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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm reading "The Aware Baby" and finding it very interesting, but I wanted to know what other people think. For those of you who have read it, do you believe her theory that babies sometimes need to have a good cry in-arms, and that things like nursing/rocking/bouncing can actually serve to prevent the needed crying and cause a build-up of emotions? Have any of you tried this with your babes?

I've been thinking about this with my dd, who nurses very frequently day and night, and definitely uses it as a soother even when she's not hungry. I've never seen anything wrong with this and in fact have encouraged it, partly b/c I have low supply issues anyway and it helps to have the stimulation. But Solter has me thinking - there are many times Avery fusses when she's getting tired, and I always assumed she was fussy BECAUSE she was tired. Solter says the fussing is b/c the baby needs to cry, and the tiredness is making it harder for her to suppress it. So...yesterday I tried letting her cry. She was fed, changed, comfortable, etc. and starting to show tired signs. Instead of nursing her down like I would normally do, I just held her and spoke reassuringly to her. Well, she quickly began crying VERY hard and squirming in my arms, and after a few minutes she was hysterical and I couldn't take it - every fiber of my being was screaming to nurse her. So I did, and the crying stopped and she fell into a deep sleep immediately.

So I'm conflicted. Should I have fought my instincts and waited out the crying? Were my instincts correct in that case and it wasn't a good time for her to have a cry? I know that's a judgement call - I think I was right to go ahead and soothe her. But maybe another time I should try to let her cry and see what happens. We did have a very difficult, traumatic birth, and that could be something that hasn't healed within her yet - God knows I'm not over it.

Anyway, I'd love to have a discussion about this from an AP perspective. What do you guys think?
 

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Well, I haven't read the book.

But I believe that if a baby NEEDS to cry, there is NOTHING we can do to stop it. All we can really do is to not make the need bigger.

So if my guy is in a needing to cry mode, and I notice that I'm annoying him by doing something (trying to nurse him, rocking him, singing to him, etc), I'll stop that behaviour until something in him changes (slowing down the tears, asking to nurse, etc).

But it's just about going with what they are telling us, you know? It's not about deciding "well this must be a needed cry so I'll just stop trying to figure out if it's something easily solved", it's trying what you know to try, and if it's making things worse, just make it a nice quiet less annoying environment.

"every fiber of my being was screaming to nurse her. So I did, and the crying stopped and she fell into a deep sleep immediately." She'd had her cry, now she had another need, your mama instinct caught the change in the communication (crying harder), you helped her, she was happy!

Again, with DS, if there's no other fixable/helpable/calmable need, and the only need is just to wail, there's nothing in the universe I can do to stop him....
 

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What are Solter's comments on swaddling babies? They could be thrashing their legs and arms about to relieve emotional tension there too.

I'd dearly love to know how she tested this theory of hers because it really sounds like a load of BS developed to assauge guilt in CIOers. "My baby *needs* to cry--to work out his *emotions*. It's *stressful* for him to be held and nursed."

I have another theory for the same phenomena you witnessed. When your baby was set down that let her release her emotions of not knowing where her mama was so she started crying to help you find her and then she went in to hysterical panic-mode crying to let you know that it was a really long time since she felt you and where are you????? Those hysterical cries are designed to increase your adrenaline and shove your heart in your throat.

Anything that tells you "ignore your instincts" is wrong. There is enough pain and frustration in childrearing that there is no need to add in anything that rips your heart apart.
 

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I've never read this book & it sounds like crap. No human being NEEDS to cry. Crying indicates a problem. A parents job is to identify & correct said problems as swiftly as possible. Always trust your instincts!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by sapphire_chan

Anything that tells you "ignore your instincts" is wrong. There is enough pain and frustration in childrearing that there is no need to add in anything that rips your heart apart.
:
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Actually Solter is anti-CIO. She feels that letting babies cry alone is harmful to them. She supports cosleeping, breastfeeding, babywearing, etc. and feels that babies need an immediate response to their cries. If they do just "need to cry" she believes it should happen in the arms of a loving parent who's attending to them the whole time. She cites research that shows that human tears contain stress hormones, and that crying is a way that humans release emotions. When you read the book it actually makes a lot of sense - I'm not really doing it justice. I'm just feeling ambivalent about how to tell when your baby just needs to release some negative emotions as opposed to crying because they have an immediate need.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rmzbm
I've never read this book & it sounds like crap. No human being NEEDS to cry. Crying indicates a problem.
I don't know. There are times I feel that I need to cry to let out anger, frustration, etc. I sometimes just want a good cry alone with no one shushing me or comforting me and I feel much better afterward, so I do think it's possible. I would NEVER CIO a baby as sleep training or outright ignore a baby's cries, but if you are holding your baby and responding appropriately, maybe it could be ok . I think it really depends on the baby, but everyone should be allowed to "vent" if they need to
:

I've never read that book either, though
 

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I have definite needs to cry, too. It's rotten when I'm alone. When I need to cry and CAN cry (I haven't really been ABLE to cry in far too long, and I feel like I'm carrying sorrow around and it's really bothering me), all I want is someone around to sit with me, not annoying me, not bugging me, not upsetting me more...just to be with me.

