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Thread: is it being selfish to be gentle....?

  1. #1

    Default is it being selfish to be gentle....?

    someone was telling me the other day that they saw a 'controlled crying' nurse who stayed at their house and helped her through it. the nurse was saying to her that it was her job to teach the baby how to sleep and it's her fault that the baby was tired and cranky because she hadnt taught it to sleep by itself and that as a result it wouldnt learn and develop as much as a sleepful baby and this was her fault also.....



    she was pleased with this experience and it worked for her and her baby but i kept thinking if somone said that to me i would be devasted. it made me think though, am i being selfish for doing it the gentle way (because its easier to wack her on the boob, let her sleep in my bed etc) than get her to fast track and learn to sleep by herslef through other methods?

    i know in my heart of hearts i am doing it the right way for us and we are making progress little by little but it got me thinking.....

  2. #2

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    I really think you have to follow what you feel is right for you. No family, mum, baby is the same so each experience needs to be based on what you feel is right. Goodluck..sounds like you are doing an amazing job to me.

    Jo

  3. #3

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    I know how you feel, I have doubts as well, especially since my family are not really into attachment or gentle parenting. S will be sleeping in our room anyway because we don't have anywhere else for him to sleep, and I just can't leave him to cry like they suggested at mothers' group (watched a horrible video and it was distressing!). I'm sure she'll grow up just perfect (and I think the guilt thing by the nurse is just wrong!)

  4. #4

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    I agree with what has been said. You need to find what works for you and your baby and what you are comfortable with doing.
    I can't belive though that that nurse turned around and said that! I don't see how that is being selfish, we all do what we need to do to get by with our sanity still intact. We helped our DD learn to sleep with a bit of crying but lots of pats and cuddles, took time but we got there.

  5. #5

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    my DD is almost 9 months and still wakes up alot to have a comfort bfeed and cosleeps. i cant wait til she sleeps through, but i have no idea when that will be. it is sometimes tempting to try the other approach, especially since this lady told me her son sleeps from 7-7 now and only after a couple of nights of control crying.. but i will just keep doing what i am doing. the thread was more of a thinking out loud type of thing. :-)

  6. #6

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    Wouldn't the opposing view be that to make a baby fit into the parents schedule (ie: uninterrupted sleep) be selfish? At least that's what I tell myself when the worry about whether its right to keep boobing DS to sleep.

    Not wanting to offend CC advocates, but I feel I'm there for his convenience rather than that he's there for mine. Having said that if it was 12 times a night its completely understandable to do modified CC.

  7. #7

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    You can teach your child to sleep gently (without feeding to sleep)! Now we have a settled routine DS sleeps longer and better (some nights). DH has advocated CCing when DS won't stay in bed, sometimes I have been tempted to agree but hearing DS cry is worse for me than picking him up and getting him to start to sleep again. I can see how other people would CC, especially with no sleep at all! I'm lucky with DS that he gets at least 3 hours at a time at night.

    It's harder work for me, and it does take longer for DS to learn how to sleep, but to me it's worth it. Plus he's such a clever lad I can't see how it harms his development (he's sat "hello"ing his reflection as I type).

  8. #8

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    I personally don't like controlled crying or controlled comforting. We tried it with our first son and after 3 hours we gave up.. I did it in the end with my 3rd son and I stood next to his bed and did it that way.. I felt better about it and it didn't feel as cruel..

    you are not being selfish for being gentle. We all parent in our own way and babies are meant to wake up

  9. #9
    paradise lost Guest

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    The first 5 weeks i co-slept and on-demand fed DD, if she cried she got booby. Once she got to seeming really tired but unable to settle without masses of help we decided to try something different. We taught DD to re-settle herself by modified CC - at bedtime (8pm) she had been bathed, fed, story read etc. I would put her down, she would howl, I would pick her up, rock and sing to her until she fell asleep and then put her down again. A few weeks later i would sit by the cot, with my hands on her, stroking, patting, whatever, and sing to her softly until she nodded off. When she got a bit bigger (4 months or so) i would just sit and sing (not touching her). By the time she was 4 months old she no longer cried at bedtime and if she did a brief visit from mummy to reassure her that i still existed was all she needed. She slept through from midnight to 5am by 5 months and slept 8pm-8am as soon as i weaned her off the breast (7 months, due to let-down/supply problems and underlying health problems for me (thyroid related)) as she liked to wake for the booby but wasn't bothered to wake for a bottle that early.

