The Overlooked Healing Benefits of Crying - Mothering Forums

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Old 01-30-2006, 03:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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The subject has come up again about whether holding a baby and listening to her tears and crying while offering her warmth and attachement is tantamount to CIO. I would like to offer a perspective on why unexamined intolerance of any crying is actually short-circuiting an innate healing function that babies are born with.

All benefits of crying, however, are lost and damage is done when a baby or child is left alone to cry without comfort. CIO "works" when the baby enters a form of infant depression, gives up hope of being comforted, and settles into despair ~ which can carry into adulthood. Those children I've read about who were "trained" via CIO and now easily separate from their parents without any anguish are not well-adjusted, but rather have compensated for not being supported when they needed it in the past. The compensations may "work" in terms of allowing the parent and child to separate without tears, but the compensatory mechanism is created at great sacrifice and trauma to the baby and child who had to develop it.

What I have seen in response to the terrible and tragic use of CIO, is a kind of other extreme. We have been taught that crying means we are in pain, and therefore, we can end the pain by ending the crying. It is true that crying is a symptom of pain. But stopping tears does not stop the pain; on the contrary, crying heals the pain. Crying, sweating, shaking, and sceaming release stress and heal emotional and physical pain. Shushing, rocking, even nursing to stop the tears of a child who is hurting short-circuits the healing that the child was so intelligently and intuitively applying.

Many people nod along until they hear that nursing to stop a child from crying is also short-circuiting the healing. After all, nursing is part nourishment, part comfort. However, putting a breast in a baby's mouth when she is crying because (unbeknowst to anyone) the way her blankets are wrapped around her legs is bringing up the scary sensations she experienced during birth, causes her to stop offloading the feelings. On the other hand, if her mother would hold her in arms, soothingly reminding her that she is safe, that it's okay to let out all her fears and cry, she would work through and be able to see that this situation, though reminiscent of a scary situation, isn't dangerous. And moreover, that it is safe to have scary feelings and let them out. No need to push them down, run from them, or be threatened by uncomfortable feelings.

Lest a reader think I am talking in theory only, let me offer a personal example. My DD used to cry and push with her legs really hard. She appeared inconsolable, crying hard but without many tears, red faced and with a panicked look. It scared me terribly to see her so upset. Instead of rocking, shushing, or trying to stop her from expressing her terror, though, I held her gently and maintained eye contact, and talked softly to her: You are very scared. I promise you are safe. Let it out, let it out. She cried and lurched, pushing with her legs and arms against me. I stayed with her, without asking her to stop crying. This happened many times from about one year old until she was just over two. 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. Her twin was born quickly, but with her I had to push with her 1/2 way down the birth canal for 2 hours. Then she was pulled out, and yes, I am certain it hurt. She told me this without prompting and without hearing her birth story details before. After this episode, she did get in my arms to cry and push a few more times, but never with the same intensity. She'd smile and say, "But I got out!" and leap off my lap. This is just one example of my children telling me what pain and fear they were working on offloading.

I believe that without being allowed to cry (not "left" or "made" to cry, but allowed to do what they needed to do, cry) they would have pushed many fears down into themselves, substituting eating or distraction for comfort. Then the fears, which don't go away when pushed down, would re-manifest themselves in other ways. I am so happy for them, and proud of them, for freeing themselves of the pain associated with some of their experiences.

If anyone gives thought to the healing benefits of crying, and considers that stopping crying even by loving, gentle ways can short-circuit healing, then I'm glad I wrote this. I mean everything I have said in peace and love for healing all human pain and suffering.

Yours,
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Old 01-30-2006, 02:28 PM
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It is sad that crying is no longer seen as a way for the body to heal, but only as a communicator in infants and children who cannot speak about their feelings.

When my children cry, and I have gone thru the 'list', then I will hold them and listen and just love them.

Crying not only heals the physical body, but the spiritual as well.

Crying is not always about grief.

My children's independance is more about how safe they feel, and not about how detached they are.
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Old 01-30-2006, 03:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
It is sad that crying is no longer seen as a way for the body to heal, but only as a communicator in infants and children who cannot speak about their feelings.

When my children cry, and I have gone thru the 'list', then I will hold them and listen and just love them.

Crying not only heals the physical body, but the spiritual as well.

Crying is not always about grief.

