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Note: Cross posted in Toddlers forum.

Here's the situation:
DH stays with our 14-month-old, cosleeping DS on Fridays (DH is off work that day). It has always been a struggle for DH to get DS down for naps when I'm not there, b/c DS generally nurses to sleep (or at least, prior to sleep - sometimes he'll fall asleep other ways after nursing, but it's pretty rare). Somehow they've always been able to figure it out. However, DS's latest "routine" with his daddy has recently changed - DH used to be able to walk around with DS for a few minutes and he would eventually just lay his head down on DH's shoulder and fall asleep. DH would then lay DS on the bed asleep, end of story. Lately DS has started to cry and squirm and reach for the bed and doesn't want to be walked around, period - fights it big time.

So today DH tried a new approach (I spoke to him from work and he gave me the story). When DS started to reach for our bed DH decided to just put him in bed and lie down next to him. At which point DS started crying hysterically. DH decided to give it 20 minutes and see what would happen. DS kept up the crying for about 15 minutes (with DH right next to him, offering backrubs, singing, etc...) - DS was still really upset but he wasn't trying to get off the bed, just rolling around and crying. Finally his cries wound down and he fell asleep. DH left the room and DS slept for the next hour and a half.

DH's opinion is that DS would have fallen asleep even faster, but probably had in his mind that if he cried loud/long enough I would magically appear and give him the boob (even though DS and I said goodbyes when I left for work this morning). Which I think is probably true.

My feelings are ambivalent - I hate the thought of DS crying like that (I've heard this particular cry, it's a recent "variation", sounds like someone is trying to kill him - but at least not a "hyperventilating" cry which I've also experienced and is even worse - but still completely breaks my heart
) but then I think, well, he's no longer an infant, and he wasn't left alone to cry, his daddy was right next to him on the bed the whole time. Maybe DS was just protesting not being able to fall asleep the way he wanted to - with the boob.

What do you mamas think? Have any of you had similar experiences with your DPs putting DCs down for naps when you're not able to be there? Is it always bad for a child to cry before sleep, no matter the age or situation? Or was this time simply an adjustment to daddy's way of doing things?
 

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What about if your DH tries putting him to sleep in a carrier (an Ergo, Mei Tai, sling, etc.) And then when he falls asleep, he can tranfer your DS to the bed. For a long time, that was the only way my DD could fall asleep without nursing. The transfer takes a little practice, but it's not too hard after a while (at first, he might want to try when you're around to assist).
 

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There's a section in (I think) the Dr. Gordon Good Night's book which discusses toddlers crying before falling asleep. He said you have to pay attention to whether it's crying because there's something wrong, or if they're crying because they're annoyed with something.

I think in this case your DH was right there, your little one was safe, loved, being given reassurance and support...but your little one was annoyed because that wasn't how he wanted to fall asleep! So I don't think it's the same as CIO...your ds wasn't alone or scared or in pain...your DH was right there holding him!

I think it might be worth trying some other nap time rituals or evening rituals (I think 14 is a really hard age since there is so much they want to do/see during the day...dd started fighting sleep right around then and it took a few months for her to settle down again). The No Cry Sleep Solution for Toddlers has some great ideas and discusses all sorts of gentle solutions to sleep problems (while still supporting the family bed and breastfeeding).

Good luck mama...I hope a new ritual helps!
 

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There is a fundamental difference between being abandoned to cry and being supported and loved while crying.

Your son was upset because you were not there, and he wanted you. This is a valid emotion (not that any emotion is invalid--I guess a better way to say it is it is understandable that he felt this way about your absence). By being there for and with him, your husband supported his sadness and allowed your son to feel whatever it was that he felt.

I get upset when people think AP means not letting children cry. Of course children cry. Who am I to allow or not allow my child to feel whatever it is that she feels? How would it be respectful of me to always say to her, "oh, you're okay, don't cry!" I'd hate it if someone said that to me. I wince when I hear other moms say it, though I know it is hard not to, and I catch myself sometimes. But I will decide if *I* am okay and she can decide if *she* is okay. It's my job as her mom to help her work through and understand her feelings, to offer alternatives, to insert appropriate distractions (I go back and forth about the respectfulness of this), to comfort her.

If that were my DH, I would be proud that instead of fighting my son's feelings, he acknowledged them and gave my son the message that his feelings were "allowed" without judging or demanding that he be happy. Sometimes there is no way around sadness, or anger. Your DH was right there, supporting your son. He sounds like a wonderful guy!

My guess is that if your husband keeps it up, your son will learn new ways of falling asleep, on his own terms, with the support and love of his dad. It probably won't be easy for your son, and there may be some days where your husband says, okay, enough, let's take a break and try again later. And that is okay too--to know when a child has reached the point where they really do need an intervention, a break, a distraction. Feelings can be overwhelming, and coping with them can be hard--but that is part of what it means to be human, right?