    I think every parent should use what they think is best for their child, i'm a single parent and would have gone nuts with no sleep, and i know CC works for a lot of people. For myself i felt that it was important DD had the confidence to be able to settle herself, but if i left DD to cry it out, even for a few minutes, the message i was giving was "Go ahead and cry. No one is coming. No one cares." and it makes ME cry thinking that. A gentler way worked for us.

    HTH

  10. #10

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    For all those who are gentle settling parents - yes it takes time and effort, but eventually it comes good - my son has been sleeping through beautifully, and in his own room now, after being a co-sleeping, breastfed boy. He was never the best of sleepers, especially 0-12 months. But it is really satisfying to look back and say we did it in a way that worked for all of us, and that it was worth the time and effort

  11. #11

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    Keep going the way you're going, because in my experience neither method of settling is going to guarantee you sleep.

    I've done everything by the book - establishing a feed, play, sleep routine, sleeping in their own bed, using the "correct" sleep associations, putting down for regular naps etc etc - and I have a baby that still wakes quite frequently in the middle of the night.

    My friend did the opposite - breastfeeding and rocking to sleep, co-sleeping etc etc - and her baby wakes just as frequently.

    Loads of people I know have babies that wake frequently in the middle of the night, despite following all of the rules. Therefore, I would conclude that babies will sleep when their ready and you can't do anything to control it.

    If I could have my time again, I would have spent less time angsting over sleep-training and more time enjoying my baby. However, now that I have realised this I'm enjoying things much more despite the sleep deprivation.

  12. #12

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    now that I have realised this I'm enjoying things much more despite the sleep deprivation
    I reakon that this acceptance can be the key to the sleep issue. Well said ...

  13. #13
    Fraser Guest

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    I think that those that are against CC (in all its various forms) are probably lucky enough to have a co-operative baby.

    you just have to keep trying different things to work out what your baby responds to. No one wants to be mean to their own child - but different babies respond to different methods - much the same as adults we don't all go to sleep the same way. I read a book for 10 minutes and fall asleep, whereas DH snores as soon as his head hits the pillow.

    And you HAVE to remember that you are not selfish or mean if you have your babies best interests at heart.

  14. #14

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    I think the key thing is to be gentle on each other too........Mums need to be gentle to other Mums, & MCHN need to be gentle on Mums.......support and understanding regardless of methods, I think, are crucial for happy mummies...........

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fraser View Post
    I think that those that are against CC (in all its various forms) are probably lucky enough to have a co-operative baby.
    Depends what you call a co-operative baby. I think that kind of comment diminishes the efforts that go into gentle parenting. But if it makes people who have used CC feel better to believe that gentle parents have babies that sleep anyway, then *shrug*.

    I haven't had a full nights sleep for 14 months now, especially lately - he's been waking like a newborn every couple of hours. I wouldn't call that co-operative.

    I don't think it's selfish at all to be using gentle methods. I agree with a previous poster that it feels the opposite to me, especially in the early days, that it would be selfish to try and fit a baby into a routine that YOU want rather than what the baby needs.

  16. #16
    Fraser Guest

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    I think you missed the point of my post a bit there - not meant to be antagonistic in anyway.

    I think that GP methods are to be applauded - not all of us can persevere with them - I wasn't referring to all that use GP methods - I was referring to those that are dead set against CC and have claimed they have not had any issues because they GP.

    The main reason for my post was to say to the OP that you should not feel selfish or guilty when you have your babies best interests at heart - and only you, the individual, can know that whether you GP or not

    You attitude Liz disappoints me - parents who use CC don't need to 'make themselves feel better' - very troubling post.

  17. #17

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    Well, I found the comment equally troubling. To me its akin to saying that a person thats never smacked their child has never had a naughty child and that gentle methods only work if you have a 'good' baby.

    A lot of time and sacrifice goes into gentle methods, it's not very encouraging to hear that the efforts are wasted, and that if a baby's sleeping is bad enough it calls for CC in the end anyway, which is what we work hard to avoid.

  18. #18
    Fraser Guest

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    Thanks Mads - that was the point I was trying to make.

    Please Liz, don't extend my opinions out into the worst possible way it could be taken, it is after all only my opinion - which I do not wish to force upon anybody.

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