My children's independance is more about how safe they feel, and not about how detached they are.
I am so glad you wrote that about independence, too. Your whole post is just what I meant to say, and so succinctly. Thank you!
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Old 01-30-2006, 03:54 PM
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Old 01-30-2006, 08:57 PM
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I think there are certain kinds of tears that simply need to be cried, and when a child is crying because she's sad, it's disrespectful to try to shush her. When my mom died, we all cried, and it was good, and healing.

With that said, I think most of the time small children cry, it's because they have an unmet need and they're attempting to communicate that need in order for it to be met. If my baby or toddler cried, I nursed her, changed her, rocked her, sang to her, stroked her... in short, tried to meet her needs. I don't think the message was that crying was bad; it was that I had heard her message and was trying to help her. I don't believe babies and toddlers need to cry - I think they need to be cared for.

My daughter rarely cried as a baby or toddler, and never for very long, because I tried to help meet her needs. She spent 3 long hours and 16 long minutes in the birth canal, too, doing a 180 on the way out. It hasn't bothered her since she got here - no unresolved angst at all.

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Old 01-30-2006, 09:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
I think there are certain kinds of tears that simply need to be cried, and when a child is crying because she's sad, it's disrespectful to try to shush her. When my mom died, we all cried, and it was good, and healing.

With that said, I think most of the time small children cry, it's because they have an unmet need and they're attempting to communicate that need in order for it to be met. If my baby or toddler cried, I nursed her, changed her, rocked her, sang to her, stroked her... in short, tried to meet her needs. I don't think the message was that crying was bad; it was that I had heard her message and was trying to help her. I don't believe babies and toddlers need to cry - I think they need to be cared for.
:

AND- if a baby is crying and nursing STOPS the crying then the baby NEEDED to nurse, whether they were hungry or not. It is a comfort. It is cruel to withhold that comfort in the name of letting the child cry.

-Angela
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:10 PM
 
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:18 PM
 
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I don't believe that crying is good for health for babies. Maybe I'm not understanding your post very well.

Crying is part of human nature for all of us, but that's a different kind of crying than babies do. A mother who is in tune with her child will soon learn the language of crying and often be able to tell the difference between a "diaper change" cry and a "hungry" cry.

If the child cannot be consoled by the traditional manner by meeting basic needs, the mother needs to consider the fact that the child might be suffering from pain. I was told over and over that my baby, who cried a lot and was not soothed, was just colicy. I later learned that she had severe reflux, an inflamed, bleeding esophagus, and was in extreme pain.

My daughter's Ped GI specialist said absolutely do not let her CIO (she didn't know yet that I was against this, she was just giving basic advice). She said crying causes a baby to swallow air, increase their stress hormones, increase acid production in the stomach, increase muscle spasms in the stomach (and therefore makes reflux worse), and can lead to attachment problems. She said if Nitara was crying and I couldn't get her to stop, then I needed to bring her in.

With older kids, I do believe that crying is much better than saying "You're okay, now go and play." My dd1 is very sensitive and cries a lot over the smallest things. A lot of times I think she just needs to cry and be assured that she is loved and safe, and that her feelings are valid. I let her cry and I hold her and then she gets over it. I wouldn't say that the crying is good for herl. I would rather she feel happy and settled and not have a need to cry at all. But when she's in that kind of mood, I'm glad I can be there to help her get through it.

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Old 01-30-2006, 09:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dar
I think there are certain kinds of tears that simply need to be cried, and when a child is crying because she's sad, it's disrespectful to try to shush her. When my mom died, we all cried, and it was good, and healing.

With that said, I think most of the time small children cry, it's because they have an unmet need and they're attempting to communicate that need in order for it to be met. If my baby or toddler cried, I nursed her, changed her, rocked her, sang to her, stroked her... in short, tried to meet her needs. I don't think the message was that crying was bad; it was that I had heard her message and was trying to help her. I don't believe babies and toddlers need to cry - I think they need to be cared for.

My daughter rarely cried as a baby or toddler, and never for very long, because I tried to help meet her needs. She spent 3 long hours and 16 long minutes in the birth canal, too, doing a 180 on the way out. It hasn't bothered her since she got here - no unresolved angst at all.

Dar
May you continue to be blessed. Not all mothers are able to say they have had the same birth experience as you.
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Old 01-30-2006, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by USAmma
A mother who is in tune with her child will soon learn the language of crying and often be able to tell the difference between a "diaper change" cry and a "hungry" cry.
And one that signifies healing. No one is saying to make a baby cry by not meeting it's needs. We are saying that if you are in-tune you will recognize that 'cry' for what it is, the need to heal.

