Help! should I just let her cio?? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 16 Old 02-16-2012, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My 8-month old dd won't let anyone else carry her except me and dh. She cries when I put her down. She won't be pacified by anything except nursing. And even then, not always. 

 

DD and I are visiting my parents without dh, and she cries when she sees people and won't let anyone hold her even for a second. I'm at my wits' end. Sometimes even nursing or rocking or things that used to work doesn't work. I'm so frustrated I think about letting her CIO until she learns to self-soothe. These days I take her with me to the bathroom just because she can't be with anyone else without crying. She used to be okay with people so I'm not sure why she's like this suddenly? She's not sick as far as I could tell. 


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#2 of 16 Old 02-16-2012, 10:09 PM
 
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i'm a new mom myself (10 month old girl ;) ) so i don't have much of any experience to share but just wanted to say hang in there! from what i've read, it's very very natural for babies around this age to have separation anxiety.. and if she's outside her normal situation (i.e. at home with you and your husband around) then the anxiety is probably going through the roof. i'm sure it's very difficult for you ;( and i'm sure she's not happy about it either.

 

hmm. do you do babywearing? i find it hard to carry my daughter now for more than a few minutes, she's gotten so big, but as soon as i put her in the ergo, well, we can and do walk around like that for hours! also, i don't know if you do it already, but maybe co-sleeping would help reassure her a little? can she sit by herself if you're right there and no one else is in the room or do you have to hold her the entire time no matter if it's just the two of you? when my daughter is particularly worked up, i take a warm bath with her, both of us in the tub, and she relaxes so much - maybe that would help, albeit temporarily?

 

if this suddenly came on too, i don't think it would hurt at all to take her to a pediatrician to make sure there's not something else bothering her, like an ear infection or whatever.

 

p.s. i take my daughter into the bathroom with me all the time too! it's frustrating at times, i get it, but as they say, this too shall pass!

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#3 of 16 Old 02-16-2012, 10:15 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are having such a tough time, Mama!  I do think your DD sounds perfectly normal--she is at the peak age for stranger wariness and separation anxiety!  On top of that, 8 months is a developmentally busy age, with teething, preparation for milestones, possible sleep changes, possibly starting or increasing solids, etc. Babies want to know that their secure base, usually their mother, is there for them through all these changes, so your DD's intense need for you is not unusual. CIO might actually increase her anxiety and need for your constant pacifying presence.

 

Do you have a comfortable carrier that allows you to wear her while you do some other things or permits you to nurse her hands-free?  I remember that my toddler spent a *lot* of time in a SSC at that age.

 

Since you mentioned that some of your tried-and-true soothing techniques are no longer working, can you think of anything besides illness that might be going on? Teething? Changes to your diet or hers (maybe a hidden food intolerance?)?

 

I am sorry not to be able to offer any quick fixes, but I can offer my support. I definitely can relate to having constant company in the bathroom and being the only set of arms that will "do."  I think you are doing a wonderful thing by holding and nursing your DD when she needs it and believe that your efforts will pay off.  My baby (who was very "high needs" in the Dr. Sears sense) is now a toddler, and it is so, so cool to see the loving and secure little person she has become. She seems to have zero worry that I am ever going anywhere and sees the world as a place that is safe and good. She is outgoing and loves meeting new people. And boy does she ever have a blast with her grandmother (they will play together for an extended time, and when the three of us are out together she prefers to be carried by or hold hands with her super-fun grandma).  All of this is a long way of saying that I think you are already doing the right thing and that being there for your sweet girl the way you are now will lead you to a time that is easier.

 

Hang in there!

 

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#4 of 16 Old 02-17-2012, 02:15 AM
 
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I agree with the PPs, sounds like typical separation anxiety compounded by being away from her familiar environment.

 

To answer the question in your heading, no, I would definitely not leave her to CIO. IMO the opposite is better for her both in the short and long-term. Honour her need for closeness and reassurance. Make her world safe and she will develop the confidence to spread her wings as she gets older and moves out of this phase.

 

It is a really wearing time for you though and I think it is fine to leave her with another loving person, who will comfort and reassure her, while you go to the loo/have a shower etc. Or, if you're one your own, briefly put her in a safe place to do those things (preferably where she can still see or hear you).