And there are definitely times that DS really seems to need to cry, and anything we do to soothe or help him just pisses him right off. So we'll go quiet, just hold him, be there for him...and, just like when I want to and can cry, it soon works it's way out and he's peaceful again.

sapphire-chan, you wrote "your baby was set down that let her release her emotions"....she didn't set the baby down. The OP says "I just held her and spoke reassuringly to her".

In re-reading, though, I notice I didn't read the first part of that sentence I just quoted, where she would normally nurse the baby down. And to me, that's not what I'm talking about, personally. If baby *would* nurse and not cry, that's not needing to cry, to me. For me, it's rather when every other avenue has been tried, but baby is still crying, then perhaps it's the need to cry, and we just gotta get out of baby's "way" and let them do what they need to do. But if they WOULD calm if another need were met, then that need should be met.

On the other hand, sometimes at bedtime, DS acts like he'd be happy to just nurse and squirm, nurse and fight, nurse and kick, nurse and get up, for the entire night. Since DH has to work early and when I'm exhausted I hallucinate, at least a couple hours of sleep is needed.
: And there have definitely been times when DH will pick up DS and go walk down the dark hall with him...DS will absolutely protest this, but the truth of the matter is that he's exhausted, he's in papa's loving arms being sung Korean lullabies, and he will very soon be fast asleep. Other times that doesn't work, and he'll come back for one more bit of milk and will pass out then.
What I'm saying is that there are definitely times with us that on the surface it seems he wants/needs more milk, but his other actions are saying otherwise, and quite often if we help him in his need to SLEEP rather than his need to squirm and kick me while getting bits of milk, then most of those times it works out well for everyone.

Sigh.

See, that's the problem with books. They notice something and write it all out like it's black and white, when things like this are always going to have individual stories and it's never going to work 100% of the time...
:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by ACsMom
She cites research that shows that human tears contain stress hormones, and that crying is a way that humans release emotions.
Yes and stress = problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by rmzbm
I've never read this book & it sounds like crap. No human being NEEDS to cry. Crying indicates a problem. A parents job is to identify & correct said problems as swiftly as possible. Always trust your instincts!

It's really not crap, I promise! At least I don't think so, at this point.
This book was recommended to me by people on this site, and a lot of people seem to like its ideas. I was hoping for feedback from people who have read it, because I can't explain Solter's ideas as well as she does, and there really is a lot more to it than I can describe in a post. I DO think that human beings need to cry at times, and that crying is an adaptive behavior that serves a function. If it didn't, it probably would have evolved out of our behavioral repertoire a long time ago. But I definitely agree that we should trust our instincts.

Quote:
What are Solter's comments on swaddling babies? They could be thrashing their legs and arms about to relieve emotional tension there too.
Solter claims that swaddling (too much) has been shown to be harmful. I guess Sears has pointed this out too - too much swaddling can inhibit proper hip joint development. I think Solter's point is that anything you do that soothes the baby can have a negative function if used excessively - it can end up keeping the baby from a needed release of emotions. Solter points out that we live in a culture where being emotionally demonstrative is usually frowned upon, so we learn at a very early age to suppress our emotional expression. We help babies learn to do this by providing soothers - these stop the crying, which reinforces the parent to use that method the next time the baby cries. Solter believes there are times when we shouldn't try so hard to stop the crying. She ackowledges that it's hard to tell sometimes when a baby "needs" to cry, and says mothers should trust their instincts on that.

Anyway....other thoughts?
 

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I have not read Solter - so can't comment on what has been written by her
but ........I would basically say that it depends on the babe and it depends on the circumstances
CIO is terrible as far as I am concerned - most babes need to be nursed for comfort, nursed to sleep and nursed just a lot of the time
however, there are the odd occassions when my newborn (babe no2) will go to sleep after being full from nursing then wake up again a short while later - sometimes if she is in the right mood - she can cry hard for maybe 1 or 2 mins (no more) and then fall right off to sleep again on her own - if I picked her up to nurse before this for sure she would also go back to sleep nursing

also - my first dd would never have done this because she was an entirely different temperament so I always picked her up if she fussed or cried ........

but the situation you describe sounds very different because your babe cried for longer and you also felt a strong need to nurse her - so do not deny your own instincts in favour of someone else's written words ............
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by rmzbm
I've never read this book & it sounds like crap. No human being NEEDS to cry. Crying indicates a problem. A parents job is to identify & correct said problems as swiftly as possible. Always trust your instincts!