My own infants rarely cried and never cried to eat or sleep or be changed. They made certain noises or faces and I knew what they needed immediately.
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Old 01-31-2006, 12:04 AM
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Originally Posted by MamaInTheBoonies
May you continue to be blessed. Not all mothers are able to say they have had the same birth experience as you.
Wait - I was actively pushing for 3 hours and 16 minutes, and my 9 pounds baby twisted completely around in the birth canal (from face up to face down). How was I blessed, exactly? I remember begging the midwife to shoot me at one point, to put me out of my misery...

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Old 01-31-2006, 12:08 AM
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Originally Posted by Dar
Wait - I was actively pushing for 3 hours and 16 minutes, and my 9 pounds baby twisted completely around in the birth canal (from face up to face down). How was I blessed, exactly? I remember begging the midwife to shoot me at one point, to put me out of my misery...

Dar
I meant in reference to your baby not having any angst about her birth. Some have not even made it through the canal and had to be cut out. Some were born and taken from their mothers. There are all sorts of traumas that occur, and it sounded like you said you didn't have any.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:08 AM
 
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No offense, but can you back this statement up with anything other than anecdotal evidence?

Quote:
However, putting a breast in a baby's mouth when she is crying because (unbeknowst to anyone) the way her blankets are wrapped around her legs is bringing up the scary sensations she experienced during birth, causes her to stop offloading the feelings.
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.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:13 AM
 
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I think it is really great that you knew why your baby was crying and what your specific child, who is old enough to speak to you, needed to do.

However, this forum is Life with a BABE. And since there are a lot of new mom's who come here for advice and guidance, I am not quite sure what you are hoping to accomplish with your OP.

As our babies grow sometimes we can determine why they are crying and if they are just blowing off some steam. But all in all, MDC should be a safe haven from people telling us we need to let our babies cry. Most of us hear enough of that nonsense IRL.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:23 AM
 
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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.

I thought the exact same thing. If DD is crying and wants to be nursed for nourishment or comfort, then she'll accept the breast. If not, she simply won't. No attempts at giving her my breast will work. So she is never subdued by my breast without wanting it first.

Also, as for shushing...when I shush DD it isn't to shut her up, it's because she likes the rythmic sound. It's white noise. It blocks out any other sounds and puts her in a state of calm. She knows I'm not telling her to be quiet. I'm, in fact, giving her the opportunity to tune it all out and just hear me while I gently rock and stroke her hair.

I can understand that sometimes people just need to cry to vent their frustration, but I do believe there is a point when I baby needs help calming back down. Rocking, white noise, gentle words, nursing.

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Old 01-31-2006, 01:40 AM
 
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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.


Quote:
Originally Posted by MrsChicopea
I thought the exact same thing. If DD is crying and wants to be nursed for nourishment or comfort, then she'll accept the breast. If not, she simply won't. No attempts at giving her my breast will work. So she is never subdued by my breast without wanting it first.

Also, as for shushing...when I shush DD it isn't to shut her up, it's because she likes the rythmic sound. It's white noise. It blocks out any other sounds and puts her in a state of calm. She knows I'm not telling her to be quiet. I'm, in fact, giving her the opportunity to tune it all out and just hear me while I gently rock and stroke her hair.

I can understand that sometimes people just need to cry to vent their frustration, but I do believe there is a point when I baby needs help calming back down. Rocking, white noise, gentle words, nursing.
I have to quote both of you because I agree. If DS is crying but not hungry and I offer him the breast, not only will he not take it, but he will bite me if I insist!

With all due respect to the OP, your last post on CIA seemed bizarre and this does too. If DS's legs are tangled in the blankets and I offer him the breast, he isn't going to stop crying until I remove the blankets. So crying is serving a purpose--to remove the blankets. This theory of CIA to release *whatever* seems long on assumptions better applied to adults, IMO.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:45 AM
 
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I would agree that 9 times out of 10, a baby cries because of an unmet need that can be identified and met, like Dar said. But there is that mysterious tenth time where you have tried everything and the baby keeps on crying, until you are wondering if you should go to the emergency room - then the baby calms down and seems fine. I've had this experience with both kids. Personally I think it's to let off accumulated stress, sensory overload, etc.