 

How mobile is she? Can she sit on the bathmat with a toy or sit in the bottom of the shower while you're in there?

 

Hang in there "this too shall pass".


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#5 of 16 Old 02-17-2012, 03:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks so much for all your encouragement, mamas!! Most people I know IRL believe in letting baby CIO, so I've been getting a lot of disapproving comments about how I've made dd too clingy with breastfeeding. I feel like I've dug myself into a hole because I can't ask for help!

 

I keep reassuring myself this will pass... I have to start working more in a few months, and my dh wants to hire a nanny to take care of her for a few hours... but I wonder if she'll be okay with a new person??


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#6 of 16 Old 02-17-2012, 03:50 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My ring sling's been getting a ton of use in the past couple of months. DD won't nap on her own, so we spend a few hours in the sling daily-- I walk while she naps. I take her to the bathroom with me now. I feel really stressed when she's wailing while I'm inside. 

 

I really like the bath idea. I think we'll try it one of these days!

 

We also co-sleep. The moment she finds out I'm not there, she'll start crying. She's unable to fall asleep without nursing or being carried. I don't mind it, but the few times my dh was watching her, he was really frustrated, and took it out on me. 

 

OH, we actually went to the ped today for her vaccines, and she was fine... so it seems just separation anxiety that got more intense with change of environment..

 

I get sooooooo irritated when people ask me why dd's crying, and looking at me expecting me to make her stop. If I knew why she was crying, she wouldn't be crying!! ARGH! 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bookwise View Post

i'm a new mom myself (10 month old girl ;) ) so i don't have much of any experience to share but just wanted to say hang in there! from what i've read, it's very very natural for babies around this age to have separation anxiety.. and if she's outside her normal situation (i.e. at home with you and your husband around) then the anxiety is probably going through the roof. i'm sure it's very difficult for you ;( and i'm sure she's not happy about it either.

 

hmm. do you do babywearing? i find it hard to carry my daughter now for more than a few minutes, she's gotten so big, but as soon as i put her in the ergo, well, we can and do walk around like that for hours! also, i don't know if you do it already, but maybe co-sleeping would help reassure her a little? can she sit by herself if you're right there and no one else is in the room or do you have to hold her the entire time no matter if it's just the two of you? when my daughter is particularly worked up, i take a warm bath with her, both of us in the tub, and she relaxes so much - maybe that would help, albeit temporarily?

 

if this suddenly came on too, i don't think it would hurt at all to take her to a pediatrician to make sure there's not something else bothering her, like an ear infection or whatever.

 

p.s. i take my daughter into the bathroom with me all the time too! it's frustrating at times, i get it, but as they say, this too shall pass!



 


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#7 of 16 Old 02-17-2012, 04:00 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for your support! I love to hear stories of btdt moms with kids that turned out okay... I get a lot of criticism about not letting her cio. 

 

So far, I've chalked all fussiness up to teething. 4 is out so far, and I can't see ant more. She's been on solids for a couple months....hmm, she hasn't pooped in 3 days, which is unusual for her. 

 

The diet issue may be something to look into... I hadn't thought of that at all...
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwesterner04 View Post

I'm sorry you are having such a tough time, Mama!  I do think your DD sounds perfectly normal--she is at the peak age for stranger wariness and separation anxiety!  On top of that, 8 months is a developmentally busy age, with teething, preparation for milestones, possible sleep changes, possibly starting or increasing solids, etc. Babies want to know that their secure base, usually their mother, is there for them through all these changes, so your DD's intense need for you is not unusual. CIO might actually increase her anxiety and need for your constant pacifying presence.

 

Do you have a comfortable carrier that allows you to wear her while you do some other things or permits you to nurse her hands-free?  I remember that my toddler spent a *lot* of time in a SSC at that age.

 

Since you mentioned that some of your tried-and-true soothing techniques are no longer working, can you think of anything besides illness that might be going on? Teething? Changes to your diet or hers (maybe a hidden food intolerance?)?

