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Tonight I lost my patience. My 22 month old dd would not go to sleep, so I was very angry and went downstairs, leaving her in her room for a bit (she wasn't crying at his point.) I needed to get away and regroup. I asked my dh to go up to her and take over for a bit. Basically, he just needed to sit with her for a bit b/c I ALWAYS have put her to bed. It's a nursing thing. I didn't think it would go over well, but I thought I'd try.<br><br>
Anyway, my little mama's girl started crying (screaming) when dh showed up instead of me. You know the cry... the long, silent pause due to the breath holding. She was bordering on hysterical. This lasted for about a minute or two. I went right back upstairs to comfort her, and she was clearly upset that hadn't been with her.<br><br>
So dh said" I didn't take you long to give in" or something similar. I told him that she's very upset, so i needed to go to her and comfort her. He said that she knows I'll respond to that behavior, so basically she's doing it to manipulate me.<br><br>
(Sorry, this is longer than I thought it would be.)<br><br>
Anyway I told him that she is clearly upset, and not in a way that was an act. She was doing the little gasping for air thing. I don't know how to explain it, it happens when you cry really hard.<br><br>
So, my question is... did I do the right thing by going to her right away even though he was there.<br><br>
She may have known I'd come if she cried, but I don't think that was her main reason for becoming so upset. If it was just a normal bit of crying, I ma have waited a bit longer, but she was so upset! It just felt wrong to me<br><br>
What kind of 'manipulation' is she actually capable of at this point. I really hate that word. I see manipulative behavior as a way to get some kind of need met at this age.<br><br>
I want her to understand that sometimes mommy needs a break, but I never want her to think I am abandoning her when she does something I don't like or that makes me angry. How do you handle situations when you need to get out of there for a bit b/c you're too angry?<br><br>
Any thoughts or experiences with this? What can I tell dh about dd's supposed manipulation?
 

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I know the kind of crying you're speaking of and FWIW, I would have gone to my child too. I think that at that age, the world can be a very scary place sometimes, especially when a LO is tired and cranky. I also don't know if DH's always "get it".<br><br>
I'm sure someone else will have something more insightful to say!
 

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Was he right there with her? I probably would have gone to peek....but if dh was there trying to comfort her I wouldn't have gone in....unless he called. My son went through a phase similar to that. He nursed to sleep until 2.5y. There were times thought that I needed a mental break so I handed the duties over to DH and ds would go through the screaming, crying and needing mommy. It was heartbreaking but I knew he was with his daddy. Eventually he would calm down. If he didn't then hubby would call me in. At that age I couldn't go to the bathroom alone without him having a complete meltdown and for my own sanity I had to have DH take him for a few minutes or I was going to explode.<br><br>
Good luck it does get better.
 

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I think that since you asked your husband to put her to bed, and since he was right there when she was crying (ie she wasn't alone, wasn't without a loving parent to comfort her), you should have left it to him. I know it's difficult though, to hear your baby cry and not go to her. Dad was there though. Even though he may comfort her differently than you do, and even though he might not have been exactly what she was looking for (he doesn't lactate), it's important to allow each parent to parent in their own ways. If I were in his shoes, I would have been annoyed, and I might think twice the next time I was asked to help. As for whether your DD was manipulative, that's such a horrible word, implying all sorts of scheming thoughts. I doubt a 22 month old is capable of that, but she *was* crying for what she wanted, not what she needed. She wanted mom's comfort, but could have done with dad's. There is some difference to an young infant who is crying to be fed, because if they don't get fed they will die.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Annie Mac</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/15386999"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">I think that since you asked your husband to put her to bed, and since he was right there when she was crying (ie she wasn't alone, wasn't without a loving parent to comfort her), you should have left it to him. I know it's difficult though, to hear your baby cry and not go to her. Dad was there though.</div>
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The OP went back because of nursing. If her child is used to nursing to sleep, her sleep wouldn't have been as sound going to sleep hungry.<br><br>
As for why a 22 month old child can't manipulate, their frontal lobes are still developing so they can do higher level thinking. It's also why they can't be defiant or any other type of thinking that includes analyzing some one elses expected behavior before acting. That part of the brain is also where impulse control occurs too. Between 3 and 5 children start showing more reasoning abilities but the brain is still developing until 7, and adult level reasoning and impulse control can take through early adulthood to fully develop.
 