With babies and young toddlers, preverbal children basically, I think it's best to try to address any physical need that may be causing the crying, before taking the CIA approach. But it's true that sometimes they just cry for no cause that is apparent to us, and then you really have no choice but to just hold them and try to reassure them.

Personally I think nursing and rocking are valid forms of emotional support. It's not like going out and buying a second grader a hot fudge sundae to cheer her up about not making the soccer team.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:52 AM
 
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If my babe is crying and nursing helps, I will nurse her. I hope the new mamas here will do the same.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Dar
My daughter rarely cried as a baby or toddler, and never for very long, because I tried to help meet her needs.
When I brought ds home from the hospital, I couldn't believe how much he cried. Unlike any other newborn I ever knew, he slept little and cried A LOT. I was doing everything I could to soothe him. I would put him in the wrap, in the swing, in the bouncer, carry him, sing to him, play music, hold him, desperately try to nurse (which he would angrily reject), put him in the stroller, drive in the car, back to the wrap, try feeding again. I mean, I was so incredibly frustrated and I felt like such a complete failure. My last resort was to come and post on MDC where I received at least some reassurance that babies do indeed have a need to cry (maybe not all babies) but that holding them and letting them know you are there for them is extremely important. And that's what I did and that's what I kept doing and now at 5 mos., I'm at the point where ds only gets cranky/cries when he is ready to sleep. I simply can't believe I'm at this point because it was initially so bad. In my heart, I know ds needed to let it out. I wish I knew what was causing his stress but my trying to stop him from crying frustrated me and frustrated him. He would wail and wail sometimes and then . . . silence--he'd either fall asleep or just look at me dreamily. It was so weird.

Anyway, my point in all this is . . . at least for myself I tried to help meet all my babies needs and he still cried. I would say it's a blessing to have a baby who rarely cries (and I know babies like this) but for those babies who do, it's very re-assuring to know that babies are human and that they need to let off steam sometimes and I believe this is what the OP was getting at. I really hope this discussion doesn't degenerate into another "I'm more AP than you" debate.

Oh, MitB . . . I really liked what you said, "My children's independance is more about how safe they feel, and not about how detached they are." Words to live by.

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Old 01-31-2006, 02:07 AM
 
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I don't think this is turning into a I'm more AP than you debate.

I just take issue with saying that offering a breast to your crying baby is stifiling them. If it is what the baby wants, it's what they want and as evidenced by your DC (pp) if they don't want it, they won't take it.

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Old 01-31-2006, 02:09 AM
 
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Old 01-31-2006, 02:11 AM
 
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I absolutely do believe that newborns will just cry. We had our crying time pretty steadily every evening between 7-9 (and at various other times as well). But I absolutely do not believe that my attempts to soothe ds was in any way "short-circuiting the healing".
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Old 01-31-2006, 03:02 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Dear Mothers,

First I'd like to take a giant step backward and clear up some misunderstandings.

First, You all have my sincere appreciation and acknowledgement for being loving parents who are not just shoving your nipples into your childrens' mouths to stop them from crying. Far from it! I apologize sincerely for giving the impression that you were forcing yourselves on your children. That is not my intention at all.

Second, MODS: please move this thread to Parenting Issues. I really thought I was posting in Parenting Issues, not Life with a Babe, I don't know how I ended up putting it in the wrong place. Although I happen to believe that babies have real and big emotions that need outlet via crying, I understand that the advice I am advocating about listening could be misunderstood by some as CIO for babies. Again, 100% not my intent, but to be safe, please move this thread.

Third, please understand that I am talking about using *any* method to stop a child or baby from crying - not just nursing for comfort - I'm talking about all the things we have been taught to do to stop the upset. Shushing, bouncing, tickling, distracting, using a pacifier and sometimes even nursing. I think stopping a release of tears via any of the methods above, for the sake of stopping the tears, in a misguided attempt to stop the pain, is short-circuiting the release and healing of the pain.