I need to cry on occasion. Fact is, life is going to present problems and emotional challenges, and crying is a good way for me to release those tensions and get myself to a point where I can deal with the problems more rationally. I'm an adult though, and it stands to reason that a baby (or even a small child) won't really have the other skills required to deal with whatever problem is besetting them after the emotional release of crying -- so letting such a child cry indefinitely doesn't really help eliminate the problem itself. But I wouldn't so quickly dismiss the need for emotional release in our little ones.
 

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i didn't read this book.

i can see both sides of this.

being an ap oriented parent means, first and foremost that our first priority is to promote connection and bonding. sometimes that means different things to different people.

i am firmly and utterly against cio in any way, shape or form.

that said, after our terribly traumatic birth, there were times when dd cried and i knew in my mother's heart that she was crying to dissipate emotional tension. i held her and acknowledged her and told her how much i loved her, and how sorry i was that our birth didn't go the way that we planned (homebirth transport
), and that it was ok if she was scared or mad and that mommy and baby are together now and how proud and grateful i was of her being so strong during the scary birth, and that we got through it together and that i would always be there for her and hold her and love her and that she is so precious to me.

i'm crying, remembering this and writing this.

we worked through it together. and after a while, she didn't need to cry like that anymore.

i suppose if you're into using labels, i let her cio. and before i had my own baby, i would have not believed that a baby would possibly have an emotional need to release in this way. but i know in my heart of hearts that this was what dd needed at the time, and as an ap mama who responds to her baby's needs, i respected that and held her tenderly with tears in my own eyes. it reminded me that it was OUR birth experience, and she participated in it and was affected by it, too. and we healed together.


from what you've described, you sound like a very in-tune, intuitive, and bonded parent. you will know, mama. you will know.
 

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we also worked with a wonderful, caring, intuitive craniosacral therapist who specializes in birth trauma. both dd and i have benefitted so much (physically, emotionally and spiritually) from seeing her, i can't recommend it enough. i don't want to derail this thread so please feel free to pm me if you are interested in learning more about it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by annarosa
CIO is terrible as far as I am concerned ............
Me, too! Guys, please...I feel like everyone's misunderstanding me, here. I would NEVER let my child CIO and this book is not advocating that. As I said, Solter is very anti-CIO. Crying, if it needs to happen, should be done IN-ARMS, never alone.

Again, I would really like to hear from people who HAVE read this.
 

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ACs mom...i haven't read the book but i know what you're talking about.


btw, i think there was a thread about crying in arms a while back but without the search function, i can't find it for you right now. but once we can search again, i'll look it up.

what you are talking about is, from my own experience of it, NOT CIO.

again,
.
 

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I'm pretty sure an aritcle from this author, or at least on this subject, was published in Mothering a year or two ago. It's not about manipulating your baby into falling asleep alone, or not needing you. It's about not trying to supress your baby's emotions. There's no "at this time everyday, you should hold your baby and let them cry." It's about babies whose needs have been met (they're dry, good temperature, soothing environment, wellfed and refusing the breast) who don't want to be calmed. Sometimes all the shushing and patting and bouncing, etc, annoys more than it helps. Most baby experts would say "if your baby won't be comforted, out them in the crib, walk out, and shut the door." This author is saying "if your baby won't be comforted, maybe s/he doesn't want to be comforted, but wants to cry in a safe, loving, protective parent's arms. Stop all the shushing and bouncing and try to just be with your baby."
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by eclipse
I'm pretty sure an aritcle from this author, or at least on this subject, was published in Mothering a year or two ago. It's not about manipulating your baby into falling asleep alone, or not needing you. It's about not trying to supress your baby's emotions. There's no "at this time everyday, you should hold your baby and let them cry." It's about babies whose needs have been met (they're dry, good temperature, soothing environment, wellfed and refusing the breast) who don't want to be calmed. Sometimes all the shushing and patting and bouncing, etc, annoys more than it helps. Most baby experts would say "if your baby won't be comforted, out them in the crib, walk out, and shut the door." This author is saying "if your baby won't be comforted, maybe s/he doesn't want to be comforted, but wants to cry in a safe, loving, protective parent's arms. Stop all the shushing and bouncing and try to just be with your baby."
That makes sense. And validating your baby's feelings is AP, so I can see how this might fit into that.
 

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I just read this book. It's VERY AP and against CIO.

I found it fascinating, practical and helpful. Also, it offers a shift of perspective that encouraged me to connect with my baby in a NEW way, i.e. by ACCEPTING her crying and not trying to suppress it every time.

If all her needs are met, instead of jiggling, nursing, pacifying, etc to suppress her crying, simply hold her, love her and accept her tears as a healing and natural human process.

It was a revelation to me that often i NEED to supress her crying (when all her needs are met) in order to assuage my own discomfort. In our society we're not comfortable with the more intense "ugly" emotions, however healing and neccessary they are to express.

I recommend the book to everyone on this thread, especially before adding your opinion on it.
 
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