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oh boy, there have been times when i needed that "mommy break" and asked dh to put our ds to sleep, which resulted in ds screaming. i figures 10-15 min of crying with daddy will not harm my headstrong ds, because my dh is very capable of putting him to sleep and our ds needs to know that mom <i>and</i> dad can put him down... most of the time, i am by the door, hand on the knob, but i know my dh is doing a great job, so i wait it out. sometimes ds has stopped crying and i go back onto MDC (lol), sometimes i had to go in ...<br><br>
i know it breaks your heart to hear your LO cry, but maybe next time give it a few extra minutes to see how your dd will react, and to let your dh know you have confidence in him ...<br><br>
just my opinion <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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I think you did the right thing. I think you should start by asking him if he is feeling like he doesn't get enough quality time uncensored by you with his child or if he truly thought that your dd was manipulating you. He may be saying things out of frustration. I think that it is important for dads to get a chance to comfort their kids and build a relationship with them also so I think you should trust him to meet her needs more, but starting on that at a time other than bedtime may be a more effective way to do that.<br><br>
If he thinks she is being manipulative then I think that you should tell him that manipulation is a deliberate thing that takes the ability to reason and know what you are doing. You should also remind him that she is just coming out of being a baby and is not used to having a want that isn't a need yet and that it will take time and patience to help move her past that at times when she isn't overtired.
 

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I had the same argument with my dh a few times. From his perspective, I'd asked him to do something and then I swooped in before he could really do it. He felt like I was undermining his ability to comfort our kids.<br><br>
I honestly don't know the right response to this kind of situation. You do want your dd to learn that dad can comfort her. You do want to meet her needs. No, she can't be manipulative at this age, but she's also no longer an infant. She is capable of learning, slowly, that she can live through frustration, and that she can't always get what she wants. It's a delicate balance.<br><br>
What I do know is that bedtime is rarely a good time to change things up without a lot of forethought. Our worst disagreements over this issue always revolved around bedtime when none of us had any reserves. Even with a plan, it's hard to change how kids go to sleep. If you need your dh to help you put her to bed, then you should both go in with a plan. If you want a break, then I'd tell your husband, "Can you be with her for 5 minutes while I regroup?"
 

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What I can tell you is that I used to be the exact same way with my oldest...and she now has some issues letting dh (or anyone besides myself) comfort her- ever...and she is 4! with my youngest, it just wasn't possible for it to be always mama, all the time and I had to let go a bit and breathe and reassure myself that dh is just as loving as me and can comfort in his own way...boobs don't always have to be the only answer (and ds is far more resiliant than dd ever was or is when it comes to allowing comfort in other forms- he prefers the breast but will settle for cuddling from loving family member almost as easily)...it is VERY hard to listen to your lo cry and know that YOU can make it stop, but if dh is with your lo and he is generally a comforting/loving person...let it play out...you, your husband and your lo will be better off in the long run.<br>
hang in there...
 

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oh, and as a side note...have a plan ahead of time with dh...a point when too much is too much and you'll take over...it was very reassuring to me to know that dh would come and get me when he could no longer be completely calm and loving anymore or when he felt ds really needed me...
 

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I've been in this situation before. I don't think your DD is being manipulative at 22 months, and I know it is hard to not go when you can hear them crying like that. The way I feel about it is that if dad is there, if she's not crying for food, I would let him handle it. I think it's important for my ds to feel totally comfortable with both parents, hard as it is sometimes.
 
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