Finally, let me point everyone to some authors who are better at expressing what I am trying to say. I did a search on Mothering.com and found the following articles in support of listening to babies and children when they are upset and crying rather than distracting them or trying to stop their tears.


http://www.mothering.com/articles/gr.../tantrums.html

http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...onnection.html

http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...ion-side1.html

http://www.mothering.com/articles/ne...ion-side2.html

In warm and supportive spirit,
M&Mmommy
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Old 01-31-2006, 03:07 AM
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Originally Posted by rootzdawta
Anyway, my point in all this is . . . at least for myself I tried to help meet all my babies needs and he still cried.
I just want to clarify that I know that this is true... my younger sister was born when I was twelve, and she cried a lot... and she was breastfed on demand and had 4 pairs of arms always available to hold her, and still she cried. I personally think she cried because her nervous system was immature and she had colic, and I'm not sure crying actually helped her... but I do know that we all tried to meet her needs and she still cried. I was actually amazed to have a baby who only cried if she wanted something... of course, she wanted things like constant holding in particular positions, but still, I could do something about it... with my sister we all felt very powerless.

She was at her worst from about 4 weeks to 3-4 months, and mostly during the early evening hours... and by 6 months she had pretty much outgrown it... FWIW.

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Old 01-31-2006, 03:12 AM
 
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My 3 month old DD has a very clear "diaper" cry, "potty" cry (we EC part time), "nursies" cry and a "I want you Mommy" cry. I respond promptly and appropriately to each of these cues.

She also has a cry that is very different...she doesn't do this as much now as compared to when she was newborn, but when she does, I sense that she is working through something on an emotional/spiritual level. We had a very traumatic, violent birth experience and I can't help but feel that she is remembering it. When this happens, I just hold her and offer her my loving presence and acceptance that she needs to go through this and express her fear, frustration or whatever emotion is coming up for her at that moment.

I just started working with a wonderful craniosacral therapist who specializes in birth trauma resolution...I went there initially for my own issues but am learning so much about how much babies need to process the birth experience as well, especially when conditions were less than optimal as in our case.

I can relate very much with the OP, thank you so much for bringing up this topic. Honestly, this is not a discussion regarding CIO at all...believe me...I am super anti CIO.
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Old 01-31-2006, 05:14 AM
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I don't believe that crying is good for health for babies.
USAmma wrote a very wise post.

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Originally Posted by M&Mmommy
Shushing, bouncing, tickling, distracting, using a pacifier and sometimes even nursing. I think stopping a release of tears via any of the methods above, for the sake of stopping the tears, in a misguided attempt to stop the pain, is short-circuiting the release and healing of the pain.
I don't think any parent who is practicing attachment parenting (and most of us here are) is going to ignore their child's needs to the point of dissuading the act of crying. That seems to be what you are writing about. There are parents who tell their children "don't cry, big girls don't cry, this is nothing to cry about." That kind of thing does definitely short-circuit the healing of pain. But, doing nothing but letting them cry is not helping them either. As attached parents, we are emotionally responsive to our children.

from API
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Attachment Parenting Ideals
Emotional Responsiveness - Understanding and responding sensitively to your infant's emotional needs is the cornerstone of Attachment Parenting. Remember that crying is your infant's way of telling you s/he is distressed. Building a strong attachment or connection with your baby is more than just caring for the baby's physical needs, but also involves spending enjoyable time interacting with your baby or child on a daily basis.
Don't be afraid to fall in love with your baby.
The common cues or reasons for crying include hunger, tiredness, discomfort, and loneliness.
Other reasons for crying:
1. Stress from too much stimulation
2. Picking up on mother's stress
3. Needs to be held or laid down
4. Needs skin to skin contact to feel secure
5. Gas and/or colic
6. "High-need" is a term that is often used to describe the temperament of a baby who is often fussy. These infants may need a lot of close physical contact, movement or loving attention. They may also be sensitive to certain solid foods or foods ingested by the mother.
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Old 01-31-2006, 07:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by kidspiration
I just started working with a wonderful craniosacral therapist who specializes in birth trauma resolution...I went there initially for my own issues but am learning so much about how much babies need to process the birth experience as well, especially when conditions were less than optimal as in our case.

I can relate very much with the OP, thank you so much for bringing up this topic. Honestly, this is not a discussion regarding CIO at all...believe me...I am super anti CIO.
I don't know about yours, but my Dd saw a craniosacral therapist a few times as an infant, at the recommendation of my chiropractor, and I had to stop seeing him. As a baby, my Dd rarely cried, but she didn't like the craniosacral treatment and would start to cry, so I would begin to comfort her. The craniosacral therapist told me a bunch of crap about how I should just allow her to cry, that she needs to cry everyday for her neurological development . Man, I was out of there. Anyone tells me not to comfort my child when she cries, well, plain and simply, I know that's wrong. I know that's damaging. Again, my Dd rarely cried. If crying was necessary for her
Yes, crying is a release and should not be discouraged, but comforting and taking care of a baby's needs is never a bad thing.
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Old 01-31-2006, 11:21 AM
 
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I just wanted to clarify that I do understand and appreciate the concept of crying in arms. It got me through many sleepless and emotionally draining nights when DD could not be calmed through any means. It's just that the OP originally came through seeming to say that we shouldn't comfort as that is an attempt to deny them their need to cry. I know that is not what was meant, but that is how it came across to some people.

