quotes from others like Dr. Sears and T. Berry Brazelton in Mothering Articles as well below):
"Peggy O’Mara: “Sometimes babies and children, like adults, need a good cry. . . . Ignoring your child’s cries is never a good idea. But sometimes it can be reassuring to your child to be allowed to cry in the safety of your loving arms. . . . Try holding your baby during these episodes of release crying. You may find that the crying subsides, or you may conclude that your baby needs to cry to release stress. Either way, you are offering your baby the comfort of your touch.”
—Natural Family Living. Pocket Books, 2000..”

Mothering Magazine
Issue 122 January/February 2004
http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...onnection.html
"Another advantage of this approach is that toddlers who have cried enough as infants (while being held), and who continue to be supported emotionally as they grow older, are calm and gentle. They do not hit or bite other children."

and

"However, if there is no medical reason for the crying, it is likely that your baby simply needs to release stress."

Mothering Magazine
Issue 115 - November/December 2002
http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr.../tantrums.html
"My niece had been having similar "sessions" related to being in tight places since she was six months old. Her father and mother learned to hold her close and support her during these times, guessing that she had become terrified during her birth; she'd been lodged in the birth canal for three hours before her mother could push her through. Her parents' listening helped her work through the leftover fears she carried from that experience. For a couple of years, she signaled for a long screaming, struggling session almost daily. She began life as a wary, coolly watchful baby. By the time she was three, she had become relaxed and cuddly--a total transformation of personality that our whole family witnessed with wonder. She's now a teen, an athlete, a scholar, and a fearless young woman."


Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaBug
I guess most ppl feel that an infant has only one way to communicate, crying and that we as mothers must find out the cause to the best of our abilities.... <snip>....I feel that I need to find out why my child is/was crying and make it better. If I can't then I will continue to be there for my child.
Like with almost every other post in this thread, I agree. I suggest that crying for emotional release is one of the causes to add to the checklist of reasons for crying. Releasing intense emotion makes it better, so making a safe and attentive space for that crying is helping.

Additionally, listening with warmth and caring attention without trying to fix an older child's tears is a very good practice. Do you disagree? I'm curious where the lines are drawn with some of you when it comes to this thread's message.

In peace,
M&Mmommy
post #77 of 122
The line to me is that if nursing STOPS the crying (or shushing or holding or patting or whatever) then THAT is what the baby needs. As long as the nursing is STOPPING the crying then it should be done.

-Angela
post #78 of 122
Thread Starter 
Alegna,

OK, I'm hearing you. Thanks for responding, too.

Sounds like you believe that stopping a baby from crying is extremely important, and you'll do whatever you can think of to help your baby stop crying. What do you think about an older child's tears or tantrums? Do you think any loving measure should be taken to stop his or her crying?

Yours,
ymmomM&M

p.s. this is *not* a set-up question where you reply and I try to pick apart your answer. I'm sincerely asking your thoughts.
post #79 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna
The line to me is that if nursing STOPS the crying (or shushing or holding or patting or whatever) then THAT is what the baby needs. As long as the nursing is STOPPING the crying then it should be done.

-Angela


If a baby/toddler does not NEED the breast, or white noise, or CST, or homeopathics, or holding, or whatever, they will still let you know via crying. And then I could see the crying-in-arms argument, because honestly, what else can you possibly do? But if nursing, rocking, shushing calms them and helps them to center, then good job, mama!

FWIW, because my firstborn had colic after an incredibly traumatic, stressful birth, I really used to believe colic had to do with this. But the second had it too after the happy hippie waterbirth! So, some kids just need a little more - but I never would have stopped offering things until we found what worked for him. What he needed, in other words.
post #80 of 122
Quote:
Originally Posted by M&Mmommy
Alegna,
Sounds like you believe that stopping a baby from crying is extremely important, and you'll do whatever you can think of to help your baby stop crying.
I'm not Alegna... but really, babies are crying because something is *wrong*. I don't think the focus is so much on stopping the crying, but on helping the child feel better, and helping fix what is wrong. When babies are happy and no longer is distress, they don't cry. If nursing does that, great. If a quiet room works, fabulous. If simply being held and crying works, that's fine too... but I do think that needing to cry to resolve underlying trauma is pretty far down on the list of reasons why babies cry.

Quote:
What do you think about an older child's tears or tantrums? Do you think any loving measure should be taken to stop his or her crying?
I've always tried to use loving measures to help comfort an older child who was crying, just as I would with an infant. Again, I don't think stopping the crying was ever the issue - the issue is whether or not to comfort, through any means that is effective.

Dar
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