And with regard to your husband--what are his alternatives? To fight your son and walk, or to not nap and not meet his need for sleep. . . neither seems respectful to me. I think your DH did exactly the right thing.

I always think, if I were a child, how would I want to be treated in that specific situation? And I would want to be allowed to grieve the temporary loss of my mother, to be treated respectfully, and to sleep.
 

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I agree completely with Katies mama!

This is how my dd falls to sleep often. or she wont sleep. We alternate where she sleeps b/c frankly it seems she does well in one place then sudenly wants another place. for now she sleeps in a portacrib next to the bed. and we lay down at the same time and say "night night I love you. mommy is going to sleep now" etc. and she complain cries for a few mins. I really don't think her complaint is AT me as much as it is TO me that she is tired and cranky and winding down.

when I'm tired and cranky sometimes I feel that way too. I just get grumpy and mean and whatever... but the only thing that makes me feel better is sleep. I figure that's how she feels.

children should be allowed to feel their emotions. not shushed (even though I am SO guilty of this!!!) and the idea of AP isn't to keep them happy and quiet it's to keep them properly attached to their emotions.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by HennyPenny
I really don't think her complaint is AT me as much as it is TO me that she is tired and cranky and winding down.

I agree totally!! Crying while falling asleep in your (or your DH's) loving presence is very different from CIO alone.
 

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That's how my DS (2 1/2) falls asleep when I'm not here. My DH is in the bedroom with him, and he usually cries because he wants me (wants to nurse) and he'll scream "mama" at the door for a while, but eventually gets a pillow and blanket and goes to sleep. I cringe at what our neighbors must think, but DH is in there every second giving him support and trying to help him to feel better. So I definately don't consider that to be CIO.
 

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I think it's very helpful to read this forum stickie for more information about this issue when making an effort to make an informed decision on this subject.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by georgia
I think it's very helpful to read this forum stickie for more information about this issue when making an effort to make an informed decision on this subject.
The forum sticky is about CIO, which is being abandoned to cry. Key phrases in the sticky include "ignoring cries" and "lack of responsiveness." To suggest information on CIO would be helpful in this situation suggests that you think her DH is letting her son CIO. That's not what this is about--or do you disagree?
 

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I do agree that there's a huge difference between leaving a child alone in a crib to cry it out and a toddler crying himself to sleep while with an attentive, loving parent who is attempting to soothe. That must be really hard, for all of you.

Still, I think that crying for twenty minutes is not the best way to fall asleep, no matter what sort of crying it is. It seems to me that the best solution would be to find a way for your husband to put your son to bed that doesn't involve crying, right? It's not much fun for parent or child, and although occasionally it happens, because a child is overtired or upset or whatever, it's still better to look for another solution.

That may take some time and experimenting. Maybe it's time to create more of a naptime routine - maybe a specific song, or going through the room closing shades and saying good-night to various objects, or whatever. I knew a woman who started putting lavender oil in a diffuser in the room where her toddler napped , and he started associating that smell with naptime and would get tired as soon as she turned on the diffuser.

At 14 months, your son is transitioning from "baby" to "toddler", and his needs and abilities are changing rapidly. A lot of routines will probably be changing within the next 6 months, and there's almost always a period of adjustment.

dar
 

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Quote:
I think in this case your DH was right there, your little one was safe, loved, being given reassurance and support...but your little one was annoyed because that wasn't how he wanted to fall asleep! So I don't think it's the same as CIO...your ds wasn't alone or scared or in pain...your DH was right there holding him!
I agree, ds went through a stage before he crawled, where he would fight sleep dramaticly, wouldnt nurse to sleep. I would rock him in my arms singing to him for 30-45 mins while he screamed, kicked, fought, and he would finnaly give in and sleep. And it wasn't that he wasn't ready for sleep, he was usually overtired by that point because he would fight it so much. I think your dh was right, he probably cryed so long and loud to see if mommy would appear.

Maybe your dh should still walk with him though. It may make it happen faster, even if he crys and fights.
 

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I have a hard time with this attended crying thing. I'm not a big fan. If I try to get Oscar to sleep by nursing and he cries and fights it, I stop and try something new. This goes for any of my little sleep tactics I try with Oscar. I know that your hubbs isn't leaving your babe to cry by himself, but to me, it doesn't make all that much difference. Babe is still crying when you're capable of stopping him from doing so.

I understand that there are times when you just can't get babes to stop. You do everything in your power to help them out though. I don't think your hubbs was doing everything he could.

Good luck. Sounds like you're not too comfy with the situation. I'd stick to my guns.

Sara & Oscar (04/11/26)
 

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Quote:
Babe is still crying when you're capable of stopping him from doing so.
sometimes there is nothing that will stop the crying......and thats just how some babies are. But being there while they cry is the best thing for them.
 