I don't want the OP to feel like they're being attacked for putting this out there, I just wanted them to understand where some of the other moms are coming from who aren't agreeing with them.

Mama to : '05, '08, '10 and expecting our 3rd homebirth.jpgJanuary '13

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Old 01-31-2006, 01:22 PM
 
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I don't know about yours, but my Dd saw a craniosacral therapist a few times as an infant, at the recommendation of my chiropractor, and I had to stop seeing him. As a baby, my Dd rarely cried, but she didn't like the craniosacral treatment and would start to cry, so I would begin to comfort her. The craniosacral therapist told me a bunch of crap about how I should just allow her to cry, that she needs to cry everyday for her neurological development . Man, I was out of there. Anyone tells me not to comfort my child when she cries, well, plain and simply, I know that's wrong. I know that's damaging. Again, my Dd rarely cried. If crying was necessary for her
I'm sorry that your craniosacral therapist told you not to comfort your child. That does not seem right at all.

I do know from having taken some basic craniosacral courses myself that crying (and nursing) are seen as very effective ways for a baby to adjust their own cranial bones as needed. But I think this thread is oriented towards the emotional aspect of crying and so we will leave that thought for now.

My therapist comes at this from a standpoint that my DD, when she cries (and again, not the "I need something" cry...OF COURSE you attend to that!) that she is releasing and expressing an EMOTION, and to lovingly support her through that by accepting and validating.

It's like this...if you're upset and crying, which would you prefer...someone to tell you "oh, don't cry" and do things to make you stop crying...OR to say that they're there for you, to offer you physical comfort while also validating your feelings and allowing you the space to express and work through your emotions?

Again, as I said in my previous post, this is NOT really a discussion about CIO. And before I had my sweet baby (who is not a cry-er in general at all, by the way), I would have thought to do anything to not let my baby cry, personally being a huge non-CIO advocate. However, after experiencing the birth that we did, and being incredibly bonded to my daughter, I can now understand that there are some moments when she is crying that she is needing to do so to satisfy a need on an emotional level. At these moments, I hold her close to me, rock her and instead of approaching this with the intent of "how do I help her stop crying?", I accept that she is crying and releasing and tell her how much she is loved and that she is ok. And surprisingly enough, when I switched my own intent...she cried less! INTENT is the key word here, my friends. And it is not a passive thing on my part at all...I wouldn't even call it CIO in arms, because there is most definitely an exchange going on between us. On the outside, it may look to you like I'm "letting" her cry. But you wouldn't be able to tell how closely I'm holding her to me, and you wouldn't be able to hear the the words of love and acceptance that I'm whispering in her ear.

Many people, especially women, in this society learn to stifle their feelings and to not fully express themselves...I have only recently learned to accept all of my feelings, especially the negative ones. I don't want my little daughter to have to go through that. I'm hoping that by starting NOW by letting her express herself in this way, that she will grow up well adjusted and accepting all of her feelings and knowing deep down beyond a shadow of a doubt that I will always love and accept her, and that she is free to feel and express all of her emotions, positive or negative.

We also live in a society where babies are seen as eating-pooping-crying-sleeping machines, and I don't think many people are attuned to the fact that our little ones, from even before birth, have emotional experiences, ability to recall these experiences, and the need to express and work through them.
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Old 01-31-2006, 01:44 PM
 
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My 10 week daughter is trying to make talk noises. I talk to her & she makes realy cute ahhh's and squeaks. You can tell she is concentrating and thinking hard. Then after a few minutes of talking she starts crying, I just hold her and tell how good and smart she is after a few minutes she calms down and I try to interest her in physical play or she naps. I am sure
she wants to talk and be understood and is just so frustrated. I know she also gets frustrated when she wants to go somewhere and can't. Of course they just need love and hugs sometimes - its hard work being a baby!
If I tryed to stop the crying or put her down to CIO wouldn't that discourage the behavor that caused it? I want to encourage her to talk and crawl.
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