 

I am sorry not to be able to offer any quick fixes, but I can offer my support. I definitely can relate to having constant company in the bathroom and being the only set of arms that will "do."  I think you are doing a wonderful thing by holding and nursing your DD when she needs it and believe that your efforts will pay off.  My baby (who was very "high needs" in the Dr. Sears sense) is now a toddler, and it is so, so cool to see the loving and secure little person she has become. She seems to have zero worry that I am ever going anywhere and sees the world as a place that is safe and good. She is outgoing and loves meeting new people. And boy does she ever have a blast with her grandmother (they will play together for an extended time, and when the three of us are out together she prefers to be carried by or hold hands with her super-fun grandma).  All of this is a long way of saying that I think you are already doing the right thing and that being there for your sweet girl the way you are now will lead you to a time that is easier.

 

Hang in there!

 



 


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#8 of 16 Old 02-17-2012, 04:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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" Honour her need for closeness and reassurance. Make her world safe and she will develop the confidence to spread her wings as she gets older and moves out of this phase."

 

Thanks for this! I forget sometimes...

 

She can crawl now so has to be watched constantly. I've been taking her to the bathroom the last couple of days, and she loves it in there. She likes to crawl around and try to open cupboards and mess around with bathmats and trashcans. I realized it's easier to just take her with me wherever I go, because there's just no one she will stay with.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

I agree with the PPs, sounds like typical separation anxiety compounded by being away from her familiar environment.

 

To answer the question in your heading, no, I would definitely not leave her to CIO. IMO the opposite is better for her both in the short and long-term. Honour her need for closeness and reassurance. Make her world safe and she will develop the confidence to spread her wings as she gets older and moves out of this phase.

 

It is a really wearing time for you though and I think it is fine to leave her with another loving person, who will comfort and reassure her, while you go to the loo/have a shower etc. Or, if you're one your own, briefly put her in a safe place to do those things (preferably where she can still see or hear you).

 

How mobile is she? Can she sit on the bathmat with a toy or sit in the bottom of the shower while you're in there?

 

Hang in there "this too shall pass".



 


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#9 of 16 Old 02-17-2012, 04:11 AM
 
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I think i had your DD!

 

My eldest, now a 5yo, was very like this.

 

It was rough and i won't lie and say at 9 months everything changed.  But i will say i have a pretty wonderful little person and a really strong connection with her now.  We have our moments, it's not perfect, i'm STILL the one who bears the brunt of her hard times (just now it's back-chat that gets saved-up-for-mama!) but i can say, through the filters of time and having had another (totally different sort) baby since, that it is very very worthwhile going on as you are.  COI won't fix anything for her, it just might make her stop bringing it to you, and you know you don't want that.

 

The other good news is that "end-of-my-rope" feeling is REALLY REALLY hard to deal with just now, but wait until you have another baby and realise you have stretched your rope so much you have about 187miles of it to get through before things get hard with THAT baby. :p

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#10 of 16 Old 02-17-2012, 09:36 AM
 
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This is definetely normal, most likely not diet related or anything else.  My son was like this but at some point they do learn to self-sooth.  I don't think it is a problem to leave them in outside the bathroom if you want your privacy, or leave her with someone else.  I found that even thought he screamed like a crazy man when I left he was fine within 10 minutes or so with someone else.  If you're going back to work, you may want to try this sooner than later.

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#11 of 16 Old 02-17-2012, 12:58 PM
 
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I'm sorry your husband took his frustration out on you. This is a totally normal developmental stage that your DD is going through. Most babies go through a period of separation anxiety regardless of how they are parented.

 

Regarding the nanny, if you can afford it then yes, I would engage one now but I wouldn't leave your DD with her yet. I'd take the opportunity to let her become a familiar person. Then, when you go back to work (or sooner if DD seems ready) you can leave her with a familiar person rather than a stranger.


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#12 of 16 Old 02-19-2012, 02:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What a relief to hear this! When DD was around 6 months and very pleasant with everyone. I wanted another baby (or two...). Now, I'm wondering whether I'd have enough energy for it... 

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoBecGo View Post

I think i had your DD!

 

My eldest, now a 5yo, was very like this.

 

It was rough and i won't lie and say at 9 months everything changed.  But i will say i have a pretty wonderful little person and a really strong connection with her now.  We have our moments, it's not perfect, i'm STILL the one who bears the brunt of her hard times (just now it's back-chat that gets saved-up-for-mama!) but i can say, through the filters of time and having had another (totally different sort) baby since, that it is very very worthwhile going on as you are.  COI won't fix anything for her, it just might make her stop bringing it to you, and you know you don't want that.