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I don't believe in letting a child cry to sleep but i have to respect that their crying is saying something....I may not understand it or be able to change it, but all crying is not bad. sometimes you just need to cry
 

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I don't think all crying is bad. Like a pp said, even babies deserve to have emotions. I, too, would be upset if I wanted to cry and someone told me not to...I don't support leaving babies alone to cry-cry. Sometimes my baby will fuss a little and that's a lot different than crying. I know what her sounds mean. You probably know what your DC's sounds mean, so I'd go with your instinct.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ozzy'sMama
I know that your hubbs isn't leaving your babe to cry by himself, but to me, it doesn't make all that much difference. Babe is still crying when you're capable of stopping him from doing so.
I don't see how her DH was capable of stopping him from crying. He was right there doing every thing he could. the walking around had already not worked, so he had transfered to the bed - which was what the babe wanted - and was right there for him with backrubs etc etc.

Sometimes kids just cry. There is no magic wand that makes them stop.

to ad to this thread myself: My 10 month old DD will only fall asleep with DH if she cries. He holds/snuggles her, walks and rocks her, shush's and whisper sings.. and the whole time she is cry-whining, pushing her forhead into his chest or arm or shoulder untill she settles down and goes to sleep.
This can go on anywhere from 3 mins to 15 or 20.
Not the best scenario on earth but untill my DH growa a lactating breast - thats how it is when I'm not home.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by wryknowlicious
I don't see how her DH was capable of stopping him from crying. He was right there doing every thing he could. the walking around had already not worked, so he had transfered to the bed - which was what the babe wanted - and was right there for him with backrubs etc etc.

Sometimes kids just cry. There is no magic wand that makes them stop.

I agree. I don't see what about the OP would imply that there was something her DH could have done to stop the crying. It happens.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ozzy'sMama
I have a hard time with this attended crying thing. I'm not a big fan. If I try to get Oscar to sleep by nursing and he cries and fights it, I stop and try something new. This goes for any of my little sleep tactics I try with Oscar. I know that your hubbs isn't leaving your babe to cry by himself, but to me, it doesn't make all that much difference. Babe is still crying when you're capable of stopping him from doing so.

I understand that there are times when you just can't get babes to stop. You do everything in your power to help them out though. I don't think your hubbs was doing everything he could.

Good luck. Sounds like you're not too comfy with the situation. I'd stick to my guns.

Sara & Oscar (04/11/26)
:
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Ozzy'sMama
I have a hard time with this attended crying thing. I'm not a big fan. If I try to get Oscar to sleep by nursing and he cries and fights it, I stop and try something new. This goes for any of my little sleep tactics I try with Oscar. I know that your hubbs isn't leaving your babe to cry by himself, but to me, it doesn't make all that much difference. Babe is still crying when you're capable of stopping him from doing so.

I understand that there are times when you just can't get babes to stop. You do everything in your power to help them out though. I don't think your hubbs was doing everything he could.
So is your goal to get your child to stop crying, by whatever means necessary?

As a child grows up, have you considered what message you are giving them about having sad or "bad" emotions when you will so desperately jump through hoops to "make" a child stop crying?

I agree with you that a child should be supported and it is reasonable to try new things, to see if they can be helped to find a better way or solution. But I don't agree that being sad is something that should be stopped at all costs, anymore than I would appreciate it if someone started waving chocolate in front of my face when I was crying. It doesn't address my very real feelings about whatever it is that I'm crying about, and it's not respectful. I think it comes back to the "children are people too" philosophy.

I go back and forth about using distraction for upset children, because I see the irony in it, and though I definitely do it, there comes a point where I will pause and just let Katie feel whatever she is feeling, cry, before I say, well, would you like *this* instead? Sometimes that bit of crying allows her to move on, without pressure, particularly when she is tired and in need of a nap.

It's really all about balance and the interaction between us. Am I too frustrated? What is my motivation in not "acting" when she is crying? What does my gut tell me about her cries? Is it "just too much" for her (a very subjective call)? If so, can we take a break and try to go to sleep later? Maybe she doesn't really need a nap? Am I able to be flexible, or am I so set on a course of "she must sleep" that I don't allow either of us some space?

For me, it's not about whether or not he allowed his child to cry--it is about his overall responsiveness, his motivations, and his intentions, because in the long run, those are the things that a child picks up on. I would rather a child get the message that their emotions are acceptable in any case, even the "bad" ones, than get the message that all crying is a crisis and must be avoided at all costs.

When I see parents parenting that way--trying to avoid all tears--it is those children who are inevitably the most consistently miserable. What a vicious cycle!
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by katies_mama
The forum sticky is about CIO, which is being abandoned to cry. Key phrases in the sticky include "ignoring cries" and "lack of responsiveness." To suggest information on CIO would be helpful in this situation suggests that you think her DH is letting her son CIO. That's not what this is about--or do you disagree?
It wasn't whether I agreed or disagreed
I directed the OP to the stickie b/c there is a fabulous article linked there in MM by Aletha Solter about being held while crying and how crying is a release:

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

that I thought was a wonderful resource. I wasn't trying to offer my personal opinion on the subject...hope I didn't create any negative feelings for anyone.

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