Difference between allowing expression of emotions and crying it out? Is shushing stifling? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 03-17-2011, 01:32 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just reading a bit about allowing children to express emotions and not stifling them, ie: allowing them to cry.  (not crying it out, just resisting the urge to stifle expression or stick a pacifier in the mouth etc).  I'm confused because I know babies need to have their needs met in order to feel secure and learn trust etc.  Also, Dr. Sears says its good for babies to spend as much time as possible quietly alert, or not distressed.  

Any thoughts?

 Do you think shushing is stifling emotional expression?  I find myself constantly shhhh ing my LO(only 8 weeks old but trying to get a handle on this stuff now) because he seems to find it calming and it just comes naturally.  Happiest Baby on the Block method suggests it.... I'm getting overwhelmed by seemingly conflicting information.  

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#2 of 11 Old 03-17-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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I might be wrong - haven't read all the way through Happiest Baby on the Block, just glanced at it (my DD is 7 weeks old). 

 

But, The Happiest Baby on the Block does not recommend "shushing" in order to silence baby, although it may have that affect,  just as a noise that is soothing to them. You don't shush a baby the way you do an older child (i.e. at the library, or whatever) but just to make a soothing sound - that shhh sound is like the noise that babies hear in the womb - the woosh of blood flowing and breaths being taken. My DD also loves the sound of fans, the hairdryer and the washer/dryer - other "white" noise. 

 

In fact, I think we get using the shhh sound as a way of signalling quiet precisely because it is such a soothing sound to new ears. Most languages use the same sound in their 'quiet' word.

 

 

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#3 of 11 Old 03-17-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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I think at as early an age as your baby is, you don't really have to worry about the self-expression side of crying. Crying for infants is a sign of need, whether that need is food, a clean diaper, comfort, and so on. Now, on the other hand, my nearly 1 year old sometimes cries to express herself-- but it's not the same sound at all as crying because of the above mentioned reasons. It's truly the talking of a pre-verbal (for the most part; she has about half a dozen words) child. I think you'll be able to tell fairly easily which it is when your baby reaches this age too, as they're pretty obvious about it! thumb.gif

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#4 of 11 Old 03-17-2011, 03:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by expat_canuck View Post

I might be wrong - haven't read all the way through Happiest Baby on the Block, just glanced at it (my DD is 7 weeks old). 

 

But, The Happiest Baby on the Block does not recommend "shushing" in order to silence baby, although it may have that affect,  just as a noise that is soothing to them. You don't shush a baby the way you do an older child (i.e. at the library, or whatever) but just to make a soothing sound - that shhh sound is like the noise that babies hear in the womb - the woosh of blood flowing and breaths being taken. My DD also loves the sound of fans, the hairdryer and the washer/dryer - other "white" noise. 

 

In fact, I think we get using the shhh sound as a way of signalling quiet precisely because it is such a soothing sound to new ears. Most languages use the same sound in their 'quiet' word.

 

 


absolutely, I was referring to the shhhhhh noise, not the act of shushing

 

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#5 of 11 Old 03-17-2011, 03:45 PM
 
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You've got to close those books for a while! It's soooo easy to let all that information out there confuse you away from trusting your instincts. If shhhhh-ing your baby is what comes naturally to you and makes your baby happy, then that's exactly what you should do - I'm sure you know that deep down.

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#6 of 11 Old 03-17-2011, 05:15 PM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by newmamalizzy View Post

You've got to close those books for a while! It's soooo easy to let all that information out there confuse you away from trusting your instincts. If shhhhh-ing your baby is what comes naturally to you and makes your baby happy, then that's exactly what you should do - I'm sure you know that deep down.



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When my son was around 8 weeks (6 weeks? I can't remember) I found AskMoxie and it allowed me to shut everyone (even the good Dr. Sears) out and just be a mom based on what I felt was right.  As she would say, you are the best parent for your child and you're doing a great job!!

 


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#7 of 11 Old 03-17-2011, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks!  I agree about putting the books down, but I was raised quite differently and find myself automatically doing the same as my parents, so I'm trying to learn some different ways than what I did growing up.  Its easy to be mindful when calm, but on those days when you are just exhausted and frustrated, I go into auto pilot, and I'm trying to learn different tactics so that they become automatic... if that makes sense.  

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#8 of 11 Old 03-17-2011, 10:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bebestar7 View Post

Thanks!  I agree about putting the books down, but I was raised quite differently and find myself automatically doing the same as my parents, so I'm trying to learn some different ways than what I did growing up.  Its easy to be mindful when calm, but on those days when you are just exhausted and frustrated, I go into auto pilot, and I'm trying to learn different tactics so that they become automatic... if that makes sense.  


It makes perfect sense, mama, and that's what I love about being able to bounce idea off of people here! hug.gif


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#9 of 11 Old 03-18-2011, 12:53 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Cecilia's Mama View Post

I think at as early an age as your baby is, you don't really have to worry about the self-expression side of crying. Crying for infants is a sign of need, whether that need is food, a clean diaper, comfort, and so on. Now, on the other hand, my nearly 1 year old sometimes cries to express herself-- but it's not the same sound at all as crying because of the above mentioned reasons. It's truly the talking of a pre-verbal (for the most part; she has about half a dozen words) child. I think you'll be able to tell fairly easily which it is when your baby reaches this age too, as they're pretty obvious about it! thumb.gif


 

yeahthat.gif

 

Also, CIO generally refers to a sleep training method involving abandoning a baby while he or she cries.

There is a HUGE difference between leaving a child alone to cry, and letting them cry in the security of your loving arms. HUGE.

 

I try to use my instinct as to when my baby needs to express his feelings, and when he would be better off being distracted and/or "shushed". I think with boys (mine is a boy) it is especially important to pay attention to this, as we don't want to pass on that ever-familiar cultural message that "boys don't cry", which is the beginning of conditioning boys (and later on men) away from their feelings and sensitivity.

 


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#10 of 11 Old 03-18-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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I had these same questions and issues when DD was a newborn. My midwife believes a lot in letting them "tell their story" (especially their birth story) and "expressing themselves", but not CIO or anything of the sort. She related it like, how would you feel if every time you wanted to complain about something or started to cry, someone kept trying to shove some food into your mouth, or rock you really hard and say "It's ok, it's ok, shhhh shhhh"? Well, we wouldn't really like it much. lol. But I had some PPD issues and could NOT stand to hear her cry. Not because "oh poor baby is crying" but I because I couldn't take the sound. If the boob didn't work then I would literally shut myself in my bedroom while DW dealt with it. My midwife helped me a lot during the beginning with how to soothe a baby, what her sounds mean, etc. But I couldn't get on board with "letting her tell her story" at the very beginning. I was literally scared of the idea of being around her while she was crying. I did everything I could to shush her.

 

One night every possible thing was done and she still wanted to cry (only happened one night for about 2 hours). She was about 2 weeks old and I decided to try the midwife's way. We let her tell her story while holding her, rocking her, wearing her, etc. I fully believe that night she really did just want to tell us how pissed off she was that she's not in the womb anymore and how bright and cold it is. She had to tell us about her long labor and birth, how she had to try to fit her big head through that tiny hole, and her difficulty with nursing. We responded by telling her that we hear her, we understand how hard it is, it'll get better, we're here for you, we won't silence you, your feelings are valid, and we'd ask her questions about her experience, tell us more, etc. (Sounds woowoo,  I know.) I really imagined her telling us that she's "trying to nurse but it's hard to get it right, but I'll keep trying, Mom. Everything is so new and it's scary. There's so much to take in and I just want to sleep".

 

After that 2 hour "story" she was fine. Fell asleep and hasn't done that since. She's never had another crying episode that wasn't about hunger, sleepiness or wetness. Now she rarely cries at all. She'll only fuss if she's hungry or tired. If she's overly tired and can't fall asleep then she'll start to cry for about 10 seconds before we put her to sleep with the mommy magic. ;) I think she would have cried a lot less at the beginning if we had just allowed her to "tell her story" earlier. That was our experience, anyway.

 

Now DD is only 4.5 months old. So, not that much experience. ;) I know as she gets older she will express herself through crying (anger, boredom, frustration, hurt, etc). And that will be fine with us.

 

 

 

 


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#11 of 11 Old 03-18-2011, 12:07 PM
 
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I LOVE this.  So beautiful.  Thank you so much for sharing.

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