 

The other good news is that "end-of-my-rope" feeling is REALLY REALLY hard to deal with just now, but wait until you have another baby and realise you have stretched your rope so much you have about 187miles of it to get through before things get hard with THAT baby. :p



 

 


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#13 of 16 Old 02-19-2012, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm so conflicted about the idea of a nanny. Being raised by one myself, I always preferred the nanny to my parents, and I don't want my baby to prefer someone else.

 

We work at home, and during the busy times, which will come up when DD is around 13 months old onwards, I'd need to be away from her for 2-3 one-hour time periods. My dh doesn't want to babysit during busy time (he does most of the work so he wants rest when he can). 

 

I also wonder whether or not she'd be able to be with a nanny. My mother has domestic helpers and they helped me out when DD was an infant. DD won't let them carry her at all now unless I'm present. So I'm still not able to leave her anywhere for even a short while to go do something.

 

Many thanks ladies, I'm quite comforted to know it's normal development stage. 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by katelove View Post

I'm sorry your husband took his frustration out on you. This is a totally normal developmental stage that your DD is going through. Most babies go through a period of separation anxiety regardless of how they are parented.

 

Regarding the nanny, if you can afford it then yes, I would engage one now but I wouldn't leave your DD with her yet. I'd take the opportunity to let her become a familiar person. Then, when you go back to work (or sooner if DD seems ready) you can leave her with a familiar person rather than a stranger.



 


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#14 of 16 Old 02-20-2012, 02:32 PM
 
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Quite normal at this age, that doesn't mean that it can't be intense to deal with though! My youngest is almost 7 months and does like anyone else at all. He will let them hold him if if can see me, but he can't see me then he starts crying. My 9 year was like this as a baby, she did not like anyone else until she was older but you wouldn't know it now. She may tolerate the sitter for short periods or maybe not. My guy can't right now so the other kids go with the nanny, and he gets to come to work with mom. I am really hoping that by 12 months I can leave him for about 2 hour periods to dash into work meetings. 


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#15 of 16 Old 02-21-2012, 04:59 PM
 
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We had a small period of separation anxiety last month at 5 months, and I was hoping it was over. I guess it's good to read from more experienced mamas that this might come back and is normal. Thanks for posting.

 

I just wanted to add that "Cry It Out" is a technique that leaves babies on their own while crying. It is very different than letting a baby cry in someone's loving arms.  When I had to go back to work at 8 weeks post-partum, DS would cry off and on for hours with DH, but there wasn't anything we could do.  Someone once mentioned that this was letting DS CIO, but it's very different. 

 

I'm not saying that you should just pass the baby around and let her cry. Just that if you need a break and need to pass her off to someone else's loving arms, and if she cries during this time, you are not doing CIO, you are just saving your sanity. And if you don't need that, that's ok too. :)


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#16 of 16 Old 02-24-2012, 06:55 PM
 
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I'm going through this right now with my five month old. It comes and goes. Today she even fusses in the carrier and i'm pooped. She's nursing and sleeping on me while I write this on my phone. Thankfully I have a husband who thinks what I do is hard and important. Which is not the attitude he voiced before she was born. He thought if I was at home I should get a lot done. Now he's grateful if I get anything done. But I struggle with it. Can't really clean the bathtub with a baby carrier on for example. And the rug is killing me because she cries inconsolably when I vacuum.

As far as a nanny goes, I was one for many years for families with a lot of parenting styles. I think it was actually easiest on the kids when I started with them around three months. But I could never leave my three month old with anyone. Perhaps part of it is that I know she wouldn't even tolerate her dad when I went on a couple block walk. The kids I cared for always calmed down as soon as the parents left and we always had fun. By the time separation anxiety set in we had bonded and they were fine. But even six month olds I started with were fine however I'll add that baby communication is definitely my primary talent so that may have helped.

We need the money from me working but neither of us now think it would be healthy for her for me to start work again. I bet other moms have dealt with this and I'd love to hear what solutions they came up with.

Also I heard a really interesting bit on NPR about the French style of parenting. Anyone else hear it? Thoughts?

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We baby wear, co-sleep, cloth diaper, don't vax and intend to nurse for a good long time.  

I don't care what you do as long as it works for your